Lenovo Faces Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Customers Affected by Preinstalled Malware

Lenovo Faces Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Customers
Lenovo Faces Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Customers

Some Lenovo laptop customers got a lot more than they bargained for when they opened up their computers recently: pre-installed malware.

The “Superfish” software is an Internet browser add-on that floods your computer screen with ads when you visit websites. It also undermines basic computer security protocols, according to CNN Money, by tampering with a widely used system of official website certificates. The malware makes it difficult for your computer to recognize bogus websites. Continue reading Lenovo Faces Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Customers Affected by Preinstalled Malware

Caramel-Colored Sodas may be Making Consumers Sick

According to the results of a new study, caramel-colored sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi may put consumers at increased risk for developing cancer.

Researchers from Consumer Reports and the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say a potential carcinogen known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which is formed during the manufacture of caramel colorings in many soft drinks, puts consumers at greater risk for developing cancer. Between 44 and 59 percent of American adults report drinking at least one can of soda per day. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE, according to Newsmax Health. Continue reading Caramel-Colored Sodas may be Making Consumers Sick

Southwest Airlines Settles Lawsuit with Mechanic who Reported Fuselage Cracks

Southwest Airlines will pay $35,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a mechanic who alleged that he was disciplined for discovering and reporting two cracks in the fuselage of a Boeing 737-700.

The mechanic claimed he found the cracks during a routine inspection of the aircraft. After reporting the damage, the mechanic was allegedly called into a meeting with his supervisors to “discuss the issue of working outside the scope of his assigned task.” Southwest then issued the whistleblower a “Letter of Instruction” informing him that he had acted outside the scope of work in the task card. The airline warned him that he could face disciplinary actions if he violated his job expectations again, according to Forbes.com. Continue reading Southwest Airlines Settles Lawsuit with Mechanic who Reported Fuselage Cracks

Pennsylvania Senator Urges FDA to ban Powdered Caffeine

Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey said Monday that he believes powdered caffeine is a potentially dangerous supplement and he wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban it.

Senator Casey announced that he has written a letter to the head of the FDA detailing his concerns about powdered caffeine. One teaspoon of the substance is the equivalent to 25 cups of coffee. Teens and young adults are increasingly using the supplement to work out, lose weight, and stay up late to study. At least two deaths have been linked to powdered caffeine, which is easy to purchase, according to CBS Philly. Continue reading Pennsylvania Senator Urges FDA to ban Powdered Caffeine

Toyota Ordered to Pay $11 Million to Victims of a Car Crashed Caused by a Design Flaw

A federal jury on Tuesday decided that Toyota Motor Co. was partly to blame for a 2006 car crash that killed three people and left two seriously injured, ordering them to pay the victims nearly $11 million.

In 2006, Koua Fong Lee was behind the wheel of his 1996 Toyota Camry when it accelerated wildly into traffic and crashed into another vehicle. The accident killed the driver of the other vehicle, Javis Trice-Adams Sr., and his 9-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr. His 6-year-old niece, Devyn Bolton, was paralyzed and died in October 2007. His daughter, Jasmine Adams, then 12, was seriously injured, as was his father, Quincy Ray Adams. Those two and Devyn Bolton’s mother, Bridgette Trice, were the other plaintiffs in the case, along with Lee and four of his family members who were in his car at the time of the crash, according to the Associated Press (AP). Continue reading Toyota Ordered to Pay $11 Million to Victims of a Car Crashed Caused by a Design Flaw

Ginko Biloba Tablets from Four Major Retailers Found to be Adulterated

Many store-brand ginkgo biloba tablets sold in stores and pharmacies contain non-herbal ingredients but no actual ginkgo biloba, a recent investigation by the New York State attorney general’s (AG) office found.

The AG’s office investigated store-brand supplements at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart and issued all four stores cease-and-desist letters insisting that they stop selling several of their dietary supplements after tests showed several of the products contained none of the herbs shown on the labels. Many of them included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list, such as wheat and beans. The investigation was prompted by a New York Times (Times) article that raised questions about the integrity of supplements, according to The Washington Post (Post). Continue reading Ginko Biloba Tablets from Four Major Retailers Found to be Adulterated

Researchers Uncover Link Between ADHD and Commonly Used Pesticide

Common household pesticides may increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to a recent study.

Rutgers University, Emory University, University of Rochester Medical Center and Wake Forest University researchers discovered that mice who were exposed to the pesticide in utero and through lactation exhibited several features of ADHD. Those features include dysfunctional dopamine signaling in the brain, hyperactivity, working memory, attention deficits and impulsive behavior. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), according to FirstPost.com. Continue reading Researchers Uncover Link Between ADHD and Commonly Used Pesticide

Experts say Vitamin Drinks are Unnecessary, Potentially Harmful

Vitamin Drinks are Unnecessary, Potentially Harmful
Vitamin Drinks are Unnecessary, Potentially Harmful

Vitamin drinks may be marketed as a healthy beverage option, but some experts are concerned that they may actually expose people to excessive vitamins in combination with their diet. According to a New York Times Well blog, the average person is already exposed to enough nutrients through food and in some cases, supplements.

“You have vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in foods, and then you have people taking supplements, and then you have all these fortified foods,” said Mridul Datta, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition science at Purdue University, according to NYT. “It adds up to quite an excess. There’s the potential for people to get a lot more of these vitamins than they need.”

NYT Well reports that more than 50 percent of adults in the US take a vitamin or dietary supplement. Additionally, the federal food fortification program requires that certain foods are fortified with extra nutrients. The program started in the early 1900s to meet urgent and well-known nutrient deficiencies, such as folic acid among women of child-bearing age. After folic acid was added to bread and cereal, the rate of neural tube defects has decreased substantially. Continue reading Experts say Vitamin Drinks are Unnecessary, Potentially Harmful

DeflateGate’s Effects Impact Legal Gambling and the Economy

The National Football League (NFL) has initiated a probe into the New England Patriots following allegations that the team intentionally used overly deflated footballs in their recent drubbing against the Indianapolis Colts in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game, according to an NFL spokesman. The Patriots 45-7 win is bringing them to this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR in Indianapolis, Indiana broke the “DeflateGate” story noting that the referee removed a ball from play, weighing the ball during an oddly placed mid-game delay during New England’s first drive of the second half. Ultimately, the referee swapped the ball out.

Should the probe confirm the allegations that the balls were intentionally deflated to gain an advantage, the Patriots stand a chance of losing draft picks, Kravitz noted. This is not the first time the Patriots have been involved in game scandals. In 2008, the Patriots received a large fine and were docked a first-round draft pick for their involvement in so-called “SpyGate.” Other allegations of ball deflating have been made in the past. In 2012, at the college level, a student manager with the University of Southern California (USC) was dismissed following allegations he deflated balls during a contest.

Under the NFL’s rules, footballs must be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Both teams provide 12 primary balls each for testing prior to play. The referee tests the 24 balls two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff.

The intentional deflation of footballs is not unknown and when a football is overly deflated, the player’s grip on the ball is greatly improved and the ball becomes easier to hold, catch, and throw, all of which assist the offense. This is noteworthy given that teams use their own balls on offense.

At issue with DeflateGate is the scandal’s effect on legal sports betting, such as on the Internet and in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clearly, the scandal extends well beyond the game, potentially impacting legal, sanctioned betting operations as well as on the economy in the form of lost jobs, revenue, and taxes.

According to LegalBettingOnline, sports betting is the predicting of “sports results while placing a wager on the outcome according to an agreed upon set of rules or laws.” Wagers may be made against another bettor, a “house,” a “bookie,” or another entity. Legal forms of online sports betting may vary from state to state and by country, with Internet betting having become a multi-million-dollar industry. Sports betting is the most popular form of legalized online betting.  In the United States, sports gambling is not permitted on the federal level, with Nevada among the few states that permit such betting. In fact, the American Gaming Association (AGA) notes that only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana permit any form of sports betting. Most of the legal sports betting, however, occurs in Las Vegas. Although Nevada only permits bets verifiable in the box score, online and offshore betting does not have the same restrictions.

The Department of Justice indicates that individual states may “determine their own destiny regarding online gambling”; however, “sports betting seems to be the exception to this rule.” In the U.S., the only legal option for online sportsbook wagering is through legally licensed and regulated online sportsbooks, which are located offshore and “operated under the regulatory oversight of a governing jurisdiction which has already legalized online sports betting for their territory, legally allowing them to offer their services to bettors around the world, including those in the United States.”

In 2014, legal bettors spent $119.4 million on wagers, according to The Week, as well as so-called “prop bets.” This year, gamblers will likely pick from more than 500 various “prop bets,” such as what the opening coin toss will be or which team will score first. Props may involve statistical research, historical analysis, and expectations of market behavior. One may expect that these prop bets might now involve Deflate-Gate. For example, how many times during a broadcast will deflated footballs be mentioned?

The first-ever estimates released by the AGA in January 2015 revealed that, while Americans make $100 million in legal bets on the Super Bowl annually, $3.8 billion in illegal bets are made. CitizenLink notes that about 86 percent of Americans have gambled at least once during their lives.