Posted by: Richard Chennault | December 10, 2008

Auto Upgrade for WP rocks!

I upgraded WordPress from RC1 to RC2 with a click of a button. Kudos to the WordPress team for making an upgrade so easy.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | December 9, 2008

Open Source Software, globilization and super capitalist

I can feel this one in my bones. This piece needs more work but I think it has potential…

Burton group writes, “Open source software (OSS) is here to stay ”most enterprises can no longer afford to ignore the advantages of low up-front costs, quality code, and a labor pool of software developers and system administrators experienced with best-of-breed OSS projects.”

The information worker job is one of the few beacons of hope for the economically oppressed to move ‘up’ the social ladder. Indeed the pace at which countries like India and China have shifted from agrarian and manufacture based economies to information based economies is nothing less the amazing. The middle class created by people transitioning from rural poor to urban middle class has helped stabilised and enrich several countries.

Corporations are now beginning to realise the potential of the labor pool for exploitation. The subtle message in the Burton group statement is companies must exploit free labor in order to compete in the what will inevitably become the slave marketplace of knowledge workers.

More to come…

Posted by: Richard Chennault | December 8, 2008

No black-Friday or cyber-Monday

I decided this year not to go chasing elusive deals on black-Friday this year.  I would like to say this decision stems from some inflated sense of morality regarding the deleterious effects of super-capitalism on the working class.   However, truth be told, I spent my Friday on a mini-vacation with my family.   Was it coincidence that the vacation was scheduled the same day as black Friday?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  What was evident is that I was glad not to be a part of a deluge of insufferable consumers jockeying for for position in a long line to get the best possible price on some electronic gadgetry.

Black Fridays is the combined culmination of two very undemocratic things; consumerism and capitalism.  Capitalism does not equal democracy and one only need to look at the free-market zones in China for a case in point.  Consumerism is not democracy but it does have some democratic trappings.  Phrases like; voting with your pocket book or not patronizing ‘unwholesome’ corporate conglomerates in order to effect some change are all meaningless empty promises to keep the citizen in us from acting up.  Corporation answer not to the citizen of a democracy but to the shareholders of the company; whomever and wherever they may be.

I hate consumerism but it is hard not to be a consumer especially in difficult economic times.  The anxiety and worry we feel individually and collectively about the state of the economy compels us to make buying decisions that reinforce the negative spiral of wage and benefits suppression.  It also widens the gap between the social-economic tiers.

Robert Reich recently wrote a book on the subject entitled Supercaptalism and it is very enlightening if somewhat depressing. He refers to the time between post World War II and the early seventies as the Not so Golden Age of Democratic Capitalism (please note that is two words).   Essentially it was a time when large companies such as the big three automotive companies could do economic planning at the national level over a period of years in partnership with Labor and government.   What changed all this was the deregulation of financial banking.  You’ll have to read the book to understand the nuances of how this morphed us from Democratic Capitalism to the apathetic Supercaptalism system we have today.

All that decidedly buzz kill information aside what the family and I did do was enjoy some time together.  Regina borrowed and idea from the Eppenbergers and added to it a little Chennault style pampering.   The treat was she planned a nice two day get-away to Sacramento.   Yes Sacramento; the governmental seat of California.   However,  we did not go to to pelt eggs at our lame legislators but instead stayed at the Embassy Suites and visited Old Sacramento and the California State Train Museum.  The boys loved it and I was pretty taken with the trains myself.   The entire  two day and one night excursion cost us just under $300 including meals, lodging and entertainment.   We could probably have saved even more on food but Regina and I could not pass up  Joes Crab Shack (we ate there twice).

Posted by: Richard Chennault | November 20, 2008

Things that happened

  1. Led a game design session for obstetrical haemorrhaging.
  2. Gave a tour to a group from Norway that included their minister of health.
  3. Got grumpy at my kids for not paying attention to me and Regina.
  4. Worried about the state of the economy.
  5. Wrote a list of things that happened in my blog.

