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The Billion-Dollar Website

acoustix Timeline of events (194 comments)

It would be nice if someone has a compiled timeline of events starting with extremely uncoordinated writing and passing of the law, to the point where technical specs were released to the contractor, when the actually flow of information and final HHS rules were announced, up through go live and the fixes being implemented after go live.

From what I've read/heard there was little to no work being done from 2010 when the bill was signed into law up through 2012. The administration purposely withheld information about Obamacare from the public and from the contractor due to the election year (2012) and didn't want bad press. Once the election had passed the government released more specs and information to the public and to the contractor on how the website was supposed to function. That's when we found out the dirty little lies and secrets. It's damn near impossible to build a website/service to handle 300M+ people in 6 months, but that's what our government did.

This whole bill/law/implementation has been bungled so badly by:
- the incompetent people who wrote it (bureaucrats with no understanding of health care and did not consult people from the health care industry)
- the incompetent people in Congress who blindly passed it without reading or understanding the devastating effect it would have
- the incompetent administration who continued to lie about how the law affected the citizens, and took no ownership of this massive project

Can anyone imagine a scenario where this could have been handled worse? Every step along the way was screwed up.

about two weeks ago
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NFL Players To Use Tablet Computers During Games

acoustix Re:How long before ... (107 comments)

How long before fans start jamming the wireless spectrum needed for the tablets to work? Previously it was hard wired.

And yes, it will probably be at a Patriots game.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

acoustix Fair Use? (317 comments)

Wasn't this already decided by the courts as fair use? Consumers aren't expected to purchase recordings for each playback device. I think it has been decided that it's legal to purchase a CD and make copies for personnal use. That should cover copies to analog tapes and copies to files for mobile devices.

about a month ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

acoustix Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Hamas started it and reuses to agree to any proposed cease fire. Israel isn't the group calling for the extermination, Hamas is. Israel has also offered legitimacy to the Palestinian government in exchange for a cease fire and removing the language in the charter to kill all jews.

But yeah, go ahead and blame Israel.

about a month ago
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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

acoustix Who Cares? (162 comments)

Bose is an over-priced lifestyle product for the middle aged. Beats is an over-priced status symbol for teens. Both groups of people are unaware that products equal specs can be purchased for much less and that superior products can be purchased for the same price.

about 1 month ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

acoustix Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

That's a good point, but its a small percentage of flights that have Internet access. Even in the US.

about a month ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

acoustix Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

My guess is cost. Sending data via satellite is very expensive, and there's a lot of data recorded. As for ground stations, I'm not aware of any plane-to-ground data communications currently in use (other than radio for voice) so that would need a completely new infrastructure built.

about a month ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

acoustix Probably because of French entitlements (309 comments)

People in France work fewer hours than their US counterparts. France has mandated a 35 hour work week for their full time employees. The US averages 42 hours for full time work (will probably go down after Obamacare is implemented) and often full time salaried employees have an average of 45-55 hours a week. France also requires a minimum of 5 weeks vacation.

Gee, I wonder why their products are more expensive than the US...

about a month and a half ago
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Oil Man Proposes Increase In Oklahoma Oil-and-Gas Tax

acoustix I can't believe that people are falling for this (182 comments)

We all know that businesses really don't pay taxes, right? I mean they do, but the companies charge more for their products and services as a result of paying taxes. There's not a single business around that just eats that cost. My point is that it's not like this man is voluntarily giving up money. He will still make just as much money.

Everyone who uses oil and gas products will pay a higher price because of this. I'm not saying that's good or bad - that's not the point of my post. I'm just trying to point out that everyone pays for business tax increases, not just the businesses.

about 3 months ago
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iOS 7 Update Silently Removes Encryption For Email Attachments

acoustix BlackBerry FTW (68 comments)

Suck it, iOS fanbois.

about 4 months ago
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Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

acoustix Stupid article is stupid (345 comments)

'I don't want to hear that tired "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line. Hey, XP IS broke, and it will just get more so over time."

WTF? It wasn't just XP that was broke. This affects ALL Microsoft browsers and OSes. So upgrading to Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 would not have solved this issue.

about 4 months ago
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US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

acoustix Re:this is reassuring (481 comments)

The only security was that it was airgapped and had obsessive, paranoid, over the top physical security. The age of the systems (the existence of 8" floppies for example) added nothing to the system security. Because it likely was never designed with any computer security beyond the console itself, bypassing the console could well bypasses the entire missile security system.

We have no proof or idea of the security within the system itself. Any talk of it is pure speculation. What we do know is that the code is constantly being reviewed and has been updated since it's first implementation.

It would be much easier for an enemy/terrorist to get their own nuclear bombs from another source.

about 4 months ago
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US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

acoustix Re:this is reassuring (481 comments)

Likewise the idea that there are no "network ports", hence no way for modern systems to get access. This probably also that the whole system has no "network" security, bypass the security console and you have direct access to the entire launch system, because it never occurred to the creators that you could spoof the entire console. (The equivalent of the old Windows password you could bypass by hitting "cancel" on the "Try again: Yes/No/Cancel".) So if someone can smuggle something small past the, probably impressive secured, airgap, there is no second line of defence. Unplug the existing terminal, plug in a tiny portable bit of modern, hard-hacked kit, pwn the whole system.

You might argue that the techniques necessary are not routine hacker knowledge. But Stuxnet was not created by a script-kiddy. They had a deep understanding of the system they were trying to sabotage. This is a nuclear missile silo, you can reasonably assume a motivated attacker.

The scenario you describe means that they would have had to bypass several layers of physical security and also remove/compromise the two people at the missile command consoles, which are probably also armed.

The chances of someone successfully pulling off a plan like this is so insignificant it would never happen, unless its in a movie.

Face it. The system is about as secure as it possibly could be.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Server Farm In Iowa

acoustix Re:Is it far enough away ? (86 comments)

For starters: Iowa is smack in the middle of Tornado Alley.

Iowa isn't in the original tornado alley and is on the border of the new tornado alley. Iowa has never been "smack in the middle" of it.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

acoustix Isn't the point of going to the moon... (313 comments)

...to eventually launch a vehicle from the moon to get to Mars? With less gravity on the Moon it would take less fuel to launch and escape gravity, right?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Management Interface On an IT Appliance?

acoustix Dell Compellent (114 comments)

Dell Compellent's storage array has a very intuitive web management console. It is by far the easiest storage platform I have ever used.

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft Lync Server Gathers Employee Data Just Like NSA

acoustix Re:It's just CDR records. It's not like it's a sec (207 comments)

Exactly. Cisco's UC has the same capabilities. I'm sure all other UC by other vendors have the same features.

Nothing to see here.

about 6 months ago
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Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

acoustix Re:BlackBerry 10 Android (249 comments)

WTF? The subject was supposed to be "BlackBerry 10 > Android". Thanks a lot Slashdot.

about 7 months ago
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Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

acoustix BlackBerry 10 Android (249 comments)

And BB 10 > iOS.

Seriously. Give BB 10 a try. It's clean, responsive and secure. Plus with the latest 10.2.1 OS you can load Android APK files directly on the device. It really is a solid platform.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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How do we know if secure sites really are secure?

acoustix acoustix writes  |  about 10 months ago

acoustix (123925) writes "We see advertising everywhere for secure, encrypted storage in the cloud. How do we really know that these providers are really encrypting the data? How can it be proven that I'm the only person who can decode and view the data? With all of the stories about the NSA and random website security breaches I would like to know if it is possible to prove that a hosting provider is truly secure with only having access using their clients and web interfaces."
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Protecting Company Data

acoustix acoustix writes  |  more than 3 years ago

acoustix (123925) writes "I've been tasked by my company to find a way to protect company data from rogue users. We keep firewall and web usage logs and we have the capability to archive emails. However, there is one feature that HR is requesting that seems like it would be difficult to implement. The company wants to be able to basically freeze or take a snapshot of all data that a user has access to at any given time. This seems like a huge task to me because some of our users have access to hundreds of gigabytes of data including databases and office files on windows shares.

We do have a virtual environment where taking a snapshot of data is possible, but applying the snapshot to review the data would be destructive to the data that has been created/modified since the snapshot. Is there software available that would track user access and changes?"
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Volunteer Work And Contracts?

acoustix acoustix writes  |  more than 4 years ago

acoustix (123925) writes "I am a member of a loosely organized group of IT professionals in my city and I’m a full-time network administrator by trade. Recently I have been active in doing volunteer consulting for a community organization. This organization wants to move their website from the current hosting/maintenance provider to a new hosting company and use my group of IT pros as the web developers. I’m fine with this aspect as we plan to redesign the website and use Drupal. During these discussions the scope increased to include a unified website for the community organizations as well as the city website. I know that the work can be done, however there will need to be contracts signed by the IT group. This contact will include service level agreements and other basic clauses. The contract will obviously protect the community organizations, but what about my IT group? The organization is planning on donating money to the IT group to be used for training. How can we protect ourselves? One thought is to make my volunteer status conditional on the basis that I continue to have a full time job that allows me to do this volunteer work. Obviously if I were to lose my job I couldn’t afford to do volunteer work. Another thought is that this website is not used to make a profit at my expense, and if it does then I will need to be reimbursed for my contributions. I will also want an exit strategy from this project after the objectives have been met. What should we do to make sure that we’re not taken advantage of? What would you do?"
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Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day!

acoustix acoustix writes  |  more than 6 years ago

acoustix (123925) writes ""Friday, July 25th, 2008, is the 9th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication." May all of your projects come in under budget and finish early."

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