State

A Massachusetts Town Has Made Bottled Water Illegal

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/massachusetts-town-bans-bottled-water-2013-1

drinking bottled water

Water, water everywhere — just not in plastic bottles, says a town in the US state of Massachusetts.

A law passed by the town of Concord went into effect with the New Year, making single-serving bottles of water illegal.

The ban is intended to encourage use of tap water and curb the worldwide problem of plastic pollution.

It only applies to “non-sparkling, unflavored drinking water.” Coke or other soft drinks are exempt.

Jean Hill, an 84-year-old activist, thought up the ban, arguing that bottles fill garbage dumps, while consumers are lured into drinking water they could obtain for a tiny fraction of the cost at their own sink.

“The bottled water companies are draining our aquifers and selling it back to us. I’m going to work until I drop on this,” Hill told The New York Times in 2010.

First time offenders get a warning. Anyone caught selling the banned bottles a second time will be fined $25, and $50 thereafter.

Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 news No Comments

hurricane load

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/31/att-and-t-mobile-temporarily-share-their-networks-in-nyc-nj/

AT&T and TMobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the posthurricane load

Communication has been all too spotty across much of New York City and New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy struck the region, and those who can get through on their cellphones have found themselves on particularly crowded networks. AT&T and T-Mobile are providing some much-needed, if temporary, relief: the two have struck a deal to share their GSM and 3G networks in the area with no roaming fees or plan changes while the networks come back, with the best-functioning network taking precedence in any given connection. A return to the normal state of affairs hasn’t been fixed in stone and will likely depend on many, many factors, but it’s a much appreciated gesture for residents who might not have a choice to relocate for a vital phone call.

Continue reading AT&T and T-Mobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the post-hurricane load

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Just 35 Percent Of Americans Cash In On Jobless Benefits

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/jobless-unemployment-st-louis-fed-claims-rarer-than-overpayments-2012-10

unemployment

Among consumers eligible for unemployment benefits, just over one-third actually bother to cash in on average, according to new data from the  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The data applies to the last 22 years (1989 to 2011), save for during the recession, when elligible claims rose to 50 percent.

The findings are key for a couple of reasons.

Back in July, CNN Money cited data that showed that the Dept. of Labor had overpaid jobless claims by no less than $14 billion in 2011. In 2009, it was estimated that 11 percent of all claims were overpaid, for a total of about $11 billion. 

But since so many elligible workers are actually leaving their cash on the table, the agency should be more than capable of making up for lost funds.

For example, the 50 percent of workers who didn’t apply for benefits in 2009 saved the government an estimated $108 billion.

That’s more than 10 times as much cash the Dept. of Labor said was wasted on overpaying benefits the same year

There’s no denying overpaying jobless benefits is a problem –– most of them wind up in the hands of prisoners, identity thieves, retirees, and current workers –– but the report at least helps put that shortcoming into perspective.

Fraud is responsible for just 3 percent of all benefits paid, the Fed found, while eligible consumers leave seven times that much cash on the table by not applying for benefits.

And overpayments are beginning to slowly improve. The Department of Labor reported a 0.35 percent drop in overpayme! nts betw een July 2010 and 2011, and a 0.4 percent drop in errors caused by people who didn’t register their employment status with their state’s labor department.

The BLS put together a map of each state’s improper payment history in 2011, when overpayments topped $14 billion:

bls

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 news No Comments

You Have To Check Out These Gorgeous Pictures Of Apple’s Ridiculously Thin New iMac (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-imac-photos-2012-10

imac thin new

Today Apple revealed it’s next-generation iMac.

The new all-in-one desktop PC has been completely redesigned.

Now the computer features an extremely thin, tear drop design and takes advantage of a new fusion hard drive, which combines traditional spinning hard drives with solid state drives.

The next-gen iMac comes in two sizes, 21.5-inches and 27-inches.

The 21.5-inch ships in November and starts at $1299 and the 27-inch ships in December and starts at $17.99.

Keep reading for more info about the iMac.

The new iMac takes up to 40% less volume.




The desktop all-in-one comes in two different sizes, 21.5-inch, and 27-inch.




It is fully optimized for Apple’s new operating system, Mountain Lion.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

These Timelines Break Down Every Facebook, Twitter And LinkedIn Acquisition Ever

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-timelines-break-down-every-facebook-twitter-and-linkedin-acquisition-ever-2012-10

zuckerberg money

Everyone remembers when Facebook bought Instagram for a headline-friendly billion dollars last April. But what about the 10 companies it acquired after that? Or the 29 prior?

The social media landscape is in such a constant state of flux that it’s sometimes hard to remember who did what when.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc (JEGI) teamed up to take snapshots of what the social media ecosystem looks like right now.

Among other things, its report also breaks down the acquisition timelines for major digital players, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Google.

Facebook’s acquisition timeline:

According to the report, “Facebook has acqui‐hired talented staff f! rom a nu mber of companies in addition to its traditional M&A, focusing on enhanced content sharing/discovery (FriendFeed, Face.com), IP (Tagtile), location awareness (Gowalla), ecommerce/gifts (Karma) and mobile (Glancee, Lightbox).” 

