Sunday, 24 February 2019

What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.

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Cloud Computing Basics
Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or you’re supporting the critical operations of your business, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources. With cloud computing, you don’t need to make large upfront investments in hardware and spend a lot of time on the heavy lifting of managing that hardware. Instead, you can provision exactly the right type and size of computing resources you need to power your newest bright idea or operate your IT department. You can access as many resources as you need, almost instantly, and only pay for what you use.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Cloud computing provides a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A Cloud services platform such as Amazon Web Services owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.

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Six Advantages and Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud Benefits - Trade capital for variable expense icon
Trade capital expense for variable expense
Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before you know how you’re going to use them, you can only pay when you consume computing resources, and only pay for how much you consume.

Benefits of the cloud - Benefit from massive economies of scale icon
Benefit from massive economies of scale
By using cloud computing, you can achieve a lower variable cost than you can get on your own. Because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers are aggregated in the cloud, providers such as Amazon Web Services can achieve higher economies of scale which translates into lower pay as you go prices.
Cloud computing benefits - Stop guessing capacity icon
Stop guessing capacity
Eliminate guessing on your infrastructure capacity needs. When you make a capacity decision prior to deploying an application, you often either end up sitting on expensive idle resources or dealing with limited capacity. With cloud computing, these problems go away. You can access as much or as little as you need, and scale up and down as required with only a few minutes notice.
Benefits of cloud computing - Increase speed and agility icon
Increase speed and agility
In a cloud computing environment, new IT resources are only ever a click away, which means you reduce the time it takes to make those resources available to your developers from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization, since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower.
Cloud benefits - Stop spending money on running and maintaining data centers icon
Stop spending money on running and maintaining data centers
Focus on projects that differentiate your business, not the infrastructure. Cloud computing lets you focus on your own customers, rather than on the heavy lifting of racking, stacking and powering servers.
Benefits of the cloud - Go global in minutes icon
Go global in minutes
Easily deploy your application in multiple regions around the world with just a few clicks. This means you can provide a lower latency and better experience for your customers simply and at minimal cost.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has three main types that are commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Selecting the right type of cloud computing for your needs can help you strike the right balance of control and the avoidance of undifferentiated heavy lifting. Learn more about the different types of cloud computing.

Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud Solutions
Hundreds of thousands of customers have joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) community and use AWS solutions to build their businesses. The AWS cloud computing platform provides the flexibility to build your application, your way, regardless of your use case or industry. You can save time, money, and let AWS manage your infrastructure, without compromising scalability, security, or dependability.  Learn more about AWS Cloud Solutions.
Mobile Services
 Mobile cloud solutions icon
Websites
 Cloud solutions for websites icon
Backup and Recovery
 Backup and storage solutions in the cloud
Cloud Products & Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications. Learn more about AWS Products available in the Cloud.

INSIDE THE CRYPTO WORLD'S BIGGEST SC

INSIDE THE CRYPTO WORLD'S BIGGEST SC
ONE DAY IN the spring of 2010, Kathleen McCaffrey, a sophomore at New York University, received an invitation from a stranger named Arthur Breitman. On the basis of what Breitman had been told about her political persuasion by a mutual acquaintance, he thought she might want to join his monthly luncheon for classical liberals. (­Breitman had also seen a photograph of McCaffrey and thought she was pretty.) McCaffrey, the curious type, accepted.

BREITMAN WAS NOT typically one to overextend himself socially, but he made a “beeline” for McCaffrey, she recalls, when she walked in the door. The luncheon, it turned out, was actually for anarcho-capitalists—people who believe that an absolutely free, self-regulating market will allow individuals, bound to one another by contract alone, to flourish in radical harmony. But by the time McCaffrey discovered she’d been misled, they’d already hit it off. She told Breitman she admired Milton Friedman. Breitman was pleased to report that he was friends with Friedman’s grandson, Patri, and offered to lend her a book about freedom by Patri’s father.

To keep McCaffrey nearby, Breitman threw an impromptu party at his disorderly financial-­district apartment after lunch. The next morning he texted her to say he’d reserved a table for two for that evening. Everything from that point forward felt like a fait accompli.

The match, despite their vast differences in temperament and background, was an inspired one. Kathleen is relentlessly animated and quick-witted, with thick tangerine hair, steely eyes, and an endearing personal idiolect that suggests both an autodidactic reading in philosophy and economics and the gusty crudity of the merchant marine. Arthur is by turns retiring and pointed, with a soft, cublike appearance and a tight, parsimonious grin. Kathleen had grown up in northern New Jersey, the daughter of a Bronx-raised contractor and an Irish elementary-­school teacher; she read The Wall Street Journal and played on the golf team at her all-girls Catholic high school. Arthur had been raised just outside Paris by a well-known playwright/television impresario and a civil servant; at 18 he’d won France’s first-ever medal, a bronze, in the International Olympiad in Informatics, and he’d gone on to take his degree in applied math and computer science at the extremely selective École Polytechnique. Now, at 28, he worked as a quant in Goldman Sachs’ high-frequency trading shop.


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Arthur only discovered that Kathleen was eight years his junior sometime later, when he remarked that her academic work, in epistemology and mathematics, frankly seemed pretty easy for a grad student. Kathleen was insulted, but she got over it. Arthur was unfazed by her youth; what mattered was that Kassleen had a mind that could keep pace with his own. They admired in each other a brusque self-assurance and artless candor that others often perceived as arrogant.

When Kathleen transferred to Cornell University that autumn, she optimized her schedule to spend time in the city with Arthur, who was infinitely more interesting than her classes. If in the middle of the night Arthur read about a rare kind of suspension-bridge support, he’d immediately want to try his hand at the application of its principles. The two of them once passed two very happy weekends of courtship in attempts to reconstruct an ancient catapult called an onager. He expected precision and rigor in her thinking, but remained blunderingly sentimental in his attachment to Kathleen, who had reserves of strength and conviviality that far exceeded his own.

The weekend Kathleen graduated from college, she and Arthur traveled to France for a wedding. Following a drink at the storied Harry’s Bar, he brought her to a bench in the Place de la Concorde and produced a box. Kathleen opened it to discover the ring was upside-down. “It was,” as she remembers it, “the most Arthur thing ever. So much effort to go through, and such a small detail to screw up in the end.”

Given his background in mathematics, computer science, and economics, it was natural that alongside bridge supports and primitive catapults Arthur was bound to fixate on Bitcoin. He bought his first bitcoins at a time when few people had even heard of them, and he badgered Kathleen about cryptocurrency until she could parry to his satisfaction. Arthur spent countless hours poring over Bitcoin’s documentation. It clearly offered a terrific way to hold value, and to move value from one place to another, without paying for the services of a trusted intermediary. But it was clunky and limited, and it eventually became apparent to Arthur and Kathleen—“pedants by hobby,” Kathleen likes to say—that Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, was capable of doing a lot more.

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There is great confusion and debate about what a blockchain even is—some people argue it’s become a meaningless buzzword—but the standard definition describes a shared, decentralized, cryptographically secure, immutable digital ledger. In the broadest terms, a blockchain allows a group of strangers to agree on a state of affairs and to proceed together on the basis of that covenant. Bitcoin’s blockchain is meant to supplant the powerful middlemen called banks, but in theory a blockchain could replace any kind of institution—a credit agency, a social media service—that exists to safeguard a changing set of historical records. We pay these centralized entities handsomely for their custodial services, not only in the form of the rents they charge but in the control they exert over our lives. The blockchain, in theory, affords us new opportunities to solve complex coordination problems without letting the incumbent coordinators extract so much value in the process.

This had, of course, been the initial premise of the internet itself. Its great collaborative potential, however, had been funneled into the leviathans of Amazon, Facebook, and Google—a new and massively powerful set of trusted third parties. The blockchain pointed the way to the sunlit uplands of a genuinely decentralized world. A loose culture of entrepreneurs and cypherpunks came together in what felt like a special moment of experimental ferment, and the Breitmans looked on with interest. Most of these early blockchain innovators just took the original cryptocurrency’s source code, made their preferred changes, and launched their alternative versions as distinct cryptocurrencies; it was as if they’d modified the DNA of an existing species to create a new, reproductively isolated branch of the family tree. To Arthur and Kathleen, this “Cambrian explosion” of disparate currencies was a tremendous waste. Far preferable would be to have some machinery to organize and streamline this evolutionary process, to integrate its most successful adaptations into one grand, unified project. But this was never going to happen with Bitcoin. Its pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, was a god in whose absence Bitcoin evangelists could only argue and dither. Bitcoin could only move forward by schism rather than reformation.

While Arthur and Kathleen continued to discuss what the blockchain augured—taking a break to marry, in a ceremony in France in the late summer of 2013—Bitcoin’s first major competitor appeared on the horizon. In January 2014, a 19-year-old Canadian-Russian prodigy named Vitalik Buterin released a white paper that outlined his vision for something he called Ethereum. It would be not merely a decentralized bank but a decentralized world computer; Ethereum allowed for the automatic execution of programs called “smart contracts,” which went beyond the simple movement of money from one place to another. A group of people could run their own insurance company, say, which would accept premiums, automate the actuaries, and pay out claims without skimming a house take off the top.

Arthur printed out the entire Ethereum codebase to bring along on their honeymoon that spring. He inhaled it on safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, turning to it when he’d seen his fill of elephants. Ethereum was, Arthur saw, an awful lot like what he’d been imagining. But there remained a need for some system of participatory governance. Ethereum was more pliable than Bitcoin, but its updates were disseminated by a core development team overseen by Buterin. As with Bitcoin, if you didn’t like those updates you only really had two choices: accept the revisions or “fork” the code and go your separate way. Arthur resolved to create a rival, one with formal provisions for genuinely decentralized administration—a community in which the entrenchments of power and control could at last give way to a new order that rewarded competence and merit. Kathleen was alternately skeptical and encouraging, but came around to rally him on. “The early bird might get the worm,” she said, “but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

Arthur printed out the entire Ethereum codebase and inhaled it on safari in the Okavango Delta, turning to it when he’d seen his fill of elephants.

In the summer of 2014, a few months after their honeymoon, Arthur wrote a pair of white papers, under the pseudonym LM Goodman, and posted them on the cryptography listserv famous for Bitcoin’s quiet debut. (The pseudo­nym was a snide reference to Leah McGrath Goodman, the Newsweek journalist who notoriously misidentified the person behind Satoshi Nakamoto.) The papers outlined what Arthur saw as Bitcoin’s flaws, and they accurately anticipated issues that would soon plague Ethereum; they also predicted, with stunning foresight, that the digital world would soon be awash in new fly-by-night currencies. As a way out of these traps, “Goodman” proposed a new platform called Tezos, the world’s first “self-­amending” cryptocurrency, one that could assimilate all the best newfangled ideas. “While the irony of preventing the fragmentation of cryptocurrencies by releasing a new one does not escape us,” the second paper concluded, “Tezos truly aims to be the last cryptocurrency.”

Nobody paid any attention. Arthur, by then an employee of Morgan Stanley, tried to explain the idea to the various corporate entities that had become interested in the blockchain, but he was by his own admission a miserable spokesperson for his own creation. Besides, the point of Tezos wasn’t to help corporate middle managers impress their bosses with blockchain solutions, it was to support cooperative undertakings at a grand scale. But how was one supposed to build a critical mass of users? Bitcoin had slowly gathered its participants over years, but now the cryptocurrency field was chaotically large and competitive. If you built it, they did not necessarily come.

There was, however, one relatively new option. It was called an ICO, or initial coin offering, and it provided a way to jump-start a new decentralized platform via a crowdfunding model. It was as if an amusement-park operator, say, promoted the blueprints for innovative roller coasters, sold advance tokens at a discount for future rides, and then devoted the proceeds to the construction of a park—one that would eventually be overseen, maintained, and updated by its own visitors. An ICO, in which one central party collected money to support an ultimately centerless community, was a shortcut, if a slightly sinuous one, to arrive at a utopian political end. It also entailed the risk that an unsavory ICO might sell meaningless chips for a fake casino nobody ever planned to build. But Ethereum had doled out its own tokens via this method, and the $18 million it raised had become a lively and variegated mini economy worth, on its best day, $135 billion.

International libertarian circles had acquainted Arthur with one of the figures who’d helped orchestrate Ethereum’s coin offering, a South African expat in Switzerland named Johann Gevers. On Gevers’ recommendation, and with his support, Arthur and Kathleen decided to go down the same path. The Breitmans thought they’d be lucky if their enterprise could garner $20 million, and they hoped to have at least a modest impact. Tezos, to their surprise, went on to be the largest ICO to date. That surprise quickly turned to dismay, as the project descended into rancor, litigation, and even the odd rumor of an international assassination plot. What began in utopian ambition would blow up into one of the crypto world’s biggest scandals.

JOHANN GEVERS IS a very tall, slender, charismatic man in his early fifties, with a high forehead, short orange hair whitening at the temples, and cloudy gray-blue eyes. He grew up in South Africa, a descendant of German missionaries; his second language, he says, was Zulu. He studied psychology, logic, mathematics, and philosophy, and then accounting and auditing, before he turned to work as a business consultant and investment manager. In 1998, fed up with his country’s “financial authoritarianism,” he left South Africa to make his name, in Canada, as a libertarian entrepreneur and “visionary thought leader.” He would find his vision in the twinned phenomena of the 2008 crisis and the rise of Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies, he preached, created the opportunity to move away from “too big to fail” and set our international financial system on a more secure footing.

In 2012 Gevers cofounded a digital-payments startup called Monetas, an attempt to disrupt a financial system that left billions unbanked. The banks, however, along with the governments that protected their interests, jealously guarded their domains, so Gevers tarried for two years in search of an agreeable regulatory environment for his venture. He considered Singapore, which he called the “Switzerland of Asia,” and Santiago, which he called the “Switzerland of South America,” but his period of jurisdictional shopping halted with Zug, the Switzerland of Switzerland. In 2013, Gevers moved himself and his company to the nation’s smallest canton, about half an hour uphill from Zurich.

Zug had been a province of poor dairy farmers until laws enacted in the 1940s reduced the effective corporate tax rate to zero. By 2010, the canton counted 115,000 people and 29,000 companies, almost all of them headquartered in post-office boxes. The human residents live in highland villas above the town proper, which itself is unremarkably Helvetic: a broom-swept lattice of modest shopping boulevards extending outward from a scrupulously restored medieval fishing warren. The only signs of uncommon opulence are the cars. Zug is reported to have the greatest horsepower per person of any canton, and the largest per-capita number of Porsches in the country. The Maserati dealership is next to the Ferrari dealership and across from the other Ferrari dealership.

Whether You Bought Bitcoin (BTC) at $1,800 or $3,000 Won’t Matter in 5 Years: Crypto Analyst

Whether You Bought Bitcoin (BTC) at $1,800 or $3,000 Won’t Matter in 5 Years: Crypto Analyst
Your Bitcoin Cost Basis Won’t Matter In Five Years
Since Bitcoin (BTC) began to fall just thirteen months ago, investors have done their best to time the bottom. Some have been taking the safe, smart route, purchasing BTC on a normal basis to dollar-cost average in, while others have been a tad more irrational, purchasing cryptocurrencies whenever it suits their emotions.

Yet, one analyst claims that by this point, it won’t matter whether your Bitcoin cost basis is $1,800, $3,000, or any other figure in this range in three to five years. The analyst in question is Josh Rager, an industry personality and technical analyst that has garnered tens of thousands of followers on Twitter.



In response to a quip from The Crypto Dog about Bitcoin’s bottom, Rager explained that as BTC has already retraced 85% from its top, “what’s another 5% or 7% compared” to how far this market has dropped already? In other words, calling a Bitcoin bottom now isn’t nonsensical, even if this market falls a tad further (percent-wise) from its most recent all-time high.


DΛLΞ
@CryptoDale
 · Feb 22, 2019
Replying to @soleil_dusoir9 @TheCryptoDog
Can I hear your reasoning?


Josh Rager 📈
@Josh_Rager
Dog doesn't need me to back him up

But I think what he means is that we've already retraced from $20k to $3,100

After you retrace 85% - what's another 5% to 7% drop compared to how low the market has already dropped

$1800 or $3000 $BTC won't matter in 3x to 5x years

37
7:13 PM - Feb 22, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
See Josh Rager 📈's other Tweets
Thus, Rager concluded that whether your cost basis is $1,800, $3,000, or wherever else you think the 2018/2019 bear market bottomed won’t matter in three to five years. The analyst’s optimism is likely in reference to the theories that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will swell exponentially in the years to come. Just the other day, IBM’s Jesse Lund claimed that while BTC might only reach $5,000 by this year’s end, $1 million could be possible in the long run, especially due to that figure’s round value and institutional interest. Others have been similarly as bullish, albeit a tad shy of a seven-figure prediction.



Zhu Fa, the co-founder of Poolin (currently has 11% of Bitcoin’s hashrate), told his WeChat followers that there’s a chance that BTC’s next all-time high will be around the 5 million Chinese yuan range. This equates to $740,000 U.S. He added that when the asset pulls back, it will find a bottom in the 500,000 yuan region, 90% lower than the forecasted all-time high.

Rager’s recent quip on Twitter comes after he took to Twitter to famously remark that 2019 may be the last time that the “general population,” meaning common Joes and Jills (non-affluent), might be able to afford one whole BTC. Per previous reports from this outlet, the TokenBacon and Blackwave advisor explained that as BTC could move parabolically higher in the coming years, by 2021, few might be able to obtain a notable foothold in the cryptocurrency space.

He added that while global household incomes could increase across the board (due to inflation, better economic conditions, etc.), thus making BTC affordable again, more likely than not, the cryptocurrency will be “out of reach for most.”

Case For Further Bitcoin Drop
While Rager is making the case that it won’t matter when long-term “HODLers” accumulate in the coming year, some analysts have still done their best to forecast lower lows in the ongoing market cycle. So what’s the case for a move lower, and what are analysts calling for?

Financial Survivalism, an insurance agent turned full-time trader, claimed that per the “Hyperwave” analysis technique, he determined that there’s a likelihood that BTC could revisit $1,165, which is where it peaked during the rally prior to 2017’s. Murad Mahmudov, a partner at Adaptive Capital, noted that fundamentally, many preeminent altcoins, including XRP, ETH, and EOS, remain overvalued, and thus need to move lower before BTC can head higher.

In another storm of comments, Mahmudov noted that the waning presence of Bitcoin-related comments on Twitter should also be a cause for concern. The trader explained that tweets regarding the cryptocurrency have reached 2014 levels, lower than any point in 2016, indicating that very few people care about decentralized, sovereign, uninflatable currency, along with the thesis that the 2017’s parabolic run-up had little effect on this community’s size.

Title Image Courtesy of Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Ethereum Slayers 2.0: Crypto’s Usual Suspects, or New Kids on the Blockchain?

Ethereum Slayers 2.0: Crypto’s Usual Suspects, or New Kids on the Blockchain?
Whenever a new blockchain platform launched between 2017 and 2018, it was inevitably heralded as a future replacement for the largest, most successful cryptocurrency platform of all. In short, it came bearing the name of Ethereum Killer.

Those prophecies turned out to be premature, and by 2019 the hit that’s been put out on Ethereum is still waiting to be cashed.

A year is a long time in the crypto space, and many would argue that the lineup of possible contenders for Ethereum’s throne has changed already. New upstarts have come to the fore, while some who’ve been in the fight for too long are starting to weaken due to falling coin prices.

So let’s take a look at the so-called Ethereum Killers in 2019. Are we looking at a new crop of assassins – or just the usual suspects?

ZILLIQA (ZIL) DRAWS FIRST BLOOD
zilliqa cryptocurrencyZilliqa has perhaps already drawn first blood in the battle against Ethereum – last year the Ethereum-based game Etheremon was packed up by developers and emigrated to the Zilliqa blockchain. | Source: Shutterstock
Zilliqa has perhaps already drawn first blood in the battle against Ethereum – last year the Ethereum-based game Etheremon was packed up by developers and emigrated to the Zilliqa blockchain.

The move was in response to rising gas prices on Ethereum, and the assertion that Ethereum’s lack of scalability solutions was draining the game’s potential. The Zilliqa team announced at the time:

“We are glad to announce that we will work with the Zilliqa team to explore Zilliqa as a scalability solution for Etheremon. The higher throughput and low gas of Zilliqa’s sharding solution offer players better experience.”

More on Zilliqa can be read here, in CCN’s interview with Zilliqa CEO, Xinshu Dong where he goes into detail on Zilliqa’s sharding process:

“Imagine a sample network of 1,000 nodes. ZILLIQA will automatically divide the network into 10 shards each with 100 nodes. Each shard can now process transactions in parallel. If each shard is capable of processing 100 transactions per second, then all shards together can process 1000 transactions per second.”

If all of this sounds too good to be true, read my deep-dive on Zilliqa which covers some of the technical difficulties still facing this possible Ethereum slayer.

Live Bitcoin News Show:


HOLO (HOT) – THE NON-BLOCKCHAIN WILDCARD
blockchain graphIn this sense Holo opts for a distributed network as opposed to a decentralized one (however, a distributed network is by nature decentralized). | Source: Apollo Capital/Medium
More of a wildcard compared to some in this list, Holo (HOT) sets itself apart from the rest of the crowd by not actually utilizing a blockchain. Instead, Holo uses distributed hash tables (DHT), which are more similar to a torrent network than a blockchain.

In this sense, Holo opts for a distributed network as opposed to a decentralized one (however, a distributed network is by nature decentralized).

Already, several projects have opted to build on the Holochain network, including a Holo-based Reddit competitor named Comet; an open-source legal system called Ulex; as well as several others in industries ranging from social media to supply-chain.

In early 2018, the CFO of Mozilla, Jim Cook, named Holo as one of the projects which was creating an agent-centric model that could wrestle control of the internet back from the hands of Google and friends. Holo’s association with Mozilla is extended by their common use of the Rust programming language.

When Binance’s CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, sent out job posts for Rust developers last year, the effect was such that the HOT coin price responded by jumping 26%.

WAVES (WAVES) – THE OLD GUARD

Waves launched in early 2016, and within two years over 100 projects had opted to launch ICO’s on the Waves platform. The most successful of those is the gaming-focused MobileGo (MGO), which briefly broke onto CoinMarketCap’s front page in November, and now has a market cap of $18 million.

That could soon change, however, as $120 million was just raised via the Waves platform for its Vostok ICO. With Waves holders set to be airdropped a portion of the Vostok tokens, it could be speculated that Vostok was the driving force behind Waves’ 300% ascent throughout December 2018.

Friday, 22 February 2019

New Jersey health insurance

New Jersey health insurance
Three insurers offer individual health plans for 2019 through the state's exchange.
Louise Norris
Health insurance & health reform authority
December 16, 2018
Health insurance in New Jersey
New Jersey uses the federally run health insurance exchange so applicants enroll through HealthCare.gov.
Open enrollment for 2019 coverage in New Jersey ended on December 15, but enrollment is still possible for residents who have qualifying events.
Three insurers are offering 2019 coverage in New Jersey’s individual market.
The average premium for 2019 is decreasing.
Almost 275,000 New Jersey residents enrolled in 2018 coverage through the exchange.
New Jersey has accepted the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Short-term health plans are not available for purchase in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s CO-OP, Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey, stopped offering plans in 2017.
New Jersey’s health marketplace
New Jersey uses the federally run exchange, which means residents enroll in exchange plans through HealthCare.gov.

Open enrollment for 2019 coverage ended on December 15, but enrollment is still possible for residents who have qualifying events.

Three carriers – AmeriHealth, Horizon BCBS and Oscar Health – offered plans in the New Jersey exchange last year and they are offering plans again for 2019. Health insurance premiums on average will decline by 9.3 percent in 2019, thanks to a state reinsurance program approved in August 2018.

Compare plans and rates in New Jersey
New Jersey enrollment in qualified health plans
A Kaiser Family Foundation study released in the fall of 2013 found that about 628,000 New Jersey residents would be potential customers for the exchange, and that about 400,000 of them would be eligible to receive premium subsidies. So the state enrolled about a quarter of its eligible population in the first open enrollment period, leaving plenty of room for growth.

During 2014 open enrollment, 161,775 people had enrolled in qualified health plans through New Jersey’s exchange by mid-April, and 84 percent of them had received premium subsidies.

A total of 288,573 people enrolled in New Jersey exchange plans during the 2016 open enrollment period. Enrollment grew to 295,067 for 2017, but dropped down to 274,782 during the open enrollment period for 2018 coverage.

Read more about the New Jersey health insurance marketplace.

Medicaid in New Jersey
New Jersey adopted the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and began utilizing federal funding to provide health insurance for the newly eligible population starting in 2014.

As a result, New Jersey’s Medicaid enrollment increased by 36 percent – nearly 460,000 people – between the fall of 2013 and November 2017. Total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment in New Jersey as of late 2017 stood at nearly 1.75 million people.

Read more about Medicaid expansion in New Jersey.

Short-term health insurance in New Jersey
Despite new federal short-term health insurance regulations that have rolled back restrictions on short-term plans, the plans are not for sale in New Jersey. A New Jersey statute that governs individual health insurance plans includes requirements that are not compatible with the short-term plans, so short-term coverage is essentially prohibited in the state – and short-term plans have not been sold in the state for 25 years.

And that’s not likely to change any time soon: the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has submitted comments noting that New Jersey’s ban on short-term plans would continue, regardless of any changes at the federal level.

Read more about short-term health insurance in New Jersey.

How did Obamacare help New Jersey residents?
New Jersey opted to let the federal government run its health insurance exchange but expanded Medicaid in 2014. Has access to affordable health insurance improved for its residents under the Affordable Care Act?

In 2013, according to US Census data, 13.2 percent of New Jersey residents were uninsured. By 2016, that had fallen to 8 percent. Across all states, the uninsured rate started out higher than New Jersey – at 14.5 percent – and fell to an average of 8.6 percent.

There is no doubt that the reduction in the uninsured rate is due to the ACA, and to the state’s acceptance of federal funding to expand Medicaid.

New Jersey’s health insurance CO-OP
Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey was the trade name for Freelancer’s CO-OP of New Jersey, a Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan (CO-OP) established under the ACA. CO-OPs in 22 states received a total of $2 billion in grants from the federal government to establish their programs; Freelancer’s CO-OP of New Jersey received $109 million.

Most of the CO-OPs have since gone out of business; only four remain operational in 2018. New Jersey’s CO-OP was among the seven still in operation as of September 2016. But that month, the NJ Department of Banking and Securities placed Health Republic into rehabilitation and the CO-OP was no longer sell new policies. Existing Health Republic policies terminated at the end of 2016; as a result, nearly 35,000 individuals needed to find new health plans for 2017.

Initially, the hope was that state regulators would be able to stabilize the company enough for it to return to the marketplace in 2018, but that did not come to pass. On February 3, 2017, an order of liquidation for Health Republic was filed. All of the CO-OP’s assets were liquidated to repay creditors to the extent possible.

Medicare enrollment in the state of New Jersey
As of May 2015, New Jersey Medicare enrollment was nearly 1.5 million – about 17 percent of the state population compared with 17 percent of the U.S. population enrolled in Medicare.

About 87 percent of New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries qualified based on age alone, while the remaining 13 percent were eligible due to disability.

Per-enrollee Medicare spending for New Jersey trends higher than the national average at $9,686 per year compared with $8,970. As of 2009, the state ranked 9th in the nation for overall Medicare spending.

Medicare Advantage plans offer New Jersey Medicare participants a way to gain more healthcare benefits; they are an alternative to Original Medicare. In New Jersey, 21 percent of Medicare enrollees select a Medicare Advantage plan; nationwide, an average of 33 percent of Medicare beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Part D plans offer New Jersey Medicare recipients stand-alone prescription drug coverage. In 2017, Part D enrollees accounted for 59 percent of New Jersey’s total Medicare population, as opposed to 44 percent nationwide. This makes sense, given that a larger portion of New Jersey’s Medicare enrollees have Traditional Medicare (versus Medicare Advantage) than the US population, and stand-alone Medicare Part D plans are designed to supplement Traditional Medicare.

Bills under consideration in the state legislature in 2018
Lawmakers in New Jersey considered a variety of health care reform bills in 2018, including:

S.564 — would prevent any health insurance policy from being sold in New Jersey unless it meets NJ statutes. This bill was introduced to prevent the proliferation of association health plans that could crop up as a result of Executive Order 13831, which President Trump signed in October 2017; short-term plans, which the EO calls for expanding, are already prohibited in New Jersey. But on the other end of the political spectrum, A.283 would allow out-of-state insurers to offer plans in New Jersey without having to comply with the full list of NJ regulations.
S.1877 — would implement a state-based individual mandate in New Jersey, to replace the ACA’s individual mandate that will be eliminated at the end of 2018.
S.1878 — would direct the state to propose a 1332 waiver in order to establish a reinsurance program to stabilize the individual market, using federal funding that would otherwise have been spent on higher premium subsidies.
A.352 — would require that exchange insurers remain in the exchange if they wish to be contracted with the state to offer Medicaid managed care plans.
A.469 — would allow sole proprietors to join a state-based small employer health benefits purchasing alliance, as opposed to only businesses with two or more employees.
A.1343 / S.561 — would create a public health insurance option in New Jersey, which would compete with the private market options.
A.2039 — would protect patients from surprise balance bills if they receive treatment from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.
S.924 — if a primary care doctor leaves or is terminated from an insurer’s network, patients would be able to continue to receive in-network care from that doctor for up to 12 months.
A.710 — out-of-network care for a catastrophically ill child would be covered as in-network (as long as referred by an in-network provider) under Medicaid, CHIP, and private plans.
A.377 — would require hospitals to assist uninsured patients with the process of creating an exchange account on HealthCare.gov.
New Jersey’s legislative session continues throughout the year. Keep an eye on those bills.

Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.

Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/new-jersey/
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7 Realistic Ways to Make Money Online

7 Realistic Ways to Make Money Online
Whether you're looking to make some fast cash, or you're after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn't as difficult as most make it out to seem. It does require some discipline.

However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.


No matter what method you select for generating your online income, there's one very important thing to understand. Money can be earned and spent, saved and pilfered, invested and wasted. Not time. That's why time is far more valuable than money. You can't recreate time. Once it's spent, it's gone forever.

When you lack the luxury of time, making money on or offline can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you're working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn't empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.

No matter what method you end up using to generate an income on the web, you need to adjust your mindset to help empower rather than discourage you. The truth is, making money online can be fraught with avoidable pitfalls. Cancel the noise by keeping a few fundamental guiding principles in mind.

If you're at all serious about generating a full-time income and possibly more from your online activities, then you need to focus on passive income as opposed to active income. Sure, the active income will help you survive. That's the scarcity mentality at play. But it's the passive income ideas that will help you thrive.

Considering that you have a finite amount of time, passive income should make up a large part of your work. If you're serious about generating any semblance of income online, then passive income should be one of your sole goals and ambitions. Why? Wouldn't you prefer to do the work one time and get paid repeatedly as opposed to relying on your time to generate that income? Invest the time at the front-end so that you can reap the benefits on the back-end. This means putting in a bit of sweat equity and not getting paid today. Rather, you'll get paid somewhere down the road. And you'll continue getting paid whether you keep building that passive income stream or you stop.

Anyone interested in making money online should be pursuing passive income, while also working on active income. There are loads of ways to generate an income passively on the internet, many of which start at the foundation of having a blog, generating substantial traffic and building an audience and a list. It's not easy, but it's worth it.


That doesn't mean you need to start a blog to make money online today. You could opt for a non-blog-starting route, but if you're looking for longevity in your income-producing abilities on the internet, then a blog should be your primary aim.

Related: How Can App Makers Improve Revenue and Keep Users Engaged?

1. Leverage the app economy
If you're looking to address some immediate financial needs, then the app economy is likely right for you.

