VA officials grilled over delayed payments to thousands of student veterans

Washington( CNN) Thousands of student ex-servicemen have still not received education and house fees from the US government due to a series of glitches plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ information and technology system, top VA officials approved during a congressional hearing Thursday.

Problems first arose after the VA started to implement the Forever GI Bill, a measure passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017, to “enhance or expand education advantages for Veterans, busines members, households, and survivors.”

The legislation did not address the VA’s antiquated IT system used to account for those changes, and the department’s failure to implement the alteration of that organisation has resulted in a cascading succession of faults changing the dispensation of housing payments to veteran students.


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Forget Watson, the Red Hat acquisition may be the thing that saves IBM

With its recent $34 billion buy of Red Hat, IBM may have found something more elementary than” Watson” to save its pennant business.

Though the acquisition of Red Hat is by no means a guaranteed win for the Armonk, N.Y.-based computing corporation that has had more downs than ups over the five years, it seems to be a better bet for “Big Blue” than an artificial intelligence platform that was always more hype than reality.

IBM to buy Red Hat for $34 B in money and debt, taking a bigger change into hybrid cloud

Indeed, commentators are already noting that this may be a case where IBM lastly hangs up the Watson hat and returns to the enterprise software and services business that has always been its core competency( albeit one that has been weighted far better heavily on consulting services — to the detriment of the company’s business ).

Watson, the business discord concentrate on neural networks whose public affirms were always more market than actually market-driven, has not performed as well as IBM had hoped and investors were “losing ones” patience.

Critics — including psychoanalysts at the asset bank Jefferies( as early as one year ago) — were skeptical of Watson’s ability to deliver IBM from its business woes.

As we wrote at the time 😛 TAGEND

Jefferies drags from an audit of such partnerships between IBM Watson and MD Anderson as a case study for IBM’s broader difficulties scaling Watson. MD Anderson cut its ties with IBM after consuming $60 million on a Watson project that was ultimately deemed, “not ready for human investigational or clinical use.”

The MD Anderson nightmare doesn’t stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech purchasers have had similar suffers working with IBM.

The narrative isn’t an expression of the results of any single malfunction, but preferably research results of overhyped marketing, shortfalls in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data readying demands.

Jefferies holds IBM Watson a Wall Street world check

That’s not the only hardship IBM has had with Watson’s healthcare develops. Earlier this year, the online medical publication Stat reported that Watson was handing clinicians to recommend cancer treatments “thats been”” unsafe and mistaken” — based on the training data it had received from the company’s own engineers and doctors at Sloan-Kettering who were working with the technology.

All of these woes were reflected in the company’s latest earnings bawl where it reported falling incomes mainly from the Cognitive Solutions business, which includes Watson’s artificial intelligence and supercomputing assistances. Though IBM premier financial officer pointed to “mid-to-high” single toe growth from Watson’s health business in the quarter, transaction processing application business fell by 8% and the company’s suite of hosted application assistances is mostly an afterthought for business gravitating to Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon for cloud services.

To be sure, Watson is only one of the segments that IBM had been hoping to tap for its own future rise; and while it was a huge investment orbit for the company, the company ever had its attentions partly fastened on the gloom calculating context as it looked for the regions of growth.

It’s this area of cloud calculating where IBM hopes that Red Hat can help it gain ground.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the gloom market, ” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, in the following statement announcing their purchases. “IBM is increasingly becoming the world’s number-one hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the gloom for their businesses.”

The acquisition too sets an incredible amount of selling supremacy behind Red Hat’s many open generator services business — passing all of those IBM project managers and consultants brand-new projects to pitch and perhaps juicing open root software adoption a bit more aggressively in the enterprise.

As Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst told TheStreet in September ,” The large-hearted secular driver of Linux is that large-hearted data workloads run on Linux. AI workloads run on Linux. DevOps and those programmes, almost exclusively Linux ,” he said.” So much of the net new workloads that are being built have an attraction for Linux .”

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Meet Shuttle, the company thats building a booking agent for spaceflight

Avery Haskell says he first knew he wanted to be an astronaut ever since he was a son growing up in Houston near NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The 24 -year-old Stanford graduate who weighs Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan as his heroes grew up in an entrepreneurial clas. In the early days of the internet his mother, an accountant in the oil and gas industry, and father, an new technologies technician for a railroad, propelled their own startup announced ” Neighbornet” — an early form of Zillow( which never get off the sand ).

Haskell himself bounced around the startup manufacture, with forays into propelling a crowdfunding startup and stints at a few mobile technology companionships, before landing on its most recent crusade, Shuttle.

Launched earlier this year out of the Alchemist Accelerator and co-founded with cybersecurity expert and Wickr co-founder, Nico Sell, Shuttle is aiming to be the web and mobile-based booking agent for spaceflight.

” Space is my first love ,” said Haskell, who helped found the Stanford Space Initiative at his alma mater.” I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut and facilitate more parties become astronauts. I thought it would be cool to get more beings to go to room and get more people interested in space travel .”

Haskell encountered Sell at the Alchemist Accelerator, where she first wielded as a mentor to the young entrepreneur. But she soon grew enamored with the idea of working at the edge of a new kind of frontier marketplace. The day that Sell agreed to be the chair of Shuttle was the day Elon Musk’s SpaceX landed two booster rockets back on globe nearly simultaneously.

SpaceX property two of its three Falcon Heavy first-stage boosters

” I’m following Elon into opening ,” said Sell.” When I first started working with Avery I had asked’ Are “weve been” ready for who are currently ?’ And after is collaborating with him I’m remain convinced that we are .”

Purchasing tickets on a flight listed on Shuttle isn’t the same as buying a plane ticket on Kayak, principally because the toll objects are higher to the point of near-absurdity if you’re not a member of the super rich.

Offerings will stray from trips on Virgin Galactic trips that will cost upwards of $250,000 in the near term to low-end packages that will include a zero-gravity flight aboard a tricked-out Boeing 747 for the low-grade, low price of simply under $5,000 per seat.

The company is actually taking orderings for its first zero gravitation flight, which it expects to open from San Francisco in March 2019. That’ll cause approximately 34 beings the opportunity to experience weightlessness for around 8 minutes.

” Our operation is to open space up to everyone ,” says Haskell.” We want to get more parties to infinite so that the price goes down and so that more people can see ground from opening and grow private cosmonauts .”

Eventually, as more seat tourism presents become available, the company expects to sell additional bundles.” There’s a luxury opening hotel that’s being built right now ,” says Sell.” It’s a million dollars a nighttime and a 12 nighttime minimum and every 90 times you interpret a sunset and a sunup. Pretty soon there’s going to be a moon walking and a cavity go that are available too .”

Shuttle is hoping to be the hub that aggregates all of these presents into a single one-stop shopping and media suffer for buyers interested in trying out existing planets and boldly going where only few followers( and women) have gone before. And the company will volunteer virtual room tours and tickets to propels for the plebes who can’t afford an actual ride.

Initially, expect the ultra-rich or the ultra-subsidized to be the only folks that will be able to take these tours. Sell checks a lot of opportunities in corporate bundles for business patrons — likening it to a trip to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch for an executive retreat.

Sell believes that there will be upwards of 100,000 people in the next 10 years who’ll be interested to plunk down the $50,000 to $250,000 that it will cost to go to space.

Already, the company has $1.66 million in bookings off of eight purchasers on four Virgin Galactic flights and four Zero Gravity Charters with commission rates of 5 percent to 10 percent on flights that average $250,000 per ticket.

As for what comes next, Haskell has some guess.” We will probably be able to build a base on the moon very soon. By 2030 that’s a prospect. Within my lifetime it will be pretty common for beings to travel to and from other planets in space ,” he said.

For him, the importance of Shuttle is get Earth’s human inhabitants to recognise the fragility of our actuality on the minuscule blue-blooded pellet we all share. Haskell said his favorite repeat from Carl Sagan was ” We are a direction for the cosmos to know itself .” And if that’s true, Haskell am of the opinion that the experience of traveling through the cosmos may be a behavior for humans to come to a better understanding of themselves as well.

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Docker has raised $92 million in new funding

Docker, the company that did more to create today’s modern containerized computing environment than any other independent company, has raised $92 million of a targeted $192 million funding round, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The new funding is a signal that while Docker may have lost its race with Google’s Kubernetes over whose toolkit would be the most widely adopted, the San Francisco-based company has become the champion for businesses that want to move to the modern hybrid application development and information technology operations model of programming.

To understand the importance of containers in modern programming it may help to explain what they are. Put simply, they’re virtual application environments that don’t require an operating system to work. In the past, this type of functionality would have been created using virtual machines, which included software and an operating system.

Containers, by contrast, are more efficient.

Because they only contain the application and the libraries, frameworks, etc. they depend on, you can put lots of them on a single host operating system. The only operating system on the server is that one host operating system and the containers talk directly to it. That keeps the containers small and the overhead extremely low.

WTF is a container?

Enterprises are quickly moving to containers as they are looking to improve how they develop and manage software — and do so faster. But they can’t do that alone and need partners like Docker to help them make that transition.

What many people miss is that Docker is far more than the container orchestration layer — Kubernetes won that war — but a full toolchain for building and managing those containers.

With every open-source project, technology companies are quick to adopt (and adapt) the open-source project and be well-versed with how to use it. More mainstream big businesses that aren’t quite as tech-savvy will turn to a company like Docker to help them manage projects developed with the toolkits.

It’s the natural evolution of a technology startup that serves big business customers to become uninteresting while they become more profitable. Enterprises use them. They make money. The hype is gone. Because once a company sells to a big enterprise customer, they stick with that vendor forever.

When Docker’s founder and former chief executive, Solomon Hykes, left the company earlier this year, he acknowledged as much:

… Docker has quietly transformed into an enterprise business with explosive revenue growth and a developer community in the millions, under the leadership of our CEO, the legendary Steve Singh. Our strategy is simple: every large enterprise in the world is preparing to migrate their applications and infrastructure to the cloud, en masse. They need a solution to do so reliably and securely, without expensive code or process changes, and without locking themselves to a single operating system or cloud. Today the only solution meeting these requirements is Docker Enterprise Edition. This puts Docker at the center of a massive growth opportunity. To take advantage of this opportunity, we need a CTO by Steve’s side with decades of experience shipping and supporting software for the largest corporations in the world. So I now have a new role: to help find that ideal CTO, provide the occasional bit of advice, and get out of the team’s way as they continue to build a juggernaut of a business. As a shareholder, I couldn’t be happier to accept this role.

With the money, it’s likely that Docker will ramp up its sales and marketing staff to start generating the kind of revenue numbers it needs to go out for a public offering in 2019. The company has built up a slate of independent directors (in another clear sign that it’s trying to open a window for its exit into the public markets).

Docker is already a “unicorn” worth well over $1 billion. The last time Docker reportedly raised capital was back in late 2017, when The Wall Street Journal uncovered a filing document from the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that the company had raised $60 million of a targeted $75 million round. Investors at the time included AME Cloud Ventures, Benchmark, Coatue Management, Goldman Sachs and Greylock Partners. At the time, that investment valued the company at $1.3 billion.

We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

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Zenefits Parker Conrad returns with Rippling to kill HR & IT busywork

Parker Conrad likes to save occasion, even though it’s gotten him in bother. The former CEO of Zenefits was pushed out of the $4.5 billion human resources startup because he constructed a hacker that let him and employees get faster guarantee certifications. But 2.5 years later, he’s back to take the busy work out of staff onboarding as well as clumsy IT business like single sign-on to enterprise apps. Today his startup Rippling launches its blended hire administration structure, which Conrad calls a much larger endeavor than the minimum workable product it announced while in Y Combinator’s accelerator 18 months ago.

” It’s not an HR system. It’s a tier below that ,” Conrad tells me.” It’s this unholy, crazy mashup of three different things .” First, it handles payroll, advantages, taxation and PTO across all 50 states.” Except Syria and North Korea, you are able to spend anyone in the world with Rippling ,” Conrad allegations. That shapes it a opponent with Gusto … and Zenefits.

Second, it’s a substitution for Okta, Duo and other endeavor single-sign on insurance apps that show staffers across partnered apps. Gurgling bookmarklets make it easy to auth into over 250 workplace apps, like Gmail, Slack, Dropbox, Asana, Trello, AWS, Salesforce, GitHub and more. When an employee is hired or changes teams, a single modification to their role in Ruffling automatically changes all the permissions of what they can access.

And third, it handles computer endpoint defence like Jamf. When federal employees is hired, Rippling can instantaneously carry them a computer with all the right software installed and the hard drive encrypted, or have staffers include the Rippling agent that enforces the company’s defence criteria. The organisation is designed so there’s no need for an expert IT department to manage it.

” Distributed, fragmented systems of record for employee data are privately the sources of almost all the harassing administrative toil of running a company ,” Conrad clarifies.” If you could build this system that ties all of it together, you are able eliminate all this drivel task .” That’s Rippling. It’s opening up to all potential clients today, accusing them a combined subscription or a la carte costs for any of the three backstages of the product.

Conrad refused to say how much Rippling has raised total, citing the enhanced scrutiny Zenefits’ grows reap. But he says a Wall Street Journal report that Gurgling had raised$ 7 million was inaccurate.” We haven’t caused any priced VC rounds. Just a bunch of seed fund. We parent from Initialized Capital, almost all the early seed investors at Zenefits and a lot of individuals .” He cited Y Combinator, YC Growth Fund, YC’s founder Jessica Livingston and chairman Sam Altman, other YC partners, as well as DFJ and SV Angel.

” Because we were able to raise a cluster of coin and court great engineers . . . we were able to spend a great deal of time structure this fundamental technology ,” Conrad tells me. Rippling has about 50 team members now, with about 40 of them being architects, highlighting just how thoroughly Conrad wants to eradicate manual work about work, starting with his own startup.

The CEO refused to discuss details of exactly what went down at Zenefits and whether he conceived his ejection was fair. He was accused of allowing Zenefits’ insurance brokers to exchange in territories where they weren’t licensed, and returning some hires a macro that told them more quickly pass the online guarantee certification exam. Conrad aimed up about $534,000 in SEC penalties. Zenefits laid off 430 hires, or 45 percent of its personnel, and moved to selling software to small-to-medium sized enterprises through a network of insurance brokers.

But when asked what he’d “ve learned” Zenefits, Conrad seemed past those misfortunes and instead recalled that” one of the mistakes that we became was that we did a lot substance manually behind the scenes. When you scale up, there are these manual processes, and it’s really hard to come back eventually when it’s a big hard complicated concept and replace it with engineering. You get upside down on perimeters. If “youre starting” at the beginning and never let the manual handles creep in . . . it sort of drives .”

Perhaps it was trying to cut corners that got Conrad into the Zenefits mess, but now that same intention has inspired Rippling’s goal of eliminating HR and IT drudgery with an all-in-one tool.

” I believe I’m someone who feels the pain of that kind of trash particularly strongly. So that’s always been a real irritant to me, and I saw this problem. The conventional wisdom is’ don’t build something like this, begin with something much smaller ,'” Conrad deduces.” But I knew if I didn’t do this, that no one else was gong to do it and I actually required such systems to dwell. This is a company that’s all about pestering material and realise that fucking disturbing stuff go away .”

