Saturday, August 30, 2014

2012 Wisconsin Census of Agriculture

Find the latest 2012 Census of Agriculture for Wisconsin counties and the entire state.
Wisconsin Agriculture Census

Recalls Look-up by VIN

"Owners may not always know their recalled vehicle still needs to be repaired. NHTSA's new search tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years..."
Automobile recalls

EPA Releases Three Final Chemical Risk Assessments

"Today,[8/28/2014] EPA released three final risk assessments for specific uses of three chemicals found in common household products. The risk assessment for Dichloromethane (DCM), which is widely used in paint stripping products, indicates health risks to both workers and consumers who use these products, and to bystanders in workplaces and residences where DCM is used. EPA estimates that more than 230,000 workers nationwide are directly exposed to DCM from DCM-containing paint strippers..." 
EPA chemical risk assessment

Labor Day: 2014

 "The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a "working men's holiday" on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated "Labor Day." This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers..."
Labor Day -2014

Enrollment for New Dairy Farm Risk Management Program to Begin Sept. 2

"Aug. 28, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that starting Sept. 2, 2014, farmers can enroll in the new dairy Margin Protection Program. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also launched a new Web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, Smartphone, tablet or any other platform, 24 hours a day, seven days a week..."

Dairy farmers risk management

Back-to-School is the Season for Safety

"It’s that time of the year again!
Parents and caregivers have pencils, binders, backpacks and notebooks on their back-to-school shopping list. But, as the countdown begins and students head back to school, what should you have on the back-to-school “safety” list?
Here are a few things you should pencil in:
  1. If your child bikes to school, make sure he/she has the appropriate helmet that fits his/her head properly and is worn correctly.  Check out “Which Helmet for Which Activity” for guidance.
  2. Make sure playground equipment has been inspected and maintained.  There are more than 200,000 injuries on playground each year—and many of them are serious.  Our Public Playground Safety Handbook is a great source to learn about how to design and install a safer playground.
  3. Take the drawstrings out of your child’s jackets and sweatshirts to prevent a strangulation hazard on playgrounds and school bus doors.
  4. Visit  to check for recalls on your new and used back to school products.
  5. Be sure to check out our ABCs of school safety video with former CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum..."
Back-to-school safety

Thursday, August 28, 2014

HHS and CMS announce new members of the management team ahead of 2015 Open Enrollment

"Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today the most recent in a series of management hires intended to ensure a successful 2015 Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace and make good on the promise that millions more Americans will be able to access quality, affordable health coverage.
Kevin Counihan will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) team as Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In addition, Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS..."

Affordable Care Enrollment

2014 Ebola Outbreak: Information and Updates

Get the latest information on the Ebola outbreak from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mumps: Be Sure Your Child Is Fully Immunized

"Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Infected people can spread mumps when they breathe, cough, and sneeze. They can also spread it by sharing items such as cups and eating utensils, and touching surfaces that are then touched by others. There is no treatment for mumps, and it can cause long-term health problems. People in the United States still get mumps, and outbreaks continue to occur.
Protect Your Child with Mumps Vaccine
Mumps vaccine is the best way to protect your child against mumps. It is usually given as part of a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is safe and effective..." 

Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits This Fall

"From watching calf roping at the rodeo to petting goats at the county fair, there are many ways to explore the animal world. Exhibits such as petting zoos and fairs allow children of all ages to have the thrilling experience of coming face-to-face with animals. This interaction allows people to learn more about animals and helps to build an important human-animal bond.

Unfortunately, many people become sick every year because of a visit to an animal exhibit. It is important to remember that animals sometimes carry germs that are harmful to humans. When people forget to wash their hands after petting an animal, or bring food or drinks into an area where animals are exhibited, they are at risk for becoming ill. You can learn more about these germs and how they cause illness by visiting CDC's Healthy Pets Healthy People site..."

Animal Exhibits

An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 - 2024

"The federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2014 will amount to $506 billion, CBO estimates, roughly
$170 billion lower than the shortfall recorded in 2013. At 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), this year’s deficit will be much smaller than those of recent years (which reached almost 10 percent of GDP in 2009) and slightly below the average of federal  deficits over the past 40 years. However, by CBO’s estimates, federal debt held by the public will reach 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year—more than twice what it was at the end of 2007 and higher than in any year since 1950..."
Federal budget

Survey of Public Pension, State Data: 2012

"The Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, membership, and liabilities information for defined benefit public pension systems. Data are shown by state, for the state-administered systems. There are 227 state-administered defined benefit public pension systems, all of which are represented here..."
Public pensions

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

"This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. At the threshold of many climate-change-related lawsuits are two barriers—whether the plaintiff has standing to sue and whether the claim being made presents a political question. Both barriers have forced courts to apply amorphous standards in a new and complex context.."

Climate change and law

China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States

"China’s economic rise has significant implications for the United States and hence is of major interest to Congress. On the one hand, China is a large (and potentially huge) export market for
the United States. Many U.S. firms use China as the final point of assembly in their global supply
chain networks. China’s large holdings of U.S. Treasury securities help the federal government
finance its budget deficits. However, some analysts contend that China maintains a number of
distortive economic policies (such as protectionist industrial policies and an undervalued
currency) that undermine U.S. economic interests. They warn that efforts by the Chinese
government to promote indigenous innovation, often through the use of subsidies and other
distortive measures, could negatively affect many leading U.S. industries. This report surveys the
rise of China’s economy, describes major economic challenges facing China, and discusses the
implications of China’s economic rise for the United States.."
China's economy

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (USDIA): Preliminary 2012 Data

"This publication presents preliminary data on the financial structure and operations of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their foreign affiliates from the 2012 annual survey of U.S. direct investment abroad, conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis..."
Investment abroad

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Unaccompanied Alien Children—Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

"Recent reports about the increasing number of alien minors apprehended at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian have prompted numerous questions about so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs). Some of these questions pertain to the numbers of children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. Other questions concern the interpretation and interplay of various federal statutes and regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, and settlement agreements
 pertaining to alien minors. This report addresses the latter questions, providing general and relatively brief answers to 14 frequently asked questions regarding UACs..."

alien children, illegal immigrants

Trends in producer prices between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail trade establishments

"Electronic retailing, or e-commerce, is becoming an increasingly important activity within the U.S. economy. As a component of the retail trade index within the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer
Price Index (PPI) program, the electronic retailing index measures changes in margins received by retailers who conduct sales transactions online..."

e-commerce, retail trade

Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor

"In United States v. Windsor , a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriage, violated due process and equal protection principles. As such, federal statutes that refer to a marriage and/or spouse for federal purposes should be interpreted as applying equally to legally married same-sex couples recognized by the state. However, the Court left unanswered questions such as (1) whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry and (2) whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutionally permissible..."

Same-sex marriage

Review of Alleged Patient Deaths, Patient Wait Times, and Scheduling Practices at the Phoenix VA Health Care System

"On May 28, 2014, we published a preliminary report, Review of Patient Wait Times, Scheduling
Practices, and Alleged Patient Deaths at the Phoenix Health Care System – Interim Report, to ensure all veterans received appropriate care and to provide VA leadership with recommendations for immediate implementation. This report updates the information previously provided in the Interim Report to reflect the final results of our review. We focused this report on the following five questions
and identified serious conditions at the PVAHCS and throughout the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)..."
Veterans, VA

Monday, August 25, 2014

2012 Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Crash Facts

"This book contains statewide information about traffic crashes and their human
consequences. The statewide counts are parsed out in several levels of detail including: types of crashes, the county or municipality location of crashes, types of vehicles in crashes, severity of injuries, and age and gender of drivers..."
Wisconsin motor vehicle crashes

Wisconsin County Health Rankings and Roadmap

A collaborate effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the UW Population Health Institute, find health ranking  and scores for each county in the state and the related measures used in calculating the scores.  
Wisconsin county health rankings

Friday, August 22, 2014

Census Bureau Provides Informed Picture of the State of the U.S. Auto Manufacturing Industry

"Since its birth more than 100 years ago, the U.S. automobile manufacturing industry has experienced significant growth to not only become one of the largest U.S. manufacturing industries but also one of the biggest industries in the U.S. economy. The changes this industry has faced have included periods of decline as well as growth, such as the most recent recession and subsequent recovery. Throughout these years, the U.S. Census Bureau has provided consistent, comparable, and reliable statistics that are critical to understanding this industry.
The Annual Survey of Manufactures provides insight into the changes in this industry in the years between economic censuses..."
Automobile Industry

