Financial Abuse in the Age of Smartphones

Keystroke-monitoring software, hidden cameras, GPS tracking devices: Survivors chronicle their abuse—and escape

Technology is making spousal financial abuse easier, particularly among affluent Americans.

Smartphones and tracking devices have given abusive partners more tools to surveil and control their spouses, according to advocates for victims. At the same time, though, technology is also helping victims discover hidden assets.  Read More

Help Me Understand The Uber Cancelation Scam?

Ridesharing apps have radically changed the way we get around on the ground. It’s not just that being able to order a car through an app at any time is useful, but historically I enjoyed Uber because I felt like they offered great customer service.

Over the years, as the platform has gotten bigger, I feel like that has changed.

While a vast majority of Uber drivers are professional, given how big the network is you also have some people trying to pull off scams. There are all kinds of them. But there’s one kind I can’t make sense of. I’m curious if you guys can help me understand it.

Accepting A Ride And Then Ignoring

There seems to be a fairly common scam where Uber drivers are essentially more focused on collecting cancelation fees than driving. This can come in one of two forms:

  • The driver accepting your ride and then just ignoring you, hoping that you’ll eventually cancel the ride
  • The driver accepting the ride, and then texting with you and asking you to cancel the ride (they could give a variety of reasons for encouraging this)  Read More

Facebook taught an AI the ‘theory of mind’

When it comes to competitive games, AI systems have already shown they can easily mop the floor with the best humanity has to offer. But life in the real world isn’t a zero sum game like poker or Starcraft and we need AI to work with us, not against us. That’s why a research team from Facebook taught an AI how to play the cooperative card game Hanabi (the Japanese word for fireworks), to gain a better understanding of how humans think.

 

Specifically, the Facebook team set out to instill upon its AI system the theory of mind. “Theory of mind is this idea of understanding the beliefs and intentions of other agents or other players or humans,” Noam Brown, a researcher at Facebook AI, told Engadget. “It’s something that humans developed from a very early age. But one AIs have struggled with for a very long time.” Read More

Disgraced ex-Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge, accused of presiding over decades of brutality and torture, has died

Jon Burge, the disgraced Chicago police commander and felon whose sordid legacy of torture and other misconduct exacted an agonizing price from the city, has died in Florida at age 70, according to police union officials and a Florida funeral home.

Details about his death were scarce as the union and family members declined to speak with members of the news media, which spent years reporting on the numerous cases in which Burge was accused of torturing suspects in order to obtain confessions.

Jon Burge

Representatives of Zipperer Funeral Home in Ruskin, Fla., confirmed receiving Burge’s body but declined to share any further information, citing the family’s wishes. Burge, who had previously been treated for cancer, lived in nearby Apollo Beach.

“They (family members) let us know they’re not doing anything in any newspapers,’’ said Sarah Zipperer.

Stories of the violence committed under Burge — including beatings, electric shock, suffocation with typewriter covers and games of Russian roulette — proved to have a long reach. Although most of Burge’s alleged misconduct took place in the 1970s and ’80s, his accusers played a fundamental role in former Gov. George Ryan’s decision to vacate Illinois’ death row in 2000 and declare a moratorium on capital punishment in the state.

Lawsuits from Burge’s victims, meanwhile, have cost taxpayers many millions in settlements and judgments, much of it paid out of city coffers in the past decade.  Read More

 

Marketing Tactics That You Should Start Doing Today

Marketing Tactics That You Should Start Doing Today

Business and marketing are two colors in the same Rubik’s cube that is entrepreneurship. You may create the best-in-class products or services, but it won’t make much of a difference if you don’t have a good marketing strategy in place, to ensure your customers know what you do. To continue, marketing isn’t just limited to spreading awareness about your product or service. It is a tool that is meant to set you apart and well above the competition. It is a tool that makes you as a brand, much more relatable to your consumers, so they remember exactly why they buy from you. As an entrepreneur, you should consider the following marketing strategies, if you haven’t implemented them already.

  • Personal Branding: This is as simple as getting your story out there, visible to the right audience. Social Media and blogs just happen to be the most unbiased of all mass communication platforms. Just like companies use websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote their brand, LinkedIn can be the perfect choice for you to express yourself professionally. LinkedIn is a business focused social media website and is used by many influential people across the world. With a fully optimized profile, and proper connections you will have a popular profile within a short period of time. The reason for doing this is synonymous to your success agenda since wealth and fame go hand in hand.  Read More

Google Introduces New Search Engine for Finding Datasets

Google Introduces New Search Engine for Finding Datasets

Google has launched a new type of search engine designed specifically around helping people find data.

Simply called “Dataset Search,” the tool provides easier access to millions of datasets across thousands of data repositories on the web.

Anyone can use Dataset Search, which is still in beta, but Google emphasizes the benefits it has for journalists and data scientists.

“In today’s world, scientists in many disciplines and a growing number of journalists live and breathe data… To enable easy access to this data, we launched Dataset Search, so that scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else can find the data required for their work and their stories, or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.”

Dataset Search surfaces results from publishers’ sites, digital libraries, and authors’ personal web pages.

Google’s new search engine is largely dependent on the schema markup for dataset providers that was rolled out in July.  Read More

USING BITCOIN

Why Use Bitcoin?

There are numerous advantages of using bitcoin over traditional fiat currency. Here is a quick primer as to the benefits of using bitcoin to transact for goods and services.

People can use Bitcoin to make payments to other peoples or businesses. It’s simple to use and very secure, the low transaction fees, and you can spent it directly from a computer, tablet or smartphone  – ideal for transactions with online businesses such as online casinos.

Cost & Time Of Transaction

One of the most widely cited benefits of using bitcoins is the cost associated with doing so. Generally, the standard fee for bitcoin transfer is 0.0005 BTC. At current exchange rates, this amounts to about $0.2. The average fees associated with a wire transfer globally or a little over $40 (with the sender paying approximately $26 and the receiver paying approximately $15). Similarly, credit cards will generally charge a minimum of 3 to 5% of the balance transfer amount, which will always amount to being more expensive than the bitcoin transfer.

In addition, if you want to send money via wire transfer to an international receiver it will generally take anywhere between a couple of days and one week. Credit card payments can take anywhere up to 3 days to clear. Bitcoin transactions, on the other hand, will generally take about 10 minutes to receive confirmation.

You Own & Maintain Your Own Account

As things stand, you are required to trust retail banks or building societies to hold your cash on your behalf. As numerous financial crises have revealed, the trust we hold in these institutions is often far from wanted. With bitcoin, you can hold your money in an online or off-line bitcoin wallet (something that we will cover in another educational article) and manage it as you wish. There are no interest charges or overdraft payments, and no government or company can dip into your bitcoin wallet.

You Can Transact Anonymously

Currently, if you want to buy something online you have to release a plethora of personal information to do so. Address details, date of birth, full name, email address and credit or debit card details are just some of the minimum requirements for online transactions, and divulgence of this information can lead to things like credit card fraud or identity theft. When you transact in bitcoin, all you need reveal is your public bitcoin wallet address. This is a long stream of numbers and digits from which it is impossible to determine your identity. Obviously, this has led to small numbers of individuals using bitcoin to undertake criminal transactions, and this has generated a lot of media attention, but as things stand the vast majority of bitcoin transactions are perfectly legal. So there you have it. Just some of the benefits of using bitcoin to transact on and off-line.  Read More

4 tips on making the most money selling your home

FBN's Ashley Webster breaks down the existing home sales data for July.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you need to be smart about it. Recent data from Zillow indicates that while the housing market has favored sellers over the past two years, there are early signs that the market may be shifting. Zillow says it’s too soon to call it a buyer’s market, but an increased share of listings are experiencing price cuts. Kalena Masching, senior agent at Redfin says there are four things homeowners should do to get the best offers when selling their home.

Timing is everything

When you decide to list your home is very important. Not only should you take into account the day of the week, but also the season. According to Redfin data, listing on a Wednesday or a Thursday will get you the best price and sell your home the fastest. Masching says on those days, most buyers are prepping their weekend plans around open house schedules. Make your home one of the first listings buyers decide to see. If you list on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, your home’s online listing will be further down on the first search page or on the second page; which buyers may not flip to.

Masching says you should also discuss with your agent the best time of year to sell in your area. She notes that every market has a different hot season where demand is higher based on moving patterns and other factors. The best time to sell may even vary within a metro area.  Read More

‘Massive Victory for the Whole Internet’ as California Passes Nation’s Strongest Net Neutrality Bill

“AT&T and Comcast spent enormous amounts of money lobbying to kill SB 822. They almost succeeded more than once, but we fought back.”

In a major victory for the open internet that could have ripple effects throughout the United States, the California Senate on Friday thwarted aggressive lobbying by the telecom industry and passed the strongest, most comprehensive net neutrality bill in the nation.

“The passage of SB 822 in California has huge implications for our fight to restore neutrality nationwide,” declared the advocacy group Fight for the Future (FFTF) following Friday’s vote. “We also need to harness the momentum from this huge victory to put pressure on our elected officials in Congress.”

“Finally,” FFTF added, “y’all should be really proud of yourselves. Giant telcos like AT&T and Comcast spent enormous amounts of money lobbying to kill SB 822. They almost succeeded more than once, but we fought back. We drove phone calls, tweets, crowdfunded billboards, attended meetings.”

Having cleared both houses of California’s legislature, SB 822 will now head to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for a signature.

Brown, who has 30 days to sign the measure, is already facing pressure from the telecom industry to veto the bill, so open internet advocates are warning Californians to remain vigilant and keep up the pressure.  Read More

 

 

3 Social Security Mistakes That Could Cost You a Fortune

Social Security will probably be a pretty big source of income for your retirement — at least if you’re like most Americans. However, while Social Security provides benefits to millions of seniors, many of the people who claim those benefits don’t really understand how the program works.

If you’re soon to become a Social Security recipient, it’s imperative you understand a few things about how your benefits are determined so you can avoid costly errors that could leave you with a permanently reduced income during your golden years.

In particular, there are three mistakes you absolutely don’t want to make.

Money and Social Security card

1. Claiming benefits before you understand how they work

According to a survey conducted by Nationwide, 91% of older adults have no idea what factors impact the Social Security benefits they’ll receive after retirement. If you don’t know the factors affecting your income, you could make bad decisions about when to claim benefits.  Read More

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