The Heartbleed Bug: Here’s What You Need To Know

How does local cybersecurity expert James Koons describe the Heartbleed bug?

MASSIVE.

“That’s the theme here,” said Koons, who has worked on IT security for the U.S. military and Amazon.com.

Currently he is chief security officer for Listrak, a Lancaster provider of online marketing services, and a board member of the Online Trust Alliance.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/the-heartbleed-bug-here-s-what-you-need-to-know/article_186a3f04-c0cb-11e3-a09f-001a4bcf6878.html

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These Artists In War-Ravaged Damascus Have Broken A Guinness World Record

Editor’s Note:  This is very inspiring and there are many pictures you can view when you click on the link below.  Love how people triumph over adversity!

Six Syrian artists have set a 2014 Guinness World Record. Using scraps from the streets of war-ravaged Damascus, in January they built the largest mural made from recycled material, beautifying the area outside a primary school in Syria’s capital.

It took Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul and his team six months to complete the mural in the upscale Al Mazzeh area of Damascus. Guinness announced the win on Facebook on March 26.

The team used scrap objects like broken mirrors, bicycle wheels, and aluminum cans to construct the mural, measuring 7,749.98 feet across.

Read more/see pictures: http://www.buzzfeed.com/miriamberger/these-artists-in-war-ravaged-damascus-have-broken-a-guinness

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Here Are Options For Windows XP Apocalypse

Microsoft Windows XP wordmark official.

Microsoft Windows XP wordmark official. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you ready for the “XP Apocalypse” on April 8?

That’s when Microsoft Corp. plans to stop issuing security updates for the aging but still popular XP version of its flagship Windows operating system, which by some estimates is still running on nearly 1 in 3 personal computers in homes and offices around the world, along with some bank ATMs and other commercial systems.

Security experts say those machines will become significantly more vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other malicious hacks once Microsoft withdraws its support. No one’s predicting a Mayan-style cataclysm, but if you’re still using XP, here are some things to consider.

Microsoft started selling XP back in 2001 — long before the much-maligned Vista and two subsequent versions known as Windows 7 and Windows 8. The company says it’s already overextended the natural life cycle of XP, while newer versions of Windows offer better security and performance, especially when it comes to newer Web services and touch-enabled programs.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/technology/2014/03/30/Here-are-options-for-Windows-XP-apocalypse/stories/201403300126#ixzz2xUxkUud7

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Southern California Shaken By 5.1 Earthquake, Minor Damage Reported

A locator map showing Los Angeles County — in ...

A locator map showing Los Angeles County — in Southern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A magnitude-5.1 earthquake shook buildings, ruptured gas lines and caused other minor damage and injuries in Southern California late Friday.

The quake, centered 2 miles east of La Habra, Calif, was reported at 9:09 p.m. according to the United States Geological Survey. The shaking originated about 5 miles underground. The 5.1-magnitude quake was followed two minutes later by another 3.4 quake, officials said.

Reports of natural gas leaks began flooding in once the shaking stopped, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett. Firefighter assessed the leaks as minor, Pickett said, but a broken water pipe did flood a CVS Pharmacy.

A rockslide in Brea, Calif. in Orange County caused a car to overturn, causing only minor injuries, officials said. Southern California Edison officials reported about 2,000 customers were without power late Friday because of the earthquake. The earthquake also sent rocks tumbling off the 10 Freeway, creating a traffic hazard, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

Read more: http://dfm.timesherald.com/article/los-angeles-county-shaken-by-51-earthquake-some-damage-reported/91bba0fe9d3a2d719a7a92ca7b7557fd

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Baby Boomers Go Small In ’14

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — At 78 million strong, baby boomers usually get what they want as consumer.

That’s how we got the Ford Mustang, lite beer, granite countertops and video on demand. The younger half of the boomers famously said, “I want my MTV” — and they got it.

So when boomers start saying they’re tired of “going big” on everything from cheeseburgers to McMansions,businesses better begin paying close attention, and that’s exactly what the generation born between 1946 to 1964 is saying now. It’s a downsizing world they want, and they’re going to get it, but not without the amenities and comforts the materialistic boomers are famous for.

“Those baby boomers who worked hard for and embraced the affluent lifestyle of the 1970s through the middle of the last decade — owning large homes and spacious vehicles — have reached a turning point,” says Sheryl Connelly, global consumer trends and a “futurist” for Ford. “This generation is now trending toward a simpler way of living, one that doesn’t eliminate the lavish comforts they’ve come to enjoy.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/baby-boomers-go-small-14/1

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Wealth Gap Is Widest In Some Affluent US Cities

WASHINGTON (AP) – The gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States’ most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than the national average, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years.

These cities may struggle in the future to provide adequate public schooling, basic municipal services because of a narrow tax base and “may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families,” the study said.

“There’s something of a relationship between economic success and inequality,” said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings. “These cities are home to some of the highest paying industries and jobs in the country.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20140220_ap_9abeed9da7e24c51a0a078a9ca8c73b9.html#fRdwGmPM2m6ZEQji.99

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Snake-Handling Kentucky Pastor Dies From Snake Bite

Map of the Middlesborough Micropolitan Statist...

Map of the Middlesborough Micropolitan Statistical Area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MIDDLESBORO, KY (AP) — Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake.

Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bit, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV http://on.wbir.com/1cLrs8A 

“Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand … within a second,” Winn said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1199267/Snake-handling-Ky.-pastor-dies-from-snake-bite

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Oil Price Above $100 On US Heating Fuel Demand

The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels and solid Chinese credit numbers eased concerns over the world’s number 2 economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 49 cents to $100.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell 5 cents to close at $100.30.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140217/oil-price-above-100-on-us-heating-fuel-demand

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Economic Slowdown Widespread

INDICATOR: January Industrial Production and Import/Export Prices

KEY DATA: IP: -0.3%; Manufacturing: -0.8%/Imports: +0.1%; Nonfuel: +0.3%; Exports: +0.2%; Farm: -0.5%

IN A NUTSHELL: “The current economic slowdown, that hopefully can be blamed on the weather, is widespread.”

WHAT IT MEANS: January can be a cruel month and this year it is especially so. Job gains were mediocre, unemployment claims are above where we would like to see them, retail sales were pathetic and not surprisingly, manufacturers reacted by cutting back production sharply. Industrial production was off moderately in January but only because utilities had to produce massive amounts to heat our homes, offices and plants. Manufacturing output tanked as fifteen of the nineteen industry groups posted declines.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/economics_in_a_nutshell/Economic-slowdown-widespread.html#BofjoT0tjMWvuhFk.99

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Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club To Cut 2,300 Workers

English: Logo for Sam's Club

English: Logo for Sam’s Club (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it’s eliminating 2,300 workers at its Sam’s Club division as it reduces the ranks of middle managers in a bid to be more nimble.

The layoffs, which cut 2 percent of the membership club’s U.S. employee count of about 116,000, mark the largest since 2010 when the Sam’s Club unit laid off 10,000 workers as it moved to outsource food demonstrations at its stores.

The cuts come as Sam’s Club strives to compete better with Costco Wholesale Corp. and online players like Amazon.com’s Prime membership service. They also follow layoffs announced by several other major retailers in recent weeks that include Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney and Target Corp.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140125_ap_4fbfbde8c9e1487cbe6569dc8dc9139f.html#6AF86HobVkfOl5Cz.99

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Many Remain Wary Of West Virginia Water As Smell Lingers

Map of Charleston and vicinity.

Map of Charleston and vicinity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, WV—The smell lingers—the slightly sweet, slightly bitter odor of a chemical that contaminated the water supply of West Virginia’s capital more than a week ago. It creeps out of faucets and shower heads. It wafts from the Elk River, the site of the spill. Sometimes it hangs in the cold nighttime air.

