It is rightly said that time is money. There is not a single hour in the day when you are not free. Then why do we not indulge ourselves in the activities that would pass our time in addition to making some money?
There are ample of part time activities that you could employ so as to make some money. Your income will be supplemented and you will not get bored.
There is no particular age limit for part time jobs. Anybody from any place and at any time can work part time.
Although there aredozens of part time opportunitiesbut here we discuss about only 10 opportunities for different kind of people. So no matter you are a kid or student or a housewife or even retired, you will find something for you.
Part time Jobs for Students
Tutor at some institute is a very favorable option for students. In this world of computers, there have been many computer coaching institutes being set up all over and not all people know to use computer. If any student has basic knowledge about the computer hardware, windows and Microsoft office, he could be a tutor at some computer coaching institute. He could also be a tutor of some normal coaching class also. He could teach the students who are younger to him. He will not only teach younger students but also improve his teaching skills which could prove useful for his future.
Working is also one favorable option for students. Since, they do not have expertise knowledge about the things; they could become sales person at the shops. Book stores, Women Accessories shop and many others require sales person. A student could join one and earn money. There are many pharmacies that require staff who could work for them until late night. Hence, if there is any pharmacy nearby to the house then he could work there as a sales person. Study should not be neglected.
Part time Jobs for Housewives
Most of the house wives are free during the afternoon time. Would it be not advisable to start coaching a group of students during that time and earn money? There is no need to find a place; she could start it at your own home. She could start with a small batch in the beginning and gradually increase the number of students. In this manner, she will get the satisfaction of earning and also her education will be utilized for a good purpose.
Small scale factory
There are number of small home business ideas for woman. Women and cooking go hand in hand. Home-made products are not only loved by many but are also in much demand. Pickle, papad, ladoos and many more eatables can be made at home during the free time and then can be sold to the nearby shops and stores. A house wife can also sell them herself at home. She will make some money and will get noticed for her cooking skills. She should have a valid license.
Part time Jobs for Working People
Almost all the people who work have a basic knowledge of computers. Online jobs serve best for the people who are working as they do not have any free time during their regular jobs working hours. They could take up writing, data entry, typing, designing, surveying etc. If you are one among them then you could take up some online job and work during the night time. However, deadlines need to be followed. Hence, be careful!
A working person could also be a freelancer like a writer, a photographer, a journalist or for that matter anybody. He will be paid for the work he does. He will be accountable directly to the client. Hence, there will not be more pressure about the deadlines or late delivery. Such a person ought to have numerous contacts for this purpose.
Part time Jobs for Retired People and Kids
This world is full of miseries. No person is happy for what he has. He wants somebody to guide him when he is low and help him overcome the life’s obstacles. As the retired people are old and they have a lot of experience about life and also work, they could become a part time counselor. If you are thinking of becoming one, a small room or balcony would be enough for you to do the work.
A retired person can join hands with any of his friend in setting up a small business or shop. It can be a garment shop, a general store or a book store. He could employ some people for the overall maintenance and sale of the goods. He will require a lot of capital for the shop. Hence, it would be advisable to think wisely before investing money.
Part time Jobs for Disabled People
Everybody loves handicrafts and best out of waste items. They not only look chic but also attract eyes of many. Disabled people can make such items and then sell them to gift shops or could hold an exhibition at their respective homes. They could also stitch some pillow covers with embroidery, fabric painting, rubber paintings, glass paintings etc.
A visiting professor
The time when the disabled people would sit at home without education has gone. There are many schools and colleges that have been set up in order to promote education in such people. A disabled person could work as a visiting professor or teacher in such schools and share his knowledge. Apart from the payment, he will also be showered numerous blessings by the parents and other people.
Envision individuals in creating nations thinking Facebook is the passage to the Internet. They might log into Facebook to gain access to email, Wikipedia pages, climate data, and sustenance costs. In the event that they needed extra administrations like the capability to stream motion picture, they can purchase it with a basic navigate Facebook.
That is Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Internet.org.
At the Mobile World Congress on Monday, Zuckerberg outlined some of his arrangements for making headway with Internet.org, the activity headed by Facebook to carry Internet connectivity to poor nations around the globe.
While Zuckerberg touted the philanthropic vision of his organization’s objective to associate the following one billion individuals, its vital to note that the task isn’t right for the sole purpose of carrying fundamental administrations to those that don’t have it, but instead carrying a huge number of extra eyeballs to Facebook and its promoters.
“[we are] making it with the goal that we can build the measure of up-offers to memberships when they’re utilizing these fundamental administrations,” Zuckerberg said in his keynote. “They will go to a connection that isn’t incorporated in the essential administrations bundle; a popup that says, alright in the event that you need to expend this, you need to purchase this information plan.”
