Daily Archives: August 4, 2015

Phantom Med Schools Lurking in Medicare Data

  • by Sydney Lupkin
    Reporter, VICE News/MedPage Today

Thomas “Randy” Lombardo, MD, has been a well-regarded cardiologist in the Beaumont, Texas, area for decades, but a look at his entry in the Medicare provider database would make anyone do a double-take.

It says he graduated from Gate City Medical College in 1981, which is a problem because the school was shut down in 1911 after its dean was found to be selling phony diplomas for $50.

Though it’s actually a data error, nonetheless it should have led Medicare to red-flag him for potential fraud, since that’s why school information is collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the first place. If that occurred, CMS would have learned he was indeed a real doctor with a real medical degree and perhaps encouraged him to correct the misinformation.

But nobody is looking at the data.

The Medicare provider database currently lists thousands of doctors and other providers as graduates from medical schools that have been defunct for about a century, a MedPage Today/VICE News analysis found.

“Obviously, the credibility of doctors’ education, especially as related to medical school attendance and graduation, is an important data point and a source for ‘flags’ as indicators that something is not quite right,” said Seto Bagdoyan, who directs audit services at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO recently issued a report about bad addresses and license verification culled from the same dataset, but didn’t look at defunct medical schools.

Without a medical degree from an accredited medical school, a doctor is ineligible to practice medicine, let alone bill Medicare.

Lombardo really graduated from his father’s alma mater, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1981, according to the Texas state licensure board. And he has a medical license in good standing.

When MedPage Today /Vice News told his assistant about the defunct college in his federal record, she gasped and said they had no idea it was there. They bill Medicare all the time and haven’t had a problem.

Indeed, Lombardo is one of the top billing cardiologists in Texas, according to Medicare records. He earned $882,000 from the program in 2013, the most recent data available.

Lombardo did not respond to multiple requests to be interviewed for this article.

continue http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/MedicalEducation/52839

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Philadelphia Hackers and Others Offer Brotherly Love To Fallen Robot

It’s a tragedy that had everyone from NPR to the Washington Post dissecting smartphone photos of a dismembered robot. HitchBOT, a Canadian research team’s initiative “to see whether robots could trust humans,” fell well short of its goal to travel from Massachusetts to San Francisco over the weekend when Philadelphia vandals attacked the bot. Armed only with conversation software, the machine lasted just two weeks relying on the kindness of strangers to forward its journey. The US proved too much despite HitchBOT successfully traversing Canada and parts of Europe in 2014.

However, there may be a happy ending yet. Not willing to let robot violence scar its city, hackers and makers in Philadelphia are reaching out to the HitchBOT team to offer new life to the fallen Canadian after hearing about the robot violence.

“We’ll say that at this moment, if we get the OK from the creators to repair or replace the needed parts for HitchBOT, we’ll be happy to do so,” wrote Georgia Guthrie, executive director for a local makerspace called The Hacktory. “If not, we understand… and we may just build ourselves a HitchBot2 to send along on its journey. We feel it’s the least we can do to let everyone, especially the Robot community, know that Philly isn’t so bad.”
continue after video below http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2015/08/we-can-rebuild-him-philadelphia-hackers-offer-brotherly-love-to-fallen-robot/

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How to Get Your Previous System Back After You Have Upgraded to Windows 10

In the last few days millions of people have upgraded Windows 7 and 8.1 systems to Windows 10. But suppose you have tried Windows 10 and now you want your old system back? As long as it has not been more than 30 days since you installed Windows 10, there is an easy way to downgrade.

Here is the procedure. (You will need to be in an administrative account.) Since something can always go wrong, first back up any personal files and data. Also, if a laptop or tablet is involved it will need to be plugged in since the rollback can take a while.

  1. Open the Start Menu
  2. Click or tap “Settings”
  3. Click or tap “Update & security”
  4. In the dialog window that opens, choose “Recovery” in the left column
  5. The image below shows the options that are then displayed. Under the entry “Go back to Windows x” (where x is 7 or 8.1), click or tap “Get started”.
  6. continue http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-get-your-previous-system-back-after-you-have-upgraded-windows-10.htm
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Google Will Block Access To Its Autocomplete API On August 10

Are you a developer who uses Google’s unofficial Autocomplete API? Be warned, you won’t be able to do so anymore after August 10, 2015.

Google currently supports more than 80 APIs that developers can use to integrate Google services and data into their applications. The company also has unsupported and unpublished APIs which people outside the company have discovered and leveraged. One of those is the Autocomplete API.

Google Search’s autocomplete service attempts to predict a query before a user finishes typing. For quite some time now, this functionality has been available for incorporating into apps without any restrictions and completely independent of Google Search.

Here is Google’s reasoning for blocking access:

We built autocomplete as a complement to Search, and never intended that it would exist disconnected from the purpose of anticipating user search queries. Over time we’ve realized that while we can conceive of uses for an autocomplete data feed outside of search results that may be valuable, overall the content of our automatic completions are optimized and intended to be used in conjunction with web search results, and outside of the context of a web search don’t provide a meaningful user benefit.

continue http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/24/google-will-restrict-access-to-its-autocomplete-api-on-august-10-asks-developers-to-use-custom-search-engine/

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Obama Steps Up U.S. Training of Communist Chinese Military

Even as the Communist Chinese dictatorship ruthlessly oppresses the people of China while stepping up its aggressive rhetoric, espionage, and military activities aimed beyond its borders, the Obama administration has been training Beijing’s troops in U.S. military tactics, techniques, and procedures. Critics have long opposed the high-level “mil-mil cooperation” between the U.S. Armed Forces and one of the most brutal autocracies on the planet. At least one U.S. lawmaker has been expressing concerns. But the Obama administration, which boasts of its actions and has called for even deeper military ties with Beijing, shows no signs of backing down from the highly controversial and potentially dangerous programs.

In 2013, the Obama administration shocked the world by inviting Communist Chinese troops to the United States to train with American forces for the first time in history. Ostensibly aimed at practicing “disaster management,” the U.S.-Communist China military exercises raised widespread alarm among national security experts. And while the Pentagon downplayed the risk and denied in comments to The New American that any weapons were involved, Chinese officials were boasting of “weapon demonstration, technique exchange, and cooperative action.” Earlier in 2013, a senior Chinese general, who in 2005 threatened to destroy hundreds of U.S. cities with nuclear weapons, led a “military exchange program” delegation to Washington, D.C. from Beijing.

The next year, again for the first time in history, Obama offered further opportunities for Chinese forces to gather sensitive intelligence on how the U.S. military works — this time by inviting Beijing’s Navy to participate in the “RIMPAC war games.” Hosted off the American coast by the U.S. Pacific Command, RIMPAC is the largest multinational maritime exercise in the world. And by allowing the Chinese regime’s ships to participate, Beijing was able to gather important insight into the U.S. military’s “tactics, techniques and procedures” (TTPs), according to analysts. Beijing was invited again this year, even as it steps up its aggressive actions against U.S. Navy ships in international waters.

continue http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/21351-obama-steps-up-u-s-training-of-communist-chinese-military

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The Spy in Your Pocket

Does the government need a search warrant to know where you’ve been? Not if your cell phone provider knows. If you don’t like how that sounds, there may be ways to change it.

Take the case of Quartavious Davis, a Florida man convicted of robbing at gunpoint a pizzeria, a gas station, a drugstore, an auto parts store, a beauty salon, a fast food restaurant, and a jewelry store. The prosecution offered multiple lines of evidence, but there was one in particular that Davis’s lawyers objected to: records the government obtained from Davis’s cell phone provider, MetroPCS.

The records, which MetroPCS kept in its normal course of business, showed “the telephone numbers for each of Davis’s calls and the number of the cell tower that connected each call.” From this information, police concluded that “calls to and from Davis’s cell phone were connected through cell tower locations that were near the robbery locations, and thus Davis necessarily was near the robberies too.”

