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Comment: Re:Yahoo spam filter works well (Score 1) 265 265

by Tony Isaac (#49967465) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Effective Is Your ISP's Spam Filter?

I have a very old Yahoo email address, it's my name @ yahoo.com. I've never used it for actual email, I only got it because I used another Yahoo service, and it came with the package. So I've never received a "legitimate" email at that address, but I've received many thousands of spam messages. I started getting spam in my Yahoo inbox within seconds of creating it. I can only wonder if you've ever tried GMail...if you had, I don't think you'd be saying that Yahoo has a good spam filter!

Comment: Insurance isn't going anywhere (Score 1) 389 389

by Tony Isaac (#49868849) Attached to: Self-Driving Cars To Transform Insurance and Other Industries

Self-driving cars might lower accident rates, but they won't do away with them completely. Equipment, especially complex equipment, does malfunction, and there are limits to what equipment can do. There will still be unexpected icy spots that the computer can't compensate for, and blowouts, and road debris, and so on.

And then there are the drivers of the OTHER cards on the road. Even if self-driving cars became a reality in 5 years, it will take years, maybe decades, for the cars to become economically priced. And then there are all the existing cars on the road. The average car on US roads is 10 years old, so we have to add at least another 15-20 years before the number of human-driven cars drops to negligible numbers.

Self-driving cars will do nothing to change the need for comprehensive coverage, such as hail damage, or theft.

Insurance coverage and pricing will change, but it won't be going away.

Comment: Meanwhile, HIPAA fines will skyrocket (Score 5, Informative) 42 42

HIPAA imposes fines for each patient's record lost through security breaches, even if the medical provider "did not know (and by exercising reasonable diligence would not have known)" https://kb.iu.edu/d/ayzf that there was a breach. These kinds of punitive rules have scared the entire industry to death, and yet the open secret is that nobody is safe from breaches, or these fines. This story illustrates how the law has done little, if anything, to actually protect privacy.

Most providers react to HIPAA in one of two ways:
1) They over-react, creating stupid policies like refusing to tell even a patient's own spouse the details of a patient's medical condition, unless the proper paperwork has been filed, or
2) They under-react, blissfully ignoring any privacy concerns.

If we're going to try to regulate privacy in the medical industry, how about let's focus on the device and software makers with certification programs, and let hospitals and physicians get back to doing what they do best: treating illnesses.

Comment: Re:Yep. I'd pay money. (Score 1) 236 236

The problem with this idea is, they would take your money and and give you privacy...for a while. But eventually, the lure of big bucks would make them cave, and they would sell your data anyway. All this would be allowed by unannounced changes to the TOS document, which would be hidden away on the site somewhere.

Comment: Back to the future (Score 1) 597 597

by Tony Isaac (#49796151) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

In the 1940's, my grandfather ran his rural house and dairy farm on 12 volts DC, because utility power hadn't yet reached his location. Now we have utility power everywhere, but we don't like it any more, so we're going back to batteries. Funny how things go in cycles.

Comment: Interest rates (Score 2) 109 109

by Tony Isaac (#49769559) Attached to: Tech Bubble? What Tech Bubble?

Interest rates have been so low that nobody wants to invest in bonds or other interest-bearing funds. Where else are people with money going to invest? Once interest rates start coming up, the picture is going to change dramatically.

It doesn't seem as bad as it was in the late 90's, when investors were throwing money at anyone who could do something "on a computer." At least this time around, most of the companies with high valuations actually do something valuable, even if they don't yet know how to make money. Still, there are a lot of crazy stock prices out there.

Comment: Waterfall in agile clothing (Score 1) 507 507

by Tony Isaac (#49695689) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

In my first encounter with Agile back in 2001, our management decided to follow Scrum.

We did the daily meetings, of course. Then we divided our project into sprints:

Sprint 1: Design
Sprint 2: Coding
Sprint 3: Debug
Sprint 4: QA
Sprint 5: Release

Needless to say, it didn't work out too well. Since then, I've seen agile done a lot of ways, some worked, some did not. Frankly, most waterfall proponents simply don't get Agile. Managers who DO get agile are able to deliver far better quality, in far less time, than any waterfall model.

Comment: Tablet sales aren't doing so hot either (Score 1) 276 276

by Tony Isaac (#49670689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Tablet sales have slumped this year. Why? I'd guess that it's because everybody who wants one, already has one...and new versions of tablets aren't that much different from the previous versions.

Desktop sales are down too, but that's in large part because they last longer these days. We used to replace them every three years, now a computer can last 5-7 years or more. The desktop certainly isn't dead!

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