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Comment: Re:Android. The "PC" of mobile devices (Score 1) 92

If for example, Samsung and LG make decent Android devices and provide support for them, you could buy from them and get a decent consistant Android device and support.

If that were the case, you'd be safe. I don't know of a manufacturer that consistently provides bug-free devices and support for them for, say, 2 years back.

You are generally safe with Nexus devices, since you have the best chance of upgrading to the latest OS. This helps with vulnerabilities which won't be fixed in older versions of Android. But because Nexus devices shuffle between different manufacturers, you lack consistency from a hardware standpoint.

Comment: Re:Assumptions (Score 2) 78

by Alan Shutko (#49604899) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

I doubt it. I think it is far more likely that the pharmacy sells this information to insurance, pharmaceutical, and marketing companies. Big data is big business these days. So long patient confidentiality.

Definitely not. Pharmacies and PBMs are prohibited from selling patient health information. PBMs sell aggregated information to pharma companies, so they can understand the drug trends in an area. They sell doctor-identified data as well. This is a pretty good summary of the data that PBMs and pharmacies can and cannot sell

I suspect that this was information retrieved by the ePrescribe network. The NCPDP SCRIPT standard defines a transaction to retrieve a prescription history. The standard is not publicly available so we can't see what data elements are required to request a medication history, but I'm guessing that this is how PillPack retrieved the info.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score 1) 533

If they begin to become an existential threat to the US, we have a big nuclear arsenal to keep them off our shores.

But they aren't even close right now. The challenge is to defeat them without killing tons of people in "collateral damage" that ends up turning people into militants who weren't before.

Comment: Re:Notify CTO, CFO & CEO offices (Score 4, Informative) 230

In my Fortune 25 company, we have a department of people devoted to resolving issues of people who contact the CEO, President, or other members of senior staff. This method absolutely will light a fire under the IT staff to fix it. I don't know whether he reads every incoming letter or email, but I do know that each one is handled by the presidential escalation team, and tracked, and reported out regularly.

We also have a Chief Information Security Officer who will personally latch onto this like a bulldog and ensure that it's fixed. We had a breach a number of years ago and it's still used as a reminder that "That will NOT happen again."

Comment: Ivory tower academic (Score 1) 60

by Alan Shutko (#48952589) Attached to: Test Shows Big Data Text Analysis Inconsistent, Inaccurate

"Companies that make products must show that their products work," Amaral said in the Northwestern release. "They must be certified."

This researcher is completely out of touch with what's sold in the marketplace. No wonder he doesn't understand that flawed solutions can still be useful.

Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1, Insightful) 495

No telecoms have a government-mandated monopoly. The FCC preempted exclusive franchise agreements in 2007.

The only barriers now are that it is a huge initial capital expense and large incumbents who will try every dirty trick to block new entrants.

Comment: Re:What does it mean? (Score 3, Interesting) 160

by Alan Shutko (#48852507) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

Exclusive franchises for cable companies have been prohibited by the FCC..

The Communications Act authorizes local franchising authorities to grant one or more franchises within their jurisdiction. However, a local franchising authority may not grant an exclusive franchise, and may not unreasonably withhold its consent for new service.

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek