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Friday, October 25, 2013

Obamacare's “Interesting, academically, but not very useful.” website

“Interesting, academically, but not very useful.” Those are the words of John McAfee, founder of McAfee anti-virus software and the subject is the Obamacare website. McAfee contends that is running a denial of service attack against itself. A typical denial of service attacked is perpetrated when thousands of "bots" are surreptitiously deployed on computers throughout the internet (even your own). At the appointed time they begin "pinging" the targeted server. The server must answer each "ping" with its internet address. As thousands of bots ping hundreds of times a minute the server can only reply to the pings, not allowing any other functions to occur. Eventually the server shuts down.

Now the HHS promises that will be up and running by the end of November, two month into the rollout. That maybe too optimistic. It may never be ready. Don't think of this as like rebuilding an engine or framing a garage. It's more like working a Rubik's Cube. Each change to the software has the potential to create another glitch. Software tech Bruce Webster makes this observation;
The reason for that thinking is that on a small scale, this is what often happens with a program — it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and then you fix that one last bug, and boom! it works. (Ask any Computer Science undergrad, such as my daughter Crystal.) The problem with large, complex software is that each bug you fix usually just uncovers some number of new bugs that you weren’t encountering before. (This is also the problem with performance improvement on large systems: when you discover and fix the worst performance bottleneck, you merely uncover the next performance bottleneck.)
But wait! It gets worse! It is well- and long-known in software engineering circles that any change to a program’s source code runs a measurable and not-insignificant risk of introducing new bugs (or re-introducing old ones). This is why thorough regression testing — in effect, re-running all your existing test scripts again after each code change — is so important, particularly in the late stages of system development. Without rigorous regression testing (and source code change control, limiting who can make changes to code and when they are allowed into the system), you can in effect be chasing your tail for months without achieving a stable acceptable system.
He continues; Which is exactly why I see so many large IT projects that never stabilize — lots of work is done, lots of bugs are fixed, and yet it never gets any closer to being able to go live.
One doubts if Obama will let the damn thing drag out until the 2014 elections and any decision is going to be deemed too early, "give 'em a chance" or too late "told ya so". He may be setting his party up for repeat of 2010 only much worse. One thing is certain. The media has forgotten all about the shutdown and liberal Democrats have filled in for Tea Party Republicans, calling for a delay of the individual mandate. Don't they known it's the law of the land, passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court?

1 comment:

  1. The "law of the land" that they keep illegally altering and changing to suit their own purposes. It's shocking. The law under which we are living is not the law that was originally passed.