2017-05-18

AVG caused Windows failed to Start on Windows 7

Not an invention but quicky on what to do if AVG Free, get what you pay for, causes your system to be unable to reboot.

In my case I had the following:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
File: \windows\system32\drivers\avgVmm.sys
Status: 0xc0000098
Info: windows failed to load because a critical system driver is missing, or corrupt.

I found the file, so assuming the issue was corruption or something.
Anyway, the quick fix solution is to navigate to \windows\system32\drivers directory and delete all the avg*.sys files.

Then you should be able to reboot windows, uninstall AVG, and if you want your AVG Free back, reinstall it.

Here are some useful links.




Note:
You will probably need to boot from a cd or usb drive to get to a command prompt to delete the files. I used AVG Recover and went into the File Commander under utilities (or something like that, forgot the name).

2017-04-27

Healthcare as a Service with Medical Toursim Option Health Insurance Companies Reduce Medical Expenditures, Patients Save and Get Free Vacations

It has been much too long since I have posted one of my idea/inventions. I have had ideas, just not taken the time to document and post them. Like all good writers, the punchline/elevator pitch needs to happen right away which was done in the title and repeated here ... medical tourism option for insurance companies to reduce cost and save customers money while providing amazing vacations. I'll get back to the details after providing you some context.

Background

Last night I was at the 10th anniversary of TechStars Boulder and it gave me the push to write this idea I had several months ago. The past few years I have been busy in the Healthcare field in numerous and diverse ways. I was the solution architect, software engineer, and built/managed a team to create a medical patient referral management and tracking system at the TuttiSystems.com (TuttiCare.com) startup. I was briefly on the board of Colorado HealthOP, a non-profit health insurance company that was created as part of the ACA with Julia Hutchinson as the CEO. Julia is the COO of Apostrophe, a new health plan concept that presented last night. I worked on the math to help explain to the general public why Colorado's Amendment 69 aka Colorado Care was in the best interest of the state community and cheaper for 80% of the population. This work continues as Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care.

Health Insurance Adviser

One of my inventions I had to put into action myself and started working on the Health Insurance Adviser which is currently part of EcoLocate.Org. The Health Insurance Adviser helps people select the health insurance policy that is the best fit for their specific health and financial circumstance. This software will help resolve the confusion that most purchasers of health insurance experience and facilitate making educated and financially advantageous decisions. Most health insurance brokers are unable to understand the complexity and properly advise their clients resulting in thousands of dollars of waste per customer. Also, many insurance companies pay a percentage commission to the broker resulting in a conflict of interest to sell more expensive policies.

Game Changer and Apostrophe

The Health Insurance Adviser, helps within the current system but does not take the next step to help create a new system like the universal health care solution proposed by Colorado Care. I'm impressed with Apostrophe for taking the step to create a proof of concept of universal healthcare in the only way it is currently feasible ... self insured companies/municipalities/schools/etc. These organizations have a large enough long-term populations that they can address short-term preventative healthcare for the financial long-term benefit of their population. These organizations are also protected to some extent from leeches, those who sign up for a health insurance policy because they have major medical issues that have been building for years, in referring to people who don't believe they should pay for healthcare until they are sick and then want someone else to pick up the bill . If these organizations have social values focused on the betterment of their employees and society as a whole then they get that additional bonus. Apostrophe, in my opinion, takes the first step of changing the rules by removing the overhead of billing for the provider by having their customer, the employer, paying all the bills at the time of service. The result is a ~20% reduction in negotiated price of the service, according to the presentation last night, as a result of reduced billing overhead, write-offs for non-payment, and stress for small providers who now have a single payer for their invoices and don't need large financial reserves.  The patient also has a single payer, reimbursing their employer for their portion of the medical services received, reducing their stress and complexity of paperwork. Good for the patient, provider, and employer. My personal preference is still to get the employer out of the insurance business all together but for now this is a brilliant subversive step in the right direction.

Medical Tourism Creates Global Competition

Healthcare-as-a-Service (HaaS), Long-Term Price Decreases in the US

Now for the invention and another way of reducing healthcare costs in the United States, where we spend much more than other countries with no better and frequently worse outcomes (ex: United States Comes in Last Again on Health, Compared to Other Countries, Life Expectancy Years Less). Until we find ways of reducing healthcare costs in the US, why not take advantage of high quality less costly healthcare provided all around the globe in the form of medical tourism. Insurance companies can save money/increasing profits while simultaneously offering their customers lowering  premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, and offering larger networks.

The following are just a few example scenarios focusing on non-emergency care:

  1. You live in a small rural community in the US that does not have the specialist you need or the cost of bringing that specialist to your community is very high. The insurance company offers the option to pay the travel expenses, arrange the travel, and accommodations to go to a US city you have always wanted to visit to have your procedure at a higher quality with no cost difference to the patient. The result is a happy patient and the insurance company saves money.
  2. Need orthopedics (joint, spine, hip replacement, knee, etc), reproductive (fertility, IVF, etc), dentistry (restorative, general, etc); prices can be significantly cheaper in (France, England, Italy, Germany, Canada, etc) and at times 1/4 the price in (Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, etc).
  3. The patient can decide to visit one of these locations and receive great care while enjoying a vacation to a location they have always wanted to visit and might never visit otherwise. The insurance company might be legally allowed to lower the deductible for those selecting the travel option and reimburse the patient for additional time away from work. Patient could not be happier and the insurance company would save thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.
As borders between states and countries fade for medical care, increased competition will resulting in improved cost parity. Competition is important for products but the service industry is frequently localized resulting in large disparity in cost.

Healthcare in the United States has a long way to go and requires major reworking of the entire infrastructure. We need to get profit out of the medical system and consider it a necessity that needs to be available to all. This includes addressing the legal issues and costs caused by malpractice law suits. Large bureaucratic over head and in many cases overly lavish medical facilities competing for patients the same way universities have gone overboard focusing on creating spas instead of providing education. Those entering the medical profession (doctors, nurses, dentists, etc) need to have free education so they can make a comfortable living instead of spending the first few decades of their careers working merely to get out of debt and to pay malpractice insurance - resulting in the increased medical expenses patients in the US must absorb. In the mean time, we can create ways of addressing the issues today with solutions that can help us transition to a functional system.

2014-05-13

Henderson's ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart has Moved to Sage Hen Farm

To the Point:
Here is the new address for ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart. To bad the old name no longer has the fun that ICYouSee, assume it was a play on IC being Ithaca College.
http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

I was recently doing a search for my favorite Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart and using my usual key words "Ithaca Chicken Chart" and noticed all these blogs where turning up with the link to the old address for Henderson's Chicken Chart. Hoping you find my blog before going through all the other blogs with the links to error message 404 address unknown. This is a great chart that gives you information about 60 breeds of chickens including their origin (year, location, breeding to create), nickname (Ameraucana aka The chipmunky blue-egger), how rare the breed is, the variety of colors they come in, expected weight, class and type (ex: layer, fancy, meat bird, five toes, bearded, etc), color of skin, color of comb, color of ears, egg color, egg size, egg quantity, time to maturity, ability to withstand cold and foul (or fowl) weather, broodiness, and my favorite behavior characteristics of the breed. This chart has been great for deciding which type of chicken to try out for the backyard.

I'll be providing a video on my blog in coming days on how to sex your duck. Actually, asking the duck its sex and letting it tell you using its own voice aka voice sexing a duck. Other options include vent sexing within a few days of birth, looks easy but can take some practice. The result is you find males and the rest are either females or males you could not EXPOSE. I tried it and found a male and then could not make it happen again on the same duckling. You can also sex them based on the male having the drake feather, the feather that curls up in the air at the back of the duck. Or you can sex them later when they will mount every duck and often chicken they can get a hold of.

I should mention that Henderson provides great links for more information on each breed with the help of the following sites and many more links specific to each breed:

Barry Koffler's Feather Site with some great pictures
http://www.feathersite.com/

Poultry Pages
http://www.poultrypages.com/index.php

Live Stock Conservancy - more information on breeds.
http://www.livestockconservancy.org/

Go visit John and support the Henderson's/ Sagen Hen Farm at Ithaca farmers' market, if you are in town.
http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/sagehenfarm.html

ICYouSee does live on as John's .org and has the cool chicken drawings
http://www.icyousee.org/

Other of my Favorite Sites:
Great sites for your backyard chickens/ducks
http://www.backyardchickens.com/


Here is a screen shot, so get on over there and pick out your next chicken breed.


