Wednesday, May 12

Month: August 2014

U.S. Housing Industry Sees Rebound This July; Economics Cautiously Optimistic
Business

U.S. Housing Industry Sees Rebound This July; Economics Cautiously Optimistic

Developers, rejoice -- the U.S. home construction industry is experiencing a positive rebound. The data for July has just come in, and the government is reporting that the month saw an eight-month high. Construction increased 16%, equating to a little over one million homes, when adjusted for seasonal inflation. Experts had predicted a less dramatic upswing for July. The better than expected performance can be a good indicator that the economy as a whole is rebounding, and that the housing construction industry itself is experiencing more long-term gains. Economists always hope to find that the housing market is growing stronger, because new-home construction has a positive impact on the national economy. Building spurs demand for raw goods and creates jobs, while new home buyers help o...
Creator of the Pop-Up Ad Issues Apology
Business

Creator of the Pop-Up Ad Issues Apology

If you hate pop-up ads with a burning passion, you're far from alone. In fact, Ethan Zuckerman, the man who created the pop-up ad while working for hosting site Tripod.com in the mid-1990s, hates them just as much as everyone else. And in a recent article he wrote for The Atlantic, he blatantly apologizes for creating this internet nightmare at all. According to Zuckerman, Tripod.com struggled for a while as it tried to create marketed content in a way that would reach consumers and result in a share of the revenue. Companies began complaining that their banner ads, which are placed directly on a webpage, could make it seem as though the company supported that particular page's content. After years of experimenting with different platforms, Tripod.com eventually settled on a model where...
U.S. Banks are Still Holding a Tight Grip on Small Business Loans
Business

U.S. Banks are Still Holding a Tight Grip on Small Business Loans

Although the economy has been steadily improving over the past few years, the small business lending industry has been slow to catch-up -- and many small business owners are feeling the lag. In Carrollton, Georgia, Brandi Shirey is hoping to expand her cake shop business, which she started up four years ago. Since then, the demand has grown to a point where the shop can't keep up. She hopes to borrow $20,000 in order to move to a new, larger storefront. Shirey, though, knows that even with her store's positive financial history, she'll need a bulletbroof credit record and paperwork in order to receive a bank loan. Things "aren't what they used to be," said Shirey in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Although banks have been loosening their grip on tight restrictions year by ...
World

Father’s Rights Activists Stage Four Day Protest In Order To Raise Awareness

In London's famous Hyde Park, several fathers' rights activists camped on the roof of a building at the main entrance of the park for several days last week. The protesters were subsequently arrested when they descended. Police were alerted early last week when five men and one woman climbed the Apsley Gate entrance to central London’s largest park. Of the total six protesters, two men and one woman are British, while the two other men are French and the sixth man is an American who has lived in France for decades, according to reports. The protesters are apart of a group called Human Worth, and were acting in support of New Fathers 4 Justice, which campaigns and raises awareness for greater fathers rights following couples divorcing or separating. “New Fathers 4 Justice want nothing...
Researchers Find Crucial Information About the Relationship of Psoriasis and Skin Discoloration
Lifestyle

Researchers Find Crucial Information About the Relationship of Psoriasis and Skin Discoloration

Anyone who's experienced psoriasis, acne or eczema probably has experience with the lingering redness or discoloration left in the wake of major breakouts. Fortunately researchers at Milstein Medical Research Program at The Rockefeller University have finally discovered the source of the correlation between pigment changes and psoriasis, which is good news for sufferers of acne and eczema as well. Their research revealed that immune system molecules called cytokines are closely related to several inflammatory skin conditions. Essentially, they signal passing immune cells when there's an infection so they can fight it off. Two specific cytokines known as interleukin-17 and tumor necrosis factor contain an excess of psoriasis, which forces the immune system to attack it's own skin cell...
Apple Attempts To Break Into Healthcare Industry With Healthkit App
Business

Apple Attempts To Break Into Healthcare Industry With Healthkit App

A few of the world's leading healthcare providers, including Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins, are reported to be in talks with Apple regarding the use of the tech giant's new Healthkit mobile application. According to reports, Healthkit would be used to collect and store healthcare data and information at their facilities. The talks are in the very early stages and may not even amount to anything substantial, yet they highlight Apple's determination to break into the booming health tech industry by creating this app. Healthkit may just be become the go-to app for consolidating important patient health data and vitals, such as blood pressure, pulse, and weight, making it easier for consumers and healthcare providers to view. Apple's Health app is schedule to debut...
State Farm’s Auto Repair Practices Under Attack from Attorney General Lawsuit
Business

State Farm’s Auto Repair Practices Under Attack from Attorney General Lawsuit

On Tuesday, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit: He's accusing major auto-insurance provider State Farm of forcing car repair shops to install unsafe replacement parts, endangering drivers across America.The lawsuit was filed in Baton Rouge's 19th Judicial district and is currently being reviewed by State Farm. In a press conference, Caldwell said, "State Farm has created a culture of unsafe business practices in which consumer vehicle repairs are performed with cost savings as the primary goal, rather than safety and reliability."Caldwell is focusing specifically on the use of after-market and junkyard parts for car repairs. These parts are cheaper to buy and install, but they may also be damaged or ill-fitting. Cheap parts often lack su...
Researchers Use Ground-Penetrating Radar to Understand Holes in Mount Baldy Dune
Local

Researchers Use Ground-Penetrating Radar to Understand Holes in Mount Baldy Dune

Illinois researchers are still searching for the reason for the many sudden holes forming in the dunes at Mount Baldy. The area of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was shut down for public visitation on when six-year-old Nathan Woessner was swallowed by a large hole in the dune. Though he recovered from the accident, he was buried in 11 feet of sand for 3½ hours before rescuers were able to get him out. The incident sparked an ongoing research effort to discover the reason that holes are suddenly forming in the 126-foot-tall dune. Three of the effort's primary researchers met in the cordoned-off area on Thursday to discuss recent findings. A new wave of research that began Monday includes geological probes and ground-penetrating radar to build on radar data that the Environmen...
California Legislators to Consider Changes to Franchising Law
Business

California Legislators to Consider Changes to Franchising Law

California's State Assembly is currently considering passing a bill that would make dramatic alterations to the state's franchising law.According to an August 12 MSNBC article, Senate Bill 610 (SB 610) would make it much more difficult for franchising corporationsto end licensing agreements with their franchisees.The bill has already been approved in the California State Senate, MSNBC reports, and the State Assembly now has to determine whether or not the state's current franchising law is able to competently protect franchisees from the "arbitrary whims" of large corporations like McDonald's. Another clause of SB 610 would make it so franchise licensing agreements won't be able to prevent franchisees from being a part of franchisee associations or selling the franchises if they chose, ...
Thief Discovered Within an Hour Thanks to CCTV Image Posted to Facebook
World

Thief Discovered Within an Hour Thanks to CCTV Image Posted to Facebook

In Southwales, a thief was tracked down thanks to a CCTV image of his face, which was posted to Facebook.On July 14, at around 10am, Karen Jones was working with the accounts and wages of Celtic Lodge. Jones had withdrawn £2,100 ($3,490) from her bank in order to settle the accounts. The money was in her handbag in one part of the lodge. Jones ate breakfast in another section. During this time, a thief broke in and stole all her cash -- a crime that Jones didn't notice until several hours later, when she left to go shopping.After realizing she had been robbed, Jones checked the lodge's CCTV. There, she was able to watch as the thief entered the property at around 10:45am, went through her bag, and took the money. Jones posted the image to Facebook, where it quickly circulated throughout th...