NetlinesBMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7162.864 (Published 26 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:864
Coundown to Y2K
Given the gravity of the problem and the fast that there are less than 16 months to go before the millennium bug strikes, I have decided that each Netlines from now until early in the next millennium will feature related sites. For an apocalyptic view see http://www.garynorth.com, and for a more light hearted one see http://www.leonardsloan.com/about/y2k/index.htm.
Will the lights go out? Decide for yourself after visiting http://www.euy2k.com/newsroom.htm. If you want to stay informed consider a subscription to Y2K News Magazine (http://www.y2knews.com). For Oxfordshire Health Authoriyt's view of the problem and advice see http://www.oxonphd.demon.co.uk/, and for Scottish Health on the Web's view see http://pc47.cee.hw.ac.uk/y2k/.
If the Y2K problem isn't enough to worry about then consider the week 1056 rollover problem, which will affect the Global Positioning System (GPS) in August 1999: http://www.sustainableworld.com/y2kgps/gpsbug.html. As some computer systems use GPS to get an accurate time, it won't be just sailors who are affected.
Free short internet address
If you have a site with a long web address you might like to consider using the internet jump facility (http://fast.to). You can set up a free address of the sort http://fast.to/YourSite, which will automatically redirect the user to your chosen site. The only drawback is that you must place an advert for the service on your web page to use it.
Electrocardiograms and multiple choice questions
Dean Jenkins, a specialist registrar at Llandough Hospital, has put together a couple of useful medical websites: a library of 12 lead electrocardiograms on http://homepages.enterprise.net/djenkins/ecghome.html and a bank of multiple choice questions for MRCP on http://homepages.enterprise.net/djenkins/mcqs/. The questions have a neat feature that allows searching for online information by sending keywords from each question to a search engine.
Spam, cookies, privacy, email, and patients
For a useful “Privacy primer for the web,” see this online article by Robert Sikorski and Richard Peters in the JAMA website (http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/journals/archive/jama/vol_279/no_15/jn80001x.htm). For guidance on how to communicate with patients via email see “Guidelines for the clinical use of electronic mail with patients” from the American Medical Informatics Association (http://amia2.amia.org/positio2.htm(.
The Risk Files
The Risk Files (http://www.cybermedic.org/) is a free publication dedicated to informing healthcare professionals about the internet and related issues. It is compiled and issued monthly by Ahmad Risk and delivered by email.
The International League of Associations for Rheumatology, an umbrella organisation for rheumatology associations worldwide, now has a website (http://www.ilar.org/), packed full of information and links about the world of rheumatology.
Internet Resources for Medicine and Bioscience, 4th edition
Those helpful folk at OMNI (http://www.omni.ac.uk) have recently produced the fourth edition of this attractive and useful leaflet. It is available in Adobe Acrobat format from their website on http://www.omni.ac.uk/leaflet4.pdf.
Compiled by Mark Pallen