Craig Peterson here.  This morning I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. I jumped right into a conversation in regards to the irresponsible way that the States and Federal Government have been going about creating websites to schedule and distribute the Covid-19 vaccines. Here we go with Chris. 

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– CraigPeterson.com


Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Instead of going out to the private sector and say, you know what, booking an appointment for a vaccine. That’s a lot like booking an appointment or a ticket to go see a concert. Why don’t we just use something that already exists. There’s dozens of them, like Cvent and just modify that slightly. Have that company modify it.

Well, you’re familiar with the debacle that was and is.  It’s still there. It’s just crazy.  The problems with healthcare.gov. We got the Feds now rolling out their own websites. We’ve got States rolling out their own websites.. What can we expect from that? That’s exactly what we talked about this morning, Chris Ryan and I on NH Today.

Chris Ryan: [00:00:45] Craig Peterson joins us on the show, now from tech talk that you hear on news radio 610 and 96.7 Saturdays at 11:30 AM. Craig, how are you? 

Craig Peterson: [00:00:54] Hey, good morning, doing pretty well. You mentioned power, we lost it a couple of times over the last two days. Its no fun with all this wind. 

Chris Ryan: [00:01:03] Indeed.

 I could go into my pitch for the automatic standby generator from Generac, which you should get one of those.  I’ll refrain from going all in on it.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:11] Nicely done. 

Chris Ryan: [00:01:12] But we do, we do recommend that, particularly in this given environment. 

I want to ask you about the prevalence of scams and the prevalence of identity thefts and things of that nature.  How much of that has to do with our usage of phones and hackings and things of that nature? We heard last week, from the States aspect of securities, regulation and protection.  We’ve talked a lot about this outside of just your appearances. Has there been a sizeable uptick as in regards to that area? 

Craig Peterson: [00:01:48] Yeah, there has been. What’s interesting too, is it’s been both directions. We’ve seen a huge uptick in finding some of these problems. Some of them have existed now for many months, maybe as much as a year or more. We only recently found out about, and this includes hacks from the Chinese and from the Russians, and of course that’s nothing new, but the depth of these attacks has been brand new. 

It’s just astounding how they have really come after every last one of us, particularly businesses. They’ve been very, very targeted. Government agencies have been hit hard. DOD, Department Of Defense contractors have been hit hard.

You mentioned things like our smartphones that we’re using all of the time now. Those are also starting to get hit. We’ve seen some responses. Samsung has said, Hey, we are going to support our phones now with security updates for three years or more. 

It looked like maybe we did something in return because these Russian government websites all went offline after we vowed, President Biden said, we’re going to retaliate for some of these attacks. 

Chris Ryan: [00:03:08] That’s really interesting. Whenever these things take place, whether there’s an outage of a particular server or a website goes down, one of the first things that comes into my mind.  Is this a glitch? Is this a problem? Is this an upgrade? Or they hit their their capacity. Or is this something a little more nefarious? Generally, is it just when a website goes down or a server is having some problems. Is it generally not nefarious or a lot of times is it well

Craig Peterson: [00:03:36] It’s a little bit of both.

A lot of times it is. I’ve got to say that more recently, over the last year or so, we’ve been seeing something that we’d never seen in the Internet. That is that the internet was designed to be able to withstand atomic blast. It was very, very decentralized. The decentralized internet tended to be a very stable internet.

What’s been happening more recently is that there have been acquisitions going on. We’ve got more and more the internet concentrated in individual hands. Look at how Amazon is running about 60% of the internet traffic, nowadays. Some of it, it’s generating, et cetera. 

We have seen, frankly, companies and Amazon is not one of them, but companies who are less and less able to understand what the consequences of their actions are. They’re making changes to the internet and the networks.

These big outages we’ve seen over the last year, almost all of them were due to,  let’s just call it incompetence on the part of small companies that have been buying large parts of control of the internet. That’s going to be continuing for quite a while. 

So, it’s not necessarily nefarious when something goes down. In fact recently, it’s been a lot less nefarious than it used to be. It’s just the normal course of things. More and more power concentrated in fewer and fewer companies that have less and less ability to do what they shouldn’t be doing. 

Chris Ryan: [00:05:13] The Washington Post had a really good article this weekend about the rollout of the new vaccine website and the federal website. Intalking with Kathleen Sebelius, who was the Health and Human Services secretary during the Obamacare and healthcare.gov roll-out, which of course was a disaster.

This website rollout is obviously significant.  Every aspect of this is significant because Biden has called his shot. He has said, this is when things are going to take place. He has set a date. He has given that date. And, some may view it as being ambitious. Some may say we’re already on that glide path, anyway.

The aspect of pushing forward, a website of this nature, how do things go wrong? How could they go wrong? Particularly in light of what happened with healthcare.gov, which was delayed for weeks, as a result of various glitches, despite spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on it.

Craig Peterson: [00:06:11] Yeah, my, I predicted that correctly, by the way. I had said it will take the about three years to get healthcare.gov to be working properly and that’s exactly what it took. 

 We had massive outages. The problem I see here with this Federal Government roll out, this new website that was announced. Americans, all being eligible for the vaccine by May first. It’s all part of a strategy that has been around a while. 

The problem is that somehow businesses think that we’re different. My business is entirely different from your business. Yet all businesses are 96-98% exactly the same. We have the same problems. The same concerns. Governments doing the same thing instead of going out to the private sector and saying, you know what? Booking an appointment for a vaccine that’s a lot like booking an appointment for a ticket to go see a concert. Why don’t we just use something that already exists. There’s dozens of them, like Cvent. Just modify that slightly, have that company modify it. No, instead of that, we’ve got all of these people working for these government agencies, spending tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to roll out something that is going to have major problems. We’ve seen that again and again, it’s to me, Chris, just ridiculous what we’re doing. 

We could have this thing rolled out in a week from start to finish and have it cost of maybe a couple of hundred grand total with all the modifications and have it working day one.

Chris Ryan: [00:07:51] Yep. I mean this is the same thing that happened with healthcare.gov. If you had gone to, and that was in my view, a simpler website than this one is, you got to connect people with the location, the availability and all that the healthcare.gov in my view was a little bit easier. There was,  not as much of a time constraint and there were best practices about those types of websites that already existed and could have been done at a fraction of the cost. 

It’ll be fascinating to see how much this vaccine website plus, I mean  the state of New Hampshire just rolled out their own website on this.  Now you have duplicity as well, where you can go to your state website, you go to the federal website. Could you go to both and shop for a better date? Are they both drawing from the same, you would assume from the same locations, right? 

You go to the federal website, you go to the state website, you’re going to get your vaccine still at the same spot, I assume.  We’ve spent money, federal money on a state website, and now we’re going to spend federal money on a federal website where they’re both going to be doing the same thing.

Craig Peterson: [00:08:53] Yeah. Yeah, this is a problem and frankly, the biggest problem they’ve got is the back end integration. I inferred from what you were saying, which is how do we tie it in with the local Rite Aid store?  All of these different tie-ins that have to occur. It gets very, very, very complicated.

Frankly, this is simpler than what they did with healthcare.gov, which had a lot more tie-ins to insurance companies in the backend.  Leave it to the feds if you want something to get really messed up 

Chris Ryan: [00:09:23] As always, I appreciate you joining us here on New Hampshire today. 

Craig Peterson: [00:09:27] Take care.

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