Saturday morning coffee [August 1 2015]

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ― C.S. Lewis,

So much happens each and every week, and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts…


Ant Man remained #1 at the box office last weekend, just barely beating out Pixels. But that’s not saying much. Pixels has received nearly universal hatred from every review I’ve read. There’s no chance of either movie landing in the number one spot this weekend, however. That honor will go to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Estimates have the fifth installment of the Impossible series coming in between $40-50 million. I’d like to see it.

YAHOO! News is reporting that Swedish researchers have “looked at 20 years of data from over 42,000 women who had all kept records of their daily tea and coffee intake, as well as caffeine gained from other sources, such as chocolate….Published in the International Journal of Cancer, the results showed that women who supped five cups of coffee a day had a 19 per cent lower risk of breast cancer when compared with those who had just two daily cups.” As if anyone needed another reason to grab more coffee.

I upgraded to Windows 10 this week. I keep going back and forth as to whether or not it was a mistake. I like the look and feel, but am unhappy with a few things. I read several reviews prior to upgrading, but somehow didn’t see anything about changes to OneDrive. I use OneDrive as my default storage on my machines. I get 1TB as part of my Office 365 subscription, so it just makes sense. It’s not as snappy as Dropbox, but OneDrive does – uh, used to – offer one major advantage. Previously OneDrive gave me the option to make folders or files on each machine offline or online-only. This was great. I have a laptop with a sizeable hard drive, so I have all OneDrive folders set to offline. This includes photos, videos, etc. I have an ultrabook with a 256GB SSD. Only important work files are set to offline. I have an 8-inch Windows tablet that only has 32GB worth of space. Very few folders are set to offline for that machine. However, I can see all OneDrive content on each machine regardless of setting; file and folder names appear in online-only status. This all disappeared with the Windows 10 update. Now you have to pick which folders you wish to sync, and if you don’t sync them they don’t show up in your folder structure. That really ticks me off. That was the best feature of OneDrive. Without it there’s no reason to continue using it. Why would Microsoft remove such a useful feature? It defies logic.

Some positive things about Windows 10: Cortana is cool, the new notification center comes in handy, the new Windows Twitter client is pretty nice, and having the start button back in the bottom left corner feels familiar.

From the creepy, but true files here’s a group of robotic ants the size of a human hand:

Mashable: “The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell announced their decision to uphold Brady’s four-game Deflategate ban after the NFL Players Association appealed an initial decision from the league last month. In a terse, 20-page decision released Tuesday, Goodell said Brady “participated in a scheme to tamper with” game balls and “willfully obstructed” the league’s subsequent investigation.” – Was there ever any doubt? This is exactly the behavior you’d expect from lowlife’s like Brady and the Patriots. They’re basically Apple of the NFL.

A team of researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has developed a new mobile phone-based device that can read ELISA (ezyme-linked immunosorbant assay) plates in the field with the same level of accuracy as the large machines normally found in clinical laboratories.” – ELISA is a diagnostic tool that can detect a number of disease, such as HIV, West Nile Virus and hepatitis B. The coolest thing about the new device? It was created using a 3D printer. 3D printing rocks. (source: UCLA Newsroom)

Ceil the lion is dead because some jerk in Minnesota wanted to go big game hunting. I didn’t know Cecil. Actually I’d never heard of Cecil before this week, but stuff like this makes me sad. It’s a testament to the depravity of human kind. I have weapons – couple of hand guns, an AR-15, shotgun, etc – because I enjoy shooting. But the only thing I kill are paper targets, and the occasional aluminum can.

I’ve thought for years that many of the tests used to gage a student’s intelligence were complete garbage. In fact, most of the admissions hoops required by universities these days are complete garbage. I’ve now been through two rounds, one for each of my girls. Anyway, George Washington University “dropped its testing requirement for most freshman admissions Monday, becoming one of the largest and most prominent schools to declare that its applicants don’t have to take the SAT or ACT”. Good for them. Let’s hope others follow. (source: The Washington Post)

Motorola announced the Moto X Style Pure Edition this week. What a fantastic looking device. For $400 you get an unlocked smartphone rockin’ Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on a 2560 x 1440 5.7-inch display, a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, a massive 3,000mAh battery, and an improved 21-megapixesl, f/2.0 camera. And yes, you’re going to be able to build your own using Moto Maker. Truly awesome.

Just in case you missed it, the Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Cerner Corp.’s EHR over EPIC. According to SearchHealthIT: “In something of a surprise, the partnership of Cerner Corp. and systems integrators Leidos, Inc. and Accenture Federal Services squeezed out finalists Epic and its partner IBM, and a team made up of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., Computer Sciences Corporation and HP…The potential 10-year contract (the deal includes a two-year initial period, two three-year extensions and a two-year award term) for the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization project would eventually be worth more than $9 billion.” Speculation has it that one reason for going with Cerner was taht they were provided a more open, interoperable platform. If true, that’s great news for the EHR industry. Walled gardens should not be tolerated in this industry.

We take gripping things with our hand for granted. I don’t give it a second thought when I reach for my coffee cup. Apparently there’s quite a bit to it. “The findings show that the brain has multiple ways of formulating grip commands, and they’re generally influenced by the object that’s being gripped.” Our brain is cool. The information collected could lead to better brain-computer interfaces for prostheses. Pretty slick. (source: Gizmag)

Vox: “None of the recent problems in the American economy are due to robots — or, to be more specific about it, due to an accelerating pace of automation. Moreover, even if the pace of automation does speed up in the future, there’s no real reason to believe that it will be a problem…Rather than an accelerating pace of automation, we’ve actually been living through a slowdown in the pace of productivity growth. And that slowdown is a huge problem. Unless it reverses, we’ll be waking up soon to find ourselves in a depressing world of longer working years, unmanageable health-care needs, higher taxes, and a public sector starved of needed infrastructure resources.” – This is a good read. It’s a bit long, but definitely worth your time. I remember when automation is pharmacy was going to put pharmacists out of jobs. Didn’t happen. Actually the “automation” created more work, just different than the work before.

NFL opening day is fast approaching.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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