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Comment Re:cost vs sales curve (Score 1) 629

Exactly. If someone came up with a business plan to sell hearing aids of comparable quality at half the price, the insurance companies would push customers to use that vendor. Those insurers who did so could offer lower premiums and thereby attract more customers (or keep their current ones). The fact that this hasn't happened suggests that it's not so easy to sell hearing aids for less, contrary to what many commenters are saying.

Comment Re:Is it actually a problem? (Score 1) 253

I sort of do. I rely on Outlook's holidays to know, for example, whether to expect banks and government offices to be open or when my trash should be put out a day later than usual. My employer (a university) provides an .ics calendar of its schedule--it follows some official holidays but not others. So I need to be aware of both, and generally assume that Outlook's holidays are reliable (though an unusual change like this would likely have been well-publicized).

Comment Re:Work != Labor (Score 1) 455

That's incredibly dumb. Why would you require, say, a highly-skilled programmer to spend X hours a week moving boxes? As an employer, you would be paying a huge premium for a probably incompetent laborer (not to mention the risk that he/she would suffer an injury), and there might not be any physical labor to do on the site where he/she works. If you want that employee to be in shape, provide a gym or discounted gym membership. And in cases like your brother's, it would make sense for the airline to provide counseling about diet and exercise for employees who move from physical to sedentary tasks.

Comment Re:No seat belt for you...No insurance for injurie (Score 2) 455

But the public still pays a cost, since the ambulance is still going to take you to the hospital and the ER is still going to treat you if you don't wear your seat belt. And you might need to be buried in a pauper's grave. If you can't pay for those expenses, they fall on the whole community.

Comment Re:How do you determine healthy food? (Score 2) 455

Actually the first official food pyramid was in the 1970s, and the USDA no longer uses that model, having replaced it this year with MyPlate. Yes, there are still major problems with it, and it represents an imperfect compromise between the more abstract idea of getting certain nutrients and the more concrete idea of eating certain foods, but if more Americans followed it they would certainly be healthier.

Comment Re:How do you determine healthy food? (Score 3, Informative) 455

That's true only to a limited extent. If it takes more inputs to produce a kg of food locally than it does to produce it further away and transport it, the latter may still be the better choice. I live in a temperate region with cold winters. Fruit such as apples and berries grows well here, but it all ripens at the same time (summer and fall), so it makes sense to preserve it (drying, freezing, canning, jams, not to mention wine, etc.). In a warmer climate, the same fruits can be produced year-round. So it makes sense for those regions to ship fresh fruit to my area when it's not in season here, and my area to ship preserved fruit to them. That's actually the most economical and energy-efficient use of resource.

Comment What does this have to do with the Constitution? (Score 2) 201

It's not a law. It's not the government restricting what you can do in a virtual environment, and even if it were a law, that would be a First, not Second, Amendment issue. This is no different from a store having a policy of not selling guns. Or more precisely, of a flea market setting a policy that its vendors cannot sell guns (or candy or wooden nickels or whatever else they want). What would the alternative be? Should Microsoft be forced to sell guns on Xbox Live? That would be a clear First Amendment violation.

Comment Britannica is one factor (Score 1) 285

Surely one factor is that early in its history much of the content on Wikipedia was copied from a public domain edition (1911?) of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in which one would expect to find very few spelling errors. Over time more and more of the content is user-generated, so naturally it is more likely to contain typos.

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