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As I noted earlier this year, in October of 2009, 57 computer hard drives were reported stolen from a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee storage facility. After months of investigation, BlueCross said in January of this year that some 500,000 BlueCross members' personal information were now at risk. This included members’ names and BlueCross ID numbers as well as for some their date of birth and/or a Social Security number.

In its latest report on the theft dated 6 April, BlueCross is now saying that an additional 447,549 current and former members had their name, address, BlueCross member ID number and/or date of birth contained on the stolen drives. This brings the total number to 998,422 current and former BlueCross members having their personal information contained on the stolen drives, or about 1 out of every 3 members in the state.

BlueCross also says that, "As of April 2, 2010, there has been no documented incident of identity theft or credit fraud of BlueCross members as a result of this incident."

In January, BlueCross said that the theft had cost it $7 million and some 110,000 hours (or about 55 person years) to identify members at risk. The Chattanooga Times Free Presssays that BlueCross hasn't indicated a new total cost, but that it admits notifying the additional 447,549 members will cost it $200,000.

There may be additional notifications, however. BlueCross reports, says the Free Press, that it is "98 percent complete in assessing all of the files for those who may have had diagnostic health information on their files and the company said it is about 90 percent complete in assessing all of the files for those who simply may have had their name and address on the stolen hard drives."

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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

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Shira Inbar

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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