Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Updated Holiday Schedule For Empire State Plaza Ice Rink

The New York State Office of General Services welcomes everyone to enjoy free skating and special events this holiday season at Albany's  Empire “Skate” Plaza, including a “Try Hockey For Free” program and a trivia day at the rink. And don’t forget, skate rentals are free each Friday, courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gushcloud Down! A timeline of the Xiaxue vs Gushcloud "saga" - PLUS: Gushcloud Whatsapp Group Chat Log [Transcript]

Here's a new wrinkle in the Xiaxue vs. Gushcloud saga!

With Mobile Phone Screenshots!

Humour: Gushcloud versus Goliath - I mean, Xiaxue
AsiaOne · [update] [Print version]
So this is Christmas. And what have you done? Well, two days before Christmas, I published a 5,000-word blog post,…

Did Gushcloud Just Spend $26,000 on a Poor Response to the Xiaxue Saga?

And here's A timeline of the Xiaxue vs Gushcloud Saga!

The short, via ::: Xiaxue, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, 30, alleges that Gushcloud inflates its earnings, gets its bloggers/influencers to mask paid advertorials as reviews, pumps up its influencers' blog page views, and buys fake YouTube likes and subscribers.

She detailed how she created a fake company to buy ads from Gushcloud and find out more about how the company operates. She did so, she claimed, to expose them with "evidence". 

She also got a programmer friend to track the bloggers' page views to show that Gushcloud inflated the numbers. 

Yan Kay Kay defends Gushcloud

Nuffnang Outlines Business Practices

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays with Love and Appreciation!


As 2014 comes to a close, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting my work. For reading my blog. For following me on twitter and weibo. For interacting with me on LinkedIn and WeChat.  I wish you and your family a holiday season full of joy, inspiration, and dancing!

What are you creating for the new year? What do you want to discover? Like you, I am constantly challenging myself in the never-ending quest for what's next, and in 2015 plan to push the envelope farther than ever before.

Without you, there would be no me. Thanks for reading my articles and listening to my radio stories.

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A Christmas Eve Message

Life and Death

At one time or another, you've no doubt been told things like "life is short" and "be all that you can be" and you've read and heard the words of others who wish they could have been more and done more... others see potential for younger ones who have plenty of time to choose a "right path" and try to guide them in that direction.

You live your own one life and find your own way. You have to be true to YOU and find your own peace within your heart and soul. When I see people ignoring opportunities or busying themselves with worship of movie stars or rock stars, I feel sad for them. For some, that's the only way they can live their lives without feeling terribly small and insignificant.

Every life is precious. Enjoy YOURS, have fun, be kind to others and yes, like the US ARMY once insisted, "be all that you can be."

"...I reminded him that I am his child and since the day I was born, God has given me to him and Mom to take care of. So I begged him to at least be with me until someday I get married. He cried and promised me that he’d be there on my wedding..." ~…/the-last-few-hours-before-she-left/

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

Xiaxue Gushcloud

UPDATE!  Gushcloud Down! A timeline of the Xiaxue vs Gushcloud "saga" - PLUS: Gushcloud Whatsapp Group Chat Log [Transcript]

  • Mothership.SG -o
    Gushcloud received an early Christmas day present fromXiaxue, who wrote a lengthy blog ...

  • Here's what started it all...

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    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    Suze Orman's Money Wars - New Daily Television Program

    Suze Orman, America’s foremost personal financial expert, is embarking on the next chapter of her television career, developing an all-new daily program to be produced by Warner Bros. Television Group’s Telepictures. The new show will be called Suze Orman’s Money Wars and will air five days per week.

    Suze Orman’s Money Wars will focus on families, friends and couples whose disputes about money are affecting their lives. Understanding that fights about money are never really only about the money, Suze will use her signature ability to settle these disputes and help the opposing parties resolve their issues while starting them on the road to financial responsibility.

    submit to reddit Orman will conclude her highly successful 14-year run as host of CNBC’s The Suze Orman Show in March 2015 as the longest-tenured program host in the network’s history. Reaching three million viewers on a weekly basis*, The Suze Orman Show helps people make the connection between self worth and net worth.

    Bloggers And Advertisers Beware

    Deception slain by falling snow! I learned of this very early today via twitter!

    It's a longer article, worthy of a magazine.

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    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Seasons Greetings

    "Bless us, any god who crabs the apples and seeds the leaf and needle evergreen."

    As the clock spins, another Winter is upon us. I sit here early Sunday morning at the keyboard, thinking of all the unfinished promises ("rolling resolutions") I had made to myself at the beginning of 2014. Incomplete, still there in the brain, but no physical manifestation, not yet.

    Throughout the first decade of this century, I would write and post an annual blog article loosely about and coinciding with the Holiday Season, Winter and Yule. I swear if I never post another blog article, I'll always return and do the "annual update" or "mental housecleaning" or whatever it is this short piece represents.

    Read more »

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    Friday, December 19, 2014

    Don't Let Your Facebook Follies Wreck Your Future

    Good grades and community service hours might not be enough to get students into their dream college anymore.

    It might come down to their Facebook pages.

    Applying to college? Clean up your Facebook profile 20, 2014

    College admissions officers are turning to sites like Facebook more and more to learn about applicants, a new survey shows.

      • Keeping profiles professional
        DO NOT POST:

        Illegal activities: Students experiment with many activities and substances, but the second you post risky behavior you become vulnerable not only for school expulsion but for criminal prosecution.

        Bullying: This includes any verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward anyone.

        Trash talk about your teachers: You never know which one of your professors will hold the keys to the next great internship or job announcement.

        Lies or plagiarized content: Don’t lie about professional or academic achievements when applying to college or an internship. People will investigate.

        Threaten violence: Even anonymous, empty threats raise red flags. Social media is not the place to vent your frustrations and violent thoughts. Talk to a school counselor.


        Don’t rely on privacy settings 100 percent. Although most major social network sites update you with privacy improvements, the changes often are too frequent to follow and can get complicated. It’s best to assume anything you post is fair game.


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    Thursday, December 18, 2014


    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the release of proposed regulations for the State’s medical marijuana program as required by the Compassionate Care Act. The proposed regulations are an important step toward making medical marijuana a treatment option in New York for individuals suffering from one of the debilitating diseases outlined in the Act. These regulations provide a comprehensive structure that will govern all aspects of the medical marijuana program in New York State.

    “Today we take another step forward to provide much-needed relief to New Yorkers living with extraordinary pain, while balancing the need to safeguard general public health and safety,” Governor Cuomo said. “These proposed regulations are designed with that in mind, so that we can alleviate suffering for patients with serious conditions while also ensuring that medical marijuana is dispensed and administered responsibly.”

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    #BlackLivesMatter #Torture #ICantBreathe #Cosby #RayRice #ISIS #ClimateChange

    Whoa! Look what things are coming down to! US Cultural collapse! Without reaching back more than a few months, we've had more injustices, inhumanities, scandals and shocks than anyone could have imagined. And they keep coming!

    The Computer = SONY Pandora's Box ::: The Hollywood studio that made the James Bond and Spider-Man films has abandoned shoots after hackers crippled its computer network, and leaked four films and thousands of documents. Agencies filming for Sony Pictures have cancelled shoots because the problems have left it unable to process payments, a source told The Times.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2014

    The END of GMail is near!

    Google preparing to someday delete GMail?

    In a nutshell, yes.

    Google giveth, Google taketh away.

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    Saturday, December 06, 2014

    Check Out These Cool, Innovative Ways To Charge Your Cell Phone

    2AA Battery Charger

    This came for the Dollar store! The same display had USB wires for Androids and iPhone for $1 each, so I bought two for each phone. I picked up a few extra as stocking-stuffers for the coming Holiday Season! I get a full charge on my iPhone from 50% in about twenty minutes! This particular item comes in white or black!

    Solar Charger

    A full-featured solar charger like mine means you rarely run out of battery power when you're on the go! I got this one for about USD $8 on Ali Baba.  It takes about an hour to fully charge my iPhone from 39%.

    Friday, December 05, 2014

    Bye Bye Buddha Tea House

     Dec. 5, 2014 - FINAL!

    Buddha Tea House surrenders liquor license, is closed

    Dec. 1, 2014 UPDATE! HOLD EVERYTHING! Albany police searched club without warrant; report to SLA questioned - by Steve Barnes

    State Liquor Authority Lifts License Following Stabbings, Fights, Assaults

                Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) issued an emergency suspension of the Buddha Tea House, at 69 North Pearl Street in Albany. The suspension was ordered by Members of the SLA, Chairman Dennis Rosen, Commissioner Jeanique Greene and Commissioner Kevin Kim at a meeting of the Full Board on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.  Effective immediately, no alcohol may be served or consumed on the premises.   

                On November 9, 2014 at approximately 1:45 am, an Albany Police Department (APD) patrol unit witnessed a victim of a stabbing exiting the Buddha Tea House.  APD officers responding to the victim were impeded by a violent altercation involving patrons of the Buddha Tea House, an altercation that erupted directly outside the bar in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing, resulting in the injury of two additional patrons.  APD officers report the licensee and staff were uncooperative with the investigation; by attempting to deny police officers access to the bar, denying the incident occurred inside the premises, denying APD access to security video, in addition to attempting to clean up the crime scene.  The SLA charged the bar with three violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including disorderly premises and deliberately interfering with a police investigation.  

    Thursday, December 04, 2014

    Build A Blog That Counts

    You can't force a blog to be popular.

    I take that back: you CAN but it won't last long.

    A lot of what goes into a successful weblog depends on WHO reads it and HOW they spread what they've read. If you want the 101 on making a splash with your blog, just read between the lines as you peruse Bill Cosby’s fall: How an extra ticket, an iPhone and a six-month-old comedy bit changed how we think about a legend, which pretty much packages the way things (and blogs) can achieve that most-lusted after 'viral' moniker.

    Want more? Research "Build A Blog That Counts"

    Check out my LOAD OF BLOG TIPS 

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    Tuesday, December 02, 2014

    Midnight All Over The World

    There's more going on in this world around you than Climate Change. There is upheaval on many fronts in many lands; an acute awareness of people in other places, of longing to know and experience what they are doing, and how ideas are evolving.

    • In the United States, government is teaching citizens to fear #ISIS but open their arms to immigrants, as racial tensions mount.
    •  In Russia, government is teaching citizens to fear homosexuals, as it copes with monetary issues involving #Ukraine and oil.
    •  In Iran, leadership seems to be loosening its grip on freedom-fighters.
    •  In Hong Kong, students are testing the boundaries of freedom as Beijing adjusts to shepherding a democracy whose control it regained from Great Britain in the late 1990s. 

    You can add your own country and conditions here. Point is, what was is history - leaders are cooking up new recipes for governance, law and order - as customs and mores flex.

    Let's take a look at what's happening in Russia. During the Summer of 2013, President Vladimir Putin signed a measure limiting the adoption of Russian children by couples from nations which have legalized same-sex marriage. The law also prohibits adoption by single people or unmarried couples from those same countries. A Kremlin statement said the bill was intended to protect children in the interest of guaranteeing them a "harmonious" upbringing, free from "complexes, emotional suffering and stress." Gays are fleeing the old Soviet Union. Fast-forward to Autumn 2014:

    Monday, December 01, 2014

    All in a Blog

    When you want to find out the latest in the entertainment field or you simply want to read what other people think about topics in the world, then a blog post might be of interest. There are several people who have started their own blogs. These are ordinary people who might have inside information about what they are writing about, but most of the time, the information given is just an opinion.

    Reading a blog is somewhat like reading a magazine. You can get thoughts and reviews about why a musician like Tupac died or random thoughts about almost anything that happens from here to the moon. It's a way to entertain yourself as well as get a little bit of information about your favorite topics. Some people devote an entire blog site to one thing. This could be music, books, clothing or any other single topic that can be expanded upon. Many bloggers will leave space for others to comment about their post so that they can get the opinions of others after giving their opinion. There are sections on the blog site to make it easier to look for information that is current or postings that were made a few months ago. You can click on each tab for a detailed list of information.

    #Holiday #MusicMonday

    Carol of the Bells - Pentatonix

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

    Preserve Your Rights On Facebook

    You can protect your privacy as of 2015 - if you know how to use the management tools. You can also take this step to keep ownership of your own content:

    Concerning the new Facebook policies/guidelines... copy and paste the text below and post it on your Facebook page.

    Today, [insert today's date here ] in response to the Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc... published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.

    Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright.

    By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook. The contents of my profile includes private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 - 308 1 - 103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to post a notice of this kind, or if you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile.

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    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Toxic Dangerous Toys New York

    Black Friday is just around the corner, but parents are being urged to take care when buying toys this year. Several being sold in Albany County contain toxic chemicals that pose health risks to children, according a new survey.  Researchers found a dozen toys on store shelves containing lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and more – toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancers, cognitive impairments and hyperactivity.

    The report entitled “Toxic Toys in Albany County” was presented in downtown Albany November 17th by Clean and Healthy New York and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

    You can hear my radio report and read a transcript HERE.


    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today advised the public of several popular toys available for purchase this holiday season that could pose a risk to children. Testing commissioned by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has found that the “Disney Frozen Musical Watch” and the “Princess Expressions Accessory Kit” contain lead exceeding federal standards in children’s products. The Division of Consumer Protection has also found that several cars in the “Tough Treadz Auto Carrier” toy have sharp edges that can pose a laceration hazard to young children. Individuals with any of these products should set them aside, in a safe area away from children, to await future manufacturer instructions.

    “As a parent, the safety of my children is paramount. With the holiday shopping season upon us, parents and consumers must be forewarned about the hazardous materials contained in certain toys so they avoid purchasing them and putting their children at risk,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge manufacturers, distributors and retailers of all three of these potentially harmful toys to immediately discontinue their sales and be vigilant in alerting those who have already purchased them about the risks they pose.”

    The Division of Consumer Protection has provided the Consumer Product Safety Commission with laboratory results exhibiting the hazards of the following toys and called for a national recall of these products. The Division of Consumer Protection is working with manufacturers, distributors and retailers to ensure the toys are removed from sales circulation.

    Disney Frozen Musical Watch – view photo of product here
    The federal standard for lead in children’s toys is 100 parts per million (ppm). According to DCP’s commissioned tests, the “Disney Frozen Musical Watch,” purchased at Target and distributed by the Accutime Watch Corp., contains 160 ppm of lead in the buckle of the watch and 130 ppm in the prong used to secure it. The buckle and prong were tested separately and elevated levels of lead were found in each component.

    Princess Expressions Accessory Kit – view photo of product here
    DCP’s commissioned tests determined that the necklace in the “Princess Expressions Accessory Kit,” purchased at Christmas Tree Shops and manufactured by Almar Sales Co., contained 140 ppm of lead, also exceeding the federal limit.

    Lead can be a hazardous material to children and adults if it gets into their bodies. Depending on the level and length of exposure, lead can harm a young child's growth, behavior and ability to learn. While exposure to lead can be toxic to everyone, young children are at the greatest risk of developing health problems due to lead poisoning; children under the age of 6 are more likely to get lead poisoning than any other age group. More information about lead poisoning and prevention is available on the New York State Department of Health website here.

    Tough Treadz Auto Carrier – view photo of product here
    The “Tough Treadz Auto Carrier,” manufactured for children ages 3 and up, was purchased at Family Dollar in Albany and distributed by the Midwood Brands LLC and Polyfect Toys Co. Ltd. Each toy contains an assortment of die cast metal cars with sharp edges. The sharp edges are in violation of toy safety standards enacted by the federal Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act of 2008.

    The Division of Consumer Protection has reached out to the manufacturers and distributors of these products to alert them of its findings and has urged them to cease distribution and sales of the products, voluntarily recall them, and provide a means of redress for consumers who have already purchased them. In addition, Division of Consumer Protection has notified affected retailers of its findings and requested that they remove the products from their shelves and discontinue sales.

    The Division of Consumer Protection has also provided the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission with its laboratory results, and has called for a national recall of the products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently performing its own review.

    Federal law requires that manufacturers and importers test all toys designed or intended primarily for use by children 12 years of age and younger for compliance with federal children’s product safety standards. The Children’s Product Safety and Recall Effectiveness Act of the New York State General Business Law requires a commercial dealer to contact any person or entity that has purchased a product subject to a recall or warning within 24 hours. The dealer must direct the termination of sales or distribution of the recalled product to any purchasers and provide instructions for how to properly destroy it to the manufacturer. In addition, retailers are required to remove all recalled children’s products from their shelves within 24 hours of receiving a recall or warning notice.

