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October 09, 2013

ObamaCare Website Incompetently Designed as World's First Website Designed to Perform a Dedicated Denial of Service Attack on Itself;
In Shocking Development, Administration Blames Others For Its Failures

First of all, I'm sorry I didn't give you a warning to go find a fainting couch before I put in that hard-to-believe headline that Obama is blaming others for his failures.

I know I just rocked your worlds and stole any sense from your universes. I'm sorry for that.

First, let's talk about how awful this thing is built.

Five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters, however, say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contributed to the problems.

...

One possible cause of the problems is that hitting "apply" on HealthCare.gov causes 92 separate files, plug-ins and other mammoth swarms of data to stream between the user's computer and the servers powering the government website, said Matthew Hancock, an independent expert in website design. He was able to track the files being requested through a feature in the Firefox browser.

Of the 92 he found, 56 were JavaScript files, including plug-ins that make it easier for code to work on multiple browsers (such as Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer and Google Inc's Chrome) and let users upload files to HealthCare.gov.

It is not clear why the upload function was included.

"They set up the website in such a way that too many requests to the server arrived at the same time," Hancock said.

In case you missed it, @johnekdahl noted last night that the administration has reset everyone's passwords in an effort to... I don't even know what. It's a drastic step, though.

Well, I suppose that's one way to try fix this. Generally speaking, the "your username got eaten by the computer machine or lost in the interwebs tubes so choose a different one, and no, we don't know what happened to the original" isn't a best practice solution. If I were a cynic, I might suggest they're just wingin' it at this point.

Now here's where the story takes that shocking turn I mentioned in the headline: I know none of you will believe me, but via NRO, the NYT reports -- I can't even write these words, they are so difficult to believe -- Obama is blaming other people for his failures.

The technical problems that have hampered enrollment in the online health insurance exchanges resulted from the failure of a major software component, designed by private contractors, that crashed under the weight of millions of users last week, federal officials said Monday. ...

[B]ecause of the initial failures [of the first step functions of the software], other parts of the complex system have yet to be proved under the intense strain of real-world conditions. And outside experts said that White House officials should have spent more time tending to the computer code and technology of the Web site, rather than recruiting Hollywood celebrities to promote it.

“It’s poorly designed,” said Luke Chung, the president of a database company in Virginia who has publicly criticized the site in recent days. “People higher up are given the excuse that there are too many users. That’s a convenient excuse for the managers to pass up the chain.”

...

White House officials declined to identify the private contractors who had built the account creation function, citing a decision to keep that information private.

As someone once said, upon Obama's reelection as President: "Which predecessor will Obama blame now for his failures?" I guess it's the Obama of 2011.

Oh wait, no, that's silly; that would be confessing to having erred.

The Buck Stops With Unnamed Independent Contractors Whose Names Cannot Be Divulged Due to Privacy Laws.

via @gpollowitz and @jonahnro


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posted by Ace at 04:46 PM

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