“IBM built a system that can’t read barcodes”

Dr. Robert Van Exan, former director of health and science policy at Canadian pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, said tracking with barcodes in Canada “should have been written in the pandemic plan.”There was a plan to make these barcodes central to Canada’s public-health system, and there was a time when Canada was ahead in digitizing its health system “by a decade,” Dr. Van Exan said. Canada’s 1998 vaccine strategy first proposed barcoding vaccines to promote efficiency and accuracy. The 2003 SARS epidemic, and the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada, hastened that work.In normal times, Canada administers millions of vaccines a year for diseases such as mumps and influenza. Provinces slowly adopted digitized immunization records in the early 2000s, but continued entering all the data manually: Audits of some provincial systems found fully 15 per cent of immunization records were incomplete, nearly a quarter had inaccurate information, and crucial data was missing from one in five adverse-reaction reports.In 2007, Ottawa tapped an advisory group made up of industry experts, including Dr. Van Exan, to plan the implementation of these barcodes. The total cost, the advisory group found, would have then been around $265-million, but they projected savings of $1-billion in the decades to come. They handed Ottawa a plan to start barcoding vaccines in warehouses, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies by 2014.This barcoding capability was an integral part of a broader digital infrastructure project known as the Vaccine Identification Database System (VIDS). Ottawa set up VIDS as a proof of concept for a single, national digitized public-health system to track infectious disease outbreaks and vaccination campaigns.Story continues below advertisementOttawa contracted IBM Canada to build a permanent vaccination version of VIDS, called Panorama. That’s where things “fell off the wagon,” Dr. Van Exan said. “IBM built a system that can’t read barcodes.”Beset by delays and cost increases, some provinces dropped the project. Even some provinces that stuck with Panorama have still not installed crucial components of the system. None of the provinces’ systems work with one another.“This is one of the big flaws in the whole damn system,” Dr. Van Exan said.

Source: Canada falls behind on barcode technology for COVID-19 vaccine tracking – The Globe and Mail

I’m getting a bit ticked at all these Covid patients…

A few people  dying and a lot more getting sick are spoiling things for the rest of us.
I think the various States of Emergency should do something positive and effectual instead of fining people for attending parties and not wearing masks.
Here’s my idea: enact legislation that gives the Government of Ontario the right to access and integrate data from patients’ smartphones with Covid patient data from OHIP and add in other location data from Presto, the Beer Store, LCBO, Ontario Lottery and Gaming, universities and school boards. Throw all the data in a big tub and turn on the Artificial Intelligence.  The output would be a demographic description of the people who are spoiling things.  Lock them down, tightly. Problem solved, more or less.

 

I think the trade-offs between privacy and health/safety are due for a re-balancing. I can’t help thinking that there’s a logical answer to the question, “Who are all these people?”.  An analogy: investigators of fatal traffic accidents will often report whether the injured parties were wearing seatbelts or whether excessive speed was involved or whether alcohol was a factor.  We should have Covid-19 investigators who report what contributing factors the patients have.  A possible downside: some symptomatic people would delay getting tested if a positive result would “out” them….a trade-off worth making, I think.

10 engines and 6 propellers

10 engines and 6 propeller sets, actually. Imagine working with the mad scientists who thought of that combination. Call me old-fashioned if you will, but Number of Propellers divided by Number of Engines should be a (positive) whole number.

from Saunders-Roe Princess – Wikipedia

The SR.45 Princess was a large flying boat, being the largest all-metal flying boat to have ever been constructed. The Princess featured a rounded, bulbous, “double-bubble” pressurized fuselage which contained two full passenger decks; these decks had sufficient room to accommodate up to 105 passengers in great comfort. The planing bottom of the hull had only a slight step in the keel to minimize drag in the air.[24] The Princess was powered by an arrangement of ten Bristol Proteus turboprop engines. These engines drove six sets of four-bladed propellers; of these, the inner four propellers were double, contra-rotating propellers which were driven by a twin version of the Proteus, named the Bristol Coupled Proteus, each engine drove one of the propellers. The two outer propellers were single and each powered by a single engine.[8]

Source: Saunders-Roe Princess – Wikipedia

TomTom GPS “Lifetime” Maps – Hah!

More bastards!  Several years ago, before Google Maps, I bought a TomTom GPS unit with “lifetime maps”, thinking that I would get free map updates for ever.  Or at the very least, for the life of the TomTom company.  Not so, I found out today.

From the TomTom websitetomtom.com/lifetime (which redirects to TomTom site in the UK)

What does “lifetime” mean?

Lifetime is the useful life of the device, which means the period of time that TomTom continues to support your device with software updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more.

TomTom has an offer for the dozens of models affected: 20% off two of their newer models, bringing the prices down to $250 – $350.  Double Hah!

Current tax policies discriminate against human workers in favour of robots

“…..This all stems from the fact that tax policies are designed to tax labour rather than capital.”

Bill Gates suggested taxing robots. That would encourage companies to shift their investment in automation to jurisdictions that don’t tax robots. This article provides more nuanced (if less far-reaching) proposals to tinker with the tax code.

My modest suggestion: enable companies to deduct 150% of their actual wage expense from their income for tax purposes. (Or 125% or 200%… t.b.d.). This would result in increased employment. The reduction in corporate tax receipts would be (mostly?) offset by increased individual tax payments and increased consumption tax payments

theconversation.com/why-we-should-start-taxing-the-robots-that-are-taking-human-jobs-91295

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger

This anthropologist (by training) Michael Shellengerger makes the point that nuclear power generators are less carbon-intensive to construct than are massive solar or wind farms. It takes consume less steel and concrete to build them.  His other big point is the environmental impact that massive wind and solar farms have: degradation of the landscape, birds killed in wind turbines, rare species threatened. Nukes have a much smaller geographic footprint (when they’re operating correctly, I guess he means.)

He claims that as solar and wind generation increase as a percentage of the total they will cause require an increasing amount electricity from natural gas generation in order to quickly ramp up when the sun and wind die down.  That explains to him why some fossil fuel companies are promoting wind and solar “solutions”.

He explains (too briefly) how the waste from the reactors is much lower in volume than the millions of solar panels that will have to be recycled.

The comments on YouTube are pretty negative – “nothing new here”, but it was news to me.

 

Student confident tiny home will keep mom warm even in winter | CBC News

​This is an interesting architectural exercise…but he wants his mom to live in it?  in winter?  in Edmonton?
The Comments that appear below the article are about 80/20 in favor of the guy’s creation and his motivation.   The nay-sayers figure his mom must have really ticked him off.  Only two of the Comments pointed out that this poop-box of a trailer might provide a big improvement on his mom’s current circumstances.
​https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/tiny-house-ottawa-carleton-university-hgtv-1.4922355

If you’ve walked through Carleton’s campus in Ottawa, you may have seen him: A young man working away on a wooden structure just outside the architecture building. He’s building a tiny house, but it isn’t for him — it’s for his mother to live in year-round in Edmonton.

Source: Student confident tiny home will keep mom warm even in winter | CBC News