Supreme Court Google classaction case should be revisited

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is telling a lower court to take another look at a class-action settlement involving Google and privacy concerns.Google agreed to settle the class action for users of its search function between 2006 and 2014. Of the $8.5 million, $2.1 million went to lawyers, $1 million paid administrative costs and $5.3 million was set aside for six organizations that deal with internet privacy issues.The individuals who initially sued received $5,000 each, but the millions of Google users they represented received nothing.The high court says in an unsigned opinion that lower courts should address whether those who sued had the ability to do so. The justices say a federal trial court or the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals should resolve that issue.The Associated Press read more

Duminda cant remember

Parliamentarian Duminda Silva says he cannot remember the shooting incident in Mulleriyawa last October in which presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was killed.The police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) said it had recorded a statement from Silva who is receiving treatment at a hospital in Singapore. The CID informed court today on the statement it had recorded from the MP who is the main suspect in the shooting incident.Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was killed last October when his convoy came face to face with Duminda Silva and his bodyguards on the road in Mulleriyawa. read more

Fresh legislation sought to limit spending by candidates

“Such ceilings have been introduced in proportion to the number of voters living in the area concerned,” Rohana Hettiarachchi, the Executive Director of PAFFREL said. “We hope that you will act this proposal a reality by introducing fresh legislation to limit spending before the next local authority election,” he said.He said the proposal by the Prime Minister is especially important in the context that the next election will be conducted under a mixed system of ward and proportional representation system. Hettiarachchi says the absence of a ceiling on campaign financing is bound to have a direct impact in determining the public mandate at the election.He also said that if the campaign finance laws are not introduced, the purpose of introducing the new electoral system for local elections will not be served to the expectations of potential candidates whose services are needed by society and therefore not meet the expectations of society itself. (Colombo Gazette) Hettiarachchie appreciated the proposal by Wickremesinghe, as Prime Minister and leader of the United National Party, for imposing a ceiling on spending by candidates during elections. The Government has been urged introducing fresh legislation to limit spending by candidates before the next local election.The Peoples Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has written to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe saying legislation that imposes a ceiling on campaign financing has been implemented successfully in other countries in the region. read more

Vias case for major rail project better without MontrealQuebec leg internal doc

OTTAWA — Via Rail’s business case for a multibillion-dollar high-frequency-rail project between Toronto and Quebec City would receive a boost if it ditched the stretch from Montreal to Quebec City, internal federal documents say.The document, labelled “secret,” was obtained by The Canadian Press under access-to-information law.The memo’s release comes as Via looks for financial support to build dedicated rail lines that will increase the frequency of trips, cut travel times and ensure its trains will no longer have to work around freight schedules on borrowed tracks.An assessment conducted for Transport Canada warned the inclusion of the Montreal-Quebec City section of the proposed rail service would eat into the plan’s profitability, according to a briefing document prepared earlier this year for Canada’s deputy minister of finance, Paul Rochon.The study, delivered last fall by the firm EY, recommended the Quebec route undergo further review “given its high capital costs and poor performance on an operational basis,” the federal document said.A key to the project’s eventual realization is finding a way to make the plan attractive to private-sector investors, whose support would build on public dollars.The document explained how Via put forward an optimistic business argument for the high-frequency proposal.“Via predicts that the project will recover the capital costs and generate a net surplus along Via’s (Toronto-Quebec City) network due to a substantial increase in ridership and revenues,” said the January briefing note to Rochon.It estimated the capital costs of the project to total $4.4 billion, a tally that includes $1.14 billion for the leg between Montreal and Quebec City. Via might seek private investment to pull it off — and will need to show potential investors that they’ll make their money back and then some.Asked about the contents of the briefing note, a spokeswoman for Via said in an email that the studies cited in the memo seem to refer to the original high-frequency proposal that it submitted to the government in 2016.Marie-Anna Murat added that the research was not conducted on behalf of Via.Covering billions of dollars’ worth of construction costs and turning a profit besides would be a significant financial turnaround for Via, which is a Crown corporation.For example, Via’s 2018 annual report said its Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto service lost nearly $93 million after moving, on average, about 49,000 passengers a week.The Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa service ran a deficit of nearly $24 million last year after an average of about 17,000 people rode its trains along that route each week.Extensive academic research has shown high-frequency and high-speed rail lines around the world rarely, if ever, recover their capital and operating costs, said Matti Siemiatycki, a transportation-policy expert at the University of Toronto.“If you look at the annual reports for Via, all of those lines are losing money and are heavily subsidized … These are huge numbers to make up,” Siemiatycki said in an interview.“In general, that is a highly optimistic business case.”He added that Via is in a “tough spot” and he credited the Crown corporation for trying to find a way to make the project work.Siemiatycki said there are likely good arguments to be made for the project on environmental or social-connectivity grounds, but framing it as a good revenue-generating opportunity is harder.“It will be interesting to see if they can find investors to come to the table who are really going to risk their own private capital on what seems like a fairly high-risk proposal,” he said. The federal briefing document also cited a separate, earlier analysis that found the high-frequency project could reduce Via’s dependency on government funding in the corridor, especially if only the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal portion were completed.In recent months, efforts have been made to make the high-frequency project more enticing for private investors.A few weeks ago, the government announced it would give Via $71 million in federal cash to help make a better business case for the proposal. Some of the funding will come from a financing agency known as the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which provides public money as a way to attract funding from private sources.The money from Ottawa will support planning work to ensure Via trains would be able to seamlessly move between any new dedicated tracks and local transit systems in Montreal and Toronto.At the time, Pierre Lavallee, chief executive of the infrastructure bank, insisted the project had attracted “strong interest” from private investors.Murat said the joint project between Via and the Canada Infrastructure Bank is being created “to further explore the possibility of high-frequency rail in the Quebec City-Toronto corridor.”Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press read more

UN trade chief urges actions to reap development gains from increased income

Marking the release of new trade surveys and the opening of an international trade conference, the new director of the United Nations trade agency has urged action in a range of areas to help developing countries make permanent gains from rising commodity prices and the increase of international commerce. “I would like to see more private-sector involvement in our projects on the ground,” Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said in London at the weekend as he marked the release of UNCTAD´s Trade and Development Report 2005. “I can also envisage our advising countries on how to make the best use of income gains, how to enhance information-sharing and how to prevent a race to the bottom in the search for new investors,” he said.The report cautions against complacency in the light of windfall gains from rising commodity prices in some developing countries. Those profits should be used, the report says, to help diversify their economies. Foreign direct investment (FDI) will continue to grow over the short and medium term, according to the financial experts, transnational corporations (TNCs) and investment promotion agencies (IPAs) who contributed to UNCTAD´s Global Investment Prospects Assessment (GIPA), also released this week. “The findings suggest that countries need to seize the investment opportunities but also to pay attention to the quality of FDI, given the fierce competition for investment,” Dr. Panitchpakdi said. Following the release of those reports, Dr. Panitchpakdi, who took over the UNCTAD post on 1 September, travelled to Geneva to open a conference on non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade, which runs until 7 September. NTBs vary from country to country and are hard to classify and quantify, Dr. Panitchpakdi said, and are estimated to affect 40 per cent of the trade of least developed countries (LDCs). “[NTBs] are increasing becoming front-stage market-access concerns for the world’s poorest nations,” he said. He announced his intention to appoint an informal group of eminent persons to study the matter. UNCTAD has been the focal point within the UN for the integrated treatment of trade and development and related issues in the areas of investment, finance, technology, enterprise development and sustainable development. It carries out three key functions: as a forum for intergovernmental deliberations, supported by discussions with experts and exchanges of experience, aimed at consensus building; in research, policy analysis and data collection for the debates of government representatives and experts; and in providing technical assistance tailored to the specific requirements of developing countries, with special attention to the needs of the least developed countries and economies in transition. read more

UN Sudan envoy will raise Darfur security problems at peace talks in

Jan Pronk will head to Nigeria on Friday, according to UNMIS. The move comes amid reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that almost 70,000 people were displaced by attacks on two towns in South Darfur last week, forcing already displaced persons to flee yet again.Mr. Pronk, who heads UNMIS, today returned to Khartoum after a two-day visit to Juba, southern Sudan’s capital, where he met several senior officials of the Government of South Sudan.They discussed progress on implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended 21 years of North-South civil war in Sudan. UNMIS said Mr. Pronk voiced dissatisfaction that many key bodies provided for in the Agreement have not been operating.The mission was deployed to support the Agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in Nairobi, Kenya, a year ago. It also has a mandate from the UN Security Council to provide some support to the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as AMIS. Last week, responding to growing bloodshed in Darfur, Mr. Annan called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and resolve their differences at the negotiating table in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. read more

