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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

CBS News’ Misleading Obamacare Report: Woman’s Plan Paid $50/ Service, Doesn’t Cover Hospitalization

.. this is the kind of plan that GOPer Big Liars (like Rep Marsha Blackburne) have been wailing about (being cancelled because they aren't real insurance policies) in the Obamacare website hearing riot.

THese policies have low premiums but basically, if you get sick you're fucked. Yeah, there are people who are suckered into buying these plans but they end up having their unpaid hospital bills covered by the Government (you and me) and also by everyone who buys real health insurance in higher premiums (hospitals increase their billing rates because Government doesn't pick up all of the uncompensated care losses). GOP doesn't want to talk about whether Obamacare isn't a more efficient way of paying for those who can't afford real insurance - or whether Obamacare already has lowered the cost of real insurance (fostering actual competition and the medical loss ratio, for example) and will lower it more in the future.


[font size="4"...mainstream media has continued to broadcast misleading, deliberately incomplete, and one-sided reports on the effects of the Affordable Care Act on consumers. The latest champion of the form is CBS News’ Jan Crawford, whose report on 56 year-old Dianne Barrette of Florida has become a North Star for those seeking to undercut the health care law by claiming that her premium increased tenfold under Obamacare, without disclosing that what Ms. Barrette was paying $54 a month for barely qualifies as insurance.[/font]

On CBS This Morning, Crawford reported that 56-year-old Dianne Barrette received a letter last month “from Blue Cross Blue Shield, informing her that as of January 2014, she would lose her current plan. She pays $54 a month. The new plan she’s being offered would run $591 a month, ten times more than what she currently pays.”

“What I have right now is what I’m happy with,” Barrette says in the report, “and I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have. Why do I have to be forced into something else.”

There are very good answers to her questions, answers which Crawford, either deliberately or through ignorance, failed to report, answers which are available to anyone with a passing familiarity with health insurance.

First of all, the plan that Barrette paid $54 a month for is barely health insurance at all. It’s part of a subset of insurance that Consumer Reports calls “junk health insurance” (and which even the company that sells it recommends that customers not rely solely upon) and it pays only $50 towards most of the services it covers. That’s it. If Dianne went to the doctor every week for a year, her plan would pay, at most, $2600. Meanwhile, based on average office visit charges, Diane would pay about $5,600.00. She probably doesn’t go to the doctor every week, of course, which means her plan pays a lot less, while her premium buys her a lot less. If she goes to the doctor, say, six times in a year, she’s paid a $648 premium for the privilege of spending another $600 on office visits. The plan also pays up to $15 per prescription, which will get you a few milligrams of most prescription drugs. The one decent deal on her plan is that it covers 100% of in-network lab services.


USC reseachers find that Google’s Quantum Computer is the Be Real Thing (Almost)

... fascinating!


The D-Wave computer housed at the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center in
Marina del Rey, California. Photo: Mae Ryan/Wired

Google bought one. So did Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest defense contractors. But we still can’t agree on what it is they bought.

D-Wave, the company that built the thing, calls it the world’s first quantum computer, a seminal creation that foretells the future of mathematical calculation. But many of the world’s experts see it quite differently, arguing the D-Wave machine is something other than the computing holy grail the scientific community has sought since the mid-1980s.

No doubt, the argument will continue. But today, researchers at the University of Southern California published a paper that comes that much closer to showing the D-Wave is indeed a quantum computer. USC houses and operates the D-Wave system owned by Lockheed, and the researchers — led by Daniel Lidar, a professor of electrical engineering, chemistry, and physics — say they have at least shown the machine is not using a computing model known as “simulated annealing,” which obeys the laws of classical physics (the physics of everyday life) rather than the more elusive properties of quantum physics.

“[Our research] rules out one type of classical model that has been argued as a proper description of the D-Wave machine,” Lidar says. “A lot of people thought that when D-Wave came on the market their machine was just doing that, [but] we ruled that out.”

... and some more background:

Google Buys Quantum Computer for Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA

To some of us, wicked fast quantum computers seem like the stuff of theory and some far off future. Not so if you work at Google or NASA. In a sign the technology is creeping closer to practical use, Google, NASA, and the non-profit Universities Space Research Association (USRA) recently announced formation of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab and seeded it with a brand new 512-qubit D-Wave Two quantum computer.

