Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fandango, Credit Karma Settle FTC Charges that They Deceived Consumers By Failing to Securely Transmit Sensitive Personal Information

"Two companies have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misrepresented the security of their mobile apps and failed to secure the transmission of millions of consumers’ sensitive personal information from their mobile apps.

The FTC alleged that, despite their security promises, Fandango and Credit Karma failed to take reasonable steps to secure their mobile apps, leaving consumers’ sensitive personal information at risk. Among other things, the complaints charge that Fandango and Credit Karma disabled a critical default process, known as SSL certificate validation, which would have verified that the apps’ communications were secure..."

Fandango, Credit Karma

Race Reporting Among Hispanics: 2010

"The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how the Hispanic origin population
reported their race in the 2010 Census, with a unique emphasis on Hispanics who self-reported their origin. This information will greatly
improve the Census Bureau’s understanding of race reporting among Hispanics in a census environment.."
Hispanic race reporting

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Civil Rights Data Collection

Find statistics on education access and equity from the nation's public schools.
Civil rights data

Charity scams

Find tips on identifying and avoiding charity scams.
Charity scams

Planning a funeral? Know your rights

"Planning a funeral can be challenging, whether you’re making arrangements ahead of time, or helping others at a time of need. The Funeral Rule, enforced by the FTC, gives you rights that can make planning a funeral more satisfactory. For example, you have the right to buy separate goods (such as caskets) and services (such as embalming or a memorial service). You don’t have to accept a package that may include items you do not want..."
Funeral rights

New Autism Data

" New data from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network show that the estimated number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, and the picture of ASD in communities has changed. These new data can be used to promote early identification, plan for training and service needs, guide research, and inform policy so that children with ASD and their families get the help they need..."
Autism

More and More Metropolitan America:County and City Population, July 2013

"Many of us now live in one of the biggest of the big metros. Nearly one in seven Americans reside in either the New York, Los Angeles or Chicago areas. And almost one in three live in one of the 10 most populous areas, which include the three just mentioned, plus Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Atlanta and Boston.

The 10 fastest-growing areas are relatively small in size. And virtually all are located either in or near the Great Plains or in or near the Gulf Coast...."
Metropolitan america

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Older Americans Month: May 2014

"A meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens resulted in President John F. Kennedy designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter's proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition..."
Older Americans Month

Will the Yellowstone supervolcano erupt in our lifetime?

"As with many things in nature, it helps to understand the past when trying to predict the future.
Ilya Bindeman, an associate professor of geological sciences at the University of Oregon, believes this is true of the Yellowstone supervolcano and the likelihood that it will produce an apocalyptic eruption as it has three times over the last the last 2 million years.
"Yellowstone is one of the biggest supervolcanos in the world," he says. "Sometimes it erupts quietly with lava flow, but once or twice every million years, it erupts very violently, forming large calderas," which are very large craters measuring tens of kilometers in diameter.
If it happens again, and he says most scientists think that it will, he predicts such an eruption will obliterate the surroundings within a radius of hundreds of kilometers, and cover the rest of the United States and Canada with multiple inches of ash. This, effectively, would shut down agriculture and cause global climate cooling for as long as a decade, or more, he says. A volcanic event of such magnitude "hasn't happened in modern civilization," he says.
Yellowstone volcano

Hot water heating

"Hot water has become essential to our daily lives -- from washing hands to cleaning dishes to showering -- and quickly adds up to higher energy bills. It comes as no surprise that water heaters account for nearly 17 percent of a home’s energy use, consuming more energy than all other household appliances combined. That’s why we asked you to share your water heating questions this month..."
home water heating

Get Seizure Smart

"About 1 out of 10 people has had a seizure. That means seizures are common, and one day you might need to help someone during or after a seizure.

But would you know what to do?
First aid for seizures involves keeping the person safe until the seizure stops by itself.
When most people think of a seizure, they think of a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. In this type of seizure, the person may cry out, lose consciousness, fall to the ground, and have rigidity and muscle jerks that last a few minute.."Seizures

Prepare for Unpredictable Spring Weather

"Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will..."
Spring Weather

Pink Eye: Usually Mild and Easy to Treat

"Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye conditions in children and adults. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color..."
Pink eye

Trends in Tuberculosis -2013

"In 2013, a total of 9,588 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, with an incidence rate of 3.0 cases per 100,000 population, a decrease of 4.2% from 2012 (1). This report summarizes provisional TB surveillance data reported to CDC in 2013. Although case counts and incidence rates continue to decline, certain populations are disproportionately affected. The TB incidence rate among foreign-born persons in 2013 was approximately 13 times greater than the incidence rate among U.S.-born persons, and the proportion of TB cases occurring in foreign-born persons continues to increase, reaching 64.6% in 2013.."
Tuberculosis

