[wpaudio url=”https://media.shellypalmer.com/wp-content/images/usrn/110712_SHELLYPALMER_GEN_BED.mp3″ text=”Click to play … ” dl=”0″]
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to create online health insurance exchanges to help people find affordable coverage. Starting in 2014, people will be able to search a database of statewide plans, compare prices and submit questions. The government predicts the exchanges will encourage competition and drive down prices. In other news, Google has been using its street view cars to help Japan survey the destruction caused by the recent tsunami. The company also created a Person Finder application to locate missing persons and has amassed over 600,000 records. Japan hopes Google’s technology can help its reconstruction. And finally, a recent survey from the Pew Internet Project found that nearly a third of U.S. smartphone owners use them as their primary Internet connection. Rural broadband is still slow to develop and smartphone connections are filling the gap. Almost half of those with full-time employment now own smartphones.