Facebook is making a long haul guarantee to both information bearers and promoters Zuckerberg said the following one billion individuals to accomplish Internet access won’t be as well-off as those as of recently on Facebook, in this way making it harder to adapt the organization’s administrations. Zuckerberg said the interpersonal organization will sponsor Facebook, Messenger, and different administrations like climate or fundamental news and data, and after that give up-offers in requisitions to convey the entire bundle like a door drug. Those up-offers are the place transporters and Facebook profit.
“The motivation behind why they’re not on [the Internet] is they don’t know why they might need to get access to it,” Zuckerberg said. “[we will show] individuals why its objective and bravo to use the restricted cash that they have on the Internet.”
How Whatsapp Fits Into Internet.org
Facebook as of late used $19 billion to get the versatile informing provision Whatsapp, a requisition Zuckerberg cases will be one of the few administrations to store up a billion clients later on. He guaranteed that, without anyone else present, Whatsapp is worth more than what the organization paid for it.
In creating nations like those Internet.org is focusing on, numerous individuals depend on SMS correspondences because of an absence of information administrations. Whatsapp is as of now prevalent in numerous developing markets, incorporating those in South America and Asia where Facebook’s development was stagnating.
While blasting in fame, Whatsapp was confronting weight to adapt. It as of recently had a membership based plan of action, yet keeping in mind the end goal to handle the onrushing of clients, Whatsapp would’ve required to keep tabs on building out a plan of action. With the Facebook obtaining, Whatsapp was given the chance to center only on development without stressing over income models, since Facebook is taking care of everything.
The Next One Billion
“Joining the world” is Facebook’s vision—one that can’t be attained without the backing of different associations, including the six telecom organizations it collaborated with for the Internet.org activity.
Zuckerberg said the association is searching for an extra three to five accomplices to carry ready for, that will wager huge that Facebook subsidies of social administrations will pay off by up-offering their information plans. In most immature nations, 2g and 3g information systems are as of now accessible; individuals simply don’t comprehend the quality of the Internet yet.
“One thing I think is not difficult to underestimate is that most individuals on the planet don’t have admittance to the Internet,” he said.
In place for Facebook’s technique to work, it will make Internet moderately competitive, and furnish motivating forces like free Facebook access—for individuals to utilize it. Less expensive base, simpler openness and up-offering extra information utilization will at last develop the organization into a worldwide Internet supplier.
A Facebook telephone may have fizzled in the U.s., however it may very well work in universal markets. By utilizing Facebook as an on-incline to the Internet, the following one billion individuals will utilize social logins to control different applications, as well as their whole Internet utilizat
Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to its Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms that underscore it is doubling down on Windows.
Breaking Friday was the news that Microsoft will lower the per-device cost to OEMs to ship Windows 8.x on less expensive devices. Bloomberg’s Dina Basswrote that for devices that sell to consumers for $250 or less, Microsoft will charge $15 for use of Windows 8.1, a 70 percent decline on previous rates.
This allows OEMs to enjoy far stronger margins on low-cost Windows devices, making the Windows world more attractive to the ever margin-strapped device manufacturer world. Also, this brings the cost of Windows on cheap tablets more in line with the cost of Windows Phone on smartphones, an important change given the coming unification between the two core Windows platforms. Microsoft is still coy on the matter, but its executives have essentially laid the plan bare publicly.
This morning at Mobile World Congress Microsoft announced a sheaf of new product changes to both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone, including improvements to the core desktop experience of Windows proper, and aggressive moves to extend the capability of OEMs to build Windows Phone handsets.
In addition to a ready-to-go template, and work to allow Android handsets to run Windows Phone more simply, Microsoft listed off a grip of new OEMs that are on board to work on Windows Phone itself; if the platform is to live and die by partners, as it has thus far (both flavors of Windows), making the lives of those partners easier is simple calculus.
The announced Windows 8.x changes — detail remains light, expect more at Build in a few months — and the Windows Phone platform improvements continue the company’s bet on both Windows, and its ability to grow a platform of its own. This means Microsoft is wagering that it doesn’t need to retrench to lean on Android, for example, an idea that some externally have floated.
What you need to keep in mind is that work Microsoft does now to improve Windows Phone is work proper to its strategy to unify that platform, and experience with Windows RT. So, the work that the company is doing to better support keyboard and mouse users is almost separate; that work is in a different use-case silo.
Lowering the cost for Windows on low-cost devices could help the company foster a new cadre of devices that will eventually run whatever the Second Windows is; so the new OEM group supporting Windows Phone implies future hardware support for what comes next. That’s important.
All the above — and I’ll have more for you in the coming days — indicates so far as your humble servant can divine from lumpy tea sediment that Microsoft hasn’t changed its course in betting that a unified Windows experience across device classes with a firm shared application development environment is a strategy worth following.
Can Windows Phone take on Android or iOS in the short-term? No, at least not in terms of developer buy-in. But a unified Windows ecosystem that helps developers build once and deploy diversely to a growing set of devices could be something different altogether, in the medium and long-term.
Microsoft is not out of the arboreal subset, but it is wagering on building something big of its own, instead of depending on others. In the platforms wars, there likely isn’t another option. It remains a question of execution.
I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I grew up being told that if I did well in school, participated in a slew of extracurricular activities, volunteered, didn’t “mess around” too much with the opposite sex, didn’t spend all my money on clothes and got into a good college, that I’d be “alright.”
So, I checked off all those things and more on my Path to Success Checklist! and then—life happened.
When sophomore year of college I got sick. Really sick. It would take three years to figure out what was making me sick (spoiler: rotting appendix) but the point is, when LIFE interrupted my plan, suddenly that was it.
Even as I was moaning in agony on a stretcher in the emergency room, I was still dutifully conjugating Russian verbs and sending reassuring emails to my professors, who were alarmed when I suddenly *gasp* missed a class. “I’m sure it’s nothing!” I told them, my lips curled up in a painful grimace, “I’ll be back in no time! Send me assignments, I can still do work. I can still be good. I can still matter. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to ruin this for me! Because I worked hard for this so nothing will take it away! Right?”
Well, that’s the thing that no one tells you when they’re filling your young mind with all these bullshit life equations:
HARD WORK = SUCCESS
Sometimes that’s true. On a small scale, mostly. You have to allow for a margin of error, an element of unpredictability. When we start reducing life to a series of concrete mathematical concepts—because it feels better than considering that which is unknown to us about the future — we are really setting ourselves up to fail.
After I began to heal, having lost everything that “mattered” in my life, I decided to just do something, anything to feel like I was rebuilding my life even in a small way.
I took jobs here and there. I moved around a little. I fell in love.
And then, I said to myself: what is the most important thing, from a practical standpoint, right now?
The answer, given my health, was health insurance.
So, I applied for a paper-pushing position in a hospital where I would be given health insurance and 40 hours a week of doing something. Best of all, if I had a flare up of illness, hey, I was just an elevator away from the ER.
I was given this job because someone believed in giving me a chance. I didn’t have a completed college degree, but I would do whatever needed to be done. In this case, what needed to be done was a lot of filing and staple pulling.
So, for 40 hours a week, I pulled staples.
For this I had (slightly) above a minimum wage, health and dental and vision, and the nagging feeling that I had sold my soul to the devil somewhere along the line and this must be some kind of hell.
So, I decided that I was going to work on top of work: while I pulled staples, I perked up. I listened hard. I learned. And when opportunities arose, I asked for them. I asked for more. I did everything I was asked to do, no matter how mundane, and I did it damn well. I didn’t complain (at work anyway) and I respected everyone from the guy who mopped the floors to the CEO of the hospital.
I didn’t act entitled to anything more than what I had, but I made it known that I was eager to learn— and would gladly take an opportunity to do so.
After six months, this was rewarded. I got a promotion. And from there, I just kept climbing up the ladder. And I went back to school on the hospital’s dime. And I started writing on the side for extra money. And soon my writing became part of my job.
And then, it was my job.
My day starts at 5:30 am, I spend a half hour responding to emails, Tweets, other social media interactions. I go get my morning coffee. I get in to my office at the hospital at least a half-hour before the eight hour clock starts, so I can organize paper, really listen (not just half-listen) to voicemails and chat with coworkers. For eight hours, I do some things that I really like and quite a few things that bore me beyond belief. For this, I am paid. Then, I go home and write. For this, I am also paid. I peruse Tumblr to de-stress. I read a few pages of a book. Then, I sleep. Many nights I have to take some kind of sedative to shut my brain down, but eventually, I am dreaming.
I’ve realized, though, that I benefit from that eight hour day of mindless tasks. My most creative ideas pop up when my hands are otherwise engaged and my mind can wander around to new places. Around the 50th staple, I get an idea for a novel I might write someday. By the time I’m home at night or on the weekend mornings when my coffee steams in my hand and the sun rises over the bay, I can crank out two or three solid articles— because for 40 hours I could think about how to craft each phrase while simultaneously flipping through large stacks of paper.
I work in a hospital all day and I write mostly about health and healthcare. I live and breathe my work, and it’s not always fun or interesting or “fulfillment” but my bills get paid — and then some. I have earned the freedom to write. I have some security that I didn’t have when I was on the former path to success. I created my own definition of success, and rapidly achieved it— because I was willing to improvise.
I’m twenty two years old. I have three jobs, a pension plan, health insurance, my own car, a nice apartment in a safe neighborhood, a partner who really gets me, and above all else, the slow by steady return of my health and sanity. I achieved all of this by not doing anything I was told would bring me this kind of success but instead, I just did what made sense to me in the moment . . . and hoped for the best.
That being said, do I have “free time?”
No. Not a lot of it. Do I want any? Not particularly. I worked hard to be able to combine my interests and passion into something that I can earn a living doing, so I have the satisfaction each day of knowing that I can get paid to do things that also feel good to me, and are enjoyable.
I didn’t achieve that by waving around a college degree or a proper resume. I got here by knowing my place, working hard and taking opportunities when they were given to me, holding them in my hands like delicate little eggs that did not guarantee any kind of real protection from cracks.
As Gen Y, we were really done a major disservice in our youth. Being constantly praised and built up to believe that we would all succeed if we did everything on our Checklist for Success!, we emerged expecting everyone to fawn over us when we had a college degree! Why no one prepared us for the far more complicated reality of Real World Living is beyond me; but here we are, struggling while our parents and teachers cluck at our “lost potential.”
We are a generation that grew up being promised we were special, and instead we entered adulthood already feeling we were just disappointments before we’ve even had the chance to really live.
I challenge you to shed the paradigm that you will be successful. Instead, think about what will make it easier for you to do the things that you want to do: if you can spend eight hours a day pulling staples so you don’t have to worry about healthcare and paying your rent, then you can and will find ways to do the things for which you have a firey passion.
If you are truly passionate about something, it will seep out of your pores and demand to be felt by everyone around you. Eventually, it will become part of your day to day routine, even if you think it’s impossible.
Passion always finds a way; but it has its own timeline, and anything you do to try to speed it up is only going to exhaust and frustrate you.
Don’t give up; not just on what you truly want, but also the seemingly useless and boring things that you have to do “just to get by” — everything has potential, every single opportunity is a piece of your puzzle. It’s just a matter of figuring out where it fits — and revealing the picture it creates.
Abby Norman writes and drinks coffee on the coast of Maine. Tweet her @abby__norman. You might like another piece of hers on Medium, Hush, the tale of an introvert trying to live as an extrovert. ღ
Stay curious. Have a beginners mind. Know you always have a choice in how you feel or what you do. You are not your emotions, rather they are a part of you.
I was reminded of all of this as I returned to my third Wisdom2.0 conference. I wasn’t even going to go. I decided that after two years of attending, I didn’t need to attend. I’d save some money and time and focus on other things. When a ticket was gifted to me, I made the choice to go back. I was grateful for the opportunity and couldn’t believe I was going, even when I thought I didn’t need to go. I jumped at the chance and was one of the dozens of people there representing Google.
Wisdom2.0 is about connecting and learning more about how each of us, whether we work in or use technology, can make the world a little better, less stressed out, and can become more aware to give back or contribute to the world. Over 2000 of us huddled in the bowels of the Mariott Marquis in San Francisco over the course of four days. Greeting, learning, growing, listening, and teaching each other. We started as a conference, and after the three days, as Congressman Tim Ryan proposed, we ended as a movement.
Wisdom2.0 is about the people and their actions, their companies, or personal missions to give back or create. Each of us there was hungry to learn. I felt drawn to share and connect, like most of us. Others were curious, there for work or to check out what this scene was all about.
Wisdom2.0 is about learning and teaching others how to be less stressed, by staying in the moment and not freaking out about the future, or dwelling in the past. Some of the greatest teachers of our time were on hand to remind and reiterate the techniques to reduce stress, clear your mind, and feel good where you are, in whatever you do.
I continued to learn new things. I engaged with dozens of interesting and motivated like minded people. I felt re-energized to help create my vision of an authentic life where I share my mindfulness side with work and help influence others to take this on so they can live happier, fuller, less congested lives.
I was gently reminded that all of us everyday can choose to be authentic. We choose how we show up to work, to our families, or how we play and interact with others. We can buy products from companies that give back (Give-nesses as 10 year old founder of Make a Stand Lemonade Vivienne calls it) or support and build companies that aren’t serving our planet or ourselves other than to make money. The choice is yours.
Here’s my key takeaways:
Thoughts are distracting.
As speaker Loic Le Meur says in his own article on his Wisdom2.0 experience, “Mediation created a new space in my brain.” I feel the same way. I started meditating two and a half years ago, and it’s provided a way to instantly drop into stillness, and center myself. Don’t let the name intimidate, it just means to be aware. Even if it’s noticing how I walk down the street, feel the wind on my face, that counts.
We’re all in this together.
Ariana Huffington said this in her keynote speech. We are a collective consciousness. Our actions, non-actions, words, and how we chose to spend our money, time, and efforts all matter and effect many beyond just you and who you touch. It’s a ripple effect, and every single one of us has that power. If you don’t think you have it, you’re wrong. If you don’t believe it, try it. After all, what do you have to lose?
Wisdom is consciousness, the body, and authenticity.
What is wisdom? Is it passed down generation to generation? Is it what we innately know without reading a textbook or taking a class? Is it from taking a class? Is it how our body feels or reacts? Is it what we as a society have learned over time? It is all of this. It is yourself. It is everyone together. It is also your own authenticity — the ability to show up as your full self, without putting on a mask for your boss, your friend, your kids. It is feeling fear, sadness, hurt, anger, and joy, and being ok with all of it as part of yourself.
I leave the conference with ideas and courage in how I can contribute as an agent of change, my own self-declared purpose, for myself and others to lead a life filled with more engagement, happiness, and less stress. Stay curious, my friends.
BloombergBusinessweek says the internal company investigation into the hacking attack reveals that the card-stealing software hackers used was automatically deleted from the point-of-sale payment register system at the end of each day, sometimes triggering hundreds of alerts in the process. After four months of lurking, hackers were able to steal credit card data undetected from July through October of 2013.
So how did all these alerts go unheeded? Well, for a system this size, 60,000 alerts over a period of months only adds up to about one percent of daily log entries, Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder told Businessweek. What’s more, Reeder says the hackers gave their malicious software a name nearly identical to the official payment software, making it tough to distinguish suspicious activity from false positives, the report states.
Perhaps even more perplexing: Neiman Marcus’s system could have been set to automatically block the malware as soon as it detected anomalous activity—but that feature was turned off because it was hampering legitimate maintenance programs.
The end result? Hackers took over a vulnerable server in the company’s point-of-sale system, evaded the other security measures in place, and after four months of scraping, made off with around 350,000 customer cards, 9,200 of which have since been used fraudulently.
Google is in talks with 34 cities in nine metro areas across the United States to introduce Google Fiber, Internet that’s up to 100 times faster than broadband, the company announced today.
Selected cities will have to complete a “fiber-ready checklist” with information that can speed up planning and construction. In the meantime, Google Fiber will begin detailing costs and timelines for the new fiber-optic network.
Google Fiber is already rolling out in Kansas City (in both Kansas and Missouri); Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas. Here’s the list of newly proposed cities:
Atlanta, including surrounding areas Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna
Charlotte, North Carolina
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Antonio, Texas
Phoenix, Arizona, including surrounding areas Scottsdale and Tempe
Portland, Oregon, including surrounding areas Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, and Tigard
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, including surrounding areas Carrborro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, and Raleigh
San Jose, California, including surrounding areas Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto
Editor’s note:Beth Seidenberg, M.D., is a general partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, focused on life science and digital health investing. Before joining the firm in 2005, she worked at a number of pharmaceutical businesses, mostly recently as chief medical officer at Amgen.
Spurred by the Affordable Care Act, the American healthcare system in 2014 has entered a period of titanic change. The process will be messy and disruptive – it already is. While challenging for consumers of healthcare services, the shifting landscape provides tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs, setting up the potential for an accelerated shift in healthcare delivery in the U.S.
This inflection point for healthcare in part reflects the way the Millennial generation – those born between 1980-2000 – manages information. It is a tech-savvy group, connected and collaborative. They want instant gratification and recognition. And they want – and expect – to have a different kind of interaction with physicians and the healthcare system than their older brethren have historically experienced.
Millennials have at their disposal a new wave of technological tools that track, analyze and respond to their physical condition in real time. Can physicians and the healthcare system deliver this generation what they want from the healthcare system? I believe the answer clearly is “no.” Instead, they will build it themselves.
My theory is that this population segment will drive huge changes in the practice of medicine. I’d expect relatively few to sign up for insurance coverage under the ACA, for instance. But I do think this generation’s entrepreneurs will reimagine and rebuild the country’s sclerotic healthcare system.
Entrepreneurs in this area must start by navigating around some core issues.
Medicine is hyper-local, with providers protected from outsiders by state law. And it is hyper-personal, with strong regulations governing information privacy.
