Retired Congressman Impresses With Long History of Charitable Donations Nov26

Retired Congressman Impresses With Long History of Charitable Donations...

During retirement, most people like to engage in hobbies and pastimes, like gardening, doing crafts, bicycling, or baking. Almost three-quarters of retirees — 71%, in fact — like to read, while 53% pursue religious activities. Few seniors, however, have spent their retirements quite like ex-Congressman John LaFalce. Since retiring from his House seat in 2002, LaFalce has doled out about $106,375 from his campaign account to charities throughout the Buffalo, NY area, where his congressional district was located, according to a recent New York Timesprofile. It’s not uncommon for government officials to donate to charity with funds from their campaign accounts — it makes them visible within the communities they represent, and helps support causes they believe in. But LaFalce’s history of donating stands out because of how long he has continued to give to charity — he’s been donating since he was first elected in 1974, the New York Times reports. LaFalce typically doles out donations, ranging from $100 to $1,000, to organizations like Niagara University, the Mothers Clubs of Tanzania and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Over the last 12 years, his donating pattern has been steady except for a brief lapse in 2010. “These are organizations whose work I appreciate or whose philosophy is similar to my philosophy,” LaFalce told the New York Times. So how will the many Democratic members of the House and Senate who lost their seats in this year’s midterm elections follow LaFalce’s charitable example? “Most continue to spend their leftover funds for a combination of political and nonpolitical purposes, as Mr. LaFalce does, but when it comes to charity many opt to make a small number of donations or a large one-time gift,” the New York Times article explains. Most former congress members simply don’t have...

Experts Predict Continued Steady Growth in China’s Forklift Market...

China currently boasts the world’s largest consumer market for forklifts — and next year, industry experts predict China’s forklift market will continue to see steady rate of growth. According to a WhaTech.com article, China’s forklift sales volume is expected to exceed 400,000 units by 2015, with exports nearing 150,000. In 2013, China’s total forklift sales volume was at around 329,000 units, meaning this year’s sales are a 21% increase over last year. Yet many of China’s warehouses still rely on forklifts that are powered by internal combustion engines. For a market as large as China, a more widespread move toward electric, emissions-free forklift batteries would be highly beneficial for its environment, which is one of the most polluted in the world. However, electric forklift batteries have some hazards, particularly for the personnel who handle them each day. With lead-acid and nickel-iron forklift batteries, leaks and spills of the hazardous chemicals within are so commonplace that most countries have laws in place requiring acid-resistant flooring in all battery rooms. It’s easy to imagine how much damage spilled battery acid can have on the people who handle them, as a result. According to Port Strategy, these hazardous batteries are even giving way to sustainably powered forklift batteries that generate their energy from solar power rather than from heavy metals and chemicals. These newly developed hydrogen fuel cells, created by UK company Briggs Equipment and Honda, are both emission-free and safe for personnel, promising an even brighter future for forklifts as the technology spreads. “The project has proved what can be achieved. The challenge is now to extend this as widely as possible,” Richard Close, CEO of Briggs Equipment, explained. “Gone are the big lead-acid batteries and their need for space, replacement and maintenance. Maintenance alone is around one-and-a-half times...

Dutch Cyber-Security Company Discovers Black Hat SEO Malware...

When it comes to digital advertising, businesses must be aware of potentially damaging practices and malicious entities who might damage their online reputation instead of helping it. Often, these deleterious methods and individuals will use something called “black hat” SEO, or search engine optimization techniques that aggressively use unapproved tactics to impact a website’s search engine ranking. But while black hat SEO is often nothing more than keyword stuffing or the use of invisible text, it occasionally emerges in more serious forms: for example, Dutch researchers recently reported that they had discovered a group of attackers who tricked websites into downloading components that gave the group remote control of the compromised site. In a detailed report, researchers at Fox-IT, a cyber-security firm in the Netherlands, describe how they discovered the malware, which they call CryptoPHP: while investigating a client’s website, their team found a compromised plug-in that appeared to be from an approved publisher, Joomla Service Provider. However, the researchers quickly realized that the plug-in had instead come from a third party website, called “nulledstylez.com.” The client had used the site to download pirated website themes and plug-ins, called “nulled” scripts, which can be used on WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. After some investigation, Fox-IT realized that every component on the site contained the same backdoor. Moreover, further research revealed that this wasn’t the only website that offered themes, plug-ins and extensions that secretly contained the malware: the website “dailynulled.com” and several others published similar content that was also backdoored with CryptoPHP. According to the researchers, CryptoPHP has the capacity to update itself, inject content into compromised sites, and perform several other functions. It carries several hardcoded domains that gives the user access to command-and-control communications, and also uses RSA encryption, which protects its communications...

Fitbit Device May Change Personal Injury Litigation Nov20

Fitbit Device May Change Personal Injury Litigation...

Devices have changed nearly every aspect of the way we live — the way we communicate, shop, gather information, and do business. Now, they may be changing the way personal injury lawsuits are resolved. According to Engadget, a personal injury case in Canada will use data taken from a Fitbit device, which tracks physical activity. The young woman who was injured will wear the device, which is a band worn around the wrist, for a few months to gather data that will be compared to that of people of similar age and occupation. Approximately 96% percent of personal injury lawsuits are settled before they even get to trial, but those plaintiffs who do go to court often have to prove the degree to which they were injured, and how that affects his or her ability to work at the time of the injury and in the future. Damages like pain and suffering, loss of ability to work, and cost of medical bills are usually included in a settlement. One of the difficulties of personal injury cases and the way they are resolved is that much of the compensatory damages are dependent on a doctor’s opinion, which is based on a short period of observation and could be swayed by bias. “Till now we’ve always had to rely on clinical interpretation,” Simon Muller of McLeod Law told Forbes. “Now we’re looking at longer periods of time though the course of a day, and we have hard data.” According to Forbes, the woman who was injured was a personal trainer, so her lawyers believe they will be able to argue that she was able to lead an active lifestyle. The evidence that the lawyers will present in court isn’t actually the data from the Fitbit itself,...

Medical Marijuana Patient Sues for Discrimination Against Employer That Refused to Hire Her Nov17

Medical Marijuana Patient Sues for Discrimination Against Employer That Refused to Hire Her...

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Rhode Island recently filed a lawsuit against a textile company for discrimination on behalf of a graduate student the company refused to hire for a two-month internship. According to ABC News, Christine Callaghan, a textiles student at the University of Rhode Island, uses medical marijuana to treat her “frequent and debilitating” migraines — which is why Westerly-based Darlington Fabrics Corp. refused to hire her. The ACLU said in a statement that this is the first lawsuit of its kind in Rhode Island’s history, meaning it could set an important precedent regarding medical marijuana and job recruiting throughout the state. Timothy Cavazza, a lawyer representing Darlington Fabrics and its parent, the Moore Company, told ABC News that the company hadn’t yet been served with the lawsuit, but feels confident his client’s decision not to hire Callaghan is compliant with both state and federal law. If Callaghan’s lawsuit is dismissed by the court and employers are subsequently allowed to discriminate against medical marijuana patients, it sets up a dangerous precedent — as people who use medical marijuana overwhelmingly do so for its health benefits. In addition to treating migraines like Callaghan’s, THC and CBD, the cannabinoids found in marijuana, are used by cancer patients to help alleviate the side affects of chemotherapy. Marijuana has also been shown to reduce pain, muscle spasms and even the severity of Tourette syndrome. “People with disabilities simply cannot be denied equal employment opportunities on the basis of the type of medication required to treat their particular condition,” she said. In Rhode Island, marijuana has been legal to use for medical purposes since 2006. Patients are required to get a doctor’s approval and a state-issued medical marijuana card to use it legally — and Callaghan got...