News

Only Trump Can Go To Single-Payer

Today, I want to submit to you that only Trump can make single-payer health care happen in this country. Only a billionaire, surrounded by a cabinet of billionaires, representing a party partial to billionaires, can make that hazardous 180 degrees political turn and better the lives of the American people, and perhaps the entire world as a result. Oh, I know it’s too soon to make this observation, but note that both Mr. Nixon and Mr. Begin were deeply resented (to put it mildly) in their times, by the same type of people who find Mr. Trump distasteful today.

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Opioid Epidemic Makes EHRs Essential to Public Health

When public health is threatened by an outbreak of SARS or Zika or avian influenza, widely disseminated information becomes a crucial tool used to curtail the spread of disease. But transmittable diseases are not the lone threats to public health. Other metaphorically pathogenic events—the current opioid epidemic, for example—are more effectively managed by making sure doctors have complete information when evaluating patients and, especially, writing prescriptions.

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How Time-series Databases Help Make Sense of Sensors

Infrastructure environments' needs and demands change every year and systems become more complex and involved. But all this growth is meaningless if we don't understand the infrastructure and what's happening in our environment. This is where monitoring tools and software come in; they give operators and administrators the ability to see problems in their environments and fix them in real time. But what if we want to predict problems before they happen? Collecting metrics and data about our environment gives us a window into how our infrastructure is performing and lets us make predictions based on data. When we know and understand what's happening, we can prevent problems, rather than just fixing them...

7 Mistakes Your Open Source Project is Probably Making

It can be tough to start a new open source project. You have an awesome idea in your head, but it takes work to turn it into a productive, healthy, engaging community. Sadly (as seems to be the case in practically anything), the same mistakes are made over and over again by new projects. Here are some of the most common mistakes open source projects make and my recommendations for avoiding them... Of the thousands of open source projects that kick off, too many get stuck at the outset because of a bunch of discussions on a Slack channel, mailing list, issue, or elsewhere. The discussions bounce around the house, and the scope often grows more and more lavish to incorporate the many, sundry ideas and considerations...

The Pandora's Box of Gene Editing Is Now Open

The age of gene editing is upon us. Specifically, the use of CRISPR. Amazing things are happening, proving again how clever humans are. Whether we're smart remains to be seen. For those who are unfamiliar with it, CRISPR -- more accurately, CRISPR-Cas 9 -- is a new technique for gene editing.  It has allowed faster, more precise, and less expensive gene editing.  It can already do more than you may realize. CRISPR has been much in the news lately, due to a new study published in Nature. Researchers successfully corrected a DNA mutation that causes a common heart disease that is sometimes fatal, especially for young athletes. In what is believed to be a first, the researchers repaired viable embryos. Moreover, they repaired most (72%) of the embryos, which is much better than previous efforts...

Hard to Communicate with Other Teams? Check Out These Tips

When teams in the same organization—or even across organizational boundaries—start to collaborate, they will most likely realize that not all of their goals align. The IT team, for instance, might not have the same criteria for success as the sales team. Different teams have different benchmarks, even if the teams are part of a larger organization (as in the case of relationships between a developer team and an operations team). But the teams all strive towards the same goal, which is to make the organization successful. And they rely on each other to accomplish that goal. For this reason, learning more about why a team is working on a specific project, not just focusing on how they're involved and what the project is about, can help you foster better relationships across your organization...

Half of the World’s Languages Are Dying. Should We Save Them?

There are currently around 7,000 languages being used today, with one language dying every two weeks. UNESCO says that half of the world's languages may vanish in a century's time. And, in my home country of India, 220 languages have died in the last 50 years and 197 languages are endangered. Open science is advancing scientific research by enabling individuals and organizations to collaborate and exchange knowledge that improves each other’s work. One area that could use this kind of help is native languages around the world...

Is Single-Payer the Right Payer?

As is customary for every administration in recent history, the Trump administration chose to impale itself on the national spear known as health care in America. The consequences so far are precisely as I expected, but one intriguing phenomenon is surprisingly beginning to emerge. People are starting to talk about single-payer. People who are not avowed socialists, people who benefit handsomely from the health care status quo seem to feel a need to address this four hundred pound gorilla, sitting patiently in a corner of our health care situation room. Why?

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How to Use Libraries.io Data from Millions of Open Source Projects

What if we applied the techniques Google applied to index the internet back in 1998 to the world of open source software? That's exactly the thought Andrew Nesbitt had in 2014 which lead to the creation of Libraries.io, an open source project for indexing other open source projects. This month Libraries.io released metadata on over 25 million open source projects. You can download it right now from Zenodo, but what can you do with it? To understand what is contained within this dataset, I'll take a quick look at how it's collected. Everything in Libraries.io begins with package managers. We index project metadata from 33 package managers, filling in gaps from their source repositories where we can. We parse project manifests—a gemfile, package.json, or similar—that includes code from other projects and stores the links between them...

Reflecting on Data as a Service Provider in Education

One would think that all educators have been keen for decades on collecting, analyzing, thinking about, using data creatively and making data available across the disciplines and within their own institutions.  Sadly, this has not happened.  Education is way behind healthcare in this regard. Within the past several decades, though, have data have become the “new kid on the education block” and have garnered real interest.  Indeed, institutions now talk about data informed decision-making although to be sure, it often stops -- not enables – innovation because the absence of data is rolled out as the excuse for making forward progress.

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