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Facebook Hit with Threat of “Record-Setting Fine” for Privacy Violations

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Federal Trade Commission officials have discussed imposing a record-setting fine on Facebook after a year of major data breaches and revelations of improper data sharing, according to the Washington Post. Facebook may have violated a 2012 agreement with the government to protect users’ data and make clear statements about their privacy.

If imposed, this would be the first major fine Facebook has faced in the US after it was revealed last spring that the personal data of over 87 million users had been given to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, without their explicit permission. Last October, United Kingdom officials fined Facebook £500,000 as a result of Cambridge Analytica, but that amount pales in comparison to what US regulators are reportedly debating now.

Facebook fine more than $22.5 million

According to the Post, the fine could be larger than the $22.5 million one the FTC imposed on Google in 2012 after regulators found that the company had tracked users of Apple’s Safari web browser, despite saying it wouldn’t.
In 2012, Facebook entered a consent decree with the FTC agreeing that it deceived its users by telling them that certain information would be kept private, when it was not. The company had made information, like lists of friends and published posts, available to the public and capable of being shared without the consent of its users. This is likely the agreement the FTC regulators now believe Facebook has violated.

“SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES ARE THE ONLY WAY TO CURB FACEBOOK’S PREDATORY BEHAVIOR”

CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before a joint session of two Senate committees and submitted hundreds of pages of written testimony the following month—many of the answers were evasive.

Members of congress call on FTC to take action

facebook fine

Following Cambridge Analytica and similar incidents, like a hacker accessing personal information on 29 million accounts, members of Congress and advocacy groups have called on the FTC to take action.

“Serious consequences are the only way to curb Facebook’s predatory behavior and change the industry’s amoral pursuit of growth at the public’s expense,” Free Press, a media and technology advocacy group, said in a statement today. “This action should be the first of many taken by regulators and Congress in response to online platforms’ systemic abuse of their users.”

According to the Post, the findings of the Facebook investigation and the total amount of the fine have not been finalized. Facebook has met with FTC investigators throughout the past year, but it isn’t clear whether the company would accept the fine that the agency is anticipated to impose.

The FTC has been shut down since last month and nonessential employees have been furloughed.

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3 Unusual Ways to Improve the Value of your Home

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A house is one of the biggest things you’ll ever buy. It’s also one of the most significant investments in your portfolio. After all, when all else fails, you can rest assured that people will always need real-estate. However, it’s up to you to make sure that the house you purchase continues gaining value in the years to come. While there are many outside factors that can affect the value of a home, including changes in the ecosystem, and even the arrival of new amenities in your area, there are also things that you can do as a homeowner to make people want to pay more for your property. Since you’ve probably already thought about common options like replacing your kitchen or designing a new bathroom, we’re going to share some of the less conventional things you can do to transform your home.

Create a Fisherman’s Paradise

How to increase the value of your home

If you have a property that’s close to a body of water or even has its own riverside, then you’re going to be ahead of the curve already when it comes to gaining real-estate value. However, you can always take the desirability of your home another step further by making sure that you have fishing rights to offer your buyers. Let people know that buying your home comes with the option to spend their weekends fishing on the side of a beautiful river, and they’ll be biting your hands off for the chance to move in. Estimates suggest that this adds a value of about 15%.

Add a Residential Lift

a residential lift increases the value of your home
A residential lift can make your home more appealing for retirement home buyers

Finally, if you’ve got a beautiful home to offer a couple looking for a great place to spend their retirement, then there’s one easy way to help them imagine their life in your property. Australian residential lifts show buyers that they’re going to be able to manage and maintain their independence when they get a little older, because they won’t have to worry about using the stairs. What’s more, residential lifts can also appeal to younger buyers too, because they give them a unique and modern selling point to share when the time comes to sell the property in the future. You’d be surprised at how affordable it can be to place a lift in your home these days, and the value that you get out of the investment can be astronomical. Just imagine how much easier it would be to carry laundry upstairs!

Give Your House a Name

A house name can improve the value of your home
A house with a name needs a sign

This might sound like a strange way to upgrade the value of your home but bear with us. For most people, it might not matter whether they live at “The Oak”, or 35 Oak lane. However, research has shown that 88% of buyers would prefer to pay more for a home with a name. Perhaps it’s just because people feel like they’re getting a property with more personality this way. Just make sure that you have permission to name your house with your local council and choose a title that’s fitting for the property. It doesn’t make sense to call a city-based property “The Orchard” for instance.

Read next: Importance of Saving for Retirement

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“Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” exhibition comes to New York, featuring the world’s largest gathering of important emerald specimens

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Wilensky curates a provocative, historic show in the heart of the Chelsea gallery arts district.

If art is an expression of beauty, then the exquisite minerals at the Wilensky gallery are the highest form of aesthetic that nature has to offer. This fall, set in their Chelsea gallery, Wilensky will exhibit the greatest collection of emerald mineral specimens ever assembled. This breathtaking exhibition will embrace the undeniable transformative power that emeralds hold on the human imagination. “Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” will open on Thursday, September 26th and run through Monday, December 30th, 2019.

A human obsession for over 5,000 years, emeralds have been worshiped as a talisman, cut for ornaments and jewelry, and have inspired countless fashion runway shows with their color. Over the centuries, a myriad of writers have honored their history, geology, and gemology. A touchstone for artists, and a springboard for art, emeralds are timeless and live in many expressions. This exhibition is a prelude to that metamorphosis, a celebration of the specimen as it emerges from nature.

Emerald on Calcite, Fura's Tears
Emerald on Calcite, Coscuez Mine, Muzo Municipality, Vasquez – Yacopí mining district, Boyacá Department, Colombia. 9 cm height. (currently in the collection of the Rice Northwest Museum

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“The Yamile Emerald” Emerald on Calcite,from the Coscuez Mine,
Boyaca, Columbia. (formerly in the Víctor Carranza Niño collection, and
currently in the collection of Ms. Lyda Hill)

“This exhibition is focused on natural emeralds, as found and preserved in specimen and crystal form. By bringing together many of the world’s finest known examples of natural emerald specimens, we can better understand all emerald specimens. Important emerald stones and jewelry can be found in every gem collection around the world. The same cannot be said about exceptional natural emerald specimens. We estimate that there are less than twenty-five in the world that would qualify. Of those twenty-five, half of them are here on exhibit,” says Stuart Wilensky, President of Wilensky.

emerald new york agendadaily
Emerald on Calcite , from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Columbia. (currently in the collection of Dr. Stephen Smale)

The significance of having half of the world’s finest known emerald specimens all in one place cannot be overstated. This has never happened in the history of mineral collecting. Wilensky invites the viewer to experience wonder and emotionally connect to the profoundly exquisite qualities of emerald specimens.

Amongst mineral collectors, emeralds are one of the most difficult specimens to acquire. Likened to the world’s greatest works of art, each emerald on display is a masterpiece. Elements of connoisseurship confirm significance, including: provenance, color, luster, and composition. Internationally renowned for building one-of-a-kind collections for many of the world’s most influential collectors, Wilensky is uniquely able to curate and elevate an emerald show of this caliber.

Exhibition highlights include an emerald on calcite from the Muzo Mine, formerly in the James Horner collection. One of the greatest mineral collectors to have ever lived, his matrix emerald is that which all others are measured against. It has the ultimate deep rich color, with a large, thick, double terminated crystal sitting atop a complete whitish to clear calcite crystal. Finding a specimen where the emerald crystal is attached to an attractive crystallized matrix is extremely unusual. Another highlight is an emerald on calcite from the Rice Northwest Museum, also unearthed in Muzo, which displays a rare group, or spray, of emeralds. Over twenty emeralds fan out from the matrix; it is one of the most significant specimens in this style.

Emerald Crystal, from the Muzo Mine, Colombia (currently in the collection of Dr. Eugene Meieran)

Gene Meieran, President of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, says, “It is a rewarding experience to be able to see so many of the great uncut emeralds, from so many mines and found over so many years, indeed centuries and millennia, in one place. Like a gathering of Rembrandts or Van Goghs, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Emerald, a mineral important enough to be regarded as a biblical gemstone, and yet now is used as a modern laser….wow! It is an honor and pleasure to have some of my specimens included in Wilensky’s exhibit.”

Emerald on Calcite, from the most famous of all emerald mines, Muzo Mines, Muzo, Boyaca, Colombia.
5 cm. tall by 5 cm. wide

Connecting to the mythological tale of Fura and Tena, from the now extinct Muzos indigenous people of the Colombian Andes, the exhibition narrates emeralds through their creation story, where the tears of Fura’s infidelity begot the beloved green rocks. The seductive connection between nature, beauty, legend and art are explored through the mesmerizing green of the specimens.

Exclusively featuring historic emeralds in the contemporary gallery space, “Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears” will run from September 26th through December 30th 2019, Monday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM at Wilensky, 173 10th Avenue, New York, NY, 10011. For questions regarding exquisite minerals or sales, contact the gallery directly at info@wilenskyminerals.com, call 646-822-0837, or visit www.wilenskyminerals.com.

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California Garlic Festival Shooting – 3 dead

At least three people are dead, including a 6-year-old boy, and at least 12 more have been injured, officials say.

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At least three people are dead, including a 6-year-old boy, and at least 12 more have been injured, officials say. A spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Health System said their hospitals received 11 patients with gunshot wounds, and 8 more with injuries that weren’t gunshot related.

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