Four short links: 3 December 2009

History Lesson, Historic Science, Hospital IT, and Predicted Consumption

  1. How Robber Barons Hijacked the Victorian Internet (ArsTechnica) — cautionary tale of the exploitation of a monopoly. Once installed as the dominant proprietor of the nation’s telegraph system, public trust in the confidentiality of Western Union transmissions evaporated. Gould “scanned the telegraph, or manipulated it, as an open book to the secrets of all the marts,” Josephson wrote.
  2. 350 Years of Royal Society Correspondence Online — the concept is great, the content is great, the interface lacking. (via auchmill on Twitter)
  3. Harvard Study: Computers Don’t Save Hospitals MoneyThe recently released study evaluated data on 4,000 hospitals in the U.S over a four-year period and found that the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings. And much of the software being written for use in clinics is aimed at administrators, not doctors, nurses and lab workers. […] He pointed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Latter Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City and Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis as facilities with some success in deploying efficient e-health systems. That’s because they were intuitive and aimed at clinicians, not administrators. I’m not sure anyone, not even the study’s author, knows what success looks like. Lower costs, yes. Data to improve quality of care, yes. Data to contribute to population statistics, yes. Greater throughput, yes. Fewer lost patients, yes.
  4. Forecasting Private Consumption: Survey-based Indicators vs. Google Trends — turns out that Google search terms over time beat some of the traditional consumer sentiment indicators. (via 130)
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