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011

"Household net worth, or wealth, is an important indicator of  economic well-being in the United  States. Median household net  worth decreased by $5,046, or 6.8
percent, between 2000 and  2011..."
Household wealth

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plan and protect your finances with a my Social Security account

"Whether you’re one of the millions of workers who pay Social Security taxes or the 50 million retired Americans and dependents who receive benefits, it’s good to keep track of your Social Security benefits. National My Social Security Week takes place August 17 to 23 — the perfect time to take a step toward creating an online account with the Social Security Administration at This account will give you secure and convenient online access to your personal Social Security information, including your earnings records and estimated benefits. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can change your address and phone number, get a benefit verification letter and start or change direct deposit information..."
mySocial security account

Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries

"The development and implementation of the national do not call list was not straightforward. No
single law creates the list. Instead, it developed from a combination of statutes and regulations over time, as Congress and the federal agencies tasked with the responsibility of regulating telemarketing developed strategies to better alleviate perceived consumer harm. This report will outline the laws underpinning the national do not call list; describe the regulations implementing
the list; answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the list; and discuss the possible penalties for violating the rules.."


Economic Chcracteristics of Households in the United States:2008-2012

Find data on median household income and selected benefits by households for the periods 2008-2012.
Household Characteristics

Monday, August 18, 2014

School Meals: Child Nutrition Programs

"The Food and Nutrition Service administers several programs that provide healthy food to children including the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Special Milk Program.  Administered by State agencies, each of these programs helps fight hunger and obesity by reimbursing organizations such as schools, child care centers, and after-school programs for providing healthy meals to children..."
School meals


"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they're published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics..."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why Are People Afraid of Colgate Total Toothpaste?

"After reporting earlier this week about some disturbing information about a component of Colgate Total, Bloomberg is now reporting that some toothpaste buyers are choosing brands other than Colgate Total. The reason? An antibacterial agent called triclosan. 

You may have heard about triclosan before as a component of antibacterial soaps. But triclosan is actually in a bunch of products, and, according to studies by the CDC, shows up in 75 percent of people’s urine. Its effects on humans are unknown, but numerous studies have shown that it can act as an endocrine disruptor in animals. And new findings discussed this week at the American Chemical Society annual meeting provide preliminary evidence that it might cause endocrine disruption in fetuses..."
Colgate Total toothpaste

Understanding Geographic Relationships: Geographic Summary Levels

"The third installment of our geographic relationships series discusses geographic summary levels and how American FactFinder uses them to provide tabulated data.

To protect individual privacy, the Census Bureau provides summaries of data for geographic areas. For example, you cannot find the median household income for a particular house, but you can find the median household income for the census tract or county for where that house is located. Each summary level, identified by a unique three-digit number, represents a different geographic entity for which the Census Bureau summarizes data..."

Geographic summary levels

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Find information of efforts to raise the minimum wage since President Barack Obama called for a raise in his Sate of the Union address in January 2014.
Minimum wage

Reducing the Budget Deficit: Overview of Policy Issues

"The federal budget deficit was the largest it has be en since World War II as a percentage of GDP
from 2009 to 2012, peaking at 10.1% of GDP. This occurred because spending reached its highest share of GDP since 1945 and revenues reached their lowest share of GDP since 1950. Since then, the deficit has declined to a projected 2.8% of GDP in 2014, which is still above the 1946 to 2008 average. Over the next 25 years, deficits are projected to become very large again under current
The recent decline in the deficit is partly due to improvements in the economy, the expiration of temporary measures taken in response to the recession, and spending cuts (mainly to discretionary spending).."
Budget deficits

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Census Pop Quiz app

 "How well do you know the states? Do you know the percentage of the population that walk or drive to work in New York? What percentage of people make between $50,000 and $75,000 in St. Petersburg, FL? How many women have doctoral degrees in Sacramento, CA?
Test your knowledge with Census PoP Quiz, a new population challenge about the 50 states and the District of Columbia from the U.S. Census Bureau..."
Census Pop Quiz

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Are Hard Foods Healthier? In Your Mind, Maybe

"The texture of food—an incredibly important component of how you enjoy it—might affect more than just your palate. According to new research, the oral haptics or "mouthfeel" of a dish can influence how we perceive its nutritional value. 
The researchers conducted tests asking participants to eat different foods and estimate how many calories they thought the food had. In other studies, their research subjects were given either soft or hard brownies while evaluating ads..."

Hard foods

Six Tips for College Health and Safety

"Going to college is an exciting time in a young person’s life. It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a great time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are a few pointers for college students on staying safe and healthy..."
College, health, and safety

Managing Diabetes at School

"A person with diabetes must manage this chronic illness all the time, including during the school day. Staff such as nurses, teachers, and coaches can work with you and your child on managing diabetes. This assistance may include helping your child take medications, check blood sugar levels, choose healthy foods in the cafeteria, and be physically active..."
Diabetes at school

ATSDR Stories from the Field

"Scientists at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) work around the clock to keep you safe from harmful substances in the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the soil under your feet. Their work results in a number of public health activities – one of which is a Public Health Assessment (PHA).

With staff in 10 regional offices and 25 state health departments across the country, ATSDR is available 24/7 to respond to local concerns and protect health during environmental emergencies like chemical spills and natural disasters.

Last year, 535 communities relied on ATSDR for its support and expertise to address hazardous substances in the environment..."


Friday, August 8, 2014

Richard M. Nixon Resignation August 8, 1974

"Reconciliation was the first goal set by President Richard M. Nixon. The Nation was painfully divided, with turbulence in the cities and war overseas. During his Presidency, Nixon succeeded in ending American fighting in Viet Nam and improving relations with the U.S.S.R. and China. But the Watergate scandal brought fresh divisions to the country and ultimately led to his resignation..."
President Richard M. Nixon

Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters: Overview

"The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the Nation's Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather/climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCDC tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts. NCDC is frequently called upon to provide summaries of global and U.S. temperature and precipitation trends, extremes, and comparisons in their historical perspective. Found here are the weather/climate events that have had the greatest economic impact from 1980 to 2013. The U.S. has sustained 170 weather/climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2013). The total cost of these 170 events exceeds $1 trillion..."
Climate disasters and economics

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013

"..This report presents findings from the September 2013 survey. The survey covered a range of top-
ics—including household financial well-being, housing, credit availability, borrowing for education, savings, retirement, and medical expenses—meant to round out the understanding of how households are faring financially..."

Economics of U.S. households

Veterans’ Disability Compensation: Trends and Policy Options

"The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) oversees a disability program that makes payments through the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to compensate U.S. veterans for medical cond
itions or injuries that are incurred or aggravated during active duty in the military,
although not necessarily during the performance of military duties. Compensable service-connected disabilities range widely in severity and type, including the loss of one or more limbs, migraines, scars, and hypertension. Payments are meant to offset the average earnings lost as a result of those conditions, whether or not a particular veteran’s condition has reduced his or her earnings or interfered with his or her daily functioning..."

Veterans disability compensation

Irbil, the Iraqi City the US Is Now Defending, Is One of the Oldest Continuously Inhabited Places in the World

 "Yesterday President Obama authorized the use of air strikes in Iraq—if the terror group ISIS moved on the Iraqi city of Irbil. Early this morning, the bombs started falling, “the first offensive action by the US in Iraq since it withdrew ground troops in 2011,” says the Guardian.
This morning two F/A-18 fighter jets bombed ISIS artillery that was advancing on Irbil. The city of 1.6 million, also known as Arbil or Erbil and as Hewl√™r in the local Kurdish language, is the regional capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomously governered region in northeastern Iraq.
Just a few months ago Irbil was seen as a safe haven from ISIS' incursions into Iraq, and the city and the surrounding region have been swarmed by refugees. Irbil is also the temporary home to American troops and advisers sent to Iraq to help with the ISIS incursion, and the site of the U.S. consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Yet modern military targets are not the only thing in Irbil worth protecting. Irbil is, according to the United Nations, among “the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements in the world.” The city has been touched by ancient civilizations, says the U.N., “such as the Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek, Islamic and Ottoman.” The massive citadel at the heart of the city was added to the U.N.'s World Heritage list not even two months ago..."
Irbil Iraq

Understanding Geographic Relationships: American Indian Areas

"The Hierarchy of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Areas displays the relationship between both legal and statistical American Indian Area boundaries. The hierarchy portrays relationships with a line and shows where relationships do not exist by displaying entities on different line tracks. For example, you can see how tribal census tracts and tribal block groups are related..."
Geographic relationships and American Indians

HS Update on the Situation Along the Southwest Border

"Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today released the numbers of apprehensions along the Southwest border during the month of July and prior months, which reflect a significant decrease in apprehensions of unaccompanied children and adults with children..."
Border update

Thursday, August 7, 2014

“Womenomics” in Japan: In Brief

"Confronted with decades of economic stagnation, strict immigration controls, and a rapidly aging population, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has launched an ambitious plan—widely known  as “Abenomics”—to restart Japan’s economy. The program has three main components: a large  fiscal stimulus that was injected into the economy in early 2013; expansionary monetary policy  that also began in 2013 and continues today; and a series of planned structural economic reforms,
many of which have yet to be announced or implemented, that ostensibly will boost Japan’s productivity..."

Nonmarital Births: An Overview

"This report analyzes the trends in nonmarital childbearing, discusses some of the characteristics of unwed mothers, addresses some issues involving the fathers of children born outside of  marriage, and offers some concluding remarks.."
Nomarital births

The Legislative Process

Find nine videos from the website explaining the process of how a bill become a law.
Legislative Process

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Collection of Rare Color Photographs Depicts MLK Leading the Chicago Freedom Movement

"When the civil rights movement moved north to Chicago in the mid-1960s, a priest named Bernard Kleina felt compelled to get involved. The Chicago Freedom Movement, led in part by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., protested unfair housing policies. Kleina, who was 30 years old at the time, decided to remove his collar, pick up his camera, and march. The photographs he took during that time are now part collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.."

MLK and Chicago Freedom Movement

The Algae Problem in Lake Erie Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

"With the water ban lifted, more than 400,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area are once again able to turn on their taps. But the bloom of toxic algae in Lake Erie isn’t going away anytime soon, and the troublesome scum serves as a warning that one of the largest supplies of fresh water in the United States is in trouble.

“These blooms are not going to be eradicated in the short term,” says Timothy Davis, a researcher at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They are a symptom of a larger problem: a lot of our lakes are sick, and so you get these harmful events occurring.”.."

Algae in Lake Erie

DOE Public Access Plan

"This document , the Public Access Plan (the Plan) for the Department of Energy (DOE or Department), including the National Nuclear Security Administration, presents the Department of Energy’s plan for increasing access to the results of the research it supports in response to the February 22, 2013, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memorandum, “Increasing Access to the Results of FederallyFunded Scientific Research.” .."
Public Access Plan

If you work full-time in a public service job, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

 "The information below describes the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. It includes the eligibility requirements and the process for tracking your progress toward qualifying for PSLF. This information can also be found in the PSLF Fact Sheet and the Dear Borrower Letter, which can be downloaded and printed.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pregnant? Get Tdap in Your Third Trimester

"Whooping cough is a serious disease that can be deadly for babies. Unfortunately, babies can't get vaccinated and start building protection against whooping cough until they are two months old. The good news is that you can avoid this gap in protection by getting the whooping cough vaccine (called Tdap) during the third trimester of your pregnancy. By doing so, you pass antibodies to your baby before birth. These antibodies help protect your baby in the first few months of life..."

What are the Reasons to Vaccinate My Baby?

"Raising a child comes with many decisions. Some are a matter of taste, like what color to paint the nursery. Others are essential, especially when it comes to safety, like baby proofing your home for potential hazards. But, what about the hazards that you can't see and that can cause serious illness, disability, or even death in young children? Immunization gives you the power to protect your baby from 14 serious childhood diseases..."

WHAT’S THE DEAL? An FTC Study on Mobile Shopping Apps

"Through a variety of new mobile applications (“apps”), technology is rapidly changing the way
consumers shop. Today’s mobile apps offer new beneficial services designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience. These apps allow smartphone users to compare competing products and retailers in real-time, seek out the best deals, and pay for their purchases by waving their phones at the checkout counter. Many of these apps have been installed on millions of devices, and all use mobile technology to alter consumers’ shopping.
To better understand the consumer protection implications of these emerging products and services, Federal Trade Commission staff studied some of the most popular apps that allow consumers to compare prices across retailers, collect and redeem deals, or pay for purchases while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores..."
Shopping apps

New Evidence Proves Wireless Carriers Are Not Protecting Consumers From Bogus Charges on Their Phone Bills

"Today’s hearing is about a practice known as “cramming,” where consumers get charged on their phone bills for goods and services they never agreed to purchase.
The companies that put these bogus charges on phone bills know that consumers don’t always notice small charges when we pay our monthly bills. Some consumers have continued paying these charges for months – or even years – before noticing they were being ripped off..."
Wireless charges

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

"Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Recycling programs are managed at the state and local level—find information on recycling in your community..."

Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware

"This advisory was prepared in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), United States Secret Service (USSS), Financial Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), and Trustwave Spiderlabs, a trusted partner under contract with the USSS.  The purpose of this release is to provide relevant and actionable technical indicators for network defense.
Recent investigations revealed that malicious actors are using publicly available tools to locate businesses that use remote desktop applications. Remote desktop solutions like Microsoft's Remote Desktop [1] Apple Remote Desktop,[2] Chrome Remote Desktop,[3] Splashtop 2,[4] Pulseway[5], and LogMEIn Join.Me[6] offer the convenience and efficiency of connecting to a computer from a remote location. Once these applications are located, the suspects attempted to brute force the login feature of the remote desktop solution. After gaining access to what was often administrator or privileged access accounts, the suspects were then able to deploy the point-of-sale (PoS) malware and subsequently exfiltrate consumer payment data via an encrypted POST request..."

Impacts of drug use on users and the their families in Afghanistan

"Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer and cultivator of opium poppies; it produces almost three quarters of the world’s illicit opium. While a significant amount of the opium produced in Afghanistan is trafficked out of the country, in 2009 it was estimated that almost 10 per cent of Afghans aged between 15 and 64 were drug users..."
Afghanistan and drug use

Largest industries by state, 1990–2013

"In 1990, the manufacturing industry was the leading employer in most U.S. states, followed by retail trade. In 2003, retail trade was the leading employer in a majority of states. By 2013, health care and social assistance was the dominant industry in 34 states. This animated map shows the top industry in each state and the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2013..."
Industries by state

A F IVE - S TAR F OLLY : An Investigation into the Cost Increases, Construction Delays, and Design Problems That Have Been a Disservice to the Effort to Memorialize Dwight D. Eisenhowe

"This staff report by the Committee on Natural Resources’ Majority staff’s Office of Oversight and Investigations has examined the activities of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, the unprecedented process used to select the proposed memorial’s design, the winning design’s repeated failure to satisfy all legal requirements, and the unanticipated costs and delays due to controversial elements of the selected design, among other topics. While there is no question President and General Eisenhower is worthy of a memorial honoring his tremendous accomplishments, our oversight has identified significant questions that undermine the viability of the current design and the Memorial Commission’s ability to see a memorial to completion..."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, August 1, 2014

Understanding Geographic Relationships: Counties, Places, Tracts and More

"Geography is at the center of taking a census. We do not just count people; we count people where they live. Geography is important because it is the basis for taking a census and for tabulating census data. The Census Bureau also maintains unique geographic areas that other local, state and federal agencies use..."
Understanding geographic relationships

Treasury Issues Proposed Rules to Enhance Financial Transparency

"The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations to help prevent the use of anonymous companies to engage in or launder the proceeds of illegal activity in the U.S. financial sector.  The proposed rule would clarify and strengthen customer due diligence obligations of banks and other financial institutions (including brokers or dealers in securities, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities).  The proposed amendments would add a new requirement that these entities know and verify the identities of the real people (also known as beneficial owners) who own, control, and profit from the companies they service..."
Financial transparency

Your Money, Your Goals: Financial empowerment tools for social services

"Many people feel overwhelmed by their financial situations, and they may not know where to go for help. For many low-income Americans, frontline staff of nonprofit and public social services programs are in a unique position to provide that help.
Their clients already know and trust them, and in many cases, they’re already sharing financial information with them. Social workers and case managers know, however, that the financial stresses clients face may interfere with their progress toward other goals, like finding and keeping secure housing, staying in school, or even landing a job. As they make progress toward those goals, financial missteps can often erase their hard-fought gains.
That’s why social services programs across the country are taking steps to integrate financial empowerment into the work they do each day with their clients. To support their efforts, we’ve developed and field-tested a toolkit for financial services programs called Your Money, Your Goals..."

Consumer finance