What?  Not the usual fair?  I’m also reading Supercapitalism by Robert Reich.  So there; something up my usual neo-socialist alley.  I’m “feeling” upset, petulant and anxious.  This economy sucks and is has me worried for everyone; including myself.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween; bah humbug

It is Halloween, it is rainy and I’m sick. Thanks to a change of season and some unnecessary stress at work I’m now sick with a cold. Hopefully it is minor and I can get back to my cheery self soon. One thing I won’t be doing is calling into any health related telephone numbers.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 27, 2008

OpenID, Microsoft and health care

It appears that a true user centered identity management solution for the healthcare market is on the cusp of reality. In June Microsoft with little fan fair incorporated OpenID into the PHR HealthVault.  A health care company and Microsoft recently demonstrated (or at least attempted) their joint collaboration of PHR/EMR interoperability between the electronic medical record and MS Healthvault. Unfortunately the integration was using corporate center identity and thus the user is required to maintain multiple separate accounts for each web service.

Microsoft oddly enough in the PHR game has taken a lead and now if only health care companies would step up we could have the beginnings of not only user oriented identity but a truly portable user profile. Come on health care compaines, stop being legacy oriented and focus on making users the center of identity.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 23, 2008

Health 2.0: Aetna

The CEO of Aetna presented which gave some gravitas to the presentation. However he started off by bragging about how big they are. 3200 employees in information technology, fifth largest data warehouse and third largest health plan.

When you sign in you can go to your PHR by member. Funny guy the president of Aetna presenting. Unlike the rest. But that is an apple to oranges comparison. He was able to log in and people clapped. He is making the MS guy look a fool.

The PHR takes all the data gathered for the member and including lab results, family history, allergies and creates all kinds of demo graphic inform, blood type, height and weight, and all their dr and health team and their kinds of coverage. They can share the PHR online and print it and take it with them. They have ten different health trackers. Looking to link into biological medical devices to track directly.

They have a rules engine that message member and clinician depending on condition. It informs both member and clinician. They put out a one million message alerts every three months. They plan to launch a smart source health line that can navigate around their systems so they can see more information. They have six million online and will be upto seven million by the end of year.

Their system dwarfs the other online user base and capability set.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 23, 2008

Health 2.0: Microsoft HealthVault and a health care company

Microsoft HealthVault and another company jointly demonstrated their collaboration of exchanging a health summary from the health care company to Microsoft HealthVault. The solution requires patients create accounts at the health companies website  and MS HealthVault. Once logged into the health companies site a link enabling the exchange of health information from electronic medical record . This is exposed via a a HL7 XML data message to Microsoft HealthVault.

The company portion of the demo was Microsoft PowerPoint based and went smoothly. Except for a small glitch that when the a link was clicked on the presentation it was supposed to bring up a web browser. It failed and the VP of health care company stated, “Is this because Firefox is also running on this demo <sic> laptop. Why the hatn’ on Firefox?

Microsoft attempted to demonstrate a live connnection. The Microsoft representative could not remember his password and thus no demo was delivered. The moderator feeling sorry for poor Microsoft extended the time for the Microsoft portion of the demonstration after the other presenters finished. However by the time the poor old Microsoft VP (I say old because he stated, “The problem with getting old is you need bi-focauls) the internet link went dead.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 23, 2008

Health 2.0: WebMD


WebMD health record enables printing and faxing records to health providers. It can track basic labs. The information can be imported by screening exam done at the work site or the reference lab.

WebMD PHR has a medication list. It flags allergies. WebMD will work with employer to incorporate drug health plan benefits of the medications taken. WebMD can help compare health plan and hospitals that may be a better fit for her.

A patient can share information with other providers by having a pin code to the website that the patient can take to the emergency department. WebMD has a built in rules engine that send alert notification based on file conditions.

Posted by: Richard Chennault | October 19, 2008

When the phone bank is offline

Today is Sunday Oct. 19 2008. I tried calling in to the appointment and advice phone bank  for my wife. She has a seriously bad sore throat. The representative stated their computer system is down and they are unable to retrieve any information. They said it had been down for awhile this morning and to call back in thirty minutes. I did and it was still down.

We are going to drive in to the urgent care and try our luck there. Hopefully the issue is limited to just the phone bank and is not system wide; meaning the eletronic medical record is running but the phone bank has lost connection.  It is good to know that even when computer systems are down you can still drive into a facility and receive care.

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