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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

There seems to be sort of a broad agreement that social data is valuable—in theory.

It’s easy to see why social media data attracts interest. A recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project found 70 percent of adults online now use Facebook. Forty-two percent of online adults are on multiple social networking sites, reports Information Management.

It’s not easy to generate those kinds of numbers. While I’m not sure how many adults are actually online in the U.S., 70 percent of them must be quite a few eyeballs—especially since 63 percent of Facebook users visit the site every day.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/do-businesses-really-value-social-media-data.html

Namibia is suffering from severe drought conditions after one of the driest rainy seasons in decades.  The lack of available water is causing a strain on local farmers resulting in food shortage and loss of livestock. Cholera and malnutrition cases are increasing, likely due to the shortage of safe water sources and poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

In May 2013, the government of Namibia declared a state of emergency for the estimated 331,000 people living in rural areas affected by the drought.

Since the beginning of this operation, the Namibia Red Cross has worked alongside the global Red Cross network and other humanitarian partners to develop an operations plan and complete needs assessments. The Namibia Red Cross is providing support by delivering assistance in water, food security, and cash grants and is aiming to reach 55,000 people.

In July 2013, the American Red Cross committed $70,000 to the International Federation appeal to support the response operation. This contribution will help the Namibia Red Cross provide immediate relief including food, emergency relief items, and cash grants to the affected populations. As of January 2014, the American Red Cross has also deployed one specialist to support the Namibia Red Cross with the distribution of cash grants for food.

For more information on the disaster, visit http://www.redcross.org.na/.

CIO — Tired of waiting for lengthy approval processes, CMOs have been doing end-runs around the IT department for years. In turn, scorned CIOs would rip out the marketing department's rogue tech.

CMOs responded in kind by running to their buddy in the corner office -- the CMO and CEO are often cut from the same personality cloth -- and complain that those techies are at it again, slowing down business decisions they don't understand and letting competitors beat them to the punch.

"I can tell you horror stories," says Kevin Cochrane, a tech industry veteran who has held top marketing positions since the mid-1990s and is currently CMO at OpenText, an enterprise information management software company.

For years, the CIO and CMO have faced off in one of the rockiest executive relationships. As the two odd stepchildren in the C-level suite, they constantly must prove their worth, which often pits them against each other as they try to curry favor among their peers. Both need new technology to be successful and they must compete for scarce dollars. Making matters worse, their jobs tend to reward opposite personality traits; clashes can get ugly.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/747315/Inside_the_Minds_and_Personalities_of_CIOs_and_CMOs

Facility Management should play a crucial role in Business Continuity – they manage the 2nd largest and most consequential business “assets” (after IT) on which day-to-day business operation rely.

Yet many Facilities Management (FM) departments are often excluded from the planning process, either because BIA surveys skew a focus toward IT dependencies and financial impacts, or because Recovery strategies lean toward alternate site configurations (under the assumption that a damaged facility will be a total loss).  Both of these perspectives ignore the fact that ‘total loss’ of a facility almost never occurs.

Then there are Facilities Managers who perceive little value in planning for potential disruptions – either under the assumption that response and recovery are part of their existing job duties (and don’t require planning), or that they can’t plan for what they can’t anticipate.  Both are short-sighted.

...

http://ebrp.net/business-continuity-planning-for-facilities-managers/

IDG News Service — Target said Wednesday that intruders accessed its systems by using credentials "stolen" from a vendor, one of the first details the retailer has revealed about how hackers got inside.

The vendor was not identified. A Target spokeswoman said she had no further details to share.

As the forensic investigation continues, the spokeswoman said Target has taken measures to secure its network, such as updating access controls and in some cases, limiting access to its platforms.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/747342/Target_Says_Attackers_Stole_Vendor_Credentials

During this winter’s extreme cold spells, caused by a polar vortex creating frigid temperatures, workers are at added risk of cold stress. Increased wind speeds can cause air temperature to feel even colder. This increases the risk of cold stress for those working outdoors—including snow cleanup crews, construction workers, postal workers, police officers, recreational workers, firefighters, miners, baggage handlers, landscapers and support workers for the oil and gas industry.

The U.S. Department of Labor notes that what constitutes extreme cold and its effects can vary across the country. In regions that are not used to winter weather, for example, near freezing temperatures are considered “extreme cold.” Because a cold environment forces the body to work harder to maintain its temperature, as temperatures drop below normal and wind speeds increase, heat can leave the body more rapidly.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/protect-outdoor-workers-from-extreme-cold/

ATLANTA – The Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP), a leading provider of next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) solutions, located within Colo Atl’s Atlanta facility, announces its sponsorship of NANOG 60’s afternoon break in Atlanta, Feb. 10-12, 2014.

The North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG) is a nonprofit, engineering, educational, and operational forum for coordination of network operations in North America. Through a host of programs and meetings, NANOG brings together the community of industry experts that work together for the common good of the Internet across the United States. NANOG 60 offers attendees the opportunity to learn advanced networking techniques, discover new network applications and gain access a community of resources during networking sessions and breaks. 

 “Considering the nature of NANOG, and the location of its 60th conference, its third meeting in Atlanta, it is most fitting for SNAP to make its grand entrance into the peering community at the event that will draw in hundreds of Internet network operators, engineers, and software and hardware vendors from around the world,” comments Tim Kiser , Co-Founder of SNAP and Owner and Founder of Colo Atl. “As an entity formed to meet industry demand for next-generation Internet Exchange and Software Defined Networking, SNAP is focused on enabling its members to effectively meet industry demands and advance the vision and operational objectives of the global Internet community.”

The SNAP exchange point offers neutral Internet exchange services for all categories of Internet Service Providers, Content Service Providers, Cloud Service Providers, Academic Networks, Government Networks, or Enterprise Networks desiring a neutral peering point.

“We welcome SNAP to the NANOG community as one of our newest sponsors,” states Betty Burke, Executive Director for NANOG. “NANOG’s core focus is on the technologies that make the Internet function, and SNAP’s participation at NANOG 60 is an example of the type of companies introducing new technologies that aim to improve the way the Internet works across North America.”

The Georgia Institute of Technology was one of the first charter members of SNAP.

“Our global peering community appreciates having access to neutral Internet Exchange services for categories ranging from service providers to networks in education, government and enterprise space,” adds Ron Hutchins, Georgia Tech’s CTO. “As a neutral peering point for the Southeastern US, it is an ideal partner for NANOG 60.”

NANOG events are held tri-annually and attract more than 500 Internet network operators, engineers, and software and hardware vendors from around the world.  Learn more about NANOG events at http://www.nanog.org/meetings/home.

To learn more about SNAP, please visit www.southeastnap.com or email info@southeastnap.com.

 

About Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP)

SNAP is a next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) supporting IPv4, IPv6 as well as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN). Its mission is to not only support global peering, but also the collaborative development of an entirely new structure for Internet Protocol network peering. SNAP, located within the Georgia Technology Center, is a public IX built on Brocade equipment and the support of its Founding Members, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), US Ignite, Southern Light Rail and PeachNet. For more information about the SNAP or to schedule a briefing, contact us at  info@SoutheastNAP.com. Follow SNAP on Twitter @SoutheastNAP.

About NANOG

North American Operators Group is the premier community for network operators and affiliated companies. NANOG is an open forum where all individuals can network and have an influence on the industry in which they take part.  Individuals range from such companies that include Internet operators, service providers, network security, network research and education along with those who operate data centers, hardware and software solutions that keep the Internet working.  Members represent companies of all sizes and attend meetings that promote a sense of cooperation and discussion amongst the Internet leaders. Common to all users is their reliance on the Internet   NANOG is an open forum where participants can have an influence on the industry of which they are a part of.

About Colo Atl

Located in the global telecom hub of Atlanta, Georgia, Colo Atl, a JT Communications Company, provides colocation, data center & interconnection services, at an affordable rate. Colo Atl is a neutral-colocation facility that allows tenants and carriers to securely and conveniently cross-connect within a SSAE16 certified facility. Colo Atl has no monthly recurring cross connect fees between tenants and provides exceptional customer service.

Colo Atl is also home to The Georgia Technology Center (GTC), a live laboratory for network equipment vendors to highlight their optical and electrical hardware and operating systems, and the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP), which provides next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) solutions, including SDN peering, testing, collaboration and implementation.

Visit Colo Atl online at: www.coloatl.com and follow us on Twitter @ColoAtl.

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Computer Graphics (BCG) announced today a strategic partnership with the Emergency Preparedness Resource Group (EPRG) to enhance both companies' ability to assist customers in all phases of the emergency management process from preparedness to after-action reporting and analysis.

This partnership will allow BCG to provide a more extensive range of training, exercise, planning, and after-action reporting services. This is in line with BCG's mission to provide clients with a full-service solution that supports emergency managers through every phase of all-hazards emergency management.

Mr. Lance Ross, President of EPRG, added, "I am pleased to be partnering with a company that cares so deeply about their customers and finding creative state-of-the-art solutions to address their needs. It was a natural partnership; our philosophies align when it comes to our customers. It is exciting! EPRG brings Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to the table that are doing the work day to day. EPRG has extensive experience in response, planning writing, program evaluation, training and exercising. Our SMEs come from all disciplines with a wealth of experience and a desire to meet your needs."

This partnership will combine BCG's technology and engineering skills with EPRG's Subject Matter Experts to allow both companies to meet their customers' emergency management needs better, including planning and procedure development, running a tabletop or full scale exercise, refining operations, establishing a virtual EOC, enabling best practices, response support, and recovery and analytics reporting.

"This partnership will bring a full range of planning, training, and exercise solutions to our customers," says BCG Vice President Gary Masterson, "helping them to use technology to maximize their current capabilities. We take our customers' challenges seriously and provide them with the best tools and service on the market and are proud to announce this new partnership with EPRG."

The mission and vision of Emergency Preparedness Resource Group, LLC is to utilize outstanding Subject Matter Experts and practical experience to provide comprehensive customized emergency preparedness planning and consultation.

BCG is a global provider of incident management and mass notification solutions, as well as training simulation systems for the maritime industry and custom engineered products for a variety of industries.

NEW YORK –AXA, a pioneer in financial protection, has launched BrightLifeSM Protect*, an innovative life insurance policy designed to meet cost-effectively the protection needs of individuals, families and businesses. BrightLifeSM Protect, available for sale nationwide, has the dual appeal of a low cost structure and flexibility to adjust to a policyholder's changing needs.

"In the U.S., individual life insurance ownership is at a 50-year low, putting many American families and businesses at financial risk," said Nick Lane, head of AXA's U.S. Life and Retirement business. "At AXA, we're responding to a changing marketplace that demands affordable coverage as never before. BrightLifeSM Protect is a product designed to bring financial protection within reach of the modern American family juggling multiple financial priorities, such as saving for a new car, planning for college, and putting money aside for retirement."

BrightLifeSM Protect, a flexible, premium universal life insurance policy with an index-linked interest option, offers policy holders such practical features as:

  • Choice. Premiums can be allocated to a Fixed Account (guaranteed interest account) that offers a guaranteed rate of return and/or to a Select Account, an index-linked interest option tied to the S&P 500** price return index, subject to a cap, that offers upside cash value accumulation potential and a guaranteed 0% floor which protects from losses due to market performance.
  • A Long-Term Care Services Rider.BrightLifeSM Protect provides the option to add for an additional charge a Long-Term Care ServicesSM Rider which functions as an acceleration of the life insurance policy's death benefit that can be used to pay for qualified long-term care expenses. (Some restrictions may apply. See the outline of coverage and policy rider form for more information.)
  • Flexible premium payments.  These may be reduced or skipped. This flexibility can make the policy adaptable to changing financial needs, so long as the policy contains sufficient cash surrender value to pay monthly premium deductions. (Skipping or reducing premium payments reduces the cash value and increases the chance that the policy will lapse.)
  • Benefits for businesses. Depending on one's business needs, a BrightLifeSM policy may be used to insure the business owner/policy holder, partners, or key employees, and it also can be structured to aid transfer of ownership in the event of a business-owner's death.

An Even Brighter Life
Stay tuned for an even brighter BrightLifeSM … Later this year, AXA plans to announce another BrightLifeSM product -- BrightLifeSM Grow – which will feature a design for tax-deferred accumulation needs.

For more information about BrightLifeSM Protect, please go to http://www.axa-equitable.com/news/2014/axa-launches-brightlife-protect.html

*Issued by AXA Equitable and MONY Life Insurance Company of America.

**S&P®, Standard & Poor's®, S&P 500®, and Standard & Poor's 500™are trademarks of Standard & Poor's and have been licensed for use by AXA. BrightLifeSM Protect Indexed Universal Life is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Standard & Poor's and Standard & Poor's does not make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the product.

Life insurance policies have certain exclusions and limitations and terms for keeping them in force. Certain types of policies, features and benefits may not be available in all jurisdictions or may be different. For costs and more complete details of coverage, contact your financial professional. This press release contains summary information about the BrightLifeSM Protect policy. Please read the actual policy for terms and conditions.

BrightLifeSM Protect and Long-Term care ServicesSM Rider are service marks of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, NY 10104.

