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Comments

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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

You forgot to include lifetime costs for VA health care for surviving vets, who tend to have fairly difficult to treat injuries that would have killed people in prior wars.

This is why there's such a backlog in the VA.

No it's not. The majority of the people at the VA are mostly Vietnam vets with a few WWII and Korean War vets hanging on. Most of your Iraq/Afghanistan vets are under the age of 50, meaning they have their own health insurance through the company they work for. For example, ME! I've never been to a VA hospital. Never had to. I always had my own insurance.

As for the total cost, right now, it ranks at about $1.5 trillion for 14 years. Since the expensive part of launching million dollar missiles to blow up a $100 tent and fueling tanks that get gallons to the mile are over, the rate at which the cost is increasing is slowing substantially. It is unlikely that it will reach $2 trillion.

Either way, you said "wastED", meaning past tense. We haven't spent $2 trillion and won't for many years, if ever.

about 2 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

Finance guys are so cute.
I was an IT guy so....

For example a retail bank needs two tables in it's accounts database. One for the account, a second to record the transactions.
The DB needs a customer table (name, address, phone, address, ect), transaction table, account type table, account table, interest rate table, payee table, payroll tables (complete with more account data from other banks, employee names, etc) etc. There's a LOT of data involved, and this still doesn't include the cutesie stuff banks throw in like customer preferences.

The database may be queried by other databases (ie: the guy approving loans), but it is not actually a part of those databases.
Actually, different systems maintain different databases. For example the Internet Banking side will maintain it's own database. the ATM side will have it's own side. Then there's the credit card system, ACH systems, wire systems, the core system itself and others. All of these systems must interact with eachother. For example, the a customer may log into the Internet banking side, which will have to hit the core to get the current balance, EOD balance from yesterday, unprocessed transactions, processed transactions, interest rates, any messages from the bank, and so on. It also has to be able to inject transactions such as payroll into the core system, wires into the wire system and so on.
Of course, all of these systems are different. The ACH system uses a flat text file. The core is usually an UNIX based system with a terminal interface. The Internet Banking is probably an Apache Tomcat connecting to a MSSQL system. Then, there is the bank end that is comprised of DB front-ends, screen scrapers, batch files, transaction injectors and so on.

You could probably convince a bunch of PHB-English Majors your database is more complicated because you have six different, totally unrelated databases in the same file, but don't try that shit in front of engineers.
Not just different DB's but completely different architectures. And, of course, different states have different laws. For example, all states that take income taxes have a different method to pay them. Then their are business taxes, both federal and for all 50 states, loan laws, interest rate laws etc.

And there is much much more, but this is getting out of hand. Suffice to say that you have no friggin' clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to everything a bank does, much less when it comes to tying all those systems together.

Compare that to the ACA system which involves user data, finance data, what companies are available per state, what plans available per company, and an interface system to communicate between the handful of ACA authorized insurance companies per state and the back-office system. Many states run their own system. The government has claimed that their system doesn't even keep the data!

about 2 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

HealthCare.gov does a lot of actual calculations itself. Once it knows your location it has to ask several other databases for your income level, at which point it compares that income level to the poverty rate. This is step one of determining your subsidy. Step 2 is to query a second database for a list of plans in your area. The second lowest cost silver plan is the "Base Plan" which is the second number used to calculate your subsidy. That's not just a database query, it's executable code.
Everything you described here can be done within a database engine, making HealthCare.gov essentially a database frontend that reinvented part of the wheel.

Moreover the database front-end is probably the most complicated database front-end in actual production anywhere.
No. No it's not, or at least it doesn't need to be. I would say credit card authorization databases would be the most complicated, followed closely by the banks. There are also several customer databases that are outright huge. You have parts inventories for large companies and databases used by engineers designing various components for bridges, air liners, jet fighters, combat vehicles, electric cars, etc. Of course, let's not forget the databases used by Internet companies like Google, government agencies like the IRS, census, and the Fed, and the multitude of databases need to run our phone and communication systems. All of these systems require front-ends. The frontend my bank uses for their online banking system is more complicated than HC.gov and deals with a more complicated system of DB's on the backend.
If this is one of the most complicated database front-ends in existence, that is proof that it is designed and written by incompetents.

it's querying multiple completely different databases, most of whom weren't designed to be compatible with each-other. It all needs damn-near-perfect security. It needs to deal with complex legal questions such as what happens when Louisiana decides some insurer has been cheating a bit on some legal requirement? Is the desired result under Louisiana law different then Ohio?
So, it's the type of system you find running every bank in America, minus the need for international transactions.