Monday, March 24, 2014

Climate Change Legislation in the 113 th Congress


"The 113th Congress, Members have introduced multiple bills that include provisions that would directly or indirectly address climate change-related issues. In some cases, it is difficult to distinguish between direct and indirect climate change bills, because a specific bill or action may seek to achieve multiple objectives. The bills listed in this report include provisions that directly
address climate change, as opposed to those that primarily address other issues (e.g., energy efficiency) but could have ancillary impacts on climate.."
Climate Change & 113th Congress

Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

"On February 18, 2014, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a second round of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The standards, which will affect trucks beginning with the 2019 model year, are to be proposed by March 2015 and finalized a year later..."
Greenhouse gases and automobiles

Expansive Survey of America's Public Schools Reveals Troubling Racial Disparities

"The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) from the 2011-12 school year was announced by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

This is the first time since 2000 that the Department has compiled data from all 97,000 of the nation's public schools and its 16,500 school districts—representing 49 million students. And for the first time ever, state-, district- and school-level information is accessible to the public in a searchable online database at crdc.ed.gov..."
Racial disparities in schools

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013

"In 2013, 75.9 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.8 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 1.5 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.8 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 3.3 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 4.3 percent of all hourly paid workers.."
Minimum wage workers

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Stroller and Carriage Safety Standard: What It Means

"The new safety standard requires that all strollers and carriages be made, tested and labeled to minimize the hazards seen in the above incidents. These include:
  • Hinge issues that have resulted in pinched, cut, or amputated fingers or arms. These issues have the highest injury rate of all hazards associated with strollers;

  • Broken and detached wheels;
  • Parking brake failures;
  • Locking mechanism problems;
  • Restraint issues, including children being able to unbuckle themselves and broken breaks and loose stroller seat belts;
  • Structural integrity; and
  • Stability..."

Stroller and Carriage Safety

FTC Advice: How to Shop Wisely at Outlet Malls

"For many consumers in search of a bargain, outlet malls are the place to go. But did you know that merchandise sold at outlet stores can be manufactured exclusively for them, and may differ in quality from merchandise sold at non-outlet stores?
You might get a good deal from an outlet store, but if you want to know if you’re buying “made-for-outlet” merchandise or how to recognize it, ask the staff.
To learn more about how to shop wisely at outlet malls, read the FTC’s consumer blog post, Outlet shopping: Getting your money’s worth..."

Shop at outlet malls

Diabetes, High Blood Pressure Raise Kidney Disease Risk

"Tips for Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
Steps to help keep your kidneys healthy include the following:
  • Photo: Rural Farmer holding basket of vegetablesKeep blood pressure below 140/80 mm/Hg, but check with your health care provider for your appropriate target.
  • Stay in your target cholesterol range.
  • Eat foods lower in sodium.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Take your medications as directed..."
Kidney disease

Do You Know about Blood Clots and Travel?

"People love to travel. For example, more than 300 million people travel on long-distance airline flights (generally more than four hours) each year.1 But did you know that blood clots, also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can be a serious risk for some long-distance travelers. Most information about blood clots and long-distance travel comes from information that has been gathered about air travel. However, anyone traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, can be at risk for blood clots.."
Blood clots and travel

Genetic Testing for Hereditary Colorectal Cancer

"About 3% of colorectal cancer cases are due to an inherited condition known as Lynch syndrome (sometimes referred to as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC). People with this condition have a greatly increased chance of developing colorectal cancer, especially at a young age (younger than 50 years). Parents, children, sisters, and brothers of people with Lynch syndrome have a 50% chance of having this condition. Other blood relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are also at increased risk to have Lynch syndrome..."

Lynch Syndrome

Protect Your Child Against Hib Disease

"Hib disease can be prevented by Hib vaccine (Hib is short for Haemophilus influenzae type b). All children younger than 5 years of age should be vaccinated with Hib vaccine. Vaccinating infants protects them at a time when they have the highest risk of getting the disease and suffering the most dangerous symptoms..."
Hib Disease

World Water Day 2014

"Each year on March 22, World Water Day attracts international attention to the conservation and development of freshwater resources.

Water and energy are closely linked. Energy has different forms, and water is crucial to produce, transport, and use all forms of energy to some degree, and these activities have different impacts on water resources..."

World Water Day

Saturday, March 15, 2014

StopBullying

"StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying..." 
Stopbullying

Fishwatch

"FishWatch provides easy-to-understand science-based facts to help consumers make smart sustainable seafood choices.

