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Comment Homeowner's insurance (Score 1) 231

You don't drive your house around, but you still insure it. Home insurance is a thriving industry, despite the low odds of payouts, especially compared to the odds of payouts for car insurance. Don't worry, car insurance companies will still be in business, and make money. They will adapt.

Comment Oppressive regimes (Score 1) 35

Maybe an idea like this could be used in countries whose governments want to squelch free speech. Radio Free Europe did this kind of thing during the Cold War, broadcasting ideas that weren't welcome in the Eastern Bloc. Satellite-based Internet is out of reach for most citizens of such countries, but maybe not something based lower down, like in the stratosphere.

Comment Chrome vs. Firefox vs. IE (Score 1) 41

It works fine on all three. But what I thought was interesting was that when I opened the page in IE, the computer's fan started revving up. As I zoomed in and out and panned around, it really got going. Chrome and Firefox...both cool as a cucumber. That says something about the optimization (or lack thereof) in IE's rendering engine.

Comment Re:Yahoo spam filter works well (Score 1) 269

I have a very old Yahoo email address, it's my name @ I've never used it for actual email, I only got it because I used another Yahoo service, and it came with the package. So I've never received a "legitimate" email at that address, but I've received many thousands of spam messages. I started getting spam in my Yahoo inbox within seconds of creating it. I can only wonder if you've ever tried GMail...if you had, I don't think you'd be saying that Yahoo has a good spam filter!

Comment Insurance isn't going anywhere (Score 1) 389

Self-driving cars might lower accident rates, but they won't do away with them completely. Equipment, especially complex equipment, does malfunction, and there are limits to what equipment can do. There will still be unexpected icy spots that the computer can't compensate for, and blowouts, and road debris, and so on.

And then there are the drivers of the OTHER cards on the road. Even if self-driving cars became a reality in 5 years, it will take years, maybe decades, for the cars to become economically priced. And then there are all the existing cars on the road. The average car on US roads is 10 years old, so we have to add at least another 15-20 years before the number of human-driven cars drops to negligible numbers.

Self-driving cars will do nothing to change the need for comprehensive coverage, such as hail damage, or theft.

Insurance coverage and pricing will change, but it won't be going away.

Comment Meanwhile, HIPAA fines will skyrocket (Score 5, Informative) 42

HIPAA imposes fines for each patient's record lost through security breaches, even if the medical provider "did not know (and by exercising reasonable diligence would not have known)" that there was a breach. These kinds of punitive rules have scared the entire industry to death, and yet the open secret is that nobody is safe from breaches, or these fines. This story illustrates how the law has done little, if anything, to actually protect privacy.

Most providers react to HIPAA in one of two ways:
1) They over-react, creating stupid policies like refusing to tell even a patient's own spouse the details of a patient's medical condition, unless the proper paperwork has been filed, or
2) They under-react, blissfully ignoring any privacy concerns.

If we're going to try to regulate privacy in the medical industry, how about let's focus on the device and software makers with certification programs, and let hospitals and physicians get back to doing what they do best: treating illnesses.

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming