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Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

chooks Re:Todd the Teacher.. (333 comments)

You missed the big one. Todd the Teacher.

I'll one-up you: Dave the Daycare Provider.

Oscar the Ob-Gyn?

about 1 month ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

chooks Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1010 comments)

I'm with the sib post here. I really enjoyed o-chem. It actually made me sad that I didn't take P-chem when I had the chance.

One thing that made the difference was that I prepared before the class even started -- I looked at the list of suggested readings in the course syllabus and went through one of the suggested resources ("Pushing Electrons"). An awesome little work book that made everything I learned in class very understandable.

And yeah - I took Ochem as a pre-req for med school and guess what? I still use information I learned in that pre-req as an MD. So much for the "you'll never use it!" argument!

about 4 months ago
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Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov

chooks Re:Will they teach Economics? (404 comments)

Why would top developers work for government pay?

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best SOHO Printer Choices?

chooks Re:My best advice: ***AVOID INKJETS*** !!! (381 comments)

I have the same printer - CLP550N, that I bought in 2005. Still on the original color cartridges (which are starting to go, but I put my defaults settings to print B&W). I love the duplex printing and it has been a solid printer for 7 years with some years of heavy printing. I need a new black toner cartridge every couple of years or so (I am on my 4th) but it is not horribly expensive (less than $100 from 3rd parties).

The biggest design problem with the printer is with the waste toner cartridge, which didn't make a good seal and so used toner would muck up the optical sensor that triggers a "waste toner full" error. I easily fixed this though by taking the LED and taping it to the sensor. Problem solved.

about 6 months ago
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DoD Declassifies Flu Pandemic Plan Containing Sobering Assumptions

chooks Re:Think again. . . ."zombies" aren't what you thi (337 comments)

with a very short incubation period.

You actually want a long incubation period so that the infected stay symptomless (but infective) for as long as possible. If the symptoms are severe and the incubation time short (e.g. flaviviridae like marburg or ebola) they kill the host before they have time to infect enough people. In essence, the virus is *too* virulent that it goes through the available susceptible people too quickly.

More deadly would be a virus that has is lethal but does not show symptoms for a period that exceeds its infective period. A good example is the early years of the HIV era -- lethal virus, long time before symptoms start, and infectious much earlier than any symptoms start to show up.

about 7 months ago
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How Outdated Data Distorts Doctors' Pay

chooks Re:15 minutes triggers the BS detector (336 comments)

My point is that putting in that number needlessly detracts from what they are trying to say. You could easily counter their example with the fact that some colonscopies can take hours (e.g. complications occur, perforations, etc...) and thus doctors are getting UNDERPAID. Without any context, it comes across as sensationalist. The point they are making (medical reimbursement is non-transparent and is not aligned with primary care of populations) but this is not helped by their hook.

about 9 months ago
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How Outdated Data Distorts Doctors' Pay

chooks 15 minutes triggers the BS detector (336 comments)

15 minutes for a colonscopy? Where do they get this number? Getting informed consent can take 15 minutes just by itself (and is something the doc has to do). 15 minutes sounds like the best-case scenario (e.g. a screening colonscopy on a healthy 50 year old with no findings) and a number to sensationalize the article. What is the distribution of times that the procedure takes? Maybe 75 minutes is actually a reasonable time to expect the procedure to take on average?

That the health care system in this country is screwed up is not at issue. The article wants to point out the ludicrousness of the reimbursement mechanisms in place. Putting in a context-free and unexplained statistic only weakens its argument.

about 9 months ago
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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

chooks Re:We Already Tried This. (618 comments)

MS made it a requirement that netbooks had to have weak CPU's and RAM limited as not to eat the notebook market share

I thought the CPU choice was more of a battery life thing -- the Atom processors (N500/N550) had much better power consumption profile (at the expense of processing) than a normal x86/AMD processor. The battery life on my ASUS netbook was around 8 to 10 hours, which was great. Having used a netbook for a couple of years it seems like the real hardware compromise was the video, which really slowed things down.

Still, the portability of the netbook was great and worked well for lightweight development (e.g. VIM as opposed to eclipse/VS) at a price a student could afford.

about a year ago
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LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers

chooks Re:How it works (164 comments)

That happened to me with my ex-girlfriend. All of a sudden she popped up on my "You may know..." list. Needless to say, it was duly ignored. Her step-dad also showed up one day as well...Not sure if he looked me up or if she used his computer.

Either way, my wife and I had a good laugh about it. My main point to her was that it was kind of cool knowing how these things work (an underlying machine learning algorithm to group things, I would guess). She is glad she married a nerd.

about a year ago
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Possible Cure For MS Turns Common Skin Cells Into Working Brain Cells

chooks Re:And I wonder (87 comments)

FYI - ALS is primarily a neurodegenerative disease where the neurons themselves are dying off and not a demyelinating disease where the neurons remain intact but loose their myelin sheath.

1 year,1 day
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Fake Academic Journals Are a Very Real Problem

chooks Re:Even worse (248 comments)

I remember reading a few years ago that one of the top medical journals (New England, IIRC) started letting doctors publish review articles for drugs without mentioning that they were paid by the company that sells them.

That may have been true a decade ago, but now journals (e.g. JAMA, NEJM, Lancet) are fairly serious about clamping down on conflicts of interest, ghost writing, and other shady practices. For example here is one example of the required disclosure (for JAMA). Of course, someone could still lie/dissemble/etc... But this would be considered as the aberrant flow.

In a sense though the damage is done. If you search for ghost-writing and rofecoxib you can see articles regarding the extent of the problem in the late 90's with respect to Vioxx. It's a long road to getting back credibility/trust.

1 year,7 days
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Mendeley Acquired By Elsevier

chooks Re:Worried (87 comments)

Dammit. We just can't have anything nice around here. I agree with you that this is probably the beginning of the end. The combination of behemoth sized international publishing company and small software company does not appear to favor the small software company.

I'm pissed as I just started using Mendeley last week and really like it. (*sigh*) I've used zotero before but it just wasn't that great/intuitive, but maybe I will have to give it a second shot.

1 year,7 days
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Islamists In Bangladesh Demand Murder of More Bloggers

chooks Re:Before commenting, please remember... (389 comments)

The Americans I am most personally worried about are those who lack the critical thinking skills or desire to realize that we are dealing with complex situations with multiple competing forces at work. Lacking the skills or desire to have some kind of larger insight, they reflexively place issues into the categories of "Left" or "Right", "Conservative" or "Liberal", etc.. which lumps things into a preconceived morass of assumptions, assertions, and logical fallacies. Unable to appreciate the complexities of situations, they demonize people whose thought patterns do not fit nicely with their own.

about a year ago
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NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk

chooks Isn't it cute? (609 comments)

Nothing like a lover's quarrel on Valentine's day...

about a year ago
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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

chooks Re:Better Off Is Subjective (524 comments)

If you live below the poverty line, then you may be eligible for medicaid. YMMV. Void where prohibited. Not applicable in all states (literally).

about a year and a half ago
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Study Finds Unvaccinated Students Putting Other Students At Risk

chooks Re:They're stupid (1025 comments)

Not if she is in the window period.

about a year and a half ago
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Windows 8 Gets Personal Use License For Homebuilt PCs

chooks Re:Free (as in beer)? (330 comments)

$10 got me a legit copy of Windows 7 ultimate edition through my university. Can't get much hardware (or even incremental improvement) for that amount of money. As someone who has made good $$$ off of software development, I don't think that $10 is too much to help support other developers. I've contributed more cash o FOSS projects than $10 over the years, that's for sure!

about a year and a half ago
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Kindle E-Book Sales Surpass Print Sales In UK

chooks Re:kindle...? (207 comments)

I have a kindle fire and read PDF's (medical textbooks) on it all the time. I do have to zoom in, but that "sticks" from page to page so I just have to do it once. Note -- this is with the Mantano reader (free version) which handles pdf better than the native kindle app (e.g. allows highlighting, freehand notes, etc..)

I have tried converting the PDF to mobi/epub with calibre (which works) but the layout gets really crappy -- especially with respect to the legends of figures/images/tables.

about a year and a half ago
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First Look: Microsoft Office 2013

chooks HIPAA compliance and skydrive (369 comments)

From my understanding, storing documents with patient identifying information on the 3rd party mainframe...errr..THE CLOUD...would constitute a HIPAA violation, unless that 3rd party had some kind of agreement about privacy and the like. Anyone know if these cloud document storing solutions such as Skydrive, Google Docs, etc... are liable for HIPAA violations (which can be $10k in fines a pop, IIRC)?

about a year and a half ago

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