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Should net neutrality rules be imposed on broadband service providers?

This week’s question concerns net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission last week began drafting legislation that would prevent phone and cable companies from abusing their control over the broadband access market, by prohibiting them from censoring certain kinds of Internet traffic. Proponents say the rules are needed to ensure that broadband subscribers can access all legal Web sites and services and prevent service providers from engaging in anti-competitive practices. Opponents argue such regulations would make it more difficult for broadband providers to manage as well as expand their networks. What do you think? Should net neutrality rules be imposed on broadband service providers? Yes or no?

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Should there be a mandate to buy health insurance?

This week’s question concerns the health-care reform bill. One of the controversial bill’s provisions, now in Congressional debate, revolves around an escalating series of fines that would be imposed on individuals refusing to purchase health insurance. The fines, slated to take effect starting in 2013, would start at $200 and eventually rise to $750 - far lower than the $5,000 average yearly health insurance premium for an individual. Health insurers contend the low fines would create a disincentive for individuals to buy costly insurance, thus forcing insurers to raise rates to cover costs. What do you think? Should there be a mandate to buy health insurance? Yes or no?

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Will satellite radio ever live up to its commercial expectations?

This week's question concerns satellite radio. When the first U.S. digital satellite radio service was launched in 2001, many people predicted that satellite radio would someday dominate the airwaves, eclipsing all other forms of radio broadcasting. Most of the major automakers rushed to sign satellite radio installation agreements, broadcasting company stock prices soared, and the competition for new subscribers was fierce. But almost a decade later, major satellite radio broadcasting companies like Sirius XM are still struggling to make a profit and, in some cases, losing subscribers. Supporters of the medium claim that satellite radio is just taking longer than expected to catch on, while its detractors argue that, like CB radios, it was a fad whose window of opportunity has passed. What do you think? Will satellite radio ever live up to its commercial expectations?

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Will technology advance to the level of robots replacing people in day-to-day life?

Will Robots Ever Replace People in Day-to-Day Life? This week’s question concerns robots. Scientists are saying that humanoid robots like those seen in the new movie "Surrogates" are not that far from reality. In the movie, realistic robots take the place of people in day-to-day life and no one worries about crime or pain, as their robots can self-heal. In the real world, armies use remote-controlled robots to attack enemies and destroy land mines. Anybots - a Mountain View, CA company founded in 2001 - currently offers a 35-pound, 5-foot-tall robot that allows the user to be two places at once and remotely travel, see, hear, and talk. What do you think? Will technology advance to the level of robots replacing people in day-to-day life?

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Will electric vehicles finally take off?

This week’s question concerns electric vehicles. For decades, electric vehicles have been touted as the solution to zero emissions motoring. However, costly batteries and the lack of a supporting infrastructure have stunted electric vehicle development. U.S. and offshore automakers continue to step up electric vehicle development, and some say they expect limited production electric cars to emerge in the next few years. What do you think? Will electric vehicles finally take off? Yes or no?

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Are you worried about contracting swine flu?

This week's question concerns swine flu. According to a recent report prepared by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the H1N1 flu virus, commonly called swine flu, could infect anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the U.S. population during the fall and winter months. In a worst-case scenario, the virus could cause anywhere from 30,000 to 90,000 fatalities, primarily among children and young adults. Although an H1N1 vaccine is being prepared, it is not expected to be available until mid-October, which some experts say could be too late. So we're curious - are you worried about contracting swine flu?

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Should there be an airline “passenger bill of rights”?

This week’s question concerns the rights of airline passengers. Several recent incidents of airline passengers being stranded on planes for up to six hours may have strengthened the case for a “passenger bill of rights” pending in Congress. The bill would require stranded planes to return to the terminal after a certain amount of time, and mandate that airlines improve customer service measures such as providing food and water during long delays and establish a customer complaint hotline. Air carriers argue such measures would only increase runway congestion and flight cancellations, further infuriating passengers. What do you think? Should there be an airline “passenger bill of rights”? Yes or no?

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