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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

O’care Website – Epic Fail

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So, it didn’t take much for all of us to watch as the O’care website flopped right on it’s face.

With three years and over $300 million, it’s astonishing how people aren’t being sent to the unemployment line, beginning with that battle-axe Kathleen Sebelius. She was put in charge of all this and it’s been nothing but a colossal disaster.  So as the HHS sorts out all the brouhaha, I have a few points of my own.

1) I talked a couple times already on this (here, and here), and wonder why more people aren’t asking the questions. We’re supposed to have the best IT in the world, and yet, we can’t make a functional website? Or is this just another shining example of government ineptitude – focusing on bureaucratic constraints and organizational needs, rather than customer needs. Vincent Flanders of Web Pages That Suck talks about this on his website (here)

2) Why did HHS opt to use CGI Federal to build the website after Canada fired them? That doesn’t make a dang bit of sense, particularly since the project that CGI failed to do with slipped deadlines and the like was much smaller. Either HHS didn’t know and didn’t vet them properly or they did know, which suggests something more insidious.

3) If Sebelius was smart, she would have contracted with a website design firm right here in the USA.  You see, we’re all natural-born capitalists and building a functional website that could sustain millions of hits per day should not be that difficult. Perhaps Sebelius should have contacted the developers for Amazon or eBay.

What do you think?

 

To my friends.

 

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Written by The Rabid Conservative

October 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

ObamaCare Website Failures – Intentional?

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Now this borders on conspiracy theorist, but it does make a lot of sense.

Question: Did the government engineer the Heathcare dot gov website to purposely obscure the costs of premiums? 

It might make sense, given the previous commentary from Aetna’s CEO about how the code drop only happened last month and they government would “fix it on the fly”. That level of sheer incompetence does border on the intentional – they had three years to get it done! It didn’t take other high volume websites that long to come online and meet the demand.  But it certainly did for the ACA’s website.

Or maybe there were some who felt that it wasn’t going to work out anyway, so rather sink a lot of website development costs into something that people would effectively reject, they’ll just take the money and produce a pathetic product.

There’s also the thought that government web developers are so incompetent – that that’s why they’re in government – they got fired from civilian, for-profit gigs.

I don’t know.  But I’m quite sure that, as not many Americans have actually signed up for ACA as ObamAd, Inc would like, not disclosing the costs of ACA to the public without signing up would not be in the best interests of the Administration. The aim is to get you to sign up, not to have you see the costs, get “sticker shock” and then walk away.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the next step was to start signing everyone up automatically.

Read the Piece: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/14/obamacares-website-is-crashing-because-it-doesnt-want-you-to-know-health-plans-true-costs/

Rush’s Commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV6cpyFs56M

Written by The Rabid Conservative

October 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I Bet If It Was Amazon…

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If there is one thing I like about Amazon.com, it’s the fact that they know what is important and what isn’t.  And they know how to build a system that doesn’t take years to construct, cost tens of millions of dollars to get working, and isn’t buggy as crap. Instead, they know how to take the ample time to prepare for a good system rollout.

But according to Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, code drops for the site showed up within a month before go-live. Mr. Bertolini indicated, though more diplomatically than I would, of how much that ObamAd, Inc was hell bent on getting the project launched on October 1 and that all the testing now was “on-the-fly”.

So in other words, it was more important to get it out there, rather than getting it right.  That is the same madness that has driven the entire ACA in the first place.  Nancy Pelosi wanted to “pass it to see what was in it” and then she wanted to “fund it before we could fix it”. Obama and the rest of the Congressional jackasses were refusing to negotiate on anything because this is “signature legislation”. It’s all about “getting the framework into place” rather than actually having a working solution.

Many of my friends are in IT, systems designers, enterprise architects, web developers and code jocks. All of the ones I’ve spoken with in my circle find the entire thing laughable. And then I bring up Amazon and it puts it into perspective, because if they were really about business, it wouldn’t nearly be this nightmarish.

Typical government idiocy.

Watch and Read it: Obamacare insurance market deeply flawed: Aetna CEO.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

October 15, 2013 at 8:36 am

Another Reason Why I’m Opting Out

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Not that ObamaCare is a train-wreck and a travesty to the health care industry in general – as well as a Socialist killjoy to free-market medical coverage, but now, I have another reason:

Identity Theft

Turns out we have a story out of Kansas of a so-called ObamaCare Navigator (someone who is supposed to help people unable to figure out O-crap-care’s inner workings) who has a history.  Rosilyn Wells of Laurence, Kansas has:

1) An outstanding arrest warrant
2) History of writing bad checks
3) A bankruptcy
4) An outstanding tax bill of $1700

Yet, ObamAd, Inc has her on the rolls as a Navigator.

Thing is, Navigators have privileged access to people’s personal data. And with a woman like this, one who has a pattern on financial issues, it would seem to me she has no business being a Navigator.

But how many people out there are on the rolls as a Navigator, yet don’t engender the trust worthy of such a posting? How many scammers are out there, just waiting to abuse their privileges. It’s too easy.

So, where I certainly wasn’t interested in getting scammed by the new insurance mandates, now, I don’t even want to be near them. I’m trying to keep what little money I actually have.

No thanks – I decline.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

October 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

Just What is Microsoft Thinking, Anyway?

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It’s been a while since I did any sort of tech posting here on The Rabid Conservative, but with all the hub-bub coming out of E3 relating to the advent of the new XBox One (or what I’ve come to call it, XBone – hat tip Flex). Anyway, after Sony has basically owned MS with the PS4, even before release, it’s making me wonder if Microsoft is even thinking about the future.

1) Starting off with the aforementioned XBone and the issues with it – it’s almost like XBone is doomed already:

  • Kinect is always big-brother watching and listening – this might be innocuous enough, but after the entire NSA thing, Kinect’s nosing around your life may be uncomfortable.
  • Trying to put Gamefly and GameStop out of business and then blaming the publishers for their draconian used game and 24-hour ET-phone-home policy is something that gamers will see right through.
  • Killing the ability to play 360 games on the new console…that’s a LOT of money to just sit there collecting dust.

2) Windows 8 (or as I call it, Windows Hate), just simply seems to be fizzling worse than Vista did.  This is nothing new, considering that the industry only really forgave MS once when changing the GUI interface from Program Manager to the Chicago style with the start button that has been long duplicated across multiple platforms.  However, now I must wonder if, by ramming the idea of the Metro interface into the PC market without offering the Chicago interface as an alternative, that the industry has pretty much going to be unforgiving. One might consider this with the mild backoff with Windows 8.1 that is going to give users back the  Start button. And as an extra swipe, I literally cannot stand Microsoft’s new look and design.  It’s so flat, so unremarkable, it’s like a first year web design student made it.  I like depth and with simple coding structures using CSS3 and JavaScript, it’s very easy to do.

3) Microsoft’s poor showing into the tablet market has made their attempts at making the Surface something that people would want over Android-based tablets and Apple iStuff almost laughable.  Maybe they’ll wise up like HP did, firesale out all of their tablets and realize that by giving Office for free on tablets isn’t going to compel the market into their software subscription model.

These days, Microsoft just isn’t the company it once was.  It’s dominance is slipping away each time it attempts to move the market into its corner (of does anyone believe that the market share for Internet Explorer at 12.6% an accident?).  The way I see it right now, Xbone is going to backfire, Windows 8 isn’t going to do any better than Vista did, facilitating the onset of Android-powered notebooks and set-top boxes, and Windows Phone and Surface tablets are going to really just be a one-off.

If Microsoft doesn’t start listening to its customers, they’ll go where Apple nearly went.  When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in ’96, it was on the brink of disaster because it failed to innovate.  What Microsoft is doing is not innovation.  Apple mastered the art of creating things that people find they can’t live without.  Microsoft hasn’t quite got there yet.

I guess I can’t blame them for trying, since this is what they’ve done all along.  But still – I don’t see the community going Microsoft’s way this time.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

June 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

Snowden: US Hacks China; TRC: Duh.

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Snowden today announces that the US has been hacking China and Hong Kong and Drudge announced it as a “bombshell”.  I say, “duh”.

The whole thing is called cyber warfare and millions of dollars are being spent on both offense and defense.  It’s been going on for years, with countries waging war against other countries in cyberspace.  Hacking systems, stealing information, and plaguing systems with problems is all part of the game.  Every country that has an internet link and at least one computer has been involved in this.

While the Chi-Coms deny it over and over, the number one source of all the attacks against the Pentagon originate in China.  With millions of drones being funded by the government, the People’s Liberation Army spends a lot of online time testing and penetrating network defenses, digging into American systems to see what they can steal.

Last month, the Pentagon took one on the chin when a report surfaced about the Chinese hacking in and stealing data regarding US weapon systems.  The Pentagon released a stinging rebuke three weeks earlier, publicly accusing China of hacking, which they of course denied.

So is it any real surprise that the US is doing the same thing?  One only has to take a cursory look at the job boards regarding positions for blackhat hackers to come work in DoD.  Why?  Duh.

And it’s just not the Pentagon.  Chinese hackers have basically hacked every US company.  They’ve probably stolen the Colonel’s Secret Recipe, the original formula for Coke, and have decompiled the Windows kernel a million times over.  This is what is expected of an authoritarian capitalist society that continuously cheats to get an edge over American competition.

So is it any wonder that our country would be, right now, cracking through the Great Firewall of China?  China accuses the US of similar breaches, such as a roil with Cisco against Huawei and ZTE and suggests that we work together to solve the problem.  Yeah right.  They have every motivation in the world to continue and no compulsion to stop their cyber-espionage practices.

And if you believe this is not the case, you live in an idyllic world of sunshine and rainbows – and no terrorists.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

June 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Saturday Rabidity: Hollywood Really Sucks

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A friend of mine shared this video with me and I laughed right out loud.  Thing is, this the norm for good web videos these days. While they are basically short, they represent far more creative energy than what comes out of Hollywood these days.

And why is that? In my mind, it has to be the competitive edge that drives the quality bar up. Any more, Hollywood is based on the controls of the Screen Actors Guild and the crazy ad revenue that keeps only a privileged few as the sources of so-called quality entertainment. Meanwhile, those who possess some very creative talent are marginalized.

This article, albeit dated some, illustrates how people seem to be more interested in YouTube than OTA or Cable subscription programming. Forbes also released this article how people are going more and more to Zero TV.  I’ve actually been this way for about three years now.

Why?  Because there is only so much stupid-crap-drama, reality shows, and zombie/vampire schlock that I can watch before I actually want to read a book…about economy or ancient history, or something.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

May 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Culture, Technology

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