Equifax Credit Company Hacked

Accoording to the New York Post Hackers may have the names and social security numbers of 143 million Americans after a massive breach of credit-reporting agency Equifax, the company said Thursday.

That’s more than half of the nation’s adult population, according to census figures.

Hackers also trawled through birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers, as well as 209,000 credit card numbers, during a massive breach between mid-May and July 29, the company reported.

“I deeply regret this incident and I apologize every affected consumer and all of our partners,” CEO Richard Smith said.

The hackers “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access,” a company statement said.

Upon discovering the massive breach, Equifax hired a “leading, independent cybersecurity firm” to review the attack and recommend ways to prevent future attacks, the company said.

Equifax is offering every U.S. consumer in the country free identity-theft protection and credit-file monitoring through the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com — regardless whether their information was compromised, Smith said.

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Trump Rescinds DACA Program Sends To Congress

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling it an “amnesty-first approach” and urging Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months.

As early as March, officials said, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will become eligible for deportation. The five-year-old policy allows them to remain without fear of immediate removal from the country and gives them the right to work legally.

Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the change at the Justice Department, both used the aggrieved language of anti-immigrant activists, arguing that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.

Mr. Trump said in a statement that he was driven by a concern for “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.” Mr. Sessions said the program had “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”

Drone Shows Damage to Houston Area

The sheer magnitude of flooding Houston is facing from Tropical Storm Harvey has taken on an entirely different perspective thanks to drones.

Videos like those captured by University of Houston freshman, Ahmed Gul, originally from California, provide a cinematic experience unlike anything a cellphone on the ground can provide.

Harvey’s impact on Houston and surrounding cities is unprecedented. The storm has triggered 316,000 power outages, dumped 11 trillion gallons of rain, and initiated more than 2,000 water rescues across Texas as of late Sunday night, according to CNN. Harvey is expected to linger over the Houston area through the middle of the week.

Nine Ways To Support A Veteran

On the weeks show i share some powerful ideas from a story produced by 

  1. Give a veteran a ride

Medical care may be needed for some veterans for the rest of their lives. Disabled American Veterans provides free transportation to men and women who can’t travel to Veterans Affairs medical facilities on their own.

2. You can volunteer to d2. Donate frequent flier miles

The Fisher House Foundation has a network of homes on the grounds of military and VA hospitals around the country. These homes help family members be close during the hospitalization of a loved one for a combat injury, illness or disease. Fisher House operates theHero Miles Program, using donated frequent flier miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. You can also volunteer or donate household items.

3. Sponsor a companion dog for veterans with PTSD

More than a third of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have or will experience post-traumatic stress disorder. And veterans of past wars are still dealing with the ghosts of their time in the service. Coping with PTSD can put stress on not just veterans but also their families and friends.

Puppies Behind Bars is a program in which prisoners train companion dogs for veterans with PTSD. Donors can sponsor a dog and receive updates on the dog’s training and life with its veteran.

(If you know a veteran dealing with PTSD, the VA offers the PTSD Coach Online to help veterans learn to manage symptoms, come up with ways to cope and find professional help.)

  1. Help build a home for severely injured vets

Severely injured veterans often come home needing a place to live that better accommodates their physical disabilities. Building Homes for Heroes builds specially modified homes for veterans that help them live independently. These homes are provided at no cost to the veterans. The organization also provides financial planning services.

  1. Keep veterans off the streets

In times of war, exhausted combat units were removed from the battlefield to “stand down” in a place of relative security to rest. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Stand Down program is designed to help homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Stand Downs are usually one- to three-day events to provide food, shelter, clothing and health screenings to homeless and unemployed veterans. To find a Stand Down program in your community, contact your local VA hospital in the VA Medical Center Directory.

A phone call can also make difference in the life of a veteran who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Call 877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838, to be connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week with help at the VA.

  1. Send a care package or a letter

Operation Gratitude has sent more than 1.5 million individually addressed care package to the military community. The packages are sent to current military members as well as veterans, wounded warriors and their caregivers. As more American troops return to civilian life, the Operation Gratitude veterans program has been growing. It also has a letter writing campaign encouraging everyone to write handwritten letters of gratitude to veterans.

  1. Help them take flight

The Honor Flight Network helps veterans of the “greatest generation” make a free pilgrimage to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. You can volunteer to escort these men and women on the flight to see this memorial. Honor Flight also helps terminally-ill veterans who served in any conflict visit memorials to those wars in Washington as well.

  1. Share their stories

So many veterans’ stories have been left untold, but the Library of Congress is collecting the tales of veterans of every war with the Veterans History Project. If you are related to a veteran or know one who has a story to tell, the Library of Congress wants to hear it. Help veterans share their stories before it’s too late.

  1. Say thank you

It’s simple, but it can make an impact. And so many veterans have never heard the words “thank you.” If you know a veteran or see someone in a military uniform, say something. It may make his or her day and yours.

Drive a van for those who need a lift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Eclipse Photo

Photo credit: AP

SALEM — With its radiant corona, shadows that appeared to shimmer across the ground and 360 degrees of twilight, Monday’s total solar eclipse awed millions of onlookers across the northwestern United States.

Some called it a mystical experience while others praised the power of science. Either way, the spectacle seemed to leave most pretty impressed.

“I was looking for the diamond ring and when that diamond ring came, I had tears in my eyes. I’ve read about it, but it was . indescribable,” said Julie Vigeland, a 73-year-old Portland, Oregon resident who watched from the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. “It was a very primal experience, it really was. I’ve seen other really magnificent things but there is nothing, nothing like this.”

John Hays drove up from Bishop, California for the total eclipse in Salem and said the experience will stay with him forever. He watched from a deck overlooking the Willamette Valley and the foothills of the Coastal Range.

According to a recent story provided by the New York Post Wallstreet is winning again

Wall Street just had its most profitable quarter ever — fueled in part by the skimpy returns paid out on savings accounts.

US banks rang up record profits of $48.3 billion in the second quarter as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes weren’t passed along to consumers, the FDIC said Tuesday.

The total bottom line profit marks a 10.7 percent rise from the same period last year — resulting in the biggest profit quarter in Wall Street history, an FDIC spokeswoman confirmed.

Banks have been clearing more profit as the Federal Reserve has hiked its benchmark rate four times since 2015.

The interest rate banks charge on loans is based on the Fed rate — meaning banks can charge a higher interest rate on loans after a Fed hike.

But banks are not raising the interest they pay on accounts — and they can pocket the difference.

JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, reported $26.5 billion in profit for the 12 months ended June 30. That’s the most profitable year for a company in the history of banking, according to Bloomberg.

Most other banks have seen their profits surge this year, as well as their stock price.

One glaring exception, Goldman Sachs, has seen its profits hit by bad bets on energy, according to reports.

Nevertheless, Goldman’s stock is still trading near all-time highs, thanks to optimism that the White House will pass a corporate tax reform bill.

Despite the ebullience at banks, not all is clear on the horizon, said FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg.

“While the quarterly results were largely positive, the operating environment for banks remains challenging,” Gruenberg said in a speech Tuesday, warning of risks to liquidity and the credit markets.

“These risks must be managed prudently for the industry to continue to grow on a long-run, sustainable path,” he added.
Bankers, however, seem more interested in keeping the spigot of money flowing. And that argument involves rolling back regulations.

JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon has been the most vocal Wall Street executive when it comes to what he calls over-regulation.

Seattle Housing Stats

The housing market continues to be on fire. With recent data released by the northwest multiple listing shows sales remaining strong through July 2017.

 

  July/Aug Number MOM YOY   Buyers  Sellers
Active Listings 2898 +11.4% -18.5%
Closed Sales 2737 -5.7% -2,7%
SAAS 1.28 +6.4% -4.0%
Pending 2950 -13.00% -7.8%
Months of Supply 1.06 +18.1% -16.2%
Median Price *$658,000 +0.8% +18.6%

 

Millennials Google Themselves Daily

According to  recent New York Post article based a survey from Bank of America. Millennials google themselves daily more than any other group. Read full story

Data released Thursday from Bank of America found that 9 percent of millennials and 11 percent of Gen Z say they Google themselves every day, versus 6 percent for the population overall.

I Google myself every day

  • Gen Z: 11 percent
  • Millennials: 9 percent
  • Gen X: 5 percent
  • Baby boomers: 5 percent
  • Seniors: 2 percent

What’s more, millennials top the list of those who say they Google themselves “frequently” with 57 percent admitting to this.

I frequently Google myself

  • Gen Z: 48 percent
  • Millennials: 57 percent
  • Gen Xers: 45 percent
  • Baby boomers: 37 percent
  • Seniors: 22 percent

It’s not just Jane and John Does who do it either: Plenty of millennial A-listers admit to Googling themselves, including Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence. And the topic has become so mainstream that it appeared on HBO’s popular series “Girls.” In Season 5, Hannah Horvath’s friend and literary nemesis Tally Schrifin admits to doing it, saying, “Do you know I Google myself every day? It’s so gross but I do and I just want to see if like Gawker or whoever they are has written a snarky comment thing about what a hack I am or even if there’s a pretty picture of me in the Financial Times roundup of Books of the Year.”

Why are the younger generations more likely to look themselves up online frequently? One reason may be ego. “Googling yourself has become a new form of narcissism in our society,” says psychologist Christina Barber-Addis. Indeed, research published in 2008 by Swiss and Australian scientists found that our obsession with self-Googling is, in part, due to a rise in narcissism — and millennials have higher levels of narcissism that older generations, research from psychologist Jean Twenge, author of “The Narcissism Epidemic,” found. The 2008 study also found that self-Googling was a way for people to find out about and alter their online “brand” — something millennials are more apt to care about cultivating.

In many ways, it’s smart to — at least sometimes — Google yourself, says Barber-Addis. Indeed, eight in 10 employers Google potential employees before they hire them, so you want to know what’s out there on you and correct any errors. Potential dates are also likely to look you up (71 percent say they research a person before they go out with them) so, again, you want to ensure that your search results match up with the perception you’re hoping to put out into the world.

Still, experts say that you should limit how often you Google yourself — Barber-Addis recommends no more than every few months or if there is a big event like a job interview coming up — as it can have harmful psychological consequences. “As people post more and more on social media, they seem to be googling themselves often to see how they are being seen by others,” says Barber-Addis. “The response to this likely swings from deep satisfaction if there is a positive reflection seen, to despair if it appears that they are not being seen, or if there is a negative reflection.” What’s more, psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, author of “Better Than Perfect” says that Googling yourself too often can lead to issues “ranging from depression and anxiety to shame and guilt as well as anger towards the people who make any negative comments.”

Of course, it’s hard to resist the occasional Google of your name. But if you do, it’s important to remember that what people say about you on the internet isn’t always how they feel. “People can be mean on the Internet – meaner than in real life because there tends to be a sense of anonymity. People often say things they wouldn’t normally say to your face online,” says Lombardo. “What’s more, they don’t always mean it either. Sometimes it’s just a stress release, an impulsive reaction.”

Seattle Housing Market Update

by Louis Howard

Seattle continues to be hotter than a habanero pepper with housing records continuing to fall month. below is an example of the latest.

The Seattle Area Market
Following up on a record-breaking spring, the county’s real-estate market had its hottest month of July since such monthly records began in 2000, with prices rising 18.6 percent from a year ago.

The new median price is $658,000, or $103,000 more than last July, according to monthly data released Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Just a down payment on the median house costs about $20,000 more than a year ago. So first-time buyers who didn’t save up that much in the past year are further from buying a house today than they were a year ago.

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff isn’t worried about the threat of newly-public Redfin — but he thinks the rest of the real estate industry should be. He made that clear during a conference call associated with Zillow’s second-quarter earnings Tuesday in which he went so far as to say that Redfin is a “threat” to the traditional real estate industry.

“Undoubtedly, one of Redfin’s goals is to obviate the buyer’s agent,” Rascoff said on the call. “I think they have stated, quite publicly, that they aim to acquire more listings inventory in given markets, and then have no buyers’ agents on the other side of those listings. And that is a threat to organized real estate, and that’s one of the many reasons why brokerages are so t was interesting to hear Rascoff rise up as the defender of traditional real estate agents, since Zillow at one time was perceived as the villain in many real estate circles. It was also noteworthy that Rascoff took such direct aim at Redfin, which raised $138 million in its IPO last week.

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