Playing at No Cost, Right Into the Hands of Mobile Game Makers

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Are you a game addict on your iPad or iPhone or Android device?  Pay attention to the free apps that are being offered left and right.  Free could end up costing you a few bucks.

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Still paying 99 cents to download a smartphone game? That’s far too much. More developers are now giving their games away — and then charging for extra features.

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The strategy is known as freemium, as in free meets premium. And it is being adopted even by giant game makers like Electronic Arts that might once have sneered at the idea because free games had the reputation of being low quality or full of annoying ads.

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As it turns out, going freemium can, in the end, lead to bigger profits for the game makers.
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Surprise Increase in Rates Is Credited to Signs of Recovery

Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Last week bond yields had their biggest move since October with a sell-off that lifted the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds to 2.31 percent.  This surprise increase in rates is credited to signs of recovery.

Investors will be closely watching for another rise in interest rates when trading resumes on Monday, after the bond market’s sharpest move in nearly six months caught some traders by surprise last week.

Despite the sudden swing higher, most Wall Street strategists are playing down the danger of a surge in interest rates, which have been historically low because of demand for bonds from both the Federal Reserve and private investors wary of all but the safest assets.
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Federal Funds Help Crime Labs Struggling With DNA Evidence Backlogs

DNA is an exceptionally useful tool for convicting the guilty and exonerating the innocent, but major backlogs persist, despite broad acknowledgment that delays in processing DNA evidence are keeping criminals on the streets.  Of course the reverse holds true as well.  Many people remain incarcerated awaiting DNA proof of their innocence.

Twelve years ago, Congress passed a bill aimed at bolstering the capacity of state and local crime labs. It was known as the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act. The ensuing effort now bears the more modest title of DNA Backlog Reduction Program. But even with the new name, it is an ambitious venture.

Since 2006, Congress has poured $785 million into helping fix the logjam in DNA evidence collection at the state and local levels through this and other programs.
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Desert Tortoise An Obstacle To Mojave Solar Development

The desert tortoise brought construction to a standstill for three months at the BrightSource Energy solar farm when excavation work found far more animals than biologists expected.

Will slow and steady win the race this time?

Stubborn does not come close to describing the desert tortoise, a species that did its evolving more than 220 million years ago and has since remained resolutely prehistoric.How this creature the size of a shoe box became the single-biggest obstacle to industrial-scale solar development in the Mojave Desert is turning into a true story of the survival of the fittest.

At the $2.2 billion BrightSource Energy solar farm in the Ivanpah Valley, the tortoise brought construction to a standstill for three months when excavation work found far more animals than biologists expected.

BrightSource has spent $56 million so far to protect and relocate the tortoises, but even at that price the work has met with unforeseen calamity: animals crushed under vehicle tires, army ants attacking hatchlings in a makeshift nursery and one small tortoise carried off by an eagle, its embedded microchip pinging faintly as it receded.
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U.S. Accelerating Cyberweapon Research

The world is changing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis.  Warfare is going cyber.

The Pentagon is accelerating efforts to develop a new generation of cyberweapons capable of disrupting enemy military networks even when those networks are not connected to the Internet, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Last year, to speed up the development of cyberweapons, as well as defensive technology, then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III and Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, then vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, placed $500 million over five years into the budget of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, one of the Defense ­Department’s premier research organizations.

The agency also has launched new ­cyber-development initiatives, including a “fast-track” program.
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Buffalo Choral Arts Society to Have Milestone Concert!

Buffalo Choral Arts Society

Join the Buffalo Choral Arts Society as they salute Marcia A. Giambrone in her 25th season as Conductor and Music Director in this hallmark performance of Ms. Giambrone’s favorite selections of the Broadway stage and other tunes of the popular genre.  Some very special surprises are sure to be in store for all!!

This wonderful event will take place at Rockwell Hall on May 6th at 3:00pm. Tickets are $15 with group discounts available!

Buffalo Choral Arts Society, (716) 812-1541,

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Hochul To Host School-to-Work Roundtable With WNY Schools To Discuss School-to-Work Initiative

Tomorrow, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26) will host a School-to-Work roundtable at Erie Community College (ECC) with administration officials from ECC, Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Daemen College, D’Youville College, Hilbert College, Medaille College, Niagara University, and the University at Buffalo to discuss her plans to introduce the Workforce-Ready Educate America Act, which encourages partnerships between private employers and educational institutions.

EVENT:         Congresswoman Hochul to host School-to-Work roundtable with local educational institutions to discuss legislation encouraging partnerships between private employers and educational institutions
            DATE:            Monday, March 19, 2012
            TIME:              9:30 AM (Press avail at 10:30)
            WHERE:        Erie Community College
                                     North Campus
                                     Gleasner Hall, Room G 100
                                    6205 Main Street
                                    Williamsville, New York 14221

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It’s Maple Syrup Time!

Today Kathy Hochul joined the celebration of maple syrup weekend at Arcade Center Farm Pancake Breakfast with owner Ray Milks.  Jam packed with customers..but worth the wait.  Fun fact: 1500 NY Maple producers generate nearly 20 percent of all syrup nation wide.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  The luck of the Irish must have brought such beautiful weather for both the parades this weekend.  Enjoy yourself and if you drink, do so responsibly.

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Message From Governor Cuomo’s Office

Protecting All New Yorkers

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced an agreement with legislative leaders to make New York the first state in the nation to require collection of DNA samples, a modern-day fingerprint, from anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. The DNA database will help convict the guilty, exonerate the innocent, and give law enforcement the best crime-fighting tool to better protect New Yorkers.

Click here to read more about the DNA Databank Expansion Bill.

For years, this legislation had been caught in the dysfunction and delay of Albany. For crime victims and their families, the political paralysis has been heartbreaking.

Ann M., a mother from Queens, waited ten years for the man who raped her daughter to be brought to justice. The perpetrator committed a slew of other crimes, but none that required a DNA sample, as would be required under this bill. Click here to hear survivors speak out on the power of DNA to bring justice to all New Yorkers.

Without this law, only 48 percent of offenders convicted of a Penal Law offense were required to provide a DNA sample. Even with its limited information, the DNA databank provided leads in nearly 2,900 convictions.

Thanks to your support and to a new spirit of cooperation in Albany, our state can better protect all New Yorkers.

Thank you for getting involved in building a new New York.

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