Audit reports can boost accountability and efficiency if Govt takes them seriously

first_imgDear Editor,The recently released Auditor General reports indicate a troubling state of public financial management across public agencies, including Government ministries and regional administrations. There are numerous cases of financial mismanagement, breaches of public procurement laws, and management inefficiencies that are draining scarce public resources. For the fiscal year 2017, taxpayers lost more than $1 billion in overpayments to contractors, payments for goods without any vouchers, and payments for goods that were not delivered, according to the report. A review of audit reports from previous years suggests that these problems are systemic, deeply entrenched, and are costing taxpayers billions over the years. This raises the question of whether lawmakers pay attention to these findings and whether their commitment is to ensure taxpayers money is used transparently and efficiently to benefit society.Public audits are meant to provide lawmakers and taxpayers with an assessment of how well public agencies deliver public services, whether they have operated within their budgets, and more importantly, whether they have executed their functions, consistent with good public financial management practices. Audits, therefore, can be used as a tool to identify and tackle inefficiency, mismanagement, waste, and fight corruption, if lawmakers take them seriously and act on their recommendations.Taxpayers foot the bill of $750 million a year on average to finance the operations of the Audit Office of Guyana. Not taking these audits and their recommendations seriously, and holding agency heads accountable, amount to encouraging the abuse of public resources and the non-compliance of good public financial management practices. It also undermines public trust and confidence in the Government.As a poor country, there is not enough money to pay for all of society’s needs at once. Every year, the government takes on billions of dollars in new debt to supplement tax revenues in order to finance its budget’s priorities. Tax revenues are monies taxpayers pay upfront, while debts are monies they must repay in the future. These are monies people are giving to the government to use in a sensible way that will benefit the society and build a strong economy. It is incumbent on the Government to ensure these funds are used in a transparent and efficient manner, and in full compliance of public financial management laws.When public resources are mismanaged, wasted, or used for corrupt activities, taxpayers are not only robbed of the benefits of their taxed dollars, but still must repay all debts.The Government which currently has control over parliament has the ultimate authority to enforce existing regulations, or implement new rules and regulations that will reign in mismanagement and abuse of taxpayers’ money. The Public Accounts Committee, a parliamentary sub-committee, which has oversight of the audit office lacks the authority to enforce fiscal management and accountability rules and regulations. The Audit Act of 2004 empowers the Auditor General to request the Director of Public Prosecution and Commissioner of Police to take appropriate action and prosecute offenders where he believes an offense was committed. Unfortunately, the definition of what constitutes an ‘offense’ in the Act does not include the mismanagement and abuse of public funds, the violation of public procurement laws, or corruption. The current lack of enforcement and the failure to hold agency heads and other public officials accountable, contribute to the persistent and severity of mismanagement, abuse and waste.Lawmakers can disagree on policy priorities and how best to move the country forward. What they should not disagree on is ensuring taxpayers’ money are used efficiently and transparently to address public needs. The Guyana Budget Policy Institute urges lawmakers on both sides of the house to take necessary and immediate actions to stop the abuse and mismanagement of public resources.Sincerely,Boamattie SinghCFO and FinanceAnalystGuyana BudgetPolicy Institutelast_img read more

MMA Notebook: WEC makes its `debut’ Vegas style

first_img EliteXC will hold its first show on Feb. 10 in Southaven, Miss. The event will air on Showtime. The main event will pit Frank Shamrock against Renzo Gracie. While their brothers, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, might be more well known to casual fight fans, Frank and Renzo were both elite-level fighters at one point and are still considered among the upper tier of MMA stars. Also on the card are Wesley “Cabbage” Correira vs. Antonio Silva; David Loiseau vs. Joey Villasenor; and women’s sensation Gina Carano vs. Julie Kedzie. “I think we are the two biggest fighting names in America,” Gracie said. “We have been fighting since 1993. I hope one day I will see my grandson fighting Frank’s grandson. Even though it looks like a feud between two families, it is actually just a feud between athletes and a chance to measure ourselves against each other.” UFC 67 Besides Quinton Jackson making his debut with the organization this Saturday, UFC 67 will see heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop step inside the Octagon for the first time after a successful run with Pride Fighting Championship. Cro Cop (21-4-2) isn’t widely known in the U.S., since much of his success has taken place in Japan. But the list of fighters he’s defeated include Wanderlei Silva, Kevin Randleman, Josh Barnett and Mark Coleman. Cro Cop, known for powerful left leg kicks to the head or body, has KO power in both his hands and feet. He will take on unbeaten Eddie Sanchez (8-0) on the undercard. The main event will feature middleweight champ Anderson Silva against Travis Lutter, winner of the most recent season of the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.” James Melroy can be reached at or (562) 499-1324. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LONG BEACH – When it was announced this past December that Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC, had purchased World Extreme Cagefighting, it was widely perceived that the smaller organization based in Leemore would become a feeder system for the more established brand. But recent developments suggest that won’t be the case and, in fact, the WEC may become a viable alternative to UFC. “What makes us different is that most organizations around the world don’t offer these weight classes,” Adams said. “So, we’re going to have the best in the world at these weight classes competing in the WEC. And, if you’ve never seen the lighter-weight fighters compete, you’re in for a treat.” On Jan. 20, the WEC held its first event under the Zuffa banner and it was obvious by the atmosphere inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas that the organization is focused on attracting the younger end of the male 18-34 demographic, which flocked to UFC events in 2006. The company also has a TV deal in place with Versus Network, which also airs NHL games and boxing. The network will air six one-hour highlight shows and three two-hour live specials beginning this summer. “Versus is one of the top sports networks and World Extreme Cagefighting is the premier brand in the world of mixed martial arts, making this a perfect fit for both of us in 2007,” said Peter Dropick, Vice President of Operations & Production. Elite good to go center_img “World Extreme Cagefighting will continue to put on the best fights in the world,” said Scott Adams, the founder and current general manager of WEC. “We have the best talent in the world in all of our weight divisions. I think fans will be entertained by what we have to offer.” What the WEC will offer, in addition to lightweight (155 pounds), welterweight (170), middleweight (185) and light-heavyweight (205) divisions are bantamweight (135) and featherweight (145) weight classes. last_img read more

Watford loan star has no interest in long-term Vicarage Road stay

first_img1 Andre Carrillo in action for Watford Andre Carrillo is not looking to extend his season-long loan spell at Watford and is hopeful of making the grade at parent club Benfica.The winger joined the Hornets in the summer in the hope of playing more regular first-team football.And while the 26-year-old has featured in five of Watford’s seven Premier League games so far, it would appear he is desperate to prove himself back in PortugalHe told O Jogo: “I had to go out for more minutes, but I have the best memories of Benfica, to which I will return next season with more experience.“I hope to have a good season at Watford and demonstrate my potential to merit a new opportunity at Benfica, the club that bet on me after leaving Sporting. I am very grateful for that.”last_img

England crash out of Nations League after extra-time collapse against Netherlands

first_img huge blow The semi-final started sloppily but Holland would eventually settle and threaten to hurt an England backline that was shaking from the outset.Things appeared to be going one way, only for the normally unruffled teenager De Ligt to miscontrol a backpass and catch Rashford with his hasty recovery challenge. The forward coolly turned home the 32nd-minute penalty.A last-ditch Denzel Dumfries challenge prevented Rashford grabbing another soon after – a tackle that would bring a premature end to his night, with Harry Kane coming on at the break having been rested along with the other Champions League finalists. Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Stones gifted the ball to Depay getty REPLY no dice Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:28Loaded: 11.18%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Raheem Sterling, who led the side out as captain, flicked Ben Chilwell’s pass into the path of Barkley, whose fine ball put Lingard behind to find the net with a cool finish.The England hordes erupted as the players wheeled off in celebration, only for the dreaded VAR check sign to be display on the big screen.After an uncomfortable pause, the goal was ruled out as Lingard was deemed offside by a toe. Promes celebrate the third Dutch goal 5 Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January LATEST Ross Barkley was dejected after the third goal went in Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:45Loaded: 6.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen gameday cracker talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2… getty Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Soon Holland were looking for VAR to gift them a winner, with the players surrounding referee Turpin claiming Chilwell had handled a Dumfries strike.Another anxious wait followed, with VAR adjudging there had not been an infringement.Kane struck across the face of goal on the turn, with Lingard curling wide and Sterling clipping the bar either side of Depay missing the target after dreadful play by Harry Maguire. shining Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 5 Getty The defeat will feel all too familiar for England fans, who will remember their side taking the lead against Croatia before losing the 2018 World Cup semi-final after extra-time.Gareth Southagte’s men will now face Switzerland in a battle for third place on Sunday, while the Netherlands and Portugal compete to become the first ever Nations League champions.There were some boos from stunned England fans at the end of a gripping clash at the sold-out Estadio D. Afonso Henriques. Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Rashford put the Three Lions in front from the spot Marcus Rashford had put England in front from the penalty spot following a clumsy challenge from Matthjis de Ligt, before the highly-rated Dutchman atoned for his error with a bullet header in the second-half.The Three Lions thought they had won it when Jesse Lingard slotted home in the latter stages of normal time, but replays showed he was a whisker offside and the goal was chalked off by VAR. getty Alan Brazil slams England for playing out from the back against Holland deals Andy Goldstein isn’t happy with Gareth Southgate after England’s loss tense Jadon Sancho wasted a glorious chance to double England’s advantage with a close-range header, while Jordan Pickford saved Walker’s blushes after being robbed of possession by Depay.Ronald Koeman’s side were unnerving the Three Lions, so there was little surprise when the pressure told in the 73rd minute when De Ligt lost Stones and rose above Walker to head powerfully past motionless Pickford.Donny Van De Beek fired over as Holland pushed for a winner that looked to have come at the other end seven minutes from time. LIVE ON talkSPORT 5 France vs South Korea (Friday, 8pm) – talkSPORTDenmark vs Republic of Ireland (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Croatia vs Wales (Saturday, 2pm) – talkSPORTEngland vs Scotland (Sunday, 5pm) – talkSPORT England went crashing out of the Nations League after a total collapse in extra-time of their semi-final against the Netherlands.With the scores level at full-time, calamitous mistakes from John Stones and Ross Barkley gifted the Dutch a 3-1 victory, with Kyle Walker inadvertently turning into his own net before Quincy Promes profited. Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Lingard thought he had won it for England Getty 5 Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ 5 LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Kane cleared a Virgil Van Dijk attempt off the line in the first half of extra-time, which saw Stones bizarrely dilly-dally on the ball.Depay took the ball and forced a save out of Pickford and Walker could only put into his own net when trying to prevent Promes.England looked punch drunk and Barkley gifted Holland a third as his ball found Depay, whose cross was turned home by Promes in the 114th minute for an inglorious end to a challenging few days.last_img read more

Charges filed against those in three-county chase

first_imgGoebel and Kirkham were each charged with the following and a warrant was issued for his arrest:Count 1, dealing in methamphetamine, a class A felony,Count 2, possession of chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, a class D felony, andCount 3, visiting a common nuisance, a class B misdemeanor. Charges have been filed against the three occupants of a vehicle that led a police officer on a three-county pursuit early Monday morning. The pursuit ended with shots fired on a dead-end road in Valeene in Orange County.Harrison County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Andry and two of the three people in the vehicle were injured. Andry suffered leg and back injuries after being hit by the suspect’s vehicle and thrown onto the hood of his police car. He was treated and released from Harrion County Hospital. 23-year-old Daniel Holloway, of Marengo, and 30-year-old Ian T. Goebel, of Depauw, were injured after Deputy Andry fired three shots into the vehicle after the driver refused to get out of the vehicle and then drove the vehicle toward the officer.Both men were taken to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. Holloway suffered two gun shots to his hands and Goebel suffered a gunshot wound to his stomach.Orange County Prosecutor Kelly Minton filed the charges Monday afternoon, against Holloway and Goebel and a third passenger 25-year-old Rachel Kirkham, of Corydon, who was in the back seat of the vehicle. She was not injured and was taken to the Orange County Jail after the pursuit ended.Minton reported that additional evidence was gathered after a search warrant was executed for the vehicle involved in the accident.Holloway was charged with the following and a warrant was issued for his arrest:Count 1, attempted murder, a class A felonyCount 2, dealing in methamphetamine, a class B felony,Count 3, maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony,Count 4, possession of chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, a class D felony,Count 5, resisting law enforcement, a class D felony,Count 6, criminal recklessness, a class A misdemeanor, andCount 7, habitual substance offender notice.last_img read more

Patrick Gildea Hairdressing: Party season has begun!

first_imgThe party season has well and truly started and what better way to get into Christmas mode than preparing for glamorous Christmas Parties! We’ve had some amazing team training for Red Carpet Hair over the past few months and are excited to share some of our favourite Christmas Party looks with you!Patrick asked Vicki one of our talented designers to talk us through her favourite looks for the upcoming party season. Vicki says “there is something for every style and taste this party season we have Plaits, Vintage Waves, messy updo’s and everything in-between”.Blake LivelyBlake Lively’s hair never disappoints in fact it’s no wonder that she makes this list twice with her beautiful long luscious locks the centre of attention -not just on the red carpet but even when she is out hiking her hair still takes centre stage!!! Two of our favourite Lively looks that are perfect for party season are her Classic Hollywood Waves which screams glamour and her Knotted Braid- this texturized, not too perfect creation would create some serious hair envy at any Christmas party. Rachel McAdamsRachel McAdams is always on point with her hair and fashion choices and this beautiful Twisted Updo is no different. This looks is perfect if you want to look extra glam over the festive season. Who knew that high volume with a series of twisted knots could look so good.Sienna MillerSienna Miller always sizzles in her usual bohemian style. She crafted her locks into beautiful French plaits for the red carpet creating a regal style that was simple yet absolutely stunning on the Cannes Red Carpet.Demi LovatoDemi Lovato’s Finger waves is perfect for adding some serious glamour to any event. Her smouldering vampy look was both edgy and glamorous. This 1920’s inspired style is perfect for upping the glamour stakes at your Christmas party! Gigi HadidSultry, sexy and super chic. Gigi Hadid’s ultra-sleek bob turned out to be a faux but think it’s a perfect party look.Rosie Huntington- WhiteleyMake a statement without trying too hard just like the super glamorous Rosie Huntington- Whiteley. A simple ponytail shows off pretty jewellery and statement make-up! We love it! For more hair inspiration see or if you would like perfect party hair this Christmas you can call us on 074-9125476 or visit to book onlinePatrick Gildea Hairdressing: Party season has begun! was last modified: September 3rd, 2019 by Patrick GildeaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ask It Results: The Candlelight Processional

first_imgShare This!It’s Wednesday, and time for Ask It. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to all. Drinking around the world. Two of these can be found this time of year at Epcot. (Although, truth told, which two you find probably depends who you are traveling with.) One of the most popular events this time of year is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator and full choir. People wait in long lines for a chance to get into one of the multiple shows each evening, but for some people, it is a “one and done” experience or something that doesn’t hold interest to wait to get in.Last week, we asked you:Is the Candlelight Processional something you like to do every year, occasionally, or never?Here’s your results.Every Year (234 votes, 27.5%)The Candlelight Processional itself lasts about 45 minutes. That doesn’t include waiting in line, sometimes up to 2-3 hours depending on celebrity narrator, if you opt not to do a dining package (where you can wait less time, but have to take the time for a meal that you may not have done otherwise). No matter how you slice it, the Candlelight Processional is a lot of time commitment during a vacation day. Many of the people who said that they go every year also mentioned that they were locals going on an average day instead of a vacation day. For others, the “every year” vote also included people who go every year that they happen to be in the area. It is a family tradition for many people, however, and something that many people wouldn’t want to miss.Never (302 votes, 35.5%)The “never” votes include both people who have never done it/never desire to do it, or people who have done it once and never would want to do it again, even if other people they were with wanted to see it. The Candlelight Processional is probably one of the most Christian-centric events at Disney outside of Night of Joy. For some people, both Christian and non-Christian, the Candlelight Processional has the vibe of a church service, and that is something that isn’t always part of a vacation experience. For others, even though it is a beautiful show to experience, the time commitment again comes into play. There’s so much holiday stuff to see and do, it’s tough to carve out time for this long show. For less of a time commitment and no line, people can walk right across the way and catch one of the Voices of Liberty performances with similar songs of holiday cheer (and a mix of religious and secular songs).Occasionally (318 votes, 37%)Just edging out the win this week was the occasionally vote. Sometimes when a special event is experienced every year, it loses some of the specialness. For many people, going to the Candlelight Processional occasionally helps keep it a special experience, and something to look forward to when the mood hits to go and see it. Going occasionally also means that it is easier to justify the cost of the dinner package, helping to stave off the lengthy time waiting in line. And although the plot of the Candlelight Processional doesn’t change (it is the Christmas story after all), each narrator is able to bring their own personality to the telling of the story, making it a slightly different show every time.So there you have this week’s results. Next week’s question is live on Twitter and here. In the meantime, do you have any other holiday traditions on a Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Breaking News in the Industry: October 24, 2016

first_imgExperts warn against fake World Series tickets, merchandiseWith the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs looking to make history, ticket scammers looking to cash in on excited fans. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948. The Chicago Cubs have faced an even longer drought, having last won the World Series in 1908. This has left millions of fans in both cities looking to end heartbreaking streaks, and many want to be a part of it. Unfortunately there are those looking to take advantage of these diehard fans, seeking opportunities to cash-in on baseball fever.According to ticket resale site, a ticket for a potential World Series ticket for Game 3 at Wrigley Field would start at more than $2,000 with secondary ticket websites listing some tickets at $35,000. Technologically savvy ticket scammers see this as an opportunity to score big by fooling an unsuspecting consumer that they’re paying thousands for a seat at the historic series.Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois President Steve Bernas said that people looking to get tickets online or at the ballpark need to beware of making an emotional purchase. “Every game coming up will have people that are pushing counterfeit tickets,” he said. Bernas said to resist the urge to show off your tickets online because “a scammer can grab the barcode off the picture and copy them in some way.” He says to check out the reputation of any website you are looking to buy tickets from at Sponsor – The Indians, Cubs and Major League Baseball are also currently looking at a number of vendors that park outside of Wrigley in Chicago and Progressive Field in Cleveland for selling knockoff merchandise.Here are some suggestions from the BBB if you’re looking into buying tickets:Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true deals. One-time good deals should be red flags to anyone anxious for a ticket.Buy tickets and merchandise from a reputable ticket broker or retailer. There are established businesses that have been selling legitimate tickets for years. Many are Accredited Businesses with the BBB.Look for the official hologram and license from the sports league. These are very difficult to fake and an excellent indication of a licensed product.If buying merchandise online, buy from licensed sites. Look out for broken English in the descriptions. This could indicate an overseas company, and these companies are among the principal culprits in producing counterfeit goods.Use a credit card if possible, so you can appeal to the card company. Using a credit card allows you to dispute the charge before you pay.The first game of the World Series will begin Tuesday in Cleveland, with the full schedule of games as follows:Game 1: (Cleveland) Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m. Game 2: (Cleveland) Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. Game 3: (Chicago) Friday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m. Game 4: (Chicago) Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. Game 5*: (Chicago) Sunday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. Game 6*: (Cleveland) Tuesday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m. Game 7*: (Cleveland) Wednesday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.*If necessary [Source: Rock River Times] Investigations continue over Friday’s mass cyber-attackAn unknown attacker intermittently knocked many popular websites offline for hours Friday, from Amazon to Twitter and Netflix to Etsy. How the breach occurred is a cautionary tale of the how the rush to make humdrum devices “smart” while sometimes leaving out crucial security can have major consequences.Dyn, a provider of Internet management for multiple companies, was hit with a large-scale distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which its servers were flooded with millions of fake requests for information, so many that they could no longer respond to real ones and crashed under the weight.Who orchestrated the attack is still unknown. But how they did it — by enslaving ordinary household electronic devices such as DVRs, routers and digital closed-circuit cameras —is established. The attackers created a digital army of co-opted robot networks, a “botnet,” that spewed millions of nonsense messages at Dyn’s servers. Like a firehose, they could direct it at will, knocking out the servers, turning down the flow and then hitting it full blast once again. The specific weapon? An easy-to-use botnet-creating software called Mirai that requires little technical expertise. An unknown person released it to the hacker underground earlier this month, and security experts immediately warned it might come into more general use.As long as companies have been gleefully making and selling Internet-connected devices (the so-called Internet of Things or IoT), computer security experts have warned the security included with them was far too weak, or sometimes even nonexistent. While users at least sometimes are willing to install security updates to their phones or computers, the idea of going around and doing software or firmware security updates on thermostats, garage door openers and even refrigerators has yet to catch on. [Source: USA Today] Czechs Arrest Russian Hacker Sought by United StatesCzech police have arrested a Russian hacker suspected of cyberattacks in the United States, officials said. Police said an international warrant for the man, who was not named, was issued by Interpol and that officers cooperated with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on the case.Hours after the arrest was made public, the professional networking service LinkedIn suggested that the arrest was tied to a 2012 breach of member information. A spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department declined to confirm that or comment on a possible connection. “Following the 2012 breach of LinkedIn member information, we have remained actively involved with the FBI’s case to pursue those responsible,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of the FBI in its efforts to locate and capture the parties believed to be responsible for this criminal activity.”In May, LinkedIn said that the 2012 breach resulted in more than 100 million of its users’ passwords being compromised — vastly more than previously thought. The business social network said that it believes to be true a purported hacker’s claim that 117 million user emails and passwords were stolen in the breach.In a statement, the FBI said the man was “suspected of conducting criminal activities targeting U.S. interests,” but didn’t give any more details. “As cybercrime can originate anywhere in the world, international cooperation is crucial to successfully defeat cyber adversaries,” it said.Russian news agencies quoted Prague’s Russian Embassy spokesman Alexey Kolmakov as saying that it was insisting that the suspect be handed over to Russia. “The embassy has been taking all necessary efforts to protect the interests of this Russian citizen. We are in contact with his attorney,” the embassy statement said. The U.S. has accused Russia of coordinating the theft and disclosure of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other institutions and individuals in the U.S. to influence the outcome of the election. Russia has vigorously denied that. [Source: The New York Times] LP Worldwide: Ex-Tesco trio to stand trial for fraudThree former Tesco directors will stand trial in Crown Court next September to face charges of fraud in relation to the retailer’s £263m ($320,912,600 US) accounting scandal. Chris Bush, Carl Rogberg, and John Scouler have been accused of acting dishonestly for personal gain and abusing their positions by falsely inflating Tesco’s supplier income. Mr Bush was Tesco’s UK managing director until the scandal emerged two years ago, while Mr Rogberg was UK finance director and Mr Scouler was food commercial director.The three men were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) last month with fraud by abuse of position and fraud by false accounting. The investigation into Tesco “remains ongoing”, meaning it could yet bring charges against other directors as well as a fraud charge against the company. Tesco also faces a £150m legal claim in the civil courts from a group of 60 shareholders who claim to have lost money following the supermarket’s accounting scandal.Bentham Europe, the firm funding the claim, said the investors were “misled by information inaccurately provided to the market” when Tesco overstated its profits. The retailer will likely face other lawsuits as a US law firm, Scott & Scott set up a vehicle – Tesco Shareholder Claims – last year to allow UK and European investors to join forces. The discovery of Tesco’s accounting black hole caused £2bn ($2.44 billion US) to be wiped off the supermarket’s market value. [Source: The Telegraph] Credit card theft of over $200K leads to arrestsTwo people were charged with stealing roughly $200,000 in credit and gas cards from an oilfield service company, and two others were arrested for their alleged participation in the burglaries. The Webster Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office arrested William Harry Dishinger, Janice Sherman, Shawn Milligan, and Tiffany Caldwell.Detectives say Dishinger, Caldwell and Milligan went to a business in Claiborne Parish with the intent to break into the company vehicles and steal the cards. Milligan reportedly admitted to actually stealing the cards.According to reports, the three then traveled to a gas station, filling up their vehicle using the stolen cards. They then attempted to get money and purchase items with the cards. During an interview with Dishinger, he reportedly admitted to stealing roughly $200,000 from the business over a year and a half, hitting the company in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico. He would use the credit cards to purchase gift cards and conduct cash transactions, according to the report.During a search of their residence detectives say they discovered multiple gift cards and pre-loaded cards and cash transactions, along with pipes commonly used for smoking methamphetamine. [Source: Minden Press Herald]  Mother, daughter indicted for running JCPenney retail theft ringAuthorities state they have indicted a New Jersey mother and daughter who siphoned more than $100,000 out of JCPenney stores in and around the Tri-State area. Caroline Britt and Breanna Britt were charged with reportedly stealing expensive cosmetics from ULTA beauty stores and returning the items to JCPenney stores for store credit or cash for two years, said New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino.From 2011 to 2013, Porrino said the women and their retail theft ring associates returned stolen ULTA merchandise to JCPenney cosmetics counters, which sold the same range of items. Porrino said the ring members initially only received store credit for the cosmetics. The group began to receive cash when they bought some merchandise from JCPenney and produced counterfeit receipts.When the members conducted the transactions, Porrino said they reportedly showed store employees fake driver’s licenses or licenses that belonged to other, existing people. The scheme raked in $107,000 from JCPenney stores in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.Porrino said the two women are charged with conspiracy, leading an organized retail theft enterprise, shoplifting and identity theft. Porrino said the mother was also charged with second-degree theft by deception. [Source: Asbury Park Press] LP Worldwide: Help us or we may leave Vancouver, Lululemon tells OttawaOne of Vancouver’s most successful companies is warning it may be forced to move its 1,200-employee head office outside the country because of problems with the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program.Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica Inc., which earlier this year delivered a scathing written critique of the strict TFW rules on hiring foreigners, wants the same kind of exemption Ottawa grants to universities, the film industry and Microsoft. That would allow the athletic apparel retailer, with global revenue of $2.1 billion in 2015, to avoid going through a time-consuming labour market impact assessment (LMIA) process before recruiting a senior manager or design expert from one of the world’s apparel hubs, like London, New York or San Francisco.“Our growth and our ability to remain headquartered in Vancouver will require that the vertically-integrated apparel industry be granted a similar LMIA transition plan exemption as the film industry and academia,” the company stated in a paper submitted to the House of Commons finance committee in late July.The B.C. Federation of Labour this week accused Lululemon of issuing a “threat,” though the Business Council of B.C. said Ottawa should make it easier to bring in people with specialized technical and professional skills. The company said it already invests considerable time and money trying to train and recruit employees, but that there isn’t a deep enough talent pool in Canada to meet the company’s needs.“Canada needs well-educated and highly skilled foreign workers to help grow our companies and drive innovation, but the ‘regular’ immigration program tends to be very difficult to use to get this kind of talent, especially in a world where employers can’t wait 18-24 months to bring on the right person,” economist Jock Finlayson, the business council’s executive vice-president, said in an email. [Source: Vancouver Sun] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Yahoo CEO: We’re “Only Doing a Few Things Really Well”

first_imgantone gonsalves Tags:#web#Yahoo 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Yahoo Chief Executive Scott Thompson plans to bring the Web portal to its former glory by doing away with everything that does not contribute to its core business of profit-driving ads and e-commerce. On Tuesday, Thompson, who left eBay’s division of PayPal to become CEO and president in January, held his first earnings call with Wall Street analysts after the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company reported fairly positive first quarter results. More important than how the company did was what Thompson planned to do to raise profits, reverse a sales slump and bring back users who have left for Google and Facebook.The problem, as Thompson sees it, was in Yahoo’s size.Asked what he planned to do different in the restructuring, Thompson gave a vague answer of making better use of data, traffic, advertisers and “the next-generation experiences that we can build.”“Yahoo has been doing way too much for too long and was only doing a few things really well,” he said. As a result, Yahoo is going to get smaller by consolidating its various platforms and jettisoning 50 properties that do not contribute to its core business of selling advertising and products on any device, including the PC, tablet or mobile phone. To lure visitors to ads, Yahoo would focus on a smaller number of media categories: news, finance, sports, entertainment, email and a handful of others. The company would move engineers into its commerce businesses and dedicate some of its “best and brightest” workers to innovate in those areas.On the backend, Thompson said the company would make the platform more “scalable, nimble and flexible” and therefore less expensive to run. For advertisers, the company was going to make better use of its user data to improve advertiser return on investment. “Really understanding our advertisers’ needs will position Yahoo to better monetize all our traffic globally,” he said.One area Yahoo planned to find revenue was in licensing its intellectual property. The company recently showed how aggressive it would be by suing Facebook for alleged patent violations. “Other leading companies license our patented technology and Facebook must do the same or change the way it operates,” he said.Thompson said he understood that Yahoo had to move fast and the changes he made during the first quarter, including cutting 2,000 jobs, or 14 percent of the company’s global workforce, was to reduce costs and streamline the operation. “Yahoo must be nimble, responsive and act with a real sense of urgency,” he said. “We have to think and to move like a growth company.”Thompson introduced this month a restructuring plan that carved Yahoo into three areas, one focused on consumers, another on regional advertising and the third on the company’s technology assets. Online retail would be a big part of the consumer division and the company planned to continue focusing on such areas as travel and shopping. Asked what he planned to do different in the restructuring, Thompson gave a vague answer of making better use of data, traffic, advertisers and “the next-generation experiences that we can build.” Beyond, that Thompson said details would be announced during the current quarter.Yahoo’s first-quarter results marked the company’s first sales increase in more than three years. Total revenue after traffic acquisition costs rose 1.2 percent to $1.22 billion. Revenue from search ads rose 7.6 percent, while the company’s core display-ad business fell 3.6 percent. By comparison, Google’s ad revenue rose 24 percent, while the online ad market as a whole increased 23 percent.The job cuts and other cost-reducing measures helped Yahoo earnings. Net income rose 28 percent to $286.3 million from $223 million the same period a year ago. For the current quarter, Yahoo said revenue would be from $1.03 billion to $1.14 billion.last_img read more

Raspberry Pi 2 Brings Six Times The Power, Same $35 Price Tag

first_imglauren orsini Building a Workplace for the Next 100 Years There’s a new Raspberry Pi in town. And in a classic example of Moore’s Law in action, the Raspberry Pi 2 is six times more powerful than its predecessor with twice as much RAM—and it still sells for just $35. The original Pi—a tiny, low-cost computer meant for education and electronics projects—debuted three years ago.The Pi 2 gets its additional processing power from a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU clocked at 900MHz (though some users will undoubtedly clock it at even higher) and includes 1GB of RAM. In its announcement, the Raspberry Pi Foundation says it gets the “six times more powerful” estimate from early experiments running applications on the Pi 2. To put this all in perspective, the first Pi included a single-core ARMv6 processor at 700MHz and 512MB of RAM. Despite these updates, it has full backwards compatibility with all previous Raspberry Pi models.Other than that, the Pi 2 is similar to the recently updated Raspberry Pi Model B+, which offers four supported USB connections and a micro SD card for storage. The Pi 2 requires an updated version of the Raspbian operating system that includes an ARMv7 kernel and modules, which you can download yourself from the foundation’s download page or get via the latest version of the NOOBS installer.See also: Five Things To Know About The Raspberry Pi Model B+Though it is officially calling it the Raspberry Pi 2 B, the Foundation says there are no plans for a Pi 2 A in 2015.Windows 10 On The PiIn a break with its roots in Linux, the Pi 2 will also run Windows 10. (Previously, about the only way to run Windows on a Pi was a complicated workaround involving Windows 7.) Windows 10 will be free for Pi users through its developer program for the Internet of Things later in 2015.All this means that by the end of the year, you could be running a full-fledged Windows PC for not much more than the $35 cost of the Pi 2.The Pi 2 is available for sale now from Pi Foundation partners element14 and RS Components. As of publication, both sites appear to be overwhelmed and unresponsive.Photo by the Raspberry Pi Foundation How to Avoid Being Part of 90% of Failed Companies Related Posts center_img Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Tags:#DIY Hardware#Internet of Things#Microsoft#Raspberry Pi#Raspberry Pi 2 Why Your eCommerce Business Should Have a Pop-U…last_img read more