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EU pushes for healthcare records share with US

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 17:45 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


Healthcare records held in the UK could be shared with the US, as a result of an initiative being promoted by the EU presidency.

The presidency, currently held by Spain, wants to lay the groundwork for a bilateral agreement between the EU and US for sharing digital healthcare data, according to a statement it issued on Thursday.

“The aim is to create a scenario for clinical information exchange and technical interoperability between the project promoted by the Obama administration and the European project,” said the presidency in the statement. The Spanish minister of health and social policy, Trinidad Jiménez, met her US counterpart Kathleen Sebelius in Washington last week to push for the agreement.

I’m starting to dislike this whole pan-european plan of a union more and more… on the other hand, looking at the mess the medical record sharing in the Netherlands is (google for Electronisch Patientendossier), I doubt that adoption of this new plan would ever result in a single medical record crossing the ocean.

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  1. These people are living in the dreamland. When did a “bilateral” anything result in the US sharing something with the EU?
    It is 90% a one-way street, and somehow, these EU folks can’t understand that that’s how it always will be.
    On the other hand, maybe they receive a pretty looking cheque from the other side of the ocean.

  2. I’m a little skeptical that they’re actually planning to exchange patient data en masse, as is implied here. For one, it’s hard to see a substantial benefit to anyone in the U.S. in having access to lots of EU patient records.

    The actual announcement on the EU website is really vague but points more in the direction of bringing *standards* for patient records in sync, so that exchange might be possible–or so that software solutions could be sold in both markets.

  3. Yes, I initially thought of that, but hl7v3 already exists, so that can’t be it.

This is why people prefer pirated movies

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 16:56 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 16:36 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Goldman Sachs sued by big pension fund over pay

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 14:11 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) was sued on Monday by a large union pension fund that accused the Wall Street investment bank of overpaying its executives.

The International Brotherhood of Electric Workers fund filed the lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court, seeking to recover money for the company on behalf of other shareholders.

It seeks to stop Goldman from allocating roughly 47 percent of 2009 net revenue as compensation, saying such allocations “vastly overcompensate management and constitute corporate waste.”

Lots of people work on commission. In sales, it’s quite common. How many people on commission, however, get 47% for anything?

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  1. Short answer: “The Elite”.

  2. And it’s not like that 47% is evenly spread over all the people that “work” there. :-/

Obama signs bill to entice foreign travelers to US

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 13:49 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?


President Barack Obama has signed a bill creating a program to promote the U.S. as a premier tourism destination for international travelers.

The U.S. Travel Association calls it a major step in addressing the drop-off in such visits to the U.S. during the past decade. The association says the U.S. welcomed 2.4 million fewer overseas visitors last year than in 2000. And that, the group says, has cost it an estimated $509 billion in total spending and $32 billion in direct tax receipts.

And the journalist kindly ask you to refrain from dividing $509 billion by 2.4 million to see how much an average tourist spends.

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  1. They must have all been multi-billionaires.

  2. The main reason I never went to the US is TSA. In 2004 I’ve seen a couple of people I know rejected on arrival without explainations.

    Get rid of the fucktards, and you’ll save money and improve tourism.

  3. I’d be worried about being surrounded by tea-partiers who can’t spell. After all, if I’m going to be surrounded/confronted by some group, I’d want some intelligence happening.

Roy Ashburn, California State Senator, Says He’s Gay After DUI Arrest

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 12:22 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn said Monday he is gay, ending days of speculation that began after his arrest last week for investigation of driving under the influence.

Ashburn, who consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in the state Legislature, came out in an interview with KERN radio in Bakersfield, the area he represents.

Ashburn said he felt compelled to address rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub near the Capitol before his DUI arrest.

“I am gay … those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long,” Ashburn told conservative talk show host Inga Barks.

Wait, let me get my surprised face…

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  1. I actually find this refreshing. I was half expecting him to apologize for his moral weakness, promise to seek therapy, and insist that he is going to work to rebuild his heterosexual relationship. This may be his chance to start a happier life.

Don’t Blame Your Community: Ad Blocking Is Not Killing Any Sites

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 11:43 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Back in December of last year, we signed an experimental ad deal to run a series of ads on the site, where a single advertiser would effectively have all the ads for a 24-hour period. As a part of that, there would be an ad at the top that temporarily “pushed down” the content for a few seconds, before pulling back up. Nothing was covered. Nothing prevented readers from getting the content. And the “pushdown” ad only showed once per visitor and never again. We went back and forth about it, but decided it was worth an experiment — especially since no content was blocked or covered. I won’t name the advertiser who was in the first test… but many of you did notice, and did not like it. We got a lot of complaints. So we killed the additional tests. I won’t lie: these deals were for quite a bit of money — a very large premium on the amount of money we typically make from advertising. But when we saw how annoyed our users were, we realized immediately what a bad idea this was and told the others who were scheduled to run similar campaigns, “sorry.” We gave up a lot of money to do so, but what it came down to in our mind was that it wasn’t worth it.

And when I say “wasn’t worth it,” I don’t mean just to us or our community — but to the advertiser. Most of the anger we saw over the original ad campaign wasn’t directed at us — it was directed at the company doing the advertising. So we told a bunch of companies willing to pay us a lot of money not that we didn’t want their money — but that they didn’t want to buy that kind of advertising, because it would only damage their own brands.


Along those lines, if you are running a media site, if you’re having trouble making money, it’s your fault. Don’t blame your readers. Don’t blame your community by telling them they’re “devastating” a site by blocking ads or failing to pay for a paywall. As the producers of that site, it’s your responsibility to do things to get that site paid for. If you don’t like what we’re doing on Techdirt, go ahead and block our ads. Sure, just like Ars, many of our ads are paid for based on impressions and we may make less money from those ads, but that’s our problem and the problem of advertisers who aren’t willing to do more unique, creative and compelling projects that benefit the community rather than annoy it. We want the advertisers, sponsors and partners we work with to get the best results possible in a way that everyone wins. And that’s not by forcing people who don’t want to see their ads to see them, or by pissing off our readers by blocking them if they use ad blocking. It’s by taking on the responsibility ourselves to put together compelling programs that make everything more valuable for all participants.

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Chile, nine days later – The Big Picture

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 6:46 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


Nine days after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake killed hundreds of people in south-central Chile, relief efforts were beginning to reach those in need, rescue missions became recovery missions, and rebuilding is already under way. In the days since the February 27th quake, nearly 150 aftershocks have been recorded, including thirteen above magnitude 6.0. The government has been criticized by Chileans, who say the response was slow and inefficient. One recent government action was to grant a short amnesty to looters before sending troops out in search of stolen goods. Nearly $2 million worth of looted items were returned, often dumped on roadsides, by Sunday. Collected here are photographs from the past week in quake-affected Chile. (41 photos total)

The collapsed Borde Rio apartment building is seen in Concepcion , Chile, Thursday, March 4, 2010. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko) #

Sailors raise a Chilean flag during reconstruction efforts on Juan Fernandez island in southern Chile, Thursday, March 4, 2010. (AP Photo) #

(apparently gps measurements show that Conception has moved 3 meters to the west…)

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