    For more information and educational tips to keeping individuals, families and children safe this holiday season, visit the Division of Consumer Protection website here or follow the agency on Twitter at @NYSConsumer and Facebook at

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    Monday, November 24, 2014

    #MusicMonday: Be True To Your School (The Version Played On The Radio!)

    Thought this sounded a little off last time you heard it? Listen again! Great radio stations like WTRY in Troy played this way back in the 1960s!

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    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Miami Artist Troy Simmons, Solo Show at Context Art Fair

    MIAMI, FL--Local artist Troy Simmons has immersed himself in his latest artwork, exploring the evolution of urbanism and nature’s persistence to coexist. A consistent theme, which echoes true to his intense fascination with nature and modern Brutalist Architecture.

    Under the direction of JanKossen Contemporary Art Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, Simmons will 
    showcase his new concrete work during a solo show at CONTEXT Miami Art Fair December 2nd
    - 7th at booth #E75. He will also have several pieces on display at SCOPE Art Show Miami Beach. 

    Simmons' massive, large-scale concrete canvases are a mix of acrylic paints and raw materials. At first glance, the magnitude of his work is clearly realized. Most of his pieces weight over 100 pounds. A rough and raw relationship often described as a cataclysmic illustration of urbanism.

    Simmons calls his work a “re-incarnation of the Arte Povera genre” where the inclusion of simple natural elements, such as wood and soil takes an integral part in the creation of the art. His intended goal is to create a playful mix of the hard and soft, expressing the ideological perceptions of binary relationships

    Troy's on twitter!

    Rochi Llaneza, Former Executive Director of Hardcore Contemporary Art, curated his first show in Miami in 2009. She says, “Creating an algorithm of inspired imagery, Simmons’ connection to his ecological charged pieces is clearly reflected in his use of re-purposed materials.”

    The inspiration behind his latest collection evolved after a recent trip to Germany. He spent time with his wife’s family exploring Baden-Württemberg in the southern part of the country. The postwar architecture is a fragmentation of Germany’s traditional heritage mixed with simple modern construction.

    Simmons currently works as a full-time artist, but his educational background is in Architecture and Environmental Science. He studied at Sam Houston State University and worked as an Environmental Lab Technician in Houston, Texas. He later went on to Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in Architectural Design.

    Simmons is a Resident Artist at the Bakehouse Artist Complex in Miami’s Wynwood Art District.
    Sample of his current work at

    2 of 2: Black Turns To Orange

    Click the image for (1 of 2)

    #ISIS flag

    Say, doesn't that banner in the photos appearing in the URLs linked below look awfully familiar? Look at the dates! ISIS/ISIL has men, equipment, dedication, determination, a flag and a currency. And John Cantile's wardrobe has gone from black to orange. What could be next?

    ISIS members have carried the group's black flag since 2006.

    See Also: False flag? ‘Tolerance’ of ISIS, Israel tested in social experiment at Berkeley (VIDEO)

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    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Watch YouTube Videos That "Won't Play In Your Country"

    It's easy to see stuff you're not supposed to. Here's the technojargonese: VPN Gate Academic Experiment Project is an online service as an academic research at Graduate School of University of Tsukuba, Japan. The purpose of this research is to expand the knowledge of "Global Distributed Public VPN Relay Servers".
    CLICK on image to ENLARGE

    You can take these advantages by using VPN Gate:

    The Sunday November 23 TV News Shows:

    ABC's "This Week" grills President Barack Obama
    The U.S. President leads the list of guests slated to appear on the network news TV shows on Sunday. Depending on what else happens, your next best-bet-to-watch is NBC's "Meet the Press" where Anthony Gray, attorney for the Michael Brown family, is scheduled to appear.

    Then there's "Fox News Sunday" with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas on the roster.

    Cornell William Brooks, president of the NAACP is to be on CBS' "Face the Nation" Look for Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

    Check your local listings for times in your area.

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    Friday, November 21, 2014

    #MusicMonday on a Friday...

    So many popular tunes sound screwed up because alternate versions or outtakes are posted online. And now: the original version of "Our Lips Are Sealed" by Fun Boy Three - popularized in the USA and promoted on MTV by the great girl group, The Go Go's! Looking for the Fun Boy one you heard on the radio? Here it is!

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