Wix? DIY webdesign for your business?!

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I’m sorry, but your Wix site is very much akin to free business cards from vista; it’s laughable.  Surely you have a geek friend who knows her way around Dreamweaver, right?

If you’re just messing around, want a cheap site for personal stuff, I suppose that’s fine.  But if you’re a business, it looks ridiculous.

Your Wix-produced site looks ridiculous.

I’m only telling you this because I care and I don’t know if anyone else is going to tell you.

That’s all I’ve got.  Use Wix for your family reunion stuff, but not for your business.

Thank you.

Otis Porkmeyer

Webdesigner, Mysticrat, 
Executive Director of Operations
Holistic Recovery Project, Inc.
Southern Tribe

Samsung Phone Users Perturbed to Find They Can’t Delete Facebook

IMG_20181216-facebookpiece1-ajb.jpg[Image: ‘Facebook’ by Alyssa Joy Bartlett, 2018]

(Bloomberg) — Nick Winke, a photographer in the Pacific northwest, was perusing internet forums when he came across a complaint that alarmed him: On certain Samsung Electronics Co. smartphones, users aren’t allowed to delete the Facebook app.

Winke bought his Samsung Galaxy S8, an Android-based device that comes with Facebook’s social network already installed, when it was introduced in 2017. He has used the Facebook app to connect with old friends and to share pictures of natural landscapes and his Siamese cat — but he didn’t want to be stuck with it. He tried to remove the program from his phone, but the chatter proved true — it was undeletable. He found only an option to “disable,” and he wasn’t sure what that meant.

“It just absolutely baffles me that if I wanted to completely get rid of Facebook that it essentially would still be on my phone, which brings up more questions,” Winke said in an interview. “Can they still track your information, your location, or whatever else they do? We the consumer should have say in what we want and don’t want on our products.”

Consumers have become more alert about their digital rights and more vigilant about privacy in the past year, following revelations about Facebook’s information-sharing practices and regulators’ heightened scrutiny of online data collection. Some people have deleted their Facebook accounts in protest of the company’s lapses, while others simply want to make sure they have the option to do so. Many Android phone users have begun to question Samsung’s deal to sell phones with a permanent version of Facebook — and some of them are complaining on social media.

A Facebook spokesperson said the disabled version of the app acts like it’s been deleted, so it doesn’t continue collecting data or sending information back to Facebook. But there’s rarely communication with the consumer about the process. The Menlo Park, California-based company said whether the app is deletable or not depends on various pre-install deals Facebook has made with phone manufacturers, operating systems and mobile operators around the world over the years, including Samsung. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, wouldn’t disclose the financial nature of the agreements, but said they’re meant to give the consumer “the best” phone experience right after opening the box.

Balwinder Singh’s experience wasn’t what he would consider the best. Singh, who lives in the Susquehanna Valley of the eastern U.S. and works in transportation, bought his Samsung phone seven months ago. He first tried to delete the Facebook app when he was setting up the device.

“My news feed was full of negative stuff, people going crazy on social media,” he said. “It was affecting me emotionally and mentally.” Even after disabling the app, he was bothered to still have it on his phone.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, said it provides a pre-installed Facebook app on selected models with options to disable it, and once it’s disabled, the app is no longer running. Facebook declined to provide a list of the partners with which it has deals for permanent apps, saying that those agreements vary by region and type. There is no complete list available online, and consumers may not know if Facebook is pre-loaded unless they specifically ask a customer service representative when they purchase a phone.

Consumer-advocacy groups have been skeptical of such arrangements for years, according to Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

“It’s only recently that people have become to understand that these apps really power the spy in your pocket,” he said. “Companies should be filing public documents on these deals, and Facebook should turn over public documents that show there is no data collection when the app is disabled.”

Facebook isn’t the only company whose apps show up on smartphones by default. A T-Mobile US Inc. list of apps built into its version of the Samsung Galaxy S9, for example, includes the social network as well as Amazon.com Inc. The phone also comes loaded with many Google apps such as YouTube, Google Play Music and Gmail; Google is the creator of the Android software that powers the phone. Other phone makers and service providers, including LG Electronics Inc., Sony Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., have made similar deals with app makers. When Twitter’s app is loaded on a new phone by default, it wouldn’t collect any data unless a user had an account or created a new one, and opened the app and logged in, the company said.

But Facebook, which has spent the past year apologizing for security breaches and data privacy scandals, is the one drawing ire about its irrevocable presence on Samsung’s phones. “Very slimy,” Twitter user Gopinath Pandalai in Bangalore, who goes by @gopibella, wrote on the site in October. “Been a Samsung customer for 10 years. Time to move on.”

In December, Justin McMurry, whose Twitter handle is @BoutSebm, wrote that he considered Facebook a privacy threat. “If I can’t delete it, this will be the last Samsung product I ever own.”

Apple Inc., whose iPhone is the top-selling smartphone in the U.S., doesn’t pre-install Facebook or any other third-party apps on its new phones.

José Cortés, a Spaniard living in Sweden, has started using Facebook on his phone more infrequently, sharing less because he doesn’t like the way it broadcasts his activity to his friends. If there’s an event coming up on Facebook, he never marks that he’s going or interested, even if he is, because he dislikes that his attendance will advertise the event to his other friends.

“I understand Samsung is trying to make it easy for the user, but I don’t like that it does not allow me to uninstall,” he said. For his next phone, he said he’ll consider buying something else.

by Sarah Frier

IMG_20181216-facebookpiece2-ajb.jpg[Image: ‘Facebook Unbalance” by Alyssa Joy Bartlett,  2018]

University of Maine’s historic season ends after 50-19 loss to Eastern Washington University

The Black Bears historic run comes to a close in a 50-19 loss to the Eastern Washington Eagles.

The Black Bears historic season comes to a close after a 50-19 loss to the Eastern Washington Eagles. Maine’s stellar defense, nicknamed “the Black Hole,” could not contain the Eagles, who rushed for 216 yards and another 352 through the air. Eagle Quarterback Eric Barriere threw seven touchdown passes.

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Maine made some costly mistakes in the first half. Maine Quarterback Chris Ferguson turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, once on a pick and once on a fumble. Both turnovers resulted in touchdowns. He was also sacked three times on the day.

Two Maine natives scored Maine’s only two touchdowns. Wide receiver Andre Miller of Old Town caught a 47 yards pass in the third to bring the score to 35-12 Eagles. Minutes later, North Yarmouth’s Joe Fitzpatrick punched it in from two yards out to close the gap more.

Head coach Joe Harasymiak says this was a disappointing ending, but a season to be proud of. He wants Maine to continue to be a playoff team, making it to the final four and beyond every year.

Ryan Zinke: US interior secretary to leave administration, and “the cabinet swamp will be a little less foul.”

Ryan Zinke testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on June 20, 2017

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is leaving his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump says, in the latest high profile departure from his administration.

In a tweet, President Trump thanked Mr Zinke for his service, saying he had “achieved much during his tenure”.

He said he would appoint a new interior secretary next week.

Mr Zinke, an ex-Navy Seal and a former Montana congressman, has been embroiled in allegations of ethics violations.

They include a land deal in Montana involving Mr Zinke and the chairman of oilfield services Halliburton, Politico reported.

The interior department oversees federal land, including national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Mr Zinke has faced scrutiny over expensive trips in US Park Police helicopters and on private jets.

Costly alterations at his department also came in for criticism, including reports that three sets of double doors in his office were being upgraded at a cost of nearly $139,000 (£110,000). He later said he had negotiated the price down to $75,000.

The New York Times has also published a guide to the investigations into Mr Zinke.

According to the newspaper, he is facing scrutiny for blocking a Native American casino expansion after meetings with lobbyists opposing the plan, and for possible breaches of the Hatch Act – which stops federal employees from influencing elections by using their office.

What’s the reaction been?

Mr Zinke has promoted oil drilling and coal mining, and worked to roll back environmental protections brought in under President Obama.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s most senior Democrat, was blunt in his condemnation.

“The swamp cabinet will be a little less foul without him,” he tweeted.

Advocacy groups have accused Mr Zinke of being in hock to corporate polluters, and many welcomed his departure.

Jamie Williams, president of conservation group the Wilderness Society, said he feared what he called the “drill everywhere” policy would continue.

He said: “Unfortunately, even with Secretary Zinke out, the interior departmentremains disturbingly biased in favour of special interests over the health of American communities and the public lands that they love.”

It is not clear if Mr Zinke resigned, or was fired.

News of Mr Zinke’s departure comes just a week after the announcement that Mr Trump’s chief of staff, Gen John Kelly, is to leave the White House.

On Friday, Mr Trump named his successor, on an acting basis, as Mick Mulvaney, who is currently director of the office of management and budget.

However, video has emerged of Mr Mulvaney calling Mr Trump “a terrible human being” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Man struck, killed on Maine Turnpike

Police: Man hit by car, and then truck Saturday morning

The Maine Turnpike was closed for four hours Saturday morning after a man was hit and killed. Maine State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland says it happened around 3:00 a.m. and that the victim was struck by a passenger vehicle and then a tractor-trailer truck.

Traffic was detoured after police shutdown the northbound lanes to reconstruct the scene. The area was reopened at 7:15 a.m.

Maine Turnpike@MaineTurnpike

CANCELLED: Crash mi 36N /Saco The road is now open . http://www.maineturnpike.com/Traveler-Services/Alert.aspx?alertid=1395 

Troopers are trying to figure out how and where the man entered the turnpike. McCausland says no vehicle was located connected to the victim. His name is scheduled to be released Saturday.
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Boston Medical Center Nurse Denied Life Insurance Because She Carries Naloxone

Isela was denied life insurance because her medication list showed a prescription for the opioid-reversal drug naloxone. The Boston Medical Center nurse says she wants to have the drug on hand so she can save others.

Bloodwork was supposed to be the last step in Isela’s application for life insurance. But when she arrived at the lab, her appointment had been canceled.

“That was my first warning,” Isela says. She contacted her insurance agent and was told her application was denied because something on her medication list indicated that Isela uses drugs. Isela, a registered nurse who works in an addiction treatment program at Boston Medical Center, scanned her med list. It showed a prescription for the opioid-reversal drug naloxone — brand name Narcan.

“But I’m a nurse, I use it to help people,” Isela remembers telling her agent. “If there is an overdose, I could save their life.”

That’s a message public health leaders aim to spread far and wide. “BE PREPARED. GET NALOXONE. SAVE A LIFE,” was the message at the top of a summary advisory from the U.S. surgeon general in April.

But some life insurers consider the use of prescription drugs when reviewing policy applicants. And it can be difficult, some say, to tell the difference between someone who carries naloxone to save others and someone who carries naloxone because they are at risk for an overdose.

Primerica is the insurer Isela says turned her down. (NPR has agreed to use just Isela’s first name because she is worried about how this story might affect her ongoing ability to get life insurance.) The company says it can’t discuss individual cases. But in a prepared statement, Primerica notes that naloxone has become increasingly available over the counter.

“Now, if a life insurance applicant has a prescription for naloxone, we request more information about its intended use as part of our underwriting process,” says Keith Hancock, the vice president for corporate communications. “Primerica is supportive of efforts to help turn the tide on the national opioid epidemic.”

After Primerica turned her down, Isela applied to a second life insurer and was again denied coverage. But the second company told her it might reconsider if she obtained a letter from her doctor explaining why she needs naloxone. So, Isela did contact her primary care physician — and then realized that her doctor had not prescribed the drug.

Isela had bought naloxone at a pharmacy. To help reduce overdose deaths, Massachusetts and many other states have established a standing order for naloxone — one prescription that works for everybody. Isela couldn’t just give her insurer that statewide prescription; she had to find the doctor who signed it. As it happens, that physician — Dr. Alex Walley — also works at Boston Medical Center.

Walley is an associate professor of medicine at Boston University; he also works in addiction medicine at Boston Medical Center and is the medical director for the Opioid Overdose Prevention Pilot Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“We want naloxone to be available to a wide group of people — people who have an opioid use disorder themselves, but also [those in] their social networks and other people in a position to rescue them,” Walley says.

He says he’s written a half dozen letters for other BMC employees denied life or disability insurance because of naloxone, and that troubles him.

“My biggest concern is that people will be discouraged by this from going to get a naloxone rescue kit at the pharmacy,” Walley says. “So this has been frustrating.”

The life insurance hassle — and threat of being turned to down — has discouraged Isela and some of her fellow nurses. She is not carrying a naloxone kit outside the hospital right now because she doesn’t want it to show up on her active medication list until the life insurance problem is sorted out.

“So if something were to happen on the street, I don’t have one — just because I didn’t want another conflict,” Isela said.

BMC has alerted the state’s Division of Insurance, which has said in a written response that it is reviewing the cases and drafting guidelines for “the reasonable use of drug history information in determining whether to issue a life insurance policy.”

But Isela isn’t a drug user. And yet, she is being penalized as if she were.

Michael Botticelli, who runs the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at BMC, says friends and family members of patients with an addiction must be able to carry naloxone without fear that doing so will send them to the insurance reject pile.

“It’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that we try to kind of nip this in the bud,” he says, “before it is any more wide-scale.”

Botticelli says increased access to naloxone across Massachusetts is one of the main reasons overdose deaths are down in the state. The most recent state report shows 20 fewer fatalities this year compared to last.

Botticelli relayed his concerns in a letter to Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. surgeon general, who says he contacted the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That group says it has not heard of any cases of life insurance applicants being denied because they purchased naloxone.

Adams says it’s good to, as Botticelli suggests, nip the problem in the bud.

“Naloxone saves lives,” Adams says, “and it is important that all Americans know about the vital role bystanders can play in preventing opioid overdose deaths when equipped with this lifesaving medication.”

Isela says the second company that rejected her has agreed to let her reapply, in light of Walley’s letter stating that she carries the drug so that she can reverse an overdose. Isela is in the process of reapplying.

This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, WBUR and Kaiser Health News.

Portland, Maine: Neighborhood on alert for man who violently broke into one home, tried to enter another

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Police in Portland are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who forced his way into a woman’s home and then assaulted her and tried to force his way into another home in the same neighborhood.

Police believe the man is the same person even though the break ins happened weeks apart.

On November 15, around 6 p.m., a woman was assaulted in her Woodford Street apartment. Police say the woman was opening her door when a man forced her into the apartment and assaulted her. The woman recognized her attacker as a man she had encountered earlier on Hartley Street.

Police say the man is white, in his 30s with a pasty complexion and patchy, brown beard. He is 5′ 10″ with a slim build. Police say the man was wearing a New England Patriots blue knit cap, a puffy jacket (gray or blue) and blue jeans.

On December 4, around 5:30 p.m., a man had a physical altercation with a man who was trying to break into his home through a window on Highland Street. The man ran down the road to Brighton Avenue.

Police say the suspect in this case was described as a white man, 6’ in his 30s with a pale complexion and dark facial hair. He was wearing glasses and dressed in dark clothing including a hoodie, and believed to be on drugs.

Police believe the suspect is the same man in both cases because of the similarities in the descriptions and the proximity of the incidents.

Police are reminding Portland residents that even though “Portland remains a safe city” they should be aware of surroundings, keep exterior and an interior lights on, scan the area before leaving your car, keep an eye out for your neighbors’ homes, be alert while walking, if possible don’t walk alone, and always report suspicious behavior to the police.

If anyone has any information that would help solve these crimes they are being asked to contact the Portland Police Department at (207) 874-8575.

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