Prosecutors got their hands on the MetroPCS cell tower records using a court-ordered subpoena. In criminal cases like Davis’s, courts may grant subpoenas on “specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe” that the records sought “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Although this standard is higher than that for typical subpoenas, it’s lower than the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause standard.

continue http://truthinmedia.com/cell-phone-spying/

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New York is forcing retailers to pay over $300,000 for the crime of selling toy guns.

New York is forcing Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers to pay over $300,000 for the crime of selling toy guns.

The settlement stems from an investigation by the state’s attorney general office, which sent cease and desist letters to the retailers in December for breaking its strict law against children’s toys.

“State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, unless it has a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel,” according to the attorney general office. All fake toy guns must be neon colored in New York City.

Walmart, Amazon, K-Mart, Sears, and ToyArsenal.com were all targeted by the state. The settlement was announced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday, and will carry “collective civil penalties of more than $300,000,” the New York Times reported.

ToyAresenal.com now features a disclaimer on its website that reads: “New York Residents, Your State Now Prohibits The Sale of Toy Guns. Any NY Toy Gun Order will be cancelled.”

The company’s merchandise includes a “BIG Futuristic Electronic Machine Pistol,” an uzi cap gun, and toy grenade launching bazookas.

The New York attorney general office was troubled by its findings during its investigation into toy guns.

continue http://freebeacon.com/issues/new-york-cracks-down-on-toy-guns/

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Fed-up customers are hammering ISPs with FCC complaints about data caps

Comcast Customers FCC Data Cap Complaints

You know what people really don’t like? Data caps. They don’t like them on their mobile phones and they really, really don’t like them on their home Internet services. This hasn’t stopped Comcast and other wireline ISPs from trying to ram them down consumers’ throats anyway, although customer resistance to such caps is so strong that the companies wouldn’t dare roll them out nationwide just yet.

FROM EARLIER: The 2015 Moto X looks like the phone that could make me love Android again

We were reminded of just how much people hate data caps when reading some recent complaints flagged by The National Journal from fed-up Internet customers who are sick of worrying that they’ll get charged extra if they watch too many shows on Netflix.

“I have to tell my kids to stop using YouTube and other services and stuff they need for school so we don’t go over the cap,” one customer wrote to the Federal Communications Commission.

“Please, please make data caps illegal!!” fumed another.

continue http://bgr.com/2015/08/01/comcast-customers-fcc-data-cap-complaints/

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A Bull Jumps Out Of The Ring And Gores The President Of A French Bullfighting Association.

The president of a French bullfighting association has been gored by a raging bull who jumped over the ring’s fence and attacked him.

Dominique Perron, president of the Paul Ricard bullfighting association, was charged by the angry beast at the Bayonne Festival, in the southwest of France, on Sunday night. He reportedly suffered serious injuries.

Before that incident occurred, the bull attacked photographer Roger Martin, who was sitting next to Perron. The unfortunate photographer was gored in the testicles, before suffering terrible wounds up to his stomach. (Scroll down for the video.)

1. A bull attacked Dominique Perron (pictured), president of the Paul Ricard bullfighting association in France.

image: http://www.viralspell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/pe-1.jpg

A Bull Jumps Out Of The Ring And Gores The President Of A French Bullfighting Association.A spectator described the attack:

Mr. Perron was hit second. He was hit hard in the right leg, which was badly fractured. His ankle was also dislocated, and there may be other injuries.

Mr. Perron was clearly in massive pain, and was screaming and shouting as the attack happened. He was naturally very frightened.

Neither of the men had time to hide behind the wooden barriers set up to protect people. Mr. Martin is in a very bad way, though his injuries are not life threatening.

2. The attack took place at the Bayonne Festival in the southwest France. The ancient city has been at the center of bullfighting in France ever since the tradition was imported over the border from Spain hundreds of years ago
Read more at http://www.viralspell.com/a-bull-jumps-out-of-the-ring-and-gores-the-president-of-a-french-bullfighting-association/#qWYg8yQ8z9QSMiGB.99

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download http://cryptocomb.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/The-CIA-and-the-Cult-of-Intelligence.pdf

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Surveillance video allegedly shows hitchBOT getting murdered by Eagles fan

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