Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"The authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades ..."

is the US Census Bureau.

But it shouldn't be.

The purpose of the census bureau is to count noses so that seats in the US House of Representatives can be apportioned.

That's it.

That's all.

The Census Bureau should only be asking one question at each address: "How many people live here?"

Everything else is none of their business.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why I am Against Colbert as a Replacement for Letterman

Not for the reason you might think.

It's not that I don't think Colbert is as funny as Letterman. He's at least as funny as Letterman.

Nor do I think that it signals a dramatic and undesirable political shift on CBS late night TV. Colbert spends more time on politics than Letterman, but I bet if they were both congresscritters they'd vote the same way 90%+ of the time.

I just happen to like The Colbert Report, and to think that a more generalized, network-friendly late night show featuring Colbert will not be as good at the things he's good at.

One of my favorite Colbert segments:


I'm Shocked -- Shocked!

That the National Security Agency exploited the "Heartbleed" bug to conduct its illegal domestic espionage activities. And then lied about it.

A couple of observations about Heartbleed:

  • It was a bug in open source software that is widely used, released under a public microscope and carefully/constantly reviewed by dedicated experts. Yet the bug was around for two years before it was publicly exposed. No, I'm not putting down open source. I still think it's a great way to do things, especially from a security standpoint. Just pointing out that it's not magically perfect. Problems can still go unnoticed.
  • It went publicly unnoticed, but the NSA knew about it and exploited it for most or all of that two years. So you can bet that other governments' intelligence agencies did too. QED, when the US government huffs and puffs about its dedication to "cyber security," they're blowing smoke up your ass. If they identify a dangerous flaw in widely used Internet software, they don't broadband it so it can be fixed, they just exploit it, knowing that the Chinese, the Russians, et. al are exploiting it too.
The only really good thing to come out of this is that with the fix, NSA has had a spy door slammed shut in its face.

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