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Submission + - Obamacare exchange sign-ups fall FAR SHORT of forecasts... (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Enrollment in the insurance exchanges for President Obama’s signature health-care law is at less than half the initial forecast, pushing several major insurance companies to stop offering health plans in certain markets because of significant financial losses.

In other Obamacare news ...
Obamacare insurance market near collapse in Tennessee, state official says
one-third of U.S will have no health insurance choices
Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer and faced with $300 million in loses, has decided against expanding its participation in the Obamacare exchanges. They also announced that they are re-evaluating their entire participation in the remaining exchanges.

Obamacare rates are likely to go up from 23% to 45% in Illinois, and 17.3% in Michigan.
Humana, one of the nation’s largest heathcare companies, has decided to leave almost half of its Obamacare markets next year.
Health insurance rates on the Obamacare exchange in California will rise 13% next year.
Presbyterian Health Plan, a major insurer in the New Mexico marketplace, has announced that it will be dropping out of the Obamacare exchange next year.
Oregon’s Health CO-OP in folded July
Within three months of signing up for Obamacare more than 13%, or 1.6 million people, in 2016 have dropped coverage by not paying their premiums.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is losing money in states across the nation, forcing them to request rate increases of more than 50 to 65 percent.
Almost a hundred thousand Coloradans are about to lose their health insurance because of Obamacare.
Ohio’s Obamacare co-op announced in June that it is shutting down, making it the 13 of 23 co-ops to fail.

Submission + - Retailers bending refund policies for unhappy No Man's Sky players. (tweaktown.com)

thegarbz writes: As was covered previously on Slashdot the very hyped up game No Man's Sky was released with to a lot of negative reviews about game crashing bugs and poor interface choices. Now that plays have had more time to play the game it has become clear that many of the features hyped by developers are not present in the game, and users quickly started describing the game as "boring".

Now, likely due to misleading advertising, Steam has begun allowing refunds for No Man's Sky regardless of playtime, and there are reports of players getting refunds on the Play Station Network as well despite Sony's strict no refund policy.

Submission + - Sheriff's Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Ruled Unconstitutional (theintercept.com)

schwit1 writes: An appellate court in Baton Rouge ruled Thursday that a raid on a police officer’s house in search of the blogger who had accused the sheriff of corruption was unconstitutional.

The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals argued that Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s investigation into the blog ExposeDAT had flawed rationale: the alleged defamation was not actually a crime as applied to a public official.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel comes after police officer Wayne Anderson and his wife Jennifer Anderson were denied assistance in local and federal court.

Submission + - VA Invests in Failed Solar Projects, Veterans Linger on Wait List (heartland.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Department of Veteran's Affairs Inspector General has found the VA wasted millions on solar panel installations that don't work.

Evidently, the Veteran's Administration (VA), does not have enough money to hire new doctors or take other actions to reduce wait times and improve treatment for our nation's military veterans, but it does have money to spend installing solar panels at its facilities, according by the VA's Inspector General (IG) detailed by the Washington Free Beacon.

While the VA has been under fire for wasting federal dollars as veterans’ wait times and other failings have persisted at VA medical facilities nationwide, the IG report reveals the VA spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities, yet many of the projects have experienced significant delays and cost overruns with some solar projects failing to function at all.

In a report issued August 3, 2016, the VA IG reported the VA had consistently failed to effectively plan and manage its solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs. An audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013, found only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

Submission + - BleachBit stifles investigation of Hillary Clinton

ahziem writes: The IT team for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the open source cleaning software BleachBit to wipe systems "so even God couldn’t read them," according to South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy on Fox News. His comments on the "drastic cyber-measure" were in response to the question of whether emails on her private Microsoft Exchange Server were simply about "yoga and wedding plans."

Perhaps Clinton's team used an open source application because, unlike proprietary applications, it can be audited, like for backdoors. In response to the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, privacy expert Bruce Schneier advised, "Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software," in an article in which he stated he also uses BleachBit. Ironically, Schneier was writing to a non-governmental audience.

Submission + - Robert Heinlein Honored as Famous Missourian with Bust in State Capital

HughPickens.com writes: The Joplin Globe reports that Missouri lawmakers have inducted science fiction writer Robert Heinlein to the Hall of Famous Missourians to a cheering crowd of fans who call themselves "Heinlein's children." State Rep. T.J. Berry says Heinlein encouraged others to "strive for the stars, for the moon" and "for what's next." Donors to the Heinlein Society and the Heinlein Prize Trust paid for a bronze bust of Heinlein, which will be displayed in the House Chamber at the Capitol where it will join 45 other Missourians honored with busts in the hall including Mark Twain, Dred Scott and Ginger Rogers, as well as more controversial Missourians such as Rush Limbaugh. In 2013 Missourians were asked to vote on who would go into the Hall. Heinlein received more than 10,000 votes. Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri on July 7, 1907 and grew up in Kansas City. "Our devotion to this man must seem odd to those outside of the science fiction field, with spaceships and ray guns and bug-eyed monsters," Heinlein Society President Keith Kato said. "But to Heinlein's children, the writing was only the beginning of doing."

Submission + - Something "Unexpected" Happened When Seattle Raised The Minimum Wage

schwit1 writes: The latest research comes from the University of Washington which researched the impact of Seattle's recent minimum wage hike on employment in that city (as background, Seattle recently passed legislation that increased it's minimum wage to $11 per hour on April 1, 2015, $13 on January 1, 2016 and $15 on January 1, 2017). "Shockingly", the University of Washington found that Seattle's higher minimum wages "lowered employment rates of low-wage workers" (the report is attached in its entirety at the end of this post).

Yet, our best estimates find that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance appears to have lowered employment rates of low-wage workers. This negative unintended consequence (which are predicted by some of the existing economic literature) is concerning and needs to be followed closely in future years, because the long-run effects are likely to be greater as businesses and workers have more time to adapt to the ordinance. Finally, we find only modest impacts on earnings. The effects of disemployment appear to be roughly offsetting the gain in hourly wage rates, leaving the earnings for the average low-wage worker unchanged. Of course, we are talking about the average result.



More specifically, we find that median wages for low-wage workers (those earning less than $11 per hour during the 2nd quarter of 2014) rose by $1.18 per hour, and we estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was to increase these workers’ median wage by $0.73 per hour. Further, while these low-wage workers increased their likelihood of being employed relative to prior years, this increase was less than in comparison regions. We estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was a 1.1 percentage point decrease in likelihood of low-wage Seattle workers remaining employed. While these low-wage workers increased their quarterly earnings relative to prior years, the estimated impact of the Ordinance on earnings is small and sensitive to the choice of comparison region. Finally, for those who kept their job, the Ordinance appears to have improved wages and earnings, but decreased their likelihood of being employed in Seattle relative other parts of the state of Washington.

Still not convinced? How about a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that finds that "higher minimum wage results in some job loss for the least-skilled workers—with possibly larger adverse effects than earlier research suggested."

Submission + - Orangutans face complete extinction within 10 years (independent.co.uk)

campuscodi writes: Orangutans will be extinct from the planet within 10 years unless action is taken to preserve forests in Indonesia and Malaysia where they live, a conservation charity has warned.

The Bornean orangutan was officially listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last month, joining the only other kind, the Sumatran orangutan, in that classification. In just 25 years, more than a quarter of Indonesia's forests – 76 million acres, an area almost the size of Germany – have disappeared. One of the main reasons is to clear land to make way for palm oil plantations.

Submission + - Why are GitHub and WordPress.com censoring content? (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: The internet is known for the free and rapid dissemination of uncensored information, but lately sites and services have been censoring content--including GitHub and WordPress.com.

Bryan Lunduke says: "GitHub, a service primarily used for open source and free culture projects, recently censored a repository that contained information proving the NSA developed malware targeting numerous systems." And WordPress.com "censored content posted by “Guccifer 2” that was potentially damaging to the reputation of the Democratic party."

Neither organizations have responded to requests by Lunduke to find out why they took those actions.

This comes after Twitter and Facebook came under fire for their censorship actions.

Lunduke poses the question:

When something that many people feel is important to their lives occurs and the major online platforms for disseminating that information censor them, what does that say about those platforms?


Comment Re:SJW Bullshit (Score 5, Informative) 228

I posted this in another post below, but I just wanted to reiterate it here, for those who might not fully understand the situation.

It might help your understanding of the situation to understand that the CIA and NSA now use fake rape and sexual assault/harassment claims as their preferred method of character assassination (much easier, less messy, and just as effective as actual assassination). It happened to the poor bastard IMF head who made the VERY stupid mistake of challenging the supremacy of the U.S. Dollar. It also happened to Julian Assange and others.

No tin-foil hats here. It's just their modern way of doing business. So any time you hear of sex crimes charges against any member of the hacker/security community (or anyone else the NSA or CIA might have a vested interest in silencing or ostracizing), you should be VERY, VERY skeptical of the charges (and take a long hard look at the accusers).

Comment Re:Rape sympathizers (Score 1) 228

It might help your understanding of the situation to understand that the CIA and NSA now use fake rape and sexual assault/harassment claims as their preferred method of character assassination (much easier, less messy, and just as effective as actual assassination). It happened to the poor bastard IMF head who made the VERY stupid mistake of challenging the supremacy of the U.S. Dollar. It also happened to Julian Assange and others.

No tin-foil hats here. It's just their modern way of doing business. So any time you hear of sex crimes charges against any member of the hacker/security community (or anyone else the NSA or CIA might have a vested interest in silencing or ostracizing), you should be VERY, VERY skeptical of the charges (and take a long hard look at the accusers).

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 140

Nine years developing a game that anyone could have told them would be banned almost immediately.

Either they are naive enough to think the attention will get them a job at Nintendo (it won't), or they are naive enough to think Nintendo wouldn't notice or care (they always will). Either way, pretty naive.

Submission + - WSJ: Facebook's Point System Fails to Close Diversity Gap

theodp writes: Gizmodo and others are picking up on a paywalled WSJ story which reported that Facebook's failure to move the needle on the diversity is all the more surprising because The Social Network awarded Facebook recruiters double points for a 'diversity hire' — a female, Black, or Hispanic engineer — compared to the hire of a White or Asian male. Facebook declined to comment on whether this points-based system is still in effect. The WSJ also notes that Intel has paid its employees double referral bonuses for women, minorities, and veterans. The reward schemes evoke memories of gender-based (and later race-based) incentives offered for K-12 coding and STEM programs run by tech-backed Code.org (to which Facebook just pledged $15M) and Google, which offered lower funding or no funding at all to teachers if participation by female students was deemed unacceptable to the sponsoring organizations. Facebook's efforts also seem consistent with the tech-backed Every Student Succeeds Act, which calls for increasing CS and STEM access to address a tech-declared national crisis, but only "for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students." Hey, sometimes "every" doesn't mean "every"!

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