FishWatch delivers the most up-to-date information on popular seafood harvested - or farmed - in the United States. It is not a buyer's guide designed to discriminate against one fishery or advocate for another, nor is it an ecolabel or certification. Rather, FishWatch helps you understand the complex science, laws, and management process actively sustaining our seafood supply..."
Fishwatch

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

"The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics brings together data from more than 100 published and unpublished sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States. Since 1973, the project has been located at the University at Albany, School of Criminal Justice, and compiled and managed by staff at the Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center in Albany, New York..." 
Criminal Justice Statistics

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Small ARea health Insurance Estimates

"The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) program produces timely estimates for all counties and states by detailed demographic and income groups. The SAHIE program produces single-year estimates of health insurance coverage for every county in the U.S. The estimates are model-based and consistent with the American Community Survey (ACS). They are based on an "area-level" model that uses survey estimates for domains of interest, rather than individual responses..."
Small Area Health Insurance

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Millennials and the pay gap

"Data show that the pay gap—the difference between men’s and women’s earnings—is narrowing. This phenomenon is being driven by the Millennial generation, which is composed of people ages 18–32. A recent publication by the Pew Research Center titled “On pay gap, Millennial women near parity–for now” (Pew Research Center, December 11, 2013) uses information from a Pew Research survey administered in October 2013 as well as statistics from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to shed light on the pay gap and Americans’ perceptions of it..."
Millennials and pay

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Projecting Statewide Public School Enrollment in Wisconsin

"In 2007, the Applied Population Laboratory conducted  a statewide enrollment projections study examining  school enrollment changes as they related to Wisconsin’s  broader demographic trends. This newsletter examines  school enrollment patterns since that time and the impact  that demographic and economic trends have had on  public school enrollment.."
Wisconsin School enrollment

Monday, March 10, 2014

2012 Census of Government

Find the latest government employment figures at the local, state, and federal levels.
Census government

Friday, March 7, 2014

State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health

"New State-level estimates produced by SAMHSA will advance our understanding of the nature and extent of mental illness; State-level data is critical to policymakers responsible for the planning and implementation of effective programs and services in communities
  • Among adults aged 18 or older, the rate of serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year ranged from 3.1 percent in New Jersey to 5.5 percent in West Virginia; nationally the rate was 4.0 percent, which equates to 9.3 million Americans with SMI..
  • Nationally, 42.5 million adults aged 18 or older experienced any mental illness (AMI) in the past year, corresponding to a rate of 18.2 percent of the adult population; among States, AMI rates ranged from 14.7 percent in New Jersey to 22.3 percent in Utah..."
    Mental illness - state estimates

Intimate Partner Violence in the United States — 2010

"Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem. IPV includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression (including coercive tactics) by a current or former intimate partner. In additionto the immediate impact, IPV has lifelong consequences. A number of studies have shown that beyond injury and death, victims of IPV
are more likely to report a range of acute and chronic mental and physical health conditions.."
Intimate partner violence

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress

"On January 26, 2012, senior DOD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review
of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This
new strategy envisions a smaller, leaner Army that is agile, flexible, rapidly deployable, and
technologically advanced. This strategy will rebalance the Army’s global posture and presence,
emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the
Middle East.."Army drawdown

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Storage Chest Alert

"Do you have an old wooden storage chest lying around your home? Maybe, it’s in an attic? Maybe, you’ve put it in your child’s room?
Recently, two Boston-area children tragically died while playing hide and seek in a chest. The children reportedly climbed into a Lane hope chest that latched shut automatically. There was no way to open the airtight chest from the inside.
CPSC is investigating the deaths of the children.
Lane Cedar Chests were first recalled in 1996. The recall involves 12 million “Lane” and “Virginia Maid”-brand cedar chests made between 1912 and 1987. This recall is still active. Lane renewed its search for hazardous chests in March 2000, upon learning of another death and two near deaths..."
Storage chest

Quadrennial Defense Review 2014

Published every 4 years, the Quadrennial Defense Review is the U.S. Department of Defense review that seeks  to adapt, reshape, and rebalance the military to prepare for strategic challenges and opportunities in the coming years. 
Quadrennial Defense Review


Projection of Education Statistics to 2022

"Projections of Education Statistics to 2022 is the 41st report in a series begun in 1964. It includes statistics on elementary and secondary schools and postsecondary degree-granting institutions. This report provides revisions of projections shown in Projections of Education Statistics to 2021
and projections of enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures to the year 2022..."
Education Statistics

War on Poverty: 50 Years Later


Find the full text of the report War on Poverty: 50 Years Later from the U.S. House of Representatives'  Budget Committee, issued March 3, 2014.

War on poverty

Housing Vacancies and Homeownership: 2013

"The Housing Vacancies and Homeownership provides current information on the rental and homeowner vacancy rates, and characteristics of units available for occupancy. These data are used extensively by public and private sector organizations to evaluate the need for new housing programs and initiatives. In addition, the rental vacancy rate is a component of the index of leading economic indicators and is thereby used by the Federal Government and economic forecasters to gauge the current economic climate.."
Housing vacancies

South Africa Country Analysis Brief

"South Africa has a large energy intensive coal mining industry. The country has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal to liquids (CTL) and Mossel Bay gas-to-
liquids (GTL) plants.."South Africa

Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program

'The Tier 3 program is part of a comprehensive approach to reducing the impacts of motor vehicles on air quality and public health. The program considers the vehicle and its fuel as an integrated system, setting new vehicle emissions standards and lowering the sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017..."
Fuel standards

National Consumer Protection Week , March 2-8, 2014

"The Federal Trade Commission, in collaboration with 74 federal, state and local agencies, consumer groups, and national organizations, celebrates National Consumer Protection Week, beginning Sunday, March 2, and running until Saturday, March 8.

Now in its 16th year, NCPW encourages American consumers to learn about their rights in the marketplace and to recognize and report scams, identity theft, and unfair business practices. Visitors to NCPW.gov can find information about a range of consumer topics, including managing credit and debt, staying safe online, stopping telemarketing calls, and the latest scam alerts..."

National consumer protection week

Fungal infections – 10 Questions to Protect Your Health

"Fungal diseases are not the first thing that come to mind when you get sick, but they are something that you and your healthcare provider need to consider. Because the symptoms of different fungal diseases (fever, cough, headache, rash, muscle aches, or joint pain) are similar to other common illnesses, diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. The more you know about fungal diseases and your potential risk, the better prepared you are to protect your health..."
Fungal infections

Health Data through the BRFSS

"Each year, state health departments in all 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Palau, and Guam conduct CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. CDC provides technical support for this huge effort, which includes more than 400,000 telephone interviews of US adults each year. The resulting data provide information about respondents' health habits, their use of preventive health services, their access to health care, and the chronic health conditions they face..."
Health data

Budget of the U.S. Government: Fiscal Year 2015

Find here the newly released Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2015.
Federal budget: 2015

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Vaccines for Children

"The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. This helps ensure that all children have a better chance of getting their recommended vaccinations on schedule. These vaccines protect babies, young children, and adolescents from 16 diseases (see the list).."
Vaccines and children

CO Poisoning

"Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 3, 2013. As you prepare to set your clocks back one hour, remember to change the batteries in your CO detector. If you don't have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO alarm, now is a great time to buy one. More than 500 people die each year in the US from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO..."
CO poisoning

Cerebral Palsy: Signs and Causes

"Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and keep their balance and posture as a result of an injury to parts of the brain, or as a result of a problem with brain development. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the problem happens before birth or soon after being born. Cerebral palsy causes different types of motor impairment in each child. A child may simply be a little clumsy or awkward, or unable to walk at all..."
Cerebral Palsy

Women's History Month: March 2013

"STEM Careers and CDC Women Making a Difference
Every March, America recognizes women and their contributions to history. This year's theme is "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)."
CDC celebrates Women's History Month 2013 by recognizing the contributions of female employees who work in STEM careers.
CDC women represent diverse STEM fields, including microbiology, chemistry, behavioral science, toxicology, epidemiology, biology, medicine, and mechanical engineering. The challenges they meet are just as broad, from identifying sources of outbreaks and tracking disease trends, to evaluating effectiveness of programs and identifying strategies to protect workers, to improving our understanding of disease and educating the public and professionals about the latest strategies to stay healthy. As varied as their work is, though, they all share a common goal: to help people live safer and healthier lives..."

Womens History

Colorectal Cancer

"How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
Photo: A man and woman embracing The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but many people are not being screened according to national guidelines.
If you’re 50 years old or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. Here’s how—
  • Colorectal cancer screening helps find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented.
  • Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment often leads to a cure.
    Colorectal Awareness

Privacy, security and confidentiality for student records

"The U.S. Department of Education established the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) as a “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems and other uses of student data. PTAC provides timely information and updated guidance on privacy, confidentiality, and security practices through a variety of resources, including training materials and opportunities to receive direct assistance with privacy, security, and confidentiality of student data systems..."
Privacy for student records

FTC Announces Top National Consumer Complaints for 2013

"Identity theft continues to top the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints, and American consumers reported losing over $1.6 billion to fraud overall in 2013, according to the FTC’s annual report on consumer complaints released today..."
Top national consumer complaints-2013

FDA proposes updates to Nutrition Facts label on food packages

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes..."
Nutrition label

U.S. Nuclear Weapon “Pit” Production Options for Congress

"A “pit” is the plutonium core of a nuclear weapon. Until 1989, the Rocky Flats Plant (CO) mass-
produced pits. Since then, the United States has made at most 11 pits per year (ppy). U.S. policy
is to maintain existing nuclear weapons. To do this, the Department of Defense states that it needs
the Department of Energy (DOE), which maintains U.S. nuclear weapons, to produce 50-80 ppy
by 2030. While some argue that few if any new pits are needed, at least for decades, this report
focuses on options to reach 80 ppy..."
U.S. Nuclear weapons