Can a Machine Commit a Crime?

technology-header

Any real answer leads to the obligations of the designers of devices and systems.  When one of the emerging “driverless cars” collides or harms passengers, who is at fault?  When a current-day extortionist software freezes your laptop files, who is at fault?  The designers and those who deploy the devices are at fault.  But, what […]

Paperless Tickets—A Bad Deal for Consumers

ticket admission

For many years, a fight has been ongoing between Ticketmaster and consumers, represented by secondary ticket markets like StubHub. At stake is consumer freedom to resell or easily give away the tickets they’ve already purchased. Ticketmaster, the far and away leader in the ticketing market, is increasingly making it difficult for consumers by increasingly instituting […]

Regulatory Creep and Ridesharing

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Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are fast-growing “ridesharing” services that compete with each other and with conventional taxis.  The ridesharing services are summoned through an Internet app tied to an established personal account.  The app handles booking, payment, and a ride survey. Ridesharing can be a compelling economic proposition to consumers.  In urban settings, it can […]

Health Care Cost Increases – The Question is How Fast?

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Rapid advances in health care treatments may help us live longer and healthier lives. For that to come true, we will have to afford the treatments. Today that is a stretch and affordability may diminish as time passes. The cost burden for health care is already astronomical and there are few promising strategies for cost […]

Florida Insurance Fraud Continues To Be Rampant

flood

Some say every insurance crisis inevitably traces back to a handful of lawyers and that abuse of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is no exception. What I’ve recently uncovered seems to bear this out in mind-boggling terms. Just like PIP and sinkholes, AOB has all the markings of just another sue-for-profit scheme. (See “What is an […]

Great Medical Advances and Fearsome Costs

drug vials

In November 2013, the FDA ordered a medical testing upstart named 23andMe to halt selling its $99 genetic testing service to consumers until it could prove the tests were reliable.  By February 2015, 23andMe was vindicated and able to sell at least some testing.  The FDA announced that it will allow patients to get partial […]

The FCC Fails Consumers, But Who Wins?

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As everyone knows by now, the FCC enacted net neutrality last week by reclassifying it much like a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. But after years of buildup, 4 million comments submitted to the FCC (thanks John Oliver), hundreds of articles and even a Vox explainer(!), it seems that […]

ACI in the Tallahassee Democrat: Cell Tax Cut is Sensible

Mobile communications and social networking concept

As part of Florida’s budget, Governor Scott proposed to cut the cell phone and TV tax rate by 3.6 percentage points. When approved by the Florida Legislature, the tax cut will save Floridians $470 million annually. These services are taxed at 9.17% for cell phone and cable TV and 13.17% for satellite TV services – […]

When Going Green Means Profits

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Regulatory rules and government subsidies are popping up across the country to encourage consumers to put solar panels on their rooftops. In addition, new financing arrangements have enabled some consumers to lease rooftop solar panels for very little or no initial investment. On the upside, rooftop solar energy can enable a consumer to be environmentally […]