Sunday, October 26, 2003

An interesting comment in the Times today about what the effect would be if employers paid for car insurance. The conclusion was that a lot more cars would spend time in the shop, they would be in better shape and be around for more years, and the average cost of car insurance would go up. The analogy was, of course, to health insurance, and it was aimed at making the point that people will spend money that isn't theirs to the limit that they can, and that one way of reducing that expenditure would be to require copays of increasingly higher amounts. The problem then becomes, what level of copay would have the effect of limiting use, and would that level be higher than the poor could afford? If so, doesn't that mean you are rationing health care according to income?

No answers here.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I just got through paying this week's bills. Nothing particularly shocking, but it got me thinking about the customization that ought to be possible with the credit card bill. When I enter total credit card charge into Quicken -- the old version, not the thrice-dammed ad-besotted current one -- I usually tell Q to split the bill, meaning that I take the total figure and run down the entries in the bill -- this much for books and magazines, this much for my PC backup service, this much for medical, and so on. About 70% of the items which show up are routine and recurring. I wondered -- why can't I buy a service from Mastercard to group those for me in the bill? Here's the three Books and Mags entries, and the total was this. I know, I know -- they would have to be able to categorize everybody's bill, by whatever categories they might use -- but still, don't you think that'd be a useful concept? Even just the ability to take the bill, electronically, into a spreadsheet would be nice..... Maybe thats a market for a client-side appllication.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Why is the Google news searcher so fascinated with the formerly conjoined twins? Or put more accurately, why are the news sources Google scans so fascinated?