Last November, voters in both Colorado and Washington state made the recreational use of marijuana legal for adults within state borders. That begs the question, will the states, like Amsterdam, breed a new industry of pot tourism?
Pot tourism not going to happens, says Governor
Late last year, Colorado’s governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed the legal marijuana initiative, said that marijuana tourism was not likely to emerge in his state.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said. “They’re going to flock here to buy marijuana as if they’re going to take it back? On an airplane? That seems unlikely to me.”
But Hickenlooper [...]
A big diamond heist which resulted in thieves making off with $50 million in diamonds has thrown the spotlight on illicit diamond trafficking. Black market diamonds are a big business, as are black market commodities of all sorts.
Thieves may never be caught due to trade in legal and black market diamonds
For those who haven’t followed the news lately, and who could blame them because it’s mostly stupid or depressing as always, an enormous diamond heist was carried out in Belgium. A Swiss-registered aircraft was on the runway in Brussels, according to USA Today, en route to a stop in Antwerp [...]
If your bank’s ATM interface puts you to sleep, you should see what Wells Fargo is offering. The banking giant’s ATM Cash Tracker system scans an ATM customer’s previous transaction history and provides the customer with personalized banking options and advertising. Wells Fargo is banking on the sleek new design being a big customer draw.
Wells Fargo ATMs playing your favorites
Using predictive analytics, Wells Fargo’s new ATM banking network present customers with an assortment of touchscreen buttons, each one tailored to the individual customer based upon their previous transactions and selected preferences. These ATMs are reportedly easier to use, as the [...]
If you think that saving for retirement is a boring chore that has little to do with your young life, reconsider before it’s too late. It’s always a good time for sound financial planning and investment in your future. Be wary of the following excuses for not saving for retirement.
Postponing retirement savings excuse No. 1 – Not earning enough
Nearly everyone believes that they don’t make enough money to stock some away for retirement. All of those people are wrong. Setting aside a small amount each paycheck adds up over time, even if the amount is very small. As income increases, [...]
Ever see some product getting plugged by a famous person and think “hey, if a famous person endorses it, I should buy it!” Well, you might want to think twice, because celebrity endorsements are often a ruse, as a face and a name got well-paid to shill for a pig in a poke.
Abandon hope, all ye who fall for celebrity endorsements
Don’t believe a thing you see on television. Commercials will lie, infomercials doubly so and if a famous person pitches something, change the channel.
Daily Finance recently ran a post about celebrity endorsements for some shady products. For instance, Henry Winkler, [...]
It isn’t exactly a secret that fewer people are earning a good living these days, as wages have been trending downward for basically the past decade. It’s bad news for not only the wallet, but for health as well, as a number of low wage health effects are being noted in studies.
Hypertension noted as a low wage health effect
According to NBC News, a recent study published in the European Journal of Public Health found that low wage earners, or those making a working-class income or lower, are likely to suffer some health effects as a result.
The study looked at possible [...]
Last week, a populated area in Russia was pelted by fiery meteorites. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but many homes were damaged. That begs the question, will the average homeowner policy cover meteor damage?
A rare event of massive meteor damage
On Friday, February 15, a meteor exploded over Russia, sending fiery meteorites into seven crowded cities. The worst hit was the city of Chelyabinsk. The Russian Academy of Sciences estimates that the original meteor weighed around 10 tons and was traveling at about 33,000 mph when it entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
Like something out of a science-fiction movie, such events are exceedingly rare.
A private security company reported this week that many U.S.businesses and organizations are being targeted in a series of hacking attacks by the Chinese army. China denies the accusation.
Hacking attacks for competitive advantage, says Mandiant
The cyber-security company Mandiant reported this week that it has evidence that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is behind literally hundreds of cyber attacks, targeting corporations for inside information to gain a competitive advantage for the Asian nation.
Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the cyber-security company CrowdStrike, said it was not surprised by the report.
“The PLA plays a key role in China’s multi-faceted security strategy, so it makes [...]
Everyone wants quick meals that are healthy, but when they reach for the perceived convenience of fast food, they may not actually be saving money. Shift your meal planning into high gear with some home cooking! These are some important foods you should make yourself.
Foods you should make yourself No. 1 – Sandwiches
With all those sandwich masters at Jimmy John’s, Subway and Mister Blimpie to choose from, how could you possibly go wrong? By lazing out, that’s how. Keep sandwich fixing in the refrigerator and you won’t have to pay $25 for three sandwiches, unless you’re indulging in creations with [...]
Near-field communication (NFC) technology enables a consumer to wave their smartphone at a point-of-sale terminal to make a purchase via the use of a “digital wallet.” One of the fast-growing instances of the digital wallet is the appropriately named Google Wallet, but it pays to know a little bit about how it works before you dive in to the cashless (and cardless) retail revolution.
Google Wallet – A setup primer
To begin, go to the Google Wallet website to set up an account. Then, download the Google Wallet app to your compatible smartphone. Link your credit and debit cards to the account, [...]
A lot of people believe libertarianism is espousing the idea of letting people do whatever they want, especially if money is involved. That isn’t necessarily the case and there is, believe it or not, a basis for libertarian environmentalism.
Libertarian environmentalism is not let the loggers cut it all down
Not everyone understands the libertarian political philosophy. That’s understandable, as it is fractious. Many groups with differing attitudes assert to be “libertarians.”
Saying one group truly is and one group truly isn’t is idiotic; religions do that and the evidence is incontrovertible as to how stupid people act when convinced they are the [...]
Occasionally, a correlation is found between things which either seems completely random, slightly perverse, or even tastily ironic. Among such correlations, such as the lipstick indicator, is the Valentine’s Day divorce bump, where a greater rate of couples say “on second thought, I don’t.”
The Valentine’s Day divorce bump
Ever heard of the “lipstick indicator?” It’s a supposed economic phenomenon, where lipstick and other very low-cost luxury goods sales rise during recessionary periods. The idea is that when times are tough, people cut back on the larger stuff but will opt for more of the luxuries that aren’t too painful, as it [...]
The U.S. Department of Justice leveled civil charges against Standard & Poor’s on Feb. 7, saying it knowingly misrepresented mortgage-backed securities that later soured and led to the bursting of the housing bubble. Now, McGraw-Hill, the parent company of S&P, is striking back, saying the DOJ case is flawed.
S&P knowingly inflated ratings, says DOJ
According to the DOJ case, S&P intentionally inflated the ratings of some shaky collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), leading investors to believe they were taking on less risk than they actually were. CDOs are debt-backed securities bundles. In this case, many of those securities were based on sub-prime [...]
Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke up recently at a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee, blasting federal regulators for not prosecuting more banks for the criminal activity that drove the collapse of the nation’s economy in 2009. Her words raised the hackles of many big banks. But these questions are long overdue, and I, for one, am grateful to have at least one politician firmly and fiercely on the side of consumers.
Elizabeth Warren ‘Valentine’ to Banking Committee
“I want to ask a question about supervising big banks when they break the law,” Warren said on Valentine’s Day. “We all understand why settlements [...]
What is drip pricing, and why has the Federal Trade Commission put its foot down over the practice, although the FTC’s full disposition is not fully known? According to the FTC, the drip pricing practice involves retail pricing in which a company advertises only a portion of a product or service’s total price. The remaining charges are revealed once the consumer is on the hook for the purchase.
FTC says drip pricing ‘might be illegal’
During the summer of 2012, the FTC announced at a national conference that several high-profile hotel and resort companies were using the drip pricing practice, and that [...]
Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, wants to basically ban everything anyone enjoys though one ban he has in mind has a decent enough rationale. Bloomberg is touting a styrofoam ban, as the stuff is very difficult to get rid of due to high costs of collection and recycling.
Styrofoam ban proposed in New York City
Contrary to popular belief, not all styrofoam is styrofoam. According to a post on the University of Washington website, Styrofoam is actually a brand-name version of what is called extruded polystyrene or polystyrene foam, a relatively hard foam which is 95 percent air. Styrofoam is [...]
A Washington-based nutrition activist group has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require beverage bottlers to limit the amount of high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners in their products.
FDA urged to regulates sweeteners
The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed the petition on Wednesday, February 13. It was signed by health advocates and scientists across the nation.
Contributing to obesity epidemic
The consumption of sugary soda and other drinks by Americans has risen sharply over the last 50 years, according to the Boston Globe. Now, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest, that is linked with an [...]