Rising levels of violence in Syria resulting in growing humanitarian needs –

In February, the Council adopted resolution 2139, which sought to address issues related to access to people in need inside Syria, the obligations by the parties to adhere to international humanitarian law, and the demilitarization of schools and hospitals.“The resolution has not delivered what it intended,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos told a news conference at UN Headquarters.“Since the Secretary-General’s last report we have seen a marked increase in the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs by the Government, mortar attacks by opposition groups, poisonous gases allegedly used against civilians, and the collective punishment of civilians. “These are all violations of the most basic principles of international humanitarian and human rights law.”Amid the rising levels of violence in Syria, there are 6.5 million people displaced inside the country – approximately 20 per cent of the total number of people internally displaced by conflict across the world.In addition, 241,000 people remain under siege, and at least 2.5 million people in the city of Aleppo were deliberately deprived of water for over a week in May when armed opposition groups shut down the city’s main pumping station.At least 90,000 people in hard-to-reach areas were denied medical assistance as a result of removal of medicines and health supplies from inter-agency convoys, Ms. Amos added.“But with the lack of progress on the political front, the pressure and expectations placed on humanitarian actors has increased,” she noted. The UN and its partners are trying to find ways to scale up life-saving assistance throughout Syria in an “extremely complex environment,” with aid workers putting their lives on the line to assist those in need. “They are unarmed but undeterred,” she stated.Aid agencies were only able to reach around 7 per cent of the people living in besieged areas. “It’s a stark reminder of the reality on the ground: active conflict, bureaucratic hurdles, and conditions imposed by the parties on aid delivery, which have resulted in a decline in vital help for the most vulnerable people,” Ms. Amos stated. “Our challenge now is to keep pace and to scale up assistance to the level required.” read more

Brad Stevens Makes The Celtics Better Than They Have Any Right To

Spurs6123.516106.89+16.7 These Celtics produced a lot more value than expectedActual vs. projected wins added (based on Box Plus/Minus) on offense and defense, for members of the 2017-18 Boston Celtics in the regular season Abdel Nader24SF522+0.2-1.3+0.5+0.7 TeamRkPts/100 poss.RkPts/100 poss.RkPts/100 poss. Kings13109.3170.01+39.3 Jazz7123.3387.32+36.0 Rockets4132.41097.93+34.6 Data up-to-date through games played May 8.Source: Second Spectrum Jarell Eddie26SF6+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 OffenseDefenseNet Raptors5131.319111.58+19.7 Jaylen Brown21SG2152-0.2+1.6+1.5+2.9 Greg Monroe27C496+0.7+0.6+0.9+1.8 Pistons12110.5689.87+20.7 Terry Rozier23PG2068-0.3+3.3+2.3+3.6 Nuggets10117.0894.75+22.3 Guerschon Yabusele22PF235+0.1+0.1+0.2+0.3 +15.3+18.8+22.3+35.1 Kadeem Allen25PG107+0.0-0.3+0.1+0.1 Shane Larkin25PG775+0.5-0.2+0.5+1.0 Marcus Morris28PF1447+1.3+0.7+1.5+1.1 Semi Ojeleye23PF1150+0.4-1.2+1.1+1.4 Celtics8122.0588.64+33.4 PlayerAgePos.Min.Proj.ActualProj.Actual Xavier Silas30SG7+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 The best teams on out-of-bounds plays (at both ends)Net efficiency on sideline or baseline inbound plays, 2017-18 NBA season Suns16105.1284.26+20.9 Even with home-court advantage, there was little reason to think the Boston Celtics should be favored in their conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers. As Boston was struggling to grind out a seven-game first-round victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Philly was resting up, having dispatched the Miami Heat with relative ease. And while the Celtics were down their best scorer (Kyrie Irving), the Sixers had center Joel Embiid back from injury to join all-around terror Ben Simmons as the series’ two headline players. On paper, the Celtics seemed to stand little chance — and the Las Vegas bookmakers agreed.In the end, though, Boston kept defying the odds like it’s done all season, closing out a surprising five-game series win over the 76ers Wednesday night. Al Horford outplayed Embiid, Terry Rozier continued his unheralded rise to playoff stardom and — perhaps most importantly — head coach Brad Stevens continued his yearlong project of spurring this team to play better than ever seemed possible. That’s been part of Stevens’s reputation since his days at Butler University, and the numbers bear it out, too: Stevens really does stand out in the ways we can measure coaching effectiveness.First, there are the X’s and O’s of Stevens’s playcalling, which got extra acclaim in the Philly series as the undermanned Celtics relied as much on tactics as talent to engineer the upset. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer did a great job of detailing them here: How Stevens repositioned his bigs to reduce Embiid’s impact; how he deterred Simmons’s forays to the hoop in transition; how his inbounds plays changed the course of the series. That last skill is one Stevens has been making good use of all season, with Boston ranking fourth in the league in net efficiency on sideline and baseline out-of-bounds plays (according to Second Spectrum): Gordon Hayward27SF5+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0 Daniel Theis25C936+0.3+0.6+0.9+3.0 Jayson Tatum19SF2438+0.8+2.0+2.3+4.9 Off. WinsDef. Wins Al Horford31C2277+3.2+4.1+5.3+6.5 Jabari Bird23SG115+0.0+0.0+0.1+0.1 That’s only the sixth time since the dawn of the 3-point era (1980) that a team won at least 55 games while carrying a projected record under .500.2The others were the 1998 San Antonio Spurs (in Tim Duncan’s rookie year), 1993 Houston Rockets, 1990 Spurs (David Robinson’s rookie year), 1989 Phoenix Suns and 1980 Boston Celtics (Larry Bird’s rookie year). Granted, much of it was due to the instant contributions of rookie Jayson Tatum, dramatic improvements from Rozier and NBA sophomore Jaylen Brown, and an MVP-type season by Irving — but that’s also the point. The best coaches, such as San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, have a repeatable tendency to put up more wins than statistical projections say their roster should. With an average of 4.9 extra wins per season over his first five years on an NBA sideline, Stevens appears to be one of those coaches. And while Stevens’s value was clear to even the most casual NBA observers when Boston kept winning despite the injuries to Gordon Hayward and then Irving, it wasn’t so clear to the other 29 coaches in the league: Stevens received zero Coach of the Year votes from his peers.He’s taking it up an extra notch this postseason. The Celtics had a schedule-adjusted efficiency differential of +3.4 points per 100 possessions during the regular season (5.7 points/100 better than projected), but they’re up to +4.9 in the playoffs (8.3 points/100 better than projected). Sometimes, teams who overachieve in the regular season struggle to keep beating expectations in the postseason, where raw skill rules and the margin for error is much smaller. But Stevens and the Celtics have only gotten better at overachieving as the playoffs have gone on.Now Boston will have to face its toughest test yet, in the form of the team that eliminated them from last year’s postseason — the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs did their own overachieving (maybe …) by unexpectedly sweeping the East’s No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors, but that was only after they lost more regular-season games than teams like the Celtics despite superior talent. A month into the playoffs, that talent is beginning to round into form next to LeBron James, who could be playing the best basketball of his entire career.If that sounds like a problem that even superior game-planning and locker-room management can’t solve, well, it may prove to be. But if anyone is up to the task, it’s probably Brad Stevens.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Total Beyond drawing on the whiteboard, Stevens seems to already be a master of the art of squeezing wins out of a roster via intangible factors such as fit, chemistry and player development. If we use each player’s projected Box Plus/Minus (Basketball-Reference’s estimate for points added per 100 possessions) as a guide,1Based on a variant of Basketball-Reference’s simple projection system, which regresses each player (particularly rookies and other low-minute players) toward a below-average, rather than average, mean on offense and defense. (This improves the predictive value of the projections.) and if we plug in how many minutes each player actually logged this season — a big consideration for a team riddled with injuries — we’d have expected Boston to only win about 38 games this season.The Celtics won 55. Aron Baynes31C1485-0.6-1.7+2.2+3.5 Jonathan Gibson30PG40+0.0+0.2+0.0-0.1 Kyrie Irving25PG1931+7.3+10.2+0.0+1.3 Bucks9121.615105.710+15.9 Projections use a weighted average of the previous three seasons, regressed to the mean and adjusted for aging patterns.Source: Marcus Smart23SG1614+1.7+0.2+2.9+2.9 read more

