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Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing 567

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Kim Gittleson reports at BBC that car insurance firms like Progressive are trying to convince consumers that letting them monitor their driving behavior is actually a good thing. They say that the future of car insurance is not just being able to monitor individual drivers to give them lower prices, but also to make them better drivers. 'Now that we can observe directly how people drive, we think this will change the way insurance works,' says Dave Pratt, who says that Progressive has more than a trillion seconds of driving data from 1.6 million customers. '18-year-old guys pay a lot for insurance, but some 18-year-olds are really safe drivers and they deserve a better deal.' Better big data technologies, like the telematic driving data collected by car companies (PDF) or even information gathered from social media profiles, can help augment that risk profile. 'If I'm a driver that doesn't drive that frequently, and I have a pattern that would indicate that I drive more carefully than an average person with my profile, then I may be able to save 30-40% on my car insurance, and that's pretty significant,' says Joe Reifel. For now, using big data analytics for insurers is still in the early stages. Only 2% of the U.S. car insurance market offers an insurance product based on monitoring driving, but that proportion is projected to grow to around 10-15% of the market by 2017. And other countries, like Italy and the U.K., are already using the data to analyze not just risk profiles but also to determine who is at fault in car accidents. The future, most analysts agree is create a continuous feedback loop between insurers and consumers, so that consumers will react to the big data analyses that insurers perform and change their behavior accordingly. 'Bad drivers will at some point need to improve their driving or accept [having] to pay for the real risk they represent,' says Jacques Amselem."
Input Devices

Microsoft XBox One Kinect Will Not Work On Windows PCs 198

symbolset writes "Ars is reporting that Microsoft XBox One Kinect will not work on Windows PCs. It uses a proprietary connector and an adaptor will not be available. If you want Kinect for your PC you will need to buy a 'Kinect for Windows' product. Although the Kinect 1.0 for XBox 360 also had a proprietary connector it came with a USB adaptor for compatibility with older versions of the 360 that lacked the new proprietary port and PC compatibility was quickly hacked up by third parties."

Facebook Testing the Want Button 147

redletterdave writes "Facebook already knows what you 'Like.' Soon, it may ask you what you 'Want'. Tom Waddington, a Web developer for the craft website Cut Out + Keep, discovered that Facebook has included code for a disabled 'Want' button within the Javascript of its list of social plug-ins. The code was released to the Facebook Javascript SDK last Wednesday, but Waddington discovered the disabled button among other embedded tags, including 'degrees,' 'social context' and 'page events.' Waddington says the 'Want' button would work with Open Graph projects that use the tag 'products.'"

Neuromancer Movie Deal Moving Forward 334

chill writes "After years in development, a film adaptation of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer is finally moving forward. According to a press release, the film has secured sales from distributors at Cannes and visual effects work has already begun. Filming will begin in 2012 with locations in Canada, Istanbul, Tokyo, and London."

Microsoft Outlines Windows Phone 7 Kill Switch 258

nk497 writes "Microsoft has outlined how it might use the little publicized 'kill switch' in Windows Phone 7 handsets. 'We don't really talk about it publicly because the focus is on testing of apps to make sure they're okay, but in the rare event that we need to, we have the tools to take action,' said Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace. According to Biggs, Microsoft's strict testing of apps when they are submitted for inclusion in Marketplace should minimize kill switch use, but he explained how the company could remove apps from the marketplace or phones, when devices check-in to the system. 'We could unpublish it from the catalog so that it was no longer available, but if it was very rogue then we could remove applications from handsets — we don't want things to go that far, but we could.'"

Google Wants to Map Indoors, Too 174

An anonymous reader writes "Google maps are getting extended indoors next month with a new app called Micello that takes over where conventional navigators leave off — mapping your route inside of buildings, malls, convention centers and other points of interest. You don't get a 'you are here' blinking dot yet — but they do promise to add one next year using WiFi triangulation. At the introduction next month, Micello will only work in California, but they plan to expand to other major US cities during 2010."

Silverlight On the Way To Linux 475

Afforess writes "For the past two years Microsoft and Novell have been working on the 'Moonlight' project. It is a runtime library for websites that run Silverlight. It should allow PCs running Linux to view sites that use Siverlight. Betanews reports 'In the next stage of what has turned out to be a more successful project than even its creators envisioned, the public beta of Moonlight — a runtime library for Linux supporting sites that expect Silverlight — is expected within days.' Moonlight 2.0 is already in the works."

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