Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
Which means it's time for some serious baseball.
TheNew York Yankees play the Cleveland Indians tonight in the first game ofthe American League Major League Baseball playoffs, at 6:30 EST, inCleveland.
All I have to say about that is, "Go Yankees!"
Sorry, Indians fans.
Thing is, my Houston Astros couldn't even win a single game the one time theymade it to the World Series, and my Texas Rangers will be lucky if theyever win a playoff game, much less make it to a division series.
So, with NYC being my second home, it's all about the Yanks.
And while I cheer on Chien-Ming Wang as he leads off pitching for the Bronx Bombers, UC Berkeley has taken its lectures to the Tube...the YouTube, that is.
Ina press release dated yesterday, Berkeley indicated that it would be"expanding public access to its intellectual riches" by making entirecourse lectures and special events available free of charge on YouTube.
Where was this stuff when I went to college???
Oh,that's right, I was too busy using CompuServe's CB Simulator chat feature($5.00 an hour anyone?) and learning the fine art of gophering.
Ifafter all those late nights of staring at those small YouTubinglecturers you find yourself needing to go the campus infirmary, Dr.Steve and Dr. Bill will be standing by to help take your medical recordover the Internets.
Microsoft announced its "HealthVault" initiative today, which will provide free personal health records on the Web.
The New York Times has the full medical profile on the announcement.
ThoughMicrosoft puts it's "Health Privacy Commitment" front and center on theHealthVault home page, Mary Jo Foley also has Peter Neupert, VP ofMicrosoft's Health Solutions Group, quoted as saying "I believe searchis a big market and we can monetize this around health searches withonline ads."
That makes me a little queasy in terms of protecting the privacy of my health records.
Thenagain, if Microsoft's health records are as well protected as thepermissions that are apparently required for loading new software viathe Vista operating system, we can all probably breathe a little easier.
But you may want to go ahead and call the privacy ambulance, just in case.
What'snext, a very public and comprehensive Facebook medical recordsapplication and Newsfeed that will allow my closest friends andrelatives to follow and compare our latest blood tests?
"Dude, you are so not O Negative! No way!"
And what's that little genetic discrepancy I see on your quiz results?
No problem, Aetna, subscribe away.
It was certainly unsettling to be flying up to NY yesterday, watching coverage via my JetBlue seat back TV about the patient with a drug resistant strain of TB called "XDR" being held in "respiratory isolation" at the Center for Disease Control down in Atlanta.
"Gee, I'm stuck on this plane and I'm watching news about a guy who traveled thousands of miles knowingly carrying a virulent strain of TB...Oops, that guy just sneezed. I hope it's just a cold!"
Forget peanuts and a pillow, I'd like to see airplanes carry more fresh air with TB-less travellers.
Though the airlines may be helpless in their ability to stem the porousness for passengers with highly communicable diseases boarding their planes, Google is doing what it can to keep virtual intruders at bay.'
Google: Protecting You From Microsoft
Over the long weekend, browser-based security software provider GreenBorder announced it had signed an acquisition deal with Google, according to a story on InfoWorld.
GreenBorder offers a browser-based host intrusion protection tool that has specifically helped secure Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook products for business users.
Hey, it's a dirty job protecting IE and Outlook, but somebody's gotta do it.
With GreenBorder's Professional Edition, whenever content arrives on user's desktop from an untrusted source, it is hosted in a controlled environment highlighted by a green border surrounding programs like Outlook and IE.
Hmmm...I envision a new kind of alarm system at the airports, one in which the green border automagically appears around the guy carrying the XDR-TB strain.[Read More]
This has been one crazy week. The tragic Big Dig accident in Boston (Please firm up those tunnels, Beantown...Ill be visiting your Tea Party house next week, and don't fancy a swim in to the harbor from the airport)...a guy in NYC blew up his apartment building right around the corner from my old office in Manhattan because he didn't want to lose it in a divorce...the commuter train bombings in Mumbai...the escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon.
Can't we all just get along?
Despite all the major geopolitical tidings, however, it was a week that, for me, started with more personal news. My 60-something father took the first step towards becoming a bionic man.
Let me explain: After a routine stress test that turned out to be not so routine, my dad's doctor advised him that he wanted to do a nuclear CAT scan late to check things out in a little more detail. Not satisfied with the results of the CAT scan, the doctor explained he was going to need to perform a heart catheterization.
Yes, that would be the procedure where they push a camera atop a thin wire through an artery in your upper leg and then all the way up near the heart.
As it turned out, my father's doctor's initial suspicion from the stress test was an astute diagnosis, for it so happened dad had a major artery that was 90% blocked -- not good.
To remedy the situation, the doctor took immediate action, performing an angioplasty and the placement of a stent to keep a healthy flow of oxygen-rich blood to his heart.
This all happened on Tuesday. I'm happy to report now, today, so far so good. This morning my mom informed me that my father is out and about, going to the post office to check the mail and stopping in for a while at his workplace.
Just a few short years ago, such a condition would likely have demanded a full bypass operation and down time of multiple weeks. Today, my dad was headed back to work three days after the procedure (he promised he would take it easy -- we're holding you to that, dad).
With all this week's increased geopolitical instability, I just wanted to take a few moments and report some good news. Even if that news may only be important to a handful of my friends and family members, I thought it important to let you know that there was some good news out there. These days, a little bit of good news can go a long way.
Meanwhile, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to my IBM colleagues in our Haifa Labs and with all people throughout the impacted Middle East region. I hope and pray cooler heads prevail and that some good news reaches you soon as well.[Read More]
I watched that ABC TV movie last week about a worldwide outbreak of avian flu, "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America," and I have to be honest when I say the "viewer's guide" put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was much more engaging -- and informative -- than the movie, providing lots of background information and answering lots of questions I had about the issues and situations presented in the movie.
Currently, the good news is that the guide let me know "There is no influenza pandemic in the world at this time." IBM, along with twenty major worldwide public health institutions, made an announcement yesterday that we hope will help keep it that way.
The Global Pandemic Initiative will partner IBM with a number of health organizations and universities around the globe to explore the use of advanced computer and analytical technology to help with global preparedness. This will include a software framework from IBM that was developed to allow electronic health information to be more easily shared and mined among hospitals, doctors, laboratories, and health organizations.
We also contributed software developed at our Almaden labs called the "Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler" (say that three times quickly). Abbreviated as "STEM," this software can help build computer models of a disease as it spreads geographically to help epidemiologists track the likely future direction of a virus based on visualized empirical data. Learn more about this effort in coverage from the San Jose Mercury News.[Read More]