Archive for Current Events

Latest Kmart/Sears Stores Closings

The complete list is here; there is one closure in the Garden State, two in the Empire State.


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What Is the GDPR?

This recently enacted EU directive could have a major impact on your online interactions. Of late, there have been many questions raised over privacy and data ownership, and this Come here to find out more info; this EU site also offers additional information on this law.  This CRS report is also helpful – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along?; the European Parliament Think Tank has issued numerous papers on this legislation and its impact on both providers and users. Another excellent source is from the Law Library of the Library of Congress – Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR – that points the way to other useful links. There are even implications for libraries in how they record, store, and disseminate records such as circulation transactions or online reference conversations.

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Why Are We Getting So Many Spam Phone Calls?

Whatever happened to the “Do Not Call Registry” that almost everyone signed up for? How come we are now inundated with robocalls? As this NPR interview points out, the technology that blocks these types of calls has been superseded by marketers using more sophisticated types of equipment. And as the government does not appear to be doing anything about these breaches, we’d better get used to this situation for some time.

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Full Text of the DOD Summary Report on the Niger Ambush

It is here and a transcript of the press briefing is also available as is a video.

U.S. forces have been deployed in Niger since 2013 as advisers and trainers because Niger is in a region controlled by terrorist organizations ranging from Boko Harum to al-Qaeda. (Why U.S. forces are in Niger from CSIS adds to the discussion.)

These CRS reports provide background information: Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers and Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress.

For those who are interested in where our military forces are deployed around the world, please consult this CRS report – Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2017. Basic country information can be found in the CIA World Factbook and this BBC Country Profile.

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Food and Housing Insecurity Among College Students

This just-released report – Still Hungry and Homeless – presents a sobering picture of contemporary college life. According to this report:

“We find:
• 36% of university students were food insecure in the 30 days preceding the survey. This year’s estimate for community college students is 42%, but our larger study last year found 56%.2
• 36% of university students were housing insecure in the last year. Housing insecurity affected 51% of community college students in last year’s study, and 46% in this year’s study.
• 9% of university students were homeless in the last year. In comparison, 12% of community college students were homeless in this year’s survey, and 14% in last year’s survey.”

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Want To Know What Information Facebook and Google Have On You?

In light of the FB debacle, you might want to know what Facebook actually knows about you. To that end, please look at your archives. It is very simple to request the data, and the results might surprise you.

And don’t forget that Google follows you around as well. See what it knows about you.

And also remember that they are not the only sites that record your activities; I will assume every site you visit maintains some kind of record.

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News Coverage of the “March for Our Lives” Rallies

These videos of the Washington, D.C. rally are presented coutesy of C-SPAN; photos from other rallies can be see here. And here are more than 150 newspaper front pages covering this event.

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