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A Semantic Web Strategy for Big Data | Cutter Consortium

A Semantic Web Strategy for Big Data | Cutter Consortium | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Helping organizations leverage technology for competitive advantage and business success through content, training, and consulting (A Semantic Web Strategy for Big Data http://t.co/TD0OFKXd...)...
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Ariadne's invisible wire in the web maze
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Innovation under Austerity - Transcript - Software Freedom Law Center

Innovation under Austerity - Transcript - Software Freedom Law Center | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
The Software Freedom Law Center provides legal representation and other law related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software.
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Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
The black hole paradox wouldn't have arisen if not for his own work, in a now 40-year-old paper that proposed “Hawking radiation”. That paper created a problem because it proposed a mechanism by which information is lost to the universe forever.

Physicists don't like information destruction any more than they like singularities. Physical laws let us use the present to predict the future, but black holes destroying information also destroys the determinism we rely on.

Hawking's 1970s paper, however, was written in the context of the mathematical understanding of the time, which assumed that black holes were featureless “bald” spheres, about which only mass, charge, and spin (angular momentum, to be more precise) could be known.

Since then, others have proposed one more thing that could be described about a black hole, if you had a way to observe it: “soft hairs” that preserve information about infalling quantum states.

What Hawking and his co-authors have done in this paper is to try and tackle a very thorny question: “if there is hair, what does it look like, and how does it preserve information?”

Here's where things get convoluted, so bear with us.
Hawking radiation

Throughout the universe, “virtual” particles and anti-particles are regularly coming into existence spontaneously, and annihilating each other with a tiny release of energy. The reason we know this happens is that we can see and manipulate vacuum fluctuations.

Hawking radiation is a special case: if a virtual particle comes into existence on one side of the event horizon, and its twin on the other side, one will fall inwards and the other one escape. The escaping particle steals a tiny bit of the black hole's mass with it; if you waited a sufficiently ridiculous number of billions of years, the black hole itself would boil away into space. But the information dropping in is destroyed.
Hair restorer

Hawking's proposal last August was that instead of disappearing into the interior of the black hole, information about what dropped in is stored at the event horizon. At the time, he didn't propose a mechanism for how it was stored.

That's what the ArXiv paper begins to address (with lots more to come). Hawking and co-authors Malcolm Perry (University of Cambridge) and and Andrew Strominger (Harvard University) flesh things out a bit.

The get-out-of-jail card is described as soft, “zero-energy” photons that retain the quantum state information of whatever fell into the black hole (he posits soft gravitons as well, but let's stick with photons).

Strominger gave this example to Smithsonian: since charge cannot be created or destroyed in the Universe, an infalling electron crossing the event horizon would leave a ghost of itself in the soft hair – a tiny variation in spacetime sufficient to describe the electron's charge.
What's missing?

Hawking isn't the first to discuss the idea of “hairy” black holes – in that sense, this is an incremental addition rather than an intellectual revolution.

The paper itself admits there's a lot of work to be done – phrases like “we take some steps” and “details will appear elsewhere” demonstrate that.

Sabine Hossenfelder of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics writes, for example, that the “soft hair” theory focuses on one specific kind of information – information that describes charge particles.

To generalise from this paper, in other words, we need a theory that can describe other kinds of information.
Testable? Not yet

However, what the paper does propose is that the “hair” left behind by charged particles should be physically measurable, even if we don't yet know how:

“The soft photon modes on the horizon can be indeed excited in a physically realisable process, as long as their spatial extent is larger than the Planck length”

Since Hawking et al aren't proposing to wander over to the nearest black hole to check, The Register supposes the idea is that if the hypothesis is right, it should permit predictions to be made about black holes we've already observed.

Expect theoreticians to be hard at work figuring out how "soft hair" might show up in the radiation we see spilling from black holes as they swallow matter.
After the black hole

Another problem that Hossenfelder identifies is that Hawking hasn't yet provided a mechanism that preserves information after radiation has boiled away a black hole.

Over at Scientific American, there's a long interview with Andrew Strominger. ®

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They're starting to listen: Copyright Office calls for comments over criticism of DMCA anti-circumvention provisions | Defective by Design

They're starting to listen: Copyright Office calls for comments over criticism of DMCA anti-circumvention provisions | Defective by Design | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
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Submitted by Donald Robertson on December 31, 2015 - 7:35am

The Defective by Design campaign has called for the repeal of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s anti-circumvention provisions for many years. In April of 2015, we explained the central problem of these provisions, as well as the exemptions process meant to mitigate their damage:

Every three years, supporters of user rights are forced to go through a Kafkaesque process fighting for exemptions from the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA... In short, under the DMCA's rules, everything not permitted is forbidden. Unless we expend time and resources to protect and expand exemptions, users could be threatened with legal consequences for circumventing the digital restrictions management (DRM) on their own devices and software and could face criminal penalties for sharing tools that allow others to do the same. Exemptions don't fix the harm brought about by the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, but they're the only crumbs Congress deigned to throw us when they tossed out our rights as users.

In November of 2015, we wrote about the latest round's failure to protect users, and called once again for an end to the anti-circumvention provisions and the broken exemptions process. While we and other organizations succeeded in gaining some exemptions for users, the dysfunctional system remained in place.

After all this speaking out, it seems that someone has begun to listen. On December 29th, 2015, the United States Copyright Office put out a Notice and Request for Public Comment on the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. Congress asked them to study the effects of the anti-circumvention rules and the process of granting exemptions. From their description of the background, as well as the questions they ask of the public, it is clear that our criticisms are finally being heard.

We called foul on the fact that activists had to work so hard to protect exemptions once they were granted, and now the Copyright Office recommends that the process be amended to create a presumption in favor of renewal of previously granted exemptions. We decried the expansion of the danger of DRM beyond the realm of copyright, and now the Copyright Office is concerned that DRM is being used to lock users in rather than enforce copyright. We urged that exemptions should extend to third parties and to the sharing of tools for fixing software and devices encumbered by DRM, and now the Copyright Office recognizes that exemptions often are of little value if you can't get help from your friends. We called the whole process broken beyond repair and now the Copyright Office is asking the public how it can be fixed.

And that's where the problem lies. While our criticism of the DMCA's anti-circumvention rules and the exemption process seems to be breaking through, the necessary solution has not. No amount of exemptions or an improved process for granting them will correct the fundamental flaw at the heart of these provisions: that users do not have the right to control their own devices. The only way to fix the system is to scrap it and remove the DMCA's anti-circumvention penalties. While we applaud the Copyright Office for listening to our complaints, we want to make sure that they make the right correction. And we want you to help.

We will be submitting comments to the Copyright Office in response to their request, calling for an end to the madness. But to have the largest impact, we want you to send comments as well, or to cosign our statement when we submit it. We will be providing more details on that process shortly, so be ready. Here's what you can do today:

If you aren't already signed up for the Defective By Design mailing list, join now.Share this post with your friends and colleagues.Support our work in the fight against DRM by making a donation.
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The Words That Changed My Outlook on Living With Bipolar Disorder

The Words That Changed My Outlook on Living With Bipolar Disorder | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
"Those words rang through me like a bell."

Via Mary E. Berens-Oney
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Every Icelander To Get Paid From Sale Of Bank – Your News Wire

Every Icelander To Get Paid From Sale Of Bank – Your News Wire | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Not only has Iceland jailed its corrupt bankers over their involvement in the financial crisis of 2008, but now every Icelander is to receive a payout from the sale of one the country's largest banks. Bjarni Benediktsson, the minister of finance has promised that each Icelander will get... #iceland
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Bjarni Benediktsson, the minister of finance has promised that each Icelander will get a 30,000 ISK (Icelandic Krona) pay-out for the proposed Íslandsbanki bank sale.

Grapevine reports:

Speaking to attendees of the national convention of the Independence Party, of which Bjarni is the chairperson, Kjarninn reports that he submitted the idea that 5% of Íslandsbanki’s shares be distributed to each and every Icelander. As the value of the bank is currently placed at 187 billion ISK, 5% would come out to about 9.3 billion ISK, or just under 30,000 ISK for each Icelander.

“I am saying that the government take some decided portion, 5%, and simply hand it over to the people of this country,” he told attendees.

As reported, Íslandsbanki’s creditors have proposed that ISB Holding ehf., which owns 95% of shares in Íslandsbanki hf., transfer their entire holding in Íslandsbanki to the State, which would then become full owner of the bank.

This would put two of Iceland’s banks under the ownership of the government, RÚV reports, and Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the vice chairperson of the Budget Committee, told reporters he was not especially happy about the government owning the bank, but that he believes it may be a necessary step towards lifting capital controls.

Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson is more positive about the idea, saying that it will likely bring more foreign capital into the country. Former Minister of Finance and current Left-Green MP Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was not quite as optimistic, telling listeners of radio station Rás 2 this morning that “we shouldn’t lose the banks to the hands of fools,” saying that Iceland should rather focus on “separating commercial banking from investment banking.”

Iceland have just sent another five high profile bankers to prison for contributing to the collapse of Iceland’s economy in 2008.

The total number of high-level fraudsters imprisoned now totals 26 who are collectively serving 74 years in prison.

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Pornhub, YouPorn Victims Of Malware Security Attack Through Rogue Advertising Code

Pornhub, YouPorn Victims Of Malware Security Attack Through Rogue Advertising Code | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Two of the Internet's largest pornography websites were found to be serving up advertisements that included malware.
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Malwarebytesdiscovered that the ExoClick ad network had been serving up what seemed like legitimate code as an ad banner. Cookiecheck.js, as it is known, was first spotted on Sept. 19.

The news is a severe blow to two of the Internet's most visited websites. According to stats from SimilarWeb, more than 580 million visits were made to Pornhub.com in August 2015 alone, while YouPorn.com received just under 220 million visits in the same period. Pornhub and YouPorn have Alexa global rankings of 65 and 161 respectively.

Both publishers and ad networks worked to remove the offending code immediately, with the offending third party -- which was not identified -- immediately being suspended from advertising on the sites. A statement from site group owner Mindgeek released to Malwarebytes said, "Providing an optimal and secure customer experience is of topmost priority for Pornhub, and our organization has taken the necessary steps to protect our customer’s enjoyment without the threat of infection. It is important to note that our sites are not delivering malware and we will continue to actively monitor the situation to safeguard our users."

It is not the first instance of a malware attack on a porn site. Just last week, xHamster was hit by a malicious advertisement that pretended to advertise a dating application called "Sex Messenger," specifically targeting users running Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. In that instance, advertising provider TrafficHaus quickly removed the ad.

While antivirus software can help stop infections, it is not foolproof. Users who do not keep their antivirus up to date can find themselves at risk, as can those who avoid installing crucial Windows Updates (or updates for any other operating system). With that said, it's still possible to be at risk from infection, and one of the best ways to avoid infection is to avoid visiting sites or clicking on advertisements that look suspicious.

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Why some of us don't have one true calling

Why some of us don't have one true calling | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you're not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites" -- who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?
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IBM's Watson: Making Everything Smarter Soon

Alex Wilhelm asks IBM's Dr. John Kelly and Watson about the reliability of Wikipedia and the incredible potential of Watson as a cloud-based service.
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Das Kapital: Meevaller voor huurders door nieuw puntenstelsel

Das Kapital: Meevaller voor huurders door nieuw puntenstelsel | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Door een aanpassing van het woningwaarderingsstelsel is het mogelijk dat u tot wel 200€ per maand (!) minder huur gaat betalen. Tenminste, als u de moeite neemt het uit te rekenen, want niet alle verhuurders zijn zo vriendelijk dat voor u te doen. Kort gezegd gaat de woz-waarde per 1 oktober een rol spelen en worden andere criteria als 'hinderlijke situaties' en woonvorm geschrapt. Enkele woningcorporaties, zoals Mitros (Utrecht), Woonstad Rotterdam (Rotterdam) en Staedion (Den Haag) hebben op eigen houtje brieven gestuurd naar hun huurders. Anderen houden zich wijselijk stil. Niet heel verrassend, want als je huuropbrengsten daardoor ineens met 5 tot 10% gedrukt worden dan zouden wij ook liever even wachten om te kijken wie alert genoeg zijn om zelf achter hun huurprijs aan te gaan. Bent u huurder, dan kunnen we dat laatste natuurlijk alleen maar aanraden. Doe de huurprijscheck als de website van de huurcommissie weer van zijn ochtenderectie af is en geef uw verhuurder van jetje. Niet duidelijk is overigens of er ook mensen zijn die slechter worden van de nieuwe berekening. Wel zijn er huurders voor wie deze wijziging geen invloed heeft: uiteraard, zouden we bijna zeggen, die in de vrije sector.
R. Goossens | 30-09-15 | 09:23 | 3 reacties | 04
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5 Promiscuous Things Women Do That Are Actually Empowering

5 Promiscuous Things Women Do That Are Actually Empowering | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Originally published on Unwritten by Brittany Graham.

If there is one thing that our society likes to do, it's judging women who dare to be promiscuous and have an enjoyable sex life. But who said we
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Even 'super hackers' leave entries in logs, so prepare to drown in data

Even 'super hackers' leave entries in logs, so prepare to drown in data | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Gartner: Super hackers basically don't exist, your incident response plan sucks, and you should relish the opportunity to drown in data: such are the lessons from incident response fanatic Anton Chuvakin.

The analyst, physicist, and former director of Security Warrior Consulting gave delegates of the Gartner Security and Risk Management Conference in Sydney today a sermon on the dos-and-don'ts of security incidence response.

The Garner Vice President™ says the old school incident response model security bods are taught as tots is ineffective but sadly popular. He says while "super hackers" exist, they aren't ghosts and everyone leaves logs.

"Super hackers practically do not exist," Chuvakin says. "They always leave trace."

"You should deploy more visibility tools; it's likely you don't have enough, even if you think you are drowning in data.

"Many think the win is not about being secure, but is about stopping the attackers. And that mindset makes it difficult to do advanced incident response."

The respected security bod gave something of a condensed interpretation of his incidence response blogs. In it, Chuvakin says that the classification of a security incident is a personal affair that each organisation needs to determine according to their risk appetites. But the urge to classify a response according to monetary impact should probably be left off the agenda.

"Monetary cost is a question that should have been left in the 1990s," Chuvakin says.
Continous IR image

Continous IR.

His sermon continues: having a plan is a vastly different beast to actual planning, the latter requiring constant updates such that threat vectors, disaster recovery phone contacts and so on are relevant when the corporate network locks are popped. "Finding the right people to call during an event rarely works well," he says.

He describes continuous incidence response as the mark of a modern security boffin whereby the corporate network is considered breached such that the battle is a daily occurrence of keeping the enemy pinned down on its beachhead.

Chuvakin paints a red cross through the old-school response flow process of prepare, detect, contain, and eradicate, but says it should not be entirely consigned to the incidence response recycling bin.

The method rather needs updating to focus on indicators of compromise and to have dedicated teams charged with handling separate and dedicated areas of a response process, the boffin says. ®
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Jan Bergmans's insight:

Gartner: Super hackers basically don't exist, your incident response plan sucks, and you should relish the opportunity to drown in data: such are the lessons from incident response fanatic Anton Chuvakin.

The analyst, physicist, and former director of Security Warrior Consulting gave delegates of the Gartner Security and Risk Management Conference in Sydney today a sermon on the dos-and-don'ts of security incidence response.

The Garner Vice President™ says the old school incident response model security bods are taught as tots is ineffective but sadly popular. He says while "super hackers" exist, they aren't ghosts and everyone leaves logs.

"Super hackers practically do not exist," Chuvakin says. "They always leave trace."

"You should deploy more visibility tools; it's likely you don't have enough, even if you think you are drowning in data.

"Many think the win is not about being secure, but is about stopping the attackers. And that mindset makes it difficult to do advanced incident response."

The respected security bod gave something of a condensed interpretation of his incidence response blogs. In it, Chuvakin says that the classification of a security incident is a personal affair that each organisation needs to determine according to their risk appetites. But the urge to classify a response according to monetary impact should probably be left off the agenda.

"Monetary cost is a question that should have been left in the 1990s," Chuvakin says.

Continous IR.

His sermon continues: having a plan is a vastly different beast to actual planning, the latter requiring constant updates such that threat vectors, disaster recovery phone contacts and so on are relevant when the corporate network locks are popped. "Finding the right people to call during an event rarely works well," he says.

He describes continuous incidence response as the mark of a modern security boffin whereby the corporate network is considered breached such that the battle is a daily occurrence of keeping the enemy pinned down on its beachhead.

Chuvakin paints a red cross through the old-school response flow process of prepare, detect, contain, and eradicate, but says it should not be entirely consigned to the incidence response recycling bin.

The method rather needs updating to focus on indicators of compromise and to have dedicated teams charged with handling separate and dedicated areas of a response process, the boffin says. ®

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Russian Spy Gang Hijacks Satellite Links to Steal Data

Russian Spy Gang Hijacks Satellite Links to Steal Data | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
The Russian gang known as Turla have been hijacking satellite IP addresses of legitimate users to steal data from other infected machines.
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Shape Your Thoughts to Shape the Life You Want

Shape Your Thoughts to Shape the Life You Want | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
How to Create An Intention

Visualize something you want more of in your life.

Listen to and honor your authentic feelings. For example, if you are grieving a loss and your intention is to feel more joy, recognize that grief is a necessary part of your experience right now and gently hold your grief while creating a space for joy. Allow grief and joy to live side by side.

Never use your intention to trump your feelings in the moment. Embracing your feelings is as important as shifting them when they are no longer serving you.

Choose your words carefully so that they reflect precisely what you are trying to bring to yourself and your life.

Return to your intention(s) whenever you find yourself drifting away and lost in old patterns of thought or action.

Make them personal and actionable by empowering your intentions with "I" statements.

How long does it take for intentions to shift our thoughts and actions? Just like the study on habits suggests, it can vary from person to person. It seems that when we combine intention setting with mediation, or even with relaxation, we can bring more attention and energy to it. So try it at the end of your relaxation practice, or at the end of meditation if you want to amplify the practice.

Some Intentions to try:

I am filled with gratitude
I listen more deeply when I don't give advice
I feel vibrant when I exercise everyday
I practice yoga each day to stay centered
I nourish myself with healthy foods
I let go of gossip to nurture compassion for all beings

How has changing the way you think changed your life?

Have a questions regarding transforming your way of eating and living, 'Ask Dr. Ornish'!

Follow Ornish Living on Twitter: www.twitter.com/OrnishLiving
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Big Data Logistics: data transfer using Apache Sqoop from RDBMS

Big Data Logistics: data transfer using Apache Sqoop from RDBMS | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Apache Sqoop is a connectivity tool to perform data transfer between Hadoop and traditional databases (RDBMS) which contains structured data. Using sqoop, one…
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can import data to Hadoop Distributed File System from RDBMS likeOracle, Teradata, MySQL, etc… and also export the data from Hadoop to any RDBMS in form of CSV file or direct export to databases. There is a possibility of writing mapreduce programs that would use jdbc connectors to export/import data from/to Hadoop but sqoop automates most of such process. Advantage here is operations are parallelized and fault tolerance. One caveat though: user has to download the appropriate jdbc driver for the database. I will use MySQL so I would need MySQL jdbc driver. These drivers are developed already so not to worry. Do lookup cloudera, hortonworks for teradata, postgresql, oracle’s jdbc drivers. JDBC driver, Java DataBase Connectivity is basically an API that lets you access data from relational databases and data warehouses. Each RDBMS provider has its own JDBC driver interface program. One can import an entire table from RDBMS and specify a location where it needs to be stored in HDFS or can incorporate a query where only a subset of an entire table will be written in HDFS. Installation: Sqoop is very easy to install. If you are a Red Hat/CentOS user, do a yum install on sqoop. $ wget http://name of the mirror/sqoop/1.4.4/sqoop-1.4.4.bin__hadoop-1.0.0.tar.gz $ tar -zxvf sqoop-1.4.4.bin__hadoop-1.0.0.tar.gz Add the SQOOP_HOME in your runtime configuration file. export SQOOP_HOME=/data/sqoop-1.4.4 export PATH=$SQOOP_HOME/bin Hadoop should be up and running. Now, Download the Mysql connector jar from, http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/ extract it, copy the mysql-connector-java-5.1.22-bin.jar into SQOOP_HOME/lib I do not have MySQL-server so I am going to install it. $ sudo apt-get install mysql-server $ sudo service mysql status it will show process running. Now, sqoop tool has been setup. Say if I created a table called EmpRecordsData from a Database called FirstSQOOP with details of employees, salary, dept and wanted to import the table into HDFS, then we could enter, sqoop import \ --connect jdbc:mysql://localhost/firstsqoop \ --username root \ --password "" \ --table employee This would perform a mapreduce of importing data from mysql database using the mysql jdbc connector. You can also import a subset of existing table sqoop import \ --connect jdbc:mysql://localhost/firstsqoop \ --username root \ --password "" \ --table employee \ --where "Dept = 'Accounting' && Salary >= "5000"" Or even query the RDBMS and only import what you want sqoop import \ --connect jdbc:mysql://localhost/firstsqoop \ --username root \ --password "" \ --table employee --query 'SELECT EmpRecordsData, ContractRecordsData \ FROM ORC_Solutions \ JOIN EmpName USING EmpDept \ WHERE "EmpDept = 'Operations Research'"' \ --target-dir TargetHDFSDirectory Now lets look at how we can export data from Hadoop/HDFS sqoop export \ --connect jdbc:mysql://localhost/firstsqoop \ --username root \ --password "" \ --table employee \ --export-dir EmployeeDepartment You can update the existing database if you prefer as sqoop also provides such facility. Also, sqoop lets you import RDBMS data directly to hive. Here how thats done: sqoop import \ --connect jdbc:mysql://localhost/firstsqoop \ --username root \ --password "" \ --table employee \ --hive-import This is a repost of my original blog at wordpress. Do visit me http://datasciencehacks.wordpress.com/
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Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key

Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
New Windows devices have disk encryption turned on by default. But what happens to your recovery key?
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ONE OF THE EXCELLENT FEATURES of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key — which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk — to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out.

During the “crypto wars” of the ’90s, the National Security Agency developed an encryption backdoor technology — endorsed and promoted by the Clinton administration — called the Clipper chip, which it hoped telecom companies would use to sell backdoored crypto phones. Essentially, every phone with a Clipper chip would come with an encryption key, but the government would also get a copy of that key — this is known as key escrow — with the promise to only use it in response to a valid warrant. But due to public outcry and the availability of encryption tools like PGP, which the government didn’t control, the Clipper chip program ceased to be relevant by 1996. (Today, most phone calls still aren’t encrypted. You can use the free, open source, backdoorless Signal app to make encrypted calls.)

The fact that new Windows devices require users to backup their recovery key on Microsoft’s servers is remarkably similar to a key escrow system, but with an important difference. Users can choose to delete recovery keys from their Microsoft accounts (you can skip to the bottom of this article to learn how) — something that people never had the option to do with the Clipper chip system. But they can only delete it after they’ve already uploaded it to the cloud.

“The gold standard in disk encryption is end-to-end encryption, where only you can unlock your disk. This is what most companies use, and it seems to work well,” says Matthew Green, professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University. “There are certainly cases where it’s helpful to have a backup of your key or password. In those cases you might opt in to have a company store that information. But handing your keys to a company like Microsoft fundamentally changes the security properties of a disk encryption system.”

As soon as your recovery key leaves your computer, you have no way of knowing its fate. A hacker could have already hacked your Microsoft account and can make a copy of your recovery key before you have time to delete it. Or Microsoft itself could get hacked, or could have hired a rogue employee with access to user data. Or a law enforcement or spy agency could send Microsoft a request for all data in your account, which would legally compel it to hand over your recovery key, which it could do even if the first thing you do after setting up your computer is delete it.

As Green puts it, “Your computer is now only as secure as that database of keys held by Microsoft, which means it may be vulnerable to hackers, foreign governments, and people who can extort Microsoft employees.”

Of course, keeping a backup of your recovery key in your Microsoft account is genuinely useful for probably the majority of Windows users, which is why Microsoft designed the encryption scheme, known as “device encryption,” this way. If something goes wrong and your encrypted Windows computer breaks, you’re going to need this recovery key to gain access to any of your files. Microsoft would rather give their customers crippled disk encryption than risk their data.

“When a device goes into recovery mode, and the user doesn’t have access to the recovery key, the data on the drive will become permanently inaccessible. Based on the possibility of this outcome and a broad survey of customer feedback we chose to automatically backup the user recovery key,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. “The recovery key requires physical access to the user device and is not useful without it.”

After you finish setting up your Windows computer, you can login to your Microsoft account and delete the recovery key. Is this secure enough? “If Microsoft doesn’t keep backups, maybe,” says Green. “But it’s hard to guarantee that. And for people who aren’t aware of the risk, opt-out seems risky.”

This policy is in stark contrast to Microsoft’s major competitor, Apple. New Macs also ship with built-in and default disk encryption: a technology known as FileVault. Like Microsoft, Apple lets you store a backup of your recovery key in your iCloud account. But in Apple’s case, it’s an option. When you set up a Mac for the first time, you can uncheck a box if you don’t want to send your key to Apple’s servers.

This policy is also in contrast to Microsoft’s premium disk encryption product called BitLocker, which isn’t the same thing as what Microsoft refers to as device encryption. When you turn on BitLocker you’re forced to make a backup of your recovery key, but you get three options: Save it in your Microsoft account, save it to a USB stick, or print it.

To fully understand the different disk encryption features that Windows offers, you need to know some Microsoft jargon. Windows comes in different editions: Home (the cheapest), Pro, and Enterprise (more expensive). Windows Home includes device encryption, which started to become available during Windows 8, and requires your computer to have a tamper-resistant chip that stores encryption keys, something all new PCs come with. Pro and Enterprise both include device encryption, and they also include BitLocker, which started to become available during Windows Vista, but only for the premium editions. Under the hood, device encryption and BitLocker are the same thing. The difference is there’s only one way to use device encryption, but BitLocker is configurable.

If you’re using a recent version of Windows, and your computer has the encryption chip, and if you have a Microsoft account, your disk will automatically get encrypted, and your recovery key will get sent to Microsoft. If you login to Windows using your company’s or university’s Windows domain, then your recovery key will get sent to a server controlled by your company or university instead of Microsoft — but still, you can’t prevent device encryption from sending your recovery key. If you choose to not use a Microsoft or a domain account at all and instead create a “local only” account, then you don’t get disk encryption.

BitLocker, on the other hand, gives you more control. When you turn on BitLocker you get the choice to store your recovery key locally, among other options. But if you buy a new Windows device, even if it supports BitLocker, you’ll be using device encryption when you first set it up, and you’ll automatically send your recovery key to Microsoft.

In short, there is no way to prevent a new Windows device from uploading your recovery key the first time you log in to your Microsoft account, even if you have a Pro or Enterprise edition of Windows. And this is worse than just Microsoft choosing an insecure default option. Windows Home users don’t get the choice to not upload their recovery key at all. And while Windows Pro and Enterprise users do get the choice (because they can use BitLocker), they can’t exercise that choice until after they’ve already uploaded their recovery key to Microsoft’s servers.

How to delete your recovery key from your Microsoft account

Go to this website and log in to your Microsoft account — this will be the same username and password that you use to log in to your Windows device. Once you’re in, it will show you a list of recovery keys backed up to your account.

If any of your Windows devices are listed, this means that Microsoft, or anyone who manages to access data in your Microsoft account, is technically able to unlock your encrypted disk, without your consent, as long as they physically have your computer. You can go ahead and delete your recovery key on this page — but you may want to back it up locally first, for example by writing it down on a piece of paper that you keep somewhere safe.

If you don’t see any recovery keys, then you either don’t have an encrypted disk, or Microsoft doesn’t have a copy of your recovery key. This might be the case if you’re using BitLocker and didn’t upload your recovery key when you first turned it on.

When you delete your recovery key from your account on this website, Microsoft promises that it gets deleted immediately, and that copies stored on its backup drives get deleted shortly thereafter as well. “The recovery key password is deleted right away from the customer’s online profile. As the drives that are used for failover and backup are sync’d up with the latest data the keys are removed,” a Microsoft spokesperson assured me.

If you have sensitive data that’s stored on your laptop, in some cases it might be safer to completely stop using your old encryption key and generate a new one that you never send to Microsoft. This way you can be entirely sure that the copy that used to be on Microsoft’s server hasn’t already been compromised.

Generate a new encryption key without giving a copy to Microsoft

Update: After this article was published, Ars Technica wrote about a method for preventing the recovery key you sent to Microsoft from being able to unlock your disk that doesn’t require upgrading from Windows Home to Pro or Enterprise. However if you already have a Pro or Enterprise edition, following the rest of the steps in this article might be simpler.

In order to generate a new disk encryption key, this time without giving a copy to Microsoft, you need decrypt your whole hard disk and then re-encrypt it, but this time in such a way that you’ll actually get asked how you want to backup your recovery key.

This is only possible if you have Windows Pro or Enterprise. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do if you have the Home edition is upgrade to a more expensive edition or use non-Microsoft disk encryption software, such as BestCrypt, which you have to pay for. You may also be able to get open source encryption software like VeraCrypt working, but sadly the open source options for full disk encryption in Windows don’t currently work well with modern PC hardware (as touched on here).

Go to Start, type “bitlocker,” and click “Manage BitLocker” to open BitLocker Drive Encryption settings.

From here, click “Turn off BitLocker.” It will warn you that your disk will get decrypted and that it may take some time. Go ahead and continue. You can use your computer while it’s decrypting.

After your disk is finished decrypting, you need to turn BitLocker back on. Back in the BitLocker Drive Encryption settings, click “Turn on BitLocker.”

It will check to see if your computer supports BitLocker, and then it will ask you how you want to backup your recovery key. It sure would be nice if it asked you this when you first set up your computer.

If you choose to save it to a file, it will make you save it onto a disk that you’re not currently encrypting, such as a USB stick. Or you can choose to print it and keep a hard copy. You must choose one of them to continue, but make sure you don’t choose “Save to your Microsoft account.”

On the next page it will ask you if you want to encrypt used disk space only (faster) or encrypt your entire disk including empty space (slower). If you want to be on the safe side, choose the latter. Then on the next page it will ask you if you wish to run the BitLocker system check, which you should probably do.

Finally, it will make you reboot your computer.

When you boot back up your hard disk will be encrypting in the background. At this point you can check your Microsoft account again to see if Windows uploaded your recovery key – it shouldn’t have.

Now just wait for your disk to finish encrypting. Congratulations: Your disk is encrypted and Microsoft no longer has the ability to unlock it.

Contact the author:

Micah Lee✉micah.lee@theintercept.comt@micahflee

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The battle for Internet freedom isn't over yet - CNET

The battle for Internet freedom isn't over yet - CNET | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Net neutrality supporters scored a big victory in 2015 with the passage of controversial rules to protect the openness of the Internet, but there's more drama to come.
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After nearly a year of intense debate about how to regulate Internet traffic, the Federal Communications Commission in June put into effect a set of Net neutrality rules designed to ensure that all Web traffic is treated the same. Before the ink was dry on the FCC's regulations, broadband providers sued the government to get them thrown out.

Federal regulators head back to court this week to defend the rules. Oral arguments in the case will be heard Friday in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., with a decision likely to come next year.

The stakes are high: The court's decision will determine how the Internet will work in the future. And that future looks different depending on which side you believe. If you side with the FCC, the rules will save the Internet from being co-opted by big businesses looking to shut out competitors and control what content consumers see on their computers and mobile devices. If you're in the other camp, the rules will curtail innovation in services, freeze network investment and send prices for broadband access through the roof.

What's Net neutrality again?

Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally. This means your broadband provider, which controls your access to the Internet, can't block or slow down the services or applications you use over the Web. It also means your Internet provider can't create so-called fast lanes that force companies like Netflix to pay an additional fee to deliver their content to customers faster.

Although there is broad agreement with the basic premise of Net neutrality, the FCC's rules have become a lightning rod for controversy because the commission has reclassified broadband as a public utility. That change places broadband providers under some of the same strict regulations that have governed telephone networks for more than 80 years.

It's this issue that prompted telephone companies and cable operators to band together and sue the government. They argue the new classification lets the FCC impose higher rates and will discourage companies from building or upgrading their networks. The FCC says it has no intention of regulating rates or quashing innovative business models. The agency argues it reclassified broadband only to ensure it could fight legal challenges that Internet providers may lob its way in the future.

How did we get here?

The issue of how or even if the government should have rules to protect the Internet has been percolating for more than a decade. The FCC had adopted a set of principles for an open Internet in 2005. Three years later when the agency tried to reprimand Comcast for violating those principles, the federal court ruled the FCC had no authority to take such action. In 2010, the agency made good on its promise to protect the open Internet with its first set of true Net neutrality regulations.

Verizon challenged these rules in court, and in 2014, the court once again questioned the FCC's legal authority. But in a small victory for the FCC, the court acknowledged the agency's concern that large broadband providers might abuse their power and suggested employing a sounder legal argument based on the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Chances are you didn't care about any of this. The general public didn't start paying attention until June 2014. That's when comedian John Oliver devoted part of his HBO show, "Last Week Tonight," to accusing cable companies of shaking down regulators to get a rewrite of the rules. Thanks to Oliver's 13-minute rant, which called on viewers to flood the FCC with comments supporting an open Internet, 4 million Americans contacted the agency, crashing its servers.

With the public rallying support for stricter regulations, President Barack Obama threw his weight behind the plan to reclassify broadband. The issue has been politicized along strict party lines, with the two Republican FCC commissioners opposing the rules and the three Democratic commissioners supporting them.

So what now?

The fight continues on Friday with oral arguments, and the decision will likely spill into 2016. Coincidentally, the case will be argued before the same court that struck down the FCC's two previous attempts at Net neutrality. What's more, David Tatel, the judge who wrote the majority opinion for the court in the first two attempts to defend the FCC's Net neutrality efforts, is on the three-judge panel.

It's difficult to say what Tatel's involvement could mean for the outcome of the case. He's certainly the most experienced judge on the panel when it comes to this issue. In both opinions, he chided the FCC for overstepping its authority, but the agency believes the reclassification of broadband follows the blueprint Tatel laid out in his most recent opinion.

Others believe that the FCC misread Tatel's opinion and that the agency has overstepped its authority in reclassifying broadband.

With the same court and the same judge deciding the fate of these latest rules, the FCC and consumers are likely to get a clear indication of just how open the Internet will be in the future.

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CLOUDS Interactive Documentary

CLOUDS is a documentary exploring creativity through the lens of code

Via PuertoTICs, mirmilla
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Tempted to Accept That LinkedIn Invitation? Think Twice

Tempted to Accept That LinkedIn Invitation? Think Twice | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Tempted to Accept That LinkedIn Invitation? Think Twice
Money Talks News By Bob Sullivan
October 15, 2015 11:45 AM



Who turns down a LinkedIn invitation? You never know, that one connection could be the first step toward a new job, or a new client, or a lucrative contract.

Or, it could be the first step toward getting hacked.

In the latest cautionary tale about overly promiscuous social media sharing, investigators at Dell recently found that hackers set up a network of fake LinkedIn profiles, all designed as an elaborate ruse to steal electronic intelligence from telecommunications companies.

The 25 fake profiles cross-referenced each other, giving them credibility, and managed to trick hundreds of telecom workers and others into accepting connections. Dell’s SecureWorks research team believes an Iran-based hacking organization named Threat Group 2889 was behind the scheme. Earlier, this group was accused of duping Internet users into installing malicious software by disguising a program as a resume submission tool.

“We assess this group is tasked with obtaining confidential information for cyber espionage purposes,” Dell said. “This assessment is based on the inferred targeting of Arab middle-eastern companies, governments and defense organizations.”

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for finding a new job or building a network of professional connections. It is also a powerful tool for hackers or scammers to get a foothold into your digital life and your personal information. LinkedIn users tend to be more open to accepting connections from strangers than users of other social networks, like Facebook, because LinkedIn is perceived as less personal.

But connecting on LinkedIn can create its own perils. It’s easy to craft an alleged dream job for a would-be hacking target, for example, and trick him or her into opening an attachment.

Job seekers tend to be vulnerable, for obvious reasons. A recent survey showed that online job scams continue to succeed at high rates. About 17 percent of job seekers have reported being a victim of a job scam at least once, if not multiple times, according to the survey by FlexJobs. Victims were tricked by would-be ID thieves into surrendering personal information for a job that didn’t exist, doing work for which they were never paid, or being directed to conduct illegal activity such as shipping stolen goods overseas.

Meanwhile, oversharing on LinkedIn has produced some unexpected frustrations for users. Last year, four members sued the site over its “Reference Search” feature, which some human resources departments used when considering job applicants. Available for an extra fee, Reference Search used LinkedIn data to generate a list of job candidates’ associates and make it easy to reach out to their former colleagues. The lawsuit claimed the list constituted a credit report, and because applicants were not notified, “Reference Search” was a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The suit was dismissed, but LinkedIn discontinued Reference Search this summer anyway.

The incident highlighted the complex issue of who owns data shared with social networks, and an even more confusing issue: Who owns data that is inferred from information that’s volunteered by users, such as who may or may not be a former work colleague.

LinkedIn also settled a lawsuit recently targeting its “add connections” feature, which invites users to let LinkedIn reach into their contacts list and automatically email invitations to connect. Users claimed they didn’t consent to follow-up emails, and the service will pay up to $13 million to settle spam allegations.

But the biggest risk of using LinkedIn revolves around its use as a hacker research tool. LinkedIn might be the best social engineering database ever invented. It is now trivial to build a database of workers at a company and craft tempting spear-phishing emails, for example.

The critical advice is this: It’s tempting to accept every LinkedIn connection that arrives. You shouldn’t. Screen your connections the way you screen Facebook friend requests. Take a moment to make sure you actually know the person, or at least have someone in common. Then take another moment to make sure the person is legit. Then take one more moment to recall the story of Threat Group 2889 and take a few extra clicks to make sure he or she is really legit.

What’s your experience with LinkedIn and other social media “friends”? Share with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

This article was originally published on MoneyTalksNews.com as 'Tempted to Accept That LinkedIn Invitation? Think Twice'.
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LinkedIn May Owe You $1,500 After Making A $13 Million Settlement In ‘Spam’ Case

LinkedIn May Owe You $1,500 After Making A $13 Million Settlement In ‘Spam’ Case | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
The settlement applies to all those that were LinkedIn members between the dates of September 17, 2011, and October 31, 2014. Those members also needed to have used the “Add Connections” function, which allows others to import their email contacts list. From there, invitations can be sent on LinkedIn to connect the two members.

The lawsuit then states that LinkedIn repeatedly “spammed” those email address owners if they didn’t respond to the invitation emails. Upon lack of response, they would then send two reminder emails without the consent of the user and this would happen for every invitation that wasn’t acknowledged.

Any LinkedIn users who opted to use the “Add Connections” function never gave consent for the multiple follow-up emails. This, in turn, has led to the lawsuit that LinkedIn ended up settling for $13 million and it could lead to $1,500 (or less) for those users.

As VOX reported, the federal court found those emails to be even more than actual spam. They were indeed found to be illegal abuse of tens of millions of Americans’ inboxes. The lawsuit points out that the company simply went far beyond just reaching out.

“LinkedIn, without consent, downloads and indefinitely stores email addresses gathered from its members’ third-party email accounts. Not only does LinkedIn send an initial email to the email addresses obtained from a user’s external email account, but LinkedIn sends two additional emails to those addresses when those users do not sign up for a LinkedIn account.”

Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, hasn’t released a statement, but the settlement pretty much shows that the company realizes it was easier to go this route than fight it. LinkedIn has still denied any wrongdoing in the entire situation.
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Impact Investing and Equity Pledges: The New Landscape of Corporate Responsibility

Impact Investing and Equity Pledges: The New Landscape of Corporate Responsibility | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
As entrenched issues such as income inequality slog on - much discussed yet under-addressed in Washington, a new generation of businesses is filling the leadership vacuum by building philanthropy directly into their founding missions. For this innovative breed of companies, giving back is not optional or half-hearted; creating sustainable and measurable impact is as core to their definition of success as a high return to their shareholders.

San Francisco is a particular hotbed of this socially responsible mindset. Many of the world's leading innovators call the Bay Area home, but their staggering success has come at a cost. As the city now tops the list of most expensive in the country, it's become exceedingly difficult for the middle class to eke out an existence, and the ranks of the poor and homeless have swelled. This change has warped the relationship that the city's leading companies have with the community, creating a starkly classist hierarchy of haves and have-nots and fueling bitter resentments.

Fortunately, the innovative culture that has powered such prosperity for this part of the world is also nourishing a determined approach to social change. One of the best examples in action is the Founders Pledge, a program of Full Circle Fund that engages startup founders to pledge at least one-percent of company equity toward positive social change in their communities.

Imagine if, at the moment of its inception, Facebook had committed 1% of its equity towards positive social change. With that one pledge alone, the problem of San Francisco's homelessness might now be a thing of the past.

The Founders Pledge seeks to catch the Facebooks of the future early on and give them the community and resources they need to do good from the start.
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LinkedIn Tops Facebook For Real Estate Networking

LinkedIn Tops Facebook For Real Estate Networking | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Over half of industry professionals said they use the professional networking site, according to commercial real estate organization NAIOP Massachusetts and Solomon McCown & Co. Facebook ranked second, cited by 20 percent of respondents.

Real estate brokers were particularly sold on social media’s ability to help them professionally, with nearly nine out of 10 saying it had help them find new leads.

But real estate owners appear to be later adopters. Only 22 percent say they have an in-house social media program, and a third said they only use it a few times a year.

More than eight of 10 respondents said they used mobile devices to check social media, and less than 7 percent said they shun social media entirely for personal or professional use.

The results were taken from a survey of 100 real estate professionals conducted online and at a recent NAIOP forum.
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How language can affect the way we think

How language can affect the way we think | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? Economist Keith Chen thinks so -- and he argues that our mother tongue even affects our economic decisions.
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5 Promiscuous Things Women Do That Are Actually Empowering

5 Promiscuous Things Women Do That Are Actually Empowering | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Originally published on Unwritten by Brittany Graham.

If there is one thing that our society likes to do, it's judging women who dare to be promiscuous and have an enjoyable sex life. But who said we
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NATO gets a front-door to look for Microsoft backdoors

NATO gets a front-door to look for Microsoft backdoors | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
Renews security contract with Redmond
Jan Bergmans's insight:

Microsoft has renewed its 12-year-old agreement with NATO which, among other things, lets the organisation check for bugs, vulnerabilities, and backdoors in Redmond's products.

The company announced the agreement here.

The essence of the release is that NATO's Communications and Information Agency, NCI, has signed with Microsoft's Government Security Program (GSP).

Under the GSP, Redmond will provide vulnerability and threat intelligence information to the NCI, including "controlled access to source code" for its core enterprise products.

Products covered by the GSP include Windows (currently up to 8.1), Windows Server up to 2012 R2, Office 2007, 2010, and 2013, Lync 2013, Sharepoint 2010, and versions 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 of Windows Embedded CE.

NATO's renewal brings to 44 the number of governments worldwide that have joined the GSP, Microsoft says.

The program is supported by a Transparency Center in Brussels that opened in June 2015, where signatory governments can look at source code covered by the GSP, as well as reviewing Azure and Office 365 cloud products. ®

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Click here to support Please Help The Oney Family Move by Mary E. Berens-Oney

Click here to support Please Help The Oney Family Move  by Mary E. Berens-Oney | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
My Husband was Robbed at Gun Point on Monday August 31, 2015. Our neighborhood has gotten even more violent. We have decided to move to a better neighborhood in Cleveland. We have been fighting Social Services to get our Granddaughter back HOME !!! Our Funds are very low at this time.  I don't wa...
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"Homeless". Please Help My Family Get To A Better Neighborhood & Home.  My Family would be Grateful & Thankful for the Help. Thank You ... Mary E. Oney Man with Parkinson’s disease robbed at gunpoint on Cleveland’s west side

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The Men Walking Every Block in New York City

The Men Walking Every Block in New York City | Semantic Gnosis Web | Scoop.it
The five boroughs contain more than six thousand miles of streets. William Helmreich and Matt Green plan to walk each one.
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