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On July 1, the payment-services company will start offering buyer protections for services, e-books, software downloads, digital music and much more.

A lot of the stuff you buy these days isn’t stuff at all.

With consumers spending more money on digital goods, PayPal decided it was time to start offering buyer protections for those digital songs, books, travel tickets and software downloads. Read more



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Google has been readying its own wireless service for smartphones, and it could launch in the US as early as Wednesday, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The service, which would compete with local wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, is expected to let customers pay only for the data they use on the network. That would mean users only pay when they make calls, listen to music or use apps, as opposed to common wireless service agreements that charge a bulk rate for a certain amount of data.

What Google wants to do is somewhat unique, according to the Journal’s report. The company plans to offer two types of services that overlap. When users are on Wi-Fi, their phone calls and other data would use that connection. When not on a Wi-Fi signal, customers would use common cellular radio signals, which are more costly. Read more


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Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a police officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about education, required examinations, training and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Police officers are responsible for enforcing laws and maintaining peace within communities. In addition to earning a high school diploma, police officers receive training at a police academy. Some police officers complete degree programs in law enforcement or criminal justice as well, which can be helpful for career advancement. Police recruits also have to go through a series of examinations that are determined by their academy, which may include physical fitness testing and psychiatric review.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Required Training Completion of police academy training
Other Requirements Must be at least 21 years old (required by most departments), have U.S. citizenship, and a valid driver’s license
Exam Requirements Passing of written and physical exams administered by police academy
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 6%*
Median Salary (2013) $56,130*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Meet Basic Prerequisites

All police departments require their police officers to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent education. While some departments hire graduates right out of high school, most require potential officers to be at least 21 years old. Thus, students who are hired after high school must work and train until they are 21 in order to become an officer. Other basic prerequisites for police officers include being a U.S. citizen and having a valid drivers license and clean record.

Step 2: Complete Undergraduate Education

Completing an associate or bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice, law enforcement or a related discipline can be helpful in obtaining a job as a police officer. While not required by many departments, applicants may find formal education advantageous when vying for officer positions. State and federal agencies generally require their recruits to have a college education. Degree-holders also may advance their careers more rapidly than those without a relevant degree. Some departments will even provide tuition assistance to officers who seek degrees in pertinent fields.

Step 3: Attend Police Academy

Most police officers attend some form of police academy for training. Large police departments send recruits to their own police academies. Smaller precincts may send new hires to attend larger academies as well. Academy programs typically last 3-4 months and combine classroom and hands-on, physical training. Academies include common classroom instruction in:

  • Civil rights
  • State and local laws
  • Incident reporting
  • Crime investigation
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal psych

Police academy training prepares prospective police officers for active duty. Therefore, recruits also gain supervised experience in facing real-life situations. Police academy teaches students common requirements such as:

  • Patrol, risk assessment and subject apprehension
  • Accident and emergency response
  • First-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Firearm use
  • Self-defense
  • Traffic command

Step 4: Pass Applicable Examinations

In order to gain a position on the police force, candidates are required to pass various examinations to ensure competence. Candidates must pass written exams, which may be administered through a police academy. Most divisions also administer physical tests of strength, vision, hearing and agility. Some units conduct psychiatric or background interviews to assess a recruit’s personal characteristics and overall suitability for a career in law enforcement. Most candidates will need to pass drug and lie detector tests as well.

Step 5: Find a Job

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that state and federal police and detective jobs should be quite competitive. However, once a police officer is hired, there is generally very little turnover. The BLS reported that police and detective jobs would grow 5% from 2012-2022, which was slower than average. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers made a median salary of $56,130 in May 2013.


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Welcome to the era of low-cost predictions. Your products and services will never be the same, and a couple of big companies may wish we’d never arrived.

On Thursday, Amazon Web Services announced that it was selling to the public the same kind of software it uses to figure out what products Amazon puts in front of a shopper, when to stage a sale or who to target with an email offer.

The techniques, called machine learning, are applicable for technology development, finance, bioscience or pretty much anything else that is getting counted and stored online these days. In other words, almost everything. Read more

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The installation of Deborah David’s new kitchen faucet was a $180 job. But it lies at the heart of an expanding $400 billion commercial war.

Some of the biggest names in e-commerce, along with a growing pool of start-ups, are vying for a chunk of the fragmented, quotidian, heretofore entirely local market of electricians, plumbers, dog walkers and other manual labor, known broadly as home services.

The work may be mundane but the money and stakes are huge. Angie’s List, the 20-year-old subscription service that offers reviews of local service providers to members, estimates the home services industry is $400 billion. Others put it at more than $800 billion. Read more

The study

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The number of black immigrants in the United States has more than quadrupled since 1980, a new study has found, and that group is expected to make up an increasing share of the nation’s black population in the decades ahead.

The study, released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, found that 3.8 million black immigrants lived in the United States in 2013, and their share of the black population in the country “is projected to rise from 9 percent today to 16 percent by 2060,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, the director of Hispanic research at Pew and an author of the study along with Monica Anderson.

That differs from the Hispanic population, Mr. Lopez said, because the share of Hispanics in America who are immigrants is declining. Read more

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At the heart of the Giuliani-led critique of the president’s patriotism is the suggestion that Barack Obama has never expressed love for the United States.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, has even challenged the media to find examples of Mr. Obama expressing such affection.

Has the president done so?

Yes, he has.

A review of his public remarks provides multiple examples.

In 2008, when he was still a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama uttered the magic words in Berlin, during a speech to thousands.

“I also know how much I love America,” he said at the time.

He did it again that same year during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, observing that “I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.”

Mr. Obama used a similar construction, as president, in 2011, during a town hall meeting in Illinois, when he recalled “why I love this country so much.” Read more

The U.S. census

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Immigration from Africa has exploded all over the country. The U.S. census reports that 1.6 million African immigrants live in the U.S.—or 4 percent of the country’s foreign born population–and the influx has exceeded 300 years of the slave trade. In New York City, the African-born population increased about 39 percent, to 128,200, over the past decade, according to the Department of Planning. African groups do not make the city’s top-20 list of the foreign-born, but represent a growing presence among recent entrants to the city, notes the planning agency.

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BankMobile says it is the first full-service mobile-only bank.

Taking a trip to your local bank may no longer be necessary.

BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, launched Wednesday, claiming to be the first bank to allow customers to open checking and savings accounts and even get a credit line solely through a mobile app.

BankMobile hopes to cater to wired millennials, who are expected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020.

Of course an app still can’t dispense cash, the most analog of financial instruments. To solve that problem, BankMobile will offer customers access to 55,000 ATMs nationwide, and reimburse them the cost of ATM surcharges. The ATMs, however, must be part of the STAR network. There are about 5,800 STAR network ATMs in the tristate area, according to the state Department of Labor. Prominent retail banks Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, though, are not part of the STAR network. Read more

Queens Library

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The applicants clustered on Kissena Boulevard, clutching documents from around the world, trading familiar stories with strangers in a driving rain outside the Queens Library in Flushing. There were the police encounters, the school visits, the fraught hospital trips — all negotiated without the bureaucratic lubricant of local identification.

“We feel naked,” said Mauricio Peña, 34, who is originally from Honduras. “We feel like we don’t exist.”

At his side, a peer, who immigrated from Malaysia 17 years ago, nodded beneath his umbrella.

Such was the scene at enrollment sites across New York City on Monday, with crowds gathering by the hundreds as the de Blasio administration introduced the country’s largest municipal identification program. Read more