Category: irregular data (Page 1 of 6)

How Denmark Improves Patient Safety Through Big Data

Denmark provides alternative healthcare system based on compensation not litigation. Data collected from claims used to improve system not punish practitioners.

Denmark offers a radically different alternative, as do similar programs in other Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. To be sure, these countries have nationalized health care systems, unlike the public-private model in the U.S. But alternative responses to patient harm have been tried on a smaller scale. Virginia, for example, has a program designed to compensate for severe neurological childbirth injuries that is similar in some ways to the Danish system.

Common to all these programs is a commitment to provide information and compensation to patients regardless of whether negligence is involved. That lowers the bar of entry for patients and doesn’t pit doctors against them, enabling providers to be open about what happened.

“It’s not easy to discuss a mistake, but there has to be a very safe relationship between doctor and patient,” Hamberg said. “The most important thing in patient safety is to talk about it.”

Learn more about How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety

Hattip: Wendy

Image: Pixabay

Doing the robot

Check out this tiny skull borrowing robot worm bringing precise, nerve dodging, surgical help in accessing tumors  growing around the nerves and bones of the inner-ear.

This TED talk presents a future for flying robots: Precision Farming.

For those of you with a bet on, the dominant life form out in the cosmos is probably superintelligent robots.



First contact: what aliens will see and hear

In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft with a mission to explore the outer solar system. They were to gather information and imagery on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. After their mission was complete they were to keep travelling into interstellar space and end up orbiting the milky way galaxy in some form.

The Golden Record was produced to be attached to the side of the craft that would be an artefact of information about humanity. Our location, our species, our arts, our environment. All would be contained on a golden disc that may end up surviving even our current planetary civilisation. If you want to know what type of images, sounds and diagrams are being used as a kind of galactic advertising, has a good summary here.

Facebook: creating the matrix for the third world

Facebook’s project is all about scooping up future users before they get a taste for Google, according to this author. Those future users are predominantly in those parts of the world which suffer from poor internet access. So the ZuckerBorg will connect them – but only through the matrix of Facebook and those “services” deemed friendly to FB share price obviously.

It’s an interesting read and like one of the comments below, seems quite commonsense and obvious. Infact, it seems to be a kind of physical representation of Facebook and other social platforms ethos:that the “free” platform isn’t really free, value is extracted in other ways. The stink emanates from the humanitarian/not-for-profit marketing angle. Though this will change. Facebook’s strength comes from its ability to weather the tirade and morph into more consumer friendly (or atleast digestable) forms.

Facebook has about the same number of users as Google: about 1.4 billion. That’s one out of five people on earth. And the social network made US$12.4 billion off them last year – that’s about US$ 8.65 per person on their service. While Google made $66 billion off about the same number of people – almost $46 per head – a revenue efficiency more than 5 times that of Facebook. And that gap isn’t narrowing nearly fast enough.

Revenue growth to support Facebook’s stratospheric stock price at 60 times earnings is a big challenge, I’d imagine. Oh, and even at 5 times the revenue efficiency, Google’s Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio is less than half of Facebook’s – so the pressure on the Facebook stock price can only increase with time.

There’s only so much you can squeeze out of the first world – the current billion or so people – even though Facebook has cut virality, decreased organic reach and tried every which way of getting someone, anyone to pay more for visibility on its once-open social network. A more desperate measure was probably needed.

Image: Maurizio Pesce

Hattip: Mez

Dungeons & Dragons: a cultural dice roll

I first started playing D&D in high school, introduced to it by my shiny new friends in Year 7. I don’t think it could have gone any other way really. I didnt know anybody when I started high school and I’ve never been sporty so geekdom felt more a natural fit. Every lunch time, all lunch time. Good times.

Now 30 something years later, still playing (just a different game), still good mates, even though I have been absent of late I know all will be forgiven, one is rarely ejected from the tribe. Paper and dice have given way to laptops, shared desktops and random algorithmic “rolling” but its still imaginative, creative and best of all fun.

So read on about Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons and the cultural effect this game had on a generation and arguably later digital generations.

If you have ever played a first-person shooter video game like Call of Duty, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game like World of Warcraft, or a computer role-playing game like Final Fantasy; if you have ever logged on to an online virtual world like Second Life or experienced the wildly popular Game of Thrones television series and books, then you are already tangentially familiar with Dungeons & Dragons. Simply put, this seminal game made these later multibillion-dollar pop culture phenomena possible. D&D helped establish our dominant cultural moment: We live in an era when it is chic to be geek.

Image: fighting with the legends of yore

Hattip: Su

Terms and Conditions: the graphic novel

Terms and Conditions are the voluminous text that you have to agree to in order to access software programs or initialise digital services. They are generally not something you want to read, which may be why artist R. Sikoryak is currently creating a graphic novel version of the itunes Terms and Conditions. You can access it for free here (start at bottom of feed). There are many different comic drawing styles on show.

Hattip: Open Culture


Social media helping teens with the important stuff – dating

A new Pew Center research study titled “Teens, Technology, and Romantic Relationships” confirms that teens evolve any communication tool toward connecting with the opposite sex. I remember the days when the public phone booth allowed the best avenue for non-parental communication. The kids have it good these days.

One interesting comment from a high school girl:

I can be a little bit more bold over text, because you wouldn’t say certain things in person. You would … you just wouldn’t say certain things in, like, talking face to face with them because that might be kind of awkward. But over text, it’s like, OK. Cause they’re not really there.

Because they’re not really there. An interesting issue of the digital environment, the idea of identity. There could be questions of whether the person you are interacting with is real, is being ‘who they are’. This is why the larger social networks flourish, they can provide that legitimacy, creating authority data about you, what you like. Your ‘friends’ help in this regard by liking, or atleast interacting with your content. Digitally rounding you out.

Teens consider social media useful in that it allows a common way to show your support of the relationships of others. Was there ever an “analogue” parallel of this?


Plastic eating worms could help reduce landfill

The humble worm could save us all again. Not content with being instrumental for agriculture, some scientists have worked out they can eat Styrofoam and other forms of plastic.

But what took the scientists most by surprise was the worms’ follow-up health report: The Styrofoam-fed mealworms appear to be just as healthy as those fed a normal diet. In fact, their excreted waste seems to be safe enough to be used as soil for crops, although more research is needed to confirm this.

The real breakthrough in this study is the discovery bug guts can break down what was believed to be a non-biodegradable product – especially one as ubiquitous and problematic for our environment as polystyrenes.

The awesomeness of worms was apparent to Aristotle and Charles Darwin, who wrote a book about them. In 2007 alone, Australia generated 23.1 million tonnes of landfill, while further testing is required, turning them loose might make a significant impact in waste management.

Crowdsourcing state government budgets

The state government of Alabama is having trouble financially so a Senator has set up a GoFundMe campaign to address the budget shortfall.

The State of Alabama is experiencing tight financial times and needs your help. Legislators are debating possible financial solutions but are finding that Raising Taxes are not wanted by the citizens of Alabama. Rather than have the Government come after your hard earned money you can now send an amount that fits your budget, even request where your money be used.

You can determine what functions of Government are a priority to you.

An interesting idea or cheap trick? Leaving the idea of mandatory taxation aside (I’m looking at you Libertarians) what if citizens could direct their tax money toward the govt department of their choice?

How to Damage a Chemical Plant over the Internet

A security researcher has worked out how to remotely wreck industrial facilities using attacks with great names like ‘unexpected physics’ and ‘bi-phase slug’.

Working on behalf of industrial clients, Larsen has spent the last few years hacking into plants to show what an attackers might be able to do. He’s worked in the lab to cause what he calls “unexpected physics” inside pumps, pipes, boilers, and other equipment. So far he’s got a list of just over a dozen attacks, with names like “water hammer” and “bi-phase slug with piston effect,” that could cause significant damage and even kill people if a hacker set them in motion.

A water hammer, for example, involves setting up a flow of liquid and then suddenly closing a valve. When all the moving liquid is suddenly forced to stop, the inertia can cause pipes to blow out (it’s also why turning off a faucet can sometimes trigger thuds from a house’s plumbing). Larsen’s other attacks include tricks like causing chemical reactions to take place in pipes rather than in the reaction vessels designed to hold them. He can also use temperature and pressure changes to fire plugs of liquid at high velocity or crumple vessels like the one he planned to squish in Vegas.

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