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Archive for November, 2016

30 November
Comments Off on Bot Will Chat With Comcast About Your Bill So You Don’t Have To

Bot Will Chat With Comcast About Your Bill So You Don’t Have To

In these politically divided days, few things unite Americans as much as the universally despised experience of dealing with a cable company’s customer support. Online chats with agents or phone calls with representatives are the catalyst for many a migraine. Thankfully, San Francisco startup Trim has developed a bot that will talk online to Comcast customer service, and deal with service changes on your behalf. With all the buzz about bots, it only makes sense that developers start creating bots that’ll take care of life’s most mundane chores.

Bots and artificial intelligence are hot topics. It’s possible that President Barack Obama will be preserved as a bot based off his social media data. And there are already plenty of bots that people can talk to online. Trim’s Comcast chatter might be small in the task it completes, but it demonstrates a future of bots with practical functions.

Trim’s bot works as a Chrome extension that logs into Comcast’s online chat and negotiates with the agent, removing ancillary subscriptions, and parsing through sales rhetoric. It’s a good thing, too, because it turns out that Comcast’s customer support isn’t that interested in being genuinely helpful to begin with. According to Trim’s CEO Thomas Smyth, it’s saving the average user $10.

28 November
Comments Off on Investors seek stake in troubled UDF firm

Investors seek stake in troubled UDF firm

A California investment fund has made an offer to buy a stake in a troubled Grapevine-based lender and investment fund.

Trading in United Development Funding IV has been halted since earlier this year when the company came under scrutiny of federal investigators.

The real estate investment trust invested in residential community development loans and other real estate debt.

Before United Development Funding IV was subject to charges of fraud by hedge fund investors, the company had more than $500 million in shareholders equity.

A fund represented by MacKenzie Capital Management LP of Moraga, Calif has made tinder offer to buy a more than 5 percent stake in UDF IV, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The investment fund wants to buy up to 1.55 million shares in the real estate investment trust for $1.50 a share.

UDF IV last traded in February for just over $3 per share.

The company hasnt filed any required financial statements with the SEC since last year and

The company has a deadline next week to make its SEC filings in order to retain its listing status with the NASDAQ Stock Market.

MacKenzie Capital in its filings said that if may seek to make more purchases of UDF IV.

The purchasers are acquiring the shares pursuant to the offer solely for investment purposes, MacKenzies SEC tinder offer claims. The purchasers have no present intention to seek control of the corporation or to change the management or operations of the corporation.

The purchasers do not have any present intention to take any action in connection with the liquidation of the corporation.

However, the investors say that if they acquire a significant stake in UDF IV, they may have the ability to vote in board of directors.

25 November
Comments Off on How will election affect real estate market?

How will election affect real estate market?

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — They are the campaign signs of real estate, and in Tulsa, theyre giving those political signs a run for their money.

The real estate market is currently booming in Tulsa. Even with the election right around the corner, but experts say that shouldnt worry anyone.

Right now, were seeing a really, really busy market, said Paul Wheeler of Accent Realtors. We get big events and people hold their breath, and they wait, but the great thing is people cant hold their breath forever, he said.

Low mortgage rates are contributing to the good business.

When I got into the mortgage market in 2003, we were writing mortgages at 6.7 percent and 6.8 percent and to be writing them at 3.5 percent is just amazing, said David Walter of Today Lending.

But rates might not stay that low for long.

We think rates will be up a little bit in December when the Federal Reserve raises their interest rates, Walter said.

Wheeler and Walter both said they dont believe which candidate gets elected in November will have much affect on the real estate market.

Based on all of my election years in the past, I dont think it will change much, it really wont, Wheeler said. You know, we have our hopes and our dreams of who will win, and who will not, but in the end, the economy just keeps chugging along.

Theres no stopping that American dream of home ownership no matter how interesting the election is, he said.

21 November
Comments Off on Australians struggle to avoid junk food supermarket specials

Australians struggle to avoid junk food supermarket specials

Its tough to pass up a bargain, despite how bad it may be for our health.

Despite the healthiest of intentions, many Australians are likely to purchase lollies, soft drinks and other savoury and sugary snacks if these items are discounted or on sale at their local supermarket, according to new survey results.

Coinciding with World Obesity Day (11 October), public health organisation LiveLighter released its Shape of Australia survey, revealing almost two-thirds (65%) of Aussie shoppers usually pre-plan their meals and around half (51%) often compare products based on their healthiness.

However, two out of three (60%) were also likely to buy unhealthy food and drinks on sale or promotion.

The most popular sale items were confectionery and chocolate (67%), potato chips and savoury biscuits (66%) and sugary drinks including soft drinks, cordial and energy drinks (65%).

Regular consumption of high kilojoule food and drinks can lead to weight gain and a build-up of toxic fat around your organs, which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, Heart Foundation Victorias healthy living manager Roni Beauchamp said.

These stats are troubling, considering the leading cause of death in Australia is heart disease, while diabetes also ranks among the top ten most prolific killers.

The 2016 CSIRO Healthy Diet Score report, released last month, revealed Australian diets scored just 59 out of 100, with only 1% of respondents avoiding junk food entirely.

So how does it happen? The survey discovered that shoppers who visit the supermarket every day or more than a few times per week were decidedly more likely (67%) to buy unhealthy sale items than those who shopped just once each week (54%).

LiveLighter suggests these cost-effective tips for a healthier supermarket trolley:

  • Save money by making healthy snacks at home – they’re better for you, too
  • Compare the true cost of purchases using the unit price on the shelf label (eg $ per kg or 100g)
  • Write a meal plan and a shopping list and stick to it
  • Spend more of your food budget on healthy foods to save money at the checkout
  • Limit your visits to the supermarket each week
  • Avoid going to the supermarket on an empty stomach

While vegetarianism is now a trendy lifestyle choice, theres still an astronomically high number of Australians who dont consume the recommended amounts of fruit and veggies.

Healthy eating has often been marred by the assumption that it is more costly and uninspiring. To combat this myth, weve compiled an A-Z on eating well for cheap.

Want to get fit? Try using a fitness tracker to motivate yourself to exercise or eat more healthily.

Latest health insurance headlines

  • Hospital emergency department admissions are up
  • Australians ditching their health insurance
  • Diabetes: 100,000 Australians diagnosed this year
  • Perinatal depression misunderstood in Australia
  • Satisfaction with private health insurers slumps

Picture: Shutterstock

21 November
Comments Off on Once booming Dickinson Avenue corridor at center of Greenville revitalization
21 November
Comments Off on NOLA real estate market leveling off after decade of rising prices …
19 November
Comments Off on Meadow where the young ones bloom at Shrewsbury

Meadow where the young ones bloom at Shrewsbury

Meadow where the young ones bloom atShrewsbury

Shrewsbury Town boss Micky Mellon hopes his latest loan deals can help boost Salop’s burgeoning reputation for helping youngsters to progress.

19 November
Comments Off on Kansas judge extends voting rights for those registered at motor vehicle o…
16 November
Comments Off on Officials identify woman struck and killed by a motor vehicle on Route 11

Officials identify woman struck and killed by a motor vehicle on Route 11

LARKSVILLE Officials have identified the woman struck and killed by a motor vehicle on Route 11 on Thursday.

Officials identified the woman as Alicia Kerbaugh, 23, of Plymouth. Kerbaughs cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy, which is scheduled for Saturday.

The accident, which occurred near Wyoming Valley Motors, closed the roadway between Broody Tires and Woodys Fireplace. After several cars and tractor-trailers had trouble maneuvering the U-turn, Kingston police closed the road further down at Woodward Road.

The road was opened sometime overnight.

Calls made to Larksville Police Chief John Edwards have not yet been returned.

Check back with the Times Leader for more information.

16 November







CASE#: 16A105171


BARRACKS: Williston

CONTAC#: (802) 878-7111

DATE/TIME: 10/9/2016 2347 Hrs

Highway: Interstate 89 South Mile Marker 80.8

TOWN: Williston


ROAD CONDITIONS: Dry, Standard Blacktop


OPERATOR: under investigation









INJURIES: Non-incapacitating injuries

HOSPITAL: University of Vermont Medical Center



VEHICLE MAKE: Volkswagen



INJURIES: Fatalities


On Saturday October 8th 2016 at 2343 hours, State Police 911 dispatchers received a report of a wrong way driver on Interstate 89 in the town of Bolton, VT. The caller reported a truck driving northbound in the southbound lane. Multiple additional 911 calls were received from motorist who continued to report the pick-up truck traveling northbound in the southbound lane. Richmond Police, Williston Police and the Vermont State Police responded to attempt to intercept the wrong way driver. At 2352 hours, 911 dispatchers received a call of a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 89 at mile marker 80.8 in the Town of Williston.

The Williston Police Department was the first to arrive on scene, and observed a two vehicle crash with one of the vehicles engulfed in flames in the median. The Williston officer retrieved a fire extinguisher and ran towards the engulfed vehicle. The Williston officer pulled one female victim from the engulfed vehicle toward the side of the road. As the officer was attempting to extinguish the fire, a male, later identified as Steven D. Bourgoin (36), entered the Williston police cruiser and began to drive south at a high rate of speed. The Williston Officer radioed that his cruiser was stolen. A Richmond Police Officer set up at the U-turn at mile marker 77 to intercept the stolen police cruiser. Bourgoin encountered a Richmond police officer and turned around on the interstate. Bourgoin then traveled northbound in the southbound lane back towards the original crash scene at a high rate of speed whereupon he struck seven vehicles. Bourgoin was taken into custody and transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The primary crash resulted in five (5) fatalities. The deceased victims will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) for an autopsy. The identification of the deceased victims is being withheld until positive identifications can be made through the OCME.

There were multiple injuries in the second crash, and those folks were transported to UVM medical Center with non-life threatening injures. The identity of the vehicles and occupants from the second crash will be released at a later date.

This crash is still under investigation and anyone with any information is asked to call the Williston State Police (802) 878-7111.