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Comment Re:Musical Taste can expand. (Score 1) 361

Same here. I'm 45 and as far as I can recall, the music I've always been the most passionate about is stuff I heard for the first time within the prior five or so years (currently a lot of Flogging Molly, Frank Turner, Gogol Bordello, and Authority Zero). I still have a fondness for classic rock on occasion, but I don't understand how some of my contemporaries can listen exclusively to the local classic rock radio station year in and year out. Freebird!!!!

Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 3, Informative) 331

In many states, yes. It would be a tort. Intentional interference with a contractual relation. However, in the states that recognize this claim, the competitor would generally have to know about the non-compete. Additionally, Amazon would have to prove harm, which might be hard to do in the case of this type of worker.

Comment Re:Wow... Just "no". (Score 1) 204

Additionally, doesn't appear that HHS has definitively said it is not covered by HIPAA. The article Ksevio linked to is specific to covered entity liability under HIPAA. It mentions nothing about the potential for to be a business associate (presumably of the various insurance companies it works with).

There are a couple of ways to be classified as a business associate, the pertinent way in this case being the creation, reception, maintenance, or transmission of PHI on behalf of a covered entity for "a regulated function or activity." is clearly creating and transmitting PHI to insurance companies (which are covered entities). However, HHS has not clarified whether it considers health insurance portals to be performing a regulated âoefunction or activityâ for insurance companies.

Comment Re:Wow... Just "no". (Score 1) 204

Anonymizing protected health information (while still retaining value for person-specific marketing purposes) can be difficult (if not impossible). Here's a link to an article that talks about the kind of identifiers that would have to be scrubbed.

Scroll down to the table that describes the "safe harbor" method of deidentifying data.

Age is a problem. Additionally, if a person's identity can be as easily determined using other readily accessible information (as the summary seems to say), you also have a problem.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 3, Informative) 398

Depending on the language in the contract, posting factual information could very well violate these agreements. I believe you're thinking about libel or slander (i.e. false statements). Disparagement, however, doesn't have to be false. It merely has to cast the benefited party in a negative light. This can be a huge grey area and given the insane cost of defending a lawsuit, I understand why people subject to these provisions might be very reluctant to speak.

Comment Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 1) 272

The governing law is not necessarily the key issue. CA courts have declined to enforce non-competes even when they specify another state's governing law. Instead, as another post indicated, venue will be key. If Amazon gets the case heard in WA and obtains a judgment against the former employee, it can seek to enforce the judgment in CA. Successful enforcement of an out of state judgment might depend on the nature of the judgment. If it consists of an injunction (generally the easiest remedy to obtain in these sorts of cases), there might be problems. However, if the judgment is money, Amazon would have better luck. However, getting a monetary judgment would require a specific showing of damages, which might be difficult. Here is a decent discussion of the issue:

Comment Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 4, Informative) 272

Not in situations like this, where it appears regular employees are involved. They're only enforceable when you're dealing with the sale of a business interest or dissolution of a partnership or LLC. But if I just walk in off the street and go to work for someone in CA who makes me sign a non-compete, the agreement will be completely unenforceable no matter how narrowly it's written.

Here's a decent discussion of the law:

As far as I know, CA is the only state that is so restrictive. Most others use some sort of reasonableness test based on time/geographical limits.

Comment Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 682

You misunderstood me. I'm not concerned about Obama knowing everything that goes on at every level. That's obviously impossible. I am instead concerned about bureaucrats who are effectively answerable to no one using their governmental powers to engage in coordinated campaigns against political opponents (if that's what happened). Obama will be gone in a couple of years, so if he did know about this issue (or directed it), the problem would be somewhat self-correcting. But if Obama didn't have a direct roll in this (and it instead originated entirely within the IRS bureaucracy), solving the problem will likely be much more difficult.

Comment Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 682

I would be far more concerned about this issue if the president DIDN'T know about it. Obama will be gone in a couple of years. However, the nameless drones at the IRS who can drastically impact the lives of everyday Americans will continue in their jobs. It's kind of scary to think that there might have been some organically generated movement within the IRS to engage in this sort of conduct.

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