I’ve been reading Senator Tom Coburn’s report from the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee entitled, “The Federal Government’s Track Record on Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure”. If you’re a concerned citizen (especially if you have a background in IT,) I recommend reading the entire thing (it’s only about 20 pages long.) Here’s an interesting passage from page 2:
Last February, hackers reportedly broke into the national Emergency Broadcast System, operated by the FCC as the federal government’s tool to address Americans in case of a national emergency. The hackers caused television stations in Michigan, Montana and North Dakota to broadcast zombie attack warnings. “Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” an authoritative voice stated in the hacked broadcast message, while the familiar warning beep sounded. “Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
The rest of the document goes on to outline some INCREDIBLE security failures (lost computers, easily-guessed passwords, unencrypted data, unprotected external hard drives, stolen information, etc.) at agencies such as the IRS, Department of Homeland Security, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and more.
hackers have penetrated, taken control of, caused damage to and/or stolen sensitive personal and official information from computer systems at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, State, Labor, Energy, and Commerce; NASA; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Office of Personnel Management; the Federal Reserve; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; the Food and Drug Administration; the U.S. Copyright Office; and the National Weather Service, according to public reporting.
These are just hacks whose details became known to the public, often because the hackers themselves announced their exploits. Largely invisible to the public and policymakers are over 48,000 other cyber “incidents” involving government systems which agencies detected and reported to DHS in FY 2012.
Read the report and see if you don’t wince a few times. Some of the items described would get a an employee (or an entire department) fired on the spot if it happened at a private company. Happy reading!
While sitting in the Midtown Art Cinema waiting for American Hustle to start, I heard an unfamiliar song playing over the PA that immediately caught my attention. I fired up the Shazam app on my iPhone and it identified the song for me: Down Down the Deep River by Okkervil River. I have developed a deep infatuation with this song and cannot seem to stop playing it:
You can also find this track on iTunes and YouTube if you’re not into the whole Spotify thing. Enjoy!
In addition to your other year-end charitable giving, you can also use Amazon.com’s Wish List functionality to perform random acts of kindness for strangers in need. It’s really easy and rewarding, and you’ll brighten up someone else’s day in the process.
Just head over to the Find a Wish List page at Amazon.com. From there, search for keywords such as:
You’ll find dozens of wish lists created by charitable organizations in need of everything from clothing to pet food to office supplies:
From there, just pick a wish list that appeals to you and buy one or more items from it that fall within your budget. Once you enter the checkout process, Amazon will provide you the option of shipping directly to the beneficiary as shown below:
That’s all there is to it. Spend a few bucks to make someone’s day and perhaps help out an organization in need.
1) New York State of Mind
Billy Joel performed a Q&A at Vanderbilt University when a student asked if he could play “New York State of Mind” with him. What happened next was an amazing moment and a once-in-a-lifetime memory for the student:
2) Space Awesomety
Colonel Chris Hadfield performs a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from aboard the International Space Station:
3) Metal Kids
Two 12-year-old kids love playing metal and don’t let peer pressure change who they are or what they want to be:
4) Speed Painting Surprise
Speed painter “D Westry” shows off his creative talents on the Anderson Cooper show. Make sure you wait until the end:
5) Ronald Davis
Ronald Davis: “No matter what people think about me, I know I’m a human first.”
A beautiful animated short about unconditional love:
7) Baby Steps
Awesome Zach Anner shows that there are absolutely NO EXCUSES for failing to exercise and work out.
8) Kindness Captured
This video shows that Russian dashcams capture more than just horror and gore.
9) How to Throw a Bachelor Party
Colin Bennett was about to get married. His amazing friends created a bachelor party like no other. They spent many weeks creating a day of events that he would never forget:
10) We Are Brothers
Two brothers were asked by their other brother to be the best men at his wedding, and they made this video instead. It’s like the best worst 80′s video you never saw:
Every gathering needs some good music, and Thanksgiving dinner is no exception. This Spotify playlist provides eight hours of background music for your family homecoming and holiday feast. Just put in on shuffle, play it low in the background, and it will provide a mix of classical, jazz, and other music perfect for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Happy listening!
When did rock and roll begin? Many people maintain the misconception that the first rock and roll records came out in the mid to late-1950s. This Spotify playlist contains almost three hours of rocking boogie music recorded in the 1940s, providing a clear preview of the rock and roll era to come.
From “Good Rockin’ Tonight” through “Rock This Joint” and “Move it on Over”, these upbeat songs of the 1940s show that rock and roll was alive, if perhaps largely unknown, many years prior to 1954′s “Rock Around the Clock.”
Spotify Playlist: The Roots of Rock and Roll: Boogie Recordings Prior to 1950
If you were a fan of The Blues Brothers back in the 1970s and 1980s, you probably heard their version of classic blues music on their album, Briefcase Full of Blues, and in the soundtrack to their classic movie.
Thanks to the power of Spotify, you can listen to the original version of these classic songs by Floyd Dixon, Junior Wells, King Floyd, The Chips, Willie Mabon, Big Joe Turner, and many others via this playlist:
Spotify Playlist: Briefcase Full of Blues
Here is a Spotify playlist containing over sixty tracks to provide a soundtrack for your Halloween festivities. It starts off somewhat light, goes metal, goes dark, and then resolves into the dawn and aftermath. Enjoy!
I love this gallery of images depicting ancient statues “dressed” in modern clothes and accessories. Seeing these figures in modern clothing helps one realize that people have always been people, just like you and me.
LÉO CAILLARD – Hipster in Stone
Are you listening, J.J. Abrams?
Here’s a very insightful short video explaining four key principles that made the original Star Wars movie so great, and how following them could make Episode VII a return to that original greatness: