Saturday, October 26, 2013

Health care exchange, NSA, smart cars and local election

Affordable Care Law continues to be in the news. Now the focal point is bad software for Healthcare Exchange, which was supposedly to be the easiest part for the implementation of the law. Besides all the politics involved, the one question I had was how the programming contractors were chosen. Were technical experts involved in evaluating the contractors competency? Were there multiple bids for the contracts? .... all the routine check points in a business transactions. Too frequently management/administrators who know nothing about a specific technology are easily fooled by fancy presentations.

National Security Agency (NSA)'s monitoring of communication is in the headline news. I was not surprised that intelligent agency spying on foreign countries, terrorists and related people. What surprised me was that the government spy on heads of governments of long time alleys. There was report that  some state department official claimed the spying helped to make some decisions at UN. If this was true, what did it imply? incompetency of state department? opportunist policy, impatience, instant gratification - just to know the other side's decision ahead of time?

Smart Cars are not really in national news, but in commercials at national news time.  Sensor technology that help drivers to complete difficult tasks such as parallel parking, detection of cars in blind spots, are really beneficial. Technology that help drivers to prevent accidents due to fatigue, inattention, is good in some It sense, but really bad technology. A fatigued person should not drive. A driver should pay attention to the road ahead. It encourages bad behavior and habit. What it really does is to groom a population that relies on machine or others for their own behavior. It makes people dumb, make dumb dumber.  I used to be able to remember a route after driving once on it, and remember route on a map. Due to relying on GPS, I lost this ability. How many times does GPS make you to make wrong turns?

Our local election this year will determine the tax increase for city's school district, and several propositions to amend state constitution. Local elections impact our daily life. This election, it is about school funding, and future water supply to  Texas' fast growing population. The fact is, if we don't vote, those who voted will make the decision for us. We voted this afternoon. In addition I sent email to community crime watch list to remind my neighbors to vote.

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