(disclaimer: I've worked in Internet Banking Systems and the defense industry)

about a month ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

Exactly. Should have just implemented Canada's Single Payer National Healthcare for 1/20th the cost.

The resulting health improvement in the US would have saved Trillions that we could have wasted in IraqIranAfghaniPakistan.

First, the cost of both wars was less than $2 trillion, making the 's' on the word "Trillion" misleading and dishonest.

Next, we have a government run, single payer, health care system now. It's called VA. How's that working out?

about a month ago
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As NASA Seeks Next Mission, Russia Holds the Trump Card

ArcherB Re:So many mistakes. (250 comments)

The point of the ISS wasn't really to do science in space, but rather to learn the problems and solutions of long term habitation.

Right. And that is science!

I'm not disagreeing with you. The ISS is the only place to do that kind of science, which the parent you were responding to seems to think there is some cheaper way of doing.

about 2 months ago
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Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

ArcherB Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (217 comments)

Different bees, no winter to contend with, different ecosystem around the bees
Did you not read the part about Canada? I believe they have a winter on occasion.

about 3 months ago
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Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

ArcherB Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are used (217 comments)

Australia uses neonicotinoids and they have no bee collapse problems.

Yes, I know the source is a chemical company, but they have a point. Bee collapse is not a problem in Australia.

There is also this:
On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder. ...
Despite the fact that neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect canola from pests, Canadian bee populations have been largely unaffected and produce around 50 million pounds of canola honey. ...
For example, in upland areas of Switzerland where the pesticide is not used, bee colony populations are under significant pressure from the mites; and in France, declines in the bee population in mountainous areas (where neonics are uncommon) are similar to those in agricultural areas (where neonics are widely used).

about 3 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

ArcherB Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Think of God as a libertarian. He gives us freedom to make choices. If the only option is the "right" choice, are you truly free? Success doesn't exist without the opportunity of failure. Thus, God expects us to be responsible for our actions as there is no freedom without responsibility.

about 4 months ago
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Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

ArcherB Re:Any connection between the F-22 and the F-35? (298 comments)

Any connection between the F-22 and the F-35?

The F-22 seems finished enough, or so is my impression anyway. :) Could they possibly have shared the same budget somehow?

The F-22 is American only. It is by far the top air superiority fighter in the world on paper, although, it is too new to have been challenged by anyone or prove itself in combat. However, one did sneak up on some Iranian fighters unnoticed and send them scurrying home (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/19/us-pilot-scares-iranians-top-gun-worthy-stunt-you-/). The F-22 is complete and operational as an air superiority fighter. A ground attack version is either on the way or functional.

The F-35 is a multinational effort. It is meant to come in various configurations and provide a variety of roles. It is meant to replace the F-18 for the Navy (aircraft carrier landing, air superiority/attack), the F-15 for the Air Force (air superiority, ground attack), and the Harrier for the Marine Core (vertical take off and landing, ground support). It is over budget and non-operational.

Obama has cancelled the superior, completed, and operational F-22 and directed some of the funds toward the incomplete, problem plagued F-35.

about 4 months ago
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Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

ArcherB Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (300 comments)

When you pay your plumber, it's income to the plumber and he has to pay taxes on it. Inheritance is not income. See my farm example above.

Personally, I want to see all taxes go and be replaced by a sales tax. Everyone is taxed, but only on what they spend. All money is spent.

about 4 months ago
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Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

ArcherB Re:Winning the genetic lottery (300 comments)

We can assume they paid their taxes when they received their paychecks. Why should their heirs pay them again?

Because their heirs did nothing to earn the money unless we consider kissing ass a valuable skill. They essentially won the (genetic) lottery and they should be taxed the same as someone who won the Mega-Millions lottery. The source of the funds is irrelevant. If I gave you $1 billion today then you would owe taxes on it. Why should it be any different if we happen to be related?

So you are saying if someone should happen to get lucky that the state should take it away from them because it's not you?

It's not only the super rich that inherit things. Farms that have been in families for generations are being sold off to pay the taxes when the farmer tries to pass it to his children. These farms may have millions of dollars in the equipment alone so the state sees these kids as inheriting millions of dollars. These are not "lottery" winners. These are people that have worked a farm their entire lives only to have it ripped from their hands because of class-envy assholes like you think they are getting away with something. How 'bout trying to mind your own damn business for a change.

about 4 months ago
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Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

ArcherB Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (300 comments)

We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop holes to pay no taxes.

We can assume they paid their taxes when they received their paychecks. Why should their heirs pay them again?

