Are kids’ Halloween costumes getting too sexy and creepy?


Is it just a scary dream or are little girls’ Halloween costumes getting skimpier and boys’ outfits getting scarier?

A maid costume used to be for adults now it’s sold for little girls, along with cutie cat and playful kitten.

For boys there’s a pimp costume. The Joker comes in toddler sizes along with all kinds of masked dark characters.

Walmart yanked its naughty leopard costume in size 3T and 4T after parents complained it was sexualizing children. The costume itself was pretty tame but the naughty moniker may have caused the uproar. Walmart apologized.

From Rocky to the Walking Dead don’t be surprised if trick or treat gets a little bit creepier this year.

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The most beautiful cars of 2013

By High Gear Media

What makes a car beautiful?

Sometimes it’s undeniable–a lissome look, a crushworthy stance, a peerless cabin. In other cases, it’s a purity of form that’s as close to ideal as possible, given the chosen duty.

We define it both ways at The Car Connection. As we review more than 250 new vehicles every year, we rate them all across six categories, including styling. Among those new and continuing models, we give only a handful a perfect score of 10 for styling.

This year, the list cars that earn those perfect scores covers some of the most exquisite machinery on the road from Aston Martin, Audi, Maserati, MINI, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Porsche and SRT (nee Dodge). Beautiful? Each one earns the tag, even if some shapes aren’t as hormonal or as naturally elegant as other body styles.

According to The Car Connection’s editors, these are most beautiful vehicles of 2013:

2013 Aston Martin DB9

It’s been around since 2004, but there’s not a line that looks dated on the Aston DB9. The details are the essence of good taste, and it’s gorgeous either as a coupe or as a Volante convertible.

2013 Aston Martin DBS

The Aston Martin DBS is muscular but evocative, the hallmark of a timeless shape. It projects every aspect of bespoke, old-world charm–seen through a modern lens, of course.

2013 Audi A7

The A7’s mix of flowing, smooth sheetmetal and chiseled details is graceful and refreshingly different. It’s classy and cohesive, and it’s among the

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NY officials say insurers to repay seniors $2.2M

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York regulators say four insurers will pay $2.2 million in restitution to 3,475 seniors across the state because of overcharges on their policies.

The Department of Financial Services says the refunds are for Medicare supplemental insurance and average $624 per policyholder.

Distribution will begin on Sept. 30.

The department says its investigation showed the companies failed to comply with New York’s requirement they spend most premiums on medical bills instead of administrative expenses or profits, with requirements ranging from 65 to 80 percent.

The requirement for nonprofits is 80 percent.

The insurers are American Progressive Life and Health Insurance Co. of New York in White Plains, Excellus Health Plan in Rochester, First United American Life Insurance Co. in Liverpool and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co. in Harrison.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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US home foreclosures on track for 6-year low

LOS ANGELES (AP) — New data show that the U.S. is on track to end the year with the fewest homes repossessed by lenders in six years.

Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says lenders repossessed just under 37,000 U.S. homes last month.

That’s down 31 percent from the same time last year, and up 4 percent from the month before.

At the monthly average so far this year, completed foreclosures are projected to total nearly 490,000 this year.

That would be 27 percent below 2012’s total and the fewest foreclosures since 2007.

Foreclosures peaked in 2010 at 1.05 million.

Rising home prices and a gradually improving job market have helped limit the pace of homes first entering the foreclosure process.

Foreclosure starts posted an annual decline of 38 percent in July.

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App lets you tell your networks you’ll BRB


Want to spend quality time with your beau or have drinks with friends without your smart phone blowing up? Now there’s an app for that called BRB. It lets you check out without alienating yourself from your friends and family.

Co-founder David Krevitt says he is an iPhone addict who needed a break.

“We wanted a way to kind of tuck it in and roll it back and be on our phones less,” he says. “We want people to communicate in a sustainable way.”

To check out you just press the button, type in a away message you like and how long you’re going to be away, then you could share that with Facebook, Twitter, or text and then just press the checkout button. Then all your friends get notified who are following you on the app that you’re unavailable. Then you can leave your phone and enjoy what’s in front of you, the creators said.

But some people we spoke to weren’t completely sold.

“Sometimes you can’t really talk or text in the moment, but most of the time people are going to do it anyway,” one person told us.

Another said: “If I don’t want to talk to someone, I just won’t talk to someone.”

Right now the app is available on the iPhone. It will be out on Android this winter. The creators also plan on integrating the app with email and Skype.

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Twitter unveils emergency alert system


Twitter has announced a new feature, called Twitter Alerts, what will allow governments and other information sources to push alerts right to a user’s phone with a notification.

Twitter, which made the announcement on its blog, says the goal is to help users get “important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren’t accessible.”

Users will not receive the alerts unless they sign up for an account’s Twitter Alerts. Then, when an account marks a Tweet as an alert, it will send a notification directly to the user’s phone.

If the user has Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android, they will also receive a push notification.

Twitter says the alerts will appear differently on the user’s timeline from regular Tweets. They will have a small orange bell symbol next to them.

On the web, a user can see if an organization is part of the program when they visit its profile.

A number of organizations in the U.S., Japan and Korea are signed up to send alerts.

Among them:

  • American Red Cross
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Land Management: National Interagency Fire Center
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: En Español
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service: Fire and Aviation
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • US Department of State
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • US Geological Survey
  • US Department of the Interior

Several state governments are also signed up. Twitter says it will expand the service to include

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10 SUNY campuses to split $700K in research funds

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Seven research projects involving 10 State University of New York campuses will split nearly $700,000 in state funding.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday that each project will receive up to $100,000 from the SUNY Research Collaboration Fund. The fund supports research collaborations among state campuses as part of the SUNY system’s strategic plan.

The projects being funded include cancer detection and treatment research being conducted at four upstate and downstate campuses and climate change analysis being done at the University at Albany and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

Other SUNY campuses receiving the funding: College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, Stony Brook University, the University at Buffalo, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Brockport, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, Binghamton and Potsdam.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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