March 23, 2014 |
A Missouri man was charged Friday with a computer-driven effort to shut down the City of Philadelphia's website by flooding it with more traffic than it could handle. The alleged attack, outlined in charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office against Michael Crockett, 29, of Kansas City, occurred in September 2012, prosecutors said. They gave no explanation of Crockett's motive. The charges were included in a document known as an information - typically a sign that the individual is cooperating with authorities and intends to plead guilty.
March 23, 2014 |
While the rest of us were shoveling winter's snow and slipping on ice, the survey-takers were hard at work, often coming up with residential real estate information that has little bearing on this market. OK, repeat after me: "All real estate is local. " Sometimes, however, there are nuggets to be gleaned from the volume of "breaking news" I get e-mailed to me around the clock. One, from the venerable Keith Gumbinger at HSH.com, whom I remember before he was a website, talked about affordability levels based on fourth-quarter 2013 data.
February 24, 2014 |
In the run-up to tax day, April 15, when returns are due to the IRS, you may have to unwind some of the complicated new tax rules - and fend off a few tax scams. Here is some help. The IRS last week issued its annual list of "dirty dozen tax scams" and said identity theft and phone scams lead the list. Many of the scams are perpetrated by tax filers, for example, claiming false expenses or exemptions. In the case of fraud-by-phone, the IRS says, "scams include many variations, ranging from instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.
February 12, 2014 |
TRENTONA South Jersey Democratic organization has filed a federal complaint against a Republican campaign group working to reelect U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, saying it had co-opted his Democratic challenger's name on a "deceptive" website to solicit donations. Republicans countered Monday by attacking the challenger, Democrat Bill Hughes Jr., for his association with retiring U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.). The website complaint, brought by Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Jim Schroeder, asks the Federal Election Commission to investigate "fraudulent" activity by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
February 10, 2014 |
In a power outage, utilities can't charge you for electricity they didn't deliver. But what responsibilities do they have in providing service, and what are your rights - and responsibilities - as a consumer? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission displays the "PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights" in this document. There's nothing specific about how your utility should respond to an outage, but it notes that utilities "are required to make necessary repairs and improvements to service and facilities.
February 3, 2014 |
Four months ago, the healthcare.gov website wasn't looking so dandy to Ted Trevorrow. The insurance veteran and freshly certified Affordable Care Act navigator was shaken by the exchange's disastrous rollout and the cascade of Web errors that followed. "It took some luster off the ACA," said Trevorrow, speaking at Resources for Human Development's office in Roxborough. But these days much of that luster has returned to the site's bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans. The website has rallied.
January 12, 2014 |
'Information is now a core of our business," says Kim Scott Heinle. He is assistant general manager of customer service at SEPTA. You'd think he'd be talking about snow and ice, bus detours, dead equipment, backward-rippling train delays. But here he is, talking like some IT guy: "It used to be just running buses, trains, and trolleys, but now it's information, too. " "Our riders want it," says Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations. And they want it "in real time.
December 8, 2013 |
On Monday night, precisely at 10 p.m., I logged on to a site where many have unhappily gone before - HealthCare.gov - to see whether the fixes touted by the Obama administration had taken hold. I chose the late hour because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said people might have better luck buying health insurance during off-peak hours. The site's welcome screen popped up quickly. So far, so good, I thought. And then: "Healthcare.gov has a lot of visitors right now. We need you to wait here so we can make sure there's room for you to have a good experience on our site.
December 8, 2013 |
Without fanfare, the Philadelphia Police Department has begun posting data on its website about officer-involved shootings - the focus of a U.S. Justice Department study requested by Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. In May, Ramsey asked the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to review the police department's handling of cases when officers shoot at civilians. Lt. John Stanford, a spokesman for Ramsey, said the posting of the information was not a result of the COPS review, which also covers all use of force by officers.
November 24, 2013 |
Almost two months after its inglorious rollout, the healthcare.gov website appears to be slowly recuperating. But even if it is 80 percent healed by November's end, as some public statements suggest, it likely won't be the promised seamless shopping experience where consumers can compare plans and prices and see if they qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Several websites have stepped into the breach and are helping consumers unravel the differences among the various health insurance policies.