Thursday, October 30, 2014
With selfies and listicles, U.S. politicians go vote-hunting on social media
Alina Selyukh ― REUTERS

From viral videos to selfies, listicles and “throwback Thursday” photos, candidates in the Nov. 4 midterm elections are leaving no social media stone unturned.

Where a 2010 gubernatorial or congressional campaign could proudly claim an active presence on Twitter as something almost fashion-forward, in 2014 a multifaceted digital strategy is seen as a prerequisite, even if little research exists to show how much online politicking translates into votes.

Virtually all candidates are on Twitter and Facebook. Some have Instagram accounts brimming with snapshots from the trail. Most raise money by email and many buy online ads.

Sammy 07:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
France investigates mystery drone activity over nuclear plants
REUTERS

France has launched an investigation into unidentified drones that have been spotted over nuclear plants operated by state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA), its interior minister said on Thursday.

Seven nuclear plants across the country were flown over by drones between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20, an EDF spokeswoman said, without any impact on the plants’ safety or functioning.

“There’s a judicial investigation under way, measures are being taken to know what these drones are and neutralize them,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told France Info radio on Thursday, without specifying the measures.

Sammy 07:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maine nurse fights Ebola quarantine, says will not be bullied
Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton ― REUTERS

Saying she will not be bullied by politicians, a Maine nurse is giving the state an ultimatum: Lift her Ebola quarantine by Thursday or she will disregard the restrictions and go to court.

The saga of nurse Kaci Hickox illustrates how U.S. states are struggling to protect against the virus without resorting to overzealous and useless precautions or violating civil rights.

Hickox, 33, tested negative for Ebola after returning from treating patients in West Africa. She previously blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after she was taken from Newark’s airport and put in quarantine in a tent before being driven to Maine to spend the rest of her 21-day quarantine at her home.

Sammy 07:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
SoftBank’s humanoid robot lands job as Nescafe salesman
Chang-Ran Kim ― REUTERS

Nestle SA will enlist a thousand humanoid robots to help sell its coffee makers at electronics stores across Japan, becoming the first corporate customer for the chatty, bug-eyed androids unveiled in June by tech conglomerate SoftBank Corp.

Nestle has maintained healthy growth in Japan while many of its big markets are slowing, crediting a tradition of trying out off-beat marketing tactics in what is a small but profitable territory for the world’s biggest food group.

The waist-high robot, developed by a French company and manufactured in Taiwan, was touted by Japan’s SoftBank as capable of learning and expressing human emotions, and of serving as a companion or guide in a country that faces chronic labor shortages.

Sammy 07:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Investigators look beyond enterovirus as cause of paralysis in 51 kids
Electa Draper ― The Denver Post

Investigators have broadened their search for the cause of polio-like paralysis that has stricken 51 children across the country — including 11 in Colorado.

The lead suspect, enterovirus D68, and other viral illnesses sent thousands of Colorado children to hospitals and clinics with serious respiratory problems. That outbreak is subsiding, officials said, but questions remain.

In a cluster of Colorado cases, children developed spinal-cord lesions and partial paralysis following bouts of EV-D68-like illness, said Mark Pallansch, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Diseases.

Sammy 06:57 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
What does future hold for Atlas V rocket?
James Dean ― USA TODAY

Since first taking flight 12 years ago, Atlas V rockets have sent NASA spacecraft soaring throughout the solar system and lofted nearly 30 military missions supporting communications, weather forecasting, missile warnings, surveillance and research.

The United Launch Alliance rocket could be the next to boost astronauts from the Space Coast within a few years.

Sammy 06:55 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Some doctors wary of taking insurance exchange patients
Jayne O'Donnell ― USA TODAY

Now that many people finally have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, some are running into a new problem: They can’t find a doctor who will take them as patients.

Because these exchange plans often have lower reimbursement rates, some doctors are limiting how many new patients they take with these policies, physician groups and other experts say.

“The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,” says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business very long.”

Sammy 06:51 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Experts: Major cyberattack will hit in next 11 years
Elizabeth Weise ― USA TODAY

Almost two-third of technology experts expect a “major” cyber attack somewhere in the world that will cause significant loss of life or property losses in the tens of billions of dollars by 2025.

A survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center found that many of analysts expect disruption of online systems like banking, energy and health care to become a pillar of warfare and terrorism.
[...]
As critical infrastructure moves online, cyber attacks could take out financial systems, the power grid and health systems, wreaking as much damage as bombs, the experts said.

Sammy 06:49 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
For-profit colleges face ‘gainful employment’ rule
KIMBERLY HEFLING ― WTOP

For-profit colleges that don’t produce graduates capable of paying off their student loans could soon face the wrath of the federal government.

Schools with career-oriented programs that fail to comply with the new rule being announced Thursday by the Obama administration stand to lose access to federal student-aid programs.

To meet these “gainful employment” standards, a program will have to show that the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate does not exceed 20 percent of his or her discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings.

Sammy 06:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Survey: Shrimp in US rife with murky labeling
CAIN BURDEAU ― WTOP

Consumers around the nation can’t be sure what kind of shrimp they’re buying if they simply look at the label or menu at supermarkets, grocers and restaurants, an advocacy group says.

Oceana did a DNA-based survey of shrimp sold at outlets in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and various spots around the Gulf of Mexico.

The group said it found about 30 percent of 143 shrimp products bought from 111 vendors were not what the label said. Cheap imported farm-raised shrimp is being sold as prized wild-caught Gulf shrimp, common shrimp sold as premium shrimp and shrimp of all kinds sold with no indication whatsoever about where they came from, the group said.

Sammy 06:44 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - October 30, 2014

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.

Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Charles County officers upset over proposed legislation
Joseph Norris ― TheBayNet.com

Just as the Charles County Sheriff’s Office was basking in the glow of a discussion earlier in the day about forming a collective bargaining agreement with county leaders, the Charles County Commissioners threw the officers a wicked curve ball Tuesday, Oct. 28 at their weekly meeting.

The commissioners were set to vote on proposed legislation to remove the financial duties of the elected sheriff over his own officers, including rank advancements and step pay increases, and place it under the county purview. The measure was tabled for 10 days to allow for comment prior to taking a vote.
[...]
As the commissioners were preparing to vote on the issue, the question arose as to whether the comment period should be left open for 30 days, which started a flurry of activity resulting in the board recessing for a closed session, then re-emerging with Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly asking if commissioners wanted to hold the record open for 10 days since the board has a limited number of days to meet before the new board takes the oath of office.

Sammy 02:07 PM | (8) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
CSM and BOE Joint Meeting Notes, 10/27/14


Ready, Willing and Abell

Sammy 02:05 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Zombies to Join CCSO for Special Olympics Maryland Fundraiser This Sunday
Southern Maryland News Net

The walking—and running!—dead are returning to La Plata for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office’s (CCSO) second annual Zombie Invasion 5K fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland. The CCSO, Charles County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 24 (FOP), and Charles County Correctional Officers Association (CCCOA) will host the 5K on Sun., Nov. 2, at Laurel Springs Regional Park located at 5940 Radio Station Road in La Plata.

The Zombie Invasion 5K is a fun, family-friendly event in which participants “transition” into zombies before either running or walking the 3.1-mile trail. The event is not to be confused with a zombie chase in which participants run from zombies. Last year, more than 600 zombie adults and children raised more than $20,000 for Special Olympics Maryland by participating in the event.

Sammy 02:03 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Thomas Stone’s It’s Academic regional match airing Nov. 8

Thomas Stone High School’s It’s Academic team competed in a regional match against Einstein and Loudon County high schools that will on Saturday, Nov. 8 on WRC TV (NBC 4).

The three-member team consists of seniors Rainey Southworth, who is the team captain, and Matthew Trusnovic, and junior Lee Powell. Team coaches are Nancy Jeffrey, a foreign language teacher at Stone, and Sara Thompson, who teaches English at Stone. The team won second place in the Charles County competition in December 2013, which earned them a chance to compete in a televised match this school year.

Sammy 07:03 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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