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Elizabeth Holmes and her firm Theranos show why we must stop fetishising entrepreneurs
As well as capturing enduring gender anxieties, the Theranos story is also a reflection of the technological zeitgeist. Gibney believes Holmes was so successful because of Silicon Valley’s “fetishisation of the entrepreneur”. Holmes’s entire persona, after all, seems to have been an exercise in myth-making. She dropped out of college, like Mark Zuckerberg. She borrowed Steve Jobs’s trademark black turtleneck and bizarre eating habits. She faked a deep baritone to make herself more authoritative. If you were to come up with a piece of performance art reflecting our expectations of “tech geniuses”, you could not have done a better job than Holmes. What an incredibly scary thought.
Theranos  startups  scandals  gender  links  via:Workflow 
march 2019 by cote
If Healthcare.gov were running on a true cloud, it’d be much better off | ITworld
Nancy Gohring asked me about the fiasco around the initial launch of healthcare.gov a few weeks ago. This topic also came up over dinner last night and was accompanied by many anecdotes around odd inefficiencies in US government IT planning. A project like this (high scale, high visibility, lots of sensitive, highly regulated data) is difficult to pull of. Among other things, Nancy had read that Terramark was “throwing more servers” at the problem, and was curious if there was anything to read into that. Here’s what I replied, mostly wildly speculating on my part: I’d be shocked if they were running the stuff on “real cloud” that was elastic enough to afford otherwise. It’s probably running dedicated hardware, networks, and storage. Thus, Terremark has to manually provision things out. The combination of the federal government and health-care info on US citizens has got to be a regulatory mine-field. Imagine how terrible it would be if the site were hacked and all that data just got sucked into the black-hat ether. As such, I’d wager much of the drag around this whole thing is due to the expensive, slow requirements such regulations drive. Still, if the IRS can do, it makes you wonder what went bonkers here. That said: has any massive IT project ever worked in the first release? Not many of them. Even Apple had antenna gate. Gmail was in “beta” for uncountable year (5 or 7?). The fact that no one remembers all the 1.0 failures of companies is somewhat encouraging: if it eventually works, soon, people will probably forget. What’s unfortunate is that the government can’t (or decides not to?) follow a similar “beta” pattern, setting expectations that kinks need to be worked out and, eventually but quickly, perfection will be achieved.
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  healthcare.gov  press  type:originalcontent  cloud  hosting  deathm  scandals  enterprisegrade  link  tumblr:link 
november 2013 by cote

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