Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The Most Popular Social Media Sites

These are the most popular social media sites ranked by monthly active users (for the most recent date I could find data for). The data is from various sources and is the most recent reliable sources I could find (Alexa ranks as of January 2019). What constitutes a "social media" site isn't so easy to define so I use a bit of judgement on what sites of involved enough of a social element to be included.

  1. Facebook (monthly active users 2.2 billion - Alexa Rank #3)
  2. YouTube (1.6 billion - Alexa #2)
  3. WeChat/Weixin (1.1 billion - #2,537)
  4. Instagram (900 million - #17)
  5. Tencent QQ (803 million - #6)
  6. QZone (548 million) - #209
  7. TikTok (500 million - #3,204)
  8. Sina Weibo (446 million - #18)
  9. Tumbler (350 million - #65)
  10. Reddit (340 million - #13)
  11. Twitter (335 million - #11)
  12. Baidu Tieba (300 million)
  13. Snapchat (291 million - #4,480)
  14. LinkedIn (270 million - #30)
  15. Pinterest (230 million - #77)
  16. VK (120 million - #14)
  17. Huya (100 million - #565)
  18. YY (95 million - #270)
  19. Taringa (75 million - #811)
  20. Renren (? - #1,824)
  21. Nextdoor (? - #1,310)

Alexa rank doesn't track smart phone app use (Alexa tracks website use, and far from perfectly but it does provide some insight into how much use popular sites get). Most of the social media sites have most use via apps but many also have useful web sites. Some have much more of a bias to smartphone apps (WeChat for example).

Related: What I Would Include in a Redesigned Twitter Profile - Don't Lock Your Content Inside a Proprietary System

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Most Popular posts on the Curious Cat Comments blog in 2018

The most popular posts on our blog (by page views in 2018):

  1. Security Theatre Thinking is Damaging the USA (2013)
  2. Blog Readers, for Reading RSS Feeds (2013)
  3. Critical Thinking is Needed to Counter Propaganda (2018)*
  4. The Worst Aspect of TPP That Gets Nearly No Attention (2016)*
  5. When You See the Problem as Capitalism Instead of Corruption You Seek to Solve the Wrong Problem (2015)*
  6. Utopia (Dreamland in the USA) is an Amazing TV Program (2015), available on Netflix
  7. Preaching False Ideas to Men Known to be Idiots (2010)*
  8. Liberty and Support or Control and Hate (2013)
  9. Challenging Conventional Thinking (2015)*
  10. Curious, Joyful, Happy Kids Grow Up: Unfortunately (2010)
  11. photo of 2 children
  12. Society is being shaped for us while we are busy making other plans (2011)
  13. Netflix is Well Managed - People are Overreacting (2011)
  14. They Will Know We are Christians By Our Love (2010)*
  15. Banks Continue to Push for Insane Special Favors (and Sadly Get Them) (2014)*
  16. Why Copyright Extension is a Very Bad Idea (2009)
  17. Bikinis For Liberty (2010)
  18. USA Encouraging Governments Worldwide to Spy and Hack Globally is Very Dangerous (2014)*
  19. Appeasing Rude Selfish People Just Makes them Behave Even More Selfishly (2015)*
  20. Filter Out Links to Lame Websites on Reddit (2017)*
  21. Businesses Misusing Required Private Information (2017)*
* new on the most popular list this year (for the 2016 list we only listed the top 10)

The publication year of our most read posts this year:

2018: 1 post
2017: 2
2016: 1
2015: 4
2014: 2
2013: 3

2011: 2
2010: 4
2009: 1

Related: Most Popular Post on the Curious Cat Comments Blog (2016) - Most Popular Post on the Curious Cat Comments Blog (2011) - Most Popular Posts on the Curious Cat Comments Blog (2015) - Most Popular Posts on the Curious Cat Comments Blog (2014)

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Egregious Billing Practices by USA Health Care Organizations

Taking Surprise Medical Bills To Court Under the Theory of “Mutual Assent”

Consumers are increasingly vulnerable to... so-called balance bills, which represent the difference between what insurers pay and hospitals’ list prices. List prices can be several times higher than what they accept from Medicare or in-network insurers.

Congress is considering bipartisan legislation to limit balance billing. But some legal scholars say that patients should already be protected against some of the highest, surprise charges under long-standing conventions of contract law.

That’s because contract law rests on the centuries-old concept of “mutual assent,” in which both sides agree to a price before services are rendered, said Barak Richman, a law professor at Duke University.

Thus, many states require, and consumers expect, written estimates for a range of services before the work is done — whether by mechanics and plumbers or lawyers and financial planners.

But patients rarely know upfront how much their medical care will cost, and hospitals generally provide little or no information.

While consumers are obligated to pay something, the question is how much? Hospitals generally bill out-of-network care at list prices, their highest charges.

Without an explicit price upfront, contract law would require medical providers to charge only “average or market prices,” Richman said.

In several recent cases, for example in New York and Colorado, courts have stepped in to mediate cases where a patient received a big balance bill from an out-of-network provider. They ordered hospitals to accept amounts far closer to what they agree to from in-network private insurers or Medicare.

I strongly believe congress should pass a law outlawing the existing practices. And it is good to know the most egregious, and increasingly common, practices of the USA hospitals are already illegal. If you state hasn't already taken hospitals using such practices to court and required refunding all ill gotten gains, contact your attorney general to make sure they do so. And contact you state legislators to make sure they act also. Several states have been much more concerned with protecting their citizens from being abused by large health care providers but most states have not.

The existing practices are unethical and it is unconscionable that our elected representatives have allowed such egregious practices to continue and even become more common.

Related: Democrats and Republicans Have Failed the USA on Health Care for Decades (2015) - USA Health Care System Remains Broken, Neglected (2011) - The USA Should be Ashamed of Who We have Elected - Decades of Failure by Those Responsible for USA Health Care System Needs to be Addressed (2012)