What Are The Best Healthcare Options For Your Business? For Now, There Are Four

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

You’re a business owner. You have a lot on your mind. And the new healthcare law is looming. This is not politics. It’s practical. Whether you agree with the legislation or not, you’ve got to figure out the best options for your business. Actually, your options aren’t that difficult.

I realize there’s been a lot of noise about the Affordable Care Act over the past few weeks and months. Tax forms went out in error. A major penalty on employers was pushed back. Enrollment deadlines have been changed. New rules about coveragekick into affect next year. Congress is threatening repeals of all or parts of the bill. Another Supreme Court case could put the law in jeopardy. Read More…

Are You Ready For The Huge Liability Facing U.S. Merchants in 2015?

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here’s what I’m used to doing: I walk into a typical coffee shop. I order coffee. I hand over my credit card. The person behind the counter swipes it. I decline the receipt. I’m out the door.  It’s fast and simple. You too? Well, that’s all about to change for both of us. And the person who runs the coffee shop? That’s going to change for her too. And if she doesn’t change, she could be faced with huge costs.

Starting soon (if not already), you and I will be receiving new credit cards with EMV chips embedded in them. And come this October, those EMV chips will make buying a coffee (or groceries, or a sandwich or anything else that’s using a credit card) a completely different experience. – for both the buyer and the seller. It has to do with fraud. Today, if credit card fraud occurs at a merchant the credit card company usually covers it. But that’s going to change this year. Read More…

Why Do Teachers Get Snow Days?

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(This post originally appeared on The Philly Post)

Hey school teachers, I have an idea.

Instead of fighting the School Reform Commission and campaigning for a friendly governor and organizing your efforts for a sympathetic mayor and protesting at City Council meetings and complaining about contributing more to your health insurance and your pensions let me suggest another tactic: How about you actually go to work?

Even when it snows.

Because that’s what employees in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs are doing. During yesterday’s snowstorm that dropped 3.7 inches in the city and a couple more in the surrounding suburbs (and that was cleared away by 10 a.m.) you had the day off. And what did you do? Did you celebrate like your students? Sleep in a few hours? Read a book? Watch The Wendy Williams Show? What fun! You had a snow day! Great for you. Unfortunately, not so great for everyone else. That’s because everyone else went to work. Just like we do in all sorts of weather — even, yes, snow. And during your spring and Christmas breaks. And even (gasp) during the summers too!

Read More…

5 Ideas (And One Bonus Idea!) For Your Drone Startup

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

The FAA has proposed new rules for drones and I admit that I’m a little relieved.

The rules limit the drones to only 55 pounds. They can’t be flown outside of the line of vision of the operator and can’t go higher than 500 feet (which is about 50 stories, still pretty high) and 100 miles per hour (which is pretty darn fast). Companies like Amazon are upset because they had plans to deliver packages across the country, so they’ll just have to settle with same day delivery on Sundays and generating $4 billion a year from cloud services. They’ll be fine.

Me? I run a technology company so my whole life is dealing with stuff that frequently doesn’t work as expected. I can’t even get my computer to restart cleanly three times in a row and then I hear that Amazon wants to fly thousands of drones overhead? Regardless of security issues (which are still very much an issue even with the FAA’s proposed ruling) I’m envisioning drones conking out mid-air and dropping on us like deadly bird poop. Or my teenage kids shooting them down for fun on a Saturday night and taking whatever’s inside. Yeah, I’m a little relieved all of this has been put off for another day. Read More…

When “Oh No!” Is What You Want To Hear From Your Airline

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

If you were travelling to or from the East Coast over the past few days, and your flight was one of the thousands canceled or delayed because of the latest winter storm, you may not want to read this. You might be hating on American Airlines right now. I understand.

Even when the weather isn’t bad you probably have your complaints about the airlines – the delays, the small seats, the bag fees. I’ve heard it all before. I fly a lot – about 3-6 times a month on average – and my preferred airline is US Airways (now American Airlines, I’m still getting used to the change) mainly because my home airport is Philadelphia and they’re the main carrier there. But I’m not in the “I hate airlines camp.” I’m in the “Louis CK” camp – to me it’s still amazing at all that we are “sitting in a chair…in the sky,” and are transported thousands of miles to our destinations relatively on time and safely. Read More…

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