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Comment Re:Seriously, some people are so ideologically (Score 1) 548

I also have first-hand knowledge of both Canadian and US systems, and I am much, much happier with the US system. Of all my relatives living in Canada, the only ones who haven't been screwed or put on a long waiting list are the ones who haven't been really sick.

Ever since moving to the US, I've had great health care. I have great health insurance, and aside from the occasional hassle with having to re-submit a claim, I've had no problems with the system. I get treatment quickly, and I get to choose my own doctor. My primary care facility has electronic medical records, and is very organized and efficient.

The US system isn't perfect: it's expensive, and it's tough if you don't have good coverage through your job. There's always the worry of what to do if you lose your job. That said, I still prefer it strongly.

Health care reform is actually really two largely separate issues:

1) How do we keep the per-person cost of healthcare under control (e.g., improved efficiency, rationing...)?
2) What do we do about the large number of uninsured people?

Current health care reform efforts in Congress have largely failed to solve (1) through efficiency gains, and are focusing more (2) by expanding coverage. What this means (as the CBO has said) is that total health care costs will rise even faster, as the number of covered people goes up.

We need to make healthcare more efficient before we expand it. If we don't, we'll either end up with massive rationing, or with healthcare consuming an even larger (and faster-growing) chunk of our GDP.


Submission + - How far should screening go?

SlashSquatch writes: My sister is getting screened for a programming position with a financial firm. I was alarmed to hear she'll be getting fingerprinted at the sheriff's office as part of the screening process. Instantly I conjure up scenes of frame-ups and corporate scandals. I want to know, should this raise a flag? Would you submit to fingerprinting, blood tests and who knows what else (genetic code screening etc), for a programming position?
Operating Systems

Submission + - Are .tmp files necessary or just bad programming?

planckscale writes: After spending another hour deleting .tmp files from a bloated XP machine I started to wonder, is the .tmp file necessary when coding an application on the MS platform? Why do so many apps produce .tmp files and is it just because of bad coding or does the use of them dramatically speed up an app? Don't coders use dev/null to reduce them in linux? I can understand the use of them in case an app crashes for recovery purposes, but why don't more apps have the capacity to delete their own .tmp files once they are done with them? Is it too much to ask to at least have the option when closing an app to delete your temp files?

Submission + - High schooler is awarded $100,000 for research

wired_LAIN writes: A teenager from Oklahoma was awarded $100,000 in the Intel Science Talent Search competition for building an inexpensive and accurate spectrograph that can identify the specific characteristics of different kinds of molecules. While normal spectrographs can cost between $20,000 and 100,000 to build, her spectrograph cost less than $500 dollars. The 40 finalists' projects were judged by a panel of 12 scientists, all well established in their respective fields. Among the judges were Vera Rubin , who proved Dark Matter, and Andrew Yeager, one of the pioneers of stem cell research. My only question is: why aren't these kids given more media coverage?

Submission + - Dealing with long-term security requirements?

tbo writes: I'm an academic researcher in the field of quantum computing. I'm interested in learning what the IT community is doing to prepare for future developments in quantum computing and the resulting security implications — in particular, the compromise of most or all known public key cryptosystems.

Although large-scale quantum computers may be a decade or more away, this still has immediate implications for those with long-term forward security requirements (i.e., data that must stay secret for a long time). Does your organization have data with substantial forward security requirements? How do you deal with protecting that data against future advances in cryptanalysis? Has your organization considered quantum key distribution or other new cryptography technologies?

Another concern is replacing the present-day public key cryptography infrastructure with something immune to quantum computers. A malicious person with access to a single large-scale quantum computer could use it to crack the root certificate authorities' private keys, thus enabling him or her to fake certificates for anything they want and perform undetectable man-in-the-middle attacks against banks and e-commerce sites. Since it's very hard to revoke and re-issue root certificates, this would only have to happen once to do serious damage. What are people planning to do about this?

Submission + - 15 Minute SEO

Amit Bhawnani writes: "15 Minute SEO is a checklist of the factors that affect your rankings with Google, MSN, Yahoo! and the other search engines. The list contains positive, negative and neutral factors because all of them exist. Most of the factors in the checklist apply mainly to Google and partially to MSN, Yahoo! and all the other search engines of lesser importance."

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