Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Cyberattack, not HBO comedian, caused website wipeout, says FCC

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Late Sunday night and Monday morning, the website of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) became unresponsive, which interfered with attempts by the public to express their views on the proposals currently up for comment, including one about Net Neutrality. Although comedian John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight had asked his viewers to inundate the website with comments supporting Net Neutrality, the FCC says a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) cyberattack, not angry HBO fans, are responsible for their website’s issues.

FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray explained in a formal statement that FCC.gov’s problems did not come from a large volume of complaints and comments, which is what Oliver had asked his fans to make, but from sabotage. “These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC,” said Bray.

Net Neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not be allowed to speed up or slow down access to certain websites, which would presumably be done for payment. In 2014, the U.S. government ruled Internet providers must be held to standards similar to those of telephone companies and changed their legal classification to fall under Title II of the 1934 Telecommunications Act, which gave the FCC the legal authority to order them not to give preferential treatment to high-paying customers.

In response to a previous Net Neutrality proposal in 2014, John Oliver did a segment on the fifth episode of Last Week Tonight explaining the difference between Title I and Title II status and asking his viewers to flood the FCC’s websites with comments supporting regulation. Approximately 4 million did so, and the website crashed. Sunday night, Oliver asked the public to repeat the performance, recommending comments to make and providing a single link to take them to the exact part of FCC.gov required: “America needs you to rise — or more accurately, remain seated in front of your computer screen — to this occasion,” said Oliver on the air. “So please, fly my pretties, fly once more!” Again, the FCC website soon suffered problems.

Despite Sunday night’s issues, the FCC still received tens of thousands of comments on the proposed relaxing of the 2014 regulations, which is up for a vote on May 18.

BMW announces 7.6% sales rise as US, China demand grows

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Automobile manufacturing company BMW has announced that its sales increased by 7.6 per cent during the month of July. BMW reported that 129,094 units were sold during the month, consisting of the motor vehicle brands of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

In a statement, Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW, told of the company reporting “the most successful July sales ever”, claiming that it is “well on [the] way to achieving our recently announced target of over 1.6 million vehicles in 2011, the best ever sales result for the BMW group”.

Demand increases were notable in the United States and China in particular. 21,409 vehicles were delivered by BMW in the United States in July, an increase of 11.7 per cent from July 2010. In China, 18,858 units were sold in the month, meaning a sales rise of 36.1 per cent on the same month last year, with the increased popularity being attributed to “substantial gains in many markets”, BMW said. Sales increases were also reported in South Korea, Russia, India and Brazil. BMW did admit to a decrease of sales by 0.8% in Germany, the country in which the company is based.

[BMW has had] the most successful July sales ever

As a brand, BMW sales stood at 108,721 for July, 7.1% more than July 2010. In the year to date, BMW delivered 962,468 vehicles, a 17.9 per cent rise. According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), developing markets have become the cause of the substantial popularity of high quality automobile manufacturers. However, growth in this area may decline later on in the year, due to the difficulties facing the global economy, AFP claims.

Meanwhile, General Motors stated on Friday that its China sales decreased by 1.8 per cent in July this year compared to the same month in 2010. This was due to a lowered demand for commercial vehicles, AFP reported.

Global markets surge in value

Monday, October 13, 2008

Markets worldwide have surged in value following efforts by governments to ease the effect of the ongoing financial crisis, which has recently caused a massive decline in the value of stock markets.

On Sunday, the fifteen countries from the Eurogroup – that is, those countries which use the euro as official currency – had agreed on a joint plan to face the crisis, which would consist in supporting financial institutions and by guaranteeing interbank loans.

The Eurogroup meeting was the last of many which took place during the weekend. The G7 nations had met in Washington at the same time that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their Autumn meetings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is one of the indexes that have done particularly well today, and it closed up 11.08%, well over 9,000 points. General Motors was the best performer in this index, with its value rising by 31.49%. The Nasdaq rose by 11.81%.

The FTSE 100 has today gone up in value by 8,26%, to take the index back over the four thousand mark. TUI Travel was the best performing company in this index. It went up by 41.25 points (21.48%), to take it to a new share price of 233.25. Some shares in the FTSE, however, have continued to fall dramatically. HBOS today dropped in value by 31.48%.

The Brazilian Bovespa index today went up by 14,66%, while the Hang Seng and Singapore Straits Times went up by 10.24% and 6.57% respectively.

Stocks exchanges in Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Toronto were closed due to national holidays.

22:00, Monday, October 13, 2008 (UTC)
9.387,61 936,42 11,08%
1.844,25 194,74 11.81%
228,14 23,30 11,37%
9.065,16 0,00 0.00%
22.095,90 2.190,62 11,01%
1.215,990 0.00 0,00%
40.829,13 5,219.63 14,66%
4.256,90 324,84 8,26%
5.062,45 518,14 11,40%
3.531,50 355,01 11,18%
5.956,32 609,10 11,39%
285,27 27,22 10,55%
2.324,80 201,36 9,48%
17.125,00 1.687,00 10,93%
9.955,70 958,00 10,65%
4.141,90 202,40 5,14%
8.276,43 0,00 0,00%
16.312,20 1.515,29 10,24%
2.073,57 73,00 3,65%

Eastern Conference wins 2008 NBA All-Star Game

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eastern Conference 134 128 Western Conference

The Eastern Conference defeated their Western Conference counterparts at the 2008 National Basketball Association All-Star Game held at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday. The final score was 134-128.

The East took an early 11 point lead in the first 5 minutes, due to an injured Kobe Bryant only playing 2 minutes before sitting on the bench for the rest of the game. “There’s one player we really, really missed, and that was Kobe,” said West coach Byron Scott. The West later reduced the lead to 2 points, but at halftime, the East led 74-65.

The West trailed by 13 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but rallied behind New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, who had seven assists in the final period. With 2:48 remaining, Brandon Roy scored a layup on an assist from Paul, giving the West a 122-119 lead, their biggest lead of the game.

The East then answered back with two three-pointers from Ray Allen, before Chris Paul tied the game with a three-pointer of his own. However, the East would then take the lead and the game with layups from Dwyane Wade and Allen, as well as a driving dunk from LeBron James. A Brandon Roy three-pointer put the game within three points with 8.7 seconds left, but 3 free throws from Ray Allen sealed the win for the East.

“The fourth quarter was crazy,” said Chris Paul. “We were down 13. We picked up the intensity. We took the lead a few times but Ray Allen was unbelievable the way he shot the ball. And that last dunk by LeBron, we had two people on him but that still wasn’t enough.”

With 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, James was named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career. Some television commentators also considered Ray Allen a likely choice for the award, with 14 of his 28 points coming in the final 3 minutes of the game. “I think Ray Allen had a heck of a shooting night,” James said after being presented the award.

Contents

  • 1 Other All-Star events
    • 1.1 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge
    • 1.2 Haier Shooting Stars Competition
    • 1.3 Playstation Skills Challenge
    • 1.4 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout
    • 1.5 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

30 people die in bombing in northwestern Pakistan

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two successive suicide bombings killed 30 people in a camp providing aid to displaced people in northwestern Pakistan, police officials stated. The two explosions hit the Kacha Pukha camp located near the city of Kohat. Nearly 50 people were wounded.

Al Jazeera‘s Kamal Hyder said from Islamabad that the bomber hit the camp when a food distribution programme was underway. “This was a point where registration was under way and food distribution was under way,” he said. “Most of the victims were the displaced people from the Orakzai agency where the military has launched an offensive recently, displacing a large number of people. The attack is said to have involved a suicide bomber and perhaps a remote-controlled device planted near that particular area,” he added.

“At least 27 people have died. There are 45 wounded. The toll may go up,” regional police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash told the Agence France-Presse news agency from the scene of the incident. “Both were suicide attacks. Body parts of the suicide bombers have been recovered. The blasts took place at the relief distribution point for internally displaced people.” Officials later confirmed that the death toll was 30.

It is not immediately clear who was responsible for the bombing.

Four Boy Scouts killed in Iowa tornado

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A major storm suspected to be a tornado has reportedly killed four Boy Scouts camping at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Little Sioux, Iowa. Roughly ninety-five Scouts aged thirteen to eighteen and twenty-five adult staff members were believed to be camping at the time the alarm was raised. Most of the scouts were from Omaha-Metro Area, including Omaha and Bellevue, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is believed that the scouts had as little as twelve minutes to seek shelter from the time the alarm began to the time the storm hit. Early reports stated that thirty to forty scouts had been injured, that number was later reduced to twenty.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America‘s Mid American Council, the region in which the camp was situated, has stated that the storm activated sirens but she couldn’t confirm whether the scouts were staying in tents or buildings.

The Scouts were participating in a training exercise at the 1,800 acre ranch roughly 40 miles northeast of Omaha. Julie Tack, a spokesperson for Iowa Homeland Security, stated that the camp was littered with debris and downed tree branches after being struck by a tornado at or around 7:00 PM Central Daylight Time. Tack went on to say that a search and rescue team had been deployed to the area.

Camp counselors have stated that they were aware of the possibilities that storm was coming and they had heard the tornado sirens going off. There was no underground shelter for the scouts, however they had shelters designated and emergency plans had been discussed the first day of camp. Officials said most of the boys were on a hike when storms moved in.

A camp staff member said that many scouts were injured when a fireplace in one of the shelters collapsed. Most of the injured scouts were treated at hospitals in Sioux City and Missouri Valley, Iowa. Six scouts were brought to the Missouri Valley hospital, most treated for minor injuries and broken bones. One scout suffered a broken hip and was transferred to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.

Mercy Medical Center, in Sioux City, have reported two patients arriving by helicopter at 8:13 PM with a third arriving by ambulance. A fourth patient arrived later, again by helicopter. A spokesman for the hospital said the victims are all juveniles and all have serious injuries. Mercy does not expect to receive more camp victims. The names of the victims have not been released.

Half a million złoty vanish from the bank account of Lech Wałęsa

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

According to Polish radio station, RMF FM, almost half a million Polish złoty (almost US$ 235,000) vanished from the bank account of Lech Wałęsa, a former President of Poland and the original leader of Solidarność (Solidarity). The case is already under investigation by the public prosecutor in Gdańsk.

The radio station identified the suspect as a former employee of Millennium Bank and the son of a former co-worker of Wałęsa. The Prokuratura alleges that Michał L. stole about 870,000 złoty (about US$408,000) from two bank accounts, one of which belongs to Wałęsa. The bank has already returned all the money.

Lech Wałęsa downplayed the situation. “I have all the money I had. I can show you I haven’t lost even a grosz“, he said in a interview with RMF FM.

Google performs first successful collision attack on SHA-1 security algorithm

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This Thursday, Google announced that it had performed a successful collision attack on the popular SHA-1 cryptographic hash function for the first time — that they know of. The collision attack demonstrated an algorithm for making two distinct inputs map to the same hash output, putting at risk the usage of SHA-1 for verifying data integrity. Google published a blog post and made a website about the collision attack.

A successful attacker would be able to add a malicious file to the system to damage a backup relying on SHA-1 for checking data integrity, deliver a malicious update to clients using SHA-1 to verify the update file, attack and decrypt an encrypted connection to a website where the user’s browser is using SHA-1 to identify the connection certificate, replace a file revision history using SHA-1 to identify commits, and perform other actions that would substitute for valuable files with something seemingly identical but misleading or malicious in practice. Similar systems not using SHA-1 would not be affected.

To demonstrate the success of the algorithm, Google published two distinct Portable Document Format (PDF) files with identical SHA-1 hash. Google recommended everyone who uses SHA-1 to switch to SHA-256 or SHA-3, stronger cryptographic hash functions.

The group started with a paper published by Marc Stevens in 2013 in which the authors proposed a theoretical algorithm for the collision attack. They chose PDF files as the basis for their attack. They wrote a PDF file prefix on both files and PDF contents which hashed to the same SHA-1 digest. Then they used the Google computing infrastructure to perform more than nine quintillion (upwards of 9,223,372,036,854,775,808) SHA1 computations. They described this as 6,500 years of CPU time distributed in the first phase, then 110 years of graphics processing unit (GPU) time total in the second phase of the attack to reach full collision. They said this new algorithm was 100,000 times faster than the brute-force attack and 50 times faster than a collision attack algorithm proposed in 2005.

The cryptology group at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) institute, Netherlands, collaborated with the Google Research Security, Privacy and Anti-abuse Group to achieve the collision. According to a press release, Marc Stevens and Elie Bursztein were the initial leaders of the initiative, Ange Albertini developed the PDF attack code, Pierre Karpman developed the cryptoanalysis, Yarik Markov and Pierre Karpman developed the distributed graphical processing unit (GPU) code, and Clement Baisse checked the reliability of the programs.

Google also provided a collision detector online, where users can upload a PDF file to test whether it was tampered with for reaching a collision. Alex Petit Bianco developed the online file collision detector. Following its security policy, Google set a 90-day delay before the release of the source code for the attack.

Operating systems and software rely on SHA-1 for verifying the file integrity when distributing updates to its users and in ISO checksums. Developers use SHA-1 in their file revision control systems, such as git, to verify the files’ integrity. Many people install programs that use SHA-1 for detecting duplicate files on storage media and for verifying backups’ integrity. People surfing the web see SHA-1 used for verifying the integrity of HTTPS certificates to verify the users’ connection with the website is not subject to a man-in-the-middle attack. People also use SHA-1 in email PGP/GPG signatures.

Since January, Google Chrome does not trust SHA-1 certificates. Mozilla Firefox stopped trusting them yesterday.

SHA-1 was introduced more than twenty years ago.

Google announces new operating system

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google announced today that they are developing Google Chrome OS. The operating system, announced on their official blog, will be based on their Chrome browser, which is now nine months old.

Google said that at first it will be targeted toward netbooks, but in the future, will eventually expand. The company said that it will continue to be developed alongside Android, their operating system currently being used on mobile devices.

The system will run in a windowing system atop a Linux kernel and will be fully open source. It is planned to be released in 2010. On their blog, Google said, “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds,” said the blog post written by Sundar Pichai, Vice President Product Management, and Google’s engineering director, Linus Upson.

Both men said that “the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web” and that the new OS is “our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be”.

Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes

Monday, November 28, 2005

U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”