Read more: https :// 2018/10/ 10/ ruffling /

How smartphone apps could help keep health records accurate

Suppose the next time you go to a new doctor’s office, you wouldn’t have to balance a clipboard on your knee, write down your whole medical history, remember the five-syllable name of every medication you’re taking and list all your allergies. Suppose that your smartphone could simply tap into the office’s computer system, where you could upload your entire medical history safely, securely and accurately.

Such an app could ease the frustration patients feel when they fill out the forms for a new doctor. More importantly, it could help solve a serious but lesser-known problem that plagues hospitals and clinics: While the increased use of electronic health records has helped streamline record-keeping, providers aren’t always able to reliably pull together records for the same patient that are held in different hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices.

That was the scene in Boston in 2015, when emergency room doctors were struggling to treat a patient named Maureen Kelly — only to discover five different electronic records for Maureen Kelly, each with the same birthday and ZIP code. They had no way of knowing which record matched the patient in front of them. Was she the Maureen Kelly with diabetes? The Maureen Kelly who had only one kidney? And if they were to decide to send her record to a specialist outside the hospital, how could they know which of the five to send?

Fortunately, Maureen Kelly recovered. But to make the best possible medical decisions in cases like hers, doctors need immediate access to accurate patient data — including those from records held in other facilities. Digital systems should be able to seamlessly match records from a pediatrician in Pittsburgh or a surgeon in San Diego each and every time. An inability to do so — which could mean physicians not having important details, such as a patient’s drug allergies, chronic illnesses or past surgeries — can mean the difference between life and death.

Doctors using digital tablet together in hospital (Photo: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images)

It’s hard enough keeping records straight within a single large hospital system; transferring them among different doctors’ offices and other hospitals is even more challenging. As digital healthcare systems have proliferated, they’ve used a variety of formats to record essential pieces of information, such as addresses and birth dates, that don’t easily transfer from one system to another. And, of course, patients’ identifying information isn’t static — birth dates don’t change, but people move, change names through marriage or adoption, and more. Matches among different systems have also been stymied by data entry errors.

And while patient harm is the primary risk posed by inaccurate records, cost is no small consideration. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reported that each instance of a misidentified record cost the Mayo Clinic roughly $1,200 — and that’s just within the Mayo system. These administrative costs are magnified when data are exchanged on a nationwide scale.

No one solution can solve every patient-matching problem. But The Pew Charitable Trusts is investigating several ideas. Pew recently asked the nonprofit RAND Corporation to evaluate solutions that would let patients exercise more control over how their records are matched. RAND looked at a variety of options and concluded that the growing use of smartphones offers a particularly promising opportunity to improve record matching in two ways.

Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

First, smartphones could allow patients to verify their phone numbers at the point of care, perhaps by responding to a text message — a strategy already used in banking, travel, retail and other industries. Once a number was confirmed by the patient, the hospital’s computer could use it automatically to match other records against that number with a higher degree of certainty.

Second, patients could use an app to enter their information — such as an address or even a driver’s license number — and have that information sent directly to the hospital when they check in for their visit. This would let patients update their information and voluntarily provide more accurate data to facilitate a match. Smartphone apps could eventually aggregate and transfer even more information — such as medication lists or health histories — and replace the paper on clipboards used today.

The smartphone approach will not solve this problem by itself. There are potential limitations — patients would need to own phones and know how to use them, and the system might not work in emergency situations when a patient didn’t have or couldn’t operate a smartphone — but the Pew Research Center found earlier this year that more than three-quarters of Americans now use smartphones, including nearly half of people older than 65.

To address the larger problem of patient matching, stakeholders must pursue a variety of solutions, including smartphone apps. Technology developers would be wise to advance and start pilot projects now of smartphones and a variety of other solutions, and demonstrate how they could be used to save lives, improve care and reduce healthcare costs.

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