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Experts Warn So Big And So Riddled With Security Flaws It Should Be Shut Down, Rebuilt From Scratch

Tyler Durden's picture


While the abysmal rollout of Obamacare hardly needs any additional debacles, a recent hearing by technology experts in Congress added yet another, quite major, wrinkle to an already insurmountable problem: is so fraught with security flaws, and so bloated with code, that it may easily expose the personal data of millions (we are being generous here) of users - it collects user names, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses and much more - to even the least experienced of hackers.

It gets worse: when asked "Do any of you think today that the site is secure?" the answer from the experts, which included two academics and two private sector technical researchers, was a unanimous "no."

And worse when the experts were asked "would you recommend today that this site be shut down until it is?" three of the experts said "yes," while a fourth said he did not have enough information to make the call.

But the worst news of the day the experts said the site needed to be completely rebuilt to run more efficiently, making it easier to protect. They said runs on 500 million lines of code, or 25 times the size of Facebook, one of the world's busiest sites.

Well... "Obama built that"

More from Reuters:

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC and a former U.S. Marine Corps cyber-intelligence analyst, gave lawmakers a 17-page report that highlights the problems with the site and warned that some of them remain live.


The site lets people know invalid user names when logging in, allowing hackers to identify user IDs, according to the report, which also warns of other security bugs.


Avi Rubin, director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University and an expert on health and medical security, said he needed more data before calling for a shutdown of the site.


"Bringing down the site is a very drastic response," he told Reuters after the hearing.


But he would not use it because he is concerned about security bugs that have been made public, he said.

The White House spin was prepared and ready to go:

"The privacy and security of consumers' personal information are a top priority," White House spokesman Jay Carney said after the hearing.

"When consumers fill out their online marketplace applications they can trust that the information that they are providing is protected by stringent security standards."

Perhaps what he meant is that since the NSA already knows all the private information on every American there is no need to be concerned.

Finally, should Obama finally do the right thing and scrap the three year project and start from scratch, "in written testimony, Kennedy said it would take a minimum of seven to 12 months to fix the problems with the site shut down, given the site's complexity and size."

As a reminder, this is how "big" is:



Perhaps it is not all bad news: it may be time to test the broken website falacy - just think of the GDP boost that would be created if Obama were to hire 1,000,000 inexperienced programmers coding randomly for three years (again).


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Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:09 | 4177757 drchris
drchris's picture

I bet the integration with NSA servers is the only part working flawlessly.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:09 | 4177762 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  By design.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:15 | 4177794 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

With python/django or ruby/rails, you can condense the physical number of lines of code to something so incredibly small and powerful that it's impressive and stuff.

Obviously they used .NET and windoze or someshit like that.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:19 | 4177824 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Python is rocks! Favorite is part for Trojan Rabbit.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:22 | 4177847 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

I rate that joke C++

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:26 | 4177881 Dear Infinity
Dear Infinity's picture

This thing was built in .NET and is running on IIS 7.5 .... what do you expect

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:37 | 4177939 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

Real men program in LISP.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:47 | 4178004 outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

Attorney's should have a field day when the multitudes have to fight the system to get their identities back. The ramifications of this colossal failure will be felt for years and years.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:39 | 4178253 fonestar
fonestar's picture

500 million lines of code?!?!?!


I know what some people are going to be doing tonight....

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:12 | 4178445 ExpendableOne
ExpendableOne's picture

It sounds like a massive cut and paste job.  I know they didn't write 500 million lines of anything in 3 years.  It's a bunch of "glue logic" to link thousands of legacy systems running all sorts of stuff.  Probably 2-3 real programmers and 100's of politically connected "managers".  With the thousands of pages of regulations and the whole federal register of other regs to deal with, I would rate it a special level of hell for any techy to find themselves in.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:22 | 4178490 fonestar
fonestar's picture

What I thought, they must have included every single library and repo of every single dependent system to get that number.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:23 | 4178713 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

This is government work.












Thu, 11/21/2013 - 19:17 | 4179243 angryBuddhist
angryBuddhist's picture

Seriously, no "real" programmer would even consider working on such a project. Too much beaurocracy and redtape and muddle management interference - a "real" programmers worst nightmare! No, the only people working on this project were people who essentially are the welfare handout end of those who call themselves IT proferssionals but couldn't code their way our of a paper bag.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:52 | 4178312 Saro
Saro's picture

I think you mean:

((((Real men program in LISP))))

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:08 | 4178408 markovchainey
markovchainey's picture

Thanks Say What Again...I've been waiting for a LISP reference for weeks!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:06 | 4178652 MSimon
MSimon's picture

Really BIG MEN program in Forth.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:09 | 4178662 MSimon
MSimon's picture


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:47 | 4178001 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

Netcraft sez it is linux bitches

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:47 | 4178005 TalkToLind
TalkToLind's picture = asp.nyet.  Did you like that, Boris?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 20:26 | 4179438 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Da! You are very smart funny!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:19 | 4177826 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Here is how the website got so screwed up.

1) Put out bids for work

2) Give it to the lowest bidder

3) Make sure this bidder is incompetant (i.e. minority owned crony)

4) Underfund the project and demand unrealistic goals

5) Demand no accountability


Welcome to the US gov't!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:25 | 4177860 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I think it was:

1) Call up your old college pal.

2) Give them a no bid contract.

3) Make sure they had failed in previous tech projects.

4) Back up an armored car with a shit ton of money in it and drop it at their door.

5) When they completely screw the pooch on the project, pay them more money.

6) Demand no accounting so no one really knows how much was spent.


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:53 | 4179021 Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

You forgot #8--campaign kickback.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:25 | 4177876 dryam
dryam's picture


It's more like this.  Give the contract to the company where one of the top executives is the former college roommate of Michelle Obama.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:10 | 4178114 Watauga
Watauga's picture

Bids?  Seriously?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:53 | 4178826 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

I think there was a bug in the headline.  Corrected version:

Experts Warn .gov so Big and Riddled with Security Flaws it Should Be Shut Down, Rebuilt From Scratch.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:42 | 4177977 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Sure, but then again bad python code is bad code.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:45 | 4177995 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

The front end of runs Linux

So I doubt any backend servers would be running .NET.    




Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:53 | 4178025 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

They are probably running servers with assorted OS's and versions, which is probably where it got complicated. I don't know if Linux based system can easily consume .NET ASMX or WCF web services...

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:10 | 4178110 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

CGI's website has job listings mostly for non-M$FT related development  like Oracle, Java and Websphere.


I don't think these guys made anything using IIS or Windows... at least not in the USA if you read their website right.  

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:13 | 4178130 ZeroHour
ZeroHour's picture

WCF services can be consumed using SOAP over HTTP or TCP, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:49 | 4178294 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

According to this story one of the main problems is that "The site basically DDOS'd itself,".


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:57 | 4178343 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

I don't know if Linux based system can easily consume .NET ASMX or WCF web services...

At that level it is largely agnostic...

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:10 | 4178428 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I doubt that there's a single linux box in the system, as nobody gets paid big bucks for it.

It's also likely not NSA sponsored.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:16 | 4178456 ExpendableOne
ExpendableOne's picture

linux, windoze, zos (IBM big iron), COBOL, cp/m (just kidding) it all talks on the web.  But, there's a good chance the systems are swapping lots of xml back and forth.  Lots of time spent parsing, reparsing and constructing that xml.  Please don't disparage an OS just because it was unlucky enough to get sucked into this vortex....

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:13 | 4178685 MSimon
MSimon's picture

DOS is more or less cp/m so you aren't far off.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:20 | 4177837 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Even if the law was good (which according to many, it isn't), what these statist bureaucrats don't understand is that you cannot build an extremely complex and dynamic system (I'm not talking about the website only) from scratch and in one shot without giving it opportunity to grow, get real feedback, learn from mistakes, capitalize on it and self-integrate. No amount of "test cases" dream-up by developers and analyst can shortcut this natural need to grow.


Probably the only reason why healthcare systems in other countries (even with strong socialist/bureaucratic regime) are some more successful is that they have a very long and progressive history behind them.


No one is that good. Exept Obama of course/

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:15 | 4178137 Watauga
Watauga's picture

So, do we get our money back from CGI?