On the other hand, Millennials tend to believe that data access should be ubiquitous and free. They have fewer privacy concerns than the Baby Boomers, living their lives publicly on Facebook and Twitter. Millennials want to hold e-visits with their doctors; they want to text medical providers for quick advice; they want portable insurance, transferable between jobs and across state lines; and they want clear visibility about what they are personally paying for and why. Today, in short, there is a massive divide between what Millennials expect and what the current healthcare system can deliver.
The opportunity here is gargantuan. The U.S. health-care sector generates annual revenue of close to $2.1 trillion a year, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau report. It’s an industry that employs nearly 17 million Americans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). And neither of those figures includes the health insurance industry, which has more than 450,000 employees (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan 2014), and annual revenue of more than $850 billion (Annual Report on the Insurance Industry, 2013). In short, this is an industry practically begging for revolutionary change. And the ACA has lit the fuse.
Let’s take a look at five big entrepreneurial ideas on changing the healthcare landscape. Some of these areas – touching on insurance and patient care – offer the potential to build big businesses. While they may be lacking in some of the pizzazz of social networking or cloud-based software or other buzzy areas, no industry offers a richer environment for disruption.
Information wants to be free – especially when the government has it
Under the leadership of Todd Park, chief technology officer of the U.S., the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has released vast amounts of de-identified Medicare performance data. Dabo Health,a San Francisco-based startup, is taking a big-data approach to mining that information, saving lives in the process. In a recent talk, Park drew a connection between the release of aggregate health information and the approach the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) took a decade ago in liberating weather and GPS data. That move sparked an avalanche of innovation from companies like Garmin, Wave, Google Maps and many others.
Rethinking The Insurance Business
While most of the discussion around Obamacare has focused on the role of the large legacy insurers, there’s a need for new players. For instance, there’s Oscar Health, a company that has launched a next-generation health plan that intends to leverage the public exchange market in New York City.
Unencumbered by traditional health plan thinking and structures, Oscar launched a plan that leverages recent advances in big data analytics, alternative site options including telemedicine, and the best in mobile and web user experiences. From the Oscar website, for instance, you can click on a link and receive a call from a board-certified doctor within an hour, 24 hours a day. Everything on the site reflects a kinder, friendlier and more engaging consumer experience. If they can provide competitive pricing, Oscar has a chance to take business from the incumbents.
Building New Primary Care Physician Groups
Just as Obamacare opens the door to new insurers, so does the law create incentive for the creation of new ways to deliver medical care. Case in point: Village Family Practice, an independent primary care physician group based in Houston. The group’s goal is to provide the best possible care at the lowest total cost. The idea is to change medical practice in the U.S. so that consumers will feel good about their experiences – and physicians will be empowered to deliver quality, cost-efficient services.
The ACA, for instance, has provisions covering annual wellness visits and obesity counseling. Diabetes education has been around for years, but few have figured out now to cost effectively provide that service. Village Family Practice has figured it out, and is helping physicians deliver better care to their patients.
Make It Easier To Find The Right Coverage
Several new companies are focused on helping consumers find the right insurer – and the right physician.
Covered*, based in San Francisco, is the first data-driven consumer recommendation engine for health coverage. Likewise, Fuse Insurance, of Cambridge, Mass., has built sophisticated calculators to help consumers find health plans that meet their specific needs.
Help Employers Focus On Prevention And Wellness
The ACA allows large employers to offer workers rewards of up to 50 percent of the cost of coverage for participating in a wellness program and meeting certain health standards. That’s good news for Redbrick Health*, a health engagement and behavior change company. RedBrick combines financial accountability, clinical insight, behavior design, social and game mechanics and powerful data analytics to create a personalized and persuasive experience delivered through web, mobile and live interactions.
Redbrick’s open consumer engagement hub integrates apps, devices and services, and creates a cornerstone for more effective wellness and population health management initiatives delivered through employers as well as employee benefit exchanges.
This is the beginning of the revolution. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs are moving quickly to fix our troubled system, empower people with elegant and engaging tools and disrupt healthcare as we know it today.
* Covered and Redbrick are KPCB portfolio companies.
The battle over who should pay to carry Netflix traffic is heating up again, and one of the main players blames Verizon’s greed for the poor performance that many consumers see when trying to watch streaming video.
Cogent Communications CEO Dave Schaeffer made his case in an interview with Ars yesterday, saying Verizon is refusing to upgrade the infrastructure that carries Internet traffic from one network to another unless outrageous demands for payment are met.
The network connections between Cogent and Verizon, crucial for carrying streaming video and other content to Verizon’s home Internet customers, “are full,” Schaeffer said. “They are more than full. They are so full that today a significant amount of packets are being dropped between the networks.”
