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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

ilparatzo Exaggeration much ...? (170 comments)

If I am one of the 50 million Americans who are uninsured ... and I need a million-dollar heart transplant, for $250 I can get a complete medical record including insurance company details

Something tells me it would be a little trickier than that given all that is involved in that million-dollar heart transplant. Not to mention all the local news coverage, the calls to the insurance company prior to surgery given the high cost of the surgery, getting on the waiting list, etc, etc. Not to say that it's not possible that people buy the records for getting medical care, but maybe that example isn't the best in the world.

In reality, I imagine it's the SSN coupled with a wealth of information about that person that is really what is so valuable. That can be used for any number of things other than medical care specifically. It's only naturally to link the source of the data to the ultimate purpose, but in this case I don't think they are so closely intertwined. It's simply valuable data held in a hospital network.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

ilparatzo Re:Godwin's Law (381 comments)

Seems like the same thing as an ignore, just allowing the majority group to suppress you for everyone, even those willing to listen to you versus just those who would rather not read it missing out.

As a society we seem to have a really hard time with a lack of censorship. We know that things shouldn't be censored, or at least we seem to, but on the other hand there are things we don't want to read and don't want others to be influenced by them. It probably comes from difficulty in listening to views that seem contrary to our own. And in a way, the internet feeds that by allowing us to live in a bubble with those of our same way of thinking, whether they live nearby or not.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

ilparatzo Re:Very subjective (381 comments)

People are getting to be pretty brave, at least when part of a large group, during the in-person conversations as well. Would you, by yourself, be willing to step in-front of 20+ strong believers of the opposing view? Especially in this day and age where politicians like to rile up their fanatical base till they're frothing at the mouth and itching for a fight.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

ilparatzo Re:Truly sad (359 comments)

"That actually brings me to the next point - the flu is a much more deadly disease and kills lots more people. But here you are worrying about an Ebola plague."

Not to mention HIV and Aids, which given the topic of Africa is a good example. At least 40% of the people who get Ebola are likely to survive it and then lead an ordinary life Ebola free. Those with HIV and Aids live with the the rest of their life. Not to mention that HIV and Aids are already covering the globe.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

ilparatzo Re:Truly sad (359 comments)

"for lack of understanding that their problem can become our problem"

That's a slippery slope my friend, as we have found with countless wars and international interventions.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

ilparatzo Re:You have to understand (359 comments)

I think that we're all taking this a bit too far down the rabbit hole and forgetting the simple answer ...

"They have stuff over there that I could sell for money. I don't have money. I'm not a doctor, I don't know what is going on in those tents and I'm not allowed in. How about I just go and take all that stuff and sell it? If I get sick, that's okay, I've been sick before."

Unless you're trying to write a book and need to up that word count, what more philosophical understanding does it take then that? If you're not careful, scientific over-analysis can just take you farther from the simple truth of a situation or at a minimum overly complicate it.

about two weeks ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

ilparatzo Fifth Bullet ... (194 comments)

  • The government will continue to operate all future, similar projects in the exact same fashion, regardless of this report.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

ilparatzo Re:If they disagree you're a troll (457 comments)

For those we are intolerant of, we also like to come up with labels that immediately serve to invalidate what they are saying, or make it dangerous to side with them. With all the talk in society about the need to stop using words that label others in a derogatory fashion, we certainly like to do it a lot. By slapping a generic label on people we can quickly and easily minimize anything they have to say. It's too powerful of a tool to give up entirely apparently.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

ilparatzo Re:Problem already solved (457 comments)

They don't realise that a troll doesn't care what is said to them.

The same is true of people who hold a belief strongly one way or the other in many cases. They have all the evidence they need to defend their position and will do so vehemently. So how do we go about defining who is a troll and who isn't?

Probably best to allow those who wish to have a debate do so, and you just have another person you can ignore if you aren't interested.

about two weeks ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

ilparatzo Re:Not Government (457 comments)

The problem is trying to figure out when a Troll is just a Troll vs. Free Speech of an unpopular idea.

This is the key part of "troll" definition and solving any perceived "problem" with trolls. Someone voices an opinion different from mine? Troll. They voice that opinion with evidence I think is garbage? Troll.

But even worse, we're getting to the point where ... someone says something rude about something I like? Troll. Someone says something rude about something I DON'T like? Not a troll. We are more willing to accept bad behavior from those that we agree with than from those that we don't. And the same will likely be true for any government that seeks to regulate it as they pick and choose what they stop and what they let slide.

Easiest solution is for people to just suck it up and ignore the stuff they want to ignore what they want to ignore and read what they want to read. It's been done for centuries. Problem then becomes that we worry about all of the "impressionable" people around us that might get the wrong idea and then seek to protect them by suppressing.

about two weeks ago
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Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

ilparatzo Re:selection (165 comments)

That's funny, because recently I've found the opposite to be true. I find an obscure history title or psychological study I want to read on Amazon and then search all the local libraries (City and County) and come up empty. In fact, at least in my area, it seems like the large libraries primarily carry popular titles or oft-read items like magazines, romance novels, recent biographies, etc. In fact, the closer that your book seems to get to being considered a "textbook" the less likely you are to find it in the library.

I always thought of the library as this great storehouse of knowledge and insight. In reality, it seems to be more of a provider of services. As evidence, the county library in my neighborhood is going through a remodel and they've relocated to a small spot in a strip mall close by. There are two shelves of books, with the same amount of space being reserved to magazines. At least 1/2 of the entire space is consumed by public computers. And while every computer is taken, there is typically just one person looking down the aisle of books. Now certainly the lack of people is in large part due to the small number of books, but it strikes me as a view into what the library is evolving into.

about two weeks ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

ilparatzo Re:Mod parent DOWN (514 comments)

If Jesse wants to wage the next race war, he should start by getting more black kids interested in STEM and education in general.

Publicity opportunities while doing something like that are fewer and farther between. Not to mention, it's a harder goal to accomplish than simply whipping up a portion of the population into a frenzy. It's really too bad that the black leaders who are really helping to get kids into STEM or even just graduating high school at higher rates don't get all the same levels of publicity as the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jackons of the world. Not to mention that their messages likely dilute the hard work being done.

It's one thing to scream and yell about a lack of diversity and call on that diversity to be increased. It's a whole other thing to actually do something about it, digging at the root cause and fixing the real problem. It might even make you have to face some hard truths. That is eminently more difficult. It's too bad with give more face time to the first group than we do the second.

about a month ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

ilparatzo Re:Where are the buggy whip dealers? (544 comments)

Not to mention that I would think biasing the results to only people who have used both a slide out keyboard and a touchscreen will mean you have more people that actively sought out a slide out keyboard, which is (by the accounts of the poster) difficult to come by. Those that actively sought it out are more likely to want and/or prefer one.

I used a slide out keyboard for 2 years and hated it. But if it hadn't been for a mandated company phone, I never would have even given it a try. So more importantly to the survey results, my wife has never had a phone with one and never will.

To be a fair assessment, you can't just say "of the people that have tried both , a small majority prefer the keyboard". You need to at least be able to also say "those that have never tried it want to try one". But you probably need to go even farther. Does it added thickness? Does it add weight? Does it add needed support (for fixing it)? Will it reduce my screen size? And finally, is my desire for a slide out keyboard outweighed by any or all of the above?

about 1 month ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

ilparatzo Re:Finally! (474 comments)

"Also, the high prices are driven by the prohibition of drugs"

Making them legal isn't going to suddenly make them cheap. On the other hand, they are likely to get more expensive as they are taxed to pay for the problems that can arise from a drugged population, programs to get people off of them as they can be destructive to lives (illegal or not) and because it's a great source of revenue.

You're going to have to pay for increased work by the FDA to regulate recreational drug production and sales (keep Joe Blow from cooking meth in his basement that is "dangerous" compared to legally sold Meth). You might end up with more people hooked on drugs, since I can now go down to the store and buy a hit of Heroin, so you'll need more treatment programs.

Besides, alcoholics tend to lead self destructive lives and the worst of them tend to have a hard time holding a job. Same will be true of a legalized heroin junkie. And when he's dead broke because he can't hold a job while high all the time, someone has to pay for him to rehab. Or, he's gotta find some way to get the money to pay for more heroin.

about a month ago
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Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

ilparatzo Re:Freemium vs DLC (139 comments)

These tend to be pretty easy to detect though at least. I like the app stores that show you the most frequently purchased in-app items. You'll quickly see the in-app "currency" and know that it exists, versus the one time purchases (or in some cases, both).

I've come to rely on the fact that just about everything on the "Free" list has in-app purchases, most likely to move along in the game. It just turns into determining if they are 100% required, or just make things easier.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

ilparatzo Re:What? (382 comments)

If I write a petition asking for something that the President is passionate about, I would expect that I'd get a major response and it would be used to drive policy change.

Otherwise, stamp a form letter in response and move on.

about a month and a half ago
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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

ilparatzo Re:People need an outlet for their evil (223 comments)

When you know that just about anything you say could turn you into a pariah within society, or cause you to experience bodily harm, you're generally careful with what can be attributed to you and go a little crazy when you've got the power of anonymity. This is true of truly hateful speech, borderline speech and more and more with rather benign speech. As it can often help a political or personal agenda, speech is often twisted and distorted into something it never was.

In a world where every word we say or write runs the chance of living forever in it's original or a twisted form, you can't blame people too much for going a little crazy during those times they have a mask.

about a month and a half ago
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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

ilparatzo Re:Comments (223 comments)

These kind of haters represent a tiny but vocal minority of the US population but they seem seem to swarm to the comments sections of any story that touches on one of their hot button issues.

This is true of many issues out there. There are techies that jump on everything they slightly disagree with. Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc ... they all have their vocal minority. Seems there will always be a group within any cause or idea that lets out the vitriol at the slightest opportunity.

It's the price of living in a free society, lest you have a group (with their own biases) overseeing it all and deciding what can and cannot be said. It relies on a majority not getting sucked into the wild conspiracies and vitriolic hatred that is present and being more level headed.

about a month and a half ago
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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

ilparatzo Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (223 comments)

The power wielded by a corporation obviously depends on whether or not it helps your argument.

On one hand, corporations are evil and all powerful, swaying elections, forcing their religious beliefs on their employees and getting off scott-free for crimes Joe Blow on the street would swing from the gallows for.

On the other hand, they don't have the ability to decide what books they will sell and make decisions from a purely neutral standpoint when doing so.

about a month and a half ago
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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

ilparatzo Re:Incorporate (223 comments)

Incorporating doesn't help, because you also need the vast coffers of cash that the big corporations have so that you can a) pay for the lawyers to argue the stances you described, and b) put money into the coffers of the campaigns that are going to help you get off.

Simply incorporating gives you squat, because you're still an individual without millions of dollars. Small businesses are still ground into the dirt when the politicians or public desire it.

about a month and a half ago

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