Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Chaos as company accidentally invites 61,000 people to job interview -

Chaos as company accidentally invites 61,000 people to job interview - 

Police called to quell anger after Swedish employment office sends out email to every jobseeker in Stockholm

Police dispersed an angry crowd of jobseekers outside an employment office in Stockholm on Wednesday after it called 61,000 people for a recruitment meeting by mistake.
"Something has gone wrong with the mailing list ... it has set off a very messy situation at the city office," said Clas Olsson, acting director of the employment office.
An email call for a recruitment meeting that should have gone out to about 1,000 jobseekers went out to considerably more people, about 61,000 – apparently all the registered job seekers in Stockholm, police said.
Hundreds of people expecting to attend crowded into the alley where the labour office is located and spilled into the adjacent street, a main thoroughfare running through downtown Stockholm.
Emotions were running high and office staff sounded the alarm, bringing police to the scene.

"When we got there it was very crowded and there were some upset feelings," Police Inspector Ulf Lindgren told Reuters.
Olsson told the Aftonbladet newspaper he did not know if the cause was a human or technical error.


South American Lizard Overrun Parts of Florida... -

South American Lizard Overrun Parts of Florida... - 

They're big and they're hungry.

Now, the tegu lizard is becoming a problem for Hillsborough County, Florida.

The tegu lizard was first spotted in rural Hillsborough County nine years ago. But since then reports have become more frequent.

The South American invader can grow up to four-and-a-half feet long and lays up to fifty eggs at a time.

Residents have seen them chowing down on local birds and animals and many fear their pets may be on the menu.

Biologists are setting traps in the Balm-Boyette Scrub Preserve to try to determine how big the problem is. 

As the weather heats up, the tegus will start coming out of their burrows ready to feed.

Read more: - 

'Techneck' wrinkles emerge from constantly looking at gadgets... -

'Techneck' wrinkles emerge from constantly looking at gadgets... - 

We all know smart phones are zapping our free time, our sleep and even ruining our sex lives but it seems they are responsible for the demise of our looks as well.
Whether it is on the daily commute, at our desks or even lying in bed, we are constantly looking down at our gadgets.
All this screen gazing means tech-obsessed Britons could be ageing faster than ever. As the head is constantly bent downwards a new wrinkle appears around the neck and it’s not helping our backs either.

Labeled the 'Techneck', the wrinkle around the neck and chin is caused by the modern day compulsion to always be checking handheld devices and computers. 

Joining the likes of 'laughter lines', 'crows' feet' and 'worry wrinkles'; the 'Techneck' is the latest face furrow and was identified following a surge of neck-related enquiries for treatment.
CACI, experts in non-surgical facelifts, have noticed the emergence of the new wrinkle amongst tech-obsessives and are offering to combat it with a treatment called the Microlift.
Dean Nathanson, Managing Director of CACI international commented: 
‘We're a hard working nation and our hectic everyday lives mean that keeping one's head down, be it buried in work emails or in an e-reader, is completely the norm.
‘Recently we noticed a surge in enquiries for our product, specifically to combat lines around the neck area.

Read more: - 

Store's mistake leads to New York man hitting $10M jackpot -

Store's mistake leads to New York man hitting $10M jackpot - 

A convenience store clerk's mistake has paid off in a big way for a western New York man.

Fifty-three-year-old Jerry Kajfasz of Lancaster won a $10 million jackpot from a $20 scratch-off ticket he purchased last month at a suburban Buffalo store.

He tells local media outlets he bought seven scratch-off tickets but the clerk nearly handed him an eighth one costing $20. Kajfasz caught the mistake and handed it back.

After winning a total of $25 from the tickets, he went back inside the store and used the winnings to buy the same $20 scratch-off ticket the clerk had almost given to him by mistake.

That Win for Life Spectacular ticket wound up being a winner with a guaranteed minimum jackpot of $10 million.

Kajfasz has already quit his printing job.


Spike In Dogs Eating Marijuana Since Legalized... -

Spike In Dogs Eating Marijuana Since Legalized... - 

An animal hospital in Denver is seeing an increasing number of dogs who have eaten edible marijuana and is finding that the diagnosis isn’t good.
VCA Animal Hospital is open 24 hours a day and they see hundreds of dogs every week from checkups to emergencies. Since Jan. 1 the clinic says dogs have been getting into their owner’s supply of marijuana, specifically edibles.
“What we are seeing is dogs getting into the baked products,” said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald of VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.
The concern is that edibles have a concentration of marijuana meant for controlled human consumption and dogs weigh far less than humans and have no control.

“The butter gets a higher concentration of THC, the active ingredient,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald recently contributed to a year-long study in Colorado that tracked marijuana exposure in dogs. It causes symptoms ranging from disorientation to seizures and temporary comas.
“The one thing we see with almost all of them is urinary incontinence when they eat a bunch of it,” said Fitzgerald.
Those symptoms don’t just last hours, they last days.
“Half-life for a dog is 72 hours, maybe 96, before it gets out of their system,” said Fitzgerald.
There’s no antidote for marijuana but Fitzgerald said those worried about a pet’s recent exposure have a limited amount of time to take action before it’s too late.
“Don’t wait. Your vet is as far away as the telephone,” said Fitzgerald.
Doctors suggest that owners try and keep they’re marijuana out of their pet’s reach.


Why Apple's Unexpected Security Flaw Is a Real Nightmare for Users -

Why Apple's Unexpected Security Flaw Is a Real Nightmare for Users - 

There is an Apple enthusiast I know -- and I'm sure you have a similar friend -- who used to gleefully brag about all the suspicious links he could click on from his phone or computer with no fear of consequences.

But after Apple's confirmation this weekend that it was in the process of creating and issuing patches to resolve a massive security flaw in its operating systems and many of its connected programs, he's singing a different tune.

The SSL bug, as it's being called, is actually just a tiny logic error in a small piece in Apple's massive operating system -- but big things often come in small packages. In layman's terms, the flawed bit of code is supposed to be responsible for making sure that your computer's or your phone's Internet connection with other, secure servers across an Internet connection is itself secure from hackers. But because of the tiny error, which has reportedly been around at least since September 2012, your computer or phone has showed such connections as secure whether or not they actually were.

While the mechanics of the bug would make it difficult for a random person in Central Europe to gain access to your computer, it does make it very easy for the guy next to you on an unsecured WiFi connection to do exactly that -- and to get into your email, your bank accounts, your Facebook or any other secure application that would normally be slightly more private on a public WiFi server.

Now, if we were all being smart about our phones and our computers, this might not matter as much: You really shouldn't be conducting financial transactions on public WiFi connections or letting your phones automatically connect to any open network whether you have a Mac or a PC, or an Android phone or an Apple one. But in reality, Apple's perceived imperviousness from viruses and malware has left more than one person with the false impression that they, too, were impervious from a cyberattack.

Well, no more. Apple fans had a nice run, but it's time to face the fact that perhaps the only thing standing between most of us and a successful targeted cyberattack is our own behavior, not our operating systems.

So what should you be doing now? The same things you should've been doing all along.

1. Avoid Unsecured WiFi Networks

Between the increasing fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) engendered by a wired world and wireless companies' data caps, those unsecured WiFi connections represent quite a temptation -- and hackers know it. But unless it's an emergency, you should really avoid using them when at all possible. Change your phone settings to make sure you're not connecting to unsecured wireless systems automatically, keep your activity to a minimum and never, ever use them to log into a bank account, use a credit card or enter any kind of password.

2. Always Install Security Updates Immediately

We've all dismissed that little Apple pop-up box encouraging us to download the latest fix - and some of us have dismissed it more than once -- but it's time to stop the madness. Nothing you are doing on the Internet right now is more important than making sure no one else is poking around in your computer or your phone -- and whatever you are doing, including reading this article, is something you can start doing again pretty soon.

3. Don't Click on Weird Links From Strangers or Even Friends

You see them on Twitter -- little egg avatars that respond randomly with just a shortened link to something for no apparent reason. They're in your email inbox from friends you haven't heard from in a while. Sometimes, they even arrive by text. But if you can't tell where they lead, or even if you can but the links seem like an odd thing for someone to send you without context, don't click them. They were dangerous before, they're dangerous now and, patch or no patch, they'll be dangerous tomorrow.

4. Don't Take Your Security for Granted

It's easy enough in this day of virus checkers, malware spotters, supposedly impenetrable networks and browsers that won't let you visit suspicious sites to just think the tech companies have it covered -- but they don't. They can only protect you from what they know exists, and hackers are always out to make something new to avoid detection. Don't rely on technology over your own common sense.

Apple has already issued a patch for its phones and promised one for its computer operating system and connected programs affected by the SSL bug. [Update: They issued one just after this was published.] But once you download it, don't assume that you're safe. Let this be a wake-up call to some and a reminder to the rest of us that technology isn't an impenetrable force field against attacks: It's just a Maginot line against a direct attack.


Contagious WiFi virus goes airborne, spreads like common cold... -

Contagious WiFi virus goes airborne, spreads like common cold... - 

Computer science researchers have demonstrated for the first time how a digital virus can go airborne and spread via WiFi networks in populated areas at the same pace as a human diseases.

The “Chameleon” virus, designed by a University of Liverpool team, showed a remarkable amount of intelligence by avoiding detection and breaking into personal and business WiFi networks at their weakest points — spreading at an alarming rate.

Network Security Professor Alan Marshall said the virus doesn’t try to damage or disrupt established networks — instead, the virus slips in unnoticed to collect the data and log-in information of all users connected to the network via WiFi, and seeks other WiFi networks through them — a much more subtle, sinister and dangerous objective.

“WiFi connections are increasingly a target for computer hackers because of well-documented security vulnerabilities, which make it difficult to detect and defend against a virus,” Marshall said in a ScienceBlog report. “It was assumed, however, that it wasn’t possible to develop a virus that could attack WiFi networks — but we demonstrated that this is possible and that it can spread quickly.”

The secret to Chameleon is the method by which it avoids detection. Traditional computer antivirus programs look for viruses present on computers and the Internet itself. Chameleon sticks strictly to WiFi networks, bypassing secured, more heavily encrypted networks to enter and spread through weaker ones — especially free public access points like those found in cafes, on trains and in airports.

A lab experiment by the University’s School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Electronics simulated what researchers likened to an airborne contagion attack against Belfast and London, entering WiFi  access points that connect public and private networks to the Internet.

The virus traveled fastest across access points within a 160 feet or less of each other, following similar rates of human infection by viruses among more densely populated areas.

“We are now able to use the data generated from this study to develop a new technique to identify when an attack is likely,” Marshall said.