Developers like myself are enticed, encouraged, and incentivized to build for the web using tools created by Google. By virtue of the fact that we build our web experiences using Google Chrome’s tools, our work is meant to be seen using Google’s web browser, leveraging the technologies they create and invest in1. Google has, in a roundabout way, enlisted us developers in making their advertising platform better.
Google owns its own web browser and attracts web developers to prefer it to build their experiences. Or a Google interface is embedded in other browsers. The URL is effectively dead as the entry point to a web site; long live the search keyword. Google also supplies its own DNS service and is rolling out its ISP in select markets. Google owns the web browsing experience, nearly end-to-end.
On Monday the Associated Press reported that the Justice Department “secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press.” But here’s what’s really scary: The Justice Department’s actions are likely perfectly legal.
The charge rate listed in the data (available as an 11MB excel file at CMS.gov) has nothing to do with anything. It’s not a real price. It doesn’t correlate to the price anyone pays except for the extremely rare millionaire who doesn’t have insurance. Medicare doesn’t pay it, 95% of uninsured people can’t pay it, insurance companies don’t pay it.
It’s primarily a negotiating trick, with some accounting tricks thrown in for good measure.
People need to understand how pricing works, because it’s the cancer at the heart of healthcare.
At any given hospital, there are a hundred different prices for any given procedure. Medicare and Medicaid pay all hospitals the same amount for Procedure X. Most hospitals lose 20% (or more) on that Medicare price and make it up on the private companies.
Every single private health insurance company pays a different price, very often 150% of what Medicare is paying. Each plan negotiates prices all on its own, in secret. They have no idea what other insurance companies pay. It’s in no one’s interest to share that price. It hurts hospitals’ future negotiations if their lowest negotiated price is public and it hurts payers negotiations if it gets out that they overpay some hospitals…
This is just how the system works. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s a perfect example of how a a bad system forces a bunch of rational actors to do absolutely batshit crazy things. Everyone could stand to earn and do a lot more if things were rationalized and we did away with this system of invisible prices. That’s the tragedy of the commons for you.
— user “badengineer” on reddit
The whole comment is worth reading. We’re stuck in a terrible health care equilibrium, and almost anything that makes significant, painful, structural changes (ISTM that Obamacare largely didn’t, but time will tell) will be a positive.
So count me as a fan of capitalist health care who would be happy to get single payer if it meant blowing up the health insurance-hospital equilibrium. No matter what we got in return, it could hardly be worse.
The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders.
Yes, even though F. Scott Fitzgerald died 73 years ago (and is therefore unlikely to be incentivized to produce more work), The Great Gatsby is still restricted by copyright.
In fact, it won’t be truly free to the American public until January 1, 2021 — and even then only if copyright terms aren’t extended again. Thanks to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, no published US works will enter the public domain until 2019.1 Some countries have slightly saner copyright terms, but the U.S. Trade Rep is working diligently to use international agreements like the TPP to ratchet up terms around the world.
The aversion to the null and the persistence of publication bias and denial of the same, renders a situation in which psychological theories are virtually unkillable. Instead of rigid adherence to an objective process of replication and falsification, debates within psychology too easily degenerate into ideological snowball fights, the end result of which is to allow poor quality theories to survive indefinitely. Proponents of a theory may, in effect, reverse the burden of proof, insisting that their theory is true unless skeptics can prove it false (a fruitless invitation, as any falsifying data would certainly be rejected as flawed were it even able to pass through the null-aversive peer review process described above).
Even if Google may not entirely control how we access the Internet (not in a way that permits the FTC to regulate or that has convinced many states to regulate ISPs as public utilities yet anyway), this may be more of a failing of the law to adapt to the changing world than evidence that this new world order is working for us as mere users.
For now, all we have to balance out Google’s unfettered ability to lose or lock down the data we store on its servers is Google’s commercial sense, its recognition that providing dependable service is the only way it will keep us. I’m not sure that’s good enough for me, the 5 million businesses, or the 45 states that rely on Google, especially since the more users Google has, the less it needs us individually.
Sonoma County’s tight interface between Brett-loving brewers and winemakers fearful of the yeast has set the stage for tense encounters.
Sheana Davis, owner of the Epicurean Connection in Sonoma, remembers being out with Russian River Brewing Company owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo at a wine function. She says, “When Vinnie would say that he played around with Brett, the winemakers would take a step back, physically.”
The fear was that the yeast could be transferred like an airborne virus.
This is the ugly truth of the legal system: litigants and lawyers can manipulate it to impose huge expense on defendants no matter what the merits of their complaint. Censors can abuse the system to make true speech so expensive and risky that citizens will be silenced.
…[there is an] essential role of BOTH genes and training on ultimate sporting success. The 10,000 hour concept holds little water when evaluated scientifically, but is a nice way to get people fired up to train more.
What else do the best teachers know that might explain their successes in helping students learn deeply? We found two other kinds of knowledge that seem to be at play. First, they have an unusually keen sense of the histories of their disciplines, including the controversies that have swirled within them, and that under standing seems to help them reflect deeply on the nature of thinking within their fields. They can then use that ability to think about their own thinking - what we call “metacognition” - and their understanding of the discipline qua discipline to grasp how other people might learn.
But the internet never forgets anything. And I’ll search and search and expose every phony “I told you so.” I can’t predict where bitcoin is going, but I can predict there will be many false “bubble” claims when it eventually crashes—and it will crash. The only question is whether it will crash from a price so far above the current price, that it’s still a good buy at $200. $160.
And the EMH says that the answer to that question is; “God only knows.”