The old address which is no longer valid and will give you the 404 screen as seen below is:
http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

2014-02-13

Gmail - Have Sent mail showup in your Inbox

Do you use Gmail and want your sent mail to show up in your Inbox?


When you send an email it can be seen in the sent Label/Folder but is not in the Inbox. If you have the conversation thread feature turned on you will see your replies but otherwise you need to go to the sent messages or archive/All Mail. You might not like this and if you use Thunderbird/Outlook or some other external program on your computer or smart phone for reading mail via IMAP. When you reply to someone your answer is in your Sent Folder and not in the Inbox folder of the message you are replying to. You might want them together and usually delete many of the thread except for the last one in the conversation. Personally, I see no reason to keep forever a message saying, "sure meet you in an hour" and all those replies, junk that makes later searches for important emails that much harder. So, you want that message in your Inbox for quick delete. Yes, you can always go to your Sent mail Folder if you want to do it that way but you might not want to jump back and forth between Folders.

Like the feature of Labels instead of folders. Resulting in emails having the ability to have multiple Labels and thereby be visible in multiple Label searches (what you might think of as Folder views).

This is all great and you can create filters to have your mail automatically have added labels and even skip the Inbox. Great way to have all your mail from a certain person, specific subject line, automatically get a special label and even forwarded to others automatically. Unfortunately, there is no obvious add Inbox Label to mail I send.

Solution via Gmail Filters


Create a filter with the From having the two letters "me". This filter will catch all mail coming from you and then in the actions select "Never mark as spam".  This will cause your mail to no longer skip the Inbox and get that special label added. Result, all emails you send will now be visible in Sent and Inbox via GMail web interface and remote access via IMAP driven applications. There is not a solution to have labels added based on the label of the message you are replying to, for that see Thunderbird bonus below.

Solution via Thunderbird


A solution I have used for years is to configure Thunderbird to place a copy of sent messages in the Inbox. This works great with two drawbacks and one nice advantage. Drawback one is every email is sent to the IMAP server twice. Once to send the message and once to place the copy in the Inbox. This results in double bandwidth usage and can be slow when sending large attachments. Second drawback, it only works when sending via Thunderbird and when you use your smartphone or GMail web interface you won't get the message in the Inbox requiring another work around of including yourself to be placed in one of the To/CC/BCC fields. The nice bonus feature of using Thunderbird to copy your sent messages to your Inbox is you can specify in case of reply to put the message in the folder to which you are replying. This mostly works but note if the email a la GMail labels has multiple labels, aka is in more then one folder, Thunderbird will just label it with the folder from which you hit reply and not add all the labels. How to: Open your settings in Thunderbird, select "Copies & Folders", select "Place a copy in:" and select "Other:" put in your GMail Inbox. For the bonus select "Place replies in the folder of the message being replied to".

 

Solution via To/CC/BCC


Another solution is to include your email address in the To, CC, or BCC list of recipients. The message will then show up in your Inbox. This is the oldest solution and works with many mail providers but often results in you being told you have new mail and it might show up as unread vs. the other two solutions which have the message marked as read.

2014-01-09

Direct Marketing via External Devices

It's time has finally arrived. We have seen it in the movies for decades but now it is here. This year you will finally see large screens on highway billboards supplying custom advertising. The screen in the mall and in shop windows will do the same. As you are driving on the highway or walking by a store front, the GPS on your phone will announce your presence and the screen in the store window or billboard on the highway will provide a custom advertisement to you.

Based on your shopping habits and needs it will decide what you should see. Your phone bill is too high, it will suggest a price and switch to a new provider. Walk by the Gap and it will see you last bought pants 2 years ago so time to suggest a discount on pants. Already working is your phone will receive a message with a special offer.

Try to stay calm and not get paranoid about our Orwellian existence.

2013-09-29

Fountain Sink Design

The other day I had the thought ... wouldn't it be fun to have an elegant  sink that send the water up into the air several inches. That a water fountain. So here is the design. A sink with the faucet in the center sending the water up into your lovely hands or visage. The faucet is slightly elevated allowing the drain to be below it. You are welcome to decorate the sink with the latest goodies, like glass rocks or stone or something else if that is already passe.


Example of a elegantly simple sink:




Example of classic bidet aka fountain:
 


 Merge the two and you get a fun new idea in sink design: