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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans The New York Times gloats over Harvey Weinstein’s misfortune By David Walsh 22 January 2020 “Every punishment, which does not arise from absolute necessity, says the great Montesquieu, is tyrannical.” Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments The trial of film producer Harvey Weinstein, on five […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
FRIDAY PUZZLE — In December, Smithsonian magazine contacted me to ask for a comment on the end of the decade in crossword puzzles. I was in the process of writing my own take on this, but I don’t think it will surprise anyone that I jumped on an opportunity to offer my opinion. The magazine assigned a reporter, Ryan Patrick Smith, to write the retrospective, and we had a very nice chat. He has linked to his article in the constructor notes below.
Mr. Smith mentioned in passing that he was also constructing crosswords, and was excited to see his first puzzle published in The New York Times. And now we get to celebrate his debut.
My first impression when I saw his grid was that this was going to feel like four different puzzles because of the large, black square “plus sign” dividing the grid. I wasn’t wrong, but while I missed the long, luxurious entries in a more open themeless grid, his fill was very interesting. Not only did he debut five entries, but there was also something for everyone here.
The cluing, which might be mostly the puzzle editors’s work, is not only cranked up to offer a good tug-of-war between puzzle and solver, but hits a very satisfying variety of topics as well.
And that’s pretty much all a solver can ask for on a Friday, isn’t it?
1. The A.V. CLUB used to be a part of the humor newspaper (Hi, kids! Yes, it used to be in print) The Onion.
15A. TIL that Lt. SULU of “Star Trek” was named after the SULU Sea.
17A. The actress OLIVIA WILDE makes her New York Times Crossword full name debut, clued as the director of “Booksmart.”
20A. It would probably help to explain the plot of this movie. The 1940 film “REBECCA,” Alfred Hitchcock’s American directorial debut, is about the wives of the brooding widower, Maxim de Winter, played with suitably furrowed brow by Laurence Olivier. His first wife, REBECCA, has died before the film begins, but Mr. de Winter soon meets Joan Sutherland and she becomes his second wife, thereby earning the right to be called REBECCA as well. He eventually takes his new bride back to his windswept estate, REBECCA (pronounced Manderley), and introduces her to the foreboding housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who in all likelihood is also called REBECCA. Mrs. Danvers, driven to derangement by the fact that almost everyone in the movie is named REBECCA, sets fire to the estate, but everyone besides her escapes so that they can eventually name their children REBECCA.
21A. If you have not seen the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” by ISSA RAE, you can watch Season 1 on YouTube.
25A. Fun fact: The word “clue” is derived from the Greek myth about Theseus and ARIADNE. Theseus had to make his way out of a complicated maze without being killed by the Minotaur, so ARIADNE, who was crushing on Theseus, gave him a ball of yarn — called a “clew” — to unravel as he traveled, so he would not get lost. The word “clew” eventually became “clue.”
45A. Nice wordplay. “Trips in the dark” could mean that you accidentally fall over something on your way to the bathroom or kitchen at night, or it could mean a trip you take when it’s dark out. If you are flying to a destination in the dark, you could be taking the REDEYE.
46A. “German marks” is not currency in this puzzle. They are diacritical marks, or, more specifically, UMLAUTS.
57A. You can make a pit stop (a “fast stop”), or you can do something to break a fast (“made a fast stop”). The answer is ATE.
60A. TIS the season to figure out that TIS can precede “the season.”
11D. THERESA MAY also makes her full name debut in the New York Times Crossword, but not for the same reason as OLIVIA WILDE.
25D. I was thinking about togas when I should have been thinking about APES. “Caesar” was a character from the “Planet of the Apes” reboot.
37D. Who knew? Apparently, the prime minister of Canada, Justin TRUDEAU, has worked at various times of his life as a bouncer and a snowboarding instructor.
38D. This sent me down a rabbit hole of research, first trying to remember their surnames (the Montagues and the Capulets, but that wasn’t right), even trying to remember the act or scene in which they died. Once again, I claim the award for most overthinking: The answer is TITULAR. The play is “Romeo and Juliet,” not “Romeo and Juliet and Mercutio and Tybalt.”
I’ve been a word nerd and puzzle junkie for most of my life, but my love of crosswords in particular blossomed when I was in high school. I fondly remember sitting in the kitchen with my mom and tackling the weekend grids on her clunky desktop, the clatter of the keyboard a satisfying soundtrack to my solving.
Wordplay veterans may remember me by my erstwhile forum handle “rpsmith” — I’ll always be grateful to this community for encouraging my passion. Outside the “crossworld,” I’m a voracious consumer of film and video games, as well as a writer for both Smithsonian.com (for which I recently wrote a piece on crosswords, as it happens) and the World Bank’s Connect4Climate division. I’m also starting to compete in screenwriting contests!
I had a number of puzzles published in The Stanford Daily during my time on The Farm (including cryptics, which I love), but this is my first submission to The Times that was accepted, and I’m over the moon to see it in print and online. I very nearly didn’t send in this puzzle at all, as I was coming off a sizable string of rejections and felt rather demoralized. So glad I gave it a shot!
It occurs to me now that the upper half of this puzzle is packed with nods to influential women whose domains range from international politics, acting and filmmaking to pages of fiction and mythology. I can’t say that this was strictly intentional on my end, but I’m delighted with the way it panned out.
I’m pleased to say I already have fresh grids in the submission pipeline, so with luck you’ll be seeing more of me before too long.
Happy solving, and a fine new year to all!
The Tipping Point
Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? We’ve got you covered.
Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans “The saddest part of this is that the response of the Times is simply to defend their project” An interview with historian Clayborne Carson on the New York Times’ 1619 Project By Tom Mackaman 15 January 2020 Clayborne Carson is Professor of History at Stanford […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
If 2019 was the calm before the storm, a welcome respite before things get really crazy, then we’re all in for a Cat 5 next year.
The Buzz’s most popular stories in 2019, as measured by the digital analytics firm Chartbeat, reveal a state wallowing in conflict, suffering and impending doom.
Stories related to white nationalism, federal investigators circling the former Democratic nominee for governor, elections hacking, the lingering despair from Hurricane Michael and the NRA’s opposition to a proposed assault weapons ban all resonated with readers.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the most divisive members of Congress, nabbed two slots in the top 10, courtesy of his bad boy approach to politics. State Rep. Dennis Baxley’s penchant for sponsoring 1950s-style legislation made the list, as did what then appeared as a looming threat to President Donald Trump’s Florida home posed by Hurricane Dorian.
Of all the stories in the top 10, only a profile of Gov. Ron DeSantis could be described as remotely positive. It’s a revealing look at the state’s top politician finding a groove that has had him surging in the polls.
Behold the stories in 2019 that cast a spell on readers.
10. Florida bill would have students learn alternatives to climate change, evolution. (Published online Jan. 28)
TALLAHASSEE — A bill that would allow school districts to teach Florida students alternatives to concepts deemed “controversial theories” — such as human-caused climate change and evolution — has been filed in the state Legislature.
The language of the bill sounds fairly unremarkable, requiring only that schools “shall” teach these “theories” in a “factual, objective, and balanced manner.” But the group that wrote the bill, the Florida Citizens Alliance, says the bill is needed because curriculum currently taught in Florida schools equates to “political and religious indoctrination,” according to their managing director, Keith Flaugh.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that schools need to teach “different worldviews” on issues like evolution and climate change. He asserts that textbooks now skew toward “uniformity” of thought.
“Nothing is ever settled if it’s science, because people are always questioning science,” Baxley said. “If you look at the history of human learning, for a long time the official worldview was that the world was flat. Anything you now accept as fact comes from a perspective and you learn from examining different schools of thought.”
Both evolution and climate change are well-established fact in the scientific community.
9. A Florida Congresswoman is wondering why she can’t talk openly about Russian election hacking (Sept. 8)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, the Democrat who represents parts of Seminole County and Orange County, has a bone to pick with the U.S. intelligence community.
In an op-ed column for the Washington Post published earlier this week, Murphy renewed her objection to the lack of public knowledge about Russian attempts to hack into Florida’s electoral system in 2016.
Security officials, Murphy argued, have been less than forthcoming about Russia’s interference efforts. It took Murphy ― and her Republican colleague, Michael Waltz, R-6 ― requesting a private briefing for officials to disclose that two counties had been penetrated by Russians, Murphy writes. And in fact, there may have been even more counties affected. Murphy herself is not sure, she wrote.
8. Hurricane Michael recovery has a big problem: People aren’t donating (Jan. 27)
PANAMA CITY — More than three months after Hurricane Michael bludgeoned the beachside communities in the Panhandle, dozens of people crammed into the Messiah Lutheran Church on Thursday.
They were there to address enormous questions that hang over their largely lower-income part of the state.
“Affordable Housing,” “Reach Less Fortunate,” were written at the top of a long list of goals for a startup recovery group. Some suggested auctioning off quilts, or holding a car show.
But the reality is they’re going to need millions.
Major donors simply aren’t coming through for Florida’s Forgotten Coast. According to a Times/Herald analysis of contributions to three prominent national charities, donations to Hurricane Michael recovery fall far below donations for recent landmark hurricanes to hit the South such as Florence, Irma and Harvey.
The Salvation Army has received $2.8 million for its Hurricane Michael response. It received a combined $125 million after Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.
United Way Worldwide received just under $750,000 for Hurricane Michael recovery. That’s more than $10 million less than it received for its combined fund for Hurricanes Irma and Maria. That’s about $100,000 less than it received for the 2017 Mexican earthquake.
“God, I give you praise and honor for bringing us together … I pray that you will continue to give us the strategic ideas and the resources so that our county shall be a better county than it was before October the 10th,” Pastor Lynva Masslieno said at Thursday’s meeting.
7. Federal subpoena demands records on Andrew Gillum and his campaign for governor (May 30)
Andrew Gillum is a focal point of a recently issued federal grand jury subpoena that demands information on the former Democratic candidate for governor, his campaign, his political committee, a wealthy donor, a charity he worked for and a former employer.
The subpoena, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and previously unreported, could reflect a new level of federal inquiry into Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee who narrowly lost to Republican Ron DeSantis last year.
Throughout his campaign last year, Gillum insisted he was not a target of a sprawling FBI investigation of Tallahassee City Hall, which has taken at least three years and resulted in three arrests. Last year, he told the Tallahassee Democrat: “Twenty-plus subpoenas have been issued and not one of them has anything to do with me.”
But the recent one does. Previously, the investigation had centered on corruption inside Tallahassee government, including during Gillum’s time as mayor. The newer subpoena is more focused on Gillum’s 2018 campaign and people and organizations with clear ties to him, but with less obvious connections to Tallahassee City Hall.
Gillum, now a CNN contributor, declined to answer specific questions about the subpoena or say whether a subpoena was issued to him. In a statement to the Times, Gillum said: “We stand ready to assist any future review of our work, because I am confident we always did the right thing and complied fully with the law.”
6. Where did this Ron DeSantis come from? Florida’s governor surprises everyone but himself. (Feb. 10)
TALLAHASSEE — It was a moment lost on Election Night.
As newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis faced a blockade of TV cameras in Orlando, he told reporters that he had been misunderstood, or “unfairly demagogued,” by political rivals and the media.
At the end of a bitter campaign in which he cast himself as an uncompromising conservative who reveled in his support from President Donald Trump, DeSantis said he was eager to move on and work with those who had tried to defeat him.
Three months later, his short time in office has already shattered assumptions that he would govern exclusively from the right. He has drawn unexpected praise from Republicans and Democrats.
He released a budget proposal that broke the record for spending and contained no major cuts, placing him at odds with staunch fiscal conservatives in the Florida House. As he’s relentlessly traveled the state in a fixer-upper plane, he’s appointed Democrats to key posts, vowed to save the Everglades and urged lawmakers to allow patients to smoke medical marijuana.
“He’s taken a very pragmatic course,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “I say this as a Democrat and as a mayor: I’ve been really pleased and pleasantly surprised by the course and the decisions he’s made.” He added that until DeSantis took office, he was “an unknown quantity.”
5. Here’s what the NRA’s Marion Hammer had to say about Florida’s proposed assault weapons ban (Aug. 16)
TALLAHASSEE — Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer warned state economists Friday that a proposed assault rifle ban would be devastating to gun manufacturers lured to the state over the last eight years.
“Gov. Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida solicited and offered significant financial incentives to gun manufacturers to come to Florida to bring more jobs,” she said.
Hammer, speaking for the first time since back-to-back gun-related massacres in El Paso and Dayton two weeks ago, denounced the controversial amendment meant to address gun violence in Florida.
The amendment would ban the future sale of assault rifles in the Sunshine State and force current owners to either register them with the state or give them up.
But Hammer said the proposed amendment doesn’t protect the more than 150 major gun manufacturers in the state, of which many produce weapons that would be outlawed by the ban. Those companies would be forced to move because they couldn’t possess any new assault weapons, she said.
“If I were the owner of one of these firearm manufacturing companies, I wouldn’t wait to see what voters do,” she said. “If this were allowed to go on the ballot, I’d say, ‘I’m outta here.’”
4. Matt Gaetz’s 2008 DUI arrest resurfaces after jab at Hunter Biden’s substance abuse. Here’s what happened. (Dec. 12)
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz took a jab at Hunter Biden’s past substance abuse during Thursday’s House impeachment hearings, leading a Democratic colleague to call the Pensacola Republican a hypocrite.
The dust-up started when the Pensacola Republican sought to insert Biden’s name into the articles of impeachment — the latest attempt to redirect the investigation in President Donald Trump to Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s employment with Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company.
That’s when things took a strange turn.
“I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issue,” Gaetz said. “But it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”
Those watching the hearing online immediately drew parallels between Gaetz’s remark and his own run-in with law enforcement. Gaetz was arrested in 2008 for driving under the influence, though he was never convicted.
3. Further investigation into Matt Gaetz is needed for tweet at Michael Cohen, Florida Bar determines (Aug. 14)
An investigation into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz will proceed, the Florida Bar said Wednesday, meaning the Panhandle Republican could face discipline for allegedly intimidating President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
A grand jury-like panel called the Grievance Committee will next decide whether there is probable cause that Gaetz’s tweet broke the state Supreme Court’s rules for lawyers. Gaetz, one of Trump’s top allies in Congress, is licensed to practice law in Florida.
If the Florida Bar had determined in its initial review that discipline was not warranted, then the case would have stopped. But it has not, meaning the Bar has decided that further investigation is needed.
(SPOILER ALERT: It later cleared Matt Gaetz.)
2. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is in the projected path of Hurricane Dorian (Aug. 29)
Hurricane Dorian is threatening to strike Florida near Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s prized South Florida resort.
The storm is projected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Monday, with Melbourne as the most likely landing spot. That’s about 115 miles north of Palm Beach, where Trump’s ocean-front hotel is situated. Mar-a-Lago remains in the “cone of uncertainty” — the range of potential paths the hurricane could take as it strengthens in the Caribbean.
Previous hurricane models suggested Dorian could pass right through the so-called Winter White House, a frequent destination for Trump’s working vacations. As of Thursday morning, though, the storm’s path has shifted slightly north as it slows its forward motion and intensifies.
1. Memo reveals a House Republican strategy on shootings: downplay white nationalism, blame left (Aug. 16)
Congressional Republicans recently circulated talking points on gun violence that falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left.”
A document obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and sent by House Republicans provides a framework for how to respond to anticipated questions like, “Why won’t you pass legislation to close the ‘gun show loophole’ in federal law?” and “Why shouldn’t we ban high-capacity magazines?” The answers are boilerplate Republican arguments against tougher gun restrictions.
But it also included this question: “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently?” The suggested response is to steer the conversation away from white nationalism to an argument that implies both sides are to blame.
“White nationalism and racism are pure evil and cannot be tolerated in any form,” the document said. “We also can’t excuse violence from the left such as the El Paso shooter, the recent Colorado shooters, the Congressional baseball shooter, Congresswoman Giffords’ shooter and Antifa.”
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A study from Frost & Sullivan and Microsoft revealed that more than half of the organizations in the Philippines have either experienced a cybersecurity incident or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper actions or data breach assessment. With Filipinos’ increasingly internet-savvy population, cybersecurity and data protection must be a top priority for small to medium enterprises as much as it is for large scale businesses.
In 2017, around 99 percent of the more than 920,000 registered businesses in the Philippines are considered small and micro enterprises (SMEs). These SMEs employ less than 100 workers and have assets of P15 million or less, excluding the value of the land.
Their exponential growth over the years also calls for these small organizations to quickly adapt to digital transformation, as well as adopting cybersecurity practices that would protect their businesses along the way.
As we celebrate the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Microsoft shares valuable tips that would allow SMEs to recognize the dangers and risks of cyberattacks and help organizations better prepare for data breaches. Below are some of the best practices that one’s company could consider in improving its defense against cybersecurity threats:
Beware of phishing
It takes a hacker only four minutes long to get into a network and 99 days for businesses to discover that they’ve been breached. Refrain from opening suggested links or never reveal confidential information unless you are certain that the person you are talking to is genuine. Even when you know the person asking, gauge if they are entitled to sensitive information about yourself.
Beef up your password
Customize your password by making your password longer. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Strong and complex passwords should include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.
It is important for all, and that includes all employees’ phones, laptops, tablets and files, to set up their accounts with the multi-factor authentication for added security. Multifactor authentication is a security system that verifies a user’s identity by requiring multiple credentials such as, code from the user’s smartphone, answering security questions, a fingerprint or facial recognition.
Keep your data safe in the cloud
No one likes to lose their data. Back-up all your files to keep and transfer everything behind firewalls into the cloud. Patch everything and keep your systems up to date.
Plan for the worst
Every small business owner could put an affordable, actionable plan in place to mitigate risk to save time and money. Prevention is just as important as a response plan. Develop action plans with your staff in case something goes wrong.
Your organization should be in a continuous state of compliance. These practices should not just be tool-sets, but also a training for your company. Continue to invest in good technology solutions and hardwares. Leverage technology advancements by acquiring top-quality protection and not underestimating cyberthreats.
“It is imperative for small to medium enterprises to embrace 21st-century technology in order to survive in the competitive business landscape today,” said Microsoft Country Manager Andres Ortola. “We, at Microsoft, are committed not only to bring these organizations the right solutions but also the best cybersecurity tips and practices one should take note of when running a business.”
Investing in digital tools is one thing and applying these best practices is another. Filipino SMEs must realize the need to be aware of all potential cyberthreats and the steps to prevent them. It is never too late to safeguard their businesses accordingly and further grow the company to its full potential without any fear and doubts along the way.
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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Do You Know How To Protect Yourself Against Phishing Emails? – University Times
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Close Illustration by Lauren Dahncke Illustration by Lauren Dahncke Illustration by Lauren Dahncke National Cybersecurity Awareness month recently came to an end, but phishing emails never seem to. According to Cal State LA’s Information Technology Security, phishing emails are sent to the recipient with the purpose […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Next month, the Health Bureau (SSM) will reach out to the alcohol industry and local youth to collect their opinions on Macau’s alcohol control regime, which has already been drafted. According to Lam Chong, director of the Disease Control Center of the SSM, in November, the SSM will approach the alcohol wholesale industry and local youth groups, as well as other groups in order to reach a consensus on the definitions of alcohol, the minimum age for purchasing alcohol and the penalties for violating the regime. Currently, the SSM has not yet made a decision on a timetable for public consultation regarding the regime. In March, the SSM said that it expected to initiate public consultation for the regime in the second half of this year.
16 university students fall victim to phone scams
Sixteen university students have fallen victim to phone scams since the beginning of this year, according to the Judiciary Police (PJ). During this period, a total of 84 phone scam cases (around 10 fewer cases compared to the same period last year) were registered by the police authority, with a total claimed loss of 12.28 million patacas. For the 16 university students scammed, including one postgraduate student, most of scammers pretended to be government employees. PJ director Sit Chong Meng believes that, once the city’s cyber security law comes into effect on December 22 and once the SIM card real name registration policy is implemented, phone scams will be cracked down upon more effectively.
FDCT grants 1.46 billion patacas over 15 years
Between 2004 and 2019, the Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) approved 1,243 science research projects, granting a total of 1.46 billion patacas in funding, Ma Chi Ngai, chairman of the Administration Council of FDCT, revealed on Friday during a TDM program. A large sum went towards funding university research institutions, followed by industry. Only a small amount was granted to individuals. According to Ma, most of the research results of individuals were small inventions or daily necessities that require low technology. Currently, FDCT is considering how university research projects can be put onto the market. By doing so, Ma hopes to promote cooperation between industry and universities. Ma said that FDCT has already arranged for a team of experts to evaluate all types of projects.
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The surge in far-flung and destructive cyber attacks is not good for national security, but for an increasing number of hackers and researchers, it is great for job security. The new reality is on display in Las Vegas this week at the annual Black Hat and Def Con security conferences,…
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New research suggests that a series of large-scale cyberattacks on The Epoch Times, starting in January and continuing to the present, are part of a coordinated campaign. CitizenLab of the University of Toronto published a report on July 5, which detailed the cyberattacks and noted that several Chinese-language news outlets…
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