PND News

Fed regulators to banks: Deal with “Heartbleed” risk

April 10, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"U.S. financial regulators on Thursday told banks to upgrade their systems as soon as possible if they are vulnerable to the recently uncovered 'Heartbleed' bug, which exposes data to hackers. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, an interagency group that includes the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, said banks also should set up temporary patches for any systems using the Web encryption program known as OpenSSL and warn their outside service providers to take action." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mppxm7n  

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Heartbleed Bug: Public urged to reset all passwords — but not yet!

April 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Several tech firms are urging people to change all their passwords after the discovery of a major security flaw. The Yahoo blogging platform Tumblr has advised the public to 'change your passwords everywhere -- especially your high-security services like email, file storage and banking.' Security advisers have given similar warnings about the Heartbleed Bug. It follows news that a product used to safeguard data could be compromised to allow eavesdropping." [editor's note: Every technophobe's worst nightmare? - SAT] (04/09/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26954540  

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Diabetes expenses decreasing, but still high

April 10, 2014
posted by

Reuters [UK]    

"Out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes treatment have gone down for many U.S. patients over the past decade, according to a new study. But nearly a quarter of people with diabetes still face high expenses. In particular, '[out-of-pocket] expenses declined in the people with public insurance and in people with low income between 2001 and 2011,' mostly because prescription drug costs went down, Rui Li told Reuters Health. Li led the study at the Division of Diabetes Translation, part of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oj9yyhl  

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Venezuela: Maduro calls on Vatican to mediate crisis

April 10, 2014
posted by

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]    

"Venezuela's government has invited Vatican No.2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to mediate talks with the opposition in the hope of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation's worst unrest in a decade. In a letter, President Nicolas Maduro's government asked that Cardinal Parolin, a former envoy to Venezuela who is now the Vatican's Secretary of State, be named a 'good faith witness' to a dialogue agreed after two months of protests. A Vatican spokesman confirmed the Roman Catholic Church's willingness to mediate, but gave no details." (04/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qjpdx36  

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Hewlett-Packard to pay $108 million in additional bribes over bribery cases

April 10, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Hewlett-Packard will pay $108 million in criminal fines and civil penalties for bribing officials in Russia, Poland and Mexico to win technology contracts, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The company's Russian subsidiary, ZAO Hewlett-Packard, has agreed to plead guilty in federal court in San Jose to felony charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Justice Department said. It said it settled criminal cases against HP's Polish and Mexican subsidiaries for financial penalties without requiring guilty pleas." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcapode  

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NASA: Lights on Mars not a sign of life

April 9, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A NASA robot has snapped pictures showing glints of light on the Martian horizon, which some UFO enthusiasts have seized on as a sign of alien life on the Red Planet. Not so, said the US space agency. More likely, the images of bright spots taken on April 2 and April 3 are a product of the sun’s glare or cosmic rays, NASA said in a statement. In fact, similar glints of light are seen all the time in images taken by the Curiosity rover, a multibillion dollar unmanned vehicle equipped with cameras and drilling instruments that is exploring Mars." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p3mosbb  

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Why senator questioning Comcast-Time Warner merger

April 9, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Comcast, the nation’s largest cable and Internet service provider, is entering the homestretch this week in its attempts to convince Congress, federal regulators, and a skeptical public that its proposed mega-merger with Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest provider, will be a boon for consumers. If approved, the $45 billion deal, announced in February, would create a cable and Internet colossus that will provide cable service for nearly one out of three American consumers, while at the same time wiring in high-speed Internet service for almost 40 percent of the broadband market." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj7j6zu  

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IRS employees accused of soliciting Obama votes

April 9, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"IRS workers in several offices have been openly supporting President Obama, including by donning pro-Obama paraphernalia and urging callers to reelect the president in 2012, according to allegations contained in a new government watchdog report. A report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, released Wednesday, cited accusations that workers at a Dallas IRS office may have violated federal law by wearing pro-Obama items like shirts, stickers and buttons. The Hatch Act forbids Executive Branch workers from engaging in partisan political activity." (04/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oox2wqg  

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Snowden: NSA targets communications of human rights workers

April 9, 2014
posted by

Al-Jazeera [Qatar]    

"The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has specifically targeted the telecommunications of human rights workers, former security contractor Edward Snowden said Tuesday at a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The allegation raised immediate concern among advocacy groups. 'The NSA has in fact specifically targeted the communications of either leaders or staff members in a number of purely civil or human rights organizations,' Snowden said via video-link from Moscow. He was granted asylum by Russia in Aug. 2013, two months after he began leaking documents that revealed details of secret U.S. spy programs. According to PACE Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), Snowden also said that the U.S. could not control how the information it shared with other governments was used." (04/08/14)

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/8/nsa-human-rights.html  

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Tennessee Congressman challenges AG on “fallacious” pot laws

April 9, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A pro-pot legislator has pointedly asked Attorney General Eric Holder why he wants to wait for Congress to loosen marijuana laws. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) reminded Holder during a House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday that the attorney general had the authority to ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study of cannabis for the possibility of reclassifying it as an illegal drug. ... The lawmaker said its classification alongside much harder drugs 'breeds contempt for our laws....'" [editor's note: Are you getting as sick as I am of the Executive Branch hiding behind Congress and shirking its own valid powers? - SAT] (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p43s23r  

1 Comment »

China warns it cannot be contained

April 9, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The timing was part of the message: The day after China brought US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on board its first aircraft carrier as the first foreign visitor, its defense minister warned that no one, not even the United States, could contain its military ambitions. 'With the latest developments in China, it can never be contained,' Gen. Chang Wanquan said, according to Bloomberg Businessweek." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nyxfvmw  

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Scramble on to fix “heartbleed” security bug

April 9, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"A bug in software used by millions of web servers could have exposed anyone visiting sites they hosted to spying and eavesdropping, say researchers. The bug is in a software library used in servers, operating systems and email and instant messaging systems. Called OpenSSL the software is supposed to protect sensitive data as it travels back and forth. It is not clear how widespread exploitation of the bug has been because attacks leave no trace. " (04/08/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26935905  

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Study: Untaxed overseas US corp profits top $2.1 trillion

April 8, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Foreign profits held overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private research firm's report, prompting a call for reform by the Senate's top tax law writer. 'The new numbers ... certainly highlight what is one of the key challenges for tax reform. I do think there need to be some reforms in this area,' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden told reporters on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Under U.S. law, corporations do not have to pay income tax on most of their overseas profits until they are brought into the United States." [editor's note: I may be wrong, but I'm under the impression that the US is one of only a few governments which feels magically entitled to tax money neither earned in nor brought to its jurisdiction - TLK] (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q49u7ks  

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Venezuela: Opposition to meet with regime

April 8, 2014
posted by

Washington Post    

"Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition have agreed to meet with President Nicolas Maduro’s government to discuss ways to defuse the country’s political crisis. Opposition leaders said they agreed to a preliminary meeting after being assured by a mission of South American diplomats that the socialist government is open to discussing a four-point agenda it’s put forth as a starting point for talks. Their proposals include an amnesty for jailed government opponents, the creation of an independent truth commission to determine who is to blame for violence and the disarmament of groups loyal to Maduro." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nuy8ayj  

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Report: OKCupid CEO donated to anti-gay politician

April 8, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"OKCupid told users last week that Mozilla Firefox’s new CEO allegedly opposed equality for gay couples, an announcement that ended up forcing the CEO to step down. But a new report finds that OKCupid’s own CEO once did something very similar -- donate money to a politician with an anti-gay voting record." [editor's note: Both of these revelations should have been nobody's business; however, the hypocrisy of OKCupid is of note - SAT] (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nu52ry4  

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CO: Couple fights to save land from eminent domain

April 8, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"'They're spending us to death,' said landowner Andy Barrie. He is not talking about property taxes, inflation or even the cost of skiing in glitzy ski country. Rather, he's talking about the legal fight he and his wife have been waging to save their pristine piece of mountain property -- with breathtaking views of Colorado's high country -- from being taken over by the county through eminent domain. Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado's Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries' land simply because officials want the open space." (04/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npfzuqj  

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US Navy says it can now convert seawater into fuel

April 8, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as 'a game-changer' because it would significantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack. The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kqkg2zm  

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Turkey: Faith in ballot box faltering

April 8, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Allegations of voter fraud on a scale not seen in decades have fueled concerns that one of Turkey's few untarnished democratic institutions has lost its independence at a time when the government is facing rock-bottom levels of public trust. Defeated candidates have challenged the outcome of the March 30 local elections in 16 of the country’s 81 provinces and in more than 100 districts in light of irregularities that allegedly favor the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The defeated challenger for mayor of Ankara, the capital, yesterday asked for the results to be annulled and the election re-run. Accusations range from vote rigging to decisions by the country’s electoral boards that favored AKP candidates." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/keqx8qu  

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NY: Uber to launch courier delivery service

April 8, 2014
posted by

CNet News    

"Uber will take a big step toward its ambitions of delivering more than passengers on Tuesday when it launches a new courier service in Manhattan. Called UberRush, the service will allow customers to request delivery of small packages, usually within an hour, Uber NYC announced Monday. Like traditional bike courier services, Uber couriers on foot or bike will deliver items for a fee of between $15 and $30, depending on distance. The service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with expansion planned to other cities in the future." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lhqfva4  

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Gallup poll: ObamaCare “accomplishing goal”

April 8, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped to its lowest in nearly six years due in part to U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, commonly known as Obamacare, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. ... ''Obamacare' appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage,' the report said." [editor's note: Interesting that Gallup would notice that the goal of ObamaCare is "to force people to pay money to insurance companies," rather than, say, "Patient Protection" or "Affordable Care" - TLK] (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo2a4dz  

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Report: Dark markets may be more harmful than HFTs

April 7, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Fears that high-speed traders have been rigging the U.S. stock market went mainstream last week thanks to allegations in a book by financial author Michael Lewis, but there may be a more serious threat to investors: the increasing amount of trading that happens outside of exchanges. Some former regulators and academics say so much trading is now happening away from exchanges that publicly quoted prices for stocks on exchanges may no longer properly reflect where the market is. And this problem could cost investors far more money than any shenanigans related to high frequency trading." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kjyr5qq  

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Study: Too many kids getting too little love

April 7, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"[A] new study reveals that many parents are too stressed and stretched to experience those special intimate moments with their newborns. The research from Princeton University, Columbia University and the University of Bristol in England reveals that 4 out of 10 babies in the United States aren’t receiving the attention and affection from their moms and dads that’s necessary for forming strong parental attachments. ... The study found that babies who don’t bond with their parents before age 3 are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems in school and to grow into aggressive, defiant and hyperactive adults." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kr693p2  

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Study: More US children severely obese

April 7, 2014
posted by

Philadelphia Inquirer    

"Contrary to a recent report with encouraging figures on childhood obesity in the United States, a new study presents a more sobering picture of the nation's pediatric weight problem. Severe obesity, which sets kids up for a lifetime of health problems, has increased over the past 14 years, North Carolina researchers found. They used the same data that researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mined for their encouraging report in February." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mzunlaw  

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Windows XP users face end to Microsoft support

April 7, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Support for the venerable Windows XP operating system ends this Tuesday. It means that there will be no more official security updates and bug fixes for the operating system from Microsoft. Some governments have negotiated extended support contracts for the OS in a bid to keep users protected. Security firms said anyone else using the 13-year-old software would be at increased risk of infection and compromise by cyber-thieves. " [editor's note: Oh dear, whatever shall I do now? Maybe make sure my other virus program stays up to date? - SAT] (04/07/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26884167  

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States target meth labs with “name-and-shame” strategy

April 7, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"As states struggle to clamp down on a growing meth epidemic, they're turning to a tactic commonly used to target sex offenders: name and shame. The latest state to go this route, Indiana, passed a law last month which would require the government to list the locations of busted meth labs on an online registry. It's a bid to shame not only the drug makers but also property owners and landlords. The new law, which goes into effect July 1, will give owners six months to clean up their methamphetamine mess. If they fail to do so, their properties will be placed on the online list." (04/07/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ks53he5  

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