MANILA, Philippines -- MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The strongest typhoon this year slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, setting off landslides and knocking out power and communication lines in several provinces. At least four people died.
Huge, fast-paced Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west — Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay— and lashed beach communities with over 200 kilometer (125 mile) per hour winds. Nearly 720,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.
Due to cut-off communications, it was impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage. At least two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.
- Ajubeo announces today it was selected as the 2013 XaaS of the Year award honoree by the Communications Technology Professionals (CTP) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). The award ceremony was held on November 7, 2013 at the Innovation Pavilion in Centennial, Colorado.
- The XaaS of the Year Ascent Award is given to the firm that best represents the Colorado spirit of innovation, growth and drive in technology delivered “as-a-service” and is poised to make a near-term impact on the industry.
- "One of the most rewarding parts of being a contributor to the Colorado technology community is that you get to be around some of the greatest minds creating some of the most innovative companies, products and services in the world, let alone the United States," commented Tom Whitcomb, Ajubeo co-founder and Colorado CIO of the Year.
BOULDER, Colo. – Ajubeo, a national provider of high-performance virtual data centers and cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), today announced it was selected as the 2013 XaaS of the Year award honoree by the Communications Technology Professionals (CTP) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). The award ceremony was held on November 7, 2013 at the Innovation Pavilion in Centennial, Colorado.
"We are honored to win the Communications Technology Professionals 2013 XaaS of the Year Ascent Award," said Chuck Price, president and CEO of Ajubeo. "Since opening our doors in Q1 of 2011, Ajubeo has been committed to delivering the highest-performing cloud infrastructure, ‘Built by CIOs for CIOs’. The recognition, coming from an organization like CTP with a membership of over 2,500 well-respected industry professionals, validates that we are still accomplishing this goal some two and a half years later."
The XaaS of the Year Ascent Award is given to the firm that best represents the Colorado spirit of innovation, growth and drive in technology delivered “as-a-service” and is poised to make a near-term impact on the industry. The XaaS category included nominees in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) disciplines, Ajubeo winning as an IaaS provider. Ascent finalists were nominated and validated by hundreds of technology executives, with the winner selected by the Ascent Awards board that was strategically assembled by the CTP and TiE Rockies to be representative of the spirit of the award.
"One of the most rewarding parts of being a contributor to the Colorado technology community is that you get to be around some of the greatest minds creating some of the most innovative companies, products and services in the world, let alone the United States," commented Tom Whitcomb, Ajubeo co-founder and Colorado CIO of the Year. "Everyone at Ajubeo would like to thank the CTP and TiE Rockies for this honor. We will continue to innovate and deliver a world-class, unified infrastructure as a service platform to businesses large and small, across the globe, enabling them to deliver maximum business value."
Ajubeo is a pure-play, cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider offering high-performance cloud computing and storage services via virtual data centers (public, hybrid & private) with a 100% uptime track record to date. Managed via the MyAjubeo online portal from any secure Internet connection in the world, Ajubeo’s Unified Cloud Platform also features advanced cloud monitoring, networking and security services, cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity services, and tiered enterprise virtual desktop (DaaS) services. Ajubeo’s diverse cloud partner program includes referral partners, master agents, and managed IT service providers including private label Ajubeo IaaS Elite Resellers. For more information on Ajubeo, please visit www.ajubeo.com.
For more information on the CTP Ascent Awards, please visit http://comtechpros.org.
Follow Ajubeo online via Twitter (www.twitter.com/Ajubeo), Facebook (www.facebook.com/Ajubeo), or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/ajubeo).
Ajubeo is a national provider of high-performance, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, founded and built by CIOs for CIOs. The Ajubeo IaaS offering includes virtual datacenters, virtual desktops, cloud-based disaster recovery, cloud-based data backup and restore, and cloud-based systems and application monitoring. Discerning organizations select Ajubeo for the increased business and architectural agility that comes from flexible, high-performance cloud infrastructure built to handle the scale, integration and compliance of today’s enterprise. Ajubeo backs its cloud services with a 100% SLA and corporate commitment to customer satisfaction. Cloud hubs are deployed in the world’s most reliable and interconnected carrier-neutral datacenters, accessible via secure, private network connections from anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit www.Ajubeo.com.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
Communications Technology Professionals (CTP) (http://www.comtechpros.org) is the premiere organization representing the community of communications and technology professionals in Colorado. CTP promotes the growth, innovation and leadership of Colorado companies and individuals through the dynamic interaction of its membership, knowledge sharing, events and advocacy. CTP has attracted members, participants, sponsors and supporters from across the communications and technology industry, including broadband, mobile, information technology, cable, satellite and unified communications. By encouraging greater communication and coordination across this ecosystem, CTP contributes to the vibrancy of the technology industry in Colorado and helps position Colorado as a preferred location for business expansion.
When the director of technology states that the IT infrastructure is up and available after a disaster, many believe it means that an organization can now begin to operate as normal. This is not completely correct; it’s only part of the solution. It’s like a car salesman pointing out a car on the lot; just because it’s sitting there doesn’t mean it’s ready for use – you need gas, a key and other bits before it’s ready for use. So, just because the technology infrastructure is ready, doesn’t mean it’s ready for use.
What’s happened is that the infrastructure has only been restored; the organization still needs other components in play before it can safely say it is back to operations – not necessarily ‘normal’ operations (Is it ever ‘normal’ to operate in disaster mode??). Yet when technology is restored there is the misconception that all must be well.
I like to keep 4 R’s in mind when an organization is getting back up on its feet after a major situation. Below describe four key stages that an organization must go through before it can state – confidently – that it’s back open for business – albeit, no doubt at reduced capacity and capability.
The most recent mall shooting, just a few days ago at the Garden State Plaza in N.J., again heightened the focus on risk management and security nationwide.
Parents have trusted that malls would be safe for teenagers to meet with friends, but places for public gathering can become targets for violence. The pressure is on for organizations to examine their security measures and contingency plans.
David Boehm, with Security USA said in an interview with CBS New York that the U.S. can learn from security experts in Israel. Similar to Israel, he said, our country heading in the direction of having officers stationed at entrances and exits to malls.
Computerworld - The document scanning operations of a massive public online digital archive based in San Francisco suffered $600,000 in fire damage Wednesday night.
The Internet Archive said no one was hurt in the fire that broke out about 3:30 a.m. and caused damage to an electrical conduit and some "physical materials." The cause of the fire is under investigation. The archive has a second facility in Richmond, Calif.
Which situation do you think is worse: Your company getting a public relations and/or consumer confidence hit because you revealed that your network was breached or not disclosing the breach at all?
Based on a recent ThreatTrack report, a lot of employers out there think the PR situation must be the worst scenario. The survey, conducted by Opinion Matters, includes feedback from 200 security professionals dealing with malware analysis within U.S. enterprises. It found that nearly 6 in 10 malware analysts have investigated or addressed a data breach that was never disclosed by their company.
In addition to not being totally open with their customers, the ThreatTrack report shows that the data breach problem is a lot worse than any of us thought. According to Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, there were 621 confirmed data breaches last year. But if nearly 60 percent of malware analysts say the breaches they investigated internally were never reported, it is a good bet that 621 breaches is a low number. A very low number.
LINCROFT, N.J. -- From mucking out homes to hanging drywall; from providing cleaning supplies to delivering food and financial assistance, volunteers and charitable organizations from around the nation have worked diligently to help residents of hard-hit New Jersey recover from Superstorm Sandy.
At the one-year anniversary of Sandy, many of the volunteers and sponsoring organizations who lent a hand in the critical first days after the disaster are still here and still helping.
As of the end of September 2013, some 173,544 volunteers had invested more than 1 million volunteer hours in the Sandy recovery effort. The value of their contributions now totals more than $30 million.
“In a disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, the efforts of volunteers are critical to the recovery,” said Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer for FEMA in New Jersey. “Volunteers have made a substantial contribution to helping New Jerseyans respond and recover from the challenges they faced after Hurricane Sandy.”
While the volunteer efforts that extend across the state may appear unrelated, in reality, they are all part of a collaborative mission, participating in a massive team effort to assist survivors of Hurricane Sandy in their transition to long term recovery.
“I’ve witnessed how valuable volunteers have been,” said Lt. Joseph Geleta of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. “It’s very important for the OEM to partner with the volunteer community.”
As the Volunteer Agency Liaison for Sandy Recovery, Geleta works in partnership with FEMA and a coalition of volunteer organizations who are members of the NJ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to coordinate a network of resources to assist survivors as they rebuild their lives.
“We have established Long Term Recovery Groups to help survivors,” Geleta said. “Our goal is to try to meet those unmet needs of survivors who have exhausted all of their disaster assistance dollars and who are still in need.”
The task is a big one.
Back in 1999, in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, 70,000 people registered for FEMA disaster assistance. “At that time we established a Somerset County Long Term Recovery Group, and they were helping people for five years after the storm hit.”
In 2011, after Hurricane Irene, 90,000 New Jerseyans registered for disaster assistance. “We were still working on unmet needs from Irene when Sandy hit,” Geleta noted.
The number of people seeking help after Hurricane Sandy exceeded the numbers who registered after Floyd and Irene combined.
“More than 260,000 residents of New Jersey registered for disaster assistance,” Geleta said. “Clearly we expect this is going to be a very long recovery.”
During the year after Sandy, the NJVOAD coordinated and supported the volunteer efforts of more than 500 organizations.
These organizations ranged from internationally known agencies like the American Red Cross to smaller groups that regularly travel thousands of miles to assist their fellow Americans when disaster strikes.
Among those groups are the Southern Baptist Men, who applied emergency “blue roof” coverings on over 1,500 homes that had been so damaged by the hurricane that their interiors were exposed to the elements.
Other groups that provided volunteers, resources and skilled workers to Sandy survivors in New Jersey included Habitat for Humanity, Feed the Children, Lutheran Disaster Response, United Jewish Communities, the National Disaster Relief Office of the Roman Catholic Church and Mennonite Disaster Services, to name only a few.
Local churches, charities and nonprofits also worked around the clock to provide the help their neighbors needed to survive, recover and rebuild.
The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties regularly provides more than 127,000 people with food and other services. The need for assistance increased substantially with the arrival of Sandy.
“In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy we provided over 1 million meals to people who were affected by the storm,” said Marion Lynch, marketing and communications coordinator for the Foodbank. And a year after the storm, “Our work continues. We provide food and outreach services to some of the area’s most hard hit communities and support recovery efforts in both counties. We remain committed to helping our neighbors recover and we rely on a caring community to support our work.”
The American Red Cross has also been a major partner in the recovery effort.
In the weeks following the disaster, the American Red Cross’s 5,300 employees and volunteers supported 65 shelters, distributed more than 1.5 million relief items, provided more than 23,000 health and mental health contacts, and served more than 4 million meals and snacks to Sandy survivors in New Jersey.
More than 2,200 Red Cross volunteers came from around the country, working with partner groups like the Southern Baptists, Islamic Relief - USA, Team Rubicon and others to help New Jersey.
Members of the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen Action Group, VISTA and AmeriCorps members also served as Red Cross disaster volunteers, joining members of Red Cross societies from Canada, Mexico, Saipan and other locations around the globe who were deployed throughout the state.
Red Cross volunteers contributed over 395,000 hours of service in New Jersey and millions of dollars’ worth of Sandy-specific in-kind donations flowed from generous corporate donors through the Red Cross. The agency delivered everything from batteries to baby food, food trucks to internet access, to the people of New Jersey.
Donations made by Americans around the country to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund supported the distribution of more than 47,000 Red Cross Clean-up kits and more than 28,000 Red Cross Comfort Kits in New Jersey.
“The American Red Cross continues to support residents of New Jersey in their recovery from Hurricane Sandy through a variety of programs, including grant funding to community and faith-based groups actively working to help individuals and families recover,” said Nancy Orlando, regional CEO of the American Red Cross South Jersey Region. “Additionally, through our Move-in Assistance Program, the Red Cross is providing direct financial assistance of up to $10,000 for housing-related expenses to eligible individuals whose primary homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable by Sandy. As of September, the American Red Cross has given close to $6 million to approximately 1,300 households in New Jersey through the MIAP initiative.”
While volunteer efforts have helped thousands of New Jerseyans repair, rebuild and recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, many residents still need help. NJVOAD has been working since before the disaster struck to coordinate and deploy volunteer resources where they are needed.
LTRGs continue to serve survivors in the following locations: Atlantic County, Atlantic City, Bergen County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County/Ironbound, Gloucester/Salem Counties, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County and Somerset County
“They are all working hard to help people in their communities,” said Cathy McCann, chair of NJVOAD. “NJVOAD has been hosting six regularly scheduled coordination calls among the different LTRGs so that they can share challenges, successes and support one another and that we can speak as a united group on any issues we see on a statewide basis. The different coordination calls are Case Management, Volunteers, Construction, Donations, Emotional and Spiritual Care.
This week we have asked Church World Service to come in and do four workshops on how cases can flow through the Long Term Recovery process. We have over 200 people scheduled to participate in these workshops. Sometimes it is hard to believe it is a year already and other times it feels like we should be further along, there have been many challenges, and many organizations that have not traditionally worked together are learning to do so, and are finding that we all need to work together to help people recover.”
If you or someone you know is still in need of assistance with a Hurricane-Sandy related problem, help is available via the web at www.Ready.gov and http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/programs/sandy_recovery.html
Survivors may also find information and access resources by calling 2-1-1 or via the web at https://www.nj211.org.
The confidential service is funded by local United Way chapters in partnership with the State Department of Human Services, the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the Department of Children and Families.
Resource specialists can connect New Jerseyans with community agencies for help with basic human needs such as clothing, food, shelter, rent and utilities, with special needs such as caring for an elderly or disabled person, with child care and with locating health and mental health care services
“The needs are still many,” McCann noted. “So many people are not aware of the Long Term Recovery Groups that are out there and that volunteers are available to help in the rebuilding,” McCann noted.
And as they help our neighbors in New Jersey rebuild, members of the volunteer network are reminding those who still want to help that donations of money and resources are still needed.
For information on making a donation of cash or materials, visit the National Donations Management Network on the web at www.ndmn.us/ to match your donation to the needs of the community.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
By Rachel Little, FEMA Youth Preparedness Council Member, Region 1
My name is Rachel Little and I am a junior attending Monson High School. I have lived in Monson, Massachusetts, my whole life, and couldn’t have grown up in a better place. My town is full of strong- willed, determined people, always willing to lend a helping hand.
When a tornado struck our town on June 1st, 2011, it brought our small community even closer together. Everyone was reaching out to give support, from supplying food or water, to giving neighbors hope for a better tomorrow. It was a very moving event to watch. Even though I was not directly affected by the tornado, I had people very near and dear to me in the path of the tornado. I wanted to help out in whatever way I could, because I saw how much the people of Monson were suffering. I couldn’t stand by and watch -- I had to take action.
Therefore, I joined the Monson volunteer efforts and eventually became a member of The Street Angels. The Street Angels is a dedicated volunteer group that brought supplies to families in need after the tornado, and helped families make connections with landscapers and builders. My fellow Street Angels helped me fill out an application to become part of FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council, and I am now going into my second year of being a proud member. To me, the Youth Preparedness Council is the beginning of people realizing that youth can make a difference in emergency preparedness and response -- not just myself and the wonderful people of this council, but the world’s youth. My fellow members and I are just the beginning of that change.
My plan for 2013 is to collaborate with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), to start a teen readiness club in my town. I know a lot of people my age wanted to get involved after the 2011 Monson tornado, but they didn’t know how. If either a Jr. MRC or a Teen CERT had already been in play before the tornado, Monson would have seen a significantly higher amount of youth action. Being a member of the Youth Preparedness Council, my mission is to increase the amount of prepared youth and families in my region.
I’ve also been trying to share emergency preparedness at my school. I’ve hit significant road blocks during previous attempts at getting a teen readiness club up and running for Monson High School. After last year’s Youth Preparedness Council summit in Washington DC, I had my heart set on starting a Teen CERT. The idea of getting my friends and classmates interested in preparedness and prepared for disasters was exciting. I asked around to see if I could get a trainer to help me get the team started. I found a man in my neighboring community who seemed very willing to help me out, but unfortunately, that fell through.
I turned to my Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, which was formed after the tornado. Although I made a presentation to them and they liked my ideas, we weren't able to get the plans off the ground. I did meet a woman in the Local Emergency Preparedness Committee meetings who happened to be the head of the MRC in my town, and she introduced me to Jr. MRC. We’re still hoping to get the Jr. MRC started, and it’s a current work in progress. I anticipate that the challenges for this year will again be finding someone to teach the course or help me with the establishment of the club. I have a backup plan, so that if things fall through, I will take the Teen CERT “train the trainer” course so I can teach a class myself.
As a result of starting Teen CERT or Jr. MRC in Monson, I want to see this little community become prepared for future emergencies. I hope never to see another disaster to the extent of the tornado ever again, but it’s better safe than sorry. I will know I’ve met success when I have a fully functioning teen readiness club in Monson High School. From there, I can only hope to expand my efforts to other communities and beyond.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent the official views of FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, or the United States Government. We are providing links to third party sites and organizations for your reference. FEMA does not endorse any non-government entities, organizations or services.
CSO — Everybody who spends much time on the web knows their activities are tracked for marketing purposes. Do a little online shopping for hats, and you will quickly see ads for hats popping up on other websites you visit.
But, the collection of individual data by so-called Big Data brokers goes well beyond your online shopping. Those companies -- there were 253 of them as of this past March, according to a directory compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse -- collect and sell information to marketers on everything from your marital status, whether you might be pregnant or have a newborn, have cancer, are trying to lose weight, are gay or straight, how much you make, what credit cards you use, your lines of credit, where you live, what your house cost, what kind of car you drive or if you might be looking to buy a new one, your race, occupation, political leanings, education level, have one or more children in college, have pets to what your hobbies are and more -- much more.
The clichA(c) is that data brokers know more about you than you know about yourself.
But this, according to those brokers, is a very good thing for you, the consumer. One major broker, Acxiom, which has been very much in the news over the past month for allowing consumers to view a portion of the data it collects on them through a new portal -- AboutTheData.com -- is using that higher visibility to assure people that not only is this collection harmless, but it also brings them a host of economic and other benefits.
CIO — A U.S. Senate committee yesterday approved legislation that would encourage government agencies to consolidate their data centers along with a bill to require online disclosures of federal spending data.
The Federal Data Center Consolidation Act, sponsored by Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), would spur on an initiative that the Obama administration launched in February 2010 to reduce the footprint of the government's IT infrastructure as agencies shift toward cloud computing and shared services.
The bill would require the 24 agencies participating in that effort to submit comprehensive inventories of their IT facilities to the Office of Management and Budget, along with long-term plans for phasing out data centers and optimizing performance at the ones that remain open. The agencies would also be expected to submit estimates of cost savings from their consolidation plans.