December 8, 2013 |
Each month, many a Philadelphian digs through a loose assortment of stubby pencils and uncapped pens, crinkled take-out menus, orange-handled scissors, old batteries, and half-used rolls of tape hunting for a checkbook - untouched since its last use 30 days ago - to pay the rent. But to stay competitive in the digital era, industry observers say, landlords ought to offer an amenity that changes the monthly ritual from searching the junk drawer to surfing the Net: Online bill-paying.
November 30, 2013 |
Fernando Pereira was recently trying to organize a session at a forthcoming computer science conference about the work of Ben Taskar, a former University of Pennsylvania associate professor who died of an apparent heart attack Nov. 17. There was just one problem. Though he was only 36, Mr. Taskar enjoyed a career so full of highlights it was almost impossible to choose from among them, said Pereira, a former Penn faculty member who is now a research director at Google. "He is one of maybe the most creative people in the field in his generation," Pereira said.
November 27, 2013 |
The former business manager of Dorothy June Brown's charter school network admitted in federal court Monday that he was lying to federal investigators when he told them the school boards had approved emergency loans to each other. In fact, Anthony Smoot said, he lied over the course of seven interviews with federal agents. But Smoot said he was telling the truth on the stand - he had to, he said, under his plea agreement with prosecutors. He has already pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the $6.7 million charter fraud case and prosecutors have told him he could be charged with lying to federal agents if he does not say what really happened.
November 8, 2013 |
MORE and more, venerable loudspeaker makers, like British stalwart KEF, are marching into "personal audio" product territory. And a healthy trend that is. Convincing a consumer to invest in hefty, floor-standing speakers is difficult today, no matter how good they sound. "It used to be, you'd invite a swarm of people over to hear a new album on your big, living-room rig," noted 25-year KEF vet and brand development shepherd Johan Coorg. Nowadays, people mostly listen solo, on headphones and at their computer workstations.
October 31, 2013 |
A former Episcopal Academy teacher was charged Tuesday with sexual abuse of children after child pornography was found on his home computer, state police said. Richard Perkins Smith, 65, of Media, already was in custody in Massachusetts, where he is awaiting trial for rape of a child, indecent assault and battery, and related crimes in the alleged sexual assaults of four children at a Cape Cod summer camp 30 years ago. He was arrested in April. Later, Pennsylvania state police obtained warrants and confiscated Smith's computer after he admitted having pornography on the device and deleting the images, according to court documents.
October 24, 2013
THE NEW federally run health-insurance exchanges have stumbled badly in trying to sign up customers online, stymied by both design flaws and inept execution. If the website's problems aren't solved soon, they could inflict a greater toll on the Affordable Care Act than the law's opponents have. There's some consolation in the fact that shoppers can sign up over the phone or in person, and that they can enroll as late as mid-December and still have coverage on Jan. 1. But the failures are mind-boggling and inexcusable, especially considering how much time the government had to prepare.
October 23, 2013 |
So you got a new computer, or maybe a software upgrade, only to find - error message! - that some of your old files are incompatible. Poor you. But Raymond Najjar can top your tale of technological obsolescence, easy. To study long-term water-quality trends in the Delaware Bay, the Pennsylvania State University scientist needed data from the era before flash drives. Before CDs. Before floppy disks. Memo to the touch-screen generation: There was once something called a punch card.
October 23, 2013 |
HARRISBURG As a laborer for more than a decade, John Dennis always knew he could get hurt on the job. What the 49-year-old Chester resident did not expect is that when it finally happened, his day in court would be delayed because of a computer glitch. Yet Dennis', and at least hundreds of other workers', compensation cases statewide have been in limbo since early last month, when the Department of Labor and Industry completed a $45 million overhaul of the system it uses to process claims and assign them to judges.
October 11, 2013 |
The city's Department of Human Services needs to improve security for the computer system that keeps records on troubled children and youth, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said Wednesday in a report on the department's Family and Child Tracking Systems. DHS did not perform security background checks on employees of the software contractors that developed and maintain the system, Butkovitz said, and former city social workers have continued to have access to it - including one who left about 15 years ago. "Unauthorized access increases the risk that confidential data could be compromised and abused," Butkovitz said in a news release.
October 7, 2013 |
This message on the Affordable Care Act's online portal Friday summed matters up succinctly: "We have a lot of visitors on the site right now. Please stay on this page. We're working to make the experience better, and we don't want you to lose your place in line. We'll send you to the log-in page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!" So went Week One of the nation's great experiment with universal health care: a flood of demand, at least for information, overwhelming new online health exchanges that, at least initially, were not up to the task.