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Growing business: 429 million personal records exposed in 2015, jumped 85%. Unreported? half a billion. RansomWare? Nightmare.

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Apr 12, 2016 - ABC News Report: Data Breaches Bigger, Worse Than You Think In addition to 9 “mega-breaches” of personal data in 2015, tens of millions of personal records were likely exposed or stolen the same year but went unreported because the companies or entities involved chose to keep the size of the breach a secret, The report from California-based Symantec said that the number of companies that refused to report the scope of a data breach jumped by 85 percent last year, what one senior Symantec officer said was a “disturbing trend.” Some 429 million personal records were exposed in 2015 -- many of them through mega-breaches like the Office of Personnel Management hack and one that reportedly hit a huge voter database -- but that number is only based on entities that shared the scope of the breach. Symantec estimates that the real number of exposed or stolen records, including those that went unreported, likely tops half a billion. Senior Vice President at Symantec told ABC News that the research shows cyber-crime has moved on from its “start-up phase.” “As a growth business, these guys have figured out how to make money,”

Growing business has moved on from its “start-up phase.”
A “disturbing trend - a market has evolved to meet demand.”  read more »

Honour. Courage. Example. King George VI, Queen Mother, Teen Elizabeth II... never left Buckingham Palace during wwii air raids


Top: King George VI addresses the nation by radio on 4 Sept 1939, the day after Britain declared war on Nazi Germany.
Center: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in rubble after Buckingham Palace bombed, 13 Sept 1940


Top: King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill
Inset: The King's brother, Prince George, Duke of Kent, killed on in 1942 (aged 39) on active service
Bottom: King and Queen with their daughter Princess Elizabeth visit the royal artillery during wwii


Left: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day, 20 Nov 1947; Right: Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and Love and lasting 65-year marriage

By showing personal courage, King George VI and his wife (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) set extraordinary examples, became a symbol of national resistance. The royal family never left London, were sharing the same dangers and deprivations as the rest of the country, and leading his people through the hardships of World War Two (1939-1945).

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Sept 1939 - war declared on Nazi Germany, King George VI and his wife determined to stay in London, despite German air raids.
07 Sept 1940 - the first German air raid on London killed about one thousand civilians.
13 Sept 1940 - the King and Queen narrowly avoided death when two German bombs exploded in a courtyard at Buckingham Palace while they were there. In defiance, the Queen famously declared: "I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel we can look the East End in the face".  read more »

"The highest of distinctions is service to others." "Your work is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on earth."

"The highest of distinctions is service to others. "
- King George VI

"Let us join in thanking Almighty God that war has ended throughout the world."
- King George VI

"Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare."
- Elizabeth the Queen Mother

"Your work is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on earth."
- Elizabeth the Queen Mother

"How small and selfish is sorrow. But it bangs one about until one is senseless."
- Elizabeth the Queen Mother (in letter to Edith Sitwell, shortly after the death of George VI)

GPS glitch: 2 homes wrongly demolished - directed to wrong address; remote access / internet / data make bank heist easier


Update 15 May 2016 Unlucky woman's GPS led her straight into a lake
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Technology doesn't always love you back.
A woman in Tobermory, Ontario drove down a boat ramp and into Lake Huron last Thursday thanks to faulty directions from her GPS.
The GPS has not yet apologized for its actions.
Luckily, she was able to roll down the window, retrieve her purse and clamber out of the car before it started to sink.
She is reportedly doing just fine, with no injuries other than a few technological trust issues.

26 March 2016
BBC: The company said Google Maps directed them to the wrong address; they were supposed to tear down a home just one block away. Diaz says she has now received a personal apology but hopes the company will change its procedures to ensure addresses are more thoroughly checked before any demolition starts. And she warns against relying on GPS for directions. "I do not like to rely on GPS," she says. "I've had GPS take me to the wrong places also. So I look at the map."

Diaz says the demolition crew, who were still at the site of her home when she arrived, did offer a kind of explanation. One employee told her they had been due to tear down a house at 7601 Cousteau Drive, one street away, but their GPS mapping system had taken them to her home at 7601 Calypso Drive instead - The building, which included two homes, was pummelled in December's tornado but was due to be repaired  read more »

Convenience does harm: plastic into food, toothpaste… what else? From gigantic plastic garbage patch to micro plastic beads

plastic in toothpaste and food

bird filled with plastic

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March 7, 2016 Recall chicken nuggets: pieces of plastic Applegate Naturals is recalling some of their chicken nuggets because there may be pieces of plastic in the product.

February 23, 2016 Plastic in Snickers bar prompts Mars recall in 55 countries Mars Inc has recalled chocolate bars and other products in 55 countries, mainly in Europe, due to choking risk after a piece of plastic was found in a Snickers bar in Germany.

15-Feb-2016 McCain Foods recalled 25,215 pounds of bacon fritter Frittered: McCain issues recall after customer complaint.  read more »

Confident to text while driving? It costs 25% of ALL car accidents: 1,600,000/yr, 330,000 injuries/yr, 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY

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Texting while driving is a growing trend, and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie.

Texting While Driving Causes:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

Texting While Driving Is:
1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
3. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers

Texting While Driving:
1. Makes you 23X more likely to crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
2. Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
3. Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
4. Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society
5. Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road

A lot of times, we often wear our technology addictions as a badge of honor. Many people say “Oh, I’m so addicted to my phone. I can’t live without it. It’s like air.”

Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t be addicted to your phone.  read more »

Qs to self-driving cars: who controls the code? Zero glitch? fend off invisible hack? Human driver required to be behind wheel

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Car Hacking: What Every Connected Driver Needs to Know - many new cars are equipped with wireless technology that can make a driver's time on the road more stress-free and entertaining, but the technology can also bring a dark side. Two hackers were able to take control of a connected Jeep Cherokee from their living room as a Wired reporter, who agreed to be their test case, drove the SUV down the highway at 70 mph, according to the article.

Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the two hacking experts behind the stunt, were able to access the SUV's Internet connected computer system and then rewrite the firmware to plant the malicious code allowing them to commandeer the vehicle, including everything from the air conditioning and music to the Jeep's steering, brakes and transmission, according to Wired.

TheGuardian - The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code? Every locked device can be easily jailbroken
Should autonomous vehicles be programmed to choose who they kill when they crash? And who gets access to the code that determines those decisions? The Trolley Problem is an ethical brainteaser that’s been entertaining philosophers since it was posed by Philippa Foot in 1967: a runaway train will slaughter five innocents tied to its track unless you pull a lever to switch it to a siding on which one man, also innocent and unawares, is standing. Pull the lever, you save the five, but kill the one: what is the ethical course of action?  read more »

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