BrightLifeSM Protect is issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable), New York, NY or MONY Life Insurance Company of America (MONY America) , an Arizona Stock Corporation, main administrative offices in New York, NY.

Co-distributed by AXA Network, LLC and AXA Distributors, LLC. All companies are affiliated and directly or indirectly owned by AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC. Policy Form ICC12-100 for ICC states. The remaining states use policy form 12-100 or state variation.

All guarantees are based solely on the claims-paying ability of the issuing life insurance company, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company or MONY Life Insurance Company of America.

About AXA
"AXA" is a brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY,NY), MONY Life Insurance Company of America (AZ stock company, administrative office: NY, NY), AXA Advisors, LLC, and AXA Distributors, LLC. In business since 1859, AXA is a leading financial protection company and one of the nation's premier providers of life insurance, annuity, and financial products and services distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) and to the financial services market through its wholesale distribution channel, AXA Distributors, LLC.

AXA S.A. is a Paris-headquartered holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC companies. AXA S.A. is a worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management with 102 million clients in 57 countries as of December 31, 2012.

The obligations of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company of America are backed solely by their claims-paying ability.

Earlier this month, NRDC got encouraging news from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about its intentions to update its guidance for state hazard mitigation planning: the agency will be revising the guidance to more explicitly require state governments to consider  the impacts of climate change and prioritize preparedness. A revised draft from FEMA is expected to be available for public review and comment as early as this summer.

State governments prepare thesehazard mitigation plansin order to assess their risk of natural disasters and to identify and implement actions they can take to reduce those risks. Once FEMA has approved a state’s plan, the state is eligible to receive federal funding to carry out pre-disaster mitigation projects that are designed to build resilience and reduce vulnerability.

While federal regulations require the plans to consider the risk of “future events,” FEMA has thus far not required state plans to take account of the projected impacts of climate change. Not surprisingly, most states consequently develop insufficient plans that leave them unprepared for the more frequent and severe disasters that climate models predict, including flooding, drought, and other extreme weather events.

In order to address this problem,NRDC petitioned FEMAin 2012 to require states to consider climate change impacts when developing their plans. FEMA responded to our petition a few months ago. As I blogged abouthere, FEMA declined to amend its regulations to make the obligation for states to consider climate change impacts more explicit, but the agency did state that all future guidance for state mitigation planning would “incorporate elements of climate change, as appropriate.”

The week before last, a few of my NRDC colleagues and I met with FEMA officials to discuss their plans to implement this promise. We were excited to hear directly from FEMA that the agency is already moving forward with revisions to its state mitigation planning guidance, known as the “Blue Book.” Once finalized (after a draft is issued for public review and comment this summer), the new guidance will apply to plans developed in 2015 and onward.

FEMA officials told us that they have two main goals for the revised guidance:

Making sure states comply with the existing regulatory requirement to consider the risk of “future events,” including consideration of the effects of climate change on disaster risk.

FEMA has committed to make sure that states are considering data about the projected future effects of climate change when they perform their risk assessments. By ensuring that this current requirement is adequately enforced, FEMA will be helping states increase their preparedness for disasters.

As part of this revision to the guidance, FEMA will have to decide which data the agency will require states to consider, and what states should be doing with that data when writing their plans. Many state emergency management officials are not accustomed to dealing with data that are expressed in terms of ranges and probabilities.  As a result, FEMA will need to provide additional support for the transition to this new approach by developing new tools that states can use to better incorporate climate data into their plans. FEMA must also make sure that the risk assessments embodied in the plans are written in such a way that they can be “operationalized” into specific actions that states can take to reduce disaster risk.

Making sure states revise their plans in response to changing conditions.

States are required to update their plans every three years. Even still, sometimes a severe or unexpected hazard event can demonstrate that a state’s plan is out of date – and needs to be improved – by showing, for example, that the plan’s assessment underestimated the risk or failed to include relevant mitigation actions. Events like these should trigger state actions to re-examine and update their plans as appropriate. FEMA intends to strengthen oversight of the plan update requirements in the revised guidance.

Ensuring that plans are updated promptly to reflect the most current information is critically important, especially in a changing climate when the frequency and severity of disasters are constantly evolving. Some states are already seeing changes in the hazards they’re experiencing, but their plans are focused on assessing the problems and risks of the past. To build resiliency in our communities, we need to plan with an eye towards future challenges we know we’ll have to face with climate change.  

We look forward to working with FEMA on the new guidance and to seeing the revised draft this summer. We’re hopeful that it will provide helpful information to the states, empowering and enabling them to better prepare for future disasters