Saturday, March 31, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Random pictures - da Vinci

 


"A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes..."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kickstarter contributions

 

Indiegogo contributions

Green-highlighted are items where the project actually delivered (!); yellow-highlighted those that have been more ephemeral thus far (note: a few still put out periodic 'updates,' for example the Rufus Cuff and Bright Switch, both from 2014!) A few have been outstanding, such as the Canary and the watches I've backed! 

 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Random pictures - Russian subways

 
 
 

Source:  David Burdeny: Russia a right future Visit the link for the full, un-cropped pictures and many more...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Rylo - first look

 
Received my Rylo, a 360-degree camera. Here are the technical specifications, the Rylo FAQ, and the Ultimate Guide to the Rylo by The 360 Guy

 

Press the release button to pop open the Rylo, insert the included rechargeable Li-ion battery, and then plug the charging cable into the micro-USB port.. Then you are ready to go!



You need to download your flavor (iOS, Android) of the Rylo app (there currently isn't desktop software), and connect your Rylo to your phone with the included cable (note: they provide both micro-USB-micro-USB and micro-USB-USB-C cables for Android...). It connects, runs you through some videos with quick instructions of the main features, and then it's ready to go...

 
 
 
 

The settings screen:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Random charts - financial security



The conclusion of the report? "...No matter how household well-being is measured, most Americans today do not have enough savings to weather a financial shock, and they feel this vulnerability acutely: Respondents expressed a clear desire to save, but the reality for many households is that they have far less of a financial cushion than they want or need. Many forces combined to produce the low levels of saving in U.S. households, including choices that families make about their finances—such as when and how much to spend—the resources they have, and needs that can drain their accumulated savings.
 
The challenges that Americans face in building savings are made steeper by the fact that, as households use their savings to address unexpected expenses and losses of income, they then need to replenish those reserves. In fact, the first brief in this series found that, although it could not demonstrate that shocks caused financial hardship, households that have had a financial shock have median liquid savings that are almost $4,000 below those that have not.
 
These findings reveal that significant parts of the population are at financial risk, but they also present an opportunity for broad-based efforts to enable and support family saving. Strategic policy changes have the potential to enhance households’ opportunity and incentives to build financial security. The next brief in this series will explore how Americans think about their savings and how insights into family finances can shape the creation of public policies and programs that can help households close their savings gaps."

Random charts - global health

 
 
 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018 MLR update


This blog has previously written multiple times about the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) since it was initially targeted by the ACA, and from the start pointed out that it was a poor instrument to use to achieve the desired goal of reducing healthcare costs...
 
Fast forward to 2018 and 'Insurers use 'medical loss ratios' to cheat us' looks at MLRs and discusses a NBER report that says that "... minimum MLR requirements encourage higher costs, not lower." 
 
Some previous blog entries referencing the MLR:
MLR - Year 2 - June 22, 2013
Latest MLR update Dec 4th, 2011
The MLR saga continues - May 13th, 2011
Misc update (MLR) - Mar 26th, 2011
Misc update - V - Feb 13th, 2011
Misc updates - MLR - Oct 25th, 2010
MLR Redux - Aug 24th, 2010
MLR update - Jun 27th, 2010

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Random charts - healthcare value

 
 


"The intrinsic demand for healthcare services continues to rise in the United States, given population aging, the increasing prevalence of chronic disease, and the search for a higher quality of life. In addition to increasing demand, three other major factors make healthcare a dynamic industry with significant opportunity:
  • Consumers, employers, and the government continue to see the financial burden of healthcare grow faster than their incomes or revenues—a long-standing gap unlikely to change soon. Furthermore, new challenges, such as the ongoing opioid crisis, continue to emerge. The result has been a continuing search for fresh solutions and reforms,  which has kept—and will keep—the industry in a state of flux.
  • Major tectonic shifts are occurring, not only in regulations but also in three other areas: technology (both medical science and technology and the onward march of big data, advanced analytics, machine learning, and digital), industry orientation (the move toward B2C and rapidly rising consumer expectations), and reallocation of risk across the value chain. These forces are fundamentally altering the structure of the industry and basis of competition.
  • The available headroom for improvement in healthcare (by most estimates, over $500 billion within the $3 trillion US healthcare economy) provides significant opportunity for value creation."

 
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