First, some background. Cogent is an Internet bandwidth provider that sells transit to Netflix and other companies. When Netflix purchases transit from Cogent, Cogent is responsible for distributing the traffic to all corners of the Internet. But no single company controls the entire Internet. Thus, Cogent must exchange traffic with other network providers, including Verizon.
The connections between Cogent and Verizon take the form of peering. It is a point-to-point connection that doesn’t necessarily guarantee passage of traffic to any networks beyond the two involved in the deal. Peering generally happens without any money changing hands, particularly if the two companies involved are of similar size and influence.
Theoretically, the peering arrangement between Cogent and Verizon benefits both. Cogent gets to distribute Netflix traffic, as Netflix pays it to do, and Verizon ensures that its customers, who pay Verizon to access the Internet and are demanding to watch Netflix movies, get the content they request.
Verizon wants to ditch the “settlement-free” peering model and get money from Cogent, arguing that it has to accept far more traffic from Cogent than vice versa because of high-bandwidth applications like Netflix.
Cogent has refused to pay. As negotiations stall, Netflix performance has dropped measurably for months on both Verizon and Comcast. Cogent claims this is because Verizon and others—but especially Verizon—are refusing to upgrade the connections between networks. Cogent points out that Verizon offers its own streaming video services, such as Redbox Instant, and thus has an incentive to harm Netflix traffic.
There are about 11 Cogent/Verizon peering connections in major cities around the country. When peering partners aren’t fighting, they typically upgrade the connections (or “ports”) when they’re about 50 percent full, Cogent says. They can do this by adding ports, adding capacity to ports, or peering in new locations.
With Cogent and Verizon fighting, the upgrades are happening at a glacial pace, according to Schaeffer.
“Once a port hits about 85 percent throughput, you’re going to begin to start to drop packets,” he said. “Clearly when a port is at 120 or 130 percent [as the Cogent/Verizon ones are] the packet loss is material.”
The congestion isn’t only happening at peak times, he said. “These ports are so over-congested that they’re running in this packet dropping state 22, 24 hours a day. Maybe at four in the morning on Tuesday or something there might be a little bit of headroom,” he said.
Slower traffic, and not just on Netflix
Dropped packets can be re-sent, but users could see slower loading times or page load failures. This problem is particularly bad with streaming video because it requires so much bandwidth, with Netflix alone accounting for more than 30 percent of downstream Internet traffic at peak usage times. It does affect all traffic, however.
“If you’ve got VoIP and you’re trying to run Skype, it may not work because the pipe was full, with your neighbor down the street trying to watch Netflix,” Schaeffer said. “It’s not only the video user. Every Internet user is suffering today in their ability to access all the applications, content, and other users across the Internet.”
This isn’t the kind of problem consumers can solve by purchasing a faster Internet connection, because they’d be paying only for a faster path to Verizon’s network, not a faster path to the rest of the Internet.
In some cases, Verizon has actually purchased and installed the necessary equipment to upgrade ports, but not turned it on, according to Schaeffer. “They actually put it in, so they spent the money, but they just politically have not been willing to turn it on in order to ensure that Netflix will not work as well as Redbox,” he said.
When Netflix can’t get through to Cogent, it sends traffic through other providers, but Schaeffer claims that “everybody is full.”
So what are they fighting over? Schaeffer said Verizon “wants a price that is about 10 times the market price for transit.” Again, transit is a service that takes traffic across the entire Internet, whereas peering is just a connection between two networks.
“It’s a less robust product at ten times the price,” Schaeffer said.
Cogent sells transit for an average price of $1.31 per megabit, though large volume users like Netflix get discounts.
Verizon responds: We don’t degrade Netflix to help Redbox
Verizon Senior VP of Public Policy Craig Silliman spoke to Ars today, saying that Cogent is unique in taking such an inflexible stance in negotiations.
There is a wide range of Internet interconnection agreements, he said. “We have settlement-free agreements. There are some ISPs to whom we pay money and there are others who pay money to us,” Silliman said. “There is a whole range of commercial options, and they get worked out commercially and smoothly, except for this one ISP who seems to have problems with not just us but a lot of others.”
Silliman added that “the whole premise of settlement-free peering is that you have a roughly equal exchange of traffic.” He did not say whether any of Netflix’s transit providers have agreed to pay Verizon, noting that specific commercial arrangements are confidential.
He also did not reveal how much money Verizon is asking for, saying, ”we are open to negotiation for a commercially reasonable solution that works for both parties.”
Silliman said he’d have to check with Verizon’s engineers to respond to Cogent’s allegations regarding ports being more than 100 percent full and Verizon allegedly installing equipment but refusing to turn it on.
