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Comment Re:The People Problem (Score 1) 595

I have to disagree with much of your post. I don't think your in-laws' experience is that close to typical.

Norway's system may be superior, I'll take your word for it. But honestly speaking, it SHOULD be. Norway's problem is much more manageable because Norway is quite a bit wealthier than the US (53k per capita GDP vs 45k) and has a population the size of Kentucky.

Kaiser Permanente, which is a single insurance provider in the US, has twice as many members as Norway has people (and rates extremely highly for quality of care, by the way).

Have you ever asked your in-laws why they go to a doc-in-a-box and don't pick a primary physician? Every insurance plan I've ever had has let me pick a primary doc and see them any time - I've had the same doctor for 15 years.

Most people I know have "their" doctor and stick with them until they decide to switch or a change of insurance takes them out of their list of approved providers. The only people I know that don't have a primary physician are younger people who haven't had a reason to see a doctor since they left their parents insurance.

Also, maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I've never seen an employer require a doctor's note for sick leave of any length. Maybe companies put language to that effect in their employee handbook in case they need it to deal with abuse of the system, but in 20 years working I've never known of anyone being asked for a note.

Privacy

Best Way To Clear Your Name Online? 888

An anonymous reader writes "About fifteen years ago, I did something that I've come to regret on a university computer system. I was subsequently interviewed by a Federal law enforcement agency, although no charges were pressed and I have no criminal record as a result of my actions. At the time, I discussed the matter with a friend of mine who went on to mention it briefly in a text file zine with a small distribution list. I've generally tried to keep a low profile online and until recently there's been very little information about me available from the major search engines. Unfortunately, that zine mention was picked up by textfiles.com at some point and mirrored across the world. I've tried to address this with the owner of the site, but couldn't get anywhere. Even if my name in the source file is altered, cached copies will continue to link me with my youthful mistake. Have any other Slashdot readers had a similar experience? What practical steps would your readers recommend to prevent this information from hurting me? I am concerned that future employers may hold my past actions against me should they look for me online as part of their screening process."

Comment Dell Studio Hybrid (Score 1) 697

I've been running a Dell Studio Hybrid for 6 months. They're assembled from laptop parts so they're very low power. It's completely silent. It has a fan but I've never heard it. It's about the size of a mac mini and starts about $100 less. Looks very inconspicuous in the living room - more like stereo equipment than a computer.

I couldn't compare speed between it and the mac mini, but mine is running windows 7 (because I couldn't get Ubuntu to send sound through the HDMI to the TV) and 2 instances of Ubuntu simultaneously under Sun's Virtualbox and I've never had a speed problem except some sketchiness when running the blu-ray dvd player (regular dvd is fine, Hulu is fine).

It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse that has a pretty good range - I use it from across the living room.

Comment Re:credit-unworthy or just greedy? (Score 1) 1259

Charging a higher interest rate for "credit-unworthy" people makes it more likely that they'll default, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. This holds true for all borrowers.

That may be true at the level of the individual borrower, but the system of higher rates for lower quality credit evolved over time because it makes money for the lenders. The higher resultant default rates are part of the calculation when they determine the interest rates.

Microsoft

Ad Viewing Required For Free Zune HD Games 131

UnknowingFool writes "In releasing the Zune HD, Microsoft decided not to open up software development on the new Zune to third parties yet. Today, Microsoft released a handful of free games for the Zune HD: Texas hold 'em, Sudoku, Space Battle 3, Shell Game, Of the Future, Hexic, Goo Splat and Chess, as well as calculator and weather apps. Users, however, are required to view an ad (up to 30 seconds in length) while the game starts up. While ad-supported free games are also on other platforms, like the iPhone, the difference here is that those iPhone games are from third parties and not from Apple." Reader Rock3t notes related news that the Zune HD will be getting 3D games.
Communications

GMail Experiences Serious Outage 408

JacobSteelsmith was one of many readers to note an ongoing problem with Gmail: "As I type this, GMail is experiencing a major outage. The application status page says there is a problem with GMail affecting a majority of its users. It states a resolution is expected within the next 1.2 hours (no, not a typo on my part). However, email can still be accessed via POP or IMAP, but not, it appears, through an Android device such as the G1." It's also affecting corporate users: Reader David Lechnyr writes "We run a hosted Google Apps system and have been receiving 502 Server Error responses for the past hour. The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well, making it difficult to coordinate."

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