Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special M-End Newsflash Edition): The Latest out of US-CERT on Business E-Mail Systems

Please note this latest from US-CERT on Business Email Systems we wanted to report on:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security US-CERT
National Cyber Awareness System:

05/31/2017 07:45 PM EDT

Original release date: May 31, 2017
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released an article on Building a Digital Defense with an Email Fortress. FBI warns that scammers commonly target business email accounts with phishing and social engineering schemes. Strategies for preventing email compromises include avoiding the use of free web-based email accounts; using multi-factor authentication; and updating firewalls, antivirus programs, and spam filters.
US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the FBI article for more information and refer to US-CERT Tips on Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.

Monday, May 29, 2017

On this Memorial Day 2017....And on the 100th Birthday of President John F. Kennedy....

Our team is honored to share the following compilation of thoughts courtesy of @Jonathan Huie on all our properties: 

No one has been barred on account of his race
from fighting or dying for America,
there are no white or colored signs
on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.
- John F. Kennedy

Let us never negotiate out of fear.
But let us never fear to negotiate.
- John F. Kennedy

War will exist until that distant day
when the conscientious objector
enjoys the same reputation and prestige
that the warrior does today.
- John F. Kennedy

The basic problems facing the world today
are not susceptible to a military solution.
- John F. Kennedy

And so, my fellow Americans,
ask not what your country can do for you;
ask what you can do for your country.
- John F. Kennedy

Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children's future.
And we are all mortal.

- John F. Kennedy

Friday, May 26, 2017

As We Go Dark For Memorial Day Week-End Here in the United States.....

Please enjoy these compilation of Thoughts we have decided to feature on all our properties  courtesy of @Jonathan Huie that underscores our sense of gratitude as a team for the opportunity to serve as we wish all in the United States a joyous and restful weekend:

With gratitude, all life appears as a blessing -
without gratitude, all of life
is perceived as a burden.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't
come as a result of getting something we don't have,
but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
- Frederick Koenig

Thursday, May 25, 2017

An #Outsider Newsflash (Special Edition): FTC Releases Alert on Identity Theft

This was just issued by US-CERT on Identity Theft which we wanted to report on as we wish all a fabulous memorial day weekend in the United States....
U.S. Department of Homeland Security US-CERT

National Cyber Awareness System:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an alert about how quickly criminals begin using your personal information once it is posted to a hacker site by an identity thief. FTC researchers found that it can take as few as 9 minutes for crooks to access stolen personal information posted to hacker sites. To prevent identity theft, a user should follow password security best practices, such as multi-factor authentication, which requires a user to simultaneously present multiple pieces of information to verify their identity.
US-CERT encourages users to refer to the FTC alert and the US-CERT Tips on Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft, Choosing and Protecting Passwords, and Supplementing Passwords for more information.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thought For the Week: On Remaining Hopeful

It  has been a very challenging 24 hours in our World as we have been witness to the horrific attack in Manchester with live coverage on our Al Jazeera Feed on our main property at    The UK Prime Minister, Teresa May, raised the threat level to critical as she prepared to order the Army into the streets.    We could not agree more as the World was reminded that love triumphs hate.   We also were witness as the Philippines was witness to the horror of Daesh (known as ISIS/ISIL in the west) as it laid stage to a major City in the southern Island of Mindanao.   The Philippine President declared Marshal Law and cut short a trip to Russia to return to oversee operations.   This is as our team continued to assess the travels of President Trump and on-going meetings for which our Social Media Team provided updates over out Twitter Channel (and our Founder was also quite busy on his personal Twitter Feed as well).  

In this day, we decided to share this uplifting thought our team received courtesy of the Mission we will feature on all our properties as a sign of hope and optimism and note that "We Shall Overcome":

The Mission

You Can’t Sail If You Never Leave the Harbor

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. –Grace Hopper
She knew something was wrong.
Culture creates prisons, and she was trapped inside one.
Teachers told her she wasn’t good enough. Professors told her the same, and she dropped out.
Her father begged her to reconsider.
But she wasn’t having any of it.
Her father had a choice. He could try to guilt her into college and be content with her taking the “safe” path. Many people went in that direction, and some of them were happy. Or, he could make the heart-wrenching choice of encouraging his daughter to find her own path.
If he simply gave her “freedom” or an easy path, it would be like giving her an inheritance. The easy way carried serious tradeoffs. The easy path carried diseases of comfort. He saw what those tradeoffs did to all the people around him.
People became automatons seeking greater levels of comfort with reduced amounts of personal risk. They became angry at any minor disturbance or lapse in comfort. They were ready to lash out at the systems of cooperation or their peers the moment they felt anyone was getting more than their “fair share.” The thought of his daughter becoming one of those comfort-craving zombies made him shudder.
He visualized her path in the short term, and didn’t want to see her struggle. But then he considered the long term, and thinking of her sacrificing her full potential was unbearable.
Freedom had to be earned, in order to be appropriately valued.
Individuality could only be forged in the furnaces of adversity.
He heard the passion in his daughter’s voice, the yearning for freedom.
So he presented her with a simple offer.
“You can skip college.”
The girl’s eyebrows raised. And her father knew what she wanted most… the family sailboat.
“And I’ll give you the boat.”
Her eyes lit up and a smile from ear to ear crept over her face.
“But…” sighed her father.
She was frozen in anticipation.
“You have to sail it around the world.”
She moved her lips to protest but he held up a finger.
“No protests and no negotiation. You want freedom, and that’s wonderful. But you’ll have to face a challenge in order to earn it. The ocean and the real world are the best teachers I know.”
The 26-foot boat glistened in the sun. In a mixture of fear, elation, and confusion, she spoke before she could think.
“I’ll do it.”
Her father’s heart sank but he knew he made the right choice.
At 18 years old, with no formal training, no GPS, and no crew, Tania Aebi took that 26-foot boat and sailed around the world. She became the first solo female sailor to circumnavigate the world. She took a sextant for celestial navigation, a radio direction finder, and a few other simple supplies and embarked on a year and a half adventure.
Sunset, Photo Twenty20.
She faced storms, almost had her boat crushed, and came face to face with the ultimate enemy: herself and her mindset.
She returned. Unscathed.
Biologists have a term called neoteny. They use it to describe species they’re studying who retain juvenile features well into adulthood.
Many of our cultural institutions have become training grounds for neoteny.
More twenty and thirtysomethings live at home than ever before.
Americans in the top 1% of global wealth whine about how they don’t have enough. Meanwhile, they have pocket supercomputers more powerful than the ones NASA used to get to the moon. Instead of using them to become learning machines, hike across the country, or connect with like minds to build new things, they use them to play games.
Tania Aebi isn’t a household name. She’s not “rich” but she’s free.
Your name doesn’t have to become “known.” You don’t have to do what the crowd does. All of us can become free, unique individuals through adversity. There are safe paths always waiting for us. There are those who profess to “love” us by helping keep us in comfort. Their fear of the unknown can keep us from the adventures that make life worth living.
The challenge is to find and earn love from those willing to endure the pain of watching us struggle.
The struggle doesn’t have to lead to a million or a billion dollars. Most of the world lives on a few dollars per day. When Elon Musk was taking jobs from the Canadian unemployment office, he taught himself to live on $2 a day (hotdogs and oranges) to remove his fear of poverty. Culture has an endless buffet of fears and hamster wheels for you to run on. Escape them and kill your fears with direct real-world experience.
Take massive action, and then cut off any possibilities of regret. Face adversities and take full agency for your choices. Leave the safe harbor, but if you find yourself riding tumultuous waves or shipwrecked, don’t breathe a word of complaint. There are always gifts and lessons for those who take radical agency of their own lives.
Culture wants to keep you infantile. Those who are addicted to comfort have an allergic reaction when they spend time around those who can ensure uncomfort. Do you want to be addicted to comfort, or addicted to achievement?
While certain comfort-addicted neo-maniacs in the world worship “the coming machine singularity,” you can become a real singularity through facing and overcoming adversity.
You can become a unique individual if you find someone who loves you enough to allow you to endure challenges. It won’t be easy, and it will mean intense isolation from most people. But do you want to be like most people?
“It happens rarely, but whenever I do read a newspaper, listen to the radio, or watch television, on a variety of topics, I find myself wondering, “How? How can this happen? How can people be so gullible?”
[I’m renewed with] gratitude to my father for having given me the chance to dodge full immersion in the homogenizing machine, and makes me more determined than ever to pass this gift of becoming an individual on to my own children.”
— TANIA AEBI, world record holder, first circumnavigation of the world by a solo female sailor
Don’t be afraid to leave the harbor.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

View of the Week (Weekly Edition): On Life Worth Living In the Face of Death

As a new week dawns,  we hope all enjoy this selection for this edition of "View of the Week" because it is so moving and we're privileged to feature it:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thought For the Week

As the Week-End Looms, please enjoy these Thought  4 the Week:

Notations From the Grid (Friday Edition): On The State of World Health in Our World

Our team received this courtesy of the World Health Organization that we hope the team finds of interest:

World Health Statistics 2017

Almost half of all deaths globally are now recorded with a cause, new data from WHO show, highlighting improvements countries have made on collecting vital statistics and monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Several countries have made significant strides towards strengthening the data they collect, including China, Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where 90% of deaths are now recorded with detailed cause-of-death information, compared with 5% in 1999.
Read the news release
Download the publication
Listen to the press briefing

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Notations On Our World (Special Thursday Edition): On #ClimateChange

For this edition, we have decided to feature best practices as we continue on-going deliberations on Climate Change:

Download the Cities100 guide to find out how cities all around the world are stepping up to become leaders in clean energy and sustainable development.
For centuries, cities have been at the heart of arts and culture, thriving business, and innovative ideas. Over 90 percent of urban areas are coastal, which means that most cities are extremely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis as sea levels rise, polar ice melts, and powerful storms sweep across these regions.
But here’s the good news: cities around the globe – places like Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro, and Seoul – are also at the forefront of some of the most powerful solutions to this crisis.
To find out how cities all around the world are stepping up to become leaders in clean energy and sustainable development, download the Cities100 illustrated guide. 
Urban areas account for most of the world’s carbon emissions, and their share will continue to increase as two-thirds of the world’s population will call cities home by 2050. Booming populations bring with them challenges, but also many opportunities to adapt and grow sustainably.
In the guide, you’ll learn about 100 climate solutions from 61 cities in 10 different sectors, from clean energy and transportation to social equity and more.

- Your friends at Climate Reality
PS The Cities100 guide is the work of SustainiaC40 Cities, and Realdania, used with permission.


© 2017 The Climate Reality Project
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An #Outsider Newsflash (Special Edition): ICS-CERT Releases WannaCry Fact Sheet

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) has released a short overview of the WannaCry ransomware infections. This fact sheet provides information on how the WannaCry program spreads, what users should do if they have been infected, and how to protect against similar attacks in the future.
US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the ICS-CERT Fact Sheet on WannaCry and the US-CERT Current Activity on the topic. For more technical details, please consult TA17-132A, Indicators Associated With WannaCry Ransomware.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Notations On Our World (Special Mid-Week Edition): A Profound Advisory on Teen Suicide

This advisory from Santa Margarita Catholic High School To Santa Margarita High School Families  was profound that we wanted to feature for this edition of "Notations On Our World" that we believe is absolutely critical:

"13 Reasons Why" Netflix Series: Information for Parents
Dear Parents,
As you may or may not be aware of, Netflix recently released a series titled 13 Reasons Why. For those of you that have not heard of it, the show revolves around a 17-year-old female and documents the struggles that ultimately lead her to committing suicide. She leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people whom she blames for why she decided to kill herself. Not only does the show graphically depict a suicide death, but it also addresses bullying, rape, drunk driving, slut shaming, and teenage bystanders. Although the show has received critical acclaim, it has raised significant concerns from suicide prevention experts due to the risks of sensationalizing youth suicide. Personally, I have spoken with several of my colleagues and there has been an increase in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts that are linked with students that have watched this show. Because schools play an important role in the prevention of youth suicide, it is important that this information be passed on to you, the parents. 
The Diocese of Orange has recommended that all families review a publication that was released by The National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) which addresses the controversy surrounding the show. Please click here to review this publication. They do not recommend that vulnerable youth watch this series as it may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. Also, the adult characters, which include the child's parents and school counselor, are portrayed in a way that does not inspire a sense of trust or dependability. While many children are able to differentiate between a television show and real life, engaging in a thoughtful conversation about the show is vital. This would provide an opportunity for them to process the issues, consider the consequences of certain choices, reinforce that suicide is not a solution, and reiterate that help is available. 
Unfortunately, students that feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly, so what can parents do? Recognizing the warning signs is the first step in supporting your child.  These warning signs include direct/indirect threats of suicide (verbal or written), giving away personal possessions, being preoccupied with death, changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings, and emotional distress.  When a child gives signs that they may be considering suicide, the following actions can be taken:
  • If they exhibit any of the warning signs above, don't be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
  • Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  • Listen to your children's comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
  • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the child alone.
  • Without putting yourself in danger, remove means for self-harm, including any weapons the child might find.
  • Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child's safety or the safety of one of their peers.
Hopefully, providing you, along with the school's faculty and staff, this information will help establish a united front in addressing this significant concern. Below you will find additional resources that you might find beneficial. 
Blake Oldfield
School Psychologist
American Association of Suicidology,
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education,
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,

Santa Margarita Catholic High School, 22062 Antonio Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

View Of The Week: Plastic China

Plastic China is a documentary that depicts a very challenging problem China has to continue to deal with as it launches "Belts and Bolts"--The Environment.   It is telling.....

Thought For the Week

You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!
- Dr. Seuss

With every rising of the sun
Think of your life as just begun.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Monday, May 15, 2017

Notations On Our World (Weekly Education Edition): On #NationalPreventionWeek2017

We wanted to take this opportunity to note how this week is National Prevention Week that gives sus all an opportunity to make sure that truly each Day counts.   We commend USA.GOV for putting this together with some key resources for all to take advantage of.

National Prevention Week is an annual observance. This year it takes place from May 14 through May 20, 2017.

Support Prevention by Talking About It

As a parent, you spend a good part of your day working, paying bills, making appointments, and coordinating extracurriculars. When that’s all done, there’s hardly enough time and energy to have a family meal together. But a family dinner is one of the few times that you and your kids get to talk about the day and discuss plans for the future. It’s also in these quieter moments that you get an opportunity to talk about serious things like preventing substance abuse and managing mental health challenges.
May 14-20 is National Prevention Week, a time to equip your family with the information you need to prevent, recognize, and find help for substance abuse and mental health issues. These resources compiled by USAGov can help you and the people you love get educated, and find help.
Start the conversation today. If you're on social media, check out how others are sharing their knowledge, strength and support messages with #PreventionPower on Twitter or Facebook.

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