Bill's Blog

Thursday, June 23, 2005

AT&T's Security News Network

In a story on Infoworld, AT&T announced that they are developing a CNN-style security channel that will begin broadcasting via the internet sometime next year.

The article isn't big on details, but the service is still in development, so I'm sure nothing is locked in stone. Some things I'd like to see out of this (or any other similar broadcast):

  • Available free to all - it looks like this will be available only to AT&T customers. If AT&T is really worried about protecting it's customers, they should be getting the info out to everyone as soon as possible.
  • Unbiased - the channel will "feature interviews with AT&T security professionals, as well as experts from a variety of different organizations like network hardware vendors and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)". My question is, what if a competing security firm or ISP discovers something. Can we rely on AT&T to report it fairly and openly?
  • Limited Ads - I hope they don't mess the whole service up by burdening it with an overwhelming proportion of ads. Will they go to "commercial" every 5 minutes? Every 15? How much news will we actually get in say an hours worth of programming?
Here's hoping that AT&T gets it right and puts together a talented team to pull it off. If not, it looks to be a good step in the right direction. Even if they screw-the-pooch, maybe it will plant the seed for someone else to do the job.

Digital Imaging in Medicine

I had an MRI done on my back the other day and had a few observations.

(Before I go on further, I should say that my only other MRI experience was 8 years ago and in a German hospital, so I don't know how accurately I can compare the two experiences)

To start off, this wasn't your daddy's MRI machine. Gone are the days of laying on a slab and being buried in the wall. This machine still came with the slab to lay on, but it was located in the center of the room and was open all around. Other than the overhead component that is still 3 inches from your nose, even the most claustrophobic should be able to handle this.

Also improved was the noise level. Instead of head phones trying miserably to drown out the sound, there were speakers positioned around the room. U2 did an admirable job overcoming the humming and ticking the MRI created as it did its thing. Next time though, I think I'll take a CD of my choice.

The thing that surprised me the most was what I left the office with. Last time, I had to wait in the waiting room for maybe 45 minutes for the films to be ready. Now, I left almost as soon as I finished paying my co-pay with films and a burned disc for my records. Talk about fast.

I didn't check out the disc until last night (and I don't go to the back specialist for another month), but the disc amazed me. I expected to find just the images of my scan on there. What it actually contained was a customized program that displays the images in a useful way for doctors - I am guessing. I tried to bypass the program and just check out the images, but even though the disc said I could use any image viewer to open them, they wouldn't budge. I expected jpg or tiff images, but instead I found some proprietary file sans extension. I didn't play with it too long, but I am hoping there is a way to convert them to something more useful...then I could upload my back images all over the web. LOL!

Running Silent...

Well, I went silent there for a while. Things got a bit busy. All three kids were sick (with two separate infections) and the fit hit the shan at work on some projects. So there wasn't much free time for posting or nuthin'. Also, been busy around the house with projects which are starting to wrap themselves up. The ones I can do that is - gotta get some money together to cover some of the more difficult and involved projects that will require outside help.

Father's Day came and went and we had a good time BBQing and the lot. I got some new shirts from the kids (I guess they learned that from me - just about every year I give my dad a shirt for his b-day/fathers day. This year it was a Home Depot gift card though).

Here's actually a funny story about fathers day. During the week, I go home most days for lunch. Last Thursday (right before fathers day), I went home as usual. As I pull into the driveway, my oldest son comes running over. "Daddy, Daddy! Guess I what I got for you". Completely forgetting that fathers day is coming soon and seeing the dandelions he is holding in his hand, I assume he's got some of his favorite flowers picked just for me. So I ask him what he has for me. "I got you a blue shirt!" and with that he turns and runs back into the yard. Sure enough, come Sunday morning, I have a blue shirt - It's a good thing my wife and I don't trust him with any secrets...