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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

New Video-Enabled TeleHealth Services Offering Delivers Speed and Efficiency for Caseload Management in Hospitals, Urgent Care Facilities and Retail Pharmacies, Enabling Patients to Receive Care and See Physicians Faster  


SAN JOSE, Calif.Carousel Industries, Polycom and NuPhysicia announced today a partnership to deliver a bundled telehealth offering called DistribuCare, which combines Carousel's healthcare integration expertise, NuPhysicia’s caseload management software expertise and Polycom’s enterprise-grade video solutions, enabling doctors and nurses to more easily and quickly meet with patients across the globe.

The service makes it much easier for healthcare professionals to coordinate care when initiating a video-based telehealth service within a hospital, urgent care facility, retail pharmacy, or an employee healthcare network. With DistribuCare, patients are placed in virtual waiting room before visiting with a doctor or nurse over video within the healthcare organizations’ telehealth network. The software within the offering helps to streamline caseload management so that physicians with fewer patients in one virtual location can assist patients in a busier location, enabling more seamless management of clinical resources while increasing revenues. DistribuCare also allows for better patient outcomes since a larger resource of medical experts can treat patients across the network versus only having access to a few doctors or nurses within a single facility.
Partnership Gives Customers Easy Access to State-of-the-Art Telehealth Solutions
Carousel Industries, a leading integrator in business practices and technologies provides comprehensive suite of managed services and technology integration capabilities, supports over 20,000 customer sites across the nation, including Quest Diagnostics, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and BlueCross BlueShield, and offers customer installations and support through 80 countries in 120 languages. “Carousel created DistribuCare with its partners to address the changing needs of healthcare providers,” said James Marsh, Senior Vice President at Carousel. “Medical experts are preparing for an enormous increase in patient caseloads as more people in the U.S. gain access to health insurance. DistribuCare enables medical networks to better manage this rising demand for healthcare, while providing for a faster and efficient experience for their patients.” 
Polycom, the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), works with 8 of the top 10 hospitals in the U.S.  Polycom offers HD video to fuel innovation through new and emerging healthcare applications, business models, and patient/physician relationships. “By teaming with leading innovators within our ecosystem and combining each company's core competencies, we’re able to provide healthcare providers and retail pharmacies with a best-in-class telehealth solution that enables them to bring care to patients regardless of location,” said Ron Emerson, Global Director of Healthcare, Polycom. “This partnership is a great example of how video collaboration technology enables patient centered treatment that is flexible and more widely accessible.”
NuPhysicia, a world-wide leader in advanced medical services, has been on the leading edge of healthcare delivery services since 2007, distributing its patented physician services to a broad range of clients. “DistribuCare brings an unprecedented array of comprehensive services to the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Glenn Hammack, President of NuPhysicia. “Medical experts increasingly rely on telehealth solutions to accommodate the needs of our expanding healthcare system. With DistribuCare, both patients and healthcare providers now have access to a world-class offering that is acceptable to the boards of medicine in all 50 states.”
"Recent advances in videoconferencing are enabling next generation Telemedicine solutions and offer promising new efficiencies and a new range of patient care options," commented Daniel Ruppar, research director, connected health, Frost & Sullivan.  DistribuCare combines the manufacturing, integration and medical services expertise of Carousel, Polycom and NuPhysicia and is meant to address the growing Telehealth market across the U.S."  
The new solution, available today, takes into account all federal and state laws and HIPAA requirements, and is also built to allow the end user’s telehealth offering to expand and scale over time.

About Carousel
Carousel Industries consults, integrates and manages technology solutions that solve business problems and contribute to your organizations’ growth. This includes unified communications, managed services, virtualization, Voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing and collaboration and data infrastructure solutions.

