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NJBIA President Forced to Admit No Incentive to Own and Operate a Business In New Jersey

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

the staff of the Ridgewod blog

Trenton NJ, NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. issued the following statement Thursday regarding Gov. Phil Murphy’s action on A-4495, which revises the Corporation Business Tax.

“We are extremely disappointed the governor has signed A-4495 into law, which extends well beyond the intended cleanup of the Corporation Business Tax (CBT) legislation passed in July and will place a significant additional financial burden on our state’s largest job creators and discourage startup companies from operating here.

Continue reading NJBIA President Forced to Admit No Incentive to Own and Operate a Business In New Jersey

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Governor Murphy Announces “Computer Science for All” Initiatives to Advance K-12 STEM Education


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Governor Phil Murphy today announced details of his “Computer Science for All” initiative, a plan to bring technology and programming-focused classes to schools across New Jersey. The FY 2019 budget includes $2 million to increase the number of public high schools that offer advanced computer science courses.

Continue reading Governor Murphy Announces “Computer Science for All” Initiatives to Advance K-12 STEM Education

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the Ridgewood Blog Suffers a Rash of Technical Issues

Dear Reader

After 12 years we had to clean up our data base which took about 36 hours ,it is like cleaning an attic after spending a life time in a house . Apparently we had bats in the belfry and as you may have noticed we have had a rash of technical issues in recent days .

The next step in our upgrade is going to be migrating to a faster and more robust data base and the third and final step will be to clean up a few software problems and cliches.

In the mean time , try our new url : as well as the older , if you are having any trouble getting connected .

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Ridgewood Teen Wins $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood teen Deena Shefter has been awarded a $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship. Shefter attended Bergen County Academies (BCA),  a STEM-focused magnet high school in Bergen County , she is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. Her research investigates the connection between multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis . 

Continue reading Ridgewood Teen Wins $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship

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Ridgewood High School to Host Tech Night on Janaury 11th at the Campus Center


Janaury 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Parents & guardians, the next Tech Night is this Thursday. Here’s a note from Asst. Superintendent Ms. Stacie Poelstra:

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Happy New Year! We are delighted to be hosting the 4th Tech Night in our five-part series next Thursday, January 11th. This event will be held at 7:00 PM in the Campus Center at Ridgewood High School.

The goal of the next program is to make parents aware of parental controls that various mobile phone carriers provide, so parents/guardians can make informed decisions about their child’s tech use. Several providers including Verizon, Sprint, T Mobile and Apple will be at this event to assist you and answer questions.

Additionally, one of the breakout sessions will be a presentation by Finding Your Individuality on “Talking about Boundaries and Technology with Special Needs Youth.” In this session, Melissa Keyes DiGioia and Tracy Higgins will discuss ways apps, social media, and digital technology may be used for interpersonal communication. They will also explore the importance of boundary setting and decision making regarding content that may be shared with others.

We are pleased to bring you this unique opportunity on January 11 and look forward to seeing you!

Stacie Poelstra

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N.J. company tests waters of Airbnb-style backyard pool rentals, report says


Updated on August 8, 2017 at 2:26 PMPosted on August 8, 2017 at 1:55 PM

By Jeff Goldman

LAKEWOOD —  A fledgling Lakewood company is attempting to put its own twist on Airbnb stays.

Instead of helping you arrange a short-term rental your home, Pool For U will put your backyard swimming pool on the market, according to The problem is that there are a slew of legal and insurances hurdles.

Pool For U says it’s a way for people without a pool to access one without a trip to the Shore or a costly pool membership. For homeowners, its helps them offset the thousands of dollars it often costs each year to maintain a swimming pool.

Problems could arise, though, if a homeowner’s insurance company found out, the report said. A policy would be canceled immediately if the insurer learned anyone but the home’s residents or invited guests were using the pool, the report said.

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Ethical lapses at some of the tech industry’s biggest companies suggest a chilling reality of what really matters in the world’s most rollicking economy.

It has been said that Silicon Valley, or the 50 or so square-mile area extending from San Francisco to the base of the peninsula, has overseen the creation of more wealth than any place in the history of mankind. It’s made people richer than the oil industry; it has created more money than the Gold Rush. Silicon chips, lines of code, and rectangular screens have even minted more wealth than religious wars.

Wealthy societies, indeed, have their own complicated incentive structures and mores. But they do often tend, as any technological entrepreneur will be quick to remind you, to distribute value across numerous income levels, in a scaled capacity. The Ford line, for instance, may have eventually minted some serious millionaires in Detroit, but it also made transportation cheaper, helped drive down prices on countless consumer goods, and facilitated new trade routes and commercial opportunities. Smartphones, or any number of inventive modern apps or other software products, are no different. Sure, they throw off a lot of money to the geniuses who came up with them, and the people who got in at the ground floor. But they also make possible innumerable other opportunities, financial and otherwise, for their millions of consumers.

Silicon Valley is, in its own right, a dynasty. Instead of warriors or military heroes, it has nerds and people in half-zip sweaters. But it is becoming increasingly likely that the Valley might go down in history not only for its wealth, but also for creating more tone deaf people than any other ecosystem in the history of the world.

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The FBI Is Apparently Paying Geek Squad Members To Dig Around In Computers For Evidence Of Criminal Activity

Geek Squad

from the maybe-these-are-the-‘smart-people’-who-can-fix-Comey’s-encryption-&# dept

Law enforcement has a number of informants working for it and the companies that already pay their paychecks, like UPS, for example. It also has a number of government employees working for the TSA, keeping their eyes peeled for “suspicious” amounts of cash it can swoop in and seize.

Unsurprisingly, the FBI also has a number of paid informants. Some of these informants apparently work at Best Buy — Geek Squad by day, government informants by… well, also by day.

According to court records, Geek Squad technician John “Trey” Westphal, an FBI informant, reported he accidentally located on Rettenmaier’s computer an image of “a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck.” Westphal notified his boss, Justin Meade, also an FBI informant, who alerted colleague Randall Ratliff, another FBI informant at Best Buy, as well as the FBI. Claiming the image met the definition of child pornography and was tied to a series of illicit pictures known as the “Jenny” shots, agent Tracey Riley seized the hard drive.

Not necessarily a problem, considering companies performing computer/electronic device repair are legally required to report discovered child porn to law enforcement. The difference here is the paycheck. This Geek Squad member had been paid $500 for digging around in customers’ computers and reporting his findings to the FBI. That changes the motivation from legal obligation to a chance to earn extra cash by digging around in files not essential to the repair work at hand.

More of a problem is the FBI’s tactics. While it possibly could have simply pointed to the legal obligation Best Buy has to report discovered child porn, it proactively destroyed this argument by apparently trying to cover up the origin of its investigation, as well as a couple of warrantless searches.

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More Americans than residents of Georgia draw income from gig economy

cell phones


It’s a job market revolution: an estimated 10.3 million Americans earned income through Web-based platforms like Uber and Airbnb between 2012 and 2015. That’s more people than reside in the entire state of Georgia and amounts to 6.5 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

So-called gig jobs, in which a person performs a task for another individual often through Web-based platforms, are often easier to land, and help generate additional income when regular earnings aren’t sufficient, according to a new study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute.

Participants in this economy are typically younger, with the 25 to 34 age group accounting for the largest part of the gig workforce. They are more likely to be male, live in the West and have an average median income of about $2,800 per month, according to the study.

The number of people earning income in the online economy over the three-year period of JPMorgan’s study increased 47-fold. Labor platforms, including ride-hailing service Uber, that connect customers with freelancers have grown more rapidly than capital platforms like Airbnb, which rent homes and assets or sell goods. Demand is also driving the growth as online service use becomes more common.

Now, “most people would know they can get their groceries picked up, they can get a ride from three or four different companies — things that only a year ago, only earlier adopters learned,” Diana Farrell, the institute’s founding president and chief executive officer, said in an interview. “It’s becoming more mainstream.”

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Techno-skeptics’ objection growing louder


by Joel Achenbach December 26 at 5:40 PM

Astra Taylor’s iPhone has a cracked screen. She has bandaged it with clear packing tape and plans to use the phone until it disintegrates. She objects to the planned obsolescence of today’s gadgetry, and to the way the big tech companies pressure customers to upgrade.

Taylor, 36, is a documentary filmmaker, musician and political activist. She’s also an emerging star in the world of technology criticism. She’s not paranoid, but she keeps duct tape over the camera lens on her laptop computer — because, as everyone knows, these gadgets can be taken over by nefarious agents of all kinds.

Taylor is a 21st-century digital dissenter. She’s one of the many technophiles unhappy about the way the tech revolution has played out. Political progressives once embraced the utopian promise of the Internet as a democratizing force, but they’ve been dismayed by the rise of the “surveillance state,” and the near-monopolization of digital platforms by huge corporations.

Last month, Taylor and more than 1,000 activists, scholars and techies gathered at the New School in New York City for a conference to talk about reinventing the Internet. They dream of a co-op model: people dealing directly with one another without having to go through a data-sucking corporate hub.