The Great Content Lockdown of 2010

I had an invigorating and thought-provoking chat with my good friend Oliver Roup today. We agreed that the Apple iPad is going to be an unbelievable success. I’ve thought from day one that it would be huge, but I think it will be bigger than huge. Before the end of the summer, millions of people will own one. Content producers, looking for a way to make money, will flock to it. A virtuous circle will be created. More users. More content. More users. More content. And so, while killing Flash with one hand, Apple may put a dent in the … Continue reading The Great Content Lockdown of 2010

Taxing Human Transactions – Part 1

The worst part of my job is dealing with the mess of document formats and coding systems in healthcare. The acronym soup is insane: HL7, CCD, CCR, CDA, Green CDA (which I just heard about from John Halamka’s blog but… no link!), and that’s just the document formats. Then there are coding systems like LOINC, SNOMED, SNOMED-CT, UMLS, ICD9, ICD10, RxNorm, … Interestingly enough, the issue is not how many there are. The issue is how they’re licensed. Here’s a screenshot from the HL7 website that should tickle your funny bone: So, HL7 is unlocking the power of health information, … Continue reading Taxing Human Transactions – Part 1

Buzz Kill

Everyone is talking about the privacy disaster that was the Google Buzz launch, and oh my goodness it was. I’ve never been so thankful that I don’t use gmail. I’m frankly surprised that they didn’t do a smaller beta first, or that there isn’t a group at Google charged with thinking about the privacy implications of every product release who would have clearly screamed “stop!” If you want to think about the deep issues at play here, you really want to be reading Arvind Narayanan’s blog in general, and in particular his post on this issue: When I enabled Buzz … Continue reading Buzz Kill

I was wrong about the iPad

So I made a couple of predictions about the iPad, Apple’s tablet, and I realize in retrospect that, while I got some of the details right, I got the gist completely wrong. I thought it was going to be a special-purpose device. And most commentators are saying just that. But I was wrong and they are wrong. The iPad is very much meant to be a new approach to how we use computers in general. Still think it’s just a big iPhone? Watch these few minutes of video, a summary of how you interact with the iPad to create slides … Continue reading I was wrong about the iPad

a prediction regarding the Apple “Tablet”

Why a prediction? Eh, cause it’s fun and cause I think the Apple Tablet will have a large impact on consumer computing. I think Apple will launch a tablet computer in January that will be aimed at saving TV and print journalism. On-demand video and on-demand print magazines and newspapers will be at the forefront. And because those industries want Digital Rights Management, the Tablet will run the iPhone OS so that only approved apps can be installed. It will be great, and the “App Store” concept will continue to rock the house. In the meantime, Zittrain’s Future of the … Continue reading a prediction regarding the Apple “Tablet”

The first good mainstream article on vaccines in a while

I meant to mention this a while ago, but I keep forgetting. Amy Wallace at Wired wrote a fantastic piece on how irrational fears of vaccination are putting us all at risk. The feedback to Ms. Wallace has been enormous, and although tilted towards the positive, the negative feedback from the anti-vaccination crowd is insulting, misogynistic, ad-hominem crap. I’m a scientist and engineer, but I’m not a medical doctor. Back in 2004, when Robert Kennedy Jr. published his anti-vaccine piece in Salon/Rolling Stone, I worried that there was something to his claims. I asked around. I’m lucky enough to work … Continue reading The first good mainstream article on vaccines in a while

Apple fanboy delusions, the Palm Pre is looking mighty tasty

On many issues, I’m an Apple fanboy. On the issue of the iPhone, less and less. Here’s the short version of the story: Apple produces iTunes, which manages all of your music and videos, and syncs them to your iPod/iPhone. Very cool software, magnificently built, great experience overall. I’ve been using this setup for 6+ years. Along comes Palm with the Pre, a phone with functionality similar to the iPhone. Obviously, Palm wants to let its users sync their music and photo library with the Pre. Seems fair, right? Here’s how the story unfolds: iTunes 8.0: I will only sync … Continue reading Apple fanboy delusions, the Palm Pre is looking mighty tasty