Ryanair compensation cheques bounce after passengers are sent them unsigned

The airline told the BBC: “Ryanair complies fully with EU261 legislation, under which no compensation is payable to customers when the (strike) delay/cancellation is beyond the airline’s control.”If these strikes, by a tiny minority of Ryanair pilots, were within Ryanair’s control, there would have been no strikes and no cancellations.”Another strike in August by pilots in five European countries saw hundreds of flights cancelled. @Ryanair I have been trying to get hold of someone urgently as my bank are concerned because a compensation cheque that I recieved has bounced, i think that this is outrageous, the bank said the bank details provided do not exist…how is this possible with a printed cheque….— Ben Lonsdale (@BenLonsdale6) August 14, 2018 😂😂 wow… That’s a really inadequate response after all this time… of course I have contacted your call centre numerous times and just get a generic email saying my case is being delayed because I am obviously not the only person waiting for over a month for compensation…— Alec Norton (@Alecjn) August 20, 2018 Ryanair has apologised after several passengers complained that cheques issued as compensation had bounced.The airline said “a very small number of cheques” processed in July had been issued without a signature due to an “administrative error”.Consumer complaints service Resolver said it was aware a number of Ryanair passengers had encountered problems with unsigned cheques issued when flights had been delayed or cancelled.It comes after the airline had to cancel flights due to striking Irish pilots in July. Ryanair said the cheques had been re-issued to customers with a letter of explanation on August 15.”We apologise again for any inconvenience caused to customers,” the airline told the BBC.A number of passengers complained they had been delayed in receiving compensation because their cheques had failed to clear.One, Ben Lonsdale, wrote on Twitter on August 14: “A compensation cheque that I received has bounced, I think that this is outrageous… how is this possible with a printed cheque…” Another passenger, Karen Joyce, wrote on Facebook on July 28: “Ryanair sent me a cheque for compensation then BOUNCED the cheque… ended up costing me 32 eu (£29) for the privilege. SHAME ON YOU RYANAIR.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. @Ryanair I would love to know why the cheque you sent me for compensation has bounced… Bank assure me this is your fault, wait 1 hour 20 on hold and your “customer services” cant help and there is no number to call to those who can? Please assure me of a call to fix this asap.— Alec Norton (@Alecjn) August 8, 2018 Another passenger, Alec Norton, tweeted on August 9 that his compensation cheque had also bounced. The passenger said they were still waiting for the money 11 days later, writing to the airline: A strike by Irish Ryanair pilots in July saw up to 30 flights cancelled, affecting some 5,000 passengers. read more

Bolivia sees tin mine production fall in 2016

first_imgOfficial statistics from the Bolivian Ministry of Minerals and Metals reveal that while drought and delayed investment have impacted mined tin output, which fell 13.3% year-on-year to 17,460 t in 2016, refined tin production rose 8.7% to 16,810 t over the same period as more material was processed in-country.The data reveals that tin mine output by state companies fell by 16.5% to 10,692 t and from co-operatives fell by 20.1% to 2,579 t in 2016, while production from private mines rose by 2.1% to 4,190 t. Officially reported refined tin production by the state-owned tin smelter, Vinto, rose 8.2% to 13,032 t in 2016, with the remainder produced by the private smelter, OMSA. Total exports were reported as 16,675 t of refined tin and 469 t of tin concentrate (gross weight). In 2016, the USA remained the top destination for Bolivian tin exports with shipments totalling 8,253 t, with China second at 4,255 t and the EU third at 2,872 t.ITRI View: “Falling co-operative production in the La Paz department and lower production by the state-owned Huanuni tin mine near Oruro are mostly responsible for the lower production total, with output affected by Bolivia’s worst drought in 25 years. The impact has been compounded at Huanuni by ongoing reliance and underinvestment in Huanuni’s ageing Santa Elena ore dressing plant. Production may well see a short-term recovery in 2017, but medium-term prospects for Bolivian tin production will largely depend on successful implementation of maintenance and expansion projects at Bolivia’s state-owned mine operations.”last_img read more

HSV Hamburg president Rudolph announces his resignation

andreas rudolphHSV HamburgHSV Handball ← Previous Story LNH: DUNKERQUE CHAMPION! Montpellier beats PSG in derby! Next Story → VIDEO: Furious Veszprem’s attack! The handball crowd in Hamburg and Germany are still under the impression of yesterday’s announced resignation of Andreas Rudolph. The HSV Hamburg president announced that he will be no longer in the club to sponsor it, citing that he is no longer able to answer to the requirements that this position brings, apart from many others he is holding, and dedicating time to his family too. HSV Hamburg will now need to find new sponsor for the next season, otherwise the team is facing serious crisis. read more

Britain to hold public inquiry into fatal poisoning of former Russian spy

first_imgTHE BRITISH GOVERNMENT has announced a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was poisoned in London with radioactive tea in 2006.The move comes as Britain presses for further sanctions against Russia over the downing of a passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, allegedly by pro-Moscow separatists.Home Secretary Theresa May made the announcement to parliament, adding: I very much hope that this inquiry will be of some comfort to his widow.Litvinenko, a former agent in Russia’s FSB intelligence agency and a Kremlin critic, was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London hotel.A public inquiry should mean British investigators can probe whether the Russian state was behind his murder.British police have asked for the arrest of Russian nationals Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun in relation to the death, but Moscow has refused to hand them over. They both deny involvement.Diplomatic relationsLitvinenko’s death triggered a deep freeze in diplomatic relations between Britain and Russia which took years to thaw.The public inquiry move is likely to anger Russian President Vladimir Putin at a time when relations are already under severe strain in the aftermath of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine, plus Russia’s annexation of Crimea from its neighbour.May originally wanted to wait for the results of a separate inquest into the death.In English law, inquests are held to examine sudden, violent or unnatural deaths. While they determine the place and time of death as well as how the deceased came by their death, they do not apportion blame.But three High Court judges ruled in February that May must reconsider her decision, following a challenge by Litvinenko’s widow Marina.The inquest coroner himself called for a full public inquiry, saying his work had been undermined because he was not allowed to see secret evidence about the Kremlin’s alleged possible role in the killing.© – AFP 2014Watch: This is what it’s like to swim around the sunken Costa ConcordiaRead: Remains of MH17 victims to be handed over to Dutch authoritieslast_img read more

Baltimore IT guy sentenced for hacking bosss PowerPoint with porn

first_imgSometimes getting fired from a job will leave you with vengeance boiling in your blood. After all, movies like Office Space and the upcoming Horrible Bosses are all about getting revenge the work place, but it happens in real life as well. Fifty-two-year-old Walter Powell was fired from his job as the director of Management Information Systems at the Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems in 2009. Within weeks of being fired Powell starting accessing the organization’s network from his home computer and used keylogging software to attain passwords from his boss.While his boss, BSAS CEO Greg Warren, was giving a PowerPoint presentation to the board of directors, Powell remotely shut Warren’s computer off. When it rebooted, a pornographic photo of a naked woman appeared, greeting more than a dozen board members on the 64-inch screen.The Baltimore state attorney’s office said this is the first hacking case the city has seen. The BSAS distributes public funds to more than 50 substance abuse programs. Supposedly, the attack cost $80,000 — most of which went to rebuilding the system, replacing software, and upgrading security.The Baltimore Grand Jury indicted Powell with a number of hacking counts. He was indicted with one count of unauthorized access to a computer network, four counts of unauthorized access to the network with the purpose to disturb the network, and five counts of unauthorized possession of passwords. When detectives searched Powell’s house, they also found silencers for guns, which he was also indicted for. Needless to say, Powell may have had some more malicious thoughts going on in his head besides embarrassing his boss.Powell was sentenced to two years in prison, which was suspended because of time already served between 2009 and now. He also was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three years of probation. Powell was banned from using or owning any software that can remotely access and monitor other computers.Read more at the Baltimore Sun, via ExtremeTech.last_img read more

Boeing gave campaign cash before 9B tax vote

first_imgSEATTLE — Boeing Co. gave campaign contributions to seven state lawmakers a few days before the Legislature voted to give the company a massive tax break, according to records recently filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.The documents show that Boeing gave the maximum donation of $900 to seven lawmakers, for a total of $6,300. The donations were made on Nov. 5, the day before Gov. Jay Inslee called a special session to approve tax incentives valued at some $9 billion.Boeing contributes to Washington state political campaigns with some regularity. But before November, the last donations from the company’s political action committee were in July, when it gave to a wide variety of lawmakers.In the donations ahead of the special session, Boeing supported Republican Sens. John Braun, Sharon Brown and John Smith; Republican Reps. Norm Johnson, Charles Ross and Shelly Short; and Democratic Rep. Dave Upthegrove.Six of the seven voted for the tax package, while Ross was excused from voting.Boeing also gave some donations to local officials in November, including Snohomish County Executive John Lovick. He was among those who traveled to Olympia to testify in favor of the tax package.Lawmakers approved the tax benefits in hopes of getting Boeing to build the 777X in Washington state. The company is still exploring its options.last_img read more

NOW volunteers plan patrols Tuesday

first_imgVolunteers with Vancouver’s Neighbors on Watch program plan a “saturation patrol” through the city from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.Forty volunteers, who act as extra eyes and ears for police officers, will split into 16 patrol teams and fan out across the city looking for problems such as vandalism or abandoned vehicles. Patrol areas will be based on areas that need special attention, according to a news release. One patrol will work in a specially equipped truck, trying to find stolen autos.The volunteers receive special training, wear special uniforms and drive vehicles with NOW signs, but they do not confront offenders. For more information on volunteering for the group, contact Kelly Cheney, 360-487-7467 or email read more

A sperm bank in space is a real possibility new science says

first_img Now playing: Watch this: 5:33 Life in microgravity is a lot harder than you think A 23rd-century tourist guide to the galaxy Sci-Tech A sample of stained bull sperm was sent to the International Space Station as part of another experiment. NASA Sex in space would likely be a little tricky, but new science finds sperm seem to function just fine without Earth’s gravity, perhaps eliminating the need for getting conjugal in the cosmos. A preliminary study looked at samples of the swimmers exposed to microgravity and found them to be no different than their ground-bound counterparts. That discovery hints at the future option “of safely transporting male gametes to space and considering the possibility of creating a human sperm bank outside Earth.”The experiments were done using frozen rather than fresh sperm samples, which is an important distinction, according to Montserrat Boada of Dexeus Women’s Health in Barcelona. Boada presented the findings Sunday at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.”Some studies suggest a significant decrease in the motility of human fresh sperm samples,” Boada said in a release. “But nothing has been reported on the possible effects of gravitational differences on frozen human gametes, in which state they would be transported from Earth to space.” 17 Photos Tags Space Post a comment It’s worth noting that the frozen sperm samples weren’t actually sent to space for the experiment, but rather were put on a parabolic plane flight that exposed them to about eight seconds of gravity per maneuver.Analysis of the flown sperm compared with the control samples showed only the kind of minimal differences that were to be expected among any samples.Up next, researchers will try to replicate the results and then perform new experiments with longer periods of microgravity exposure.”It is important to study the effects of long-term human exposure to space in order to face them,” Boada said. “It’s not unreasonable to start thinking about the possibility of reproduction beyond the Earth.” Share your voice 0last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Wednesday June 24 2015

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio Sen. Sullivan Says VA Must Own Up to ‘Alaska Crisis’Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.A new Veterans Affairs program aimed at reducing long wait times for health care has had the opposite effect for scores of Alaska vets. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said the Veterans Choice program is undermining older systems that helped Alaskans use their VA benefits to get treatment outside the VA.Rep. Young – A Lonely GOP Voice for Puerto Rico StatehoodLiz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young took some flack for holding a fundraiser in Puerto Rico last week, just days before chairing a subcommittee hearing on statehood for the U.S. territory.Surveyors Climb Denali To Settle Dispute Over Its HeightFrancesca Fenzi, KNOM – NomeA dispute over the height of North America’s tallest mountain may be resolved this week, as surveyors climb to the top of Mount McKinley.5.8-Magnitude Quake Rattles Mainland AlaskaAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageA 5.8 magnitude earthquake was felt across much of much of mainland Alaska this afternoon.Juneau Police Chief Calls Secondhand Goods Ordinance ‘Extremely Successful’Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – JuneauThe crime rate in Juneau went down in 2014, according to an annual report released by the local police department.HIV Testing Events Open Access For Those UnsureAnne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageAbout 15 percent of people who are infected with HIV don’t know their status.Wildfire Hinders Salmon Harvest on the YukonMatthew Smith, KNOM – NomeKing and chum salmon are still slowly building a run up the Yukon this summer—and fishermen are contending with everything from gear restrictions to wildland fires in their efforts to fill their racks.KSM Mine Targets Richer Ore While Seeking InvestorsEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauA Canadian mining company says it’s found richer deposits of gold and copper ore at its controversial KSM project.Bloom Boom: Juneau Farmer Joins Alaska Peony RushElizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – JuneauAbout 50 commercial peony farmers are located in the Interior. And now a southeast grower is about to give the cash crop a shot. The flowers are supposed to be the next big boom in Alaska exports.last_img read more

Air India To ReOpen International Bookings 130 Executive Pilots Roped In

first_imgAir India may restore international bookings and spruce up a new flight schedule following the three-week strike impossed by its pilots.According to Press Trust of India (PTI), 130 executive pilots have been roped in to operate international flights that will commence over the weekend. In accordance with the Flight Duty Time Limitation, the pilots are required to fly 40 hours per week and 1,000 hours each year at a maximum.The news agency cited sources who said that the pilots in question will take months to achieve the 1,000 hour mark, but should be capable to “carry on for months together”, despite the crisis in its flight operations. It was also said that the airline has no passenger backlog and that fresh bookings will commence soon.Currently, the carrier is operating through a contingency plan under which a bare minimum number of flights are maintained by clubbing operations to various destinations in Europe and the US.As of now, flight schedules are carried out under a contingency plan which requires only minimum flights to operate to several long-haul destinations. Some of the flight routes Air India currently include on a daily basis are “Delhi-Paris-New York (JFK), Delhi-Frankfurt-Chicago, Delhi-London, Mumbai-London, Delhi- Tokyo and Delhi-Shanghai”, the report said.The new arrangement will likely bolster profitability for the debt ridden airline, whose financial loss touched Rs 320 crore during the strike. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Monday had even assembled a panel to work around the airline’s loss-making routes.The panel will be required to recommend any non-profitable routes or carriers within a week’s time.”Such planes will be phased out and the perennially loss-making routes will be shut down. The biggest cut could come from international operations. This will reduce the requirement for pilots,” the Times of India quoted a source as saying.Meanwhile, the airline is making efforts to mobilize fares to help improve its market share in the airline sector. “Bookings on our international flight have stabilised and we have placed maximum number of seats in the lowest price bracket… that has also helped bookings in the domestic sector as well in the current contingency plan,” an Air India official said according to IBN Live.Air India board officials are also said to have proposed several measures to help recover international operations. “There is a proposal to wet lease at least five aircraft with pilots and crew. We require pilots and crews to maintain operations to key destinations in Europe, US and southeast Asian destinations like Hong Kong,” an official said in a statement according to the report.last_img read more

Baylor Wins 246 Million NASA Grant For More Research On Astronaut Health

first_imgNASAVisual Impairment Intracranial Pressure Syndrome was identified in 2005 and is currently NASA’s leading spaceflight-related health risk. Here, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg of NASA uses a fundoscope to image her eye while aboard the space station. X Listen 00:00 /03:24 center_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: NASA just awarded Baylor College of Medicine a large grant to create the NASA Translational Research Institute, focused on finding new ideas and health treatments for long-duration space flight missions, including a journey to Mars.  The institute will launch Oct. 1.Baylor researchers have been working in this area for many years, and is already home to The Center for Space Medicine.  The NASA grant could be worth as much as $246 million over six years, with the potential to expand to 12 years.Health and Science reporter Carrie Feibel sat down with the Center’s director, Dr. Jeffrey Sutton, M.D., Ph.D. to learn more about space medicine.Feibel: “I’m not sure everyone knows that Baylor actually has a Center for Space Medicine. What is space medicine?”Sutton: “Space medicine is the area of medicine that deals with human adaptation and the health and medical care of astronauts in the space medicine.”Feibel: “What kind of research is already happening in this area?”Sutton: “First of all, we’re very interested in how the body adapts to the space environment. We’re seeing new syndromes that have not been previously recognized, for example, changes to the astronaut’s vision, to the shape of their eye, and to other effects on the nervous system. It’s a brand new area. We do research related to protecting the astronauts from the harsh environment that’s induced by radiation.”Feibel: “Can we theorize how that radiation might affect their body? Is the biggest concern cancer?”Sutton: “The radiation risks involve cancer but they also involve acute radiation problems. And, specifically, what are the effects of space radiation beyond low-earth orbit, on the heart and on the brain? And there’s some early evidence to suggest that space radiation might be harmful to the heart and to the coronary arteries with accelerated atherosclerosis.”The conversation also touched on issues of mental health, sleep cycles in space, social interaction during long voyages, and the use of medical devices in space and on earth. To hear the full conversation, click on the audio play button above. Sharelast_img read more

PS4 Killzone mega bundle confirmed for UK matches Xbox One price

first_imgBack in August a listing appeared on Amazon France that offered a PS4 console bundled with an extra DualShock 4 controller, the PlayStation Camera, and a copy of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The price initially matched that of the Xbox One standard console price, but soon disappeared with no confirmation from Sony as to what was planned.Now that same bundle has appeared briefly on Amazon’s UK site and has since been confirmed by Sony as a real bundle that will be offered in the UK. The price will be the same as the Xbox One that ships with a single controller, Kinect, and a download copy of FIFA 14 or Forza 5.Internally Sony refers to this launch bundle as the “mega bundle,” and it’s easy to see why. It is matching the Xbox One on price, but offering more in terms of value, especially if you count that second controller. You can argue that the PS4 and Xbox One at the same price offer the same value, but not everyone wants FIFA 14 or Forza 5 (or Kinect for that matter), but you don’t have any choice.If you don’t want Killzone, then you still have the choice to purchase the standard PS4, select another game or two, and save some cash. The same is true if you don’t want the second controller or camera. The choice is there, and that’s what is important.If you’ve already pre-ordered a PS4, Sony is working with retailers to allow the option to upgrade to a bundle once it becomes available/official. And apparently this isn’t the only bundle that will be on offer, with Sony set to announce several more before the week is over. Could we see other so-called mega bundles including games such as Knack and Watch Dogs perhaps?I’d be really surprised not to see this mega bundle and other bundles announced for the US soon, too.last_img read more