Daily Archives: March 9, 2013

So whaddya want I should put in the window?

Punch line to old Jewish joke. I won’t repeat it here, but I will remind viewers that Congress has decreed that we lose an hour of morning light tomorrow.

Mohel's shopwindow

Mohel’s shopwindow

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What with golf lessons and vacation planning, Barry must have been too busy to be anointed

Kenyetta declared Kenya’s next president.

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Sell your house

Trying to find houses for clients to view is awfully hard these days, especially for homes in the $1.2-$1.6 range. I thought I had spotted one that would be of interest when it came on two weeks ago but I was unable to show it last weekend and when I called to set up an appointment for tomorrow I learned that it already has an accepted offer.

This shortage certainly frees up my weekends, but I’d prefer to be busy, so here’s the deal: you list your house and I and other eager agents will do our best to sell it for you. What’s a hot property? $1.2-$1.650, but as you get into the higher end of that price range, make sure that it has a decent kitchen and master bathroom – by “decent”, I mean completely redone in the past decade. Too many houses, priced at $1.6-$1.9, need $100,000 of work. That extra cost, coupled with the disruption that will ensue when the work is done, is a real turnoff for most buyers. If you need to do that work and anticipate the current shortage will continue for the rest of the year – and I do – then do it now and list it when you’re done.

Or, even easier, don’t do the work, but cut $150,000 off what you think your house “should” be worth. You’re probably overestimating that worth anyway, so you won’t be losing as much as you think you will.

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Scorned by KFC customers, PETA switches gears

Protest water pistols, cap guns on Greenwich Avenue

Lyndon Larouche followers outside US Post Office(credit, JD)

Lyndon Larouche followers outside US Post Office
(credit, JD)

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They gave more notice to gun owners that they’d been endangered than to their own subscribers

Journal News home delivery?

Journal News home delivery?

Journal News, the publishers of that interactive map of the home addresses of gun owners, had their subscribers list hacked last January but didn’t bother telling anyone. Noreen Seebach, Analytic News posts the following:

I received an email that warned this newspaper’s website had been hacked multiple times — and that the “personal, private data” of its readers had been distributed worldwide. According to the email, the website of The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester County, N.Y., has been hacked four times since it published that map.

And in a stunning apparent reversal of its quest for transparency, the paper has not bothered to notify any of the affected readers — more than 10,000 of them, to be precise.

The email allegedly came from the Economic Guardian, which claims to publish a financial newsletter that “covers the conservative side of stock market news.” I couldn’t find a website or any of the Economic Guardian’s newsletters. Normally, that would be enough to get me to delete the email. But how did it have my personal information? And what was the point of the email?

Apparently anticipating that most people would wonder the same thing, the email explained that it was simply attempting to do something The Journal News had failed to do: Alert the victims of the data breach.

“To be blunt, we have no idea why the Journal News has not notified you,” it stated. “They have left you in jeopardy for over two months.”

One hack was acknowledged on the Gannett Blog, a private site operated by a former USA Today editor and reporter who has been blogging about Gannett Co. Inc. since 2007. But the paper itself has been strangely silent. It never notified me that my personal information (including my password) had been compromised. What’s worse, I have a personal connection to the paper. I once worked there, covering real estate for its business section.

In fairness, The Journal News has been busy recently. After publishing the gun map, it had to hire RGA Investigations, a security firm, to provide armed guards to protect its buildings and its executives’ homes. (I wonder if those guards were among the people identified as permit holders on the map.) Along with The Journal News, the website of RGA Investigations was hacked.

Still confused by the email and its message, I turned to my go-to source for information about data security: a young man with renowned skills as a hacker. I asked him specifically about the Economic Guardian’s claims that it had been able to download an Excel spreadsheet of all of the compromised data from a “Swedish hacker website.”

In 30 minutes, he had the spreadsheet in hand.

“I was able to obtain the full database, which contains thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses,” my source said. “It also has hashed versions of the victim’s passwords. A hashed password is a password that is encrypted, so it must be cracked before it can be used. But based on some things I’m reading on the Internet, some of the passwords in the database have already been cracked.”

The first hack occurred Jan. 1, so the paper “really should have alerted people” by now, he said.

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A cheery story to start the day

The other white meat

The other white meat

Animal rights protester pelted with chicken wings, tackled by food lovers.

He had planned to wave a placard outside the outlets for two days in a bid to deter customers but within hours he was forced to abandon the campaign after diners began hurling sachets of sauce, chicken wings and nuggets at him.

The final straw came when one diner punched him in the head and two men jumped from their car and rugby tackled him to the ground.

Mr Tyler, who did not suffer any injuries thanks to his 7ft tall chicken suit, was so shaken by the incident he has vowed not to return to the KFC in Trowbridge, Wilts.

“I was standing on a grass island outside the KFC so I was completely exposed. It was quite hard to see where the attacks were coming from because of the suit,” he said.

“I decided not to return the next day. When you are in a chicken costume you can’t do anything to defend yourself.” [there’s a lesson here, children – pay attention – Ed]

Mr Tyler is currently supporting Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign and plans to protest in Bristol and Bath in the future.

It’s a start, but there’s still work to do, as evidenced by this world-wide attack on a small school trying to teach its pupils to grow piglets.

The ham starts right about here

The ham starts right about here

A village primary school has been plagued with hate mail from animal rights activists after launching a pig rearing scheme, it has been reported.

The tiny school in Suffolk, which has just 25 pupils, has been subjected to 400 complaints along with threatening emails from all over the world.

It started when the school’s scheme to help children learn about the origins of food was reported on a local TV news programme.

Ms Cook said: “We are being bombarded by nasty, vile calls and e-mail messages from all over the world, even America and Australia.”

She added: “Some of them are very threatening – things like I should be taken to a slaughterhouse. We are getting images of animals being killed or kept in cages – it is horrible. We are just trying to shield the children from it all but they have even threatened to demonstrate outside the school.”

The three pigs, crosses between Berkshire and Gloucester Old Spot pigs, are kept in a pen and fed and monitored by the children with the help of experts from Suffolk Smallholder Society, the Telegraph said.

They will be sent for slaughter in the summer.

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