New Books to Consider:
Karabell, Zachary. The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World. Simon & Schuster, 2014. We are bombarded every day with numbers that tell us how we are doing, whether the economy is growing or shrinking, whether the future looks bright or dim. Gross national product, balance of trade, unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence guide our actions, yet few of us know where these numbers come from, what they mean, or why they rule our world. In The Leading Indicators, Karabell tells the history of these indicators. They were invented in the mid-twentieth century to address the urgent challenges of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. They were rough measures, designed to give clarity in a data-parched world that was made up of centralized, industrial nations—yet we still rely on them today. If you want to buy a home, look for a job, start a company, or run a business, you should find your own indicators. National housing figures don’t matter; local ones do. You can find them at the click of a button. Personal, made-to-order indicators will meet our needs today, and the revolution is well underway–We need only to join it.
Fink, Caroline K. Cold War: An International History. Westview Press, 2013. The decades-long Cold War had implications for the entire world and was more than a conflict between the USA and the USSR. Fink explores the war from an international perspective, including events in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She offers a braoder time line of the Cold War, beginning with the Russian Revolution and World War II and discussing the aftermath after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Casale, James L. Wise Up: Be the Solution: Establish a “learning culture” in your home and help your child succeed in school. CreateSpace, 2013. Direct your frustration about your child’s education to something you can control-the learning environment in your own home. No special skills are needed. Casale, a state and national award winning educator with 50 years of experience, inspires parents to become more knowledgeable about key school issues and more proactive in their child’s education. You don’t need another parenting book or any specialized knowledge. You will not have to do your child’s homework or design elaborate learning activities. This book offers readers a straightforward, common sense approach to creating a learning culture in the home and helping your child succeed in school and in life. Parents can change the family dynamic for the better by remembering the four C(s)-calm, civil, courageous and consistent. Get the tools you need to: maintain a positive attitude about education and develop a plan that values education and life-long learning. Parents are their child’s first and most important teachers. They must accept their solemn responsibility to love, protect, and nurture the emotional, psychological, physical and academic growth of their child. This book will help parents to be the solution.
Appling for Student Aid: The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to more than 14 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in whether they do. Federal student aid includes:
- Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
- Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
- Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
Use FAFSA4caster to get an estimate of how much aid you might receive from the U.S. Department of Education.
Apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM). And remember, the first F in “FAFSA” stands for “free”—you shouldn’t pay to fill out the FAFSA.
News from the Federal Trade Commission:
How much is everything on your computer worth to you? About $300? The criminals behind a new malware program are betting on it.
The Federal Trade Commission, the FBI and other federal agencies are warning consumers and businesses about “Cryptolocker,” a malware program that holds the files on your computer for ransom, and doesn’t allow you to access them until you pay up. Even then, there’s no guarantee. It’s essentially extortion, with all your personal documents, photos, and files at risk.
Cryptolocker is spread mostly through email and “drive-by” downloads. The email might look like a routine message from a legitimate company, like a tracking notice from a shipping company. If you click on the hyperlink in the email, Cryptolocker encrypts everything on your hard drive and in your shared folders. When the job is done, you get a “ransom note” demanding payment via Bitcoin or some other anonymous payment method. The criminals behind this malware say they’ll give you the encryption key if you pay, but they’re hardly trustworthy. And there’s no other way to unlock your files. For tips about how to protect your business from Cryptolocker, read Lock, stock, and peril at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/back-back-back-it.
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