Weekend reads: Chip credit cards, frugal living, and when orcas attack
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This weekend we learn how the United States is finally catching up to the rest of the world in credit card technology and medical codes, and then we give that infamous Elite Daily article one last hurrah so we can finally put it behind us. Plus, find out how to have a good time with friends while staying frugal, discover why you should really, really stop those Facebook status updates about privacy policies, and get seven fitness tracker reviews all at once.
Getting a new credit card is usually a pain, because it typically means a) you lost it and/or b) someone’s racking up charges on it. But recently you might have gotten a new card for a different reason – it’s a new kind of card. These cards have chips in them that are safer than the magnetic strip cards you’re used to swiping at the register. Of course, most places in the world have already had this technology in place for a while, and the real holdup in the US has been rolling out point-of-sale terminals that can accept the new cards, which you insert rather than swipe. Take a read (or listen, yay podcasts!) to NPR speak with Krebs on Security’s Brian Krebs about what this means for your financial security.
Seemingly everyone in the financial blogosphere had thoughts on the Elite Daily article "If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong." Heck, even we did. A lot of the rebuttals were...less than kind, but a few tried to give the author the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there’s a nugget of truth in the article? Maybe millennials are focused too much on saving for the future and not enough on living in the now? Maybe the viewpoint of the original article is still way too extreme? You be the judge.
You know what’s expensive? A social life. Heading to a concert, meeting people for drinks, going to dinner and a movie, it all adds up quickly. That means you either have to blow through your budget or go through the whole, "Yeah, I’ll totally be there! I think I can probably make it. Oh no, there’s a thing happening with my dog and stuff, I’m going to pass, sorry," that no one falls for. Or you can take door number three and plan some on-the-cheap activities for you and your friends, like staying in, cooking meals, and having game nights. There are a lot of options for staying both frugal and fun, so give it a shot and see how your bank account agrees with it.
Fitness trackers and wearables are pretty cool. What’s not cool is having to pour over reviews to find the best one, especially when it seems like there are a dozen companies coming out with new models every week. How do you know which one is for you? We’ve done our part on giving you the lowdown on different wearables, but if you want a side-by-side comparison of the most popular options, check out this seven-way review from Women’s Health. From step accuracy to sleep tracking, find your next fitness tracker without ever leaving the website (until you click away to buy one, of course).
We all want a break from memes and baby updates in our Facebook newsfeed, but if the alternative is bogus legalese about illegitimate privacy concerns, I’ll stick with the cat pictures, thanks. You may have noticed your feed loaded with "Better safe than sorry…" statuses about not giving Facebook permission to use personal information. Or something. These pop up every now and then, like a modern day version of late-‘90s email chain letters, even though they don’t supersede the site’s terms of service (Facebook status updates have surprisingly little legal authority!) and are typically about non-existent concerns. So if someone offers to protect your privacy for $5.99, invest that money instead.
First America is behind on credit card technology, and now medical codes for orca attacks? Talk about a fall from grace. But that’s about to change, as America’s health care industry updates their International Classification of Diseases – basically how medical providers note what they’re treating patients for – from ICD-9 to ICD-10 to bring it in line with other health care systems around the world. That brings the number of codes up from 14,000 to 68,000. Why so many? How else are you going to note broken arms, "struck by hit or thrown ball, unspecified type," and, obviously, "struck by an orca"? It’s only taken 20 years and a billion dollars, but at least we get these awesome pictures from the nice folks at ICD-10 Illustrated.
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