The story of the team that saved HealthCare.gov. Long, but worth it.
[...] they couldn’t seem to get what McDonough calls “actionable intel” about how and why the website was failing in front of a national audience of stunned supporters, delirious Republican opponents and ravenous reporters.
“Those meetings drove the President crazy,” says one White House senior adviser who was there. “Nobody could even tell us if the system was up as we were sitting there, except by taking out laptops and trying to go on it.”
Fantastic lede on a disturbing article about the underside of fraternity culture and its history:
One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.
13 floppy drives and a hard drive play Soft Cell’s Tainted Love. Brilliant.
Disputing the idea that poor people took on lots of debt prior to the recession in order to keep up in appearance with wealthier people.
[...] a new paper finds that the parts of the country where poor families took on the most debt weren’t the areas with the most inequality. They were the areas with the least inequality.
Industry leaders know magnetic stripes are outdated and easily exploitable. The rest of the world moved on to a more secure, harder-to-hack payment system based on chip-enabled cards — chip and PIN. Chip-enabled cards are more secure because the data on the chip are hidden behind encryption. So even if criminals intercept what’s on it, they can’t reuse it.
“It’s standardized all over the world and used all over the world, except in the U.S. and perhaps one country in Africa,” Litan says.
Yes, let’s not let people’s financial security get in the way of our profit margins.
Dog Wrangler Taylor captures Camp Fido Dog Daycare campers as they enjoy frolicking in the nearly two feet of snow left behind by the winter storm Hercules in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Research is showing that the pain often has nothing to do with the mechanics of the spine, but with the way the nervous system is behaving, according to Dr. James Rainville of New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.
Sounds counterintuitive at first, but makes sense.
Cube farms are bad for everybody involved.
In June, 1997, a large oil and gas company in western Canada asked a group of psychologists at the University of Calgary to monitor workers as they transitioned from a traditional office arrangement to an open one. The psychologists assessed the employees’ satisfaction with their surroundings, as well as their stress level, job performance, and interpersonal relationships before the transition, four weeks after the transition, and, finally, six months afterward. The employees suffered according to every measure: the new space was disruptive, stressful, and cumbersome, and, instead of feeling closer, coworkers felt distant, dissatisfied, and resentful. Productivity fell.
The New Yorker
Good primer on Bitcoin that explains why it’s mostly pixie dust.
1) Should I buy Bitcoins?
2) But I keep seeing all this stuff in the news about them and how
No. Tech journalism is uniformly terrible, always remember this.
3) How does this shit work? It doesn’t make any sense!
No, it really doesn’t. It’s impossible to accurately explain Bitcoin in anything less than mind-numbingly boring technical terms so you should probably just not worry about it. Go do something useful instead.
The former head of security for Ben Gurion Airport, a long-time terrorist target, writes scathingly on some of the ways the security theater we have to endure is worthless. And it’s published in Cracked.com of all places.
For a bunch of people in snappy uniforms patting down crotches, the TSA is remarkably unpopular. Nobody likes going through security at the airport, but you probably figured most of it had a point. All those hours spent in line with other shoeless travelers are a necessary precursor to safe flying. It’s annoying, but at least it wards off terrorism.
That’s all bullshit. The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon. What are my qualifications for saying that? My name is Rafi Sela, and I was the head of security for the world’s safest airport. Here’s what your country does wrong.
The story of the crew of the Old 666 and taking the most honored photograph ever in the South Pacific during WWII.
Despite list format, interesting nuggets about Roman life.