And who goes to jail?  Sibelius? 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:25 | 4178929 robertsgt40
robertsgt40's picture

I agree with the "shut down" part, Not the "rebuilt"

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:35 | 4178974 robertsgt40
robertsgt40's picture

Keep in mind Obummer's "buds" built this POS.  The emperor is desperately looking for some clothes.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:09 | 4177758 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

I'd rather it stay the inefficient pile of shit that it is.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:25 | 4177877 g speed
g speed's picture

I have no doubt you will get your wish----this POS is with us till the end of gov't as we know it.  YYYEEEEHHHHAAAAA

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:01 | 4178067 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

They should have stopped at "shut down".  No need to rebuild it.  It's a bad law from the beginning.  Rife with fraud and graft.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:27 | 4178194 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

You understand perfectly.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:32 | 4178743 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

Agreed.  The MSM seems to think the technology is only bad.

The techonology is the BEST part.  It's the law that really STINKS.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 22:09 | 4179735 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Like the black hole it is, it will suffer a heat death as it evaporates to a zero size event horizon.  Hey, entropy is a bitch.  May the farce be with it!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:12 | 4177773 CharliePrince
CharliePrince's picture

cant moochele , talk to her  website college friend


for another  large chunk of change   fix it

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:20 | 4177835 etresoi
etresoi's picture

Be aware that moochelle lost her license to practice law because of her involvement in insurance fraud.  One wonders if her college friend was working with moochelle, at that time.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:13 | 4177781 RacerX
RacerX's picture

The real issue isn't the website tho; it's the frigging LAW that needs to be struck down.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:20 | 4177834 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Dysfunctional website is natural compliment for inoperable legislation. Good as luck with that, Amerika!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:22 | 4177803 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

7 to 12 months? That's just a tad optimistic.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:00 | 4178364 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

With the estimated probability of the result being the low-end estimate of 7 months:


So there's still a chance we'll come in at the low end.  Based on experience with the project so far, you pretty much count on it.  Humming right along now!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:17 | 4178696 MSimon
MSimon's picture

I used to think "never" but I now consider that overly optimistic.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 22:12 | 4179743 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

I would make the probability of that epsilon.  But then take the limit as epsilon goes to zero.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:19 | 4177805 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Fuck Bitches smoke weed. What else can you do? This country is fucked. We gave it away to the dogs.


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:26 | 4177810 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Throw another $600Mn at it!  That'll fix it!


Or they could just hire the 3 guys who wrote a working site... (didn't ask for my first born and the rates, if accurate, are far less than samples from Ocare.Gov)

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:42 | 4177976 Zadig
Zadig's picture

They probably will decide to "throw another $600Mn at it!", since their existence is about putting ungodly sums of money into the pockets of their cronies. 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:49 | 4178013 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Now I understand why the cost was 600 million.

Their contract stipulated they would be paid $1.20 per line of code, with no cap on lines needed.



Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:14 | 4178453 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Back in the day, IBM used to charge for code by the kloc (1000 lines of code), until allegedly Bill Gates started getting contracts for non-bloatware based on functional milestones (hard to imagine, yes, I know).

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:18 | 4177814 Bold Eagle
Bold Eagle's picture

I work in IT and in a lot of cases this is the best way to solve design issues. Something as big as cannot work by definition. They need to reduce the codebase drastically and put some effort to actually test the site before it released. How many hours of testing did the MS spend to release buggy Windows Vista?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:18 | 4177815 USS Bernanke
USS Bernanke's picture

If the whole healthcare thing doesn't work out, maybe they can give lines of code to every American instead?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:39 | 4177955 gamera9
gamera9's picture

If it can be considered the new currency Obamacoin.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:18 | 4177818 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

skip the rebuilding part - keep government out of health care - government is evil and incompetent

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:19 | 4177823 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Perhaps Michelle has a pal up in Canada who can fix it all up.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:22 | 4177844 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Citizenry of Canadia are as nice to be. Maybe is make good lumber jack or know expert method for kill baby seal, but not to make as web site!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:29 | 4177901 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

.....good people for making maple syrup and hockey pucks too

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 16:09 | 4178666 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

milk in a bag

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 21:08 | 4179576 StychoKiller
Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:54 | 4178039 Blano
Blano's picture

The only Canadians I would trust with anything is Ron McLean and Don Cherry.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 22:02 | 4179445 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are to forget Bob and Doug McKenzie!?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:20 | 4177836 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Built for us by CGI Federal - CGI Federal is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian firm CGI Group - a Quebec base firm.


How the fuck did Barry and his band of nazis choose a french Canadian company to built this piece of shit????? 


