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+ - Insurer denies healthcare breach claim citing lack of minimum required practices->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes: In what may become a trend, an insurance company is denying a claim from a California healthcare provider following the leak of data on more than 32,000 patients. The insurer, Columbia Casualty, charges that Cottage Health System did an inadequate job of protecting patient data.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California, Columbia alleges that the breach occurred because Cottage and a third party vendor, INSYNC Computer Solution, Inc. failed to follow “minimum required practices,” as spelled out in the policy. Among other things, Cottage “stored medical records on a system that was fully accessible to the internet but failed to install encryption or take other security measures to protect patient information from becoming available to anyone who ‘surfed’ the Internet,” the complaint alleges.

Disputes like this may become more common, as insurers anxious to get into a cyber insurance market that's growing by about 40% annually use liberally written exclusions to hedge against 'known unknowns' like lax IT practices, pre-existing conditions (like compromises) and so on. (http://www.itworld.com/article/2839393/cyber-insurance-only-fools-rush-in.html)

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Comment: Re:Hobbit (Score 1) 151

by Black Parrot (#49780489) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

There's still a big killer lurking out in space that can't be easily avoided: radiation.

Except underground, which is the obvious solution but people are too fixated on making housing above the ground.

Except the article was talking about getting killed by the radiation exposure during the trip.

Presumably you aren't suggesting flying to Mars in a hobbit-hole. (Though if you could sneak a couple of tokes on Gandalf's pipe you might experience a good simulation.)

Comment: Re:Comedy gold (Score 2) 281

by Black Parrot (#49779235) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

4300 years ago...

I guess the Sixth Dynasty of Old Kingdom Egypt didn't notice they got washed away, and went on building their pyramids like nothing had happened.

And Sargon must have clung to the side of the ark - or snuck on disguised as a dinosaur - so he could get back to building his empire as soon as the ground dried out.

I reckon the author is better at manipulating reality than he is at manipulating search results.

Comment: Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 217

by Picass0 (#49776605) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

>> "And another thing, why is education literally never a talking point during elections?"

At this risk of sounding trollish you cannot possibly be paying attention. Around election time we have grandstanding on all sort of education subjects: Evolution and Creationism. When/if kids should learn about reproduction and birth control. Outcome based education. Benchmarking. Multi-culturalism in our history and Social Studies curriculum. Safety in schools. School lunch programs ("Michelle Obama lunches"). "Liberal indoctrination". Teacher's unions. That's just what I can think of on the spot. The list goes on.

Very few things are political hot-button topics on the scale of public education.

+ - How to know if Iran breaks its word: Financial monitoring->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick writes: This is a fascinating read from Aaron Arnold of the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard's Kennedy School. Arnold points out that the Iran Nuclear Framework Agreement specifies not only that international inspectors will have access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but will also gain access to Iran’s nuclear supply chain, in order to verify that components and materials are not diverted to a covert facility. 'To insure additional transparency, the preliminary framework calls for a dedicated procurement channel to approve the supply, sale, and transfer of certain nuclear-related and dual-use parts, technologies, and materials on a case-by-case basis.' Arnold points out that this is a tricky area, because Iran has shown extraordinary skill at getting around financial sanctions, and it's unclear what international body will monitor Iran's financial transactions. The article then details steps that could be taken to ensure that Iran's financial transactions are transparent and cannot be used to obtain dual-use materials, including the requirement that Iran join the international Financial Action Task Force. Great read..
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Comment: Re:Easier to learn != easier to use (Score 1) 382

by DickBreath (#49774705) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever
I like getters/setters in Java because in practice, the JVM compiles everything down to native code and aggressively inlines. So typical getters/setters cost nothing and are direct accesses to member variables. But it gives you the flexibility to later make the getter/setter do something else without affecting other code.

Suppose you were to change the getter/setter and then dynamically re-load the class at runtime in a running system. The JVM will immediately de-optimize (go back to interpreted bytecode) for all methods that now have stale inlined code (from the old version of the class). Dynamic profiling may then quickly reveal that the de-optimized code is (still, as it was before) an actual CPU hot spot, causing it to get re-compiled again, and if appropriate, to have those getters/setters inlined, or not.

The JVM compiler is like having a global -O 5 optimizer that can optimize globally across the actual code running on the machine, and the code generator of the compiler is tailored to your actual hardware and whatever instruction set extensions it might have.

The JVM as a runtime platform will probably outlast the Java language.

