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Spammers create as many as 40 percent of the accounts on social-media sites

Spammers create as many as 40 percent of the accounts on social-media sites

‘Likejacking’: Spammers Hit Social Media
By Olga Kharif on May 24, 2012

Michelle Espinoza thought a single photo was going to ruin her business. It was an image of one of the pearl cuff bracelets she designs that showed up on Pinterest, a site where users create virtual bulletin boards, grouping images in categories—whether it be chocolate desserts or bohemian jewelry. For 10 days in April, anybody who clicked on the photo ended up watching pornography or unwittingly downloading a virus. “I can’t gauge how many customers I lost,” says Espinoza, a resident of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. “But I did have people messaging me asking, ‘Are you linked to spam?’ I was just distraught.”

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Consumer confidence plunges in May

Consumer confidence plunges in May
Associated PressAssociated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans’ confidence in the economy in May had its biggest drop in eight months as consumers fretted about slow hiring, a big stock market drop and the global economy, says a private research group.

The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 64.9, down from a revised 68.7 in April. It was the biggest drop since October 2011.–finance.html

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Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you

Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you (and they include ‘pork’, ‘cloud’ and ‘Mexico’)

Department of Homeland Security forced to release list following freedom of information request
Agency insists it only looks for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. and not for signs of general dissent

PUBLISHED: 04:32 EST, 26 May 2012 | UPDATED: 12:46 EST, 26 May 2012

The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

Read more:

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Senate President Sweeney pushes N.J. Democrats to support Christie tax-cut compromise

Senate President Sweeney pushes N.J. Democrats to support Christie tax-cut compromise

Senate President Stephen Sweeney urged fellow Democrats in a closed-door meeting Thursday to support a compromise tax-cut plan he struck with Gov. Chris Christie despite the state’s weakening revenue outlook, sources said.

Sweeney was drumming up support for the compromise in the wake of two days of budget hearings in which revenue shortfalls were said to range from $676 million to $1.3 billion, according to sources at the meeting who were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Some lawmakers doubted whether Sweeney would continue to push the plan after the revenue figures were announced, and he answered that question.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)

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The National Institute on Aging has some tips for dealing with the heat

The National Institute on Aging has some tips for dealing with the heat

Stay out of direct sunlight, and avoid strenuous activities.
Wear lightweight light colored loose-fitting clothing that permits sweat to evaporate.
Drink plenty of liquids such as water or fruit and vegetable juices to replace fluids lost by perspiring.
Avoid alcohol and beverages that have too much salt, since salt can complicate medical problems.
Do not use salt tablets unless advised to do so by your doctor.
Take frequent cool baths or showers; place cool wet towels on the body.
Above all, take the heat seriously, and don’t ignore danger signs like nausea, dizziness and fatigue; seek medical help at once.
Even those who are accustomed to the heat may find that advancing years and the effects of medical conditions can lessen their ability to cope. Anyone who does not have air conditioning should make alternative plans for when the heat gets to be too much. A visit at a friend�s or relative�s house for a few hours or for a day or two in the hottest weather may be the simplest alternative.

Other alternatives could include :

Visiting an air conditioned store or mall;
Visiting the local public library not only relief from the heat, but a good time to catch up on magazines or books;
Spending part of the day at the local senior center, and having lunch there; and
Keeping in touch with friends and relatives, so that they will be available to help if needed.

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State auditor issues report critical of how NJ oversees charter schools

State auditor issues report critical of how NJ oversees charter schools

The Christie administration’s oversight of charter schools has long been a point of contention, and a new report out of the State Auditor is sure to fuel the debate on how tough the administration has been in holding the alternative schools accountable for their successes and failures.

The State Auditor, a branch of the state Legislature, yesterday issued a report critical of how the administration has overseen more than 70 charter schools in the state.

Meanwhile, the administration itself released new warning letters to a handful of charter schools putting them on notice for low achievement among its students, among other issues.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)

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Long commute time linked with poor health, new study shows

Route 17 file Photo by Boyd Loving

Long commute time linked with poor health, new study shows
By Theresa Juva-Brown, The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News

New evidence shows that a long commute by car not only takes hours out of your day, but could take years off your life.

A study published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the longer people drive to work, the more likely they are to have poor cardiovascular health.

“This is the first study to show that people who commute long distances to work were less fit, weighed more, were less physically active and had higher blood pressure,” said Christine M. Hoehner, a public health professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the study’s lead author. “All those are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.”

The study monitored the health of 4,297 adults from 12 counties in Texas, a metropolitan region where 90 percent of people commute to work by car, Hoehner said.

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Ex Chief Bombace looks to resuscitate image after behavior was blasted by judge in Reilly verdict

Ex Chief Bombace looks to resuscitate image after behavior was blasted by judge in Reilly verdict

Kevin Reilly alleged that he reported two incidents in which firefighter safety was compromised because of violations by his superiors.

The recent decision by Judge Menelaos W. Toskos reducing Firefighter Kevin Reilly’s 3.5 million dollar jury award to $500,000.00 told only half of the story.

Firefighter Reilly’s “whistle blower” claim that he and his colleagues were ordered to clean up an unknown chemical spill at The Valley Hospital was proven to be false during the court proceedings. The chemical had been identified by The Bergen County Hazardous Materials Team, which was called to The Valley Hospital at 7:30 PM on Sunday, August 12, 2007, at the request of the Fire Department, for what was then an unknown spill in the area of the Hospital Pharmacy. I was also called to the scene by the on duty Fire Captain.

The members of the Ridgewood Fire Department and Bergen County Hazardous Materials Team contained and then identified the spilled material, which was identified as 1000 cc of Glacial Acetic Acid. Bergen County Hazmat and Fire Department members then used an absorbent to pick up the liquid. Once all of the liquid had been picked up they double bagged the absorbent and the broken bottle for disposal. The bagged material was turned over to a Hospital Representative for disposal in the Hospitals normal hazardous waste flow. This action was documented in a report filed by the Bergen County Hazardous Materials Team (BCDHS Case Number 2007-8-71) see attachment.

The next day, Monday, August 13, 2007, Deputy Chief David Yaden and I returned to Valley Hospital in the morning to speak to the Valley Hospital Safety Officer about incident and to insure that the already contained and bagged material was going to be disposed of properly. When we went to check on the hazardous material it was noticed that the outer bag had been torn at some point. We called for the on duty firefighters to respond to The Valley Hospital and I instructed Firefighter Reilly and the other Firefighters to wear their appropriate respiratory protection with gloves and to place the torn bag into another bag and then place a hazardous materials label on the new bag.

None of the already bagged absorbent material had spilled from either of the inner bags. No spill was cleaned up by Firefighter Reilly or the other Firefighters. At no time were these Firefighters placed in any danger and because there was no spill there was no need to call the Bergen County Hazardous Materials Team for this situation.

James Bombace, Chief (Retired)

Ridgewood Fire Department

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Forget Bain — Obama’s public-equity record is the real scandal

Forget Bain — Obama’s public-equity record is the real scandal
By Marc A. Thiessen, Published: May 24

Despite a growing backlash from his fellow Democrats, President Obama has doubled down on his attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. But the strategy could backfire in ways Obama did not anticipate. After all, if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider just a few examples of Obama’s public equity failures: