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Comments

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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:how many small businesses has Obama killed? (340 comments)

Really? It was the formal GOP healthcare reform plan for 30 years or so, since Nixon, then Clinton, pretty much whenever healthcare reform came up, they proposed the market/exchange plan. And when Romney implemented it, the Republicans *loved* it, and acclaimed it as proof that Republican policies worked. And they advocated expanding it at the Federal level.

Republicans didn't distance themselves from this plan, or come up with the "states rights" spin until Obama endorsed doing what the Republicans were planning.

2 hours ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re: how many small businesses has Obama killed? (340 comments)

I agree that they should have expanded Medicare to cover everyone who wanted it - that's by far the most efficient system with the highest patient satisfaction. Much better than private insurance, so likely the competition would have forced insurers to become at least marginally efficient and improve coverage.

That being said, I don't follow your comment about your private insurance. The only thing that happened to your private insurance is that the worst abuses were now outlawed, so (for example) insurance companies aren't allowed to waste more than 20% of what you pay them, resulting in $billions in refunds being sent to customers who were previously being really ripped off. Well, and you also indirectly benefitted in that the exchanges are so competitive that private insurance rates are going up much more slowly than they have in the past, so you're probably having money paying a 2-3% annual increase (that's the average post-ACA) compared to the historical 7-9% annual increases.

2 hours ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Anyone actually compare before and after?... (340 comments)

Nobody said that ACA would make everyone's health insurance cheaper. That being said, due to the competitive exchanges prices are going up (on average) much more slowly (2-3%) post-ACA than they went up for previous decades (7-9%). So if you compare your insurance costs to what would have happened if the rates had gone up as fast as they had previously, you're probably saving money.

But the real benefit of ACA is that the worst abuses by the insurance companies are outlawed. They can't waste more than 20% of what they collect. They can't refuse to provide healthcare coverage for people who've paid for it. And, of course, they can't refuse insurance to people who have a "pre-existing condition" when they change jobs. Those benefits apply to over 200m people. And over 10m people that had no healthcare coverage before do so now!

2 hours ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:You shouldn't need insurance for most things (340 comments)

"When health care is 'free' costs go up. "

It turns out that when health care is free, costs go down. Yes, immediately after healthcare becomes free costs go up for due to pent-up healthcare needs that were unmet. But longer-term, costs go down because people go to the doctor sooner and get things taken care of when it's easier and less expensive to treat. For example, detecting diabetic trends and changing your diet is much cheaper than taking insulin for the rest of your life.

And if it's literally free, you eliminate massive overhead. The cost of actually delivering healthcare in the US is less than the cost of administration piled on top of it. Not just the direct cost of money wasted paying insurance companies, but also the huge administrative overhead of doctors paying for a huge staff to try to get paid by the insurance companies, pharma companies' overhead, doctors being forced by insurance companies to perform medically unnecessary testing, paperwork dragging out over months and even years to try to get approvals, the cost of providing extremely expensive ER treatment instead of much cheaper, more effective medical care (not the same thing!), etc. All that waste is covered by inflated rates paid for by everyone.

If all we paid for is the salary of medical caregivers and the cost of their supplies, we'd save $trillions! That's how other countries manage to have superior medical outcomes than the US, and 1/2 the cost or less.

2 hours ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Camps mixed up (340 comments)

Question: Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare, so exactly how does it make it their "wet dream"?

Answer: Because Obama adopted the Republican plan in an attempt to unify the parties in implementing healthcare reform. The Democratic plan was Single Payer, which was cheaper, simpler, and more effective. Obama agreed to the more expensive, complex and ineffective Republican plan in an attempt to get Republicans to engage in the reform.

Unfortunately, Republicans immediately turned against their own plan, because they cared more about preventing reform than in their own reform plans.

The shame is that the Democrats didn't then go back to their own plan and push that through. Unfortunately there were enough Democrats tied to the insurance industry (Lieberman....) that, combined with 100% Republican obstruction, they were able to force the country to waste $trillions on insurance company waste. Because what's waste to us is record profits for insurance companies.

2 hours ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

laird Re:Redistribution (340 comments)

"Not sure how well the mobile part works when you actually have to pay for the insurance"

ACA helps because when you switch jobs, you know that you can get reasonably priced insurance afterwards. And because the insurance companies can no longer use the job change to declare any current medical conditions "pre-existing" and deny you insurance.

Previously there are _many_ people trapped in jobs for the health insurance, because if they went to a startup or became an independent consultant they had to pay absurdly high rates for insurance. Or because they had any medical condition that the new insurance company didn't want to cover they'd be denied insurance completely if they change jobs.

2 hours ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:good (331 comments)

That's already included in the total. The number of people shot in a house, including shootings by people who don't live there, goes up by 5x if you own a gun. So while some people may be protected by the gun in the house, in total they are 5x more likely to be shot, so obviously the number of "saves" is much, much smaller than the number of people shot by people who live in the house with you.

This is consistent with the data. The leading case of shooting deaths is suicides (2/3rds of shooting deaths), and having a gun promotes suicide deaths. The remaining 1/3rd are people shooting each other, and after that most shootings are by friends and family. Random criminals breaking in is a small percentage of shootings, so reducing that while promoting suicides and shootings by family members is bad math, leading to lots of deaths.

yesterday
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:good (331 comments)

Not "no big deal" but much less likely to end up dead.

Note also that this includes the effect of having a gun in the house protecting the people in the house from someone coming in and shooting them. That may happen, but in total the people in a house are in much more danger of being shot if you have a gun than if you don't. Apparently people get angry and shoot each other much more often than they use the gun to save everyone from an invader.

yesterday
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Ex-CBS Reporter Claims Government Agency Bugged Her Computer

laird Re:Sure it was Obama? (233 comments)

Or, of course, she received some files that she felt needed explaining.

3 days ago
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Ex-CBS Reporter Claims Government Agency Bugged Her Computer

laird Re:Both are bad but not comparable. (233 comments)

Nope, it turns out that the whole "IRS Scandal" consisted of a conservative Republican IRS administrator who put in place a consistent rule for identifying groups that had political terms in their names and thus were inspected more closely for trying to illegally apply for tax-exempt status as a non-political social welfare group, as required by Congress. The list had many more non-conservative than conservative terms in it, and many more non-conservative than conservative groups were looked into because of the system. And it wasn't done by Obama or the White House, or even approved of by them. Using an explicit list instead of inspector judgement was an attempt to be more fair and consistent. It was politically stupid, because some politicians took the list and manipulated it, ignoring 70% of the terms on the list to try to spin it as an anti-conservative attack. If that was "using the IRS against enemies of the white house" it was also, twice as often, using the IRS against friends of the white house, so it wasn't much of a political weapon.

3 days ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

laird Re:This'll end up in court... (554 comments)

"Why should this end up in court"? Because markets consist of people, who make agreements in contracts, and sometimes they disagree, or cheat, and that's where courts come in. If you take laws and courts out of the picture, the market turns into anarchy and collapses. "Why do you think that would be a good thing?"

4 days ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

laird Re:Good luck with that. (554 comments)

Vs. Get cash from your pocket, hand to cashier, receive change. Familiar and anonymous, but carrying and handling cash is less convenient than digital payment. Most secure, in that you can only lose the cash you're carrying, and then only to a local attach - people on the internet can't take your cash.

Because NFC (esp. Apple Pay) really is more convenient, and it's more secure than everything but paying cash. Wave the phone you're already holding at the sensor, see transaction, press the button to accept it, see confirmation of payment. Also, the buyer is anonymous (like cash), with no central transaction capture. No credit card number, one-time IDs instead.

Vs: Google Wallet app launching, PIN, etc. Google gets all the transaction data, and secured by PIN entry instead of fingerprint, but otherwise fairly similar to Apple Pay. No credit card number, one-time ID instead.

Vs. Credit Card dig out of wallet, swipe, press buttons on reader. Sometimes hand over ID. Not anonymous, weak security - merchants get your credit card number, ID, etc. They still use magnetic strips, which is embarrassing from a security perspective.

Vs. Debit Card dig out of wallet, swipe, enter PIN. This doesn't go through credit card companies, though of course the payment gateway, merchant bank, and customer bank all charge fees, so it's not free.

4 days ago
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Doctor Who To Teach Kids To Code

laird Can't get to it outside of the UK (164 comments)

Like many BBC products, this game appears only to be accessible within the UK. I'm in the US, and i'd happy buy a copy / access - this game would be a huge hit with my family! When I tried to go there, they directed me to the BBC Store site, which only sells physical goods. Come on, BBC!

about two weeks ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:The irony (331 comments)

Technology has a way of improving over time. They're trying to address the issue now, so that in a few years when printers and printable gun designs are that much more effective, the law is already in place.

All caused by one idiot in the US making a lot of noise about 3d printing guns.

about two weeks ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:In Japan (331 comments)

What makes you think that hunting licences can only acquired by "the rich or well connected"?

about two weeks ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:In Japan (331 comments)

If drunk driving is punished by job loss, it's de facto not a minor infraction. Perhaps they just disagree with you about priorities, and take deaths from car accidents more seriously than you do? That doesn't make things they care about, that you don't, "slight".

about two weeks ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:good (331 comments)

It's also not why the 2nd Amendment was written. The Constitution gives the States the right to form well regulated militias, not for people to form private armies to oppose the elected government. The founders called the latter treason, and they shot people who tried.

about two weeks ago
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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

laird Re:good (331 comments)

Gun owners are the most likely demographic to shoot people. If you have a gun in your house, the people in your house are 5x more likely to be shot than if you don't. The relationship is pretty obvious - people occasionally get very angry or depressed. If they have a gun, that can turn into shooting someone, including yourself. If you don't have a gun, it turns into a fist fight, knifing, etc., all of which are much less likely to result in a death.

People who don't own guns don't shoot people, because they don't have guns.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

laird Don't worry about it (224 comments)

If they're your patents, issued before they hire you, then whether they hire you isn't relevant. Simply hiring you gives them no right to your existing IP. If they want to use the patents, there has to be some sort of contract giving them that right. And they should know this.

