Thursday, September 17, 2009

Can We Reform Healthcare without Cost-Cutting

The short answer? No. (Read the article,8599,1917325,00.html). Aside from the hyperbole and exaggeration, we are a nation in trouble. Healthcare costs are crippling corporations and workers alike. Time for solutions instead of more fearmongering...or placating.

Most at risk are employees at the top of their pay ranges--generally people in the mid-40's to mid-50's. These are the people getting RIFed. They are also a decade or more away from Medicare eligibility.
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ARRESTED: Raymond Clark III Charged With Annie Le Yale Murder

It's a story that captured our attention for the past several days. A graduate student, just days before her wedding, walked out of a campus building at Yale and vanished--only to be found, sadly, stuffed into a wall at that same building.

What we can't forget is that Ms. Le was a victim of workplace violence. If early reports have any validity, her alleged attacker (who worked as a lab assistant where she conducted her studies), spurned in his attempts to force her to operate in "his" lab the way he wanted, killed her.

My question to all of us is this: Are we certain that we're doing the work of screening workers and others who enter our workplaces for potential threats? Yale is in the heart of an urban area, but the threat to Annie Le came--not from random big city violence, but from within the university.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Adds Video to iPod Nano, Cuts Prices. New Phone in the Offing?
Apple has been known to cut prices in advance of a new offering, and with the holiday shopping season around the corner, insiders wonder what's coming down the pike. 

Are Consumers Paying Too Much for Text-Messaging?

Are Consumers Paying Too Much for Text-Messaging? That was the question posed by the Time magazine article I read this morning. With costs to cellular carriers being a fraction of a penny and billings to customers standing at roughly fifteen cents a go, it's easy to see that, for cellular carriers, texting is, well, deliciously profitable at 98%. What's troubling for carriers is the trend of consumers to dropping or scaling back plans, which has lead them to offer bundles with unlimited texting as a "teaser" to draw customers back (like the "loss leaders" for Walmart: prescriptions, shoe repair and so on).

Emerging from the back of the pack, for example, are carriers like Sprint, that are offering unlimited text, picture and video messaging along with 900 minutes for 90 bucks in a clear move to siphon off customers from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The churn in the cellular industry continues.