Tuesday, June 23
In the wake of President Obama’s call for the America’s medical records to be digitized, a new group calling itself HealthDataRights has been formed that wants to ensure the privacy of patients is protected when records start to live online. From the New York Times “Bits” blog:
The new Web-based push comes a week after the Obama administration published a “preamble” document outlining the goals for electronic health records and the broad criteria for their “meaningful use” to qualify for incentive payments to doctors and hospitals. The administration document declared that its “ultimate vision” is one in which “all patients are fully engaged in their health care,” while physicians and clinics have real-time access to all the medical information they need to ensure the quality and safety of care.
Here’s the group’s “Declaration of Health Data Rights” from their website:
In an era when technology allows personal health information to be more easily stored, updated, accessed and exchanged, the following rights should be self-evident and inalienable. We the people:
Have the right to our own health data
Have the right to know the source of each health data element
Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; if data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form
Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit
These principles express basic human rights as well as essential elements of health care that is participatory, appropriate and in the interests of each patient. No law or policy should abridge these rights.
USA Today on the rise of videoconferencing:
Ben Weinberger, chief information officer of a law firm, typically travels about 25 times a year visiting colleagues around the country to make sure their information technology systems are working properly.
His employer, Lathrop & Gage, has 11 offices and 300 attorneys. But Weinberger estimates he will travel only once this year to each office, relying instead on videoconferencing from the main office in Kansas City.
The firm has six dedicated videoconference rooms there, with high-definition cameras, 47-inch or larger monitors, and software provided by California-based Polycom, a large videoconferencing equipment supplier.
“You don’t have a meal with your colleagues videoconferencing,” Weinberger says. “But I can save tens of thousands of dollars. If I go to the New York office only once, instead of going three times a year, I save the firm $3,000 (on airfare and hotels), and that’s just me.”
The article goes on to note that the videoconferencing market jumped by 24% last year, as businesses looked to cut expenses. One benefit of the practice not touched on in the article: videoconferencing isn’t just good for the bottom line, it’s also good for the environment.
Monday, June 22
Google’s Street View—a growing library of snapshots from every block around the world—has taken a lot of heat from governments and privacy groups over the years. But this story out of the Netherlands shows that the service can also help victims of crime:
A 14-year-old lad from Groningen was last September pulled from his bike by two ne’er-do-wells and relieved of cash and his mobile phone. In March, he discovered the moment just before the attack had been captured on Street View.
The unnamed victim alerted the police, who asked Google for the original uncensored images. The company obliged, and when cops got the snaps this month, they quickly identified the perps - two 24-year-old brothers.
The thug-nabbing image can be viewed here.
GigaOm flags a new report that finds trans-Atlantic bandwidth—oversupplied in the ’90s (so much so that some submarine cables providers were actually forced to file for bankruptcy)—may officially reach capacity as soon as 2014.
Last week, news made the rounds that the city of Bozeman, Montana was requesting passwords to social networking sites from potential employees. This, naturally, led to complaints about privacy rights being violated.
What a difference a weekend—and a lot of Internet noise—makes. Today, the city announced that it will no longer require job applicants to cough up their passwords.
The Internet Innovation Alliance held its biannual Symposium at the Newseum in Washington, DC on June 17, 2009. The Symposium, "Developing a National Broadband Strategy: Deployment, Adoption and the Stimulus," featured Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and NBA All-Star and tech advocate Chris Bosh. For a full list of speakers and panelists, as well as event video, please visit IIA's Symposium webpage.
The Symposium highlighted the importance of broadband adoption, with two panels and three keynotes offering in-depth discussions regarding the barriers and benefits of adoption as well as policy recommendations.
Our first speaker, John Horrigan from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, gave an overview of Pew's latest study on broadband adoption. He highlighted the results of Pew's April 2009 survey, which shows that Americans are increasing their adoption of high-speed Internet despite the economic recession. For more information and to see full results of the study, please click here.
We had two panels devoted to broadband adoption; the first focused on reaching Americans in rural areas, and panelists discussed the economic implications of the broadband stimulus, the need for widespread broadband deployment and adoption to facilitate distance learning and eHealth initiatives. The second panel was devoted to making broadband affordable for all Americans, and panelists explored ways to get minority communities connected and increasing digital literacy. To watch video coverage of these panel discussions, please visit IIA's Symposium webpage.
Friday, June 19
Minnesota Farm Guide edition:
Broadband access can offer job opportunities, economic development and improved quality of life.
One group helping to lead efforts for universal broadband is the U.S. Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).
Based in Washington, D.C., IIA is a non-profit organization guided by the principle that any family or business without broadband access is at a disadvantage to those who do have broadband.
“There is going to be a lot of talk about broadband in the next one or two years. An integral part of that discussion is what’s happening in rural America - how do we get up to the speed they need to lead a broadband life?” said Larry Irving, co-chair of the U.S. Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).
Check out the full interview.
Get ready for a new flood of online video content. Via Read Write Web:
Wikipedia, the free web-based encyclopedia used worldwide, will be adding video to their online repository in a matter of months. When the new system launches, you’ll find a new button labeled “Add Media” on Wikipedia articles. Upon clicking this, you’ll be prompted to search through three online repositories for relevant videos which can be added to the article. You can even select particular portions of the video instead of embedding the entire clip.
Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 24-1 to make President Obama’s pick of Julius Genachowski the next chairman of the F.C.C. The Republican pick, former FCC chairman Robert McDowell, was also approved.
Up next for the nominees: the full Senate.
With more and more people participating in social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, employers have gradually started to take note. But now the city of Bozeman, Montana is taking things a step further by nipping social media problems in the bud during the interview process:
Applying for a job with the City of Bozeman? You may be asked to provide more personal information than you expected.
That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. The anonymous viewer emailed the news station recently to express concern with a component of the city’s background check policy, which states that to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate.
As people continue to participate online—sharing personal information in the process—expect more companies to start altering their hiring practices.