He did, however, say, “it is categorically false that we are doing anything to adversely impact Netflix traffic to benefit Redbox.”
A recent Wall Street Journal report said that ”[e]xecutives at major broadband providers … privately blame the traffic jam on Netflix’s refusal to distribute its traffic more efficiently.”
Silliman noted that Cogent has been at the center of public disputes over peering more often than any other company. ”It’s noteworthy that Cogent is always the one in the middle of these disputes, and they tend to use the media as negotiating leverage,” he said.
Cogent digs in for a long standoff
Schaeffer didn’t deny that Cogent has fought more public peering battles than anyone. One reason for that is “we only have one business, the Internet. Everybody else, the Internet is a sideline and they’ve got all these other businesses, but they’re kind of internally conflicted. They’re not willing to fight.”
Level 3 has also been in Cogent’s position, fighting Comcast over Netflix traffic in 2010. Level 3 has complained about the sway consumer ISPs hold because they face so little competition and control the only network path to consumers. The company has argued that peering arrangements should be calculated based on ”bit miles,” the distance traffic is carried and the number of bits carried, regardless of which direction the traffic flows.
Cogent said its battle with Verizon isn’t unique. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are demanding payments similar to the ones Verizon wants, and Cogent’s connections with those ISPs have hit the “red zone” of 85 percent throughput, Schaeffer alleged.
Level 3 and Comcast declined to comment when contacted by Ars. A Time Warner Cable spokesperson told Ars, “It’s a business discussion with Cogent, and we don’t discuss our business dealings in the press.” Executives at major broadband providers, meanwhile, privately blame the traffic jam on Netflix’s refusal to distribute its traffic more efficiently.
Schaeffer said Cogent isn’t willing to pay any price for peering with Verizon.
“We believe firmly in bill and keep,” he said. “We bill our customers and we connect them to the Internet, and it’s our job to deliver to them the best quality possible. Verizon is billing its customers, and it’s got a lot more of them and it bills a hell of a lot more, and they’re not committed to delivering their customers what they promise the customers they’re going to deliver.”
Once you pay anything for peering, “it’s a slippery slope in two respects,” Schaeffer said. “One, everyone wants to get paid then. And then two, once you pay it’s like blackmail, they’ve got you, there’s nowhere else to go. They’ll just keep raising the price in a market where prices [for transit] are falling.”
Netflix attempts to peer directly with ISPs through its Open Connect peering and caching program. British Telecom, Cablevision, Google Fiber, RCN, and others have accepted the offer, but Verizon hasn’t. Netflix declined to provide comment to Ars about disputes with Verizon, but Schaeffer said Verizon has demanded money in exchange for peering with Netflix.
“Netflix is free to do whatever they want,” Schaeffer said. “I think if Verizon sold them a comparable product at an equal or lower price to Cogent, they should take it. But what Verizon is saying is, ‘pay us 10 times as much to get a less robust product, but it’s only to get to our customers, and that’s the only way you can get to them,’ and Netflix understands that’s closer to blackmail than a market transaction.”
Entrepreneurs trying to become the next Netflix will have a rough time if they and their transit providers have to pay for entry into consumers’ homes, Schaeffer said.
“We’re committed to driving down the price of Internet,” Schaeffer asserted. “If you allow people to impose monopoly taxes on Internet service, it’s going to end up resulting in higher prices and lower quality.”
Schaeffer said he isn’t opposed to senders paying for traffic, but not if it’s in addition to consumers paying. “I didn’t see Verizon roll out a product that says, ‘well if Netflix pays to send content to you, you’ve got free broadband connectivity,’” he said.
It might get worse, but is there a shred of hope?
The Federal Communications Commission hasn’t regulated the peering market, although the topic could come up during proceedings on the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has supported the idea of “two-sided networks” in which ISPs like Verizon can charge both Netflix and their home customers. Wheeler wants to impose some type of net neutrality rules on Internet access, but that would apply only to the “last mile” of connectivity from consumer ISPs to homes, and not the interconnection agreements at issue here.
In Europe last July, the European Commission opened an antitrust probe into whether Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefónica abused market positions in negotiations with content providers. The investigation, which led to a search of those ISPs’ offices, was spurred by Cogent’s complaints.
Schaeffer thinks the US government will eventually intervene. Individual consumers can’t do much to fight, but as peering controversies get more attention and inspire customer outrage, state prosecutors could intervene, he believes.
“I think there will be more press in major mainstream publications. I think there will be more customer ire,” he said. “I think service qualities will degrade, and I believe eventually some states’ attorney generals will probably step in and sue on behalf of the consumers.”