Quantum computers promise to be orders of magnitude faster than classical computers and far better at the “optimization problems” associated with machine learning—improving not only Google search but perhaps ushering in the kind of “creative problem solving” humans associate with intelligence.

Each D-Wave quantum computer is housed in a 10’ featureless black cabinet. Inside the box, an apparatus hangs from the ceiling like a high-tech stalactite. A niobium chip resides in the tip and is cooled to a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero, at which point it becomes a superconductor. But apart from being colder than deep space, the way the computer itself functions differs from the classical model.

Classical computers solve problems by systematically switching transistors “on” (1) and “off” (0). Quantum computers use qubits to represent both classical states (0 and 1) plus an in between state enabled by a weird quantum property physicists call “superposition.” In superposition, the qubit is both 0 and 1 at the same time, allowing the system to consider multiple problems simultaneously.

An Excellent Moyers and Co. on the secrecy surrounding the TPP 'free-Trade' agreement


A US-led trade deal is currently being negotiated that could increase the price of prescription drugs, weaken financial regulations and even allow partner countries to challenge American laws. But few know its substance.

The pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is deliberately shrouded in secrecy, a trade deal powerful people, including President Obama, don’t want you to know about. More than 130 members of Congress have asked the White House for greater transparency about the negotiations and were essentially told to go fly a kite. While most of us are in the dark about the contents of the deal, which Obama aims to seal by year end, corporate lobbyists are in the know about what it contains.

And some vigilant independent watchdogs are tracking the negotiations with sources they trust, including Dean Baker and Yves Smith, who join Moyers & Company this week. Both have written extensively about the TPP and tell Bill the pact actually has very little to do with free trade.

Instead, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “This really is a deal that’s being negotiated by corporations for corporations and any benefit it provides to the bulk of the population of this country will be purely incidental.” Yves Smith, an investment banking expert who runs the Naked Capitalism blog adds: “There would be no reason to keep it so secret if it was in the interest of the public.”


GOPers phony storm about people having insurance policies cancelled cause of ACA: another GOP fraud

perpetrated by the GOP... They are talking about worthless 'fake' insurance policies that would have been cancelled - pre-existing conditions - as soon at these people (suckers) would have gotten sick.


Health insurance is a hot topic these days. It seems everyone woke up one day and realized they had a stake in our national health care system, which is a good thing. Sadly, figuring out the best way to deliver health care to all Americans has almost turned into a contact sport.

The logistics alone are staggering. Even so, the ACA set up a system that works in all 50 states while setting standards of coverage and setting boundaries for insurance company behavior. The latest dust up is over the minimum standards for a health care policy and "grandfathered" plans. These plans do not meet the ACA minimum standards but since they were in effect in 2010, they could continue as long as the plan doesn't make major changes. Well insurance companies being what they are, changed these plans to where they lost their grandfather status. This means people who have these plans would no longer qualify for subsidies or exemption to the fines under the ACA. Let me clarify, these plans don't even qualify as catastrophic care policies under the ACA. That should be a clue. A $54 a month health insurance policy for a 56 year old woman is going to cover next to nothing. The fact that Republicans are defending their constituents right to own a nearly worthless policy certain to drive them into bankruptcy or kill them is crazy.

[font size="3" color="blue"]{NO it's not crazy, it's a typical GOP con, based on fraudulent anecdotal 'evidence'_Bill USA}[/font]

About 5% of America's population get individual medical insurance policies that cost more and cover less, but neither CBS nor NBC covered that aspect of the story. About 15.8 million people out of about 317 million people had nearly no protection before the ACA and a much higher chance of being screwed over by their insurance company. Does either CBS or NBC cover the atrocity of taking money for insurance coverage that leaves you all but bare? Oh, no they go for the sensational bullcrap story line. According to NBC 40-67% and possibly up to 75% of people with individual policies will not be able to keep their insurance that doesn't insure them against much of anything. If you need numbers, anywhere from 6.3 million to 11.9 million people will need to make a change, because what they have now no longer qualifies as insurance. Yes, the ACA forces people to change from junk insurance to something that offers real security.

Up to 75%!

David Brock Calls On CBS To Retract Faulty Benghazi Story

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