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Online Doctor’s Sick Visits Could Be Coming To A Computer Near You

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/online-doctors-sick-visits-2012-11

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Could we be seeing the end of routine doctor visits?

Scientific American reports that researchers are testing a new system for electronic doctor visits that could potentially eliminate the need for patients to see a doctor for routine illnesses.

Patients would simply enter their symptoms and health record into an online system, and doctors would use this information to send a diagnosis and, when necessary, a prescription.

Early reports suggest that such diagnoses were just as accurate as those given in person, although there are still some kinks that need to be ironed out:

Researchers analyzed some 5,000 doctor visits for sinus infections and 3,000 visits for urinary tract infection. Less than 10 percent of all visits were electronic. One possible e-visit drawback: doctors were more likely to prescribe antibiotics after an e-visit than a face-to-face.

But patients with an e-visit had just about the same rate of follow up as those who had an office visit. Which suggests that there was not a higher rate of misdiagnosis or treatment failure online. E-visits were also cheaper.

Detractors will note that this program only applies to relatively routine illnesses, but even so, this is nothing to sneeze at.

One of the primary goals of Obamacare was to cut down on the use of expensive emergency room visits for routine medical care, which was clogging up emergency rooms and leading to millions of dollars in unpaid medical bills. This looks like a much cheaper and simpler way to accomplish the same thing.

Naturally, we’ll need to see more studies before these programs can be rolled out on a national scale, but this looks like a good place to start toward improving the ! efficien cy of the health care system. Massive, top-down reforms like Obamacare get most of the attention, but it is smaller innovations like these will do the most to shape the healthcare of the future.

It also seems clear that letting consumers benefit from cheaper prices is a way to push the health care system as a whole toward less costly methods. E-visits for routine problems (and ultimately, perhaps, e-visits to nurses rather than to physicians) can offer better, faster, more convenient service at a lower price. Moving in directions like this is the kind of health care reform we desperately need.

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung printer hack could let the wrong ones in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/29/samsung-printer-hack-could-let-the-wrong-ones-in/

Samsung printer hack could let the wrong ones in

Typically, when we think of hacks, our minds conjure images of compromised security systems, personal computers or server farms, but printers? According to Neil Smith, a researcher from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, unauthorized access to those devices could be a very real threat — if you happen to own a Samsung model. Discovered and submitted to the agency this past Monday, the exploit unearthed by Smith takes advantage of an “SNMP backdoor” : an internet protocol that allows for remote network administrative control without authentication. The vulnerability — which would give hackers access to data sent to the printer, as well as control over it (think: ceaseless printing!) — affects most units released before November of this year. For its part, Samsung’s promised a patch will be forthcoming. But, in the meantime, if you want to avoid exposing any personal data or the possibility of a seemingly possessed printer, it’s best you steer clear of rogue WiFi connections.

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Source: ZDNet

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 news No Comments

UK judge rules HTC doesn’t violate Apple’s patents, invalidates Cupertino’s claims

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/04/uk-judge-rules-htc-doesnt-violate-apples-patents-invalidates/

UK judge rules HTC doesn't violate apple's patentsWell, Apple had a few legal victories over the last couple of weeks, but it’s just been handed a significant defeat by Judge Christopher Floyd. The UK court handed down a ruling that HTC does not violate four Apple patents, including the infamous slide-to-unlock claim. What’s more, the judge ruled that three of the four patents in question were not valid, among them the aforementioned unlocking design. The only one of the four patents that stood at the end of the day was related to scrolling through images in the photo management app, but HTC did not infringe upon the claim. This follows the ITC refusing an emergency ban on HTC products in the US. Don’t think you’ve heard the last of slide-to-unlock, however. As HTC, Apple and Samsung have repeatedly shown, they’re just as interested in competing in the court room as they are on store shelves (if not more so).

UK judge rules HTC doesn’t violate Apple’s patents, invalidates Cupertino’s claims originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, July 5th, 2012 news No Comments

9 Unusual Ways Social Media Is Being Used To Predict The Future

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/9-ways-social-media-data-is-being-used-2012-3


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Companies are getting smarter in how they use social media.

Instead of just using it for brand monitoring, one company called Gnip has been working with the likes of Twitter, WordPress, and other social media publishers to do all kinds of things, from tracking diseases to stopping wildfires.

While Gnip can’t reveal which companies it works with, it told us some interesting ways in which social data is being used.

