Wednesday, July 28

Month: September 2014

Investigation: Honda Kept Deadly Airbag Flaw Quiet for Years
Business

Investigation: Honda Kept Deadly Airbag Flaw Quiet for Years

An in-depth New York Times investigation published last week has revealed that despite on-and-off recalls issued by Honda regarding Takata airbags, the company only reported a deadly flaw years after it first learned of it. The first incident relevant to the recalls happened in 2004, when an Alabama driver in a 2004 Accord was injured by an exploding airbag that shot out metal fragments. Honda and the air bag’s manufacturer, Takata, simply labeled the accident as an “anomaly.” The company neither issued a recall nor notified federal safety regulators. But in the past decade, 11 car companies supplied by Takata have recalled more than 14 million cars over the risk of ruptured air bags. (For scale, that’s approximately five times as many cars as General Motors has recalled due to its high...
Teen Compromises on Laser-Filled Cat Yearbook Photo
Local

Teen Compromises on Laser-Filled Cat Yearbook Photo

After collecting about 7,330 petitions online -- nearly 15 times as many as he'd hoped for -- high school senior Draven Rodriguez has compromised with Schenectady High School. Instead of using the portrait he hoped to as his yearbook photo, which featured him and his cat Mr. Bigglesworth looking dreamily up into the distance with lasers and transparent profiles in the background, he'll have a more conventional one, but will pose for another photo with his cat, his principal, and her Chihuahua, which will get to go into the yearbook. "We reached a compromise that everybody's happy about," principal Diane Wilkinson said. The new photo will be placed on the principal's yearbook page, along with a message that advocates animal rescue and adoption. It will also feature the same lasers and tra...
Print is Far from Dead According to New Magazine from People of Print
Business

Print is Far from Dead According to New Magazine from People of Print

The age of printed media may be struggling, as evidenced by the recent shutdown of Venezuela's oldest newspaper and the closure of the Los Angeles Register after only five months. But according to a new magazine funded by Kickstarter, print is far from over. PRINT ISN'T DEAD Magazine is a colorful new quarterly publication that features innovative printed designs from all over the world. The project was funded successfully through Kickstarter, surpassing its £4,520 goal with a total of £6,834. Surprisingly, the magazine was born online. Less surprisingly, the website that publishes the magazine is People of Print, a UK-based site founded by Marcroy Smith to honor the most extraordinary works of printed media across the globe. Given the content, a print magazine is the logical extension o...
Increasing Number of Civil Defendants Without Lawyers Causing Problems for Connecticut’s Court System
Local

Increasing Number of Civil Defendants Without Lawyers Causing Problems for Connecticut’s Court System

In family law courts, it is not completely unusual to see men and women choosing to represent themselves instead of hiring an attorney. In amicable, uncontested divorces, there may simply not be a need: some former spouses are able to shoulder the emotional weight of the process and negotiate agreements regarding their finances, children, and property. However, others go through the process alone because they are unable to afford legal representation. And with the still-improving economy, some courts are reporting that this is increasing: Connecticut state courts especially say that more defendants are choosing to defend themselves instead of hiring a divorce lawyer. In a lecture she delivered at the University of Hartford in April, Connecticut State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase T. R...
Companies Ease Restrictions on Workplace Dress Code
Business

Companies Ease Restrictions on Workplace Dress Code

Approximately 97% of the public believes uniforms make your employees easier to recognize. Companies throughout the United States are relaxing their dress codes in an effort to adjust to the changing styles of today's workforce. While it was once unacceptable for workers to have visible tattoos, piercings or brightly colored, dyed hair in a corporate setting, such styles are now becoming much more acceptable in the workplace. As big businesses recognize that employees today dress and accessorize differently than they did even 10 years ago, they are focusing more on ensuring that employees are comfortable in their work environment, rather than enforcing tight restrictions on what employees can and cannot wear. Among the major companies changing their policies is Starbucks. After an emplo...
Survey Finds Video Marketing Outperforms Other Online Advertising Strategies
Business

Survey Finds Video Marketing Outperforms Other Online Advertising Strategies

In news that further proves the sheer impact that video marketing is having on the web, a recent survey of marketing professionals found that video advertising's conversion rates often outperform those of other marketing tactics. According to MarketingLand.com, the recently-released report from video marketing and analytics platform Vidyard also found that 71% of marketing professionals reported that the conversion performance of online video content is either "somewhat better" or "much better" than other online advertising content. In addition, 69% of the marketers surveyed said they plan to increase their budgets for video marketing content in the future, MarketingLand.com reported -- certainly no small statistic. “Its the accessibility of video content -- via tablets smartphone lapto...
Toxic Mold Infestation Pushes Michigan Township to Reclaim Abandoned Home
Local

Toxic Mold Infestation Pushes Michigan Township to Reclaim Abandoned Home

Officials in Michigan's Ypsilanti Township are mulling over plans to reclaim an abandoned home that poses a health risk to neighboring homeowners. According to a report from MLive, a home thought to have been abandoned by its previous owners following foreclosure has had a water leak coursing throughout the home for at least two months. Subsequently, an estimated 88,000 gallons of water is thought to have saturated the home, although the majority has since leaked out through the basement.While this may seem like an issue for the lending institution that foreclosed on the property, the resultant mold infestation in the home poses a public health risk. Mike Radzik, director of Ypsilanti's Office of Community Standards, describes the infestation as "advanced and severe." The Home May Be Ab...
What’s Your Type? Staples Surveys Small Business Owners About Ink and Toner Practices
Business

What’s Your Type? Staples Surveys Small Business Owners About Ink and Toner Practices

Organizing ink and toner supplies is stressing small business owners out, according to a recent survey conducted by Staples. The office supply company's Ink and Toner "Know Your Type" survey revealed that a third of small business owners who consider printing important to their business have stress levels that are "high" or "very high." Business owners who spent the most time managing their ink and toner supplies were often the most stressed, according to the survey. This seems to be related to the types of people who run small businesses. Over 70% of small business owners described themselves as "hands-on doers" in the workplace, preferring to take care of issues themselves rather than delegating responsibilities to others and waiting for them to take action. "Small business owners ten...
Mali’s Artisanal Gold Mining Industry to Receive Boost in Financing
World

Mali’s Artisanal Gold Mining Industry to Receive Boost in Financing

Mali is making changes to its artisanal mining practices, boosting funding for the independent miners, and policing the sector that produces about a third of the country's gold exports. At a mining reform meeting on Thursday, Abdoulaye Pona, president of Mali's chamber of mines, and mine minister, Boubou Cisse, said the government was negotiating with banks to give miners easier access to financing for equipment, and that newly formed cooperatives would be supervised and revenues distributed equitably. Artisanal miners are also known as subsistence miners, as they are not affiliated with a mining company, but rather work independently, mining or panning for gold. More than 100 million people, primarily in developing countries, rely on this sector for income. Unfortunately, monitoring an...
Home Improvement Company Porch Acquires ValueAppeal
Business

Home Improvement Company Porch Acquires ValueAppeal

Home improvement startup Porch has acquired ValueAppeal, according to insider information. ValueAppeal, a Seattle startup, sent its customers a message inviting them to join Porch, and several important members of the ValueAppeal team now list Porch as their employer. As of Tuesday, former ValueAppeal CEO Charlie Walsh’s job title had been changed to senior director of data products at Porch. Company Profiles ValueAppeal was founded as a service allowing homeowners to file appeals regarding their property taxes online. Last fall, however, it ended that service in favor of developing a big data-based predictive analysis service for real estate professionals. The change in services also precipitated doing business under the new name of MostLikely. Porch, a fast-growing company whose em...