The London Assembly Environment Committee has published a summary of the flood risks facing the UK capital.
24,000 properties in London are at significant risk of river flooding and the Environment Agency estimates that plans currently under development could protect 10,000 of these.
The Committee warns that the risks of flooding may be increasing. The effects of climate change in southern England could mean drier summers and wetter winters. More heavy rain in the Thames region would increase surface water risk and may lead to more river flooding in London.
Ways to reduce flood risk include sustainable drainage and river restoration, which create space for flood waters to be held higher in the river catchment and soak back into the ground. Allowing low-lying areas to flood safely at times of high water flow should protect homes, roads and businesses.
Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Environment Committee says:
“London needs to bring back its rivers to protect itself from inevitable flooding in the future. The more we can restore natural banks to London’s rivers, the less likely heavy rain will cause the degree of flooding we saw in the early part of this year.”
“Heavy or prolonged rain locally or upstream can cause rivers to flood. Tens of thousands of properties are at high or medium risk of river flooding. This is not just from the Thames, but also from the many smaller rivers that flow into it. A lot of people don’t know where their local rivers are, until they escape their channels.”
Read Flood Risks in London Summary of Findings (PDF).
Computerworld — My son is a chief technology officer. Some companies have a chief digital officer. Can chief data wrangler be far behind?
There seems to be a trend to come up with a title to replace "CIO" that encompasses the latest direction of the profession. Titles are reflecting an emphasis on big data, social networking and data analytics.
This doesn't happen with other titles. Take the chief financial officer. I have yet to hear of a CFO becoming the chief mergers officer when the company contemplates its first merger or acquisition. The CFO's role changes to encompass some new duties but that officer remains in charge of finance. And I suspect that most CFOs would not appreciate a change in title every time their role was redefined. And yet, add big data to IT's functions and someone says we need a new title to reflect that. But we really don't. The CIO remains in charge of the enterprise's information and data, big or otherwise.
CSO — Symantec has declared 2013 the year of the "mega-breach," placing security pros on notice that they stand to lose big from phishing, spear-phishing and watering-hole attacks.
The company released Tuesday its Internet Security Threat Report for 2013, which found that eight breaches exposed the personal information of more than 10 million identities each. By comparison, 2012 had only one breach that size and in 2011 there were five.
The number of massive data breaches in 2013 made it the "year of the mega-breach," Symantec said. Information stolen included credit card information, government ID numbers, medical records, passwords and other personal data.
Federal regulators on Tuesday approved a simple rule that could do more to rein in Wall Street than most other parts of a sweeping overhaul that has descended on the biggest banks since the financial crisis.
The rule increases to 5 percent, from roughly 3 percent, a threshold called the leverage ratio, which measures the amount of capital that a bank holds against its assets. The requirement — more stringent than that for Wall Street’s rivals in Europe and Asia — could force the eight biggest banks in the United States to find as much as an additional $68 billion to put their operations on firmer financial footing, according to regulators’ estimates.
Faced with that potentially onerous bill, Wall Street titans are expected to pare back some of their riskiest activities, including trading in credit-default swaps, the financial instruments that destabilized the system during the financial crisis.
Mistrust of the public cloud is driving many enterprises toward the pursuit of private clouds. For critical data and applications, this may seem like a no-brainer as it is wiser to keep the important stuff on trusted infrastructure.
Not all private clouds are the same, however, and unless you happen to be a platform developer, you’ll end up placing your trust in someone else’s technology, just as you do with physical and virtual infrastructure.
At the moment, it seems the private cloud is shaping up to be a battle between VMware and the OpenStack community, says cloud broker RightScale. And according to the firm’s latest survey, nearly a third of enterprises are looking to turn legacy vSphere and vCenter environments into private clouds. But that doesn’t mean the market is a lock for VMware. OpenStack deployments are on the rise, driven largely by a desire to avoid vendor lock-in, even as vCloud Director adoption is starting to flag.
LINCROFT, N.J. – In the weeks after a federally declared disaster, emergency teams from government agencies, nonprofits and volunteer organizations work together to help survivors make their way out of danger and find food, clothing and shelter.
After the immediate emergency is over, the long work of recovery begins.
And as New Jersey survivors of Hurricane Sandy have learned over the past 18 months, full recovery from a devastating event like Sandy may take years.
Communities throughout New Jersey have been working hard to repair, rebuild and protect against future storms. In many cases, the challenges they face are formidable.
At the invitation of individual communities and in partnership with the state, FEMA’s office of Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination works with residents and municipal officials in impacted municipalities to develop a strategy for full recovery.
For communities that require assistance, the FDRC can provide a team of recovery specialists with a broad array of skills. Among them: civil engineering, architecture, land-use planning, economic development, environmental science and disabilities integration.
The FDRC is activated under the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which provides a structure for effective collaboration between impacted communities, federal, state, tribal and local governments, the private sector, and voluntary, faith-based and community organizations during the recovery phase of a disaster.
Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator consult with impacted municipalities and assist with long-term planning, helping these communities determine what their priorities are and what resources they will need to achieve a full recovery.
In major disasters or catastrophic events, the FDRC is empowered to activate six key areas of assistance known as Recovery Support Functions.
The RSFs are led by designated federal coordinating agencies: Housing (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development); Infrastructure Systems (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); Economic (U.S. Department of Commerce); Health and Social Services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); Natural and Cultural Resources (U.S. Department of Interior); and Community Planning and Capacity Building (FEMA).
Working in partnership with a State Disaster Recovery Coordinator and a Hazard Mitigation Adviser, the FDRC oversees an assessment of impacted communities and helps to develop a recovery support strategy. That strategy helps these hard-hit communities gain easier access to federal funding, bridge gaps in assistance, and establish goals for recovery that are measurable, achievable and affordable.
Here in New Jersey, approximately 12 communities have partnered with FDRC to prioritize their goals for recovery, locate the resources needed to achieve those goals and rebuild with resiliency.
In the Borough of Highlands, FDRC has assisted this severely impacted community in developing a plan for a direct storm water piping system that will decrease flooding in the low-lying downtown area. FDRC has also collaborated with the community on designing a more resilient, attractive and commercially viable central business district called the Bay Avenue Renaissance Project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has initiated a feasibility study on their plan to protect the town from future flooding via a mitigation effort that includes installing floodwalls, raising bulkheads and building dune barriers.
In the devastated Monmouth County town of Sea Bright, FDRC worked with the community to create a plan for the construction of a beach pavilion that will serve as a year-round community center, library, lifeguard facility and beach badge concession. FDRC is also working with Sea Bright officials to develop a grant application to fund streetscape improvements in the downtown area of this beachfront municipality
In Tuckerton, FDRC worked with municipal officials on a plan to relocate its heavily damaged police station and borough facilities to a former school building that is much less vulnerable to flooding.
In partner communities throughout the state, FDRC subject matter experts are working to help residents envision a future that incorporates a strong infrastructure, increased storm protection and an enhanced environment that reflects the vision 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.
DENVER - Crisis counseling services will continue over the next nine months for survivors of the Colorado flooding disaster in September 2013 because of a $4 million federal grant. FEMA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration have awarded the $4,058,060 grant to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through the 2014 Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP).
The new grant will allow counselors to continue door-to-door services and community outreach counseling programs. Since the disaster, Colorado Spirit crisis counselors have:
- Talked directly with 18,178 people and provided referrals and other helpful information to more than 88,000;
- Met with nearly 1,200 individuals or families in their homes.
CCP was established by the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide mental health assistance and training activities in designated disaster areas. The program provides the following services:
- Individual crisis counseling and group crisis counseling to help survivors understand their reactions and improve coping strategies, review their options and connect with other individuals and agencies that may assist them;
- Development and distribution of education materials such as flyers, brochures and website information on disaster-related topics and resources;
- Relationship building with community organizations, faith-based groups and local agencies.
They say that age is only a number, so with that in mind, IBM set out to prove that the 50-year-old mainframe still has what it takes to dominate enterprise computing.
As part of its celebration of the 50th birthday of the mainframe, IBM today unveiled a slew of products and initiatives intended to make sure the mainframe stays relevant through at least the first half of the 21st Century.
The new offerings include the zDoop implementation of Hadoop for mainframes that IBM worked with Veristorm to develop, and an IBM DS8870 flash storage system that IBM says is four times faster than traditional solid-state disk (SSD) technology.
In addition, IBM unveiled an IBM Enterprise Cloud System based on mainframes that has been configured with IBM cloud orchestration and monitoring software.
New DICOM Archive Browser and increased Cloud support enhance ability of administrators to access, store and manage hospital data
WOBURN, Mass. – BridgeHead Software, a leader in healthcare data management, today announced the latest release of its Healthcare Data Management (HDM) solution with a new DICOM Archive Browser (DAB) and increased Cloud support, most notably support for the open Cloud storage standard SWIFT. These updates help make the HDM solution with its unified platform a credible place to not only store the entire patient record but also now to access and manage it.
The DICOM Archive Browser (DAB) is an administrative tool that helps ensure the validity of the DICOM archive. It allows an administrator to search the archive by key metadata (e.g. patient ID, Instance UID) and also use BridgeHead’s XDS WADO interface to view any part of the series or study to ascertain that data is stored within the archive. The DAB can be used to:
- Send any study, series or image to any DICOM workstation allowing manual workflows to be constructed for ‘ologies where there is no automated PACS system;
- Manage Information Object Change Management (IOCM) requests in the archive, allowing an administrator to see images “hidden” from general viewing.
“With its DICOM Archive Browser, BridgeHead has created an easy-to-use tool to aid administrators in managing DICOM images,” said Joe Marion, principal, Healthcare Integration Strategies LLC. “BridgeHead is unique to my knowledge in having worked to close this gap in the process, which is critical for supporting ‘ologies outside of radiology, such as oncology, with appropriate workflow. Indeed, I believe that administrators in radiology could also benefit from the added visibility and management control provided in the tool.”
Cloud Support – With added support for the OpenStack Cloud storage standard SWIFT, BridgeHead HDM provides both its partners and customers with a consistent interface to Cloud resources via the SWIFT open object storage system.
At the same time, BridgeHead also has added the ability to create offline copies of backups in the cloud by using de-duplication technologies, such as HP StoreOnce, to perform very efficient transfer to storage in the cloud while simultaneously creating an offline, most likely tape, copy of the backup, in the cloud. This gives an organization the efficiency of backup to cloud but at the same time gives them a tape copy of last resort, which is often critical to data protection strategy.
“The DAB is a good indication of how BridgeHead is making the content that it stores, protects and shares more accessible to the end-user, and how we can add more value to any Patient Records initiative, by making content available to users or applications in an ordered manner,” said Tony Cotterill, Chief Product Officer at BridgeHead Software. “This is a first step towards a more robust patient-centric offering which we plan to introduce later this year, enabling clinicians to view all types of data associated with a patient from a single well-organized view.”
Read the datasheet: DICOM Archiving Agent
Read the blog entry: The perspective of one VP of Product Management at BridgeHead, on imaging and VNA.
Read the release note on the full capabilities of BridgeHead Software’s 13B release.
View the DAB Demo
About BridgeHead Software
With 20 years’ experience in data and storage management, and 12 years in healthcare, BridgeHead Software is trusted by over 1,000 hospitals worldwide. Today, BridgeHead Software helps healthcare facilities overcome challenges stemming from rising data volumes and increasing storage costs while delivering peace of mind around how to store, protect and share clinical and administrative information.
BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management (HDM) solutions are designed to work with any hospital’s chosen applications and storage hardware, regardless of vendor, providing greater choice, flexibility and control over the way data is managed, now and in the future. For more information, visit http://www.bridgeheadsoftware.com or follow on Twitter at @BridgeHeadHDM.
New facility offers broad range of customized IT solutions and fault tolerant design for extreme reliability
DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, announces the grand opening of its newest data center. The facility, located in Chaska, boasts more than 70,000 square feet of raised floor and is designed to be fault tolerant. ViaWest will also pursue the North American Tier IV design certification from the Uptime Institute, the leading educational and standards organization in the industry, which represents the highest rating possible measuring quality and reliability in a data center.
ViaWest’s data center will offer customers premium colocation, managed and cloud services and hybrid offerings, with 24x7 on-site engineers and service staff to help maintain uptime through remote hands capabilities, ticket tracking, event notification and more. The facility will offer a variety of space options, from private suites and cages to cabinets, along with multi-zone security. The data center is also fully compliant, meeting PCI, SOC, SSAE and HIPAA regulations.
“We are excited to offer a wide scope of customized IT solutions to our customers, as we do in all 27 of our data centers throughout the U.S.,” states Todd Meester, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Minnesota. “We focus on the customer above all else, and our solutions are built around them in every way possible. From compliance to scalability to peace of mind, our facility is an exciting addition to the business community in Minnesota.”
ViaWest marked the launch of its newest data center with a grand opening celebration yesterday. Katie Clark Sieben, Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) was in attendance.
“We would like to thank ViaWest for choosing Minnesota for their expansion that will mean more than $60 million in new private investment for the state, as well as new, high-quality jobs added to our workforce,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Our goal is to make Minnesota the heart of the data center universe, and businesses like ViaWest are helping us to move closer to that goal.”
ViaWest’s Minneapolis data center offers:
- 9 MW redundant, fault-tolerant UPS capacity
- 700+ Watts/SF high density pod availability
- Highly energy efficient cooling system (1.4 expected PUE)
- 3,000 tons redundant, fault-tolerant cooling capacity
Delivering industry-leading 100-percent availability Service Level Agreements (SLAs), ViaWest continues its customer-centric approach in providing flexible, personalized services. For more information about its robust infrastructure-as-as-service solutions, please visit www.viawest.com.
ViaWest is the leading colocation services provider in North America, with a comprehensive suite of fully compliant environments, including premium wholesale and retail colocation, private and public clouds and managed services. Enabling businesses to leverage both their existing IT infrastructure and emerging cloud resources, ViaWest delivers the right balance of cost, scalability and security. With a team-based account management approach and 100% uptime guarantee, ViaWest offers tailored solutions designed for maximum reliability and flexibility.