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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

 

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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

Apple reports its first self-driving car crash

 

Apple has been keeping most of its self-driving car plans and progress under wraps, but every once in a while, we get a small peek at what the tech giant has been doing. It has revealed in a DMV filing, for instance, that one of its autonomous vehicles was recently involved in a crash in the Bay Area — and it was caused by human error. According to the document, an Apple test vehicle driving in autonomous mode on August 24th (2:58PM) was rear-ended by a 2016 Nissan Leaf. It happened while the test vehicle was waiting for a safe gap to merge onto the notoriously congested Lawrence Expressway. Apple’s car was driving at less than 1 mph, while the Nissan Leaf was moving at around 15 mph.  Read More

 

4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Have to Deliver Bad News

There will always be tough things that need to be shared with your staff. If you stay away from these common communication errors, even bad news will be easier to accept.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Have to Deliver Bad News

One of the most important jobs of leaders is to tell people what’s going on, even when the news is bad. Leaders must be able to address everything from an individual performance issue to the denial of budget for new personnel or other resources, the loss of a client or project, even an existential threat to the business, such as a tariff or regulatory change.

The first time as a young manager that I fired someone, she had to ask me to be sure, “Are you firing me?” Since then, I’ve learned a lot about how to deliver bad news, and why any attempt to minimize the leader’s own discomfort usually leads to more confusion or damage than necessary. Here are four common mistakes that leaders may make if they haven’t had appropriate training or if they haven’t developed the confidence to lay out the situation clearly.  Read More

Why You Don’t Actually Need Money to Make Money

Why You Don't Actually Need Money to Make Money

“It takes money to make money.”

It’s a very frustrating phrase. Where am I supposed to get the money I need to make the money I need? Is there some sort of vault I am unaware of?

While I have incredible, hard-working, get-er-done parents, a trust fund or “gift to get me started” was impossible for us. I didn’t have any savings, and I didn’t have investors. I mean, you would have been out of your right mind to invest in my debt-laden company.

So, where was I supposed to get the money I needed to make the money I needed?

I chose credit cards.

Over ten years in business, working harder and harder, I went deeper and deeper into debt. I funded my marketing, business development and operations on plastic and overdraft protection.

I was totally broke … and there are a lot more fun ways to be totally broke than working all the time.

She was a colicky baby (meaning the cute little thing was a devil child who cried all the time). But, I discovered if I swaddled her tightly, put her in the pack-and-play and pushed it against the refrigerator, then the vibration would put her to sleep.

So, she’s finally sleeping and I start going through my mail. I find a letter from my bank saying they aren’t going to cover my overdraft any longer. The bank had been sold and from that point forward, whenever there wasn’t a deposit to cover a check I had written, it was going to bounce. Even if that meant payroll.

As my daughter slept peacefully, I started to cry.  Read More

Now I wasn’t just a failure for myself, I was a failure for her.

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