Helping hedge funds.

Gnip works with 12 hedge funds that use social media information to analyze sentiment about certain kinds of investments.

Fighting a wildfire.

Gnip worked with a company called VisionLink to track a wildfire in Boulder, Colorado. They tracked tweets and posted photos in real-time to see what areas were cut off and see where the evacuation routes were.

Gnip told us:

By layering the geo-tagged Tweets and Flickr shots they got from Gnip onto a Google map of the area, VisionLink was able to provide emergency workers with a realtime view of what was happening on the ground.  With this information emergency workers were able to see where they needed more resources to respond to needs in the local community.

Reporting crimes.

Instead of calling police, people in Mexico are reporting crimes via Twitter. As the New York Times reported:

Anonieta Salazar Loftin, a doctoral student in Mexican history at the University of Texas at Dallas, said this is how her relatives back home use social media. She said that anonymous crime-focused Twitter accounts like @balaceramty — which is based in Monterrey and has more than 40,000 followers — provide a needed public service.        

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Monday, March 19th, 2012 news No Comments

Yikes! Oracle Issues Emergency Fix For A Big Fat Security Problem (ORCL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/yikes-oracle-issues-emergency-fix-for-a-big-fat-security-problem-2012-1


larryellison oracle tbi

Oracle today warned customers that they need to fix a major hole in its flagship database or risk downtime and hacker attacks, reports Infoworld.

In a weird twist of events, the hole was actually found by Infoworld, a news site that covers the tech industry. Oracle even gave the publication a public credit for finding and reporting the hole — and waiting to publish the story until Oracle could issue a patch, which it did today.

The flaw had to do with time stamp technology that acts like an internal clock. This clock is the key to keeping data synchronized and safe. When multiple databases are linked together the clock could be manipulated to be inaccurate. This is one of those critical systems that was difficult to fix and affected a long list of Oracle’s products.

The critical patch sent out today fixes a whole bunch of other flaws, too. Some 78 holes will be patched across all of Oracle’s major product families.

Inforworld contends that Oracle executives knew about the time stamp problem and not only downplayed it, but issued a workaround fix that could have caused customers even more headaches and money. Oracle seems to have gotten its act together and really fixed the security flaw this time, Infoworld says.

 

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

"We Are Not Prepared"

Source: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-02/washington-war-games-simulate-crippling-cyber-attack-us

Washington insiders recently sweated out a real-time war game where a cyberattack crippled cell phone service, Internet and even electrical grids across the U.S. The unscripted, dynamic simulation allowed former White House officials and the Bipartisan Policy Center to study the problems that might arise during a real cyberattack emergency, according to Aviation Week’s Ares Defense Blog.

The Policy Center’s vice-president reports “”The general consensus of the panel today was that we are not prepared to deal with these kinds of attacks.”

The nightmarish scenario that unfolded represented a worst-case example. As former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff noted, many cyberattacks can be stopped if individual cell phone or Internet users simply follow the best practices and use the right tools. Similarly, another participant pointed out that private Internet companies would not sit idly by as a virus ran amok.

A collapse of power across the U.S. also only took place when the simulation brought in factors such as high demand during the summer, a hurricane that had damaged power supply lines, and coordinated bombings that accompanied the cyberattack and subsequent failure of the Internet.

Still, the war game highlighted crucial issues about the government’s own reliance upon communications that might go down during a real-life scenario. One of the biggest problems was how the President ought to respond to a situation that caused damage like warfare but lacked an immediately identifiable foreign adversary. Smaller-scale cyberattacks have already complicated real-world diplomacy, such as the alleged Chinese cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. companies.

Ares Defense Blog questioned a curious missing element from the simulation, in that there was no mention of what happened to phone or Internet service in the rest of the world. Surely a nation that decided to launch cyberattacks against the U.S. would take safeguards to protect its own crucial communication services, which would possibly help U.S. officials narrow down the list of suspects.

Another question seemed more mundane but equally important — how would the government activate the National Guard with cell phone service down?

The Pentagon’s DARPA science lab recently pushed for a “Cyber Genome Program” that could trace digital fingerprints to cyberattack culprits. But identifying whether a cyber attack came from individual civilians, shadowy hacker associations or government cyber-warriors has proven tricky in the meantime.

[via Ares Defense Blog]

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Friday, February 19th, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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