One caveat: some employment contracts will have overly broad IP terms, so if there's a contract at all, make sure that it doesn't give them any claims to anything invented before you worked there, or done on your own time on your own equipment. That's the law for California, so common in the software industry, so their lawyers should be familiar with those terms. If there's no contract, there's no issue.

My advice would be to talk about the patents because that's a valuable achievement, proving that you know how to file patents and you have invented things that were patentable. But I wouldn't be the one raise an issue around licensing the patents, because that sends the wrong message - if you're too worried about defending your IP from them, rather than focusing on how you can help them succeed, that tells them that you don't trust them, and you're more concerned about what you get than what they get, and companies want to hire people who bring value to the company, not just extract payment. If they value the patents, they'll ask you about them, and when the time is right you can discuss terms if appropriate. But don't do it in the interview process - that's premature.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics

laird laird writes  |  about 2 months ago

laird (2705) writes "Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations

Crowd-sourced collaborative innovation is changing the face of modern medicine. e-NABLE, a global online community of humanitarian volunteers is leading the way by designing, building and disseminating inexpensive 3D printed prosthetics. Come join the e-NABLE organization and thought leaders in medicine, industry and public policy for a ground-breaking, industry-defining event at Johns Hopkins Hospital that will include the delivery of donated prothetic hands to children with upper limb differences.

We will unveil the new e-NABLE 2.0 hand, developed by Ivan Owen, Peter Binkley and Frankie Flood – the world’s first crowd-sourced, crowd-developed prosthetic that incorporates the collective intelligence, learning and experiences of e-NABLE’s online global community, parents and children who are using the devices themselves.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Come learn about the future of 3D printing technology and the medical field, why the prosthetics industry should welcome this technology and get more information on policy issues and the upcoming FDA regulatory workshops in October.

You will have the opportunity to learn how to create a device, meet vendors and get information on various 3D printers and will get to witness children receiving their first 3D printed hand devices created just for them by our e-NABLE volunteers.

We are making history and changing lives. We invite you to join us!"

Link to Original Source
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$1B of public domain research released to public!

laird laird writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laird writes "Wikileaks has released nearly a billion dollars worth of quasi-secret reports commissioned by the United States Congress. The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to abortion legislation. Nearly 2,300 of the reports were updated in the last 12 months, while the oldest report goes back to 1990. The release represents the total output of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) electronically available to Congressional offices. The CRS is Congress's analytical agency and has a budget in excess of $100M per year.

Although all CRS reports are legally in the public domain, they are quasi-secret because the CRS, as a matter of policy, makes the reports available only to members of Congress, Congressional committees and select sister agencies such as the GAO. Members of Congress are free to selectively release CRS reports to the public but are only motivated to do so when they feel the results would assist them politically. Universally embarrassing reports are kept quiet."

Link to Original Source
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Are Content Delivery Clouds the next step of CDNs?

laird laird writes  |  about 6 years ago

laird writes "Is the Content Delivery Cloud model the next step after CDN's? "A Content Delivery Cloud is a system of computers networked together across the internet that are orchestrated transparently to deliver content to end users, most often for the purposes of improving performance, scalabaility and cost efficiency. Extending the model of a traditional Content Delivery Network, a Content Delivery Cloud may utilize the resources of multiple CDN networks as well as end-user computers ("the cloud") to assist in the delivery of content." With coverage, research and commercial services emerging, is the Content Delivery Cloud coming sooner rather than later?"
Link to Original Source
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http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/news/200

laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laird writes "Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.

Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks.

The P4P Working Group consists of content-distribution-technology providers like BitTorrent, Pando Networks, LimeWire and VeriSign's Kontiki, as well as broadband companies like Verizon and AT&T, and hardware makers like Cisco Systems. There are close to a dozen members so far. The P4P operates under the guidance of the Distributed Computing Industry Association, a group that wants to foster legal peer-to-peer content distribution.

P4P's plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don't overload ISPs' networks with too much sharing."

Link to Original Source
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laird laird writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laird writes "The principle of voting in the United States is that votes are cast in secret but tallied in public.

This principle is incompatible with the current practice of using voting systems whose inner workings are trade secrets owned by the voting-machine vendors. Those same vendors pay for their systems to be tested, and the results of those tests are also trade secrets — you guessed it — owned by the vendors.

Full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/story.php?sto ry_id=3234 ."
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laird laird writes  |  about 8 years ago

Laird Popkin writes "Pando Networks, known for integrating BitTorrent into email with a slick little, consumer-friendly client (and tons of very fast Linux servers), has extended its software to support web and RSS publishing of large files. TechCrunch has a nice writeup. There's more technical information about Pando at Pando's tech site."

Journals

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Just found journal

laird laird writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just found the journal system here on Slashdot. Is it clever or over-reaching? Given that people build reputations on Slashdot, it kinda makes sense. Though if you host your life on Slashdot, well, I guess that says something too...

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