Monday, September 26, 2016

The giant inflatable duck apocalypse has finally come to Scotland

It's time to put down your weapons and calmly welcome our duck new overlords.

On Saturday, motorists driving through the wind-swept roads of Glasgow, Scotland, were visited by a rather strange sight — a monstrous inflatable duck the size of a small building casually trundling its way along a hectic four-lane road.

See Sam Haysom’s article, including video, at

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Trim your wireless bill -- skip that phone upgrade

It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Wireless subscribers have been conditioned to get a new phone every two years. That made sense back in the day, when wireless subsidies from mobile operators let you upgrade to the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy for only $200.

Those days are over. Today consumers are expected to pay full price for their devices. The carriers have tried to make the hefty $650 price tag of high-end devices more palatable by offering payment plans. But wireless subscribers shouldn't confuse these plans with the old device subsidies.

Marguerite Reardon explains why, in this new era of wireless, you'll spend considerably more if you continue your device-upgrade-every-two-years habit at

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stroke Treatment: Why Every Second Counts

Each passing second after someone suffers a stroke means greater risk of permanent damage or death, so it's critical to get a diagnosis and treatment as fast as possible.

The first few seconds of a stroke may be confusing, both to a witness and the stroke patient. Signs may be subtle — someone just isn't quite normal, seems tired, confused, or uncoordinated. But the quicker you spot the initial signs of a stroke, the faster stroke treatment can be given. Once a stroke starts, you've got just three hours before the window of opportunity for the most successful stroke treatment closes.

Stroke: What Happens

"It's important for people to understand that not all strokes are the same,” says Mark Alberts, MD, professor of neurology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the stroke program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

There are two distinct types of stroke. Roughly 85 percent are ischemic strokes in which blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. The rest are hemorrhagic strokes, in which there's bleeding in or around the brain due to a burst blood vessel. "Even though hemorrhagic strokes are less common, they are more deadly and cause more damage,” says Dr. Alberts. “The number of people who die from ischemic strokes might be around 10 percent; those who die from hemorrhagic stroke might be 40 or 50 percent."

Stroke: The Damage

The rates of disability for both types of stroke are significant. Alberts says that 20 to 30 percent of patients will be significantly disabled following an ischemic stroke; those numbers rise to 40 to 50 percent of patients with hemorrhagic stroke. Disabilities range from problems with communication and mobility to issues so severe that the patient needs nursing home care.

"Strokes are sort of like real estate — it all depends on location and size, on where in the brain they occur and how large they are," Albert says. "Those two factors determine how much damage there will be. A small stroke in a critical part of the brain can cause a lot of damage, while a large stroke in a less important part of the brain may not cause as much."

Stroke: Fast Action is Important

To have the greatest chance of being effective, one of the best treatments for ischemic stroke, tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA (Activase), has to be administered quickly.

Alberts emphasizes that "t-PA has to be given within three hours of stroke onset. Everything shows that ‘time is brain,’ and every second you delay treating someone the patient is losing tens of thousands of brain cells. The overriding concept is to treat patients as soon as possible."

A medication that is given by injection, t-PA is a clot buster. It is a very powerful agent that eats away at the blood clot in the vessel that's causing the ischemic stroke, says Alberts. “It begins working pretty rapidly, and we have certainly seen cases where it chews away the blood clot within an hour or two of being administered. But that isn't typical. Sometimes, t-PA isn't successful at destroying a clot; other times, it may take much longer to destroy the clot and fully restore blood flow to the brain.

That narrow window for treating stroke patients with t-PA may be expanded in the future, but Alberts says that doesn't mean there's time to waste. For patients who have suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, treatment will depend on the cause of the bleeding in the brain. Two common causes of bleeding are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). An aneurysm is a bulge in the artery wall; an AVM is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that creates a knotted group of blood vessels prone to bleeding. Surgery may be needed to drain blood from the brain or to repair the leaking blood vessels. But as with ischemic stroke, time is of essence.

Stroke: Call 911

Don’t waste time calling a doctor if you suspect someone has suffered a stroke or think it could be happening to you. Call 911 to request emergency medical help, so that treatment can be started immediately and brain cells can be saved.

Read Diana Rodriguez's article at

What to do if your iPhone 7 gets wet

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are water resistant, but what should you do if your new iPhone accidentally goes for a swim?

With Apple trumpeting its new iPhones as being "splash and water resistant," you'll understandably be tempted to take your new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus on more adventures, from rainy-day hikes and long walks on the beach to fishing trips and whitewater rafting. Having your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus on your person during such activities will create great photo opps (while upping your selfie game), but it also increases the odds that your new iPhone will come into contact with water.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both received an IP67 rating, which means the phones can survive being dropped in water up to 1 meter in depth for 30 minutes. It also means they are completely dust resistant to survive Burning Man and other dry, dusty environments.

Despite the IP67 rating for both new models, Apple makes clear that "liquid damage is not covered under warranty" and lists a number of forbidden pursuits for you and your new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.

Learn more from Matt Elliott’s article at

Yahoo confirms hacker stole personal data of “at least” 500 million users

In case you're wondering why professionals suggest you use strong, distinct passwords for each account and change them, and any security questions, regularly ...

Yahoo today confirmed it’s working with law enforcement to investigate a data breach which affected the account information of “at least” 500 million users. The company says that the user account information was stolen from its network in late 2014 by what it now believes to be a state-sponsored actor. The stolen information includes people’s names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords (most hashed with bcrypt), and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted responses to security questions and answers.

This makes the data breach one of the most serious to date, given not only who may be behind it, but the nature of the information the attackers were able to access, as well as the scale.

With the answers to security questions, a hacker could easily jump through a number of online forms to reset users’ passwords on sites where an additional means of account verification – like two-factor authentication – is not involved.

Yahoo says it has invalidated all the unencrypted security questions and answers so they can’t be used to access a Yahoo account, but of course those same questions are commonly repeated across the web.

However, the attacker did not gain access to unprotected passwords, says Yahoo. Nor were they able to get payment card information or bank account information, as these were housed in a different system that the one that was affected.

The company started notifying affected users via email beginning at 11:30 AM PDT, and asking them to change their passwords as well as adopt an alternate means of account verification. It will additional ask those who haven’t updated their passwords since 2014 to now do so, too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

12 Kids' Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

When you become a parent, you earn a medical merit badge of sorts. Whether you're sopping up a goopy nose or extracting a dangling-by-a-thread baby tooth, eventually few things faze you. But sometimes it's tough to tell what warrants a call to your doctor's office: Which temperature actually classifies as a "high fever"? What kind of tummy ache means your child has more than your average stomach bug? And when something truly frightening happens -- say, your child suddenly breaks out in hives -- should you call your pediatrician or head straight to the E.R.?

"Parents should always err on the side of caution and seek immediate medical care when they're worried about something," says Anita Chandra-Puri, M.D., a pediatrician at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, in Chicago, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, to give you more specific guidelines to follow, we talked to top pediatricians about the 12 symptoms that always require medical attention.

Symptom #1: High Fever
Symptom #2: Long-Lasting Fever
Symptom #3: Fever with Headache
Symptom #4: Circle-Shaped Rash
Symptom #5: Unusual Mole
Symptom #6: Sudden Stomach Pain
Symptom #7: Headache With Vomiting
Symptom #8: Decreased Urination
Symptom #9: Blue Lips
Symptom #10: Swollen Face
Symptom #11: Vomiting After Falling
Symptom #12: Excessive Bleeding

Read Kristyn Kusek Lewis’ complete article at

Are you ready for macOS Sierra?

Apple has released its latest operating system, macOS Sierra.

It's a free upgrade, but not all Macs can use it. The Macs that will run macOS Sierra:

  • iMac – all models from late 2009, iMac 10,1 – 17,1
  • MacBook – all models from late 2009, MacBook  6,1 – 9,1
  • MacBook Pro – all models from 2010, MacBook Pro   7,1 – 11,5
  • MacBookAir – all models from 2010, MacBook Air  3,1 – 7,2
  • Mac Mini – all models from 2010, Mac Mini  4,1 – 7,1
  • Mac Pro – all models from 2010, Mac Pro  5,1 – 6,1

Which means most devices made prior to 2008 won’t be able to run it.

Read the complete article, including instructions to identify which model Mac you have, at

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

iOS 10: All the new features, tips and guides

iOS 10 is here. Even though it looks just like iOS 9, a lot -- and we mean a lot -- of features are radically different. Messages is a lot more like Facebook Messenger, the lock screen packs a lot more info, and you can finally delete Apple's default apps.

Watch the video and read Sharon Profis’ article at

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to get ready for an iOS 10 upgrade the right way

iOS 10 will finally roll out to all compatible devices on Tuesday, September 13, bringing awesome new features to Messages, revamped Music and Apple News apps, a redesigned lock screen interface, and more.

Before you upgrade your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, there are some steps you should take to ensure everything goes smoothly. Read Killian Bell’s article to prepare for an iOS 10 upgrade the right way at

Thursday, September 8, 2016

15 Things Cancer Doctors Do to Avoid Cancer

These experts definitely practice what they preach. Here's how you can make these simple changes to prevent cancer too.

Read Charlotte Hilton Andersen’s article at

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Samsung is recalling the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide over battery problem

Samsung is recalling millions of new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones worldwide after reports that the devices can catch fire while charging.

The massive recall of one of Samsung's flagship devices is an embarrassing setback for the world's biggest selling smartphone maker. The Note 7 was unveiled just a month ago, and big rival Apple is expected to show off its new smartphone next week.

Samsung said Friday it had found a problem with the battery in some of the phones and was halting sales in 10 countries, including South Korea and the U.S. It will offer customers a new product for free in the coming weeks to replace the 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s that have been sold.

The company originally said it would take about two weeks to prepare the recall, but later announced Note 7 users in the U.S. can exchange their device for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, starting next week. It will also refund the cost of Note 7-specific accessories.

Samsung is giving Note 7 users a $25 gift card or bill credit for the inconvenience.

Read Jethro Muillen and K. J. Kwon’s article, with video, at

Thursday, September 1, 2016

As You Fill Up for Labor Day, Watch for Credit Card Skimmers

When you’re filling up for Labor Day Weekend excursions, do yourself a big financial favor and check for credit card skimmers at the gas pump. They’re still being found in Michigan a year after the first was discovered in the Grand Rapids area, state officials said.

About 70 credit card skimmers — devices equipped with small cameras and placed inside the pump, where they take images of the consumer’s credit card information — have been removed statewide, according to Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which regulates the state’s fuel pumps.

The skimmers, which can’t be seen from outside the pump, can be installed in seconds. Criminals use keys to open the pumps quickly, insert the skimmers, and then leave. The skimmers copy the consumer’s card information for criminals to make fraudulent purchases.

Local, state and federal regulators, various law enforcement agencies, and gas station owners continue to be on the lookout at gas pumps across Michigan as part of the ongoing efforts to crack down on consumer credit card information being hacked by credit card skimmers.

“Some steps station owners can take, and have taken, to protect their patrons from cyber-criminals are changing locks, using tamper-proof security tape, and security cameras,” Clover Adams said, adding that officials encourage station owners to increase their regular dispenser inspections.

Want to know how inspectors look for credit card skimmers? Read Beth Dalbey’s complete article, including video, at