Uber or Lyft: If you're in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft, or  one of the many competitors around the world such as China's Didi, the hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect, even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side.

Postmates: You don't even need a car in some locations to make money with this app. In some major metroplitan areas like Manhattan, a bike would suffice.

iBotta: Earn cash back rewards by purchasing featured products at major retailers. All you have to do is add rebates, go shopping, then snap a photo of your receipt to earn your cash back. Simple and effective.

Task Rabbit: Another simple and straightforward app for making a bit of side-hustle income is the Task Rabbit app. Tasks can be anything from simple repairs to more exhaustive undertakings. The app carefully vets each service provider to ensure the highest quality, and it's a great way to make some extra income on the side on your own terms.

Ebates: This app offers a simple way to make money online by buying whatever you're already buying and then getting a cash-back reward. With eBates, there's no scanning receipts. Simply click a link in the app and buy from the store. You'll automatically be credited your cash rewards upon purchase along with receiving an email confirmation. 


Swagbucks: With Swagbucks, there are a number of ways you can make money. You can shop online, watch videos, answer surveys and surf the web. The app gives you both cash back and gift cards as a reward for your efforts.

Inbox Dollars: Another app you can use to make money online is Inbox Dollars, which pays you for watching television, taking surveys and shopping. There are cash offers here and it's relatively similar to some of the other apps in this arena. 

Related: What You'll Really Earn on Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit Every Month

2. Use existing websites
You could also opt to use existing websites for making money. These include both active income and passive income methods. For example, you could sell some used items or invest in creating some digital designs that then can be sold on merchandise. Again, devote a sizable portion of your time to passive income so that you can slowly build up earnings that will arrive on autopilot without any extra added effort.

Of course, a large portion of these sites do have their own respective apps. But these are certainly less involved in the gig economy, and more so in the longer term projects that exist in the fields of photography, online marketing, graphic design and web development, for example.

Craigslist: This site has been the go-to resource for over a decade now for people that are looking to make a bit of extra money online. You can easily sell your used stuff, rent out a spare room in your home or apartment, and offer up your services to the world.

Upwork: This website offers a great marketplace for selling just about any professional service. You don't need a merchant account, website of your own or anything else for that matter. All you need to do is be able to provide a high-quality service at a reasonable price. But be informed, you will have to compete with many others that are constantly bidding on open jobs.

Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with logistics like printing, warehousing and customer service. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.

Fiverr: Israeli-based Fivver was started in 2010 by Shal Wininger and Micha Kaufam. You can offer gigs as low as $5 but also get paid much more for upgrades and add-ons. 


Mechanical Turk: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a resource for doing human-intelligence tasks, or as the site commonly refers to them, HITs. You get paid a very small fee for any given HIT and you'll need a good deal of volume to make a substantial amount of money. But it is a resource you can use in your spare time to generate a small income online.

Flippa: If you have a penchant for buying and selling, you could use Flippa, and its higher-end counterpart, Deal Flow Brokerage to buy and sell websites for a profit. You'll need to know what you're doing here, but you could easily make a sizable income by flipping income-generating websites for profit.

Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products on here such as poster designs.

Shutterstock and iStockPhoto: Have a keen eye for photography? Why not sell photos on some of the leading photography sites. You'll need some design software skills to tag along. But if you do have skill in this arena, it's a great potential source for passive income.

Threadless: Similar to CafePress, Chicago-based Threadless also allows you to sell digital designs in the form of t-shirts and other merchandise such as phone cases, mugs, beach towels and so on.

Zazzle: Another great resource for selling online is to use Robert Beaver's Zazzle. The site is somewhat similar to Etsy and virtually anyone can make money online selling a variety of items here. From art to handmade items and customizable products, you can pretty much sell anything here.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job

3. Sell your own stuff
If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.

You'll also need ecommerce software, fulfillment software, worry about warehousing, customer service and refunds. But that's not all. You'll also need traffic. Think search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and other social media campaigns. It is hard work, especially on your own. You could opt for Amazon's platform, which might be the easier route. But, then again, at the end of the day, this is a serious business, which could produce significant profits. So you're either all in or you're not.


Shopify: Want to build your own storefront? You could opt to create a Shopify store. You could also install WooCommerce as a plugin and run your ecommerce store from your blog. You'll need an SSL certificate and a way to process payments, but you might find this easier to get up and running fast to start selling immediately.

Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA): You could  start selling on the largest online store in the world and not spend the time to build out your own infrastructure or worry about traffic. You will need to pay a commission, but most of the other processes will be automated for you.

Drop-shipping: Amazon offers one form of drop-shipping, but there are other resources for drop-shipping products that you'll never actually have to see or handle yourself. You'll simply need to close the sale. Providers like SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands, and many others, offer you a resource for drop-shipping your products. 

High-ticket consulting or coaching: You could sell your own high-ticket consulting or coaching products from your website. You'll still need a website, merchant account, sales funnel, lead magnet and many other items. But you can easily earn a substantial amount of money from each individual customer, making it well worth the arduous setup required.

Related: Making Money Online: 5 Major Online Selling Opportunities for Any Entrepreneur

4. Sell as an affiliate
There are loads of resources for making money online as an affiliate. You could source products from ClickBank, Commission Junction, Rakuten Marketing, Share-a-Sale, Impact Radius and many others. Plus, many of the larger companies have their own affiliate programs as well. Do your due diligence and find the right company with a relevant product or service to your audience that you can sell as an affiliate.