Next time Barry, to build a US system, hire a US company you stupid fuck!!!!!!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:52 | 4178022 ThisIsBob
Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:23 | 4177866 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

It was in Hacker news this morning about another JBoss vulnerability exposed today if you want to read it, Healthcare.Gov is using JBoss Open source and they are building it from the bottom up which I have said is insane.  They have to build custom libraries for a lot of this.  Oracle Weblogic server, a lot of this already built in and someone went off on a tangent here to "have to have" open source when the time element to write all of the untested integration code was not there.

Again I come back to asking why were the Oracle and Microsoft "already integrated" state insurance exchanges" not mentioned, used or whatever? 

Yesterday, they pulled an Allscripts too and lied about the's not done...a couple years ago Allscripts CEO lost his job and shareholders filed lawsuit when they lied about their integration code being done with the purchase of Sunrise from Eclipses.  So here's the latest on that episode.  Government contractors will bid jobs to write code from the bottom up though as it means more money for them rather than integrating "best practice" commercial or open source code modules.

So I have said this before but you can bet they have different teams of engineers working on the project, one group to keep the site gimping along while another group has a software sandbox re-engineering with a ton more of Oracle products..why...a lot of the code's already written for integration.  Took Oracle 6 years to write code with their middle ware Fusion to do this...WebLogic is the commercial Oracle equivalent to JBoss.  If you read the Issa 176 page report he received, tons of JBoss work going on with having to create libraries from scratch. 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:26 | 4177884 bob_stl
bob_stl's picture

When they asked about lines of code, Obama thought it was lines of coke and said, "the more, the better."

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:29 | 4177894 SIOP
SIOP's picture

I remember well when I came to work in the health software industry for a state government and I saw the software and nothing was secure. When I asked the guys, "Arent you encrypting any of the PID (Personal Identifying Data) data?" And they all just looked at me like I was crazy.  They couldnt understand how in the world they could write and debug software when they could'nt read the data if it was encypted.  lol !!!  (software people reading this will laugh knowing who rediculous this is)

I reminded them that the Government imposes strict security rules onto the private industry and not only are they not following thier own rules, they arent even aware of them!  (think Sarbanes-Oxley and a huge myriad of other requirements)

I must admit though, it is soooo much easier to write software for the government when you dont have to worry about any dumb security rules or process flow or anything!!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:35 | 4177925 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Q. What do the codebase and Hillary's ass have in common?

A. Both bloated and riddled with bugs.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:36 | 4177932 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Time for a IT CZAR!



Obamacare, the "Gold Standard" of nigger rigged software.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:13 | 4178128 cpzimmon
cpzimmon's picture

Up arrow for the ***** rigged software comment

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:24 | 4178172 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

only fools believe it's about race

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:55 | 4179026 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Well a lot of it is.  I don't want my heart surgeon to be there because of affirmative action, and not my President either.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:45 | 4177938 TalkToLind
TalkToLind's picture

Just fire up the printing presses and print moar lines of code.  We can inflate the run-time errors away.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:38 | 4177943 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Impeach Obama. Recall all the Senators. Secede from Washington D.C. Take your money out of pension funds and non-public banks. Buy bitcoin.

There are other countries that you can still get decent healthcare in. Even a flight to India is cheaper than ObamaCare.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:38 | 4177946 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Those are not flaws, those are "features" of the system.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:43 | 4177978 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

The software that operates the US government's killing machines seems to work just fine. Much of the time. Sorry about that wedding party.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:47 | 4178000 LetsGetPhysical
LetsGetPhysical's picture

I smell another no bid contract in the works.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:48 | 4178003 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

Just wondering,

Should everyone be blaming the website programmers?


How can the programmers properly write code and set up a website,



When OBAMACARE is surely riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions, omissions and continuously revised interpretations?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:00 | 4178063 island
island's picture


While programmers may be at fault for some things (usually things that can be fixed easily)  -- the bulk of the problem is in developing the requirements!!!

First you have to take the law and regs -- covering thousands of pages -- and decipher them.  What is the system supposed to do?   Then you have to figure out how to actually accomplish that via a digital system -- integrating with hundreds of existing systems.  



Thu, 11/21/2013 - 21:26 | 4179631 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

An example of how a typical end-user specifies what kind of computer
program they want you to design:

   Dear Mr. Architect:

please design and build me a house.  I'm not quite sure of what I need or
want in a house, so you should use your discretion.

   My new house should have between 2 and 45 bedrooms.  Just make sure the
plans are such that bedrooms can be easily added or eliminated.  When you
bring the blueprints to me, I'll make the final decision of what I want.
Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can
arbtrarily pick one.

   Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the
one in which I currently reside.  Make sure, however, that you correct all
the deficiencies that exist in my current home.  I'd allow you to view my
current house to help you understand and avoid the problems that I'm refer-
ring to, but I'm afraid that it may interfere with your creative abilities.

   Also keep in mind as you design this house that I wish to keep yearly
maintainance costs as low as possible.  This should mean the incorporation
of the latest technological advancements in siding & insulation.  If you
choose not to specify aluminum siding, be prepared to explain in detail.

   Please make sure that modern design practices and the latest materials
are used in constructing the house.  The house should be very nice. 
However, be alerted that the kitchen should be designed to accommodate my
1952 Gibson refrigerator and any other items with which we don't wish to

   To assure that you are building the correct house for my family, make
sure that you contact each of my children and in-laws.  My Mother-in-law
will have very strong feelings about how the house ought to be designed
since she visits us at least once a year.  Make sure that you weigh care-
fully all suggestions made by family members and make the right decisions.
I, however, retain the right to override any decisions you make.

   Please don't bother me with details right now.  Your job is to develop
the overall plans for this house.  Get the big picture.  It's not appro-
priate at this time to be choosing such things as the color of the carpet,
although you should keep in mind that my wife likes green.

   Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources needed to
build this house.  Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and
specifications.  However, once I accept the plans, I'll expect to have the
house under roof within 48 hours.

   While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind
that sooner or later I'll probably sell the house.  It should appeal to
the largest number of potential buyers.  Please make sure, before you
finalize the plans, that there is a consensus of the population in my area
as to the desirability of the features included in the house.

   You are advised to look at my neighbor's house, which he constructed
last year.  We like it a great deal because it has many features that we
would like to have in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool.
With careful engineering I believe that you can design this into our new
house without impacting the construction cost.

   Please prepare a complete set of blueprints.  I's not necessary at this
time to do the real design since these blueprints will used only for
construction bids.  Please be advised, though, that any resulting increase
in the cost caused by future design changes will result in your getting
your hands slapped.

   You must be thrilled to be working on such an interesting project such
as this.  To be able to use new kinds of construction and to be given such
freedom in design is something that doesn't happen very often.  Contact me
as soon as possible with your design ideas.  I'm most enthusiastic in
seeing what you develop.
                                               Prospective Client

   P.S.  My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the
instructions that I've given you in this letter.  As the architect, it is
your responsibility to resolve these issues.  I've tried in the past and
have been unable to accomplish this.  If you can't handle this, I'll have
to look for a new architect.

   P.P.S.  Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but rather, a travel
trailer.  Please advise me as early as possible if this is the case.


Sat, 11/23/2013 - 01:18 | 4183153 monad
monad's picture

and after you built one of those, or fled, leaving the imp-possible undone during the process, would you not invest in developing better skills to navigate this naturally occurring obstacle?  If you were smart enough to build that, aren't you smart enough to take all those dummies who couldn't build it, but could seduce you to?

Isn't *that* the Darwinian thing to do? What's eating you?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 22:20 | 4179770 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Yeah, has anyone seen or have a link to a flowchart (the first step in any programming job) for this mess?  Does it even have one?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:26 | 4178181 freedogger
freedogger's picture

The ones that stayed on the project and didn't immediately run for the door are culpable to some degree. It is fraudulent to take pay and sit there day after miserable day implementing something you know won't work, especially if you want to call yourself anything more than a junior practitioner. Doesn't matter what the job is. It is the same as saying I was only following orders. That's the attitude that facilitates humanity's worst events. 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:26 | 4178182 freedogger
freedogger's picture

double post.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 19:49 | 4179325 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

It's a great point.  It should be noted that Team Obama changed the design just last August, requiring you log in and give your personal information first before you can shop for plans.  They feared people would get sticker shock looking at prices before the subsidy.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:53 | 4178037 monad
monad's picture

Drop dead fed

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:53 | 4178041 SkottFree
SkottFree's picture

Did you say a 3 year repreave prior to the big ACA shut down? No to worry Obama said he was sorry but must spend another $650 million on something that won't work but at least his best buddy that owns the company doing the fix (same one that created the problem in the first place) will be able to pull down a $40-50 million dollar bonus out of this!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:55 | 4178047 island
island's picture

Anyone who has worked on any sizable IT project should be thinking: NO SHIT = What a friggin' demonstration of complete incompetence and ignorance.

Ignoring the hideous legislation itself - practically speaking, implementation should have been built around a requirement that insurance companies issue a 1099-prem (listing premiums paid) to anyone buying individual or family insurance.  Then a simple worksheet on the 1040 for any credit due - and wham you're done.   The problem is they couldn't then hide the real cost of the insurance (premiums, deductibles, copays) to all those getting subsidies -- revealing that in actuality health insurance is unaffordable in the U.S of A.

Seriously, if a huge number of people need subsidies -- how can it be considered affordable!  Spin, spin, spin.




Thu, 11/21/2013 - 13:58 | 4178060 freedogger
freedogger's picture

Yeah I'm in IT too. Boggles my mind it is 500 million lines of code. I dismissed it out right the first time I heard that number, thought it was a journalism error. Then I thought they must be counting every line of code possible, all the server OS code, all the third party library code, every thing. Then I read reports above that they use very little third party code, that they pushed aside battle tested core plumbing code and wrote this themselves. Anyone calling these decisions a bad design choice is naive. It is a pre-meditated raping of the taxpayer - a gift to the companies getting these contracts.

I build custom software enterprise solutions. But only about 10 to 20 percent of the code base is custom. I use a stack of 20-30 proven comercial or open source components on every new project for the plumbing. Right now its Node.js with thousands of already built and tested libraries to choose from, MongoDB, RabbitMQ, AWS, Bootstrap, Backbone, Chef for devops/environment provisioning, Google API's and so on. The only stuff I create is core business logic that models the way the company uniquely competes in their space, UI code, thousands of unit tests and integration tests. Still a lot of hard difficult work. If I were to try to sell writing the plumbing code from scratch, I would be laughed at and then shown the door. is much bigger than my current project, but really it should only be 20 or thirty projects similiar to what I described that have to integrate. A core issue here though is the fact that Health care is too complex to control and direct centrally. Even Canada with its one system is in reality hundreds of regional boards implementing the spirit of universal health care in their own way. I would be surprised if even the best teams in the world could deliver it given the time frames and the complexity. Re-writing it from scratch would still have a very high possibility of failure. 

Boggles my mind how evil and corrupt things have become. These fuckers are already rich, do they really need to kill people and make millions of lives totally miserable just to get x more dollars?

FEMA camps where they feed and take care of you are starting to sound pretty good.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:19 | 4178153 jtg
jtg's picture

freedogger, I retired from the IT after thirty-five years and can confirm everything you said.

The government spent 500 million dollars for 500 million lines of code. This has to be the biggest design and implementation failure in the entire history of IT.

You refer to how evil and corrupt things have become. This is the new America, its new normal. Malfeasance, incompetence, and disinformation now dominate all American institutions: government, politics, finance, media, academia, Hollywood, etc.

The elites that rule us serfs are sociopaths. Seeing them for what they are is the beginning of wisdom.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:30 | 4178954 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Hi Freedogger - excellent question "These fuckers are already rich, do they really need to kill people and make millions of lives totally miserable just to get x more dollars?"

I'm sure you know the answer - of course they do.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 19:05 | 4179217 TheOldMan
TheOldMan's picture

I think that they are counting the LOC in the OS, the graphics card microcode, the CPU mircrocode, the disk drive controller microcode, and so on, just to make it sound like it's really complicated and marvelous. Well in the real world of sw development, the fewer new LOC, the better.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:03 | 4178078 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Just imagine the number of fake healthcare signup sites collecting all that delicious data...

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:05 | 4178084 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

Jesus for all youz bitches saying this is IIS Windoze I just want to say bullshit.   The front end was made in a garage by 12 code monkeys

The backend was made by CGI. 

Netcraft sez the front end is Linux  (oh fucking no)  while the backend isn't known but... looking at CGI's help wanted ads in the USA on their site they are looking for a lot of experience with Java/Oracle and Perl.

Hardly a fucking M$FT shoppe though I did see ONE .net dev opening in Bangalore (did Obama outsource the website?)

I'm all for nailing monkey boy Ballmer's nuts to the wall when he deserves it but don't go prancing around thinking nothing bad can be made in Linux or open source land. 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:14 | 4178132 freedogger
freedogger's picture

Not so much a critique of your comment whattthecurtains but I'd like to add a bit.

It is wrong to characterise the problems as a "Bad Website". The front end isn't even worth contemplating, just the liptstick on the pig of a backend that Michelle's sorority sister's CGI implemented. The web part of it might as well have be done in a garage or outsourced to Bangalore. 

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:23 | 4178173 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

I concur but others were posting that this wsa M$FT based website.  I thought it appropriate to point out that was NOT the case.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:31 | 4178214 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

By the way.'s front end was open source and was until recently on github   You can still find various copies on github.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:31 | 4178176 muleskinner
muleskinner's picture

Obamacare, the hard way:

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day.

Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Terry Prachett


An ignorant person is somebody who doesn't know what you just found out.

Will Rogers




Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:26 | 4178185 pupdog1
pupdog1's picture

Take the nearly one-billion dollars spent on this POS and get it back via the enormous retiremant plans and golden medical programs of the entire US Congress.

And Moochelle gets nothing.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:42 | 4178258 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

Mike Adams ( called this over a month ago.

Oct 11, 2013

"I happen to have a long IT development history... My casual assessment of the code, indicates this system, at this point, it would be faster to scrap it and start over than to fix the current system..."

"The only reason that social security numbers and emails and other private financial data has not yet been stolen in huge numbers through is because is so broken that even the hackers can't get through it yet..."

"The philosophy of Obama is to wave a magic wand and fake like something is solved and then talk your way out of it. Obama is a salesman..."

"Computer code cannot be hypnotized by Obama. So let's get that straight. He can talk to the systems all he wants, they're not going to buy the dream. The computer code follows instructions, and instructions are a nightmare..."

"By the time January rolls around the media will have to admit something, unless they try to pull off the biggest mass hypnosis campaign in the history of the country, and try to tell everybody, you know, 'This is working!'. Maybe they'll say, 'Millions of people have signed up', and they'll try to make each individual person think they're the only one who can't get in..."

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:42 | 4178263 22winmag
22winmag's picture

There are liars, damned liars, and experts.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:46 | 4178276 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

The site I manage handles 50+ clients, 500+ users, bills out $1b a year, and contains 20k lines.


I am the ONLY developer.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 14:45 | 4178284 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

The article image is different from the actual image.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:03 | 4178358 conspicio
conspicio's picture

That this administration has been grossly incompetent so as to make Sarah Palin an absolute savant when it comes to healthcare predictions should chill the panties of all of the Congressional Dems just a little. Their reaction will be to continue to support the "piss and shit in her mouth" MSNBC smearing. Alinsky for the win. From 2010, bitchez...




Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:04 | 4178392 lindaamick
lindaamick's picture

From the time the Healthcare law was passed, Insurance companies have used the excuse that "uncertainty" requires protection via increased medical premiums for individuals.  Ex.  COBRA payment for 1 layed off individual in 2009 was around $400. per month.  In 2012 same coverage was around $900. per month.

Additionally the coverage offered under obamacare is outrageous for any middle income person with a small or no family especially for older americans.   The premiums are high, the deductibles are high and the individual contributions (40% for bronze policies) are high.  

Adding insult to injury, expecting people to pay for NO coverage is another terrible feature. 

Medicare for all is the best solution.  This solution reduces the admin costs by 20%. It also take the profit motive out of healthcare.  Healthcare driven by a profit motive ALWAYS ensures that healthy people have the best insurance and everybody else suffers. 


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:28 | 4178510 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

I sure hope you Americans did not hire this same IT contractor to service the software of your nuclear arsenal. I live just across the pond and the last thing I need is a computer glitch heading my way.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:36 | 4178552 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Government is now a deadly mutant virus that replicates daily and there is no cure...we are so fucked......

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 15:53 | 4178580 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

deleted by self


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:16 | 4178902 Joenobody12
Joenobody12's picture

It should read Experts Warn So Big And So Riddled With Security Flaws It Should Be Shut Down, AND not to be Rebuilt again 


ps Obumpma is a stupid asshole in over his head

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 17:45 | 4179000 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Wife just got cancellation notice-NOW the shit gets real at home. She didd't swear, now she strings expletives like the conjuction function train, only on steroids. It's kinda hawt. Thanks Barry, anger sex, who knew?


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 18:38 | 4179149 TalkToLind
TalkToLind's picture

FrontPage 98, bitchez.

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