Monday, April 27, 2015


The following New York-affiliated charities are assisting in relief efforts:

· American Jewish World Service – donate here.
· American Nepal Medical Foundation – donate here.
· AmeriCares – donate here.
· CARE – donate here.
· Catholic Relief Services – donate here.
· Direct Relief – donate here.
· GlobalGiving – donate here.
· Himalyan Heath Care – donate here.
· International Relief Teams – donate here.
· Joint Distribution Committee – donate here.
· Operation USA – donate here.
· Save the Children – donate here.
· Seva Foundation – donate here.
· United States Fund for UNICEF – donate here.
· World Help – donate here.

Consumers should be vigilant when donating money. Scam artists posing as charitable organizations take advantage of those willing to help in the aftermath of major disasters by stealing their money and robbing those who should truly receive assistance. Fraudsters commonly solicit money via telephone calls, mailings, social media posts and e-mails that lead to convincing, yet fake websites. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

#ISIS 101

Everything you want to know -or- every thing "they" want you to know? Who is "they"? YOU tell ME!

The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State!

When you read this article, make sure you scroll down and read the comments. I found one very compelling, and I am reproducing it here via screenshot (mouseover and click on to enlarge) just in case it disappears later on down the road. I have redacted passages that I do not agree with. I do think the commenter brings up valid points.

Islamic State well organized? The Toronto Sun seems to think so.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pop-up Free Food *Tasting* in Napanoch Saturday

Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work & Play of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) announces a free and fabulo­­us Food Tasting to be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 12 pm to 2:30 pm at our newest Healthy Neighborhood Store, Peters Market, located at 7700 Route 209 in Napanoch.

Enjoy fresh and zippy flavors for free at a *tasting* of kale salad and mixed green salad at Peters Market.  All the ingredients to prepare these tantalizing treats can be purchased at Peters Market. Recipe cards in Spanish and English will be available so you can learn to prepare these at home.

*The Community Food Tastings are hosted by the “Healthy Neighborhood Stores Project” and are FREE and open to the public.  The Tastings offer food samplings to shoppers of easy-to-make, nutritious meals, snacks and beverages. All samplings are made with items that can be purchased at each market. Shoppers at each location receive free bi-lingual Spanish / English recipe cards and take part in a brief survey regarding food purchasing, cooking choices and barriers to the purchase of healthy foods.*

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wikileaks Publishes Searchable Database Of Hacked Sony Documents

Wikileaks, the website devoted to the publication of sensitive and confidential information, has posted and organized documents from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in a searchable index.

On Thursday, WikiLeaks published approx. 30,000 documents and 170,000 emails from Sony Pictures, obtained from the intrusion sourced to North Korea prior to the studio's planned release of The Interview.

"Calling the original attack 'a malicious criminal act,' Sony said in a statement that 'we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information.'” (The New York Times)

Media reporters have been digging through the files for stories. You can set up your own dig!

As reports have indicated, previously leaked emails from producer Scott Rudin called Angelina Jolie a "minimally talented, spoiled brat." But other newly released emails are even worse! Rudin also accused Jolie of "insanity and rampaging spoiled ego" in one explosive email. Here's a shortcut to the Angelina mails. Happy Hunting!

Übergizmo blog reports finding several concept images which some have speculated could be for the upcoming Sony Xperia Z4.

Peter Sterne says that BuzzFeed executive chairman Ken Lerer tried to wrangle internships at BuzzFeed for children of Sony Entertainment C.E.O. Michael Lynton and Jake Winebaum. (Capital New York)

Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg reached out to Lynton for a potential partnership in June, Jeremy Barr writes. (Capital New York)

Check Out: "11 Revelations From WikiLeaks’ Sony Hack Emails." (The Wrap)

Yet another Sony email hack shocker: Sony Pictures execs feared Leon Wieseltier over Steve Jobs film? Listen in as Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin and Michael Lynton quake over the "relentless and dangerous" critic.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Munk Debate on Russia: Post-Debate Analysis and Commentary

Friday's Munk Debate on Russia saw "con" side Garry Kasparov and Anne Applebaum defeat "pro" side Vladimir Pozner and Stephen F. Cohendebating the motion: Be it resolved the West should engage not isolate Russia.

Prior to the debate, 58% of the 3,000-strong audience in attendance agreed with the resolution, while 42% disagreed. Following the debate, the "con" team achieved a 10% gain in audience support for a final result of to 48% in favour versus 52% opposed. As such, we declare the “con” team the debate’s winners. 

To encourage a continuing discussion of this important topic Munk Debates asked two top journalists—former Globe and Mail editor-in-chief Edward Greenspon, who has reported from Russia and Ukraine during his career and was most recently in Moscow in February, and Steve Paikin, anchor of The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVO—to give their analysis and insights into the debate.

If you missed Friday's debate, you can watch it in its entirety here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

What People Earn 2015: Real People, Real Jobs, Real Salaries

Why you should be a "leadership coach." Or @JoelOsteen - I wonder how much he earns?

I'm not really impressed with this years what people earn Parade magazine's annual salary survey. You got some rich people making tons of money, you've got actors and actresses making those millions, but the ordinary people seem to be underrepresented this year.

Here are two salaries that make no sense to me:

So tell me YOUR thoughts!

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Digital Dilemmas

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was arrested in July for unspecified reasons, will face charges of espionage, Fars news agency reports. "The report did not elaborate on the source of the information, but the agency is regarded as close to Iran's hard-liners." (The Associated Press) | Specifically, he has been accused of "passing on sensitive economic and industrial information about Iran." (The Washington Post)

Update::: Friends of Rezaian told The New York Times that a recent report accusing him of economic espionage indicates that a trial is nearing. The Times quotes Omid Memarian, an Iranian journalist, who says the charges are meant to sway Iran's court. "To justify the arrest, they spread lies." (The New York Times) | The Washington Post published an editorial condemning the charges Monday night, suggesting the accusations were intended to make Rezaian "a pawn in Iran’s domestic power struggle over the nuclear deal." (The Washington Post) | A Guardian report says Rezaian is the victim of infighting among Iranian officials. (The Guardian)

Ned Parker, Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters, has left Iraq in response to calls for his expulsion on a Facebook page that may be connected to "armed Shi'ite groups." "The pressure followed an April 3 report by Parker and two colleagues detailing human rights abuses in Tikrit after government forces and Iranian-backed militias liberated the city from the Islamic State extremist group. Two Reuters journalists in the city witnessed the lynching of an Islamic State fighter by Iraqi federal police." (Reuters)

Malaysia's parliament on Friday approved amendments to the country's sedition law, giving the government broad new powers to censor online media. BBC has more.

Vera Scroggins is a citizen journalist and dedicated "Northeast Pennsylvania frack tour" operator. As a member of Shaleshock Media Alliance, she has posted countless hours of videotaped interviews, fracking operations footage, hearings, meetings, rallies and protests. A Pennsylvania judge has ruled against the citizen journalist in favor of a Texas-based fracking company.

On March 29, Taiwanese celebrity Janet Lee, along with some other people, was brought to see AH-64E Apache helicopters, the latest model of Apache attack helicopters.
These Apache helicopters were delivered to Taiwan in 2013, as part of a $6.4 billion arms deal with the U.S. signed in 2008.

  • An internet user has doctored Janet Lee's Apache photo

Friday, April 10, 2015

Munk Debate on Russia

The Munk Debate on Russia will be streaming live tonight from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM EDT. Simply click on the link below to access the FREE livestream:

Munk Debate Livestream

The hour and a half proceedings can be viewed on any computer with a high speed internet connection, as well as on your iPad, iPhone, or other mobile device.

Munk will be posting questions during the debate and tallying an instantaneous online vote of the viewing audience HERE.

Join the debate about the debate on social media today:

On Twitter: #munkdebate
On Facebook:

Thursday, April 09, 2015

#ISIS Cyberattack hacks French Network TV5Monde

The Islamic extremist group has claimed complex hackings before, but experts and a French official said the ability to black out a global television network represented a new level of sophistication for ISIS.

 TV5 Monde, which was founded by the French government in 1984 and calls itself the "worldwide French cultural channel," broadcasts news and other programs produced in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Its Facebook page says its signal reaches more than 257 million homes in over 200 countries and territories. More than 1,500 French nationals have joined the militants’ ranks, where they represent almost half the number of European fighters present, according to a report released on Wednesday by the French senate.

Security analysts are still identifying vulnerabilities in WordPress’ Content Management System (CMS) plug-ins, “which could allow malicious actors to take control of an affected system.” (US FBI) The question is "Are hackers getting more powerful?" Case in point: Even computer specialists from the FBI/Homeland Security couldn't break the cyber hold the hackers had on Tewksbury MA police computers. The department paid a $500 ransom via Bitcoin.

“The FBI assesses that the perpetrators are not members of the ISIL terrorist organization. These individuals are hackers using relatively unsophisticated methods to exploit technical vulnerabilities and are utilizing the ISIL name to gain more notoriety than the underlying attack would have otherwise garnered.”

The FBI also recommends a few tools and tips that WordPress users can make use of to avoid falling victim to potential cyber attacks. Among them is patching vulnerable plugins, confirming that the operating system and all applications are running the most updated versions as well as removing administrative privileges to diminish effects of a successful attack.

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Rich Teens Use Instagram, Poor Teens Use Facebook

Facebook is the most popular and frequently used social media platform among teens; half of teens use Instagram, and nearly as many use Snapchat!

Rich Teens Use Instagram, Poor Teens Use Facebook!

Who knew?

Pew knew...

Facebook remains the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17 with 71% of all teens using the site, even as half of teens use Instagram and four-in-ten use Snapchat. If you like things charted out, have a peek at the leading social networks worldwide as of March 2015, ranked by number of active users (in millions).

And then, there is this: Facebook could overtake YouTube as a channel for brands to run video advertising and promotional content in 2015, according to a new study.

Extra Content: 

Facebook Launches Separate Website For Messenger

Facebook faces court battle over privacy

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Meet My Little Drone

Drone unboxing via Instagram:

Charging my drone via USB
After careful analysis of the various drones that are on the market, I began looking for something small,  relatively easy to fly, that wasn't going to have too many problems, and that had a camera on board. I decided to go with the M62 aircraft which features six axis Gyro stabilization. I can fly indoors and outdoors and it has an adequate range.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

PR 101: Calling out an "expert"

Great content, great links, and one heck of a great angle, mean SQUAT if reporters can't reach officials and other people connected to a product, service or idea portrayed in a press release.

Even "experts" forget!
An article by the usually savvy PR Newswire falls short when it comes to perhaps the most critical point. If you want the press to take interest in your news release, you gotta provide "contact!"

After you read the article, read my comment (copied below in case they find it "objectionable.")

You didn't mention the most important aspect. At the top of the press release, PROVIDE A CONTACT(S) THAT CAN BE REACHED 24/7 - If I as a reporter need to get in touch with someone regarding the press release, a living body should be there to immediately respond by email or answer the damn phone LIVE. I recently received a news release with no less than FIVE contacts, with phone numbers and emails. Every phone call was answered by a voicemail, and two people didn't return my call for a WEEK! Every email I sent went unanswered for DAYS. So if you're wondering why no one covered your event, promoted your product or told your story, it's because YOU or your colleagues or spokespeople didn't bother to make anyone available.
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