In some cases, you will need an active website with substantial traffic to get approved. Selling as an affiliate isn't easy by any means, but if you do have the audience, it can definitely amount to a substantial amount of income.

Related: Why Affiliate Networks Are So Important to Online Affiliate Marketing

5. Start a blog
If you're serious about making money online, start a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest and most sustainable income sources. As long as the blog is setup the right way, in the right niche, with the right content targeted at the right audience, and the offer is complementary to the content, you could make a tremendous amount of passive income from a blog.

While some might think that starting a blog is an arduous effort, when you understand the precise steps you need to take, it becomes far easier. It all starts in the decision of choosing a profitable niche and picking the right domain name. From there, you need to build your offers. You can easily sell things like mini-email courses, trainings and ebooks.

Related: 6 Ways to Turn Your Blog Into a Money Maker

6. Email marketing
If you're interested in online marketing, setup email software and create a lead magnet that you can use in your sales funnel. Then, build up that list. It's often said that you can expect to earn about $1 per subscriber per month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, that means you can earn roughly around $10,000 per month. You will need to deliver value and not pitch them on every email, but it is a very achievable goal in a short period.

There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.


Related: One of Facebook's First Employees Explains Why Email Marketing Is Better Than Social Media Marketing

7. Webinars trainings
Webinars are quite possibly one of the most potent ways you can make an exorbitant amount of money online. You'll need an audience to train and you'll need to know what you're talking about. Of course, this usually requires having a website and some semblance of an online presence. However, people can still do webinars without all of that. For example, you might have a sizable social media following and you train them every week on something to do with social media. But you will need a product to embed and sell at some point. Don't worry about it in the beginning. In my experience, the best webinar platform out there is GoToWebinar.

No matter what method you choose to make money online, understand that you might be able to make some money fast, but for the sizable returns, you'll need significant sweat equity. However, a year from now, you'll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter. 

Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money

Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money
Money makes the web go around. Whether you’re on a mission to find a new source of income or just looking to increase your paycheck with a side gig, the internet can offer a variety of solutions for you to choose from.

With such a great selection it’s easy to get lost. And although trial and error is a method we usually would recommend, it’s probably not a good idea to invest time and resources on experimentation when something so crucial as your income is at stake.

The solution? Research, and fortunately for you we can save you time with that. Below is a list of 10 online business opportunities that have a high potential for generating profit. Read through and consider which of these options might work for you.

Teach Online Classes

Do Affiliate Marketing

Write for Pay

Design Wix Websites

Open an Online Consulting Agency

Use Your Research Skills

Get with the Retail Program

Offer Text Editing & Translation Services

Become a Social Media Marketer

Create Custom-Made Art or Music

Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make MoneyTop 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money
01. Teach Online Classes:
Your expertise and knowledge can be very useful to you when you start your online business. Whether you’re a certified chemistry teacher or a knitting master, you can create an online course and charge students for access to the study material.

Teach Online Classes:Teach Online Classes:
02. Do Affiliate Marketing:
On the web, affiliate marketers are people who promote various online services and receive a commission for making sales. Many online services have an affiliate program –  Wix.com has one as well! This type of business is especially worthwhile if you already have a blog or a website set up and can simply start working on promoting your affiliate goods.

03. Write for Pay:
If you happen to be a gifted writer, your skills could be valuable to a huge variety of target audiences, from companies that need tech manuals, to college applicants who need help writing their resumes, or small businesses looking for good newsletter content.

Write for PayWrite for Pay


04. Design Wix Websites:
You have no idea how many times we’ve seen this pattern – a person in need of a website creates one using Wix’s web publishing platform, is very pleased with the process and the outcome, publishes the website and then receives offers from friends and acquaintances to design a site for them as well. The idea behind Wix is that everyone can create websites, but not everyone has the time or the will to do it, so why don’t you step in and fill the need?

05. Open an Online Consulting Agency:
Provide professional and specialized observations based on your field of expertise – health and wellness, finances, law and more. Here you can choose whether you want to work solely online or combine face-to-face service with your digital one.

06. Use Your Research Skills:
The internet created a neverending source of data. Companies searching for business intel, an individual interested in family genealogy or an author in need of background material do not always have the ability to search this vast pool of knowledge with a fine-tooth comb. In these examples and others, they would prefer to hire someone to perform online research. Might that someone be yourself?

Use Your Research SkillsUse Your Research Skills
07. Get with the Retail Program:


With online sales continuously on the rise, selling products to web shoppers is definitely a worthwhile path to follow for business purposes. Using Wix to create your own online store, you can set up a retail business with minimum effort and costs.

08. Offer Text Editing & Translation Services:
It’s the most straightforward process you can imagine. A customer sends you a text for proofreading, literary editing or translation purposes, you do your work and send them a document back. This kind of hassle-free operation will leave you plenty of time to focus on promoting your service.

09. Become a Social Media Marketer:
Small business brands and professional freelancers often require help with promoting their work on social media platforms. You can train yourself to understand the fine art of social media marketing and offer to either take over their social marketing efforts or to provide consulting services on the matter. The Wix Blog will provide you with an abundance of reading material on how to market on social media.

Become a Social Media MarketerBecome a Social Media Marketer
10. Create Custom-Made Art or Music:
If you want to support yourself as an independent artist without having to take on an office job or wait tables, why don’t you use your talent to make extra money? You can offer people from all over the world the option to commission illustrations, caricatures, sculptures, video art, designed candles, custom-ordered songs or anything that your creative force is able to produce.