Watch out for scams! In Weekend Reads we take a look at Open Enrollment and Seamless fraud. Plus: find out why auto insurance is a good deal, get your entertainment fix with news from Netflix and Facebook, and learn how you can pay for even more things with your iPhone.
"OMG insurance is so expensive why do I even need to pay for it it’s sooooo dumb!" Does that complaint sound familiar? Probably. What about, "OMG I haven’t gotten any tickets for not having auto insurance and my insurer paid for the body damage and my hospital stay when I got into that accident!" Probably less common, because while people like talking about what a waste of money insurance is, they don’t realize that if anything bad happens to you and you don’t have it, it’ll cost you way more than your premiums do. It's like a security blanket for grownups. Plus, if it’s a legally-required insurance – say, auto insurance – things like tickets and registration suspensions cost you a lot more.
In the latest bid to be the first company to become a real-life Skynet, Facebook is expanding its reach to your phone’s lock screen. Notify pushes news story notifications from major publishers like Thrillist, CNN, Fox Sports, and more. That means you can get your news right away without ever having to unlock your phone. It also means you can delete the apps from those publishers, which is good because you’ll need the memory space for Notify, Facebook, Messenger, Paper, Slingshot and the other Facebook apps that make you wonder why they ever thought they needed their own phone in the first place when people will willingly turn their phone into a Facebook-branded device.
At PolicyGenius, we like to think we know a thing or two about (for lack of a better buzzword) disrupting an established industry for the better. That’s why it’s cool to see Netflix transform from a mail-order Blockbuster to a pioneer in streaming to, it seems, a legitimate movie studio. Netflix has a pretty solid history with original content – House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, a Marvel deal that started with Daredevil and continues later this month with Jessica Jones, and the Idris Elba-starring Beasts Of No Nation have all been huge hits – but it’s actually making its latest production Okja, Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film, itself instead of acquiring it. It’s a pretty bold step toward complete independence from traditional studios (and distribution methods). Let’s just hope they can weather their Adam Sandler deal...
"Ghost restaurants" sound like something really cool and spooky, until you realize that they’re actually restaurants listed on apps like Seamless and GrubHub that don’t match up with inspection databases. It’s a crime that anyone would take advantage of services that bring food right to your door, but a double-digit percentage of the top 100 NYC restaurants on those apps are ghosts. It’s also dangerous when restaurants don’t follow safety and health rules. Then you end up eating food from a sketchy place with no standards of cleanliness and become a ghost yourself, completing the cycle.
If you haven’t gotten health insurance during Open Enrollment, what are you waiting for? Go do it right now! On second thought, first you should read this list of scams you should be on the lookout for, ranging from fake websites to Medicare traps. And then you should go through our 2016 checklist so you’re prepared once you hit the exchange. And then you should go get your health insurance. It’s important! And mandatory!
First it was Apple Pay, and now it’s...whatever Apple’s going to call their Venmo competitor. Apple continues its march into the financial world, tapping into a market of people who prefer payment apps like Venmo to trying to figure out how to split a bill. It’s a lifesaver for office coffee runs – the person who just has to get the $9 latte doesn’t have an excuse to not pay – but is relatively unused. As with most things, Apple embracing peer-to-peer payment will likely catapult it into the spotlight, which is great for everyone – including, obviously, Apple’s ecosystem.