In this case, this life insurance policy isn't to stop anyone from paying taxes. The purpose is to pay the taxes rather than having all the assets sold off to pay them. For example, if I were to leave a taco hut family business to my kids, if they can't scrape up the cash to pay the taxes on what the state guesses the hut is worth, they would be forced to sell it to pay 45% tax, thus losing the business me and my family spent a lifetime building. A life insurance policy would allow them to pay the taxes in cash and keep the business. Unfortunately, this may not be an option for those who do not have "extra" income to afford an life insurance policy.

about 4 months ago
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Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

ArcherB Re:Incomplete calculation (144 comments)

You're providing incomplete, one-sided calculations. So this is propaganda.

Speaking of incomplete, I notice your post has no calculations whatsoever. Don't just sit there and say, "You're wrong!" Tell me why I'm wrong and provide whatever it is you think I'm missing.

about 5 months ago
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Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

ArcherB Re:why carry crude to in tanks on moving vehicles? (144 comments)

_It is true pipelines would transport oil using less carbon emissions compared to rail transport. But they also reduce transportation costs, thus allow more oil to be used and allow oil to undercut renewable sources of energy. So it makes sense to oppose the pipelines._

No. No it doesn't. You are intentionally trying to make oil more painful so people won't use it. This only makes sense when there are viable alternatives. Sorry, but wind and solar won't get the oranges from the groves in Florida to markets in Maine. All you are doing is making everything more expensive needlessly, benefiting the Chinese worker, punishing the American worker, and again, you are increasing the amount of CO2 that gets put into the atmosphere.

Somehow, this doesn't seem very smart.

_ Any single rail accident would spill far less oil than a spill or break in the oil pipeline._
Are you sure about that? Remember, that we are not just talking about rail, but also tankers that will take the oil across the ocean to China. Then, of course, the Chinese will refine it, using God knows what kind of environmental safeguards. Once it is refined, it will be loaded back into a tanker or pumped through Chinese pipelines. Still think this is a better idea than a single pipeline to US regulated refineries?

_And these accidents would create enough pressure to make the rail transport of oil safer._
But pipeline accidents won't create pressure to make pipelines safer?

about 5 months ago
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Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

ArcherB Re:why carry crude to in tanks on moving vehicles? (144 comments)

In all fairness, I haven't heard anything good coming from a pipeline. All the news about them have to do with spills and cover-ups. I'd be happy with a small headline announcing 5 years on a pipeline without a spill. Then we can talk about adding more pipelines. Until then, I'd rather the spills / fires be contained to the limited size of a shipping container.

There is about 100,000 miles of oil carrying pipeline in the US. If they ran a story every time one went 5 years without incident, there would no time to write about anything else.

about 5 months ago
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Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

ArcherB Re:why carry crude to in tanks on moving vehicles? (144 comments)

They've been trying to build one for years (Keystone XL) but have been stonewalled at every turn by Obama.

Not just Obama, but the by anti-oil people. They think by blocking the pipeline, they will be reducing CO2 in our atmosphere. The sad part is, they are actually INCREASING the amount of CO2 and other pollutants.

Rather than move the oil from Canada to Texas via an electric powered pipeline, they are forcing the oil to be loaded onto trains, where they are transported to a port where they are loaded onto an oil tanker where they will be transported to China. All of these modes of transportation are diesel powered. Once in China, they will be refined by Chinese workers under Chinese environmental regulations into various petroleum products. Then they are loaded back onto tankers and shipped around the world, with all profits going to the Chinese government.

Or, we could transport the oil to Texas refineries, where we have control over the emissions the refineries emit, by a pipeline using electrical pumps.

Tell me which option makes more environmental sense (not to mention the economic sense!)

about 5 months ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

ArcherB Re: really (285 comments)

Every town has traffic problems at 5:00pm. I've experience the traffic in Austin, Houston, San Antonio. Dallas, Chicago, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Louisville (KY), New York, Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit and several other places around the country. Austin traffic is not bad at all.

about 5 months ago
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US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

ArcherB Re:All or nothing (903 comments)

Watch as a whole bunch of employers suddenly become strong believers in Christian Science, so they can provide no health care to their employees at all!

Slippery slope fallacy. No one is saying the religious institutions don't have to provide insurance coverage. They are saying that they should not have to pay for services that violate their religion.

Why should my boss's religious beliefs dictate my health care?

Why should you have the right to force your boss to violate his beliefs? No one is forcing you to work for a religious boss.

about 7 months ago
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US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

ArcherB Re:All or nothing (903 comments)

Because the average healthcare consumer doesn't really have any choice, putting all the power in the hands of corporations.

The customer is the employer that is paying for the coverage. They have lost choice by this law. Again, I have no problem with the insurance companies being forced to offer a particular coverage. I think that is a great idea. I have a problem with the customer being forced to buy it.

