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First POST: Kinks

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 22 2013


  • The Affordable Care Act is "more than just a website," says the email from the White House. "Here's What's Being Done to Make Better," says the post on the White House blog. “Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed,” President Obama said Monday in the Rose Garden. Well, at least we know the White House communications operation still works.

  • The problem, according to Obama: "kinks in the system." Which are being "ironed out."

  • White House CTO Todd Park, who formerly was CTO of HHS, and co-founded two medical technology companies before he entered the public sector, is part of the "A-team" working to fix the portal, reports He spent the first week of October sleeping on the floor of his office. The White House Innovation Fellows are also assisting.

  • The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz reports that Edward Snowden has offered to fix in exchange for immunity from prosecution and permission to work from home. Obama's response, according to Borowitz: “Edward Snowden is a traitor who has compromised our national security. Having said that, if he knows why we keep getting those error messages, that could be a conversation.”

  • Says Clay Shirky: "If Team Obama had cared a tenth as much about as they did about Project Narwhal…it would have worked." He adds, "I don't want a President who only cares about the web when it helps him get elected, but not when it's designed to help the citizens." Harper Reed, Obama 2012 CTO, replies, "we still would have been fucked by procurement and process. It still would have been over budget. And it may be in the same spot."

In other news from around the web:

  • Journalist and progressive consultant (and friend of PDM) Tom Watson writes, on Salon, that the liberal groups organizing this week's rally against NSA surveillance have made a "fatal" mistake in letting the Libertarian Party and some of its allies participate in the protest coalition.

  • President Obama told his counterpart, French President Francois Hollande, that the news that the NSA had been intercepting massive amounts of French phone traffic raised "legitimate questions," the Guardian reports.

  • NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's final "digital roadmap" leaves a lot of work for his successor.

  • The "Digital Attack Map" shows where distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS) are happening in real-time, a partnership between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks.