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Comment Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 181

Under US federal law (Medicare/Medicaid), an individual hospital/doctor is required to bill patients the same amount for the same exact service, so you're also going to see them billing the most they're ever going to see out of any insurer at a minimum. This amount gets lowered significantly under what you referred to under the Contractual Obligation section you see on your insurance statement usually, unless you have some weird out of network rules. The Contractual Obligation is what the insurance company has bargained with the medical providers to pay for the service. Unfortunately this rule tends to hurt people without insurance, as they have to be billed the same amount initially as well too, although at least hospitals will often be willing to work with people and lower this amount afterward, as they'd rather get paid a lower amount than not at all.

Comment Re:There are Ads and then there are Fucking Ads. (Score 1) 519

I'm a few years removed from Usenet, but outside of a few moderated groups, the spam was out of control. If you think ads are bad now, the cost of ads/spam there was essentially 0, so people went all out. If people were going to make a move back there, it would take something a bit more robust than Google groups or some simple spam filters on your favorite Usenet client to make it usable on any scale, especially once advertisers realized there was a critical mass.

Comment Reddit (Score 1) 111

Several months ago after one of the Internet large password breaches the company offered several "forever" codes on Reddit as a gesture of goodwill. Amazingly enough those are now coming up as these suspicious licenses now. I suppose you can't complain about something you got for free, even if it wasn't pirated. I have another year of the license now before it expires instead of lifetime.

Comment Privacy from whom? (Score 1) 61

Notice what she says: "She went on to note that the DOJ dedicates significant time and resources to protecting the privacy of Americans from criminals who steal financial and credit card information, online predators that stalk and exploit children, and cyber thieves who steal the trade secrets of American organizations." The DOJ may very well still be spying on you. She even throws in the "for the children" card.

Comment Re:vyprvpn (Score 1) 164

I've had good luck with them, it uses Golden Frog. I'll admit I haven't come up against a situation where turning over logs or IP addresses to any outside party is an issue that I'm aware of. It is nice to be able to jump to location specific vpn's at will. Outside of the occasional out of region game, I'm more interested in stopping my ISP from seeing my traffic. I get this service "free" with my giganews account.

Comment Re:Can we get this judge... (Score 3, Informative) 415

I've found that insurance companies don't always want you to know either. My current explanations of benefits from my insurance company will not tell me what any of the procedures are, and I've found they won't tell me what they are when I call either. It is only by eventually matching it up with the itemized doctors' bills later, that I'm able to have any idea why a visit warranted 4 charges. I would not think this would be a good way to get people to report fraud.

Submission + - Adobe Warns of Flash, Reader, Acrobat 0day

An anonymous reader writes: Adobe Systems Inc. warned late Friday that malicious hackers are exploiting a previously unknown security hole present in current versions of its Adobe Reader, Acrobat and Flash Player software, writes Adobe said the vulnerability exists in Flash Player and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, and a component (authplay.dll) of Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9.x for Windows, Mac and UNIX operating systems. The Adobe advisory is light on details but suggests Flash users upgrade to new release candidate 10 and to disable or delete the vulnerable component in Reader and/or Acrobat.
The Internet

Submission + - VPN providers target censorship-shy Aussies (

asylumm writes: Australia's contentious Internet filter hasn't even been legislated yet, but that hasn't stopped enterprising VPN providers from marketing their services directly to Aussies.

Hot on the heels of revelations that there will be no legal repercussions for people that circumvent Stephen Conroy’s proposed Internet filter, it appears overseas virtual private network providers are wasting no time building a market for one-click filter circumvention.


Submission + - NSF Censors US Poll on Evolution, Big Bang (

eldavojohn writes: Just how likely is it that an American accepts the idea that humans evolved from earlier species or that the universe started with a big bang? How about that data compared with citizens of the rest of the world? The results were apparently best left out of a report on indicators of our understanding of science released by the National Science Foundation (overseen by the National Science Board). This omission in 2010's Science and Engineering Indicators, understandably, drew criticism from a number of scientists and even the White House but the figures were released: '45% of Americans in 2008 answered true to the statement, "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." The figure is similar to previous years and much lower than in Japan (78%), Europe (70%), China (69%), and South Korea (64%). The same gap exists for the response to a second statement, "The universe began with a big explosion," with which only 33% of Americans agreed.' Louis Lanzerotti, an astrophysicist at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and chair of the board who decided to omit these numbers, claimed that the questions (which have been in use for 25 years by the way) were "flawed indicators of scientific knowledge because responses conflated knowledge and beliefs." I guess our understanding of science can only be measured as long as it doesn't threaten a given religion or perhaps ignorance is a very painful thing to admit to. Let's hope that none of these questions revolve around math, a form of witchcraft that my god explicitly forbids.

"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater