Dan

Silent Knight will now be taking over your radio stations…

Emerging from the New Jersey underground Urban performance circuit comes Silent Knight, a recording artist who brings a new glimmer of hope to Hip-Hop culture.

silentknight8@gmail.com
Website: http://myspace.com/silentknightma
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http://fuseplanet.com
http://silentknight.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/silentknightter
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/IamSilentKnight

An update on the Health Care Bill

WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR OF ENACTMENT

  • Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.
  • Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
  • Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.
  • Uninsured adults with a pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.
  • A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.
  • Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the “doughnut hole” coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.
  • A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.
  • A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1. WHAT HAPPENS IN 2011
  • Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.
  • Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.
  • A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.
  • Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.
  • Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.
  • An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies according to market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.

WHAT HAPPENS IN 2012

  • Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” to improve quality and efficiency of care.
  • An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions. WHAT HAPPENS IN 2013
  • A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.
  • The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.
  • The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income for that income group.
  • A 2.9 percent excise tax in imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.

WHAT HAPPENS IN 2014

  • State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.
  • Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.
  • Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
  • Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren’t counted for the fine.
  • Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.

WHAT HAPPENS IN 2015

  • Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.

WHAT HAPPENS IN 2018

  • An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

A series on Google – Part 2

How Google Makes Money

At the end of the day, Google is just an advertising company. Sure, they offer state of the art products free of charge, but they are only able to do that to the extent that their products bring traffic. And traffic is worth money; the more traffic, the more money.

We can think of web traffic the same way that we think of traffic on a traditional highway. While driving on a highway we may notice billboards on the side of the road. An individual or business pays an advertising company (in the case of billboards it is often CBS, but that’s another story) a fee to put up an advertisement on their board for a specified amount of time. The value is gained from the amount of people that drive past the billboard. The internet is similar in that people are constantly traveling from one place to another on their quest for information. Google provides the framework to search for information, which acts like a giant billboard, charging advertisers money in the process. Ever notice the “Sponsored Links” above or to the side of your search results? In a nutshell, that’s how Google makes money.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Google is constantly expanding the ways in which they utilize information, because all that information is worth money. Gmail is a great example. Users of Google’s email service (Gmail) may have noticed that the ads around the email messages are related to the content of the message. This is because Google has a program running in the background that matches keywords in an email message to related advertisements, so that the user sees advertisements relevant to what they are reading right in their inbox. The scary thing is that you are not in complete control over the access to your private messages.

After Google acquired YouTube, you may have noticed pop-up advertisements appearing in many of the videos. This is another example of how Google is profiting from web traffic. Next time you watch a Lady Gaga video and notice there are 100,000,000+ views, just think about how all that traffic translates into advertising gold for Google.

Sources:

http://investor.google.com/faq.html

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4564568_google-make-money.html

Lindsay Lohan, How Pathetic.

I just finished reading an article in the New York Post. Apparently Lindsay Lohan is upset about the recent E-Trade video that debuted during the Super Bowl. You remember, the one with the babies. During that video, the protagonist stock trading baby begins explaining (to whom seems to be his baby girlfriend) that he didn’t call her the night before because he was busy making moves in the stock market. Then he starts talking dirty about market volatility and howls a quick “HO HO HO” when all of a sudden the baby girlfriend calls him out by making the accusation that the REAL reason he didn’t call her was because that “MILKAHOLIC LINDSAY” was over! And then the baby named Lindsay popped into the camera and we all laughed about it. Here’s a copy of the video to refresh your memory:

YouTube Preview Image

Lindsay is claiming that her first name has the same sort of recognition as Oprah or Elvis or Obama. She further argues that because of this, ETrade should be HELD LIABLE FOR $100 MILLION DOLLARS! This is ridiculous for many reasons. First of all, she is saying that the name Lindsay has become¬†synonymous¬†with herself. Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear the name Oprah I think of Oprah Winfrey; when I hear Elvis I think of Elvis Presley; when I hear the name Obama I think of our President. But when I hear the name Lindsay, I simply think of girls that I know named Lindsay. Part of what gives Oprah or Elvis their one-name recognition, aside from their immense fame, is the fact that their names are relatively unique. I can prove this because my spell checker doesn’t make suggestions for Winfrey or Presley, but seems persistent on telling me that Lohan should be Logan. Lindsay is common, and Lindsay Lohan is ignorant.

Aside from that, even if they were directly making fun of Lindsay Lohan, so what? This is America, and the high court has not completely forgotten that. Let’s not forget the lasting legacy of Hustler Magazine creator Larry Flynt, aside from the magazine. The Supreme court decided, in Hustler Magazine and Larry C. Flynt, Petitioners v. Jerry Falwell, that public figures could not be awarded damages for emotional distress that was inflicted upon them, even if it was intentional.

I think it’s just because she heard “Lindsay” and “milkaholic” in the same sentence during the Super Bowl commercial, and she was drunk of course, so she thought she heard “Lindsay” and “alcoholic” and she started blushing. Then she realized this Lindsay baby, who apparently drinks milk from morning to nap time, is also sleeping with some other baby girl’s baby boy. And Lohan has a guilty conscience because she drinks and sleeps around, but she has no friends and so had no one to complain to. So she complained to the only people who would listen: a team of lawyers. And here we are. The lawyers sue for $100 million, which will turn into a long and protracted legal process. Eventually they will settle out of court for an “undisclosed sum,” of which they will get a third and Lindsay will be in the news again which is what she wants anyway.
Lohan