When you set about tidying and reorganizing your linen closet or garage, don’t forget about your credit report. Your credit history is the foundation of your financial stability. The information in your credit report is what scoring companies such as FICO use to generate your credit scores, which govern everything from how much you pay for a loan — or if you can get one — to your insurance rates.

Paying attention to your credit report only when you’re about to make a big purchase, such as a house or car, can backfire. According to a 2004 U.S. Public Interest Research Group study, nearly 80% of surveyed reports had inaccuracies. (And 25% had “serious errors.”) If any inaccuracy takes some time to sort out, that can be a problem if you’re racing the clock to secure a loan. Get a head start by going over your credit report now, and check up on it periodically so you can catch and fix any problems right away. 

1. Order a copy of your credit report

If it’s been years since you’ve given your credit report a good once-over, or if you never have, just figuring out where to start can be daunting. Luckily, federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can get a free copy of all three bureaus’ versions of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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Fast-growing daily deal site Groupon Inc. has filed paperwork for its hotly anticipated initial public offering of stock.

The regulatory filing Thursday sets the potential value of the IPO at $750 million.

Groupon’s move follows an IPO by social-networking site LinkedIn that valued that company at $9 billion by the end of its first day of trading.
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Some folks seem to be magnets for mosquitoes, while others rarely get bitten. What makes the little buggers single you out and not the guy or gal you’re standing next to at the Memorial Day backyard barbecue?

The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20 percent of people are high attractor types, he says.

Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision, explains Day. People dressed in dark colors — black, navy blue, red — stand out and movement is another cue.
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An international panel of experts says cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing details from dozens of published studies.

The statement was issued in Lyon, France, on Tuesday by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a weeklong meeting of experts. They reviewed possible links between cancer and the type of electromagnetic radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar.

The agency is the cancer arm of the World Health Organization and the assessment now goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on cellphone use.
The group classified cellphones in category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Other substances in that category include the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust.
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A video showing a 13-year-old boy’s mutilated corpse has shocked many Syrians and is turning the victim, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, into a martyr. Many of those demanding the end of President Bashar Assad’s regime say his death will strengthen their resolve and inspire others to come to their cause.

Too graphic for us to post, but not hard to find, the video, as The New York Times writes:

From a Facebook page created about Hamza.
Facebook.com/hamza.alshaheed
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Tar sands oil (or “tar sands”) is slang for bituminous sand, a mixture of sand, clay, water and an extremely gooey form of petroleum known as bitumen, which resembles tar in appearance. Extracting commercially viable crude oil from tar sands is especially difficult because the thick and sticky mixture won’t flow unless it is heated or diluted with other hydrocarbons. Turning the extracted bitumen into liquid fuel requires large inputs of energy; the process also uses, pollutes and wastes large amounts of fresh water.
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Participants in the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride Sunday expressed mixed feelings about the involvement of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R).

Palin, along with husband Todd and daughters Bristol and Piper, joined the hundreds of thousands of riders who gather in D.C. every year to raise awareness for prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

Palin’s arrival at the event around 11:30 a.m. caused a huge commotion that event organizers struggled to contain. Photographers swarmed her; young men in suits hung around the press pack asking Palin to sign copies of her books. Rolling Thunder security yelled at press and fans not to touch the expensive bikes.
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The Supreme Court upheld a ruling ordering California to release 46,000 prisoners in order to alleviate overcrowding. Mansfield Frazier, who has done time, on why flogging may be more humane than a decrepit prison.

At first glace, the title of Peter Moskos’ new book, In Defense of Flogging, strikes you as a barbaric hoax being perpetrated by some sort of right-wing ideologue or kook. In fact, it initially appears to be an idea so outrageous, so provocative, as to not even rate a second thought; something to immediately be dismissed out-of-hand. Indeed, how can anyone—who considers themselves the least bit humane—even consider such an outdated form of punishment as flogging, even for the most serious and monstrous of law breakers?
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The Securities and Exchange Commission wasted $1 million on virtual data storage it bought in 2008, the agency’s internal watchdog said, part of a series of investigations into the agency’s procurement practices.

SEC Inspector General David Kotz is also expected to unveil soon the findings of a probe into the SEC’s leasing process, after the agency was forced to renege on a plan to rent 900,000 square feet of office space because it failed to secure additional funding from Congress.
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IT organizations that have sought to reduce costs through outsourcing are finding the services end up being more costly than they thought, and the service providers can’t offer the flexibility that internal staff can.
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