Furthermore, Facebook is known to scoop up its competition for hefty chunks of change. When threatened by Instagram in the image and mobile space, Facebook bought the start-up for a cool billion dollars.




Twitter’s acquisition timeline:

Twitter’s acquisitions help boost user experience and its ad-based business model.

The report notes that “areas of interest include keyword bidding, social marketing automation, geo‐targeted ads, and social analytics,” which is reflected by recent buys.




LinkedIn’s acquisition timeline:

LinkedIn acquired SlideShare, a company that allows users to easily share business documents and presentations, for $119 in May 2012. Apart from that, LinkedIn’s acquisitions “have typically focused on tuck‐ins and tend to acquire businesses that are pre‐revenue.”



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Monday, October 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/americas-scary-shift-to-obesity-over-2-decades-maps-2012-10

It’s no secret that America is getting fatter.

But these two maps from Bank of America strategist Sarbjit Nahal’s report Globesity – The Global Fight Against Obesity show how fast the nation is shifting towards obesity.

The map on the left shows that in 1990, 10 states in the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System had an obesity prevalence of less than 10 percent, and no state had a prevalence more than 15 percent.

Fast-forward two decades to 2010, and no state has a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent, and 12 states have an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more.

Nahal notes:

The highest prevalence of obesity in the US is in the south. Mississippi, the most obese state (34%) for the sixth consecutive year, is also one of the poorest and suffers from low insurance coverage, a weak education system and high unemployment.

obesity maps

SEE ALSO: Here’s Where You’ll Find The Fattest People In The World

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Friday, October 19th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Why Facebook Defriended HTML5 — For Now (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/bii-report-why-facebook-defriended-html5-for-now-2012-9

diMany think HTML5, a new technology that allows developers to build rich web-based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser, will save the mobile web.

However, in August, Facebook sent shock waves through the HTML5 world when it released the latest update of its iOS app. In this update, Facebook abandoned its HTML5-heavy app for one built from scratch with Apple’s iOS SDK.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explain why Facebook decided to abandon HTML5 for the time being, analyze the state of HTML5 and native apps, and detail why it may take even longer for HTML5 to win out than previously thought. 

Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here’s a brief overview of why Facebook defriended HTML5:

In full, BI Intelligence’s reports on HTML5 analyze:

To access BI Intelligence’s full reports on HTML5, sign up for a free trial subscription here.

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Friday, September 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s The Big Problem With Facebook’s New E-Commerce Effort (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-big-problem-with-facebooks-new-ecommerce-effort-2012-9

facebook gifts

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it will sell gifts users can send to their friends.

Chris Dixon, a successful serial investor and one of New York’s most visible startup investors is skeptical it’ll work.

“Getting users to switch ‘modes’ from online to offline (& vice versa) has historically yielded very low conversion rates,” he tweets.

His point is that when people go to people go to Website for one reason, it’s hard to get them to do anything else.

Users go to Amazon to shop, Match.com for a date, and Craigslist for a free sofa. Users go to Facebook to share photos and maybe read news, not buy things.

Just because a new feature from Facebook appears, doesn’t mean users are going to suddenly start going there to use it.

“It’s all about the mental state. Are you sharing photos online [or] giving something offline? The numbers show it’s hard to switch.”

Other cases in which getting users to switch “modes” from offline to online or back again, that hasn’t worked include “showing URLs in TV ads or magazines” or “trying to sell anything on [a] social network.”

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Friday, September 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5941907/that-pretty-new-facebook-friend-probably-taliban

That Pretty New Facebook Friend? Probably TalibanIn the good ol’ days of spy vs. spy, the honeypot was a tried and true method espionage technique, laced with danger, intrigue, and sex. These days—as Australian soldiers have found out the hard way—all it takes to seduce your way to state secrets is a Facebook friend request and a Google image search for “hot chicks.”

As Australian news site News.com.au reports, a recent Aussie government look at the unhealthy intermingling of social media and the military, several of its soldiers have fallen victim to the oldest trick in the Facebook; someone pretending to be an attractive, flirtatious girl when in reality they’re not. Except instead of spammers, they get enemies of the state:

The review warns troops to beware of “fake profiles – media personnel and enemies create fake profiles to gather information. For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers.”

Why is that a problem, other than terrorists having access to your karaoke pics? Because soldier status updates can often include the kind of seemingly innocuous information that ends up giving away locations, statuses, and other sensitive details that could get people killed.

The report goes on to say that soldiers have been too trusting of Facebook’s default privacy settings, something which we’ve all fallen victim to at one point or another. Its just that the stakes for us normals aren’t anywhere near as high. But what’s the solution? Either to ban social media for troops altogether—as some have argued in favor of—or to insist on stricter guidelines and, especially, enforcement. Let’s hope the latter proves effective. It’s hard enough serving your country in a far-flung land without feeling even more cut off from the world than geography dictates. [News.com.au via Danger Room]

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Monday, September 10th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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