Unemployment offices in three states, Arizona, Oklahoma and Kansas have experienced problems with their on-line systems in the past week according to news reports.

A computer problem in Arizona's Unemployment Insurance Benefit Program website kept some 50,000 people there from reviewing their benefits or applying for unemployment benefits late last week and into the weekend. The problem reportedly was fixed late Sunday night.

In Oklahoma, tens of thousands of residents have not been able to file on-line for unemployment benefits Sunday and Monday because of problems with Oklahoma Employment Security Commission's mainframe. The problem is also supposedly fixed, but the Commission's on-line system experienced similar computer problems last month, making some people worry that there may be more problems in the future.

The Kansas State Unemployment Office website is now working, after having major "technical difficulties" early last week. Because of the heavy volume of unemployment benefits claims in the state, however, some claims are now taking up to four weeks to process the Unemployment Office website says.  In July, another computer problem in the KS Unemployment Office delayed unemployment payments for a couple of days to over 21,000 benefit recipients.

Over the past year, there have been computer problems reported at unemployment office websites in the states of Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and New York because of the unexpectedly large number of people requesting unemployment benefits in each. I suspect more states will join the list, even as the recession looks like it may be bottoming out in the US.
 

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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