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Programming

Ask Slashdot: Best API Management System? 50 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the notepad-and-lots-of-coffee dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I've landed a summer internship with a software firm that has a library of APIs available to current and potential customers. One of my team's tasks is to make recommendations on how to improve the developer portal, which not only provides a testing sandbox and documentation, but is also a source of sales leads for the company's business units. Mashery was the original choice for this task, but there are some limitations: some types of customers don't need to see all of the API in the library, and different business units have different goals for this developer platform when it comes to sales and marketing. What solutions work best to provide scaleable, customizable access?

Comment: Do one thing and do it well (Score 1) 72 72

by omems (#49885999) Attached to: Spotify Raises $526 Million As Apple Charges Into Streaming
They could use some help on metrics. I use the free (ad-supported) version, and despite a pretty clear avoidance of Pop/Hip-hop or Rap, almost all of the external ads (ie not for upgrading to "premium") are for artists solidly in those genres. It wouldn't take a genius piece of software to make some attempt at focusing the ads. Likewise, use my "skip" history in the rare cases that I do try one of their premade (sorry, "curated") playlists--pretty much entirely those genres.

Likewise, stop fucking up the interface!! (play queue, 3rd party integration, etc)

Having seen the terms in Sony's contract, I don't envy their position--they'll likely burn through that cash pretty quick. But due to their poor software implementation, it's hard for me to feel bad for them.

+ - Internet Explorer 11 gains HTTP Strict Transport Security in Windows 7 and 8.1->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: As the launch of Windows 10 draws ever-nearer, we're hearing more about Microsoft Edge and less about Internet Explorer. Edge (formerly known as Project Spartan) may be the default browser in the upcoming version of Windows, but the browsing stalwart that is IE will live on nonetheless.

Anyone using the Windows 10 preview has had a chance to use the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) in Microsoft Edge, and today the security feature comes to Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. This security protocol protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and is being delivered to users of older version of Windows through an update in the form of KB 3058515.

Link to Original Source
Medicine

The Medical Bill Mystery 532 532

Posted by Soulskill
from the $70-convenience-charge-to-process-the-convenience-charge dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in the NY Times that she has spent the past six months trying to figure out a medical bill for $225 that includes "Test codes: 105, 127, 164, to name a few. CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798 and others" and she really doesn't want to pay it until she understands what it's for. "At first, I left messages on the lab's billing office voice mail asking for an explanation. A few months ago, when someone finally called back, she said she could not tell me what the codes were for because that would violate patient privacy. After I pointed out that I was the patient in question, she said, politely: 'I'm sorry, this is what I'm told, and I don't want to lose my job.'" Bills variously use CPT, HCPCS or ICD-9 codes. Some have abbreviations and scientific terms that you need a medical dictionary or a graduate degree to comprehend. Some have no information at all. A Seattle resident received a $45,000 hospital bill with the explanation "miscellaneous."

So what's the problem? "Medical bills and explanation of benefits are undecipherable and incomprehensible even for experts to understand, and the law is very forgiving about that," says Mark Hall. "We've not seen a lot of pressure to standardize medical billing, but there's certainly a need." Hospitals and medical clinics say that detailed bills are simply too complicated for patients and that they provide the information required by insurers. But with rising copays and deductibles, patients are shouldering an increasing burden. One recent study found that up to 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors. An audit by Equifax found that hospital bills totaling more than $10,000 contained an average error of $1,300. "There are no industry standards with regards to what information a patient should receive regarding their bill," says Cyndee Weston, executive director of the American Medical Billing Association. "The software industry has pretty much decided what information patients should receive, and to my knowledge, they have not had any stakeholder input. That would certainly be a worthwhile project for our industry."

+ - Ask Slashdot: How to close a email account when you are not the owner? 1 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I provide a local small business with a website and general IT consulting as an independent contractor. Before I got on the scene, the conditions were pretty scary. A self hosted website that was glaring with security issues, a massively shared single email address, and basically no clue on where to go.

Anyway, I got them setup with a nice site and Google Apps for business. It took them a bit of time to get use to the Gmail, but they have come around and I think they have seen the light. The old account is a free AOL account which has been around for years. They know the password, but they do not know who set it up nor do they know the security word/phrase. You cannot do anything to the account without that phrase. They want to close the account, because people still have access to it, but when I called AOL to shut it down, they wouldn't talk to me as I was not the account holder nor did I know the pass phrase. I mean, honestly, the system is working as designed, because in the past there have been numerous instances where someone used a bit of social engineering to gain access to an email account and from there, wreck havoc, so I get the apprehensiveness of AOL to deal with me.

Does anyone have any advice? Hell, I would even be willing to throw up on the index page for this business a message saying that we own it and want to close this free mail account, but the tier 1 help desk person over in India is not going to have any idea what I am talking about.

+ - Smart headlights adjust to aid drivers in difficult conditions-> 1 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute are developing smart headlights that not only trace a car’s movement around bends, but are programmable to assist a driver in a wide range of driving conditions. The research team, at the institute’s Illumination and Imaging Laboratory, is looking into designing headlights which do not highlight raindrops and snowflakes in bad weather, instead passing light around the individual drops and improving visibility. Its near-future design would also be able to avoid glare even when the high beam is in use, detecting up-coming vehicles and disabling the range of light that is directed at it. They also hope to incorporate GPS data to adjust the direction of the headlights according to the lane that a driver is occupying, illuminating it more brightly compared to surrounding lanes. The technology is supported by a looped system which will constantly read, assess and react to driving conditions. The prototype also features a built-in camera to capture visual data before transferring it to a computer processor installed in the vehicle, where it can be analysed.
Link to Original Source

+ - One-Way Streets Have Higher Accidents Rates, Higher Crime, Lower Property Values

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Emily Badger writes in the Washington Post that a study shows that one-way streets are bad for everyone but speeding cars with an analysis done on the entire city of Louisville, comparing Census tracts with multi-lane one-way streets to those without them. The basic pattern holds city-wide: They found that the risk of a crash is twice as high for people riding through neighborhoods with one-way streets. What is more interesting though is that crime is higher and property values are lower in census tracts with one way streets..

First, they took advantage of a kind of natural experiment: In 2011, Louisville converted two one-way streets near downtown, each a little more than a mile long, back to two-way traffic. In data that they gathered over the following three years, Gilderbloom and William Riggs found that traffic collisions dropped steeply — by 36 percent on one street and 60 percent on the other — after the conversion, even as the number of cars traveling these roads increased. Crime dropped too, by about a quarter, as crime in the rest of the city was rising. Property values rose, as did business revenue and pedestrian traffic, relative to before the change and to a pair of nearby comparison streets. The city, as a result, now stands to collect higher property tax revenues along these streets, and to spend less sending first-responders to accidents there.

Some of the findings are obvious: Traffic tends to move faster on a wide one-way road than on a comparable two-way city street, and slower traffic means fewer accidents. What's more interesting is that crime flourishes on neglected high-speed, one-way, getaway roads and that two-way streets may be less conducive to certain crimes because they bring slower traffic and, as a result, more cyclists and pedestrians, that also creates more "eyes on the street" — which, again, deters crime. "What we’re doing when we put one-way streets there is we’re over-engineering automobility," says William Riggs, "at the expense of people who want a more livable environment."

+ - UK police says tech companies are too 'friendly' to terrorists->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: UK tech and communications firms are providing loopholes for cyber extremists to remain undetected by creating systems that are ‘terrorist-friendly’, says lead counter-terrorism officer Mark Rowley. The anti-terrorism expert today urged businesses, mentioning no names, to bear in mind their “corporate social responsibility” when developing privacy systems which often make it difficult for intelligence groups to access data needed to support criminal investigations. In the wake of the Snowden revelations, top officers frequently argue that authorities’ ability to track militant activity online has been seriously hampered. Snowden exposed that government spies had been tapping data held by tech giants, including Microsoft, Google and Yahoo – a disclosure which provoked many firms to invest in new encryption services and privacy solutions in an effort to block federal espionage.
Link to Original Source

