‘The Babies and Doggies Book,’ a labor of love

BERKELEY —

By day, John Schindel is a graduate student affairs officer for UC Berkeley’s psychology department, but by night, he’s a popular children’s book author who has written 22 books for kids and toddlers. His newest title,The Babies and Doggies Book, features photos of the two groups of cuties in similar situations and expressing similar emotions. He created the book in collaboration with Molly Woodward, who lives in Berkeley.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Buy Rivals’ Drugs, Then Jack Up the Prices

By JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF and  ED SILVERMAN  WSJ
April 26, 2015 9:00 p.m. ET
 
On Feb. 10, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. bought the rights to a pair of life-saving heart drugs. The same day, their list prices rose by 525% and 212%.
 
Neither of the drugs, Nitropress or Isuprel, was improved as a result of costly investment in lab work and human testing, Valeant said. Nor was manufacture of the medicines shifted to an expensive new plant. The big change: the drugs’ ownership.
 
“Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize the value” of the products that Valeant sells, said Laurie Little, a company spokeswoman. “Sometimes pricing comes into it, sometimes volume comes into it.”
More pharmaceutical companies are buying drugs that they see as undervalued, then raising the prices. It is one of a number of industry tactics, along with companies regularly upping the prices of their own older medicines and launching new treatments at once unheard of sums, driving up the cost of drugs.  
 

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Hospital Discharges Rise at Lucrative Times

Long-term-hospital executives sometimes pursued that goal for financial reasons rather than medical ones, say doctors, nurses and former long-term-hospital employees interviewed by the Journal.
 
The Journal analysis of claims Medicare paid from 2008 through 2013 found long-term hospitals discharged 25% of patients during the three days after crossing thresholds for higher, lump-sum payments. That is five times as many patients as were released the three days before the thresholds.
 
 

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The Sun Sets on Radio Shack

Founded in 1921, Radio Shack and their catalogs were part of my formative years.    Allied Electronics / Radio Shack was one of the great catalogs of the 60s.  Page through the 1967 catalogue.  The company filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday and stores are liquidating inventory this weekend.  If you need some toggle switches, panel lamps in various colors or some 2N107 transistors they are 80% off today - but most people don't need those things.  At 50% off normal prices, most other items can still be found online for about the same price and from companies that will take returns.  In many ways Radio Shack was ahead of it's time and never managed to change with the times.    Photo - Radio Shack Store Duarte CA

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A Fix for Mac OSX Archiver Hanging Up -Update

A few years ago I experienced problems with Mac Archiver under Mountain Lion and posted a fix related to permissions.  Today Archiver again would not function and just hung when called.  The following fixed the problem and is much faster.  Start Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.  Sort the list alphabetically by process by clicking on the process name column heading.

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High Profile Cyber Attacks Open Door to More Surveillance

Recent cyber attacks against private companies such as Sony, Target and Home Depot have legislators proposing new cyber security legislation that would open the door to more government surveillance and less individual privacy while doing little to address cyber threats.  

Congress Should Say No to "Cybersecurity" Information Sharing Bills

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