Posts from — February 2008
One night last weekend the ringing blackberry woke me from a deep sleep. It was the second weekend in a row that my sleep was disturbed by a call from the computer room. The problem was fixed in short order but not my sleep. Aah the modern world. With today’s gadgets if you get a fax, email or phone call you are notified immediately. Quite impressive but you have to wonder, what price are we paying for all this efficiency? Is the cult of efficiency destroying the quality of life? You decide. If you can…
In a former life I worked for a big company that bought a small family owned business in a small town. The big company was amazed at the inefficiency of the small business and set about making it more efficient. They discovered they only needed half the workers and so they laid off about 50% of the staff. The previous owner was making money as the business was profitable so he tried to help his neighbors by providing jobs. He wasn’t trying to eke the most profit out of it. But he wasn’t efficient. A couple of years later, the big company sold the small company to another big company…
February 28, 2008 1 Comment
Recent stories about cholesterol drugs are causing some to be uneasy about taking cholesterol medication. Last month it was disclosed that the much advertised Vytorin, a combination of Zetia and Zocor, while effective in lowering cholesterol did not slow the growth of dangerous plaque in arteries.
It was just last year that another drug torcetrapib, was halted in clinical trial. It did what it was supposed to as far as cholesterol-it raised HDL- but more people in the drug group died than in the placebo.
And now we hear that Lipitor ads featuring, Dr. Jarvik the artificial heart inventor are being taken off the air after it was revealed that he was using a body double for rowing and was therefore deceptive since he is not actually a rower.
Critics of the cholesterol theory are having a field day. But more about that later…
February 26, 2008 1 Comment
Not too long ago, I received an email “invitation” from a friend to join Facebook, the current “hot” social networking site. So I clicked the link and before I realized it I was entering all kinds of information about myself that would be shared with others on the World Wide Web. Magically, a whole bunch of people then joined my network. Friends I didn’t even know I had appeared.
Facebook is a hit among the younger crowd. I believe it started at Harvard and was initially limited to college students but gradually opened up to include high schools and eventually anyone over the age of 13.
I notice that members upload a lot of photos and usually they are photos of them at parties. They can also share videos. If you really want to see what your kids are doing in their spare time, this is the place. Whenever a person in your network updates their information with a new photo or posting, you’ll automatically receive an email with a link so you can check it out.
The automatic nature of the service is one of the big pluses but also a drawback. Facebook faced some heat recently when it was discovered that it is very difficult to delete your profile from their database. This has upset some people. On the other hand, if you later want to rejoin, your info is already there, so it all depends on how you look at it.
Overall, I like Facebook and enjoy seeing what people are up to. I just have not totally embraced the idea of sharing so much personal information with the world at large. But the younger set are totally into it.
February 13, 2008 2 Comments