+ - The Scientific Method and the Art of Troubleshooting

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Karl Popper came up with the idea in the 1930's that scientists should attempt to falsify their hypotheses rather than to verify them. The basic reasoning is that while you cannot prove a hypothesis to be true by finding a number of different confirming instances (though confirming instances do make you more confident in the truth), you can prove a hypothesis to be false by finding one valid counter-example. Now Orin Thomas writes at WindowsITPro that you’ve probably diagnosed hundreds, if not thousands, of technical problems in your career and Popper's insights can serve as a valuable guide to avoid a couple of hours chasing solutions that turn out to be an incorrect answer. According to Thomas when troubleshooting a technical problem many of us “race ahead” and use our intuition to reach a hypothesis as to a possible cause before we’ve had time to assess the available body of evidence. "When we use our intuition to solve a problem, we look for things that confirm the conclusion. If we find something that confirms that conclusion, we become even more certain of that conclusion. Most people also unconsciously ignore obvious data that would disprove their incorrect hypothesis because the first reaction to a conclusion reached at through intuition is to try and confirm it rather than refute it."

Thomas says that the idea behind using a falsificationist method is to treat your initial conclusions about a complex troubleshooting problem as untrustworthy and rather than look for something to confirm what you think might have happened, try to figure out what evidence would disprove that conclusion. "Trying to disprove your conclusions may not give you the correct answer right away, but at least you won’t spend a couple of hours chasing what turns out to be an incorrect answer."

Comment: Re:Eventually - but the lies do real damage meanwh (Score 1) 357

by Picass0 (#49774213) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

In the case of children's vaccination the medical community would be wise to co-op the language of climate change activists and label the opposition as "vaccine deniers". Shame them as anti-science and anti-medicine. Point out how the anti-vax movement's loudest voices are b-list celebrities with no expertise on the subject.

+ - Amazon Germany pays 0.1% tax rate in 2014, funnels sales through low-tax haven->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: E-retail giant Amazon.com’s German branch paid just 11.9 million euros (approx. $16 million) in tax last year, equivalent to a 0.1% tax rate considering the company reported $11.9 billion in gross sales in Germany in 2014. German corporate income tax stood at 29.58% last year which would mean Amazon Germany would have been expected to pay $3.5 billion in tax in 2014. Amazon.de is the group’s largest and most successful market outside of the U.S., according to its annual sales records. However following investigation it has been revealed that almost all of the company’s German sales and profits were reported from businesses in Luxembourg, a low-tax haven. Amazon said last week that it had implemented a number of changes across Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy from May 1st, in order to ensure that future sales would be managed in the countries themselves.
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Comment: Too damn complicated (Score 4, Insightful) 112

by Stargoat (#49770203) Attached to: Privacy Behaviors Changed Little After Snowden

It's too damn complicated for level 1 techs, let alone end users and the general public, to attempt to opt of surveillance, or even intelligently express their dissatisfaction with government and corporate policies.

Politicians don't care and corporations do. These policies will persist until people's lives are strongly negatively affected. Will it require significant damage as a result of foreign powers hacking into the industrial grid? Probably. God knows we aren't in the streets protesting TSA security theater, and its difficult to get more privacy invasive than seeing folks naked.

+ - How Employers Get Out of Paying Their Workers

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: We love to talk about crime in America and usually the rhetoric is focused on the acts we can see: bank heists, stolen bicycles and cars, alleyway robberies. But Zachary Crockett writes at Pricenomics that wage theft one of the more widespread crimes in our country today — the non-payment of overtime hours, the failure to give workers a final check upon leaving a job, paying a worker less than minimum wage, or, most flagrantly, just flat out not paying a worker at all. Most commonly, wage theft comes in the form of overtime violations. In a 2008 study, the Center for Urban Economic Development surveyed 4,387 workers in low-wage industries and found that some 76% of full-time workers were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers and the average worker with a violation had put in 11 hours of overtime—hours that were either underpaid or not paid at all. Nearly a quarter of the workers in the sample came in early and/or stayed late after their shift during the previous work week. Of these workers, 70 percent did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed outside of their regular shift. In total, unfairly withheld wages in these three cities topped $3 billion. Generalizing this for the rest of the U.S.’s low-wage workforce (some 30 million people), researchers estimate that wage theft could be costing Americans upwards of $50 billion per year.

Last year, the Economic Policy Institute made what is, to date, the most ambitious attempt to quantify the extent of reported wage theft in the U.S.and determined that “the total amount of money recovered for the victims of wage theft who retained private lawyers or complained to federal or state agencies was at least $933 million.” Obviously, the nearly $1 billion collected is only the tip of the wage-theft iceberg, since most victims never sue and never complain to the government. Commissioner Su of California says wage theft has harmed not just low-wage workers. “My agency has found more wages being stolen from workers in California than any time in history,” says Su. “This has spread to multiple industries across many sectors. It’s affected not just minimum-wage workers, but also middle-class workers.”

+ - Can SaaS be open source AND economically viable?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The CTO behind Lucidchart, an online diagramming app, recently cited the rbush open source project as an invaluable tool for helping implement an "in-memory spatial index" that "increased spatial search performance by a factor of over 1,000 for large documents." My question is this: what risks does a SaaS company like Lucidchart face in making most of their own code public, like Google's recent move with Chrome for Android, and what benefits might be gained by doing so? Wouldn't sharing the code just generate more users and interest? Even if competitors did copy it, they'd always be a step behind the latest developments.
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