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March 2011
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May 2011

Comcast / XFinity is Down Again: The Value of Redundancy

I have two or three of everything.  Just in case something goes wrong.  Like today.

As of 9:00 this morning Comcast disappeared.  So did my Internet and my VoiP phone.  Not a problem.  My business number is a Google Voice number that also rings my cell phone.  Phone service?  Check.  I also have a MiFi card.  Internet? Check.  (I also have a land line phone which lost long distance only once when a fiber cable was cut 10 years ago).

Just in case I have a backup netbook computer, gmail pulls all my company mail because sometimes the email hosting goes off line and 2 SMTP outgoing mail connections.

It doesn't cost much (if any) money and on a day like today, I'm glad I did.

Oh, I called Comcast and they know they have a problem, but no idea when it will be fixed.  Typical Comcast (or should I say XFinity?)



Privatize Medicare: That's a Solution for What?

Well the House of Representatives has decided the best way to control health care costs is to privatize Medicare because it has worked so well in the past.  Oh wait, we ended up paying more for less for Medicare Advantage.  

This does NOTHING to control costs but shifts the task to the private sector.   Which is struggling already to control costs.  And will put a lot of seniors in harms way.  How about Congress lifts the restrictions on the Drug Benefit for Medicare Part D and lets them negotiate the prices with the drug companies like the Veterans Administration does.  That should shave off a few 100 billion dollars right there.

And the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations add $3 trillion to the defecit it appears.


JP Morgan Chase Waits 4 days to report data breach

Epsilon does email spam marketing for many of the largest companies out there.  And they lost a lot of email addresses of those companies last week.  (they had a release about it last week but I can't find it now).  First thing Friday morning I got an email from Kroger:

Kroger wants you to know that the data base with our customers' names and email addresses has been breached by someone outside of the company. This data base contains the names and email addresses of customers who voluntarily provided their names and email addresses to Kroger....

Is Chase that responsive because they are a financial institution?  No, they wait over the weekend and sent this Monday morning:

Chase is letting our customers know that we have been informed by Epsilon, a vendor we use to send e-mails, that an unauthorized person outside Epsilon accessed files that included e-mail addresses of some Chase customers. We have a team at Epsilon investigating and we are confident that the information that was retrieved included some Chase customer e-mail addresses....

Did you notice that Kroger took full responsibility for the problem while Chase blamed it on someone else?