By timothy from Slashdot's trying-to-be-everything-to-everyone department
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Doug Gross writes at CNN that spurred by the problems that have surrounded the rollout of the official HeathCare.gov website, three 20-year-old programmers in San Francisco have created an alternative website to help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act quickly and cheaply. The result is a bare-bones site called Health Sherpa, which lets users enter their zip code, plus details about their family and income, to find suggested plans in their area. 'We were surprised to see that it was actually fairly difficult to use HealthCare.gov to find and understand our options,' says George Kalogeropoulos, who created the site along with Ning Liang and Michael Wasser. 'Given that the data was publicly available, we thought that it made a lot of sense to take the data that was on there and just make it easy to search through and view available plans.' Of course, it's not fair to compare the creation of Health Sherpa to the rollout of the more complicated government ACA site, which even President Obama has acknowledged as a horribly botched affair. 'It isn't a fair apples-to-apples comparison,' says Kalogeropoulos. 'Unlike Healthcare.gov, our site doesn't connect to the IRS, DHS, and various state exchanges and authorities. Furthermore, we're using the government's data, so our site is only possible because of the hard work that the Healthcare.gov team has done.' But it does cast light on the difference between what can be done by a small group of experts, steeped in Silicon Valley's anything-is-possible mentality, and a massive government project in which politics and bureaucracy seem to have helped create an unwieldy mess. The three programmers have continued fine-tuning the site as its popularity has grown. In less than a week, the site has had almost 200,000 unique visitors and over half a million page views. '"The Health Sherpa makes it ridiculously easy for anyone to compare health care plans covered under Obamacare in 34 states," writes Connor Simpson at Atlantic Wire. "The result is a simple, beautiful, remarkably responsive website that anyone could use.'"Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's public-does-not-understand department
alphadogg writes "A music industry group is warning some 50 website that post song lyrics that they need to be licensed or face the music, possibly in the form of a lawsuit. The National Music Publishers Association said Monday that it sent take-down notices to what it claims are 50 websites that post lyrics to songs and generate ad revenue but may not be licensed to do so. The allegedly infringing sites were identified based on a complicated algorithm developed by a researcher at the University of Georgia."
The "complicated algorithm" (basis statistics using Excel and Google) is described in the NMPA's "Undesirable Lyric Website List
." Anyone remember lyrics.ch
?Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's still-breathing department
First time accepted submitter VZ writes "The first new stable wxWidgets release in years and the first new major release since 1998 has just been announced. wxWidgets 3.0 now includes official support for Cocoa-based 32 and 64 bit applications under OS X, GTK+ 3 under Unix and has thousands of other improvements."
Update: 11/12 01:00 GMT by U L
: Clarification: it's been several
years since the 2.8 release series, and fifteen years since wxWidgets 2.0.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-as-dark-as-doom-3 department
On Friday, Marvel released its latest superhero blockbuster, Thor: The Dark World.
Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston reprise their roles as Thor, Dr. Jane Foster, and Loki. Christopher Eccleston, best known for his role as the Ninth Doctor on BBC's Doctor Who
, portrays Thor's nemesis in The Dark World
: Malekith, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. Despite a strong opening weekend at the box office, critical reception has been lackluster. The movie averaged 66/100 on Rotten Tomatoes
and 54/100 on Metacritic
, but user reviews rated it higher, at 86/100 and 8/10 respectively. io9's review calls the plot "completely forgettable,"
but also said, "at a time when superhero films are gravitating towards Christopher Nolan-style darkness, it's really nice to see a movie go swinging into adventure with a song in its heart." Comic Book Resources also commented that the movie was a lot of fun, but added, "the film doesn't quite reach its true potential
due to a villain who never truly feels like much more than an amorphous bad guy." Those of you who went to see it over the weekend: what did you think?Read Replies (0)