One hundred years from now, while borrowing time on one of NASA’s telescopes, an amateur astronomer sees something disconcerting — a massive asteroid heading towards Earth. Luckily this asteroid was discovered decades earlier by a similar group of stargazers, and a spacecraft was dispatched and pull the object out of our way.June 30 is Asteroid Day, a United Nation sanctioned event designed to raise awareness about asteroid risks and shine a spotlight on the people working to spot near-Earth objects in the sky. This year more than 700 events are planned in 190 countries, with participation from agencies like NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). along with a 24-hour livestream online. If the above scenario ever does occur, we may have Asteroid Day to thank for our preparedness.“The ultimate goal is to protect our planet from future asteroid impacts.”“The ultimate goal is to protect our planet from … [Read more...] about Happy Asteroid Day! Here’s how scientists plan to save us from Armageddon
Cheap insurance plans
Most smartphones these days seem designed with an expiration date in mind (when’s the last time you managed to get a phone to work for more than two years?), but if you have a knack for sending your mobile device to an even earlier grave, AT&T may have something of a solution for you. The mobile carrier recently unveiled a new device repair service, creatively named AT&T Device Protection. As the name suggests, the service protects your device from … well, yourself.Beginning November 15, if you drop your phone and end up with a cracked screen, AT&T will repair it for just $89, provided you have an existing AT&T insurance plan. Phones covered under the new plan include the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6, and a much wider range of iPhones.But wait, you say, doesn’t AT&T already offer repairs and replacements for broken phones? The answer, of course, is yes, but Device Protection is a significantly … [Read more...] about All thumbs? For just $89, AT&T will fix plan holders’ cracked cell phone screens
T-Mobile is trying really hard to be different. After spending years at the bottom of the big four carriers, the company hired CEO John Legere to turn things around. As he has pointed out in all of his hilariously candid monologues, the wireless industry makes no sense. It’s ridiculously complicated and none of the companies put customers before profits. He even unveiled new plans that were designed to be simple and easy to understand. Unfortunately, after only half a year, T-Mobile’s plans now operate very differently than AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon’s, but they’re far from simple. After today’s Jump! plans announcement, we’re finding it difficult to explain how they work at all. The more you dig into the numbers, the more you see the hidden costs.The Jump! plan is a clever name for an old idea: phone insurance.Today, Legere decided to reinvent the subsidized phone … something he just eliminated a few months ago. The gimmick: instead of … [Read more...] about T-Mobile touts simplicity, but its new Jump! plan is designed to deceive
Asurion, an insurer of consumer-electronics products, has started a new policy that will cover iPhones that are lost or stolen, or get damaged whether dropped on the ground or into a pitcher of beer. Cracked screens, a common iPhone mishap, will be replaced, even if the phone otherwise works.It’s the only insurance plan for the iPhone authorized by AT&T Inc., the exclusive wireless carrier in the United States for Apple Inc.’s popular smart phone.Replacing a phone can be costly. Although the iPhone 4 costs $199 or $299 with a two-year contract with AT&T, customers would need to pay the full retail price of $599 or $699 to replace a phone in the middle of the contract.Repairs aren’t cheap, either. Tekserve, an Apple retailer and repair shop in New York, charges $149 to replace a cracked screen and $99 for a broken microphone or charging port. (Apple didn’t responded to repeated inquiries on repair service charges at the company’s … [Read more...] about iPhone Insurance Available, But is it Worth it?
Legal/Regulatory WASHINGTON (AP) - It's a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health care remake, a lifeline available right now to vulnerable people whose medical problems have made them uninsurable.But the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan started this summer isn't living up to expectations. Enrollment lags in many parts of the country. People who could benefit may not be able to afford the premiums. Some state officials who run their own "high-risk pools" have pointed out potential problems."The federal risk pool has definitely provided critical access, in some cases lifesaving access, to health insurance," said Amie Goldman, chair of a national association of state high-risk insurance pools. "That said, enrollment so far is lower than we would have expected." Goldman runs the Wisconsin state pool, as well as the federal plan in her state.California, which has money for about 20,000 people, has received fewer than 450 applications, according to a state official. The program … [Read more...] about Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Off to Rocky Start