Obamacare Websites Crash on Day 1, plus 5 More Things You'll Want to Know Today

Obama
AP
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

Yes, the big news today is the government shutdown. But you aren't living under a rock in the back of a cave on Fiji, so we'll assume you know the basic situation in Washington, and get to the things you may have missed.

• Funny thing about Obamacare, the item at the heart of all the nonsense in Washington: The health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act opened for business today, and people have started hitting the websites. Only one problem: The Obamacare websites weren't working. As of 9:30 a.m., Healthcare.gov informed us: "The System is down at the moment. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later."




(Update, 10:45 a.m.: The main healthcare.gov site was still not fixed, but they were working on it.)




(Update 11:05 a.m.: Looks like the main HealthCare.gov site is up and working. See, even when it's officially closed, your government can get things accomplished. But if you're still having problems accessing your state site or the federal site, give us a shout in the comments below, or on Twitter, @dailyfinance. We'd love to know.)

(Update: 2:10 p.m.: Boy, do our readers have a lot to say about this! But the key point we're seeing: No, it's still not working properly. When we look, it's back to that "Please Wait," too many people trying to access the site at once message, and a DailyFinance reader who says he runs a Florida insurance agency says he and his staff have been trying all day to get a single person signed up through the system, to no avail.)

• Lately, it seems like every week brings a new agreement from a big Wall Street bank to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars for its malfeasance around the financial crisis -- usually without ever admitting any wrongdoing. On deck today: Wells Fargo, which has agreed to settle with Freddie Mac for $869 million over -- you guessed it -- toxic mortgages from the Bubble Era.

• The government is closed for business, but business is open. And in past moments of Washington dysfunction, the stock market has usually done just fine. However, some companies -- like these 20 -- are disproportionately exposed to the government, which means the shutdown is likely to cost them big time.

• If you're still using Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows XP operating system, take note: After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for XP. So, no more patches for glitches, no more security updates to fight off the latest virus. That means it's probably time to upgrade to at least Windows 7 -- if your computer is powerful enough to run it. It may just be time to start considering new hardware, too.

• Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs (GS) back in 2008, when the bank really needed it, and for that money, he also got the right to buy another $5 billion in shares later at $115 per share. They tweaked the deal a bit in March: He's now just going to get the value of his profit in stock, without having to invest another dime. And how big a profit is that? With Goldman at around $159 a share, the Oracle of Omaha just got $2.15 billion. An oracle indeed.

• And finally: Remember back before Google (GOOG) totally conquered search? Well, Blippex may be the first truly transformative search engine since Google. Conceived of as "the Wikipedia of Search," Blippex builds its results based on data gathered from its users (with scrupulous attention to privacy, we're assured), which makes them quite different from Google's. And possibly, more interesting and useful.

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WikiExperts.us

Obamacare is a hot topic right now. This article alone has generated almost 900 responses. The Wikipedia article on this topic has inspired over 1,400 people to spend more than 4,500 unpaid hours editing it. On either side of the argument, passionate individuals have compelling (and sometimes not so compelling) things to say. A side product of this huge national interest that not many speak about is the impact of this debate on the Wikipedia profiles of those public figures, companies, and organizations that are affected by ObamaCare most directly. It is interesting to see how many different people and industries are impacted by the national debate surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
www.WikiExperts.us

October 03 2013 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
attila

Yeah free stuff!

October 02 2013 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
teaparty2implode

The republicans agenda was rejected in 2012 people voted for Obama's policies the majority of Americans do not want the ACA repealed!

October 02 2013 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teaparty2implode's comment
hugh_geenormous

The same election that brought us Ted Cruz and kept the GOP house.

October 02 2013 at 11:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
arminh

Is anyone REALLY surprised???? just remember who is running it, LOL

October 02 2013 at 9:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bchrist751

Why would anyone be shocked that the Obama health care web site has crashed....

October 02 2013 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dencuddy

Millions tried to sign up for affordable health insurance. This is the story.

October 02 2013 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jrb359

How does this benefit people if their premiums are increased and their working hours are cut back?

October 02 2013 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jrb359's comment
betty_brock

It doesn't

October 02 2013 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mily469

sorry you clearly were not paying any attention at all leading up to the first time you ever heard the name Obama. you obviously missed a lot.

October 02 2013 at 10:37 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
mac2jr

Programming is to write lines of code, and to write code that can analyse all the inputted data of both computer and non-computer operators is especially difficult as one as to 'guess' all the ways a person can screw up, and then write code to counter these 'guesses'. Everything has to be data based and stored, and then some sort of AI (Artificial Intelligence) applied to determine the accuracy of the data obtained, determine what to do with that data, determine how to answer or process the data so that the data becomes usable to the user and the person doing the ultimate processing.

Now, once this code is written, and it can easily be into the tens of thousands of lines of code, the code is compiled into a binary language of 1s and 0s, and then uploaded to a computer or server in a server farm, this server farm is connected to the Internet where the user interfaces and inputs his or her data.

Most computers are fast, but when a million or more users all try to enter data at the same time, the computing power becomes inadequate and the system 'Crashes'. or slows to a crawl, as which happened this morning when nearly 7 million tried to access government computers from 50 states and 7 territories.

Now, since computer code can be changed in a second or two, if a person that disliked Democrats or the PP&ACA wanted to, he or she could change one bit of code and 'sink the ship'.. as may have happened in many instances.

October 02 2013 at 2:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
BABIN

It's normal, because if ''zillion'' peoples ''hit'' in one time or in one period of time even Google exactly one same page it will happen too...

Peoples around still can't accept other peoples who need to sign up and top of that today ''busy traffic'' clearly prove many peoples is interested....

Minority peoples and one TV station is just ''scare'' this stuff will work and this is only reason why ''spreading'' all around ''usual'' complains many months before today day....

October 02 2013 at 2:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BABIN's comment
hugh_geenormous

Peoples, babs?

October 02 2013 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ds3inc

they've been working on it for three years with unlimited funds and can't even get a website to work. Yet they want to manage your healthcare...what a joke.

October 02 2013 at 2:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply