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+ - The disaster and ensuing coverup of the Obamacare website

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "New reports reveal significant corruption in the Obama administration’s botched effort to create the Obamacare website.

The Government Office of Accountability released a report earlier this week detailing the security flaws in the site, but a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released yesterday is even more damning. Titled, “Behind the Curtain of the Rollout,” the report fingers the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversaw the development of the site, and its parent Department of Health and Human Services.

“Officials at CMS and HHS refused to admit to the public that the website was not on track to launch without significant functionality problems and substantial security risks,” the report says. “There is also evidence that the Administration, to this day, is continuing its efforts to shield ongoing problems with the website from public view.”

The evidence includes emails that show Obamacare officials more interested in keeping their problems from leaking to the press than working to fix them. This is both both a coverup and incompetence."

Comment: Re:Is Apple going downhill? (Score 1) 340

by ripvlan (#47946765) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

Arrr matey. The new phone is so large it need an external monitor to wear on your wrist.

Kind of like when the Mac got big and became two parts - an external monitor and the CPU case under the desk? Plus computers got hot, used lots of power, and.... gosh seems like history repeating itself in mobile form.

+ - Why Is It Taking So Long to Secure Internet Routing?->

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "We live in an imperfect world where routing-security incidents can still slip past deployed security defenses, and no single routing-security solution can prevent every attacks. Research suggests, however, that the combination of RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure) with prefix filtering could significantly improve routing security; both solutions are based on whitelisting techniques and can reduce the number of autonomous systems that are impacted by prefix hijacks, route leaks, and path-shortening attacks."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Where are the links? (Score 1) 424

by ripvlan (#47922055) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Artistic license or great Conspiracy? It is a sort of mixed message isn't it. The "from the side" images don't show this bezel protruding - along with an "artistic" shadow.

As for the other images - they all clearly show the camera bezel. This isn't like it's a great selling feature - meaning - is it material or just marketing?

Scroll down to the "Streamlined: inside and out" and "Elements of Design" and you'll clearly see the camera "protruding."

It's quite possible that the side view looked "strange" with a little hair-thin spec that was removed "for clarity." Kind of like cereal "enlarged to show texture" (or make you hungry) ?

Gosh - having a phone so large it requires an external monitor you wear on your wrist? Or a thin bezel sticking out from the back? Oh the horror.

Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 1) 424

by ripvlan (#47921917) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

When I first read the headline I thought it had a huge bulge ala Lumia or that Android phone (name escapes me). This looks like a small ring bezel.

As for ugly design? I kind of welcome a small bump - I keep putting my finger over the lens (or very close to it causing a shadow) because I can't remember which corner the lens is in. Since it has a very wide angle view and rotates automatically - the way I hold it sometimes causes a shadow that I don't see until post editing (esp with video - I use two hands to stabilize the phone). I look like the Queen drinking tea with one pinky held out.

Having a small but obvious bump would provide me some tactile feedback. Personally I'd like a slight hour-glass shape so I could tell up from down when pulling from my pocket (I have black on black and don't use a case). My Palm Pre had a rubber backside and a thinner bottom - so it was easy to align in my hand without looking.

As for the ethics of making the models look thinner and prettier - that's a horse of a different color.

+ - Matrix: A new open source standard for IM, VOIP, and video chat->

Submitted by Gamoid
Gamoid (656769) writes "I talked to Matrix, an open source initiative that's trying to build a new, open, federated standard for chat, voice, and video that enables rich applications to be built but that still allow users of different clients to talk to each other. It's only two weeks old, but Matrix has a lot of potential."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Starting to make sense (Score 2) 609

After seeing the keynote I went looking in my iPhone/iTunes for the album - expecting to see a "Free" where "Buy" usually appears (or Buy $0.00). I couldn't even find the album for a long time (still can't find it on my PC w/ iTunes). Next stop - Google, to discover that it was already on my phone. Sure enough - when browsing through my Artist list there was a new entry to U2, and all of the songs marked with the "download from cloud" icon.

From a user perspective it was confusing and expected to "buy it" (first) like any other album. Let's pretend I'm not a U2 fan. Sure I've purchased albums from other band and decided I didn't like it later - and simply deleted it. I now forever have this album in my list that Genius will try to mix and play from when at home on Wifi.

While I appreciate being able to discover "new" music - I'm not in control of it. I can't put it back on the shelf. Kind of ugly.

They assume everyone likes the same entertainment. Sure - U2 is probably more universally liked than the Juicy Bananas.

+ - Apple Outrages Users by "Automatically" Installing U2's Album on their Devices 3

Submitted by Zanadou
Zanadou (1043400) writes "Apple may have succeeded at breaking two records at once with the free release of U2’s latest album, titled Songs of Innocence, via iTunes. But now, it looks like it’s also on track to become one of the worst music publicity stunts of all time.

Users who have opted to download new purchases to their iPhones automatically have found the new U2 album sitting on their phones. But even if iTunes users hadn’t chosen automatic downloads, Songs of Innocence will still be displayed as an “iTunes in the Cloud” purchase. That means it will still be shown as part of your music library, even if you delete all the tracks. The only way to make the U2 album go away is to go to your Mac or PC and hide all of your “iTunes in the Cloud” purchases, or to use iTunes to manually hide each track from your purchased items list.

Other reactions include rapper, Tyler, The Creator, saying that having the new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes', while Twitter user Mez pondered 'If Apple can forcefully download a U2 album onto everyone's phone, imagine what else they can do.. and see.'"

+ - School to fingerprint students to 'monitor their diets'-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day.

The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.” The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into biometric data. This can then be used to identify individual pupils accounts.

Headteacher Stephen Dunster wrote to parents, “We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times. We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Much bettern than my idea (Score 2) 210

by ripvlan (#47892253) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

I have been using the "Yes..and" Improv method of Step In.

"What? Again? My damn kid put a virus on the computer again? Boy!! Get your Ass down here now... yes you... talk to this guy... WTF (whack)" [pull phone away from head, change voice "No Dad, that hurts, let go, stop, ow ow" "You get the phone with this guy right now and fix this.... and after we're going to have a talk...."

or -- two old people "Ethel - do you understand what this guy wants? Something about a computer... hmm.. our grandson was over last week. Hold on while I get him"

or -- "Oh - I've been waiting for you to call. See I have this problem where....."

of course if I'm in a rush I just say, "I have a Mac" and they hang up immediately. Seriously.. click.

+ - Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

Submitted by AthanasiusKircher
AthanasiusKircher (1333179) writes "In recent years, emphasis on standardized testing and basic skills has forced many schools to cut back on things like arts and extracurricular activities. A study out this week from Northwestern University hints that schools may be hurting "at-risk" kids even more by cutting such programs. Just two years of music lessons were shown to have significant effects on brain activity and language processing which the researchers argue could help close achievement gaps between at-risk students and more affluent students. Aside from better brain response to language observed in the lab, practical effects of the interventions were readily apparent: 'Leaders at Harmony Project approached the researchers after the non-profit observed that their students were performing much better than other public school students in the area. Since 2008, over 90 percent of high school seniors who participated in Harmony Project’s free music lessons went on to college, even though the high school dropout rates in the surrounding Los Angeles areas can reach up to 50 percent.' Note that this is only one of several ongoing studies showing significant cognitive benefits for music training among at-risk students; an article last year from The Atlantic gives a more detailed summary of related research."

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.