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  • Geebo 9:59 am on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety,   

    Gas is cheaper this year, but stay safe on the 4th 

    Gas is cheaper this year but stay safe on the 4th

    Gasoline is cheaper for cars this summer than it has been in a long time. Because of that a lot of people will be traveling for the holiday especially since the 4th is close to a weekend. Due to increased travelers, the risk of danger might be at an all time high tomorrow. In case you were unaware, the 4th of July is considered to be the most dangerous holiday of the year when it comes to traveling.

    If you plan on doing any traveling this holiday please buckle up. Also, it should go without saying not to drink and drive. If you do plan on celebrating the holiday with a drink or two, and find yourself incapable of driving, arrange alternative methods of transportation like a ride-sharing service or a taxi. Also as always, alcohol and fireworks are never a good mix. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

    Boating is also very dangerous during the 4th of July due to increased traffic, but it’s even more dangerous at night. If you’re out boating at night, and an accident or boat failure occurs, it might be difficult to signal anyone with a flare since they may consider the flare as more fireworks.

    Have a safe and fun holiday as we want to see you back here on Wednesday.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CargoPod, Oxbotica, Safety   

    Oxford tests its own autonomous delivery truck 

    Oxford tests its own autonomous delivery truck

    In a similar vein to Moby Mart and Starship delivery robots, comes another self-driving delivery service. Oxford University, yes that Oxford, is in the testing stage of an autonomous delivery van called CargoPod.

    Oxford’s self-driving vehicle lab Oxbotica, is currently test-driving the CargoPod in a small section of London. The van contains eight pods that can hold a small set of packages customers have ordered from a retailer’s website. It still has a long way to go in being a viable service, however it shows a lot of promise. Also, it’s not completely autonomous as UK law requires a human driver to be available in order to take over the wheel if need be. There’s also the matter of security since it does not currently have any form of identifying correct customers.

    Again, once this technology is perfected, it could be a boon to the online classifieds industry as it could eliminate face-to-face meetings between buyer and seller. That means it could discourage a lot of the unsafe aspects of selling something online. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if some startup ends up using this or similar technology to try to ensure the safety of classifieds users.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety   

    Are delivery robots the future of safety? 

    Are delivery robots the future of safety?

    Recently, the state of Wisconsin approved legislation that would allow delivery robots to use pedestrian trafficways. They follow Idaho and Virginia, who passed similar legislation. The robots, made by a company called Starship Technologies, are designed to be used by stores to deliver around two bags full of groceries to nearby residents.

    But what if they could be used for a different purpose?

    The most dangerous part of any classifieds transaction is going to meet either the buyer or seller who could potentially turn out to be someone looking to rob you, scam you or worse. What if there was a service that could eliminate that meeting? The service could be like an Uber for transactions. Once the seller receives the money through a valid online transaction they could take the item to a delivery hub where the robot could then take the item to its intended destination. Since most classifieds transactions are usually local, the delivery robot could be a very useful tool in ensuring the safety of classifieds users.

    Granted, this technology is far from being widely adopted since it’s only been approved in three states. However, before we know it these robots could be as commonplace as any other delivery service is today.

  • Geebo 9:07 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety   

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance 

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance

    A very sad and unfortunate incident recently took place in Jacksonville, Florida, that involved Facebook Marketplace. A father of two was shot and killed in front of his children when a man giving away a dog on Facebook Marketplace became suddenly violent in the man’s home. The gunman was giving away a dog that he had allegedly found in the back of his truck. The father wanted the dog for his children and asked the man if he could pick the dog up but the man insisted that he drop off the dog at the father’s home.

    When the man showed up at the house the father and his fiancée invited the man in for a drink to thank him for the dog. The man is said to have overstayed his welcome and becomes drunk and belligerent before getting into an argument with the father and shooting him dead. Thankfully the children and the father’s fiancée were physically unharmed.

    Normally, when a murder is committed through the use of a classifieds site, mainly the notorious craigslist, it’s usually a robbery that goes bad. However, it’s not unheard of for freak occurrences like this to arise. Having someone come to your home is never a good idea no matter how trustworthy you think the person may be. As soon as they try to talk you into meeting you at your own home you should immediately say that you’re no longer interested in the item. It’s recommended that you always ask someone who is about to complete an online exchange with you to meet you at a police station as most police stations in the country now welcome these transactions to take place within the safety of their walls. If something does not feel right when making any kind of classifieds transaction, listen to your gut and walk away.

  • Geebo 9:22 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , crime, Safety   

    Triple digit murders highlight craigslist’s lack of safety 

    Triple digit murders highlight craigslist's lack of safety

    Last year, The Washington Post ran an article entitled “Think twice before answering that ad: 101 murders have been linked to Craigslist”. That number was provided by the AIM Group who maintain a public list of victims on the Craigslist Killings – Craigslist Safety blog. Since that article was published, there have been nine more victims added to the list bringing the number up to 110.

    The article also goes on to mention Aim Group’s SafeTrade initiative to turn police stations into safe zones for craigslist transactions. That should tell you volumes right there on how unsafe craigslist really is. If a major industry watchdog group and numerous police departments across the country are urging you to use police stations to do business on craigslist then it really isn’t all that safe.

    Craigslist has such a low barrier to entry that they don’t even require a valid phone number for anyone to place ads. This allows anyone with a criminal intent to place an ad for whatever reason. The crimes on craigslist run the gamut from fake check scams to robbery to sexual assault, all the way up to murder. If history is any indicator, craigslist will probably not enact any additional safety features to the anemic ones that they barely have. Craigslist hasn’t even publicly commented on user safety in seven years, according to The Post.

    Craigslist has always prided itself on having a minimum number of employees. In the past they have stated that there are only about two dozen employees to help run a global classifieds empire. What it really comes down to is that craigslist seems to covet their profit margins so much, that they would rather sacrifice user safety than having new safety measures eat into their bank account. Craigslist may have been founded on Bay Area principles of community and sharing, but today they are nothing more than an international bastion of greed whose only real concern is the bottom line.

  • Geebo 11:01 am on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pseudonym, Safety   

    Using real names vs. pseudonyms online 

    Using real names vs. pseudonyms online

    During the early days of the internet it was almost universally recommended to use a screen name rather than your real name in order to protect your privacy. That practice was almost universally abandoned when service like Facebook came along. Not only did using your real name make in easier to find your friends but Facebook’s own policy has almost killed off the online pseudonym. While this practice is more convenient is it better?

    Facebook argues that when people use their real names online there is less chance of online harassment. One could argue that if you go to any comment section that uses Facebook comments, you’ll not only see online harassment but you’ll see people being harassed because they used real their name. Whether it’s sexist, ethnic or some other prejudice, some people will use just that information to not only harass someone but in some cases take their harassment into the real world. This isn’t even mention those who have been victims of domestic abuse who are trying to remain hidden from their attackers.

    Real names do not equal automatic respect and kindness online. As a matter of fact research shows that it’s just the opposite. Too many people are proud to be jerks online and have no fear of using their real names to belittle others.

  • Geebo 11:01 am on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Safety   

    California seriously cracks down on cell phones in cars 

    California seriously cracks down on cell phones in cars

    We’re all guilty of it. We’ve all used our cell phones while driving. Whether it’s quickly checking a text message or changing a song, we’ve all taken our eyes off the road for just a second to fiddle with our phones. While we think we can handle it, it really is extremely dangerous to do so. California believes so too, and believes it so much they have instituted some of the toughest laws against driving and using your phone.

    While California has only allowed hands free calling for years, as of January 1st of 2017 California has made it illegal to use your phone while driving unless it’s in a cradle on your dashboard. Part of the law even states that the cradle can’t be on the center of the windshield. Not only that, but the law states that you can only use one finger to swipe anything on your phone while it’s in the cradle. Whether or not this will actually decrease incidents involving distracted driving remains to be seen. For example, can the law requiring only one finger swipes be enforced in reality? Will the fines, running from $20 to $50 be enough to discourage this kind of behavior? Or is this just a cash grab by the always financially addled Golden State?

    California is one of the most visited states by tourists. How many of them will be aware of the new law when they go to visit California? How many of them will be stopped by the California Highway Patrol for having their cell phones in their hands? While California has always had the toughest cell phone laws in the country, these new laws seem to be on par with the red light cameras that plague our cities, meaning that they generate more money for governments than they prevent actual accidents.

  • Geebo 10:58 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Safety, ,   

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices 

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices

    With Christmas fast approaching many children will be receiving new devices this year, whether they’re tablets or smart phones. With these new toys come new responsibilities, not only for the children but for parents as well. In the age we live in you can’t just hand your children one of these devices and send them on their merry way and expect no problems. Unfortunately, in our society not only are there the predators that we’re all concerned about but there are financial predators as well who want to take advantage of your kids disguised as apps and data caps.

    Many games for children on these devices have what they call ‘in app purchases’ which means that the players of the game can buy in-game items with real world money. Not only that, but many of these games use data from your cellular providers data plan and can either run up quite the data bill or burn through your allotted data rather quickly.

    To help you and your children avoid these pitfalls we’ve found two good resources on how to protect your children and your wallet while using these new devices. iOS devices, which are the ones made by Apple, are relatively simple to enable safety and financial restrictions. Android devices on the other hand, the ones made by companies like Samsung and various other manufacturers, are a little more difficult to restrict, but can be done.

    Just look at setting up your child’s new device as the modern equivalent of having to assemble the toys that our parents did on Christmas Eve for years, except now not only are you keeping your children engaged but you’re keeping them safe as well.

  • Geebo 11:04 am on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Safety,   

    Stay safe this Thanksgiving 

    Stay safe this Thanksgiving

    According to AAA, 48.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving season. Unfortunately, a number of these people might be under the influence of alcohol. Starting today, a number of people will start celebrating with the favorite spirits in what’s been referred to as Blackout Wednesday. Combine that with the Thanksgiving holiday itself and you have a rate of alcohol related crashes that rivals New Years Eve.

    Another aspect of safety for the holiday you may not think of is food safety. The USDA has some recommendations to help prevent an emergency room visit for food poisoning. One tip that they did not include is that if you’re going to deep fry a turkey, make sure it’s thawed first. If you don’t, the cooking oil and the extra moisture can cause the hot oil to geyser out of the fryer which can cause not only burns to anyone standing around, and has caused multiple house fires.

    So please, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year and many more.

  • Geebo 11:30 am on November 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Safety   

    Don’t let your holiday packages get stolen 

    Don't let your holiday packages get stolen

    With the holiday season upon us and with many of us foregoing brick and mortar stores for online shopping, we still have to deal with the analog world problem of making sure our deliveries don’t get stolen. There’s an entire criminal enterprise that revolves around the theft of packages from our doorsteps. Here are some steps to prevent some Grinches from stealing your Christmas.

    You can request the delivery service to only deliver the package when someone is there to sign it. Look for an option that says ‘Signature Delivery Option’. You can also arrange to have your packages held at your local delivery services branch, this way you can pick it up there rather than having unattended packages left at your door. Also consider having your packages sent to a friend or relative’s house who you know is normally home during delivery hours. Also, don’t forget that you can track your package using the delivery services tracking numbers to see where the package is in the delivery process.

    While no tip is perfect, these tips should help insure that your loved ones receive the gifts that you worked hard to get them for the holidays.

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