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Robot Chicken: It's A Trap! Hitler Style!

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How much snooping is too much? | The Independent

How appropriate is it for insurers, lenders and banks to snoop on their customers?

It’s an important question that arises after Facebook felt compelled to take action against insurer Admiral last week, banning it from viewing young drivers’ Facebook profiles to help set premiums. With their customers’ permission the insurer had planned to use their posts and likes to help assess how safe they might be as drivers, and award discounts where it deemed them appropriate.

For Facebook and many other critics, that crossed a line. However, there are already many financial products and insurance offerings that require the provider to delve deep into the personal lives of its clients. What’s more, a growing number of service providers, including landlords, are researching potential customers more thoroughly than ever before, as our ability to gather data increases.

New technology, same questions

It is not unusual for insurers and other financial services companies to seek out in-depth information about their clients. Life insurance is almost always granted only after extensive questioning about an individual’s medical history and current health, for example, including queries about their weight and even whether they indulge in casual sex.

Home prices around Seattle may be directly linked with transit

Trying to find a home for what passes as a reasonable price in King County is proving to be more and more difficult.

The Seattle Times reports that of the homes sold this year, almost 12 percent have sold for more than $1 million. That is double the average rate over the past 10 years, according to the Times.

That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for anyone in the market for a home. Home prices around Seattle have continued to surge upward. Over the summer, reports showed prices were increasing at nearly twice the rate of the country’s 20 largest cities.

And the estates selling for more than $1 million aren’t all the traditional waterfront dream homes. The Times reports that places in Ballard, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Fremont, and West Seattle are experiencing the price spikes.

Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s chief economist, told KIRO Radio that a large reason for this uptick in home prices has to do with transportation.

How many Czars does it take for Obama to rule America with an iron fist and a hammer and sickle?

Will his National Security Force become his enforcer? Where in the Constitution are these individuals given authority?

1. Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra.
2. Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske.
3. Copyright Czar: Not appointed yet.

How many dim witting right wingers will be confused by a metaphoric job title?