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OpenMarket: December 2010

  • Driver Monitoring Increases Accuracy, Lowers Insurance Costs

    December 29, 2010
    Believe it or not, insurance companies do not want to overcharge you. They want to charge just the right amount -- as little as possible -- just enough to cover any potential claims you are likely to file. Insurers want to charge the least they possibly can without losing money so that they can compete with other insurance companies for your business. To a large degree, what makes an insurance company successful is its ability to accurately predict your future accidents, illness, and catastrophes. The more they know about their customers' risk factors, the less they can charge. If an insurer knows little or nothing about the risks of his customer, then he must "pad" the premium to account for all possible catastrophes that the insurance company will have to pay for. On the other hand, if an insurer knows with relative certainty the likelihood of his customer getting into a car accident...
  • Morning Media Summary

    December 29, 2010
    Tech: Earth project aims to ‘simulate everything’: “An international group of scientists are aiming to create a simulator that can replicate everything happening on Earth - from global weather patterns and the spread of diseases to international financial transactions or congestion on Milton Keynes' roads.” 4Chan.org Down Amid DDOS Attack: “Popular anonymous photo-sharing message board 4Chan.org is experiencing downtime at this very moment. The cause of the outage? A DDOS, or distributed denial of service attack — something 4Channers are all to familiar with — but not in the way you would think.” Clooney, Google, UN Team Up to...
  • New CEI Podcast -- December 28, 2010: IRS as Tax Preparer?

    December 28, 2010
    Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young looks at the IRS' proposal to save you time by doing your taxes for you.
  • Alcohol Regulation Roundup: December 28

    December 28, 2010
    Much a like a family that you don't get to choose, let's make a quick holiday visit to the states around the nation and their bizarre, antiquated, questionable, and sometimes encouraging changes in alcohol regulation (and then get the hell out): California: According to Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), party buses in California are unregulated, operating in a legal loophole, and a danger to the state's youngsters. Proposed legislation, AB 45, would change that by imposing fines, criminal charges, and revoking business licenses for operators that fail to prevent minors from consuming alcohol while in their vehicles. Because buses don't usually serve alcohol, the drivers aren't required to check the I.D. of passengers to ensure that they are of legal age. However, in the state of California, providing...
  • Alfred E. Kahn, 1917-2010

    December 28, 2010
    The man behind airline deregulation passed away yesterday at age 93. Let us learn from his example of a life well lived.
  • Morning Media Summary

    December 28, 2010
    Tech: Top Chinese blogger shuts down country’s first pvt magazine: “China's first private magazine, which was launched by famous blogger Han Han in a bid to break monopoly of the tightly-controlled official media, has shut down apparently after its printing was blocked by authorities.” Cheaters Find an Adversary in Technology: “Mississippi had a problem born of the age of soaring student testing and digital technology. High school students taking the state’s end-of-year exams were using cellphones to text one another the answers.”...
  • Potato Diet Improves Man's Health; Obama Administration Bans Potatoes from WIC Program

    December 27, 2010
    Chris Voigt lost 21 pounds and improved his health by living on a potato-only diet for 60 days.  Potatoes are more nutritious than other starchy foods like rice and bread, and "are a good source of vitamins."  They have a lot of vitamin C (much more than a banana or an apple), and potassium levels slightly higher...
  • Morning Media Summary

    December 27, 2010
    Tech: Top 10 Tech Disasters That Haven’t Happened… Yet: “Congratulations: You've survived another year, and 2010 was quite an eventful one. For all the technological advances we made his year including iPads and colored e-readers, we still fear the day where our electronics and inventions will rise up against or fail us, rendering the human race extinct. In honor of the book A is for Armageddon by Richard Horne, which is on sale today, we're counting down the top technological disasters that we feared were going to happen, but never did - although we're not ruling out the possibility that they still might occur.” Mich. Man faces charges for reading wife’s email:...
  • Time for Big Cuts in Education Spending?

    December 26, 2010
    America spends far more on education than countries like Germany, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Italy, both as a percentage of its economy, and in absolute terms. Yet despite this lavish government support for education, college tuition in the U.S. is skyrocketing, reaching levels of $50,000 or more a year at some colleges, and colleges are effectively rewarded for increasing tuition by mushrooming federal financial-aid spending.  Americans can't read or do math as well as the Japanese, even though America spends way more (half again more) on education than Japan does, as a percentage of income, according to the CIA World Fact Book. In light of this, it is easy to see why some education experts like Neal McCluskey are floating the idea of "...
  • CEI Weekly: Public Employee Unions Are Bankrupting States

    December 26, 2010
    CEI Weekly is a compilation of articles and blog posts from CEI’s fellows and associates sent out via e-mail every Friday. This week features Vincent Vernuccio's interview on public employee unions.

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