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Comment: Re:As a Canadian now living in the US (Score 1) 328

by Shados (#49630611) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

I read somewhere that in the US, administration accounted for something silly like 40% of the expenses (Im making the number up from memory).

Mainly because its a constant fight between the hospitals and offices trying to milk the insurances for all they've got, and insurers trying to control costs without having to call bullshit on every single claim.

In a way, it works like the IRS.

Comment: As a Canadian now living in the US (Score 1) 328

by Shados (#49629669) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

That has been my issue with the US health care system.

Now, don't let anyone else fool you: the Canadian health care system sucks balls. And since not EVERYTHING is free, to get decent care (plus dentist!), you need private insurance. And on my pay checks, all that cost more out of my pocket than it does with half decent insurance in Boston. I'm fully aware its because my employer is paying more and shit, but that's a debate for another day.

Anyway, because of some ongoing health problems, I've been to the ER way more often than I'd like, and am constantly going to the clinic. The copays aren't bad, wait times are nearly inexistant, all is good.

The problem is, the paperwork. I get a stream of letters asking me to verify this or that, a single visit ends up in 8 distinct bills, all coming from different organizations and have to be paid separately. Half of them can't be paid online (even from hospitals like MGH. Wtf? _MGH_!!! Those that do end up needing to be paid on weird shady sites.

And then I'll get 3 bills, all 3 of different amounts, to be paid to 3 different offices, and they all say "office visit".

When I call, I'm told one is for the doctor, one is for the hospital facilities, and one is for the in-office labs (But I get ANOTHER bill for the labs).

In the end its pretty obvious whats happening. They're milking my insurance. Bill from 3 different entities for the same thing, and the insurance will pay all 3 for the same service. During that time, I'm caught in the cross fire paying the co-pay 3 times, and the bill is far too vague for me to do anything about it.

And what can I do? Refuse to pay it? They'll just send it to collection.

And thats when they get it right. The secretaries in charge of the paperwork are usually not the brightest bulbs... I have an out of state PPO insurance, and they always forget to enter the prefix part of my insurance (because its not necessary unless its out of state). Then bill me for not having insurance instead of calling to work it out.

Pain in the ass.

I don't mind the cost. At all. The paperwork though can go to hell.

Comment: Re:How many years has it been since anyone here (Score 1) 153

by Shados (#49584757) Attached to: Internet Explorer's Successor, Project Spartan, Is Called Microsoft Edge

IE at this point is arguably better than Firefox, the later having fallen from grace quite a bit.

Also, I know you said web devs don't count, but recently, IE11's devtools have been updated to be pretty good. They're not on par with Chrome's, but for some stuff (sourcemaps), they're better (and are leaps and bounds better than anything available on Firefox).

Comment: Re:Its about child support (Score 1) 374

by Shados (#49584467) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

Abortion laws in case of rapes are usually fine because the victim isn't a guy. And in most places, the state will prefer some family member taking the kid over adoption. So maybe an aunt on the side of the mother will take care of it during the 6-12 months the mother is in prison (because the rape was on a guy, so it will be considered a fairly minor offense).

Yes, the law is broken...almost everywhere.

Comment: Re:Its about child support (Score 1) 374

by Shados (#49581527) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

Gonna need a citation for that one. Obviously rape is illegal and should be prosecuted. I don't see how it relates to this kind of responsibility, since the actual problem (if it's true) is that the police failed to investigate and prosecute a rape. If they had, the father could have put the child up for adoption immediately and be absolved of the responsibility to pay maintenance.

You won't, because its so common you can look it up in 3 seconds with statutory rapes instead of "guy being drugged". The laws are very clear the responsability is to the child, not the mother, and thus the fact that the mother is a rapist is irrelevent. The rape victim has to pony up the cash.

Isn't that great?

Comment: Re:What about the man's perspective? (Score 1) 374

by Shados (#49581493) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

Something that makes things pretty shitty in this situation is that the guy basically had no chance:

If you read around, a lot of people pointed out no contractual agreement can legally be enforced over giving up rights and responsibilities to the child. It doesn't matter what was signed as far as custody or child support or whatever, give or take.

Now, when they were together, the girl had cancer, and wants to freeze her egg. No problem. But then they are told the eggs should be fertilized first. Now, you have a cancer patient in front of you begging you to help her keep her long dream of having a child.

If your answer is: "Sorry sweetie...but if shit was to hit the fan, no matter what we agree to now or sign, no matter how much you ask me to trust you today, if we don't work out, my life could be ruined because there's nothing we can do to force these eggs to be destroyed once we're no longer together".

Yeah, you'd be crucified on the spot by everyone who ever hears that story. So the guy more or less HAD to go through with it, or pay a very high moral/social cost.

And now that shit DID hit the fan, its basically: "Well, if you didn't want this to happen, you shouldn't have gone on with it!!!".

I personally just went and paid the social cost: When i got into a relationship, i made it very clear kids were not for me, period. Before we got married, I made it very clear yet again. Some people thought i was a horrible person for making these kind of "demands", but she was ok with it. 15 years later, she still is.

Thats not for everyone though.

Comment: Re:Personally, I don't think he was talking to Goo (Score 1) 349

by Shados (#49544419) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

My wife interviewed for Google around that time, and pretty much all of that happened. There was a local Google office, and we know who the interviewer was, and it was a Google engineer. And pretty much everything described happened. And it was VERY common at the time (the google docs link was given on the spot, though. No video conferencing).

Interviewer who barely spoke english on speaker phone who barely seemed interested. Check!

Comment: Re:That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 1) 349

by Shados (#49544369) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

"Brushing up" is not a solution as it takes precious family time away and perpetuates the fact that IT HR keeps relying on standardized interview loops to select established and employed senior industry hires. Why can't companies offer an easy to terminate 1 months trial period contract on a well matched technical background? A match can be easily established through documentation, interviews and presentations by the candidate - and after the trial period is over the hiring team can make a decision based on a minimum of 160h of actual work done by the candidate.

I brought that up at my current employer, because we're trying to hire a lot, and no interview process will be perfect. Make it too hard, you have too many false negative (and the smarter people even just walk straight out). Make it easier so you don't miss out on geniuses who are just bad at interviewing, and you suddenly find yourself with a ton of shitty people.

So yes, the solution is to hire fast, and to lay off faster (after a trial period). Netflix supposingly does this.

The problem: First, the trial needs to be longer. In the first month, a lot of issues will simply be attributed to ramping up. Depending on the problem space, you may need 3 months, or more (I worked somewhere once where the problem space was so large and the ramp up so long, you really wouldn't know until 6+ months in. Thats rare though).

Second, most people thought it was "immoral" to hire someone and then lay them off. "People have bills!". "The interview process should just be better!". "Don't make people pay for your mistakes! If you hired them, you keep them!".

So instead, all of the people who are begging to be given a chance, are just left in the cold.

Comment: Re:That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 1) 349

by Shados (#49544349) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

The average is still in the 20s. If most of your team was in the 40s+, it is a fluke.

Google's interview process is also incredibly inconsistent. So of course, some people will have a better experience than the majority. You can brush up all you want, but there's countless algorithms, and it just takes ones.

And I'm just talking about the on-sites... the phone screens (if you're not skipping it via references)?. God forbid you're a little slow typing out a A* in fucking google doc (use coderpad or something, please?)

Comment: That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 5, Insightful) 349

by Shados (#49541721) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Google is a discrimination factory, but in this case, there's a deeper problem, and its, what I'll call, the "MIT culture".

You have a bunch of people who busted their ass off to go through MIT/CMU/CalTech/Whatever, to learn all those algorithms, the computer science core, etc, and are thrown in the real world where, while VERY useful, are only a small subsets of things that matter.

Then you ask these people, who spent 4 (or 6, or more) years being drilled that the only shit that matters was what they learnt in school, and worked REALLY hard to absorb that, to interview.

What do you think will happen?

You end up with an interview process that, regardless of the actual work, the further away from school you are (ie: the older you are), the less likely you are to pass the interview, give or take people who worked as data or algorithm scientists in the recent past.

Net result: you have a very high percentage of college hire, and your lateral hires will always lean toward the younger side. Any skill that come with experience is almost never tested in interviews to counterbalance it.

Comment: Re:Is it the Apps? (Score 0) 138

The marketing was good. The device sucked, and beyond the touch screen and including an actually adequate browser, was barely an incremental improvement over what was out there. Yeah, Pocket PC and Windows Mobile sucked, but the iPhone only sucked marginally less (and they had apps, the iPhone didn't).

The only thing Apple did aside the incremental technical improvement, was strike a deal for unlimited internet with a major carrier (which didn't last, btw), which got attention. More importantly, they managed to make it cool and hip, instead of being a geek toy. With those 2 things, Apple could have pushed out a white Pocket PC/Windows Mobile phone exactly like the ones that existed at the time, and ended with very similar results.

Comment: What happens... (Score 1) 599

When they ace it, end up in one of the ultra competitive CS schools (or work environment) and haven't been exposed to whatever it is that causes female students to not do well right now, all in one shot? It would even out eventually, but the first few batches will be in for a rude awakening.

Chairman of the Bored.