+ - Something Smells: Cities Use High Tech to Investigate Intrusive Odors 1 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Kate Murphy reports at the NYT that local governments are beginning to regulate intrusive and unpleasant smells using high tech devices. If you time-traveled back 200 years or so, you’d likely scrunch up your nose because our forebears threw sewage out their windows, and the primary mode of transport — horses — relieved themselves in the streets. These days 'we have so reduced the level of background odor pollution, we are becoming more sensitive to anything we smell,” says Pamela Dalton, an olfactory researcher at Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit group in Philadelphia that studies smell and taste. In the past offenders were typically livestock operations and wastewater treatment plants, but more recently odor inspectors are getting calls about smells emanating from ethnic restaurants, coffee roasters and candle and bath shops. In an effort to be objective, a growing number of locales have begun using a device called a Nasal Ranger, which looks like a megaphone for the nose and measures the intensity of smells according to a so-called dilution ratio (PDF). An odor is considered intrusive if the average person can smell it when it is diluted with seven parts clean air — a decades-old threshold of stinky.

New York City received more than 10,000 odor complaints last year, many from residents upset about cooking smells wafting into their apartments from restaurants and coffeehouses — smells that might be pleasing when patronizing those same establishments. “A lot of it has to do with tolerance level in neighborhoods that are getting gentrified,” says Ben Siller. “People at lower socioeconomic levels may tolerate something much better than someone who moves into the same area and buys a house, sinks a fortune into remodeling and then goes out in the backyard and smells a pot grower, charbroiler, pet food manufacturer or something stinky like that.”

+ - The Courage of Bystanders Who Press 'Record'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic that in the past year, after the killings of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, many police departments and police reformists have agreed on the necessity of police-worn body cameras. But the most powerful cameras aren’t those on officer’s bodies but those wielded by bystanders. We don’t yet know who shot videos of officer officer, Michael T. Slager, shooting Walter Scott eight times as he runs away but "unknown cameramen and women lived out high democratic ideals: They watched a cop kill someone, shoot recklessly at someone running away, and they kept the camera trained on the cop," writes Robinson. "They were there, on an ordinary, hazy Saturday morning, and they chose to be courageous. They bore witness, at unknown risk to themselves."

“We have been talking about police brutality for years. And now, because of videos, we are seeing just how systemic and widespread it is,” tweeted Deray McKesson, an activist in Ferguson, after the videos emerged Tuesday night. “The videos over the past seven months have empowered us to ask deeper questions, to push more forcefully in confronting the system.” The process of ascertaining the truth of the world has to start somewhere. A video is one more assertion made about what is real concludes Robinson. "Today, through some unknown hero’s stubborn internal choice to witness instead of flee, to press record and to watch something terrible unfold, we have one more such assertion of reality."

+ - NSA's Former General Council Talks Privacy, Security, And Snowden's 'Betrayal'

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie writes: In his first interview since retiring as general council to the NSA, Rajesh De offers detailed insights into the spy agency's efforts to find balance between security and privacy, why the NSA often has trouble defending itself in public, the culture of "No Such Agency," and what it was like on the inside when the Snowden bombshell went off.

+ - WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning joins Twitter from prison->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Despite being incarcerated for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning has joined Twitter. The solider formerly known as Bradley Manning has been approved to receive gender-reassignment hormone therapy, but is not permitted access to the internet.

To get around this restriction, supporters of Manning have set up the @xychelsea account on her behalf. Tweeting is due to start today, and Manning will dictate messages over the phone so "her own candid thoughts and comments" can be shared with Twitter users.

Link to Original Source

+ - Rise of copycats: Goophone launches Samsung Galaxy S6 clone at $169

Submitted by Manish Kumar Singh
Manish Kumar Singh writes: In the past couple of years, we've seen an increasing number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers launch knock off of major flagship phones. The latest example is Goophone S6 — the $169 knock off of Galaxy S6. What set this manufacturer apart from other companies is the fact that Goophone assures worldwide shipment. Goophone has also made rip off of iPhones, and other mainstream smartphones.

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