Month: April 2012
WASHINGTON—For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.
Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem.
After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”
On the night of the arrests, the agency brought in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the truckload of impounded rogue servers that infected computers were using.
Federal officials planned to keep their servers online until March, giving everyone opportunity to clean their computers. But it wasn’t enough time. A federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July.Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.
In the above CDC map, the key indicates the number of births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19 in a state. For example, in dark green states, there are 50 or more pregnancies for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19.
In 2009, a landmark study found a strong correlation between religion and teen pregnancy. The CDC’s newest data suggests not much has changed. Teen pregnancy closely follows the contours of America’s Bible belt, according to the map (above) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years (10 percent lower than 2009, 43 percent below their peak in 1970). But the geographic variation is substantial.
Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.
What factors lie behind this geographic pattern?
With the steady statistical hand of my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Charlotta Mellander, I took a quick look. Of course, the correlations we found are not the same thing as causation. Other factors we have not considered may come into play.
Teenage births remain high in more religious states. The correlation between teenage birthrates and the percentage of adults who say they are “very religious” is considerable (.69). The 2009 study posited that attitudes toward contraception play a significant role, noting that “religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself.”
Teen birthrates also hew closely to America’s political divide. They are substantially higher in conservative states that voted for McCain in 2008 (with a correlation of .65) and negatively correlated with states that voted for Obama (-.62).
Class plays a substantial role as well. Teen births are negatively associated with average state income (-.62), the share of the workforce in knowledge, professional, and creative class jobs (-.61), and especially with the share of adults who are college graduates (-.76). Conversely, teen birthrates are higher in more working class states (with a positive correlation of .58).
Overall, teen birthrates remain highest in America’s most religious, politically conservative and blue-collar states.
Atlanta, Ga. (The Weekly Vice) – Bernard Archer, a 19-year-old Georgia man was jailed after neighbors allegedly caught him having sex with two dogs.
According to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation was launched after witnesses caught Archer on video camera having sex with two dogs belonging to his employer, Dr. Cathryn Lafayette.
Investigators say Dr. Lafayette owns several pit bulls and needed help keeping her dog kennel clean. So she agreed to pay for Archer’s GED courses in exchange for his help with the kennel.
That arrangement came to an end when Lafayette’s neighbors caught Archer on video tape having sex with two of her dogs. Lafayette reportedly had trouble believing deputies when they knocked on her door with the news. Her doubts turned to disgust when deputies showed her a copy of the video.
“It showed him on his knees inside the kennel with my dog. he was on his knees like he was a dog,” said Lafayette. ”
Archer was booked into jail and charged with two felony counts of bestiality.
Saskatoon, Canada (The Weekly Vice) – A 36-year-old man whose name has not been released has been sentenced to a 2-1/2 year jail term after he insisted that his teen daughter have sex with him in exchange for letting her date a boy she liked.
The man’s name has been barred from publication to protect the teen girl’s identity.
According to Saskatoon provincial court documents, the father did not agree with his 15-year-old daughter’s choice of boyfriend.
Investigators say the father mandated that his daughter have sex with him in exchange for allowing her to date the boy – a deal she reportedly subjected herself to in order to keep the boyfriend.
Court documents say the man had sex with his daughter last summer and touched her vagina and breasts on another occasion.
He was then booked into jail on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and incest.
In a plea bargain, the man pleaded guilty to sexual assault, but was not convicted of the other two charges.
Bradenton, Florida (The Weekly Vice) – Christine Faith Baker, a 45-year-old Manatee County woman was jailed Friday after she allegedly offered an undercover officer sexual favors in exchange for a double-cheeseburger.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, an undercover vice officer was patrolling the area looking for prostitutes when he reportedly approached Baker and asked her if she wanted a ride.
After Baker accepted the officers offer, the conversation quickly turned sexual. The officer told Baker that he was looking for sex and then asked if she could help him out.
Baker told the officer that she would have sexual intercourse with him if he bought her two double-cheeseburgers from the McDonald’s dollar menu.
The officer agreed and bought her the cheeseburgers, which totaled $2.75.
White Plains, N.Y. (The Weekly Vice) – Jessica Vega, a 25-year-old New York woman has been indicted after she allegedly faked having cancer in order to con generous donors into providing her a “dream wedding” complete with honeymoon in Aruba.
According to the New York State Attorney General’s office, Vega reportedly conned several generous donors into providing her a dream wedding by falsely claiming that she was dying of leukemia.
Vega was arrested in Virginia on April 3, extradited to New York and then arraigned in Orange County Court on Friday.
In 2010, Vega reportedly began telling friends, neighbors and business owners that she was dying of leukemia and only had a few months left to live. She stated that she wanted to marry her baby’s father and that a “dream wedding” would be her dying wish.
Word of Vega’s misfortune spread and was even picked up by a local newspaper. During the newspaper interview, Vega showed the reporter a letter from her doctor which seemingly confirmed that she was dying of leukemia.
In response to the story, generous donors reached out to Vega to fulfill her wish.
A restaurant in Wallkill provided a reception complete with wine and appetizers, costing the business more than $1,000. A local boutique donated a wedding dress and seamstress while another woman volunteered her make up and hair styling services to Vega and seven bridesmaids.
Two wedding rings, plane tickets, spending money and a time-share in Aruba were also provided to the blushing bride.