Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why universal healthcare is a bad idea #healthcare #health

As more and more people jump on President Obama's universal health care bandwagon, I'm deeply saddened to think about what the ultimate ramifications of the actual implementation of such a plan could be. While it sounds like a good idea on the surface and is certainly a great 'connect with voters' issue, the truth behind universal health care coverage is something much darker.

In both Britain and Canada, two countries who've 'enjoyed' universal health coverage for many years, patients in need of important and sometimes life saving procedures must often wait weeks or even months before seeing a professional. Canada, a country widely accepted as having a 'successful' health care system, often forces doctors to take time off once they've met quotas or their billing reaches a certain level.

Of course there's also the issue of money. In an economy that's pretty close to teetering on the verge of major catastrophe, can the United States afford to spend the trillions of dollars it would costs to cover everybody? Even by the Presidents own estimates, it would be a significant financial challenge and many analyst believe implementing such a system could well send our economy into a death spiral.

The truth is, universal health coverage sounds like a good idea; it sounds like a humane idea. But in reality, it's one of the worst and most inhumane things we could possibly do to both our economy and people. I agree that the current health care system is flawed, but the answer is not universal health care. The answer is forcing insurance companies to implement saner coverage policies, governing more closely how they apply those policies, and working with doctors to reduce costs and provide better care to their patients.

Wake up, President Obama! Preaching coverage for all might help win elections or give you a few percentage points in the polls, but it will cost us all too much in the end.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First peak of OpenEMR Mobile #openemr #foss #healthcare #emr

For the last few weeks, we've been working on the OpenEMR Mobile Patient Information System (PIS). The PIS is a Windows Mobile and, soon, Blackberry application that will allow doctors who are out in the field to easily and securely look up patient information. This includes information, X-Rays, Labs, and anything else associated with the patient record.

The PIS is scheduled to be released in a few days but I thought I'd post a few screenshots of it running in an emulator (I don't have a Windows Mobile device) for you to enjoy. It's simple, intuitive, and, hopefully, going to be well received.

The first image is of the applications simple home screen...



Next, we see the menu structure...



And, finally, we'll look at the screen that lets users configure the software to access their OpenEMR server...



Overall, I'm hoping the software proves to be of value to the large community of OpenEMR users. We're discussing and setting final pricing today and the application should be launched by Thursday night.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do we really need a Windows Mobile store? #windowsmobile

Microsoft announced a few weeks ago that it's preparing to launch a supersite of sorts called "The Windows Mobile Marketplace". The site, which will presumably function like Apple's App Store, Research in Motion's App World, and whatever it is that a few other vendors offer, will offer software for the plethora of Windows Mobile devices on the market.

When I first heard the announcement, I was excited. Why shouldn't Microsoft get involved directly in application sales and, maybe, their involvement might mean that the apps included in the marketplace might be a of a little higher quality. Then I remembered the garbage that's in the App Store and completely lost the will to live.

While I applaud Microsoft's efforts to "be everything to everyone", I really don't see the need for their own store. From a user perspective, it just means one more place to go hunting for applications and, from a developer perspective, it means yet another thing you have to pay for just to get your software out to users as the marketplace will cost developers $99 a year. Yes, I realize that Apple does this too but, Handango doesn't and that's the primary place to get Windows Mobile software now.

What does Microsoft offer developers or users that's compelling enough to displace sites like Handango? In the marketing, they say 'expose your software to millions of potential customers' but I already do that at Handango. Maybe the fact that software has to conform to standards in order to be included in the marketplace will mean better software, but how does that fit in with the crap in the Apple App Store?

Really, just about the only "benefit" I can name of being part of the marketplace is its association with Microsoft. It's a lot like being part of the Apple App Store except, with Apple, you can't get your software anywhere else. And, if the Microsoft association is the only benefit, is it a real benefit at all? The Apple App Store is popular because it's the exclusive place to get iPhone and iPod Touch software, does the launch of the Windows Mobile Marketplace signal that Microsoft might be headed that way, forcing hardware partners to lock their devices down to only the authorized source.

As it stands, I'm probably not going to waste my time and money signing up as a developer for the marketplace. I'll keep publishing my software on Handango but watch what Microsoft does very closely. I'm sure the marketplace could be a very useful tool if the company had more control over hardware but, as it stands, it's just another "also ran".

Are you a Windows Mobile developer? If so, what do you think of the soon to be launched marketplace? Will you sign up? Am I dismissing it unfairly?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is the email I just sent to @ev and @biz regarding @twitter 's support problems

I've been a member of Twitter almost two years now and I, like the rest of the membership, have not had an easy time. We've put up with lost tweets, database issues, lost followers, and several server outages. But, during that time, Twitter has always been somewhat responsive to our needs.

That's changed.

Now, getting support from Twitter on issues - even issues that are several months old, has become near impossible. Emails go unanswered, @ messages are ignored, and all avenues for support seem to have been ignored.

I just sent the email below to both Ev and Biz at Twitter. While I doubt it's going to make any impact at all, I think it expresses the feelings of many Twitter users.

"Gentleman,

Over the course of the last few years, Twitter has had its share of problems. Loyal users have stuck with the service, not because we didn't think there were any alternatives, but because we really felt connected to Twitter and felt like Twitter cared about its customers. Lately, the plummeting quality of customer service is making quite a few loyal users, myself included, rethink our devotion to Twitter.

Support emails go unanswered.
Get Satisfaction posts are ignored.
Issues go unresolved for months.

This is not quality customer support guys. I know that the Twitter team is focused on building a revenue modal but, understand that, users are going to be the key to that revenue modal and, if you alienate them now, they won't be loyal when it comes to ponying up cash - even if it's to advertisers. I know I wouldn't be.

Get a customer service program in place. It's not difficult. A few dedicated support personell under a good customer service manager is all you need. Engage the community again because, it's slowly slipping away.

Sincerely,
Anthony Papillion (@cajuntechie)"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guidelines for protesters of the #iranelection دستورالعمل ها را برای اعتراض به انتخابات ایران

اگر شما نشان دادن در خیابان های تهران امروز ، می دانید اولین بار دست به خشونت دولت قادر است که بر علیه شما خواهد شد. در این پست کوتاه شما را به چند نکته است که حفظ خواهد شد شما را به عنوان اعتراض خود را امن تر خواهد داد.

1. است که قدرت را در تعداد آرا وجود دارد. وقتی که اعتراض ، اقامت با گروه از دوستان. اسلحه قفل که توسط پلیس مواجه و کار به شما اجازه نمی دهد که پا را خاموش کنید و یا به دور از گروه. انجام این کار به طور بالقوه می تواند زندگی را تهدید.

2. از محیط خود ، آگاه باشید در تمام زمانها. آیا از محل سرگردان بودن نیست که شما را به عنوان محل اعتراض. انتخاب یک نقطه و اقامت در آن را ، مگر مجبور به توسط پلیس حرکت کند. اگر شما مجبور به حرکت ، تکان نخورید به مساحت جدا.

3. اگر گاز اشک آور است پراکنده ، پوشش بینی و دهان خود را با یک پارچه مرطوب و نفس را از طریق آن. در حالی که هنوز هم این تجربه را بسیار ناراحت می شود ، آن را موجب خواهد شد در تنفس بسیار آسانتر می کند.

4. سعی کنید که از تلفن همراه شما نیست استفاده کنید. آنها قادر به زنجیردار می شود. اگر شما باید به همراه خود ، استفاده تماس فقط کوتاه و برداشتن باتری هنگامی که شما انجام می شود. مطمئن شوید که باتری شما را حذف کنید. از بین بردن سیم کارت است که به اندازه کافی نیست. شما هنوز می توانید زنجیردار شود.

5. آیا با پلیس مقابله با خشونت است. آنها را می دهد این دلیل به شما حمله کرد. فقط به خشونت های خودتان را در شرایط زندگی و یا مرگ دفاع استفاده کنید.

حتی اگر شما دنبال این دستورالعمل ، این است که هنوز رفتن به یک زمان برای شما بسیار دشوار شما را به عنوان اعتراض. ولی خدا است که در سمت شما و شما را در مبارزه برای کشور شما. در جهان است که با شما و از طریق تعهد خود را ، ایران را یک محل بهتر است.

متشکرم برای همه شما انجام. اقامت قوی.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The TweetFree Relay Network is LIVE! #iranelection #gr88

After nearly three weeks of hard work, I'm happy to announce that we launched the TweetFree Relay Network this morning!

After the Presidential elections in Iran last month, it became very obvious how important tools like Twitter, Facebook, and email are to citizens taking a stand against unfair government rule. It also became obvious the lengths such governments will go to in order to silence their critics and control the flow of information into and out of a country in the midsts of political crisis. When the Iranian government started blocking Twitter, many of us immediately understood how powerful a tool the service really was and we began actively looking for ways to make sure the protesters were able to stay in communication with the service and, thereby, the rest of the world.

That's when the concept of TweetFree was born. The idea was to create a simple program that ran on mobile phones and would provide anonymous access to Twitter in a way that the government couldn't block. Using a decentralized network of TweetFree Relay nodes all connecting to a central point to post messages to Twitter, it's now virtually impossible for any government to block access to Twitter without totally shutting down mobile data services in the country.

Now comes the hard part. In order to make the TweetFree network as robust as possible, we need TweetFree Relay Servers. Setting up a relay server is simple and can be done in under 5 minutes. All you have to do is fill out a form, fill in a few entries in a file, and your server is live.

I'd like to encourage anyone who's interested to sign up to become a relay node on the network. It's free and it's a direct and real way you can help, not only the people of Iran, but oppressed people in all parts of the world.

To find out more, or to sign up, visit: http://bit.ly/k8I3J now.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

America, take a moment to reflect this July 4th #iranelection #gr88 #freedom

It's Independence Day here in the United States. It's a day where we take pause and celebrate the freedoms that our countrymen have fought, bled, and died for, and, all too often, freedoms we have come to take for granted. When you grow up free and never know oppression, it's easy to just expect things to be a certain way because, well, that's just the way our lives are.

But there are many people who don't share this freedom. Right now, in countries around the world, brave men and women are fighting and dying for a small sliver of the freedom we enjoy. Many of these freedom fighters aren't 'military' people either, they're just people who've had enough of oppression and want their children to grow up in a better place, a free place, a place where their voices won't be silenced.

A lot of attention has gone to the ongoing election protests in Iran. Thousands of young, dedicated, Iranians are standing up and demanding that they be heard, demanding that their vote be counted as more than just a mark on a ballot that's tossed away when officials declare the results of an already fixed election. But, sadly, Iran isn't the only place where voices are being silenced, dissidents are being executed, and atrocities are being committed all for the sake of an out of control government maintaining power.

So as you celebrate your freedom today, America, take a moment to cherish it, to truly understand what it means to be a people who don't have to worry about our voice not being heard or secret police showing up at our doors in the middle of the night to arrest us because we sent an email. People in places like North Korea, China, Cuba, and Iran don't have that luxury.

But, still, they speak up;
still, they protest;
still, they raise their fists.

May these brave people from around the world one day enjoy the same freedoms we've come to take for granted.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Help promote Iranian freedom on American Independence Day! #iranelection #iran #gr88

Contrary to what you might believe from watching mainstream media, the protest in Iran surrounding the elections of a few weeks ago are still going on, as is a brutal crackdown by the Iranian government on protesters and their families. As the United States prepares to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, I can't help but feel sad that our brothers and sister in Iran continue their brave fight for the things we take for granted: freedom of speech, free and proper elections, and freedom from oppression.

It's an appreciation for those very things that drove one UK Twitter user, @unscannable, to stand up and do something dramatic on a worldwide scale. While Unscannable has been involved in the protests from a technical side, he decided to get involved on the visual protest side only a few days ago when he and his girlfriend developed a green balloon campaign.

Unscannable was gracious enough to tell us a bit more about the campaign through an email interview conducted earlier today:

1. When did the idea of the green balloon campaign come to you?

On Wednesday night around midnight. I wish I'd have thought of it earlier, I might have had a chance to get some sleep over the past few days! Athena and I had been watching CNN since we were first made aware of the situation in Iran, genuinely impressed with the coverage.

Correlating what we saw on TV with what we were witnessing on Twitter we were satisfied that the general public were being kept well informed and given a chance to care, to react, to learn about the Iranian people and to consider the positive implications new knowledge would have on our traditionally uneasy relationship with the middle east..

Until the day it was announced that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett had both passed away whereupon coverage of Iran literally stopped in its tracks despite a plethora of tragic events that have occurred since. I can't begin to tell you how angry and utterly disappointed we feel, both for the brave and daring souls on the inside who are putting themselves at risk to get the real news in and out of Iran, and for all the relentlessly dedicated people on the outside working so hard to propagate it, and it really feels like the carpet has been pulled out from under all of our feet.

We had already been discussing ways to make ourselves more useful, and after one too many news broadcasts consisting of nothing but postmortem celebrity gossip we just snapped.

2. Why did you decide to do the green balloon campaign?

As you know, the primary goal of the campaign is to try to focus media attention back to the Iranian people, which I felt would be most effective if launched at a time when the mainstream media is already changing subject matter, and the American day of Independence is an obvious and logical time to do it.

The secondary goal is to try to spread awareness with or without the support of the news networks, and I felt the most appropriate way to achieve this was to enhance the vehicle already set in motion by the protesters, rather than dilute the message by completely reinventing it.

The rest just kind of fell into place. I really admire the Iranian people for their relentless peace, strength and dignity, which they have symbolized so beautifully through the simple green balloon, which has ultimately become more of a weapon than any number of guns and thugs could ever amount to.

3. How did you coordinate volunteer efforts for the campaign?

To put it simply, I haven't. If I've learned anything from this experience it's that if you do the right thing then people will bend over backwards to do the right thing with you. Doing the right thing seems to take its own logical path that everyone implicitly understands.

I simply put forward my ideas and spread them among the people I've met through Twitter. There's been some controversy, but we've adapted and everyone seems to know what they need to do.

4. How many people are going to participate?

I couldn't say at this point. I know there are at least eight or nine groups of people who have directly pledged their support in both Europe and America, including my sister in London.

I just received a message from NiteOwl too, offering to mention the campaign in the Green Brief which should boost support considerably. The article I wrote to articulate my ideas for the campaign has already had nearly 1500 page views in two days, the vast majority of which has come directly from Twitter. Your guess is as good as mine really, but I'm hoping for the best!

Thank you unscannable for the great job you're doing! I'd like to encourage everyone to get involved in this campaign and show you support for the Iranian people as they continue their struggle for freedom.