Online commenting sections on journalism sites are often painful, ruled by spambots and trolls, who knock everything they read.
Today Popular Science took the bold step of shutting down its comment section.
Count it as a win for the online trolls -- a group not known for nuance and subtlety.
“Commenting has gotten really out of control with a lot of nasty comments, with arguments, with everything going to political,” says Retha Hill, a professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Kronkite School of Journalism, “people really go after each other in a way that discourages really good thoughtful conversation.”
Popular Science, for its part, had enough of anti-science bashers and political railing. Combine that with research showing that comments change the way people understand science, says the magazine's online content director, Suzanne LaBarre, and that “was all the motivation we needed to just finally end it.”
LaBarre says Popular Science wants to be a safe place for science. A place where people can form smart opinions, so policy makers can form smart opinions and help the right things get funded.
People planning to buy insurance on the exchanges have been waiting for somes clue as to what the policies will cost.
The wait is over. The Obama administration has released a kind of price list for policies that will be sold on the 36 federally run health exchanges, when they open for enrollment on Tuesday.
Some of the prices are eye-popping. Although the average premium for an individual is $328 a month, a 27-year old in Dallas who makes about $25,000 a year, could buy a lower level bronze plan for $74 a month.
But with insurance, as with many things, the premium is just the beginning.
“You think you get a really sweet deal on health insurance,” says Georgetown’s Sabrina Corlette.
But the health-policy professor says what looks like a sweet deal, may not be. “The premium is just one dimension of your health insurance cost,” she says.
There are also deductibles -- the amount you pay up front, before your coverage fully kicks in.
And there are co-pays -- the $20 or $30 payments you have each time you see the doctor -- provided, of course, the one you need is in your network. Many of the policies could have fairly limited networks of providers and hospitals.
“If you need to get specialty care that’s outside of that network, you may have to pay more,” says Corlette.
Prescription costs, which may not be covered, can also be brutal.
Mendelson says it’s quite possible people will wind up paying more for medication than for their monthly premiums.
“Our research has shown that patients who face these very high deductibles often abandon their prescriptions at the point of sale,” he says.
Even patients with cancer would skip their medication, says Mendelson, if they have to pay more than $500.
The Affordable Care Act does have annual spending caps of $6,400 for an individual, $12,800 for a family. And most of the policies on the exchange qualify for federal subsidies. But if you can’t afford all the deductibles and co-pays, your insurance might not be worth much, no matter how cheap your monthly premium.
Kenya's president says the siege of a mall in Kenya is now over. Host Michel Martin speaks to The Associated Press's Jason Straziuso in Nairobi for an update on the terror attack.
A conference about hacking sponsored by retail store Target sounds a little weird, right? But there might be good reason for it. The second annual Cyber Security Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicks off today. Respected names from the cyber community will be there. And one of the big messages is that these days businesses are a bigger target for hackers than most other organizations.
Click on the audio player above to hear more.