This report commissioned by the department of defense is getting quite a bit of coverage because it says that 115 Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) programs as opposed to freeware and proprietary software are already being used in the defense department and “The main conclusion of the analysis was that FOSS software plays a more critical role in the DoD than has generally been recognized…”More often than not, the strongest deciding factors for choosing FOSS products were capability and reliability, with cost being an important but secondary factor…” and that more should be used. What do they know that medicine doesn’t? Perhaps that mega-buck proprietary software is not the way to go. There’s a short executive summary at the beginning that is quite readable with lots of good links.
The Palm Beach Post has a writeup about the performance of a computer controlled leg prosthesis that apparently is a close approximation to an original: ‘”The difference is amazing. It feels so natural. It feels like part of my leg,” said Norton, who has had 15 prosthetic legs since his was blown off in Vietnam 27 years ago.’ Editors note: ‘…we can rebuild him, we have the technology…’
Pat Evans mailto: email@example.com forwarded an announcement about the formation of a task force by the Health Information Management Systems Society (www.himss.org) for a ‘national health information infrastructure’. Possibly a step in the right direction however, there are some closed source players involved. The full text of the announcement is within.
HIMSS launches task force for national health information network
October 17, 2002
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society yesterday announced a task force charged with developing plans for a national health information infrastructure (NHII). The task force is intended to help health care leaders develop a “comprehensive system capable of providing trustworthy information to all health care decision makers,” HIMSS announced.
The National Health Information Infrastructure Task Force will first examine the current state of health care information technology and identify areas for development. The group is also charged with developing a prototype NHII and incorporating feedback from HIMSS members and other health care leaders.
Task force members come from organizations including Cerner, the Medical Records Institute and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (HIMSS release, 10/16).
The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, an advisory body to HHS, is also examining ways to develop a NHII. In December 2001, NCVHS released a report that outlined ways that government, industry, advocacy groups and consumer organizations could work together to build a health information system (NCVHS report, December 2001).
The American Informatics Association (AMIA) Student Working Group will be discussing Free and Open Source Software in medicine at its business meeting, at the November 2002 Fall Conference. The meeting, with a social event following, will be held at 8:00 pm in the El Mirador room, 22nd Floor, Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel, San Antonio, Texas. There will also be a special session: Careers in Medical Informatics (S27) Hosted by the Student Working Group Monday November 11th, 3:30 pm-5:00 pm Room 008 A/B, River Level
I knew this would be here one day when I first saw a big one in medical school and here (NYT free registration required) it is: “Despite its compact components, the iLook works like any other ultrasound machine. It transmits high-frequency sound waves through the body with a probe placed on the skin. The device calculates the speed of the sound waves’ echoes and constructs real-time diagnostic images of structures inside the body.”
Dr. Nicolas Guzman mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org writes: “The Cyberspace Policy Institute of The George Washington University, in collaboration with the US Department of the Navy, the General Services Administration, and other sponsors TBA is planning to hold a 3-day conference on Open Source in March 2003 in Washington, DC. I am trying to determine the level of interest that exists among this group and others in participating before I formalize my request for space and time allocation.” The full text of the message including contact info follows. E-mail Dr. Guzman if interested.
From: Nicolas Guzman [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, September 20, 2002 3:23 AM
Subject: Call for Participation (preliminary) – Open Source Conference,
March 2003 – Washington, DC
As one of the organizers of the following planned event I am trying to determine the level of interest that exists among this group and others in participating before I formalize my request for space and time allocation.
The Cyberspace Policy Institute of The George Washington University, in collaboration with the US Department of the Navy, the General Services Administration, and other sponsors TBA is planning to hold a 3-day conference on Open Source in March 2003 in Washington, DC.
The aim of the conference is the presentation of best practices, awareness raising, and the sharing of experiences among policy makers, donors, developers, users/consumers, universities, and industry specialists in Open Source, e-Government and related fields.
We plan to have a 1/2 to 1 full day session (depending on the level of interest for participation) on “Open Source Software and Open Standards in e-Health”. The format is still to be determined but I anticipate it to include individual presentations and panel discussions in addition to demonstration projects.
As I said before, I need to have an idea of the level of interest in participating/attending the conference so I can start bargaining for appropriate time/space.
Please respond to my office address: < firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interest in participating. I also welcome any discussion, comments, suggestions, ideas which you would like to post to the list so we can discuss them with other members. Many thanks. Nick -- Nicolas J. Guzman, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Diabetes and Kidney Care Program Member - MFA Physician Advisory Group for Healthcare Informatics Co-Chairman - Multi-Channel Delivery of Health Information Universal Access Working Group Federal Architecture and Infrastructure Committee - CIO Council The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates 2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, ACC 4-425 Washington, DC 20037 Phone: (202) 741-2283 Direct: (202) 741-2291 Fax: (202) 741-2285 E-mail: email@example.com
“Open Source: A Case for e-Government” conference will be held in Washington, DC, USA, October
16 – 18, 2002. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness and to share experiences among policy makers, donors, users/consumers, universities, and industry specialists in Open Source, e-Government and related fields. The conference will draw participants from local, national and international organizations from both the public and private sector.” Full text of the announcement is within.
Open Source: A Case for e-Government
October 16 – 18, 2002
October 16, 2002 Marvin Center George Washington University Grand Ballroom
800 21st St. NW (on the corner of 21st and H Sts. NW)
October 17 and October 18, 2002 The World Bank IFC Auditorium
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue
The Information for Development program (infoDev) of the World Bank, the
Cyberspace Policy Institute of The George Washington University, and the
Sustainable Development Networking Programme of the United Nations
Development Program are pleased to invite you to a conference on “Open
Source: A Case for e-Government” to be held in Washington, DC, USA, October
16 – 18, 2002. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness and to share
experiences among policy makers, donors, users/consumers, universities, and
industry specialists in Open Source, e-Government and related fields. The
conference will draw participants from local, national and international
organizations from both the public and private sector.
The core sessions of the conference will focus on:
� Keynote by Congressman Rick Boucher, co-founder of the Congressional
� Open Source and e-Government in the U.S., Europe and developing
countries (how governments and local authorities are benefiting from using
� Open Source vs. Proprietary Software (what is the proper role of each
� Demonstrations of Open Source Projects (LinuxTM, OpenOffice,
MozillaTM, GNOME, MySQL)
� Meet the Open Source Vendors
� Open Source and the Security of the Critical Infrastructure
� Business Cases: The Economics of Using Open Source Software and Total
Cost of Ownership
Please visit the website http://www.egovos.org for further information. As this is an invitation only event, you must be registered to attend. You may
register online by visiting the conference website and kindly note that all
registrations must be received no later than October 11, 2002. There is no
registration cost for the event.
We hope that you will join us for what promises to be an exciting event.
Please complete the registration form as per the instructions in the
conference website. Feel free to contact us in the case of any questions or
concerns at (202) 994-5513.
This project [CARE 2002]is new to me. It seems well advanced
with a lot of function, a nice interface and active
development. Billing is currently in development.
Once that is done it looks like a competition killer
With this past week’s release of Version 8.0 of
it is time to ask the perennial question: is GNU/Linux ready
for the desktop? Is it finally here? Is there a compelling
reason to use it on the desktop now? Despite some rough
edges in RH 8.0, such as a somewhat disorganized menu system, the
answer is yes. However, the reason may
Redhat 8.0 is a huge stride toward usability on
the desktop. It fills major holes of the ‘have to
go to the command line’ kind. For example, the
display settings screen is now GUI and the
Add/Remove Packages GUI program is very,
However, these are merely catching up with what
other operating systems have had for years. What
would make a user use it for its merits alone?
History has taught us that the short answer is
One can go back to the the computer
industry in 1989 for parallels. At the time the
underdog was Microsoft, the 800 pound gorilla
was IBM, and the dark horse was Apple. IBM and
Microsoft were jointly developing an operating
system called OS/2 which had a graphic user
interface(GUI). However, the OS was late, overpriced ($800!) and had no applications to speak of. Its predecessor, Microsoft DOS, was long in the tooth and had no graphic user interface. Microsoft desperately needed to ship a competitive OS with a GUI to fend off Apple. MS responded with Windows 3.0 which had an acceptable GUI, was priced right (about $90) and importantly, had a bunch of little but useful business applications already built in that justified its cost. For example, the calculator program alone made purchase of a stand-alone calculator un-necessary, which very much passed the ‘justify it to your boss’ test.
History may be repeating itself. In my freshly
installed Redhat 8.0 I spied
two little applications off
of the ‘Office’ menu: ‘Diagrams’ and ‘Project
Mr. Project and Dia
are nice to have, and two applications that
are definitely add-ons for other operating
GNU/Linux distributions have always come
with a plethora of
useful applications. But many of them merely
matched those available out of box from other
vendors. Dia and Mr. Project are different. They add serious ‘justify to your boss’ potential.
The fact that you get these useful applications out of the box with Linux adds an amazing amount of value to this OS. It really is a Swiss army chainsaw because many people won’t shell out a minimum of $58 (pricewatch.com) for a certain well
known project management software. They’ll either
do without, or just bastardized a spreadsheet to do the same thing in an inferior way.
With Redhat GNU/Linux 8.0 and no doubt other
Linux distributions like SuSe, Mandrake and Debian sporting a sharp, mature GUI, it is ready to take its place alongside other operating systems. More importantly, it now includes some productivity applications that are add-ons for other operating systems and may pass the boss test. An important milestone has been reached.