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The Courts

Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."
Businesses

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires 453

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-totally-could-have-invented-flappy-birds dept.
msmoriarty writes: "According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S.-based software developers, 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime. 66 percent also said they expect to get raises in the next year, despite the current state of the economy. Note that some of the other findings of the study (scroll to bulleted list) seem overly positive: 84 percent said they believe they are paid what they're worth, 95 percent report they feel they are 'one of the most valued employees at their organization,' and 80 percent said that 'outsourcing has been a positive factor in the quality of work at their organization.'"
The Almighty Buck

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt 629

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dead-...-beat-relatives? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Just in time for the April 15 IRS filing deadline comes news from the Washington Post that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers expecting refunds are instead getting letters informing them of tax debts they never knew about: often a debt incurred by their parents. The government is confiscating their checks, sometimes over debts 20—30 years old. For example, when Mary Grice was 4 (in 1960), her father died ... 'Until the kids turned 18, her mother received survivor benefits from Social Security ... Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family in 1977. ... Four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. ... "It was a shock," says Grice, 58. "What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can't prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus."' The Treasury Department has intercepted ... $75 million from debts delinquent for more than 10 years according to the department's debt management service. 'The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.'"
Twitter

44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the 140-characters-to-go dept.
First time accepted submitter RileyWalz (3614865) writes "Twopcharts (a third party website that records and monitors activity on Twitter) is reporting that about 44 percent of all 947 million accounts on Twitter have never posted a single tweet. Of the 550 million users who have tweeted before, 43 percent posted their last tweet over a year ago. And only about 13.3 percent have tweeted in the last 30 days. This could be a sign of many users just signing up and forgetting about their account, or they just prefer reading other's posts. Twitter is not commenting on this data, saying that they do not talk about third-party information related to its service."
Mozilla

Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO 1746

Posted by timothy
from the but-a-decade-as-cto-is-fine dept.
New submitter matafagafo (1343219) writes with this news, straight from the Mozilla blog, which comes in the wake of controversy over Brendan Eich's polticial views (in particular, his support for California's Proposition 8, which would have reversed a decision legalizing same-sex marriage within the state). and how they would reflect on the organization : "Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community. Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard ..."
Transportation

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018? 496

Posted by samzenpus
from the forget-the-blind-spot dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Just the other day we read about how the Department of Transportation will require all manufacturers to include rearview cameras on all new cars produced after May 1, 2018. But there's something else auto manufacturers are pushing for, the ability to replace sideview mirrors with cameras in 2018. Tesla in particular is pushing for this to happen as traditional mirrors are bulky, and not very aerodynamic. That lump of plastic can cause surprising amounts of drag on an otherwise smooth car body. Camera units are much smaller and can be made streamlined, or even mounted nearly flush with the body, thus reducing aerodynamic drag. The idea has been around since the 1990s, and many concept cars have used cameras instead of sideview mirrors for years. But how will NHTSA respond? Is it finally time to ditch the sideview mirror?"
Education

State Colleges May Offer Best ROI On Comp Sci Degrees 127

Posted by timothy
from the your-mileage-may-vary dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "PayScale has recently released a survey of various U.S. colleges and majors, and determined, perhaps unsurprisingly, that computer science graduates of elite colleges make the most money in post-graduate life. However, blogger Phil Johnson approached the problem in a different way, taking into account the amount students and their families need to pay in tuition, [and found] that the best return on investment in comp sci degrees often comes from top-tier public universities, which cost significantly less for in-state students but still offer great rewards in terms of salaries for grads."
Earth

Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age 224

Posted by timothy
from the might-not-last-a-whole-week dept.
First time accepted submitter chimeraha (3594169) writes "Synchronized with the northern winter solstice and the UNIX Epoch, the terran computational calendar contains 13 identical months of 28 days each in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year's day and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years). The beginning of this zero-based numbering calendar, denoted as 0.0.0.0.0.0 TC, is on the solstice, exactly 10 days before the UNIX Epoch (effectively, December 22nd, 1969 00:00:00 UTC in the Gregorian Calendar). It's "terran" inception and unit durations reflect the human biological clock and align with astronomical cycles and epochs. Its "computational" notation, start date, and algorithm are tailored towards the mathematicians & scientists tasked with calendrical programming and precise time calculation.

There's a lot more information at terrancalendar.com including a date conversion form and a handfull of code-snipits & apps for implementing the terran computational calendar."

Comment: Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (Score 1) 878

by reve_etrange (#46586193) Attached to: Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"
Fair enough. It's just that since redeeming public debts has no impact on private net financial assets except for the loss of future interest income, any consequences of a drastically larger QE program would probably have more to do with institutional risk assessments than, say, consumer price adjustments.

Comment: Re:Possible exception to the "law"... (Score 2) 194

the assumption that the current physical laws and constants were true then. By definition, they weren't - the four fundamental forces did not assert themselves until a finite period of time

If they didn't "assert themselves," does that imply that they did exist? I think that this way of speaking is a little confusing, because we believe that current "laws" represent special cases of more general laws, rather than different laws entirely.

If nothing had mass at the instant of the Big Bang, how does Einstein's theory of Relativity apply? Objects become infinitely massless as their speed approaches c?

Massless particles inherently move at c. They can't be accelerated or decelerated because they have no inertia, although they do have momentum.

As far as we know, this was just as true right after the big bang. Particles, or field excitations or whatever, had no mass, and moved at c. They did have energy, and an energy density, and therefore were gravitationally attracted. This attraction would be described by quantum gravity, instead of General Relativity.

Once the particles acquired mass via the Higgs mechanism (probably at or about the same time that the modern-day forces became completely separated), the universe was still an ultra-hot quark plasma, so the newly massive particles still moved very rapidly. Just not at c.

Comment: Re:Just a thought... (Score 1) 194

And even if there was a problem with space expanding superluminally, inflation would be the least of our worries, as we would need another explanation for the size of the observable universe. (We can see objects at ~40 billion light-years distance, even though the universe is only 13.8 billion years old).

Comment: Re:the "laws" of physics (Score 1) 194

Are you proposing that the laws change randomly or something?

If the laws of physics change with time, then what we thought were the laws aren't actually the laws, but rather the actual laws with parameterized time. It might make some experiments more difficult, but there is no philosophical conundrum. Actually, this idea is already implicit in lambda-CDM ("standard model" of cosmology), where there is a time-dependent "scale factor" in the Friedman equations.

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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