Monthly Archives: August 2017

Solar Eclipse Camping: There Are Still Spots In Unlikely Places

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Family camping trips are still one of the most popular vacation options for Americans, with the number of days spent camping totally an incredible 534.9 million days as of 2011. However, this summer there is a once-in-a-lifetime reason to head out camping, especially for those that have an interest in the stars and the sky.

The Great American Eclipse is coming soon, and most hotels and lodging along its path have been completely sold out for months. But while it might be impossible to find a cheap motel or hotel room along the path, there is still plenty of space to take advantage of.

Across the nation, from Oregon to South Carolina (the total path of the solar eclipse’s movement), there are hundreds of areas advertising spaces for tents and RV parking. Private ranches, farms, and vineyards are just a few places to name that are offering space, and some are so vast they’ll likely never sell out.

The fact is, there is still space to find during the event. Somewhere between 1.85 million and 7.4 million Americans plan to see the eclipse, and there is still space available for all of them.

But that doesn’t mean space for everything, and a lot of experts are predicting some troubles in areas on the path of the event. Interstates and major roadways may be flooded with individuals, and issues finding food or water or even a restroom could be a problem in many communities.

Some individuals, like Angela Speck, a researcher at the University of Missouri and a member of the American Astronomical Society’s Eclipse team, are reporting it could be quite crowded across the nation. Speck told Space.com that the event could, “resemble a zombie apocalypse.”

She went on to say that, “There will hopefully be less bloodshed, but zombies don’t need regular food, or sleep, or toilets.”

Which brings us back to the issue of the overcrowded cities and towns along the eclipse’s path, in which some city officials have warned residents to start getting their supplies now and avoid travel before and shortly after the event.

The Solar Eclipse is supposed to occur Monday, August 21, and it’s the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to occur in nearly 100 years.

Realtor Purchases Mansion For $900,000, Lists For $1.9 Million

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There are a lot of benefits to getting adhesive floor coatings for homes or businesses. They protect flooring from chemicals and other threats, something that makes them extremely popular for industrial uses. Which is why the market is expected to continue growing to a sizable $11.01 billion by 2022. These adhesives include items like epoxy floor coatings, a popular coating used in many industries, and a more niche product, polyaspartic, which has a much quicker coating time than the more popular epoxy.

According to a recent market report, the driving force for the market growth is the increasing demand for flooring adhesives by the industrial and residential sectors. Epoxy is, understandably, still holding the largest share of the market, but some polyurethane floorings are starting to catch up.

While these products are most commonly used in industrial settings, they’re also becoming more popular among property flippers.

And in recent years, home flipping has become more profitable than ever before.

Realtor Dave Kooistra, who has flipped and sold at least 10 properties in the last 15 years, recently purchased a mansion for $900,000 and then listed it for $1.9 million after doing a bit of work on the interior.

The mansion was built by a couple in the late 1990s and cost nearly $6 million when it was first constructed. The couple later passed away in the early part of the 2000s, and the home lingered on the market for several years as the asking price fell.

The mansion had only three bedrooms and a rather dated decor when Kooistra first purchased it.

“We hired six guys working full-time for eight days to remove the wallpaper,” says Kooistra.
In addition, boxes of angelic cherubs were removed from the cabinetry. The outdated kitchen and bathrooms were gutted and renovated, and he replaced all of the 144 halogen lamps in the ceiling canister fixtures.

Some of the work that was done in the house included resurfacing the entirety of the heated garage with a new epoxy coating, to prolong its lifespan by several years. He also refreshed the entire house with new paint and updated decor.

“Every square inch of this house has been repainted,” said Kooistra.

The realtor believes that the home is worth more than his asking price, but would be happy to see it go for it. The amount of work put into the home was substantial, and he would like to get a profit while he can.

Nigerian Man Charged In School Teacher Phishing Scam

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Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the United States. In 2016, approximately one out of every 16 Americans were the victims of identity theft. On Thursday, August 3, the Federal Bureau of Investigation brought justice to one of these thieves.

Daniel Adekunle Ojo, 33, was charged with identity theft and fraud after stealing tax information from teachers in Minnesota and Connecticut from his illegal home in Durham, North Carolina.

IRS agents and the FBI’s cyber-crime unit were able to identify Ojo via a series of phishing emails, which the Nigerian man used to collect fraudulent tax refunds from teachers in Connecticut school districts.

The FBI reported that in the case of Glastonbury, Minnesota, a school employee had received a request for W-2 tax information.

“I want you to compile and email W-2 copy of ‘All employees’ wage and tax statement for 2016,” read the phishing email. “Kindly prepare and attach the lists in PDF file type and email them to me for review as soon as possible.”

To appear legitimate, Ojo used the address DaltonK@Glastonburyus.org. “Kim Dalton is the executive assistant to Glastonbury’s assistant school superintendent,” reports the Hartford Courant. “The recipient replied with the tax information of about 1,600 employees.”

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the IRS deposited approximately $37,000 into various bank accounts and processed up to six of the fraudulent tax reforms.

In March 2017, Ojo sent a nearly identical phishing email to teachers at the Groton school district. The teacher who received the email replied with the information of nearly 1,300 employees. However, when the IRS received the information they alerted the FBI of the suspicious behavior.

The FBI was able to find Ojo through an examination of the email address and an SMS number. The SMS number was listed on a six-month visa application for Ojo from December 2015, which he’d obtained to visit family in New York state. Ojo had filed for immigration status earlier that year, listing his Durham address on each of the four petitions.

Ojo is now being held in Greensboro, North Carolina where he was presented in federal court. He will later be transferred for prosecution in Connecticut.

U.S. Senators Afraid the Internet of Things Will Turn on the Government

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Today, about 68% of funds lost as a result of a cyber attack are unrecoverable, and in a world of increasing reliance on the internet for day-to-day life, cyber threats are more dangerous than ever.

That’s something two U.S. lawmakers are making clear in their most recent proposals. They believe that the internet itself is the problem.

Last year hackers took advantage of smart home devices to shut down access to major websites like Spotify and Twitter. They did so by using what is termed the Internet of Things, a sort of all encompassing phrase for all web-connected devices. Simply put, hackers were able to corrupt smart washing machines, refrigerators, and other web-connected appliances to attack important online sites.

Because of this attack, a group of lawmakers in Congress is now getting to work to have the U.S. government build strong digital defense. Sen. Mark Warner from Virginia and Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado are the two strongest voices. They’ve recently pushed out a bill titled “The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017.”

The bill is an attempt to force companies that sell web-connected tools to federal agencies to follow new security standards, ones that are separate from lax consumer standards. This is so that a tablet sold to, say, the FBI is not the same as a tablet sold to a family of four.

“With cybersecurity,” Warner told said, “You’ve got to constantly be upgrading your game. And what we’re saying with Internet of Things devices is, if you’ve got hard-coded passwords or they’re not able to be patched, because they’re cheaper or smaller devices, that can’t be standard protocol.”

The Senators have noted that the Internet of Things is growing rapidly, and that worries them due to the widespread availability and use of malware.

“If we turn around and there are 20 billion [IoT] devices in a couple years, and the federal has ‘x’ million of these devices, and they all have these characteristics, then, you know, I think we’re going to make a big mistake,” said Warner.

And as much as consumers love devices that connect to the internet, so too does the U.S. government. Federal agencies spent somewhere around $5 billion on sensors and data collectors from 2011 to 2015, all of which connect to the internet.

Sen. Warner admits that, as of this moment, “there’s actually no full, comprehensive accounting of the IoT (Internet of Things) devices that the U.S. government owns or operates.”

Houston Man Ordered to Pay Thousands in Child Support for Child That Isn’t Even His

MoneyOne Texas man is being ordered to pay thousands in child custody for a child that isn’t his.

Gabriel Cornejo of Houston has been ordered to pay $65,000 to an ex-girlfriend for late child custody payments for a 16-year-old. Cornejo has only met the teen once.

Back in 2003, a Texas court ruled that Cornejo had to pay child support to Carel Stith for the teen who will remain unnamed. At the time, there was no DNA test administered because the mother vowed Cornejo was the only person who could be the father. However, Cornejo was not made aware of this decision and was never contacted about how much he owed.

Cornejo is currently raising his own three children and two nephews and claims that he was only made aware of the late payments when he was served papers saying that the state of Texas listed him as having another child. Confused, he took a DNA test and found out that the teen isn’t his.

However, the state of Texas and the teen’s mother still want the $65,000. While it may sound far-fetched, according to Texas family law, the man in question must pay any and all back payments of child support up until the time that the DNA test proved he was not the father. Fox News reports that Stith claims Cornejo knew all about the child support as money was taken out of his paycheck several years ago and he didn’t do anything about it. But according to Cornejo’s lawyer, only $31 was taken out three times, so it was too arbitrary an amount for him to notice.

So while 29% of custody cases are made without any third party involvement, Cornejo is getting as many people involved as he can. His lawyer is trying to get a Houston judge to reopen the case as the original court order cannot be changed. If the judge does not re-try the case, Cornejo will be forced to pay the entire sum or spend time in jail.

The judge is set to make a decision on whether or not to reopen the case next month.

Botox Seller Concerned Over Number Of Teenage Patients

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Botox is a massive market, with an annual revenue of more than $2 billion and growing. However, despite the drug’s reputation as a balm for middle age, Botox has an unlikely new customer: teenagers.

That’s right, many teenagers are now interested in Botox, specifically those teens under the age of 18, and that’s raising a lot of questions among some Botox providers. It’s no real secret that the millenial generation is going under the knife for an injection of “youth” just like Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers before them.

However, the surge of interest in Botox from teenagers has inspired some rarely seen introspection from the pharmaceutical industry. Now, with the number of teenage Botox patients rising, Allergen is considering whether this particular growth market is healthy.

Allergan’s biggest selling product is the Botox, which brings in billions of dollars each year. Last year, about $730 million of that came from the cosmetic uses of the product, but Botox also has a number of non-cosmetic uses. However, despite this, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders is considering limiting the drug’s growth.

He’s calling for all stakeholders in the medical aesthetics field to come together with him and talk about managing the demand from the teenage population. He wants to know what can be done to better counsel young patients in the future.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2016 report, nearly 230,000 teenagers between 13 and 19 had a cosmetic procedure last year.

“Regardless of whether you agree with me, it’s clear that we need to begin a dialogue about this issue before it becomes a major challenge. Unless we do something to address this issue directly, we risk harming a vulnerable part of our society,” Saunders said.

The CEO has been no stranger to controversy, especially for his opinions concerning the medical industry. He has been outspoken about the growing issues of drug pricing and its out of control future. He has not gained a lot of friends in the pharmaceutical industry for his progressive statements.

Saunders suggests that “at a minimum, these patients should consult and rely on the judgment of a trained and licensed healthcare professional and obtain parental consent prior to receiving any medical aesthetic procedure.”