P&G’s “Bullying Tactics” Meet Their Match in Whitening Strip Battle

It’s not every day that a small company gains the advantage over a massive one, but Clio USA stands to do just that with pharmaceutical superpower Procter & Gamble.

If you’ve bought a tooth-whitening product recently, chances are it came from P&G, which controls the market for home tooth whitening devices. Products like Crest Whitestrips earn the company about $250 Million in revenue each year.

However, if you bought a generic tooth whitening product from a retailer like Target, CVS or K-Mart for about $20 less, there’s a good chance it came from Clio USA. The small New Jersey-based company only controls about 3% of the market, but that wasn’t enough to keep it from attracting the attention of P&G’s patent lawyers.

In 2012, P&G slapped Clio with a lawsuit claiming that the small company was infringing on their patents for teeth whitening strips. Unfortunately for the bigger company, the Cincinatti judge reviewing the case delayed the start of the trial to give Clio time to challenge the validity of P&G’s patents.

P&G’s struggles to control the whitening strip market didn’t start with Clio. In another lawsuit, the company settled with Johnson & Johnson to make it discontinue its Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips, but Clio is fighting back, which could have dramatic ramifications for the whole industry.

A preliminary ruling from the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board in January ruled in Clio’s favor, a decision which P&G challenged unsuccessfully. This bodes well for Clio’s case, which is bad for Clio but good for consumers. If white strip technology was available from more companies, competition will increase quality and decrease prices.

About 100 million people use teeth whitening treatments each year, and $15 billion of the $100 billion Americans spend on dental care each year goes to products and procedures for whitening teeth, the most popular cosmetic procedure in the country.

$1.4 billion a year is spent on over-the-counter products like those sold by P&G and Clio, and with tooth whitening expanding every year, controlling that growing chunk of market is becoming even more important.

The trial, set to begin in August, will definitely be one to watch. Not only does it stand to expand the cosmetic dentistry market, it also stands to make the Patent Board re-evaluate its practices.

Clio CEO Peter Cho believes his company has a good chance of success against what he calls P&G’s “bullying tactics” and plans to fight the lawsuit to the end.

NJ Radio Station Uses New Content Platform To Revamp Website


A New Jersey-based public radio station is releasing a new online program in an attempt to bring their online presence into the modern age. The station, WFMU, plans on rolling out their new program titled Audience Engine, along with a new webpage layout, to make it easier for journalists and digital web marketers to insert the company’s webpage into various types on online platforms, thus expanding their audience.

One of the important features of Audience Engine will be a fundraising widget, which will appear as part of the radio webpage and will also have embedding capacities so staff members and supporters can encourage donations on social media sites like WordPress and Tumblr. A fundraising widget like this not only promotes the radio station itself, but it also encourages community participation and allows the radio station to give back to its community as much as possible.

One representative involved in the development process also notes that the webpage will include a revamped comments section, allowing listeners to communicate with each other without being dragged into “a pit,” which seems to happen all too often on social media pages like YouTube and Facebook.

The biggest benefit of this development seems to be simply increased freedom, on behalf of the listeners, to choose which pieces of the site they want to promote, rather than being forced to copy-paste the URL and directing others on how to locate certain pages on the site. Audience Engine will essentially allow internet users to pick apart WFMU’s new website so that they can re-post whatever they feel comfortable posting. There will be more emphasis on listener interaction and involvement with the station, as well as the ability to create various types of new content.

As the internet evolves, certain functions become obsolete while other functions become almost essential for a page’s functioning. Even though different industries often require different methods of marketing and advertising, it’s clear that certain functions, like widespread user participation, are becoming more important for any company attempting to maintain a strong online presence. A company’s website is becoming part of the product created, and companies like WFMU are realizing that it cannot be ignored.

Police Now Need Warrants to Search Cellphones

In a recent decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that cell phone data of an individual who’s been arrested may not be be searched by police without a warrant, addressing concerns about Fourth Amendment rights.

“This is a bold opinion,” said George Washington University law professor Orin S. Kerr. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. You can’t apply the old rules anymore.”

The country definitely seems to have entered a new digital age. In fact, 90% of Americans own a cell phone; 25% of whom are making online searches with these mobile devices. That’s not to mention the fact that 29% of cellphone owners can’t imagine living without their devices.

However, perhaps the biggest indicator of a digital age is that this ruling has broader implications. According to the Adam Liptak of the New York Times, it almost certainly applies to other mobile devices, which means that police will also need warrants to search tablets and laptops. 

According to the ruling, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.”

Though this ruling is definitely a win for privacy rights in the digital age, it will also make law enforcement more challenging, which Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged. 

“Cellphones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals,” wrote Roberts in the ruling. “Privacy comes at a cost.”

However, the ruling may not make it that much more difficult, considering the fact that similar technologies can make it easier than ever for police to get their warrants. The Chief Justice noted that using email and tablets, officers can sometimes obtain their warrants in just 15 minutes time.

At One Indiana National Guard Base, Communications Devices are Truly State-of-the-Art

Communications are always changing in the United States: just a few years ago in 2000, the U.S. reached a peak in the number of phone lines at 186 million. Today, however, there are approximately 100 million fewer copper landlines, with more consumers using cellular phones and fiberoptic cable services.

The communications for the military are not impervious to change, either. At one military base in Terre Haute, Indiana, the communication devices utilized by soldiers are evolving, too.

Senior Airman Joseph Bowlin showed off the Indiana National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing and some of its radio and communication equipment. 

In military uses, Bowlin said, communication equipment helps the U.S. target enemy sites.

One example of this is the a device the size of a laptop computer, which can show live video from either a manned or unmanned aircraft.

Some of these items were on display at an invitation-only domestic operation expo last week, which was hosted by the Indiana National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing and Indiana State University. The event was held at the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

Bowlin explained, “We also have radios, with the ability to communicate if power goes down and there are no cellphones or no phone lines.”

Such radios can be either satellite radios or even HF tactical radios, which allow for long-range communication.

The unit also has access to thermal-imaging devices, which can help emergency response teams find people under rubble or in remote locations. Some of these devices can take these images from unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone aircraft, about 12 feet long with 14-feet wingspans.

Such aircraft can fly for six hours for 70 to 75 miles with a speed of up to 127 miles per hour. They are designed to be “purely reconnaissance,” says Spc. Tyson Pelo, who is training to fly one.

The devices are controlled by two people: the aircraft operator and the camera operator, the former of which can make the plane go as high as 15,000 feet into the air.

The drone’s purpose is to show an overview of damage from wildfires and other natural disasters.

The wing at Terre Haute employees personnel from 62 of 92 Indiana counties and 18 states and has a payroll of over $50 million per year. In addition to its employment roster, its use of technology adds much revenue to the nation’s economy, according to some Indiana National Guard members.

As Eyewear Becomes More Fashion Focused, Sunglass Sales are Picking Up

Sunglasses: are they the next lipstick? Historically, economists have observed that in times of economic strife — such as the recent U.S. Recession — sales of makeup go up rather than down, as consumers search for relatively inexpensive ways to boost their morale and update their look.

Over the past few years, a new, related trend has emerged to accompany this: the rising sale of sunglasses. While women’s apparel experienced a 4% overall sale increase from 2012 to 2013, sunglasses revenue rose 9%, more than double the pace. About a billion pairs of sunglasses are now sold each year.

There are, according to industry experts, a few reasons this trend is taking off. One reason is that eyewear has become more fashion-focused. Instead of just buying a pair of shades at the drugstore, people are searching for upscale designs that complement their overall look. Retailers like Warby Parker and the rise of the Google Glass have helped to keep glasses fashion on consumers’ minds.

And again, the Recession plays a part in this. Many consumers want high-end brands, but can’t afford a $3,000 handbag. Sunglasses represent a happy medium where they can access the brands they love, without paying the higher retail price. Gucci handbags, for example, typically cost more than $1,000, while their sunglasses frequently sell for $300. For the price-savvy consumer, it’s comparatively a bargain.

“We know that [the] average American owns lots of shoes and handbags,” says Kristen McCabe, VP of the Sunglass Hut North America. “They’re starting to think about eyewear in the same way, which is really important.”

Urgent Care Clinics Becoming Growing Option for Sick Children, Says University of Michigan Study

When it comes to taking care of sick children, many parents find that options are limited if the children are prohibited from attending daycare or school. As such, working parents have to resort to taking time off, something that can cost the whole family in major resources.

But parents who need care for their children outside of normal working hours are in luck: an increasing number of urgent care facilities are popping up around the nation, and they can take the frustration out of waiting days or weeks for a doctor’s appointment and spending time and money in an emergency room.

And although these centers are new, one study has already concluded that they are growing in popularity as an option for parents of sick kids.

The study, published by the University of Michigan on June 23, found that more parents are choosing urgent care over emergency room visits when their children get sick and cannot attend school or daycare. Among parents who are single, divorced, African American, have job concerns, or need a doctor’s note for the child to return to school or care, emergency room and urgent care visits are significantly higher.

Children who have frequent mild illnesses are often unnecessarily excluded from child care at high rates. For parents whose children lack a readily available primary care physician, the emergency room and urgent care are more likely options.

According to the UM study, 80 percent of parents took their children to a primary care doctor when their children couldn’t attend child care or school. Twenty-six percent took their children to urgent care, beating the ER by one percent as only 25 percent of parents took their kids to an emergency room.

The UM study was based on a survey of 630 parents with children ages 0 to 5 in child care.

For many parents, availability isn’t the only issue when it comes to raising children. Out of pocket costs for healthcare are rising for everyone in the U.S. at alarming rates, and the cost of raising a child until the age of 18, for any born around 2012, is approximately $217,000 — not including college costs.

Iranian Hackers Targeted U.S. Military, Government and Media Over Three Years Using Social Media, Says Report

A recent report from iSIGHT Partners, a Dallas-based computer-security firm, has exposed a three-year long cyber espionage campaign coming out of Iran. The attacks affected approximately 2,000 U.S. personal computers since 2011, and they specifically targeted U.S. military members, Senators, diplomats, lobbyists, and Washington-based journalists.

The Iranian hackers used social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to spread malware to their targets. Those who fell victim to the cyber attacks were directed to links that unleashed malware and phishing attempts with fake log-in screens used to steal usernames and passwords.

The hackers even impersonated journalists and defense contractors and set up a fake news website, NewsOnAir.org (not to be confused with India’s NewsOnAir.com). The news site used content copied from other websites, with real writer names swapped out for fake ones.

iSIGHT Partners, which dubbed the threat “NEWSCASTER,” was able to pinpoint Iran as the source of the attacks based on data collected from the attack website. The website used for the attacks was registered in Tehran, with other sites the hackers used hosted in Iran, as well. The malware contained several Persian words, and the time stamps for the hackers’ activity matched the professional working hours in Tehran, with time off on Iranian weekends and holidays.

Military and government computers typically use plenty of software protections, in addition to military-grade transit cases commonly used by the Aerospace industry and Boeing, as well, to physically protect equipment. However, when it comes to hackers, the protections are becoming more and more difficult to utilize as time goes on and Iran begins to catch up with the more complex hacking methods used in China and Russia.

The findings, according to iSIGHT Partners, reveal three “critical insights”: that social media is a powerful and covert way to lure in government leaders and others in related industries; that the hackers may have used this technology to gain knowledge to develop weapons systems; and that these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated by using multiple social media platforms.

It’s unclear what sort of information was taken by the hackers, but iSIGHT Partners concludes that this effort “is unprecedented in complexity, scale, and longevity,” and that any organizations that may have information of strategic or tactical interest to U.S. enemies should be concerned about threats like NEWSCASTER.

Automatic Doors? They’re Literally for the Birds in This University Building!

Ever since 1960, automatic entry doors and systems have provided universal access to millions of people. Today, we find them in supermarkets, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, and variety of other public buildings, and although they are not mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act in the U.S., they are still essential in making lives easier for many individuals. 

A recent video on YouTube shows that they are also making buildings accessible for… birds?

At the University of Victoria in British Columbia, a group of swallows had begun nesting in an underground parking garage. When the building was converted into a campus bike center, the birds soon learned to use the structure’s new automated doors by hovering long enough to trigger the mechanism that opens them. 

The birds, as seen in the photographer Grant Hughes’s video from May 17, are shown flying up to the door’s sensors and then flying back out of the building. The birds are also seen reentering the building in the same manner.

Hughes wrote in the description, “The swallows quickly learned how to trigger the motion detectors to open the doors and go in and out whenever they want. Smart birds!” The video currently has over 660,000 hits.

Animals frequently have a habit of entering human spaces, sometimes as pests and other times for amusement. In 2012, a monkey named Darwin, wearing a small coat, was found and filmed walking around outside an IKEA store in Toronto, Ontario.

Latest Mass Shooting Leads to More Questions About Gun Regulation, Mental Health Reform


By now, the news of Elliot Rodger’s shooting spree on the University of Santa Barbara’s campus that left six dead and 13 wounded is old news. Rodger’s belief that he was unfairly scorned by women in a time of his life he thought should be all about expressing his sexuality has been buried beneath layers of nonsense ranging from “if only people were nicer to him” to “what a poor, misunderstood guy.” Regardless of the mass media’s disturbing take on what should be a clear cut case of misguided value’s and mental illness, Rodger’s assault that ended in taking his own life is prompting lawmakers across the country to reconsider gun control laws, mental health reform, and the role of the media, just as has been the case with every other mass killing for the last decade.

Rodger’s Rampage Kicks up Talk of Gun, Mental Health Reform
Mr. Rodger bought the semiautomatic weapons used in the Santa Barbara slayings legally. He had no criminal history nor any background of mental health issues that a background check would have flagged. This ability for someone that has demonstrated publicly a desire to do others harm is prompting some legislative changes in California. Many lawmakers are now supporting so-called “gun violence restraining orders.” These orders can be issued by judges. As when seeking out a lawyer, those seeking out a judge’s assistance would have to demonstrate the credibility of their claims and the target individuals actions for the event or events they are seeking assistance. It’s a mild measure when compared to calls for complete prohibition on Capitol Hill, but it could be an effective one.

Of course, as those paying attention to national politics will know, there are many who believe that any sort of gun control legislation will have no effect on deranged individuals’ ability to do harm. Instead, many argue the focus should be placed on mental healthcare reform. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) is currently supporting a bill that would give families the ability to make decisions for their loved ones who demonstrate that they might have a problem. Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) is similarly supporting a mental health measure that would expand federal programs that aim to treat people with mental illness. As is so often the case after a shooting, however, there was a lot of immediate support for reform, but it quickly died out as the issue began to fade from collective memory.

Others Push for Greater Responsibility for Media Outlets
For many, both mental health reform and stricter gun control laws can and should work together to form a tighter net that will catch the criminally deranged before they take any legal action. However, many also argue that the media needs to be made responsible for their part. Consider Youtube’s role in all of this: Google has confirmed that some of Mr. Rodger’s videos that demonstrated his declining mental health as he prepared for his attack on Santa Barbara were removed from Youtube for violating its terms of service. However, with no legal responsibility to report Elliot Rodger as a threat to public security, the company did nothing more than that. 

For that reason, many are calling for laws that would place a legal burden on Google and other online outlets to report people they believe to be a threat to authorities as part of a digital Good Samaritan law. Perhaps then, in concert with gun law and mental health reform, we can finally see an end to these mass killings that have become so common.

Was Family Cheated Out of WCAR Stake?

On The AirWas Family Cheated Out of WCAR Stake?
Rago and Jadranka Mihajlovski a couple of Detroit said that they had invested almost $1 million in sports station WCAR-FM. The couple said to media reporters that initially they had invested $0.5 million under the pretext of 10 percent stake. Later on, they invested another $0.5 million under the deal of 15 percent interest. They opined that the deal had been done with Sima Birach Jr., on behalf of Birach Holdings.

A legal document claims that the father of Birach has not delegated him any right to sell WCAR. It is mentioned in the document that “the father of Birach has leased WCAR-FM to his son under $1 a year and he has only right to sell the commercial time”.