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United States

Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million 586

cold fjord writes "The Washington Examiner reports, 'Oregon ... signed up just 44 people for insurance through November, despite spending more than $300 million on its state-based exchange. The state's exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The weak number of sign-ups undercuts two major defenses of Obamacare from its supporters. One defense was that state-based exchanges were performing a lot better than the federal healthcare.gov website servicing 36 states. But Oregon's website problems have forced the state to rely on paper applications to sign up participants. Another defense of the Obama administration has attributed the troubled rollout of Obamacare to the obstruction of Republican governors who wanted to see the law fail as well as a lack of funding. But Oregon is a Democratic state that embraced Obamacare early and enthusiastically.'"
United States

Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million — So Far 497

First time accepted submitter Saethan writes "Healthcare.gov, the site to be used by people in 36 states to get insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act, has apparently cost the U.S. Government $634 million. Not only is this more than Facebook spent during its first 6 years in operation, it is also over $500 million above what the original estimate was: $93.7 million. Why, in a country with some of the best web development companies in the world, has this website, which is poor quality at best, cost so much?" That $634 million figure comes from this U.S. government budget-tracking system. Given that this system is national rather than for a single city, maybe everyone should just be grateful the contract didn't go to TechnoDyne.
Editorial

Suspension of Disbelief 507

Frequent Slashdot Contributor Bennett Haselton writes in "A federal judge rules that a student can seek attorney's fees against a high school principal who suspended her for a Facebook page she made at home. Good news, but how could the school have thought they had the right to punish her for that in the first place? Posing the question not rhetorically but seriously. What is the source of society's attitudes toward the free-speech rights of 17-year-olds?"
Sci-Fi

Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing 1079

JoeGee writes "On December 8th, Canadian sci-fi author Peter Watts, author of the Rifters trilogy and Blindsight, was crossing the US/Canadian border at Port Huron, Michigan when he was involved in an altercation with US Border Patrol agents. According to Watts, he was beaten, left half-naked in a cold cell, and finally dumped on the Canadian side of the border with no coat. A legal consultant from the Electronic Frontier Foundation was successful in helping a civil rights lawyer in Michigan free Watts. Watts faces US charges of assaulting a federal officer. Based on the accounts, one can assume Watts did so by hitting the officer's hand with his face. If convicted, Watts faces two years in a US Federal prison."
IBM

IBM, Other Multinationals "Detaching" From the US 812

theodp writes "If you're brilliant, work really hard, and earn a world-class doctorate from a US university, IBM has a job for you at one of its US research sites — as a 'complementary worker' (as this 1996 piece defined the then-emerging term). But be prepared to ship out to India or China after you've soaked up knowledge for 13 months as a 'long-term supplemental worker.' Newsweek sketches some of the bigger picture, reporting that IBM, HP, Accenture, and others are finding it profitable to detach from the United States (even patenting the process). 'IBM is one of the multinationals that propelled America to the apex of its power, and it is now emblematic of the process of creative destruction pushing America to a new, less dominant, and less comfortable position.'"
Image

South Carolina Seeking To Outlaw Profanity Screenshot-sm 849

MBGMorden writes "It looks like in an act that defies common sense, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina State Senate that seeks to outlaw the use of profanity. According to the bill it would become a felony (punishable by a fine up to $5000 or up to 5 years in prison) to 'publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.' I'm not sure if 'in writing' could be applied to the internet, but in any event this is scary stuff."
The Courts

Palin E-mail Hacker Indicted 846

doomsdaywire writes "A University of Tennessee student who is the son of a Memphis legislator has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of hacking Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail. [...] If convicted, [David C.] Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set."
Biotech

Studies Confirm That Bad Boys Get More Girls 960

seattlle foodie sends along a New Scientist article outlining two recent studies that confirm what many have long suspected: bad boys get the most girls. "The finding may help explain why a nasty suite of antisocial personality traits known as the 'dark triad' persists in the human population, despite their potentially grave cultural costs. The traits are: the self-obsession of narcissism; the impulsive, thrill-seeking, and callous behavior of psychopaths; and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. At their extreme, these traits would be highly detrimental for life in traditional human societies. People with these personalities risk being shunned by others and shut out of relationships, leaving them without a mate, hungry and vulnerable to predators."
The Courts

Blogger Subpoenaed for Criticizing Trial Lawyers 500

Cutie Pi writes "Katherine Seidel, mother of an autistic child and an avid blogger has been subpoenaed for her "family's bank records, tax returns, autism-related medical and educational records, and every communication concerning all of the issues to which [she] has devoted [her] attention and energy in recent years." The lawyer in question is representing a mother who is suing Bayer for $20M with the claim that mercury in their vaccines caused her child's autism. In her blog Seidel has spoken out against lawyers trying to cash in on thimerosal lawsuits, noting that the thimerosal-autism link has been debunked in several studies. But Seidel herself has had no direct involvement in the lawsuit."
Television

Colbert Ballot Bid Shot Down 501

wizzard2k writes "Some of you may have seen Stephen Colbert's bid for the South Carolina Presidential Primary, however it seems his hopes to appear on the ballot as a candidate for the Democratic Party have been shot down. From the report: 'Stephen Colbert's bid to get on the ballot for the upcoming Democratic primary in his home state was shot down on Thursday (November 1) by the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Colbert's bid was voted down 13-3 ... Using criteria such as whether the candidate was recognized in the national news media as a legitimate candidate and whether they'd actively campaigned in the state, the committee put the kibosh on the Colbert bid.'"
Censorship

University of Florida Student Tasered At Political Rally 1819

An anonymous reader writes "During a political rally at the University of Florida, an annoying student was tasered while attempting to ask Senator Kerry (D-MA) some questions regarding the 2004 election. Police are looking into whether excessive force was used to prevent the student from going over his alloted question period." There are also several YouTube videos available of the incident.

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