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+ - Insurer denies healthcare breach claim citing lack of minimum required practices->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes: In what may become a trend, an insurance company is denying a claim from a California healthcare provider following the leak of data on more than 32,000 patients. The insurer, Columbia Casualty, charges that Cottage Health System did an inadequate job of protecting patient data.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California, Columbia alleges that the breach occurred because Cottage and a third party vendor, INSYNC Computer Solution, Inc. failed to follow “minimum required practices,” as spelled out in the policy. Among other things, Cottage “stored medical records on a system that was fully accessible to the internet but failed to install encryption or take other security measures to protect patient information from becoming available to anyone who ‘surfed’ the Internet,” the complaint alleges.

Disputes like this may become more common, as insurers anxious to get into a cyber insurance market that's growing by about 40% annually use liberally written exclusions to hedge against 'known unknowns' like lax IT practices, pre-existing conditions (like compromises) and so on. (http://www.itworld.com/article/2839393/cyber-insurance-only-fools-rush-in.html)

Link to Original Source

+ - How to know if Iran breaks its word: Financial monitoring->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick writes: This is a fascinating read from Aaron Arnold of the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard's Kennedy School. Arnold points out that the Iran Nuclear Framework Agreement specifies not only that international inspectors will have access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but will also gain access to Iran’s nuclear supply chain, in order to verify that components and materials are not diverted to a covert facility. 'To insure additional transparency, the preliminary framework calls for a dedicated procurement channel to approve the supply, sale, and transfer of certain nuclear-related and dual-use parts, technologies, and materials on a case-by-case basis.' Arnold points out that this is a tricky area, because Iran has shown extraordinary skill at getting around financial sanctions, and it's unclear what international body will monitor Iran's financial transactions. The article then details steps that could be taken to ensure that Iran's financial transactions are transparent and cannot be used to obtain dual-use materials, including the requirement that Iran join the international Financial Action Task Force. Great read..
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+ - The Scientific Method and the Art of Troubleshooting

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Karl Popper came up with the idea in the 1930's that scientists should attempt to falsify their hypotheses rather than to verify them. The basic reasoning is that while you cannot prove a hypothesis to be true by finding a number of different confirming instances (though confirming instances do make you more confident in the truth), you can prove a hypothesis to be false by finding one valid counter-example. Now Orin Thomas writes at WindowsITPro that you’ve probably diagnosed hundreds, if not thousands, of technical problems in your career and Popper's insights can serve as a valuable guide to avoid a couple of hours chasing solutions that turn out to be an incorrect answer. According to Thomas when troubleshooting a technical problem many of us “race ahead” and use our intuition to reach a hypothesis as to a possible cause before we’ve had time to assess the available body of evidence. "When we use our intuition to solve a problem, we look for things that confirm the conclusion. If we find something that confirms that conclusion, we become even more certain of that conclusion. Most people also unconsciously ignore obvious data that would disprove their incorrect hypothesis because the first reaction to a conclusion reached at through intuition is to try and confirm it rather than refute it."

Thomas says that the idea behind using a falsificationist method is to treat your initial conclusions about a complex troubleshooting problem as untrustworthy and rather than look for something to confirm what you think might have happened, try to figure out what evidence would disprove that conclusion. "Trying to disprove your conclusions may not give you the correct answer right away, but at least you won’t spend a couple of hours chasing what turns out to be an incorrect answer."

+ - Amazon Germany pays 0.1% tax rate in 2014, funnels sales through low-tax haven->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: E-retail giant Amazon.com’s German branch paid just 11.9 million euros (approx. $16 million) in tax last year, equivalent to a 0.1% tax rate considering the company reported $11.9 billion in gross sales in Germany in 2014. German corporate income tax stood at 29.58% last year which would mean Amazon Germany would have been expected to pay $3.5 billion in tax in 2014. Amazon.de is the group’s largest and most successful market outside of the U.S., according to its annual sales records. However following investigation it has been revealed that almost all of the company’s German sales and profits were reported from businesses in Luxembourg, a low-tax haven. Amazon said last week that it had implemented a number of changes across Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy from May 1st, in order to ensure that future sales would be managed in the countries themselves.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Missing the key point (Score 1) 405

by smaddox (#49770411) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

And what makes you think that squishing two AI brains would give you twice the intelligence? About the only thing we can reasonably say about a working implementation of general AI is that it must be closer to an animal brain than a silicon processor. Look at sperm whales. Their brains are 5x more massive brains than humans, and yet no one would say they are 5x more intelligent.

Comment: Re:It's fraud and/or Ponzi all the way down (Score 1) 727

by smaddox (#49770007) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

You cannot borrow money into existence AT ZERO COST and loan it out WITH COMPOUNDING INTEREST into perpetuity without eventually having to deal with the reality that trees don't grow to the sky.

You're missing the forest for the trees. Even without a central bank this would still happen with regular banks. Even with a commodity-backed currency this would still happen with regular banks.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the creation of capital through lending. The problem is that too much leverage results in speculation and Ponzi schemes. The dose makes the poison.

Comment: Re:Great Recession part II? (Score 1) 727

by smaddox (#49769715) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

I'm not so sure it's different. There are still far too many companies, with advertising as their only source of income, valued at billions of dollars.

You can't buy shares of Dropbox because it has not gone public yet. It will. Almost all of these highly-valued internet companies go public, because they were funded by VC's who expect a large, quick payoff.

Comment: Re: Great Recession part II? (Score 1) 727

by smaddox (#49769653) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Without the Fed holding down the interest rates by inflating the currency, rising rates would have limited the pyramiding of debt on debt.

Not when house buyers were being told they could sell their house next year to pay off their zero-down 110% mortgage at a profit. The Fed is not to blame for the predatory lending practices of the giant corporate banks.

The slow and steady rise in Fed-held US treasury securities prior to the crisis was a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of mortgage-backed securities they had to take on to stabilize the housing market.

Factorials were someone's attempt to make math LOOK exciting.