Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for April 8th, 2017

Kaspersky Labs reports that an unnamed large Brazilian financial institution with $27B in assets was compromised by hackers who took over its DNS — by hijacking its NIC.br account — and for 5 hours were able to impersonate the bank to all its online customers (and possibly to control its ATMs) in order to plunder their accounts and steal their credit card details. (more…)

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Adult female worm of Angiostrongylus cantonensis recovered from rat lungs with characteristic barber-pole appearance (anterior end of worm is to the top). Scale bar = 1 mm. (credit: Lindo et al. ) There have been six cases of a rare parasitic infection called “rat lungworm” in Maui in the last three months, health officials reported this week. The number is small, but it’s a dramatic jump from the normal number of cases. In the decade before this period, the island had only seen two other cases. The surprising uptick has health officials and residents alike worried about the rise of the worm, which can invade the human brain. In infected people, the infection may be symptomless and resolve on its own. But for others, rat lungworm moves into the brain and can cause inflammation, pain, and other neurological problems such as tremors. In those cases, it can be fatal. In all cases, rat lungworm is very difficult to diagnose, and there is no treatment. So far, at least three of the six cases have been confirmed by the state. There’s also a seventh possible case. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing Google of discriminating against its female employees and violating federal employment laws with its salaries for women. “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce, ” Janette Wipper, a Department of Labor regional director, testified in court in San Francisco on Friday. The Guardian reports: Google strongly denied the accusations of inequities, claiming it did not have a gender pay gap. The allegations emerged at a hearing in federal court as part of a lawsuit the DoL filed against Google in January, seeking to compel the company to provide salary data and documents to the government. Google is a federal contractor, which means it is required to allow the DoL to inspect and copy records and information about its its compliance with equal opportunity laws. Last year, the department’s office of federal contract compliance programs requested job and salary history for Google employees, along with names and contact information, as part of the compliance review. Google, however, repeatedly refused to hand over the data, which was a violation of its contractual obligations with the federal government, according to the DoL’s lawsuit. Labor officials detailed the government’s discrimination claims against Google at the Friday hearing while making the case for why the company should be forced to comply with the DoL’s requests for documents. Wipper said the department found pay disparities in a 2015 snapshot of salaries and said officials needed earlier compensation data to evaluate the root of the problem and needed to be able to confidentially interview employees. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Restaurant Meal Add-Ons With the Highest Markups

Posted by kenmay on April - 8 - 2017

Restaurant meals cost a lot more than meals you make at home—you know this. But what you might not realize is those add-ons, like that oh-so-delicious guac on your burrito, can be some of the most costly offenders. Read more…

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Earlier today, NASA announced funding for 22 projects as part of its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. From a planet hopping laser-driven sail and a solar powered Venusian weather balloon to an autonomous rover on Pluto, the future of space exploration looks incredibly bright. Read more…

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