Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2016

The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events - like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures - are already happening. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.

EPA partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change.'

This report presents 37 indicators, each describing trends related to the causes and effects of climate change. It focuses primarily on the United States, but in some cases, global trends are presented to provide context or a basis for comparison. The online version is updated periodically as new data become available.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Amazon Bans Most Users From Writing Reviews In Exchange For Free, Discounted Items

From The Consumerist

While Amazon has long looked down on reviews that were written in exchange for free or deeply discounted items, these write-ups were allowed so long as they followed the rules: The review must be honest, and the compensation must be fully disclosed. But... a number of compensated reviewers were gaming the system — posting hundreds of reviews a month, almost universally positive, and for products they sometimes couldn’t possibly have used. Now Amazon has announced a nearly full ban on compensated reviews.

There are a number of sites and social media groups that promote these free and discounted items, with the condition that the person receiving the product write an Amazon review within a given timeframe.

Yesterday, Chee Chew, Amazon’s VP of Customer Experience, explained the reason the company had previously tolerated these incentivized reviews is that they were seen as a way for little-known products to build up a base of customer feedback.

However... some reviewers were leaving very questionable reviews. For example, we found multiple reviews for a phone case for a Lumia 650 — all of them positive and many of them referencing how well the case fit onto their device. Problem was, that phone had not yet been released.

See also the story from GeekWire

Friday, September 30, 2016

It’s Time to Cancel Your Forgotten Internet Accounts

From the Wall Street Journal:

Yahoo Inc.’s revelation of a massive 2014 security breach might have reminded you of an old account or two you haven’t logged into for years.

No good comes from leaving details of your identity—alternate email addresses, date of birth and, yes, passwords—floating around the backwaters of the internet. Hackers who find their way into one account, dormant or still in use, can exploit details such as PINs or security-question answers to get into other accounts. That’s right, your old AOL Instant Messenger account could compromise your Facebook account.

It’s best to reduce your overall exposure. Think of it as a pruning exercise.

Before you start shuttering accounts, consider a few things. You might lose access to services you never knew were related. Your Yahoo account, for example, gets you into the popular photo site Flickr. Your Hotmail email address could be your login for Xbox Live, Office 365 or Skype.

Respect the finality of your decision—when you’re out, you’re out. But canceling isn’t always easy.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Corporate Crime Database

[As shared on the BUSLIB business librarian listserv]
Since the beginning of 2010, drug manufacturers, hospital systems, insurers and other healthcare companies have paid nearly $7 billion in fines and settlements to resolve cases in which they were accused of defrauding the federal government. Banks, led by Wells Fargo, account for the second largest portion of False Claims Act penalties, with more than $3 billion in payments. More than one-third of the 100 largest federal contractors have been defendants in such cases during the seven-year period.

These are some of the key findings that emerge from an expansion of Violation Tracker, a database of corporate crime and misconduct produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. It is available to the public for free at

With the addition of more than 750 cases relating to the 150-year-old False Claims Act and similar laws, Violation Tracker now contains a total of 112,000 entries from 30 federal regulatory agencies and all divisions of the Justice Department.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

HP printers stop accepting third party ink en masse

From BoingBoing

On September 13, owners of HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X began contacting third-party ink vendors by the thousand, reporting that their HP printers no longer accepted third-party ink.

The last HP printer firmware update was pushed in March 2016, and it appears that with that update (or possibly an earlier one), HP had set a time-bomb ticking in its customers' printers counting down to the date when they'd begin refusing to follow their owners' orders.

HP says that the March update's purpose was "to protect HP's innovations and intellectual property."

See also HP printers start rejecting budget ink cartridges

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles Recall

The Kellogg Company is voluntarily recalling its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles after routine tests by the company found potential contamination for Listeria. At this time, Kellogg is recalling 10,000 cases of the product distributed in 25 states (CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, VT, WI, WY). 
Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in various age groupsLearn more about the product recall, and package UPC Code. Consumers can discard the product and contact the company for a full refund by email or by calling 1-800-962-1413.
Learn more about food safety and recalls by visting us at

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Unmarried and Single Americans Week: Sept. 18-24, 2016

Unmarried Singles Week
The Buckeye Singles Council started “National Singles Week” in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 18-24 in 2016) as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed or divorced, unless otherwise noted.
Single Life
109 million
The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table
The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women in 2015; 47 percent were men. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table
The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2015 who had never been married. Another 24 percent were divorced and 13 percent were widowed. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
19 million
The number of unmarried U.S. residents 65 and older in 2015. These seniors made up 18 percent of all unmarried people 18 and older. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table
59 million
The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table H1
35 million
The number of people who lived alone in 2015. They comprised 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table H-1, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 1960 to Present, Table HH-4