07 January 2009

This Can't Be Good

Headline in today's NYT:

State’s Unemployment System Buckles Under Surging Demand

Swamped by a post-holiday surge of claims from laid-off workers, New York State’s computerized unemployment insurance system shut down briefly Monday afternoon and then again for several hours on Tuesday, according to the state Department of Labor.

The system, which serves as the gateway to unemployment benefits for New York residents, could not handle the volume of calls and online inquiries it was receiving, said Leo Rosales, a spokesman for the department. As many as 10,000 people an hour tried to log into the system to file new unemployment claims or to check on existing claims, Mr. Rosales said.(Emphasis mine)

I guess the good news is that at least a couple of programmers' jobs are secure for however long it takes to boost the system capacity.

In other news,

Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation

The coal ash pond that ruptured and sent a billion gallons of toxic sludge across 300 acres of East Tennessee last month was only one of more than 1,300 similar dumps across the United States — most of them unregulated and unmonitored — that contain billions more gallons of fly ash and other byproducts of burning coal.


...Yet they are not subject to any federal regulation, which experts say could have prevented the spill, and there is little monitoring of their effects on the surrounding environment.

It's okay, though, because we all know that business will self-regulate for the common good.[/snark]

No comments: