|New COVID-19 is scary|
|Fri. Nov 26, 2021 08:05 PM|
Noticias Texas posted an article on the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 which is currently found in South Africa and surrounding nations. It was first discovered in Botswana. Although there an only a handful of cases, it is dangerous enough to warrant extreme precautions.
|Understanding General Data Protection Regulation|
|Tue. Oct 22, 2019 08:47 PM|
GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is an effort set forth by the European Union with the intended purpose of increasing data protection and privacy for its citizens. Effective May 25, 2018, the GDPR itself is the legal framework that sets regulations in regards to how companies and organizations can access or utilize the data of individuals. Of course, data in itself is quite a broad term. In this case, the data that is being protected refers to personal information, including names, addresses, pictures, medical information, social media information or posts, IP addresses, and more, to name a few. The GDPR offers protection not only for data regarding public life but also professional life and private life. Some provisions of the GDPR include the requirement that organizations report data breaches within 72 hours and alert affected persons to ensure that minimal damage is incurred onto the privacy of data. Another, the "right to be forgotten", allows individuals the right to request certain information about them be withdrawn and deleted. Consequences of failing to abide by these regulations are harsh to discourage companies and organizations from straying from the guidelines.
Such consequences include a hefty fine, set at 4% of trailing annual gross revenue, which for several larger businesses is quite a large sum. The strict penalties are a contributor to the reason that the GDPR has garnered so much attention. Although the GDPR was set into motion by the European Union and offers protection to all citizens of the European Union, the policy affects a much larger range of individuals. For example, organizations or individuals, including schools and universities, that deal with EU citizen data are expected to follow the rules and regulations set by the GDPR. In addition, it is important to understand the standards set by the GDPR, as it is setting a precedent for other data regulation policies to come, and will likely have a large impact on the handling, processing, and sharing of data.
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|Was World Cup Final a fluke?|
|Mon. Oct 14, 2019 01:33 PM|
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 ended in the most dramatic way possible. The England cricket team won their first World Cup in the twelfth edition of the global tournament and grabbed what was considered to be their best opportunity to win. Here we have a look at why their success in the tournament cannot be considered a fluke, but the World Cup Final can be.
It was thought to be their best chance for a few reasons. They were hosting the event, their ODI side had become a world-beater, everyone in their batting order was in great form, are some of them. England suffered an embarrassing defeat in the 2015 World Cup where they could beat only minnows Afghanistan and Scotland. They were knocked out by Bangladesh.
This made the Eoin Morgan-led side determined to be the best in the world. Their ODI numbers between World Cup 2015 and World Cup 2019 are just brilliant. In 88 ODIs, they won 58 and lost just 23. They had significantly strong numbers against Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies.
The reason for their success was their batting strength. Morgan had revamped the side and picked as many hard hitters and aggressive players as he could. Jason Roy and Alex Hales had cemented their place in the squad on the back of a brilliant run of forms during that period. Unfortunately, Hales could not be selected for reasons outside cricket. Even then, their batting line-up was so strong that they had a couple of more options to grab the opener’s spot.
They went with Jonny Bairstow and that became a masterstroke. Bairstow and Roy combined to make 975 runs in the tournament. Their number 3, Joe Root, was the highest run-getter for them in the competition with 556 runs in 11 innings. It was Ben Stokes, who was their savior, scoring 465 runs in 10 innings.
They managed to blow out the unbeaten Indian side, and then the Australian side in the semi-finals with utmost ease and that was the highlight of their performance in the tournament. By the time they reached the finals, England was predicted to be the winner by almost everybody who predicted according to form and dominance. Taking things up to here into consideration, their success in the tournament cannot be called a fluke.
However, the regular England side just did not turn up on the day of the Final. The Kiwis always depended on a couple of different batsmen every match to raise their hand up and give them a push. It happened on the day of the Final as well. Henry Nicholls (55) and Tom Latham (47) anchored the innings while the rest of the Top 5 batsmen got into double figures. It was the usual business for the Black Caps.
On the contrary, the aggressive English openers scored a combined total of 53 runs in 75 balls. Their top run-getter Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan got stuck and added 16 runs off 52 balls to the total. Buttler played well and scored 59 runs off 60 balls supporting Stokes well.
The next 5 batsmen could manage only 12 runs off 15 balls. They needed heroic innings from ‘Lord’ Ben Stokes, as they call him now, to level the scores with the Kiwis. You don’t get such an innings of 84 off 98 balls on the day of the World Cup Final. The overthrow that went for 6 runs was just the stars aligning for them. The Super Over followed. Once again it was Stokes and Buttler who got them the 15 runs. They somehow managed to tie the Super Over too, and what went in their favor was a rule made by the ICC which was hardly ever looked into before and hardly will ever be needed again - the team with more boundaries will win in case of a Super Over tie. This is like all the stars in the galaxy aligning just for England to win their first-ever World Cup. These types of run-chases can never be made again and that is why it can be called a fluke.
However, the English players could not reflect the same form in the Test series that followed. They tied the Ashes series 2-2 and could not manage to win back the urn at home for the first time in 18 years. Their below-par performance reflected on the World Test Championship points table as they are left reeling at the fifth position.
For the fans who engage in the brilliant Dream11 prediction and team-making, it is easy to select England players in the ODI format, but tough to pick in the Test format. The England team will be hoping to rise up in the long format too, in their tour to New Zealand, that starts close to 3 weeks from now.
|What the property tax lending industry is doing to consumers|
|Tue. May 12, 2015 09:28 AM|
By Eric Sandberg, President & CEO, Texas Bankers Association
Imagine, it's tax time and a family is faced with losing their home because they can’t pay their property taxes.
They receive what they think is a godsend from a property tax lender — a letter with a promise: "We will quickly get your taxes paid so you'll no longer incur the large penalties, interest and attorney collection fees charged by your county. It’s simple. We pay the taxes. You pay us back over time."
Unfortunately, for many families across the state, the process is anything but simple. One such victim is Pastor Josue Lopez of Pharr. Desperate to pay his delinquent taxes, he obtained a $19,000 loan from a property tax lender. The interest rate: 18 percent. At the end of the 10-year note, Lopez will owe a total of $45,000. Of that amount, $25,000 is interest. Lopez told state lawmakers he was shocked to learn he would be paying that much and had no idea what he’d gotten himself into.
Lopez is not alone. In testimony before the House Business and Industry Committee last year, Texas Consumer Credit Commissioner Leslie Pettijohn reported the number of property tax loans steadily increased from 12,078 in 2008 to 15,738 in 2013.
There were $201 million in property tax loans written in Texas in 2013, up from $119 million in 2008. More than 8,100 loans totaling nearly $81.5 million were at least 90 days delinquent.
The reason for the almost 70 percent increase in property tax loans written is a no-brainer. The property tax lien lenders have nothing to lose—and quite a lot to gain. The property tax lender has lien priority, so if the property goes into foreclosure, the property tax lender is paid first, regardless of whether there is an existing mortgage on the house.
Pastor Lopez told his story at a February press conference held by Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) when he introduced HB 1936, which would require property owners to notify their mortgage lender 10 days before entering into a property tax loan. The bill has now passed the House and was referred to the Senate Business & Commerce Committee last week.
The bill would go a long way toward curbing the abuses of the property tax lending industry by requiring homeowners to notify their mortgage lender 10 days before entering into a property tax loan. This “cooling off” period helps the property owner in a couple of ways:
- First, it gives property owners time to fully consider their options. Entities, such as county tax assessors and banks, can offer to lend the money needed to pay the delinquent taxes at much lower interest rates and minus the exorbitant fees. Currently, lenders do not have the ability to pay off a property tax lender until the property tax note is delinquent for 120 days or the borrower is 90 days delinquent on the underlying mortgage loan.
- Second, the notice alerts lenders to possible violations of the mortgage agreement. Property owners may not realize they are breaching their agreements with their lenders when they take out property tax loans using the financed property as collateral.
The bill doesn’t prevent property owners from getting the needed funds from the property tax lenders—even at the higher interest rates and tacked on fees—if they still want to move forward. What it does do, however, is give property owners the opportunity to investigate better and less costly alternatives.
The concept is similar to that of home equity loans, which in Texas require a 12-day cooling-off period after an application is made. During that time, the borrower can research other alternatives and either move forward with the loan or pull out.
Does HB 1936 go far enough to curb the abuses of these predatory lenders? Probably not, but it at least gives property owners an opportunity to look at options. For Pastor Lopez, that cooling off period could have steered him away from a product he calls "deceptive and predatory."
|New TollTag Store Opens in Irving|
|Thu. Apr 04, 2013 12:53 PM|
The NTTA opened a new TollTag Store in Irving, giving Metroplex drivers another quick, convenient option and personal service.
The new location offers full service options for TollTag and ZipCash customers. Services include opening new TollTag accounts, making account changes, replenishing prepaid cash accounts, and paying ZipCash invoices.
The Irving TollTag store is located on President George Bush Turnpike near Belt Line Road in Irving.
- From southbound Bush Turnpike: Take the Belt Line Road exit then stay on the service road for a quarter mile. The TollTag Store will be on your left.
- From the northbound Bush Turnpike: Take the SH 114/Royal Lane exit and make a U-turn at SH 114. Stay on the service road for 1.5 miles. The TollTag Store will be on your left.
Hours of operation:
- Sunday-Monday: Closed
- Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Source: NTTA eNewsletter.
|Students Can Learn to Prepare Taxes with No Obligation|
|Fri. Sep 14, 2012 09:36 AM|
The average American worker may hold at least 5-7different career jobs during their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With unemployment still about 9%, many job seekers have even more interest in diversifying their skill sets and exploring instruction and higher education options. Liberty Tax invites the public to learn tax preparation with no obligation in fall tax classes at convenient locations across the country. The company’s eight-week tax school can help students learn personal tax-savings advantages and strategies as well as a new skill that may lead to certification and employment. Students can overcome one of life’s most highly ranked fears, taxes, while working in a business with a “Made in America” product.
Learning the skill of tax preparation can be a personal financial and employment advantage during this economic downturn. Liberty Tax is planning to staff up at its 2331 W. Shady Grove Rd, Ste. 101 location by tax season with plans to fill 10 Tax Preparer positions. No previous tax preparation is required.
“Anyone and everyone can take our classes. The main requirement is the willingness to learn individual tax preparation and apply the tax code to many situations. It’s a great refresher for the latest changes and life changes affecting our students,” commented Jesus Martinez, Owner of Liberty Tax Service in Shady Grove Rd in Irving.
Class schedules are flexible with day or evening classes available twice a week for ten weeks. There’s a minimal charge for books and supplies.
Liberty Tax Service is actively recruiting bilingual tax school students. For registration and other details, call Liberty Tax Service at 972-259-1099.
|Save money by shopping for the best electricity rates|
|Thu. Dec 29, 2011 11:07 PM|
Texas Electric Companies have been deregulated since 2007. I am constantly surprised how many people have had TXU as an electric provider in North Texas without comparing prices. Although electric companies brag that they are looking out for their customers, my experience has been the opposite. I had a 12 month plan with Reliant at a low rate, but when the contract ran out they decided to automatically switch me to a month-to-month plan. I was paying .18¢ per kWh without knowing it, trusting that Reliant would have notified me. By the time, I noticed I had been paying the higher price for four months. That's when I started searching for lower electric rates. I found companies like http://www.fortworthelectriccompany.com and http://www.arlingtonelectriccompany.com which provided me with an easy tool for comparing various electric rates at once. I suggest you visit sites as the once I've mentioned and start saving significant money each and every month.
|Lane closures on Loop 12 for October 29, 2011|
|Fri. Oct 28, 2011 09:04 AM|
Weather permitting, The Texas Department of Transportation will close all eastbound SH 114 mainlanes, and one lane westbound, between Tom Braniff to just east of the Loop 12 overpass between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Should weather delay the construction scheduled, the highway closure may occur Sunday at those times instead.
These closures are necessary to install underpass lighting on the Loop 12 bridges over SH 114.
These closures are necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public and workers during these construction operations. Police officers will be located at the SH 114/Loop 12 frontage road intersection to direct traffic during the closures. Portable message boards were placed in advance to inform the traveling public of the closure.
This is part of the $224 million project to reconstruct the Loop 12/SH 114 interchange. The project began in February 2009 and is expected to be complete in March 2013.
For additional transportation related information please visit the TxDOT Web site www.txdot.gov
|Living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Search for a Good Night’s Sleep|
|Mon. Sep 12, 2011 01:13 PM|
More than 18 million Americans are significantly impaired by the consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – it is more prevalent than diabetes and asthma. Patients with OSA often stop breathing during the night while they sleep, often for 30 seconds or longer. This condition can cause daytime sleepiness, depression and weight gain. This causes more problems for patients including an increase in industrial accidents and a diminished quality of life. Furthermore, people with sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing hypertension, heart disease and stroke. All these factors highlight a growing need for new treatment options for patients suffering from OSA.
Current treatment options for OSA today include today’s current standard of care, CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and surgical treatments. CPAP requires patients to wear a ventilation mask when they sleep. While it can be very effective, several studies have demonstrated roughly half of all patients that start on CPAP eventually become non-compliant and don’t wear the mask regularly. While surgery can also be effective, most surgical options involve removing tissue and/or permanently altering patient anatomy which can cause post-operative pain and long recovery times.
SleepMedicine Associates of Texas, specializing in caring for patients with sleep disorders, has been selected to be part of an exciting new clinical trial. This investigational, minimally invasive implantable therapy uses neurostimulation to offer patients a way to permanently address OSA without altering the anatomy. Called Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy, it works with the body’s physiology to prevent airway obstruction during sleep.
Here’s how it works: Many people suffering from OSA experience decreased muscle tone in their airway during sleep. When this occurs, the tongue and other soft tissues can relax, obstruct the airway, and cause apnea events. Inspire therapy is designed to deliver mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve on each breathing cycle while the OSA patient sleeps. This stimulation helps to stabilize the airway during sleep. Patients control when the therapy is turned on and off via a handheld programmer. While Inspire therapy does require a surgical procedure, in contrast to other surgical options to treat sleep apnea, Inspire therapy does not require removing or permanently altering an OSA patient’s facial or airway anatomy. As such, the procedure is less invasive and may result in a shorter recovery time.
Sleep Medicine Associates is currently looking for patients who have sleep apnea to participate in the trial. To be eligible for screening and inclusion in the STAR trial, patients must:
- Have been unable to receive consistent benefit from CPAP therapy
- Have moderate to severe sleep apnea
- Have a body mass index of less than 32
Patients living with the effects of OSA who are interested in Inspire therapy may visit www.TheStarTrial.com or call1-888-846-8352.
About the Author
Dr. Jamieson is Chairman of the Board and founding partner of Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas. Since 1988, he has been the Clinical Director for The Sleep Medicine Institute at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
|Let Irving Weekly help you market your business|
|Tue. Feb 15, 2011 09:01 AM|
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