Monthly Archives: December 2006

Happy New Years

To all my readers, Happy New Years. And thanks for reading.

Steve

Evalutating a Software as a Service Vendor

ZDNet has a great article on what to look for in a software as a service (SaaS) vendor. While SaaS has not caught on in a serious way in healthcare yet that will change. It will take a few years because of peoples fear about data traveling outside the enterprise but the cost savings of doing so will be too great. I wish I could launch a SaaS in healthcare today but I have grave doubts about adoption.

Now OnStartups.com has a post saying the opposite of that. I think though in healthcare today people will still be very concerned about privacy. I say privacy instead of security since today it is possible to build very secure services.

Super Villain Test

If you have a couple minutes take the super villain test. Here is mine 🙂

Your results:

You are Apocalypse

Apocalypse
86%
Magneto
78%
Juggernaut
71%
Lex Luthor
69%
Dr. Doom
69%
Dark Phoenix
62%
Catwoman
61%
The Joker
60%
Venom
60%
Riddler
57%
Green Goblin
55%
Mystique
55%
Kingpin
53%
Poison Ivy
41%
Two-Face
35%
Mr. Freeze
29%
You believe in survival of the fittest and you believe that you are the fittest.


Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test

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Healthcare Vertical Search Engines

Vertical search engines are search engines that target a specific industry vertical, for instance healthcare. There are actually a couple of good vertical search engines out there for healthcare. The first is Kosmix. This was the first one that I used so it might be biased. It was started by some guys from Stanford, the same place that Google was born. It offers many different ways to get at subgroups of results for instance, just those related to clinical trials.

The second is Healia.I found this today and it actually inspired me to write this article. It is alot simpler than Kosmix but also seems to return good results. Have a look at them. I think that they are both better than Google for general health information.

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Google’s Weakness

ZDNet has an interesting post about a weakness that Google may have. While I don’t necessarily believe it word for word I agree with the concept. Also Google has a problem, switching away from it costs users almost nothing. I also think that Google is becoming more and more arrogant. It is definitely much less flexible from a software developers perspective than Microsoft’s software stack.

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GoogleMIRC in the blogosphere

Catscanman has posted an article on his blog about GoogleMIRC at RSNA. Please check out the public version at YottaLook. Nice to see that this is generating interest.

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GoogleMIRC Reborn

GoogleMIRC, my exhibit at RSNA, has been reborn as Yottalook and is now online. Yottalook is a free radiology-centric search engine based on Google’s indexing technology with proprietary relevance algorithm by iVirtuoso. Currently, Yottalook Images and Yottalook References search engines are available for use. Yottalook Image has specially been designed to search radiology images from various peer-reviewed online sources and currently has access to over 100,000 images. Yottalook References has been designed to search online radiology sources only. Try various refinement options to narrow your search requests even further. Please try it out and send us your feedback.

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Do cheapskates make good customers?

OnStartups has a post on whether cheapskates or "overly frugal" customers are good for startups. I just wanted to add one thing to the list of reasons that they are not. Collections. As a startup cash flow is very, very important. These people often do not pay on time and valuable time may be spent on trying to collect what is owed you. Just a piece of knowledge from the trenches.

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Security at the VA

As some of my readers know I have just left a job doing research at the Department of Veterans Affairs. How and why I ended up there is a topic for another day. Today InfoWorld ran an article on the improved security at the VA. During my tenure there I have witnessed many security initiatives. One is security education which is still lacking and primitive. The main failing as I see it is creating a draconian process that is very inflexible and creates problems for many people doing their jobs. For instance the Web is a critical decision support platform for doctors. There have been several attempts over the years to filter the internet and I honestly do not know where that now lies.

To think that the VA is going to become the “gold standard” in data security is an idea that I find patently ludicrous. I know that the laptop was stolen and I am not referring to that. Doing security right requires infrastructure that is built from the ground up. It also requires that people be given the tools that they need to do their job. The VA in my opinion falls short in both.

Some ISOs talk about approving a product which usually means someone showing them a login screen and talking about password security. I have never watched someone ask about the security engineering in the development process.

While I think that it is good for the VA to take security seriously I have little hope that they can be the “gold standard”.

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Windows Vista Development

If you are interested in why Windows Vista took so long to make check out this article series by Paul Thurrott. He follows Vista’s development starting in 2001 including the now famous 2004 reset.

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