Archive for January, 2010

Often, the most effective techniques are simple, so simple that they make medicine look bad.  Handwashing effectiveness was one thing, but how about the idea of cleaning the patient before surgery?  NY Times summary to the recently published New England Journal articles linked below.

The studies, published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined infections that develop at the site of surgery, often around the incision, and afflict more than 300,000 patients a year in the United States.

While experts are increasingly trying to stop hospital-acquired infections by approaches including stepped-up hand-washing by doctors and nurses, the new studies looked at the bacteria patients may be carrying before entering the hospital, especially a common bacteria, staphylococcus aureus.

“About one-third of people at any one time carry this bacterium in their nose or on their skin,” said a co-author of one study, Dr. Henri Verbrugh, a professor of medical microbiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “It does not give them any problem, but if they go to a hospital and the skin is somehow breached, they are really prone to invasion or infection by their own bacteria.”

Dr. Verbrugh and colleagues tested patients for the bacteria using nasal swabs. They treated about 500 who carried the bacteria for five days with an antibiotic ointment on their noses and showers with soap treated with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic. After surgery, which sometimes occurred during the five-day treatment, those patients were 60 percent less likely to develop infections than patients receiving a placebo of ointment and soap.

via Hospitals Could Stop Infections by Tackling Bacteria Patients Bring In, Studies Find – NYTimes.com.

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Those of you who use a Fujitsu ScanSnap on the Mac (a device which I LOVE and highly recommend) who have updated to Snow Leopard, you may have noticed that you can’t “Save to Folder,” and the work around was to “Attach to Email” and then copy the attachment to somewhere on your computer.  Kinda annoying.  Well Fujitsu updated their driver for you, but it isn’t the easiest thing to find on their website.  They may have also notified me by email but maybe it got spam blocked.  Anyway, I don’t know how long this has been out, I just happened to go look because I was annoyed with the work-around today.  Anyway, the link is below.

Snow Leopard Update for ScanSnapFujitsu announces ScanSnap Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard Update for ScanSnap S1500M, S300M, S510M, and S500M.Updating select ScanSnap models listed above is a two part process. The first update restores features associated with ScanSnap Manager and the second update restores features associated with FineReader for ScanSnap.Note: These updates are for compatibility with Snow Leopard only. If you are using an earlier Mac OS, do not install these updates.

via Snow Leopard Update for ScanSnap : FUJITSU United States.

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Disclosure Policy

I’m a bit late to the game, but the FTC has recently published a set of guidelines for endorsements and testimonials which includes requirements for bloggers who review products and services to disclose what sort of compensation they receive. The purpose of these guidelines is to protect consumers by exposing the “material connections” between advertisers and endorsers. Basically, if a blogger receives anything as compensation, whether it is a payment, free products, or anything else of value in exchange for writing something, the reader should be made aware.

It is about freaking time.  Posts “reviewing” or products and services has polluted the web, and the endorsements need to be made clear whenever anyone searches out a posts and reads something.

So I thought I should also briefly give my disclosure policy, which is… I don’t get paid for anything.  Pretty simple. 🙂  It would be nice if I could serve up Google Adsense or something, but I haven’t had the time to figure out how to do that within WordPress.com, and I think they are blocking it, honestly.  If you see any ads on my page, they are generally not mine, and belong to WordPress.com, the blog-hosting company that I use.

Maybe, someday, that’ll change.  As of right now, I post on my blog largely because I’m bored, feel like it, or just want to track a link that I can reference to my friends later.

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From Arstechnica: A look at Apples love for DRM and consumer lock-ins.

A look at Apple’s love for DRM and consumer lock-ins

Apple makes great products—you’ll get no argument from us. But Apple also likes keeping tight control over those products, and if anyone outside of Apple’s blessed circle attempts to get in, the company is more than willing to try to use (or abuse) the law to its advantage.

This stuff isn’t new if you have been following Apple in the news at all (beyond just buying their products).  It is easy to think of Apple as being “open” because they play a key role in balancing the computing world from the near-monopoly that is Microsoft.  However, a quick look shows that Apple isn’t so great with regards to how it treats it’s consumers either.

Full disclosure, I use a mac, and I love Mac OSX (at least compared to other options out there, although Windows 7 is certainly a huge improvement.)  My issues with the iPhone are well documented, although I still think it is a great product.

Anyway, a good read.

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