A lot of people neither want nor need public schools, they pay for them anyway.
This is a local issue, not a federal one. Schools are paid for by local and state taxes.

I believe that happened. And now the corporations are bitching.
No, the customers are bitching because they are being forced to pay for services that violate their religion.

It isn't a religious thing explicitly - it's a cynical "conservative" ploy to attack and undermine the ACA by using religion as a means to cut out parts of coverage. Note, of course, that this all simply means that these services are covered and must be paid for if utilized, this attack on the ACA is about pushing to make sure it's not available at all.
Yes, in this particular case, this is a religions thing. And again, I have no problem with the patient paying for contraceptive coverage, if they so choose. I have a problem with both the patient and the employer paying for coverage even if they do not want it.
You are basically saying that the government decides what coverage needs to be provided and not the people.

about 7 months ago
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US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

ArcherB Re:All or nothing (903 comments)

Wouldn't it have made more sense to pass a law that says insurance companies must offer contraceptive coverage to the customers that want it?

That's what Obamacare did. Now Christian Brothers Services, the Chick-fil-a of the insurance world, is complaining that the law says they must offer contraceptive coverage despite the fact that their Bible says not to.

No, they are forcing the customer to pay for services they don't need. The employee is not the customer. The company paying for the insurance is. If the employee wanted to forgo the insurance plan offered by the employer and pay for their own, contraceptive providing coverage, there is nothing the employer could say about it.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Ready for global taxes?

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "According to InfoWars and several other sites, the true goal of Global Warming Alarmism has come to light: Global redistribution of wealth.

Following a discussion entitled "A Global CO2 Tax," a UN panel yesterday urged the adoption of "a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations," to impose a tax on plant food (CO2).
Othmar Schwank, one of the participants, said that the U.S. and other wealthy nations need to "contribute significantly more to this global fund." He also added, "It is very essential to tax coal."
The bounty from this $40 billion dollars a year windfall will go straight into the coffers of a UN controlled "Multilateral Adaptation Fund".
Of course, if passed, it will be without the need for those pesky elections."

Link to Original Source
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No consensus view on man-made global warming?

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "DailyTech took a look at peer reviewed scientific papers to see if there really was a consensus view, concerning whether humans were having at least some effect on global climate change.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."
and goes on to say

Schulte's survey contradicts the United Nation IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which gave a figure of "90% likely" man was having an impact on world temperatures. But does the IPCC represent a consensus view of world scientists? Despite media claims of "thousands of scientists" involved in the report, the actual text is written by a much smaller number of "lead authors." The introductory "Summary for Policymakers" — the only portion usually quoted in the media — is written not by scientists at all, but by politicians, and approved, word-by-word, by political representatives from member nations. By IPCC policy, the individual report chapters — the only text actually written by scientists — are edited to "ensure compliance" with the summary, which is typically published months before the actual report itself.
"

Link to Original Source
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Bush Orders No Cruel Treatment of Terror Suspects

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  about 7 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment, including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Read the whole executive order HERE."

Link to Original Source
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Cheney to be President (for a few hours)

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  about 7 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "From HERE:

US President George W. Bush will undergo a "routine colonoscopy" at the Camp David retreat on Saturday, temporarily ceding his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said Friday. Cheney will serve as acting president until such time as Bush, who will be under anesthesia, says he is ready to resume his duties, presidential spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "The president has had no symptoms" of cancer, said Snow, who noted that Bush had been scheduled for such an examination since undergoing a colonoscopy in June 2002.
Please, no colonoscopy jokes."

Journals

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Yes, Fire collapses steel structures

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

"9-11 Truthers" say that there is no possible way that fire could cause the support beams in The World Trade Center to weaken, causing the buildings to collapse. On April 29, 2007 in Oakland California, a tanker truck hauling gasoline wrecked and burst into flames. Fortunately, no one was killed, but the resulting fire weakened the support structure of an overpass causing it to collapse. This, according the the truther argument, is impossible.

Of course, jet fuel is not gasoline. Jet fuel is much like diesel, it burns much hotter and slower than gasoline. Also, the Boeing 767 has a capacity of up to 24,000 US gallons of jet fuel. The tanker that crashed in Oakland had 8,600 gallons capacity.

Any truthers (other than Rosie, of course) care to take a stab at this one? Is this enough to make them say, "Hey, maybe planes did take down the WTC", or did the government secretly blow up the overpass to prove the truthers wrong?

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Moderator Guidelines

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

From HERE:

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and let others read it. Do not promote personal agendas. Do not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it up. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find needles. And to keep the children who like to spam Slashdot in check.

I only bring this up because it seems that SlashDot is turning into more of a DailyKOS than a TomsHardware or an Engadget.

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