1. Editor's Note: Health Care Tech: Steps And Missteps
2. Today's Top Story
- Intel Fills Out Core 2 Duo Processor Line
Related Stories: Vendor Strategy
- Amazon Makes Foray Into Movie Business
- Corel CEO Sees Opportunities In Emerging Markets
3. Breaking News
- U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Health IT Bill
- IT Buyers Gain PC Pricing Tool
- Skype Releases New Toolbars For Office, Outlook Express, Thunderbird
- Women Bloggers Gather In Silicon Valley
- Zango Blasted For Targeting MySpace As Adware Channel
- Oracle Ships New Warehouse Builder Tool
- McAfee Profits Fall, May Restate Past Results
- Brief: DDoS Attack May Be Behind MySpace, AOL Problems
- U.S. Senator Open To TV Chat About Internet 'Tubes'
- Brief: Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 2.0 In Alpha
- CA Names CFO, Remains Mum On Layoff Rumors
4. Grab Bag
- House Passes Bill To Block Web Sites (BetaNews)
- Turn Your Wi-Fi Piggybackers' Internet Upside Down (Lifehacker)
- Pay Phones Suffer As Cell Phone Use Rises (Associated Press)
5. In Depth: Microsoft
- Ozzie Predicts Customer Cost Savings In Web-Based Software
- Microsoft Acquires More, But R&D Still The Focus
- Microsoft: Going Head To Head With iPod A Long Road
- Ballmer: I Feel Like I Have A New Job
- Brief: Microsoft Releases Free Commerce Server 2007 Developer Edition
6. Voice Of Authority
- ERP: The Enterprise Resource Pig
7. White Papers
- The Remote Access Imperative In Disaster Recovery
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"For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."
1. Editor's Note: Health Care Tech: Steps And Missteps
We're making some progress toward building a national health care infrastructure. But it remains painfully slow going, in part because of the scope and complexity involved, and in part because of politics and other agendas.
Just last week the House of Representatives passed a bill to make permanent both the post of national health IT czar and a committee to shepherd national interoperability standards. Both were originally established by President Bush, and the idea is to make them last long after he's out of office.
This is all good, as the kids say, but in the meantime there's another bill in the Senate that's a slightly different version of the House bill and that needs to be reconciled with the new House bill. Among the differences is a quality provision in the Senate bill; the House bill also provides $30 million in grants for the implementation of electronic health record systems. Some insiders believe that this will happen in time for President Bush to sign the whole works into law sometime this fall. We'll see.
Meanwhile, the post of the aforementioned national IT czar has been vacant since April. Dr. David Brailer held the job for two years and helped establish a lot of the groundwork toward a national health care agenda. Brailer resigned because of family and personal issues, telling one publication the weekly commute from his home in San Francisco to Washington, D.C., was particularly grueling. He brought together many of the different stakeholders to start talking about what needs to be involved from technology, policy, and privacy perspectives, and helped get things rolling. His successor has not yet been named.
On a brighter note, the national health care standards group is also making some progress. On July 18, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology gave its stamp of approval to the first round of e-health products, 18 in total. This commission was created two years ago to develop and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for the interoperability, functionality, and security of three major types of health IT.
These are all important moves, and I congratulate everyone involved, but I worry it's all taking too long. Those of us in the IT industry know about the sometimes protracted and political process of how long standards can take to develop, and how important they are as the underpinnings of anything that is to last and be useful in the long term.
But even as you read this, individual health care providers, geographic regions, and states have their own e-health initiatives going on. There are dozens of projects, if not more, and I worry that the longer the federal infrastructure takes to define itself, the more divergent all these efforts will be. We don't even have a working national definition of what information an e-health record should include, no less the format it should be in, and how individual doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will be able to access the information with different systems and business processes.
And so I wonder: Are we moving as quickly as we should be? Should we blaze ahead with all the dozens of projects, or should we wait until the appropriate national standards are set before any more major projects begin? What risks and rewards do you see here, as IT professionals? Read more, or weigh in, at my blog entry.
Amazon Makes Foray Into Movie Business
Positive reviews of "The Stolen Child" from customers, as well as the national media, fueled the decision to option the fantasy novel's screen rights, an Amazon spokesman says. The company won't finance the movie but will help develop it.
Corel CEO Sees Opportunities In Emerging Markets
Also, Corel is examining some potential acquisition targets. These generally have $20 million to $50 million in revenue, as well as a substantial customer base to which Corel could sell its other products, CEO David Dobson said.
3. Breaking News
U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Health IT Bill
The bill's passage comes several months after the U.S. Senate passed its own health IT bill with many similar provisions. Washington insiders expect a compromise bill that, if passed, could be signed into law by President Bush by the fall.
IT Buyers Gain PC Pricing Tool
Research firm iSuppli's tool provides cost estimates for PCs and the components inside, and forecasts pricing changes for up to two years.
McAfee Profits Fall, May Restate Past Results
A stock option probe combined with falling margins, as McAfee boosts investments to fend off Microsoft's push into the consumer security market, were all contributing to McAfee's woes during the quarter, one analyst says.
CA Names CFO, Remains Mum On Layoff Rumors
Nancy Cooper is CA's new executive VP and CFO. Cooper, the former CFO of pharmaceutical market intelligence firm IMS Health, arrives at a time when CA's financial condition is not in the best of health.
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4. Grab Bag:
House Passes Bill To Block Web Sites (BetaNews)
A near-unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives may soon make social networking sites and chat rooms inaccessible in public locations such as libraries and schools, however its broad wording may end up shuttering access to many sites that do not pose a threat to minors.
Pay Phones Suffer As Cell Phone Use Rises (Associated Press)
A stroll along Ninth Avenue in Manhattan reveals an ugly picture of the state of the pay phone these days. The phones are sticky, beat up and scarred, and some don't work at all. A child's change purse is stuffed on one phone ledge, along with a large wad of wrapping plastic. On a nearby ledge, an empty bottle of
tequila sits in front of a hole that once held a phone.
Microsoft Acquires More, But R&D Still The Focus
CFO Chris Liddell said Microsoft was in "high investment mode" and very acquisitive over the past year, spending $649 million to buy 23 companies. But its acquisition spending is still dwarfed by the billions it plows into research and development every year, and Liddell said it was unlikely that will change.
Ballmer: I Feel Like I Have A New Job
Bill Gates' gradual withdrawal from Microsoft was symbolized by his absence from this week's analyst meeting, the first time in Microsoft's history that he has skipped it.
ERP: The Enterprise Resource Pig
Enterprise resource planning software--despite its record of achievement in business process improvement--suffers from a lingering image problem, John Foley says. It's that ERP projects have a tendency to become resource hogs that waddle over budget and past deadline. New software in development by SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft promise to overcome the drawbacks of the past, but will ERP really get easier to deploy and manage? Or are ERP vendors merely putting lipstick on a pig?
7. White Papers
The Remote Access Imperative In Disaster Recovery
As organizations prepare a disaster-recovery plan, it's important to include remote access as a fundamental part of the disaster-recovery infrastructure. This document explores best practices for disaster recovery and the role of SSL VPNs in that process.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.