For several days, a majority of Charleston-area residents have been told their water is safe to drink, that the concentration of a chemical used to wash coal is so low that it won’t be harmful. Restaurants have reopened—using tap water to wash dishes and produce, clean out their soda fountains and make ice.

But as long as people can still smell it, they’re wary—and given the lack of knowledge about the chemical known as MCHM, some experts say their caution is justified.

“I would certainly be waiting until I couldn’t smell it anymore, certainly to be drinking it,” said Richard Denison, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund who has followed the spill closely. “I don’t blame people at all for raising questions and wondering whether they can trust what’s being told to them.”

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/nation-world/ci_24940594/many-remain-wary-w-va-water-smell-lingers

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Water Ban Lifted For Parts Of West Virginia After Spill

West Virginia counties map

West Virginia counties map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, WV — The ban on tap water for parts of West Virginia was lifted on Monday, ending a crisis for some of the 300,000 people who were told not to drink, wash or cook with water after a chemical spill tainted the water supply.

Gov. Earl Tomblin made the announcement at a news conference, five days after people were told to use the water only to flush their toilets.

“The numbers we have today look good and we are finally at a point where the ‘do not use order’ has been lifted,” he said.

Officials are lifting the ban in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, which could cause more water quality and service issues. Customers are being asked to flush out their systems before using the water again, and officials cautioned that the water could still have an odor, but it is safe.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/5409651-74/state-chemical-officials#ixzz2qJIsJ9gm
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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Chemical Spill Shuts Down Much Of West Virginia Capital

Map of Charleston and vicinity.

Map of Charleston and vicinity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, WV(AP) — Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and state legislators who had just started their session canceled the day’s business after a chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston shut down much of the city and surrounding counties even as the extent of the danger remained unclear.

The federal government joined the state early Friday in declaring a disaster, and the West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. In requesting the federal declaration, which makes federal resources available to the state, state officials said about 300,000 people were affected.

Federal authorities are also launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the spill and what caused it, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a news release Friday.

Shortly after the Thursday spill from Freedom Industries hit the river and a nearby treatment plant, a licorice-like smell enveloped parts of the city, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an order to customers of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.

Read more: http://hosted2.ap.org/PAWIC/140fe8300e9c43bab097b794ca7594c6/Article_2014-01-10-Chemical%20Spill-WVa/id-2310b0b7a3654ebf911d3ee5fc84f854

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Steubenville Principal Pledges Community Service For Dismissal In Rape Case

Map of Ohio

Map of Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A school principal charged with failure to report suspected child abuse in the wake of two Steubenville rape investigations won’t be prosecuted if she does community service work.

Ohio prosecutors on Wednesday agreed to drop the misdemeanor charge against Lynnett Gorman, principal of West Elementary School in Steubenville, by June 1 if she complies.

Ms. Gorman, one of five adults indicted in the aftermath of the rape convictions of high school football players Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, was set to go to trial Wednesday.

The Ohio attorney general’s office said she failed to report suspected child abuse in regard to the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by a group of baseball players in April 2012, four months before the Richmond and Mays case.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/01/08/Steubenville-principal-pledges-community-service-for-dismissal-in-rape-case/stories/2014010801180000000#ixzz2pughCy8X

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Winter Storm Brings 2 Feet Of Snow, Kills At Least 9

BOSTON — A storm dropped a blanket of light, powdery snow across the Northeast and ushered in frigid temperatures Friday that were unusual even for cities accustomed to blasts of winter weather. The storm, which shut down major highways temporarily and grounded flights, was blamed for at least nine deaths in the eastern half of the country.

The nor’easter was accompanied by plummeting temperatures that on Friday morning reached 8 degrees below zero in Burlington, Vt., with a wind chill of 29 below and 2 degrees in Boston, with a wind chill of minus 20. It dumped 23 inches of snow in Boxford, Mass., and 18 inches in parts of western New York near Rochester. Thirteen inches of snow fell in Boston, while Lakewood, N.J., got 10 inches and New York City’s Central Park got 6.

On a mostly empty Main Street in Concord, N.H., Kathy Woodfin hustled to work, a tall iced coffee turning to caramel-colored slush in her left hand. It was 7 degrees at 9 a.m. and the wind zipping through alleyways blew a fine, stinging snow in her face.

“I just run from heated car to heated building,” the New Hampshire native said. “It’s just like down South, where they run from air conditioned car to air conditioned building.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140103/winter-storm-brings-2-feet-of-snow-kills-at-least-9

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Brains Stolen, Sold On eBay, Man Arrested

Skyline of Indianpolis. This photo was also ta...

Skyline of Indianpolis. This photo was also taken from the top floor of an IU Hospital parking garage in spring 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jars of brain tissue were recently stolen from an Indianapolis medical museum and sold on eBay, according to a report.

Apparently a “hot” brain goes for $100 plus shipping these days.

At least that’s the rate a San Diego man paid for six jars before he got suspicious about some labels and called authorities, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Indianapolis police set up a phony deal in a Dairy Queen parking lot on Dec. 16, and arrested David Charles, 21, a city resident, who just the day before allegedly stole another 60 jars of human tissue from the Indiana Medical History Museum.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Stolen_brains_sold_on_eBay_arrest_made.html#4F5OMX6vmlxkMFGQ.99

First-Class Stamps To Cost 49 Cents As Of January 26, 2014

USPS service delivery truck in a residential a...

USPS service delivery truck in a residential area of San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.

Regulators on Tuesday approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter in an effort to help the Postal Service recover from severe mail decreases brought on by the 2008 economic downturn.

Many consumers won’t feel the price increase immediately. Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the future rate, can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective Jan. 26.

The higher rate will last no more than two years, allowing the Postal Service to recoup $2.8 billion in losses. By a 2-1 vote, the independent Postal Regulatory Commission rejected a request to make the price hike permanent, though inflation over the next 24 months may make it so.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131225/first-class-stamps-to-cost-49-cents-as-of-jan-26

Ozone Hole Stabilizing But Not Shrinking Yet

English: Ozone Hole

English: Ozone Hole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hole in the ozone layer is stabilizing but will take until about 2070 to fully recover, according to new research by NASA scientists.

The assessment comes more than two decades after the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that banned chlorofluorocarbons and other compounds that deplete the ozone layer, which shields the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Levels of chlorine in the atmosphere are falling as a result of the treaty, but have not yet dropped below the threshold necessary to have a shrinking effect on the ozone hole that forms each year over Antarctica, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. They presented their findings last week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2013/12/16/Ozone-hole-stabilizing-but-not-shrinking-yet/stories/201312160113#ixzz2neqxGjk1

Seizure Of Nuns Stokes Syrian Christian Fears

English: Map of Syria

English: Map of Syria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DAMASCUS (AP) — Syrian Christians offered prayers Sunday for a group of more than a dozen nuns and orphanage workers held by rebels for nearly a week, fueling fears in the minority community that they are being targeted by extremists among the fighters seeking to oust President Bashar Assad.

The seizure of the 12 Greek Orthodox nuns and at least three other women is the latest attack to spark panic among Syria’s Christians over the strength of al-Qaida-linked militants and other Islamic radicals in the nearly 3-year-old revolt against Assad’s government. A priest and two bishops previously kidnapped by rebels remain missing, and extremists are accused of vandalizing churches in areas they have captured.

Rebels seized the nuns on Monday from the Greek Orthodox Mar Takla convent when fighters overran Maaloula, a mainly Christian village north of Damascus that lies on a key highway and has changed hands several times in fierce fighting between rebels and government forces. The group, along with three women — themselves orphans — who work in the convent’s orphanage were taken to the nearby rebel-held town of Yabroud.

The eldest of the nuns is nearly 90 years old, and the youngest of the orphanage workers is in her mid-teens, according to Mother Superior Febronia Nabhan, head of the Saidnaya Convent.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news//1039595/Seizure-of-nuns-stokes-Syrian-Christian-fears