Saturday, May 9, 2009

Failure rates for new computers?

I was in one of the big box computer stores yesterday and a guy was buying a Mac mini. He asked what was the failure rate. The manager said we see about 34% return in the Mac. He then said this was better than the "average" of 38%. Huh? What a bizarre thing to say.

In Googling failure rates PC, 2006 data from Gartner pegs the annual failure rate at near 25% over two years. For Mac, there's little current data mostly forum entries and tales of woe.

Anyone experience a 1 in 3 failure rate with sets? You corporate IT types, what's been your experience.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sex and the cellphone

Fascinating above the fold story in Sunday NYT Styles section When the Cellphone Teaches Sex Education. The Birds and Bees Text line in North Carolina is an attempt to lessen the teen pregnancy rate. NC has an abstinence-only curriculum. Teenagers can text questions anonymously to the line about sex and "receive a cautious, nonjudgmental reply, texted directly to their cellphones, from a nameless, faceless adult at the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina."

Regardless of your philosophical or religious position, kids are going to be interested in sex, we're hardwired for it as in propagating our species. Adolescents need to be fully and capably informed. If parents are providing that information, great, but if it's from peers on the playground, watch out. I believe that the US relies too much on denial in addressing sex education (see above abstinence-only curriculum, see celebrated teen moms of 2008/2009).

I applaud programs like the NC and hope that politicians will listen to the public health experts and continue funding. Acknowledge that these programs raise issues regarding parental control. My preference is for informed adolescents.

The CDC is providing widgets for use in MySpace, Facebook and other websites as well as twitter feed: CDCemergency. My spouse is a CDC epidemiologist.