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Halloween

Blake Dowling: This Halloween, tech can be really scary

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Technology can be scary. That said, my Halloween column focuses on some frightening examples of tech gone awry; some you might find scarier (dumb scary) than an Ernest movie. Who remembers those? AWFUL. Others are disturbing in a more realistic way. I recently noticed an email alert about a fake “blue screen of death.” An email comes in looking like it’s from Microsoft. You click on the icon that looks very close to the Microsoft Security Essentials Icon. It immediately…

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A real fright for Halloween: Florida tax rules on candy, treats

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For many Floridians, the most unsettling part of Halloween isn’t ghosts, goblins, or zombies. It’s figuring the state’s tax rules on candy. The innocent goody bag can become a minefield of tax policy, with often-confusing rules governing grocery store purchases statewide and throughout the country. Florida TaxWatch, the nonprofit bipartisan government watchdog, uses Halloween to demonstrate exactly which goodies are taxable and which are not. “Florida shoppers know that most of their groceries are tax-free, but the rules can get very tricky,…

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Halloween is brought you by these Florida lobbyists and political associations

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The witching hour is upon us. Ghosts and ghouls fill the streets. Zombies walk side-by-side with princesses and superheroes. Their mission the same: Spook and scare their neighbors in hopes of scoring enough candy to sustain them for the next year. Total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $8.2 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. The annual survey expects consumers will spend an average of $82.93, up from $74.34 in 2015. The National Retail Federation predicts…

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Florence Snyder: Postcard from Halloween

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How did Halloween come to be first runner-up to Christmas among holidays that excel at separating families from their money? We can thank people like John Murdy, creative director and executive producer of Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. In an interview with Marketplace Weekend’s Eliza Mills, Murdy recalls growing up in the ’70s, when Halloween was just a small treat on the run-up to winter. Murdy was just 10 years old, but already developing tricks that would help elevate…

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Bound and gagged Kim Kardashian Halloween costume pulled

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An online retailer has pulled a Halloween costume that made light of the recent jewelry heist involving Kim Kardashian West. Time reports that the listing for the “Parisian Heist” costume on Costumeish featured a bound and gagged Kardashian lookalike dressed in a white robe and sporting a giant ring. The listing didn’t include Kardashian’s name. The costume was being sold for nearly $70. The company’s founder, Jonathon Weeks, told Time that the costume was designed to provoke a strong reaction.…

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Retailers expect Halloween to break records, $8.4B in sales

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Halloween is expected to set records this year with more than $8.4 billion in retail sales, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation. NRF estimates more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday and will spend an average of $83 each on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards. The numbers are a big jump over 2015, when Americans spent about $74 each — or $6.9 billion total. “More families are making a bigger deal out of…

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Today on Context Florida: The mighty always fall, social justice warriors and rethinking gender equality

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Today on Context Florida: The mighty always have fallen, warns Dr. Marc J. Yacht. Always. Being a strong imperial power offers no guarantee of continued existence. Ask any Mayan whose empire survived 3,500 years. They sit alongside the Roman, British, Spanish and Mongol empires. The French faced the revolution with Madame Defarge knitting while the People’s Court sentenced French nobility to death. One cannot ignore the Russian Revolution and the end of the Romanov dynasty. It happens and it can happen…

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