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.
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.
AT&T and T-Mobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the post-hurricane load originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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:
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]
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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