2010: The Year of Treasure Hunters

first_imgT he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and,T he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows were virtually stolen by powerful politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers who abetted construction on disputed army land. Chavan’s relatives owned three flats in Adarsh. He was confident that his mentors-a guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and Rahul Gandhi-would save him. Chavan was self-delusional. It was the judiciary that forced the political class to move. On December 22, a division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice U.D. Salvi hearing the case noted, “Everybody who was supposed to clear a file has been gifted (a flat in Adarsh).” Adarsh was not the only scandal in the Year of the Treasure Hunter. The total loot of the public exchequer in 2010 is estimated to exceed Rs 4 lakh crore. An analysisreveals that real estate is corruption’s biggest cash cow. According to realtors, 60 to 70 per cent of the price of property transactions in all major Indian cities is in cash. A finance ministry report of December 2009 states: “Of the Rs 4,500 crore seized in income tax raids, around Rs 2,000 crore involves land. Politicians are earning money per sq ft of the floor space index awarded to construct buildings. This is a result of commercialisation of politics,” says former Mumbai High Court Judge B.G. Kolse-Patil. The cbi discovered that it was Chavan, who as state revenue minister in 2000 cleared the society’s ownership conditions to admit civilians along with defence personnel, thereby opening up a real estate gold-mine. “The Congress is the fountainhead of corruption in the country,” says bjp leader Rajnath Singh.advertisementIn 2010, allegations of corruption-referred to by Wharton academic Jitendra Singh as “a kind of shadowy market”-were made against the spectrum of the national establishment. Politicians like Chavan, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Suresh Kalmadi and Mulayam Singh Yadav; senior army officers like former army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Major General R.K. Hooda stole the headlines of the year with a glittering cast of friends, mentors and hangers-on from the media and bureaucracy.Chavan’s personal assets run into hundreds of crores of rupees. In his hometown Nanded, Chavan Inc owns dealerships, real estate worth crores, sugar mills and educational institutions. He insists that his commercial ventures are legal and he has done nothing wrong. For a politician who declared his net worth as Rs 24.61 crore  in 2009, india today investigations revealed that the estimated worth of assets held by Chavan and his family amount to much more. “The politicians in the entire country are corrupt. Why talk only about Maharashtra?” says Kolse-Patil. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray says, “We are facing a challenge to cure the disease of corruption.” Chavan, however, is defiant. “The investigations will prove my innocence,” he says.   The country has got used to the idea of corrupt politicians. It was shocked to learn that officers of the rank of general and admiral were involved in Adarsh. “Here is a man whom we trusted, here is a person on whose orders we were ready to go to battle,â€? said Chief of Staff General V.K. Singh about his predecessor General Kapoor. In his application for a Rs 80-lakh apartment, General Kapoor lied that his annual income was Rs 2.8 lakh while when it was actually around Rs 7.2 lakh. When this application was turned down, the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh used his arbitrary powers to clear it. Adarsh is not the only example of Kapoor’s real estate adventures. The Haryana Government gave him a Gurgaon plot for Rs 36 lakh with a lock-in payment period of five years-a knockdown price for land valued at Rs 7.5 crore. In Sukna, West Bengal, army land was allegedly given to builders at throwaway prices. The military court indicted two army officers for this deal-one of them was Kapoor’s staff advisor Lt. General Avdesh Prakash. Kapoor reportedly used his clout to save Prakash from a court martial. The armed forces have earned the unsavoury nickname, the “Harmed Forces”.Real estate besmirched the reputation of Karnataka’s Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as well. In June 2010, Yeddyurappa was preparing for a spotlight moment, ordering a bespoke Italian suit from Bangalore fashion designer Prakash Lamba as a change from his usual white safari suit to preside over the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore from which he expected to raise at least $66.3 billion as investments for Karnataka. In private, Yeddyurappa was taking decisions that would blow up in his face. On November 17, 2010, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde announced there was enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa. The Opposition released documents-around 2,000 of them-alleging that Yeddyurappa flouted rules to get prime land worth Rs 500 crore allotted to family members; his sons bjp MP B.Y. Raghavendra and Vijayendra became beneficiaries of state largesse after their father became the Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Raghavendra was allotted a government plot in Bangalore under the MP’s quota and paid Rs 10 lakh for the land whose market value was over Rs 2 crore. Yeddyurappa also denotified the Bangalore Development Authority (bda) land which his sons and son-in-law Sohan Kumar allegedly grabbed at throwaway prices. Yeddyurappa’s daughter Umadevi was allotted two acres of government land to set up a bpo. Some of his family members were allegedly allotted five acres in Shimoga to build a hospital, and two acres for a factory in Bangalore. In March 2010, 11 more acres in Bangalore worth crores were denotified in Vijayendra and Raghavendra’s favour against the advice of the bda and the Urban Development Department. Later, his kin returned the land following a judicial inquiry. Five previous chief ministers gave similar deals to their relatives including Dharam Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy who is yet to return the land allotted to him.advertisement”The names of my family members are being dragged into imagined corruption cases to cover up their (Opposition’s) own misdeeds,” says Yeddyurappa, responding to the Opposition’s charges of corruption.The Opposition also alleges that the chief minister took a bribe of Rs 20 crore from the Bellary-based South West Mining Ltd; supporting documents claim that the money was allegedly deposited into the bank accounts of Raghavendra, Vijayendra and Sohan Kumar.If land was exploited by the corrupt, the skies were open to political plunder as well. On November 14, the dmk, unable to withstand the heat from a belligerent Opposition, a hostile Congress and an angry media, ordered Andimuthu Raja to resign as telecom minister. Raja was accused of favouring select telecom companies-Swan Telecom, Unitech, S-Tel, Datacom Solutions, Idea, Spice, Systema, Tata and Loop-in acquiring 2G spectrum licences in a valuation game which is estimated to have cost the country a notional Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “As a lawyer, I will abide by the law, not evade it,” Raja said. His slogan during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was “Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa” (One kg rice at one rupee, a hello on the phone at 50 paise). The Niira Radia tapes exposed how much his hellos cost the country. Veteran Congress leader of Tamil Nadu EVKS Elangovan says “Karunanidhi must’ve been aware of things.”In power, there is no free lunch. So what did the telecom companies give Raja and Radia in return of the favours? The CBI and the ed are investigating a money trail that leads to the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mauritius. “Raja represents a front for a number of undesirable organisations. He is a front for anti-national agents,” says Subramanian Swamy, Janata Party president. There may be political exaggeration in the accusation.advertisementRaja stuck to his chair for 400 days after the scam surfaced. A CBI official claims that the minister used this time to manipulate or destroy evidence. No incriminating documents were found when the agency raided his house on December 8. According to one source, documents were also destroyed at Radia-owned Vaishnavi Communic- ations’s office in Delhi. Employees had burned thousands of documents to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CBI. “The Government should constitute an Integrity and Ethics Commission urgently to check corruption and initiate stringent action against corrupt practices,” says assocham President Dilip Modi.The climate of venality spawned a variety of hunters who sought to seize what they could. Public anger began to mount. When Suresh Kalmadi, the most visibly tainted face of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, walked into a Delhi restaurant on a late October weekend, he was surrounded and heckled by diners who called him a thief. The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) estimate that the 66-year-old Congress Rajya Sabha MP caused a loss of Rs 5,000-8,000 crore of public money through financial and administrative malfeasance. In 2003, the Indian Olympic Association estimated the Games would cost the country Rs 1,620 crore. By 2010, the bill had risen to Rs 11,500 crore. With other additional expenditure, the Games expenditure was estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore, making the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive sporting event ever. CBI sources says that of the Rs 665 crore spent on overlays, around Rs 200 crore was stolen. Following the CVC report on financial misdemeanors, the CBI raided the ioa offices and arrested close Kalmadi aides T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahindroo and treasurer Jayachandran.Some of the statistics are stunning. The infrastructure cost for the cwg was Rs 2,904 crore but Rs 5,503 crore was released. Where did the extra money go? The CVC investigated 16 Games-related projects totalling Rs 2,477 crore and found that corrupt officials and contractors tampered with initially discounted tenders. The organising committee inflated bills by at least 30 per cent. The CBI raided Kalmadi’s residences in Delhi and Pune. “I am innocent till proven guilty. I have not taken any decision alone,” Kalmadi says.Many more careers and reputations tumbled as other skeletons of corruption fell out of hidden closets. In Mumbai, private financier Rajesh Sharma, chief of Money Matters (India), and senior bank officials were arrested in a bribes-for-loans affair. The arrests have made corporate India uneasy. Though the licence raj has ostensibly ended, lobbyists are still needed for project clearances. “We need to be clear about what is defined as corruption. In an economy where competition and enterprise are driven by individual endeavours, and there is no strong government hand, these things flourish,” says P. Shankar Raman, executive v-p (finance), L&T. Following these arrests, the market value of lic Housing Finance shares plummeted from Rs 10,159 crore to Rs 2,365 crore. Investors lost Rs 2,300 crore in a day. “There are enough regulatory bodies in the country but they don’t have the teeth to enforce regulations,” says Richard Rekhy, ceo, KPMG, one of the largest of audit, tax and advisory services firms in the world   There was one unusual instance of corruption. While Adarsh, the cwg and other scams largely involved powerful cabals, Ketan Desai, president of the Medical Council of India, was the lone ranger of graft. His modus operandi was to ask for bribes in return of government recognition for private medical colleges. After the CBI arrested him for accepting Rs 2 crore as payola for one such deal, raids conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Ahmedabad revealed that Desai and his family owned 10 houses, two commercial properties in Mumbai and gold worth Rs 39 lakh.During the Adarsh hearing, Justices Marlapalle and Salvi asked, “Why has no fir been registered except the one on the missing files in the case? Don’t tell us committees will be formed to conduct inquiries. Committees are formed and dissolved, nothing happens.” Nothing happens because a corrupt system closes its ranks to protect its own. India remains stuck in the purgatory of corruption.with Nivedita Mukherjee, Kiran Tare and Nirmala Ravindranlast_img read more

Trae Young’s last-second basket lifts Hawks past 76ers

first_imgGoogle Philippines names new country director Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Huerter’s steal from Embiid and jam gave Atlanta a 122-121 lead. Another turnover by Embiid, this time on a pass, set up an Atlanta fast-break opportunity which Young couldn’t convert. Young fouled Butler, who made two free throws.Young’s long 3-pointer gave Atlanta a 125-123 lead, but Butler tied the game with a basket. Then, with 39.9 seconds remaining, Butler sank two free throws to give Philadelphia a 127-125 lead. Prince answered with a tying layup.The Hawks were left with 3.5 seconds after the 76ers’ 24-second violation, with Butler’s miss waved off as coming too late.After snapping Utah’s five-game winning streak by beating the Jazz 117-114 on Thursday night, the Hawks dropped another streaking playoff-bound team.Atlanta led 74-68 at halftime and stretched the lead to 12 points, at 97-85, on Alex Len’s three-point play. The 76ers closed the gap with 10 straight points and pulled even at 100-all on JJ Redick’s 3-pointer to end the third period.ADVERTISEMENT Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments With Steph Curry out, Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki lift Mavs over Warriors Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Butler missed a long attempt as the final buzzer sounded.Taurean Prince had 23 points for Atlanta.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJoel Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Butler had 25 points for Philadelphia.The 76ers began the night with a solid hold on third place in the Eastern Conference, 3½ games ahead of Indiana and four games ahead of Boston. Philadelphia’s six-game winning streak included a win over Boston on Wednesday night. Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter, left, shoots as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)ATLANTA — Trae Young scored 32 points, including a last-second, go-ahead floater, to give the Atlanta Hawks a 129-127 win over Philadelphia on Saturday night, ending the 76ers’ six-game winning streak.With 3.5 seconds remaining, Young took the inbound pass from Kevin Huerter and dribbled past Jimmy Butler before sinking the short, soft jumper for the lead with 0.1 seconds remaining.ADVERTISEMENT Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Embiid posted his 16th straight double-double and 54th overall this season. He had 37 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in the win over the Celtics on Wednesday night.TIP-INS76ers: C Boban Marjanovic, left unguarded in the corner, sank his first career 3-pointer in the first quarter. It was only the fourth career 3-point attempt in six seasons for the 7-foot-3 native of Serbia. … The 76ers made 13 of 20 shots (60 percent) from the field in the first quarter. … T.J. McConnell left the game with a bloody nose late in the third period. Coach Brett Brown was upset there was no foul called, even after a video review, on contact which caused the bloody nose. McConnell returned midway through the fourth.Hawks: Young had 11 assists. … Atlanta matched its season high for most points in a first half. The Hawks also scored 74 points in the first half against Miami in a 123-118 win on Nov. 3. The 74 points were the most allowed in a first half by the 76ers this season.UP NEXT76ers: At Orlando on Monday night.Hawks: At New Orleans on Tuesday night. LATEST STORIES Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

MediaNext Postponed

first_imgMore on this topic The Joss Group’s Hurricane Marketing: Case Studies from the Bad Taste Department ‘Funny’ is Money: How The Onion Transformed Its Business Circ Day La: Role Model For A Successful Regional 10 CEOs Lay Out Their Priorities for the Final Four Months of 2015 Sources: Virgo Publishing Close to Sale FOLIO: is Alive and KickingJust In BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media ConsultantPowered by Due to expected travel disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy and our concern for the safety of those planning to attend MediaNext, we have made the decision to postpone MediaNext until January 8-10. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and I’m sure you can imagine how difficult this entire decision was. We were so excited for all of our constituents to come together for the best event in years—now we will have to wait a few months longer. All fees will be applied to the event in January.Tony SilberGeneral Manager last_img read more

Around the Navy Marianas Bases Withstand Super Typhoon Homes near Virginia Airfield

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Installations on the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands remain “mission capable” despite absorbing a battering Thursday from Super Typhoon Yutu’s sustained winds of 180 mph. “There have been reports of major damage to structures and property, but all U.S. military personnel are currently accounted for,” Lt. Cmdr. Karl Lettow, a Joint Region Marianas spokesman, told Stars and Stripes. Crews began clearing debris and continue to assess conditions, but leaders expect Friday to be a normal workday, Lettow said. The cyclone left widespread destruction on the islands of Saipan and Tinian. … The Navy is proposing to spend $5.2 million to connect six homes located near an auxiliary landing field used by Naval Air Station Oceana to the municipal water system, after the homeowners’ wells consistently revealed elevated levels of PFAS contaminants over the past two years.  The Navy has been providing bottled water to workers at Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress in Chesapeake and nearby homes with contaminated wells since 2016, reports the Virginian-Pilot. The Navy has agreed to test private drinking water wells near the auxiliary field twice a year. … The Navy on Wednesday released its business operations plan for fiscal years 2019-2021, an effort aimed at achieving greater efficiencies that will allow it to reallocate resources from business operations to readiness and rebuilding naval forces. “As we look forward to the future, we must continue this momentum by leveraging every resource, expert, leading practice, and efficiency we can find — from all sources, private and public — to think anew about our business operating model,” Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said, according to a press release.Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jackie Paulast_img read more

Micromacro entangled cat states could one day test quantum gravity

first_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters In order to extend quantum effects to the macroscopic level, physicists are working on creating entanglement between a macroscopic and microscopic system. This situation is very similar to that of the entanglement between the quantum state of the macroscopic cat and that of the microscopic decaying nucleus. So far, micro-macro entanglement has been experimentally demonstrated in optical systems, and is currently being pursued in other areas, such as electro-mechanical and opto-mechanical systems.In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Roohollah Ghobadi, et al., have proposed a method for generating optomechanical micro-macro entanglement. One of the most intriguing outcomes of bringing quantum effects to the macroscopic level using this approach is that it could allow researchers to test for wave function collapse due to quantum gravity, which is predicted to occur on a much shorter timescale than wave function collapse due to environmentally induced decoherence.”Our proposal allows for observation of the genuine macroscopic superposition of massive objects,” Ghobadi told Phys.org. “It also looks promising to test some collapse models.”The proposed method involves storing one component of an entangled state of light (consisting of just one or a few photons) in a mechanical resonator (consisting of billions of atoms). During this process, the initial microscopic entangled state of photons is amplified with a strong coherent beam, the photons are converted into phonons, and then the entangled states are retrieved. This approach makes it possible to create optomechanical “cat states,” in which the quantum states of the photons and phonons are in superposition. The researchers write that the scheme is realizable with current technology, and if realized, would be the second demonstration ever of optomechanical entanglement. To test proposals for quantum gravity-induced wave function collapse, future experiments could be performed that compare the collapse time (estimated to be on the order of microseconds) to the collapse time of environmentally induced decoherence (on the order of milliseconds).”It is interesting to do the proposed experiment for different masses in order to distinguish the decoherence due to a collapse model from conventional environmentally induced decoherence,” said coauthor Christoph Simon, Physics Professor at the University of Calgary.In addition, by varying other factors such as the amplification and the number of phonons, researchers could use this method to look for other types of deviations from quantum physics in this little-explored regime of micro-macro entanglement and superposition.”One possible direction is to apply the method proposed here to create cat states in other systems,” Ghobadi said. “It is also interesting to look at its application in quantum information processing.” (Phys.org) —In Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, a cat’s quantum state becomes entangled with the quantum state of a decaying nucleus, resulting in the odd situation that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. The thought experiment was originally intended to convey the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to macroscopic objects, but recently physicists have been questioning whether “quantum” effects such as entanglement and superposition may apply on all scales. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: R. Ghobadi, et al. “Optomechanical Micro-Macro Entanglement.” PRL 112, 080503 (2014). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.080503 © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img What if quantum physics worked on a macroscopic level? Citation: Micro-macro entangled ‘cat states’ could one day test quantum gravity (2014, April 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-micro-macro-entangled-cat-states-day.html Proposed setup for generating optomechanical “cat states,” a form of micro-macro entanglement in which the quantum states of photons and phonons are in superposition. Credit: R. Ghobadi, et al. ©2014 American Physical Society Explore furtherlast_img read more

Aggressive driving a reflection of surrounding culture

first_imgAggressive driving behaviour is a reflection of a person’s surrounding culture, both on the road and on a broader social level, says a study.The findings suggest that some countries and cultures may be more susceptible to aggressive or competitive driving behaviours due to their social environment, and that improvements in that arena would also be seen in driving behaviour.“The choice to be competitive versus cooperative always starts with culture, by the influences around us and the way other people behave, ‘said one of the researchers Haizhong Wang, assistant professor of transportation engineering at Oregon State University in the US.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“And it’s clear there’s a role for education and experience, where studies have shown the value of young drivers participating in driver education programmes and receiving positive guidance from their parents and peers,” Wang noted.The study also implies that different social conditions might ultimately translate into better drivers.However, these dangerous behaviours are becoming a worldwide phenomenon of almost epidemic proportions partly as a reaction to overcrowded road networks, the researchers said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe findings, published in the journal Procedia Engineering, showed that such behaviour is more pronounced in men than in women.The research was done with drivers in China where competitive driving is very common. The problems in China as it becomes increasingly crowded with drivers, however, reflect similar concerns at varying levels around the world, Wang said. In this analysis, the researchers concluded that drivers in congested situations generally believed that the chaotic traffic state was responsible for their competitive behaviour and they had no option other than to compete for space, the right-of-way, and gain advantages through speed and spacing.In simple terms, it was right and proper that they should try to keep up with or get ahead of traffic; that was the example being set for them, and they drove that way because everyone else did.However, the study also suggested that “personality traits draw on and are influenced by aspects of one’s social environment.” It is prevalent in India too where the surroundings play an important part.last_img read more

Three Tips for Using Public WiFi Safely

first_img In an era of laptops, smartphones and mushrooming Wi-Fi networks, we can get online nearly anywhere. But we often connect without considering the potential perils.Sensitive information you transmit over Wi-Fi can be literally “sniffed” from the airwaves by a nearby snoop using readily available software and equipment. What’s more, hackers could trick you into connecting to their computer by making it appear to be a legitimate Wi-Fi hotspot.Despite these risks, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to surf safely. Here are three tips for securely using Wi-Fi networks when you’re on-the-go, doing work in hotels, airports, cafés and other public places.1. Avoid automatically connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots.It can be tempting to quickly jump online using one of the 1.4 million public Wi-Fi networks now active in the world. But you could unwittingly connect to a rogue hotspot set up by a crook to gather sensitive information transmitted by unsuspecting users like you.Industry group Wi-Fi Alliance recommends that Web users carefully select which, if any, public network they access rather than allow their device to connect automatically. It also recommends choosing only hotspots that use security technologies known as Wi-Fi Protected Access version two, or WPA2, which are stronger than the older WPA and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) technologies. A network’s security system is displayed in the box where you enter a password to connect.Related: What to Do If Your Business Gets Hacked 2. Make sure sensitive websites you use encrypt data you send and receive. Sending and receiving information on unsecured public wireless networks can be like shouting in a crowded room, says Maxim Weinstein, executive director of StopBadware, a Cambridge, Mass., nonprofit group that fights malicious websites. “Unless you’re talking in code, it’s no secret to anyone who’s listening.”Fortunately, most websites that handle sensitive information use encryption technology known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to turn readable text into a mash of digital gibberish. You know SSL is in place if you see “https” in the address bar. It is almost always at work when you’re making a purchase or banking online.Related: How to Protect Android Smartphones From Cyber AttacksMany communication services, such as Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail and Facebook, also use SSL to keep your private communications safe from eavesdroppers. Some services, such as Gmail, use HTTPS by default at all times, but Facebook and others require you to turn the technology on.To activate it on Facebook, click on the down arrow in the upper right corner and select Account Settings. In the left column, click Security and enable Secure Browsing.3. Install and use VPN software on your device to encrypt your Internet activity. “Virtual private network” software is a must-have for road warriors who regularly transmit sensitive data over public Wi-Fi networks. VPN software creates an encrypted tunnel through which your data flows as it traverses the Internet. Employees at many large companies already use VPNs on business trips to protect valuable corporate information, and small companies would be wise to follow suit.If you don’t have an information-technology department that can set up a VPN for you, consider using one of the personal VPNs now on the market. Options include PrivateWiFi from startup Private Communication Corp. (Windows and Mac, $9.95 a month or $84.95 a year; three-day free trial); Anonymizer Universal (Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad, $79.99 a year; 14-day free trial); and VPN4ALL (Windows and Mac $9.95-$19.95 a month, depending on amount of data use; iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile and tablets, $5.95 a month).Related: What Technologies Banks Should Be Using to Keep Your Money SafeOpenVPN Technologies, keeper of the open-source technology behind some of these software products, sells a hosted VPN service specifically to small businesses called PrivateTunnel (Windows and Mac, price based on amount of data transferred).Another thing to consider: putting up a firewall to block strangers seeking access to your computer. Firewalls are typically provided by modern operating systems and are on by default. To make sure yours is active on a Windows PC, review Microsoft’s directions based on your operating system version. On Macs, open System Preferences and click Security & Privacy and then Firewall.You also can avoid Wi-Fi networks altogether and go online using a cellular connection from a wireless carrier, which use encryption when transferring data, albeit at a significant cost. Plan to pay for a large or unlimited data plan for a mobile device. For your laptop, you’ll need a special device that plugs into the side and a monthly service plan. Verizon and AT&T can charge $50 to $60 a month for 5 GB.  Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » December 22, 2011 4 min readlast_img read more

Carnival Triumph will get a new name and look following dry dock

first_imgCarnival Triumph will get a new name and look following dry dock Share Posted by Tags: Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line, Renovation Tuesday, July 31, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — The Carnival Triumph is getting a US$200 million makeover that will include a brand new name and bow-to-stern updates.After undergoing a two-month-long refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain starting on March 1, 2019, the ship will rejoin Carnival’s Sunshine class as Carnival Sunrise, featuring updated staterooms, an expanded spa and additional food and beverage outlets.Fahrenheit 555 Steak HouseFollowing a renaming ceremony, the ship will then re-enter service with a series of five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Virginia beginning April 29, 2019, a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures from New York starting May 23, 2019, and then move to Fort Lauderdale in October.Here are some key highlights of the Carnival Sunrise’s enhancements:The redesign of two luxurious Captain’s Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge that includes floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suitesAll staterooms will be updated to offer bright colours and pastels inspired by the line’s Caribbean itinerariesThe Chef’s Table will be a new multi-course dining experience hosted in a glass-enclosed venue in the forward dining roomCucina Del CapitanoCucina Del CapitanoThe new Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse will be an open-air casual eatery featuring BBQ favourites created by Food Network star Guy FieriPiano Bar 88 will be a new twist on Carnival’s popular piano bar concept featuring themed nights, new décor and sing-along funRed Frog PubThe new multi-purpose Liquid Lounge will boast an expansive theatre where guests can enjoy daytime and nighttime entertainmentSportSquare will include a ropes course, basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables and a nine-hole miniature golf courseRopes CourseWaterWorks will feature a 230-foot-long Aqua Tunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide as well as a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and kiddie areaSerenity Adult Only Retreat will offer adult guests plush chaise lounges, whirlpools and oversized umbrellasCloud 9 Spa will be home to an elaborate thermal suite, private treatment rooms and the latest cardio and weight-training equipmentCloud 9 SpaKids and teens facilities will include the new Camp Ocean, a marine-inspired play area designed for guests ages 2-11, along with new spaces for Circle ‘C’ aimed at 12- to 14-year olds and Club O2 for those 15-17Expanded retail spaces in a mall-style shopping area will include the line’s own branded spaces like Hip Fish and The Carnival Store, in addition to retail outlets offering jewelry, watches and fragrancesMore news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winter“These new dining spaces and features complement many of Carnival’s signature food and beverage outlets that were added during previous renovations, including Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Guy Fieri,” said Gus Antorcha, Carnival’s chief operating officer, who has led the reimagination of Carnival Sunrise and many other ships in the fleet.  “Carnival’s investments are part of an overall plan that is raising the bar on ship amenities and features, itineraries and offshore excursions that our guests are loving.”last_img read more