Today we have over 6,000 customers, including 35 of the Fortune 100. Carousel has been recognized by both VAR and CRN Magazines as one of the top technology integrators in the US and we’ve been listed in the Inc. 500/5000 seven times.
Carousel is headquartered in Exeter, RI with over 1,000 employees working from offices in 30 locations across the US, including over 250 service technicians deployed across the country. For more information, visit http://www.carouselindustries.com.
To learn more about Carousel Industry’s solutions in healthcare, please visit http://www.carouselindustries.com/markets/healthcare/.
About Polycom
Polycom is the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions for voice and video collaboration, trusted by more than 415,000 customers around the world. Polycom solutions are powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, comprehensive software infrastructure and rich APIs that interoperate with the broadest set of communication, business, mobile and cloud applications and devices to deliver secure face-to-face video collaboration in any environment. Polycom and its ecosystem of over 7,000 partners provide truly unified communications solutions that deliver the best user experience, highest multi-vendor interoperability, and lowest TCO. Visit www.polycom.com or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn how we’re pushing the greatness of human collaboration forward.
About NuPhysicia
NuPhysicia Incorporated is a privately held medical services solutions provider delivering advanced remote health care – concepts first developed and proven by the University of Texas. With its patented Digital Medical Services® solution, NuPhysicia delivers medical services to patients around the world with InPlace Medical Solutions™ and provides remote health infrastructure to medical organizations through NuPhysicia Solutions™. For more information, visit www.nuphysicia.com or call 713.358.9270.

Over 100 Tegile arrays for rip and replace

Newark, Calif. – Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, today announced that more than 100 of its feature-rich Zebi appliances have served as a direct replacement for Dell (Compellent) hardware at customer installations, providing these organizations with significant savings from a storage utilization, performance to dollar ratio and maintenance perspective.

Rather than overspend on the forced hardware refreshes that are necessary in order to update aging Compellent systems, Dell customers have decided instead to upgrade to a new generation of flash-driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications.  Tegile Zebi arrays provide solid-state performance without sacrificing the capacity or cost advantage of hard disk storage. Inline deduplication and compression provides usable capacity that is far greater than its raw capacity without the performance hit of the traditional Compellent storage systems.

In addition to hardware replacement costs, organizations face a myriad of migration fees, unplanned downtime and other soft costs that are associated with updating Compellent equipment.  Customers that have made the switch from Compellent to Zebi arrays include Credit Union of Colorado, Fanatics Inc., Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Wild, Nutraceutical and Oil Insurance Limited, among others.

“Our data center previously contained Dell Compellent storage but Tegile delivered much higher scalability, smaller footprint and simple management for the IT team. Our staff is now spending less time fixing system issues and more time addressing customers’ needs,” said Jim Ibister, vice president of facility administration for Minnesota Wild.

In addition to Compellent replacements, Tegile has been chosen over Dell for new installs in hundreds of other customer sites with users attesting to the superiority of Zebi arrays in price, performance and capacity.

Tegile channel partners have the opportunity to help their customers cut their storage expenditures in half, triple performance and easily manage storage without adding staff by making the switch from Compellent hardware to Zebi arrays. Tegile partners can experience levels of service and margin long gone from their current Compellent relationships. Additional incentives include a buyback of existing Compellent hardware based on the value of the equipment.  Details of all current channel offers are available at Tegile’s secure partner portal.

“For less than the cost of a Dell Compellent hardware refresh, organizations are increasingly upgrading their storage systems to the feature-rich Tegile storage array instead,” said Rob Commins, VP Marketing of Tegile Systems.  “Zebi flash-driven arrays have every critical feature included, and because of our dedupe and compression, users get 75% more capacity than they would have paid for. Dell customers and channel partners alike can benefit from a switch to a better, less expensive option that our Zebi arrays provide.”

About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of flash driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications. With Tegile’s Zebi line of hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that is significantly faster than all hard disk-based arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.

Tegile’s patented MASS technology accelerates the Zebi’s performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data so each Zebi has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning technology solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant, and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and virtualization management features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.

LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Power management company Eaton today announced that its Cooper Notification business has introduced a holistic line of Internet Protocol (IP) network-based Mass Notification Systems (MNS). The newest solution from the company’s ALERiTY line of unified interoperable platform offers WAVES over IP (WoIP) for emergency communications.

“Our advanced IP-based MNS furthers our commitment of developing innovative solutions that provide reliability, ease-of-use and interoperability,” said Scott Hearn, president, Eaton’s Cooper Notification business. “For customers, this provides a one-click solution that can launch critical messages across all three layers of MNS: in-building, wide-area and distributed recipient. For our partners, the system is easy to install and maintain with the ability to remotely monitor and upgrade the system.”

Through advanced programming interfaces, ALERiTY offers full-featured, bi-directional interoperability, integrating with other systems, software and devices for enhanced situational awareness. Examples include fire alarm control panels (FACP), chemical sensors, detection systems and paging systems.

The WoIP mass notification network is comprised of a collection of secure, robust and reliable Ethernet communication devices, IP Communicators (IPC). This enterprise system solution allows organizations to leverage their Local Area Network (LAN) or utilize the IPC private network to send audible, visual and data messages. Through Ethernet radios, a wireless solution is also available.

This systems also allows multiple sites and facilities located anywhere in the world to be tied together through a Web-client Graphical User Interface (GUI) for managing global notification and system monitoring. The system redundancy allows multiple users to be simultaneously logged into the system for additional points of command and control.    

To learn more about this solution or others from Eaton’s Cooper Notification business, visitwww.coopernotification.com.

Eaton’s Cooper Notification business is a leader in developing integrated, advanced technology and code-compliant solutions for life safety and mass notification, providing critical, emergency communications for higher education, industrial, commercial, government and military markets.

Eaton’s Electrical Sector is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton is a power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. A global technology leader, Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in November 2012. The 2012 revenue of the combined companies was $21.8 billion on a pro forma basis. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

Silver Bullet Recognized for its Innovative Clean Water Treatment Technology that Kills Bacteria, Eliminates Toxic Chemicals, Saves Water and Conserves Energy

  • Silver Bullet announces today that it has been named the 2013 ‘High-impact Cleantech Company’ at the Colorado Cleantech Leadership Awards held on December 2, 2013 presented by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).
  • Silver Bullet is touted for its ability to impact the marketplace with innovative clean technologies and a commitment to expanding Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem with the development and implementation of its Silver Bullet Water Treatment System.
  • Whether it is reducing a technology company’s carbon footprint, ensuring clean water for livestock and food manufacturing, cutting water usage in large establishments including hotels and hospitals ¾ companies turn to Silver Bullet to execute and build on their energy savings and commitment to green technology efforts.

Denver, Colo.Silver Bullet, an award-winning, cutting-edge water treatment company, today announces that it has been named the 2013 ‘High-impact Cleantech Company’ at the Colorado Cleantech Leadership Awards held on December 2, 2013 presented by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).  Silver Bullet is touted for its ability to impact the marketplace with innovative clean technologies and a commitment to expanding Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem with the development and implementation of its Silver Bullet Water Treatment System.
The 2013 Colorado Cleantech Leadership Awards brings together Colorado’s cleantech community, honoring the creativity and dedication to the global energy economy puts forth by Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem.  This year’s awards ceremony was held at the historic McNichols Art and Culture Museum in Denver’s Civic Center Park on December 2, 2013.
"We are honored that the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association has recognized Silver Bullet as an innovative cleantech solution, further validating our commitment to environmental sustainability in Colorado,” says David Sunshine, Silver Bullet’s President and CEO.  “We hope our efforts in building and implementing innovative water treatment systems contribute to the continued growth of today’s burgeoning clean energy economy."

Whether it is reducing a technology company’s carbon footprint, ensuring clean water for livestock and food manufacturing, cutting water usage in large establishments including hotels and hospitals ¾ companies turn to Silver Bullet to execute and build on their energy savings and commitment to green technology efforts.

Silver Bullet’s water treatment technology is a modern, unique electro-chemical water treatment system that disinfects and conditions water to virtually eliminate microorganisms and scale formation, while minimizing corrosion.  The system is proven to help end-users in office buildings, hospitals, hotels, convention centers, factories, livestock farms, data centers and other commercial and industrial locations throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada realize significant savings across electricity, water, labor and maintenance by dramatically reducing water usage and increasing electrical efficiency, while eliminating harsh chemical additives.
For more information about Silver Bullet’s water treatment systems, visit www.silverbulletcorp.com.
For more information on the 2013 Colorado Cleantech Leadership Awards, visit http://coloradocleantech.com/2013-cleantech-awards/.

About Silver Bullet
Silver Bullet is a leading, innovative water treatment company that transforms water treatment for Fortune 500 companies across North America. Its cutting-edge patented technology creates a powerful and proven natural non-toxic biocide when injected in water, killing all bacteria, removing scale and preventing corrosion. The Silver Bullet water treatment system saves water, energy, labor and money. Installation takes less than a day, requires no upfront capital costs, and rents for a monthly fee that is much cheaper than traditional chemicals. 

In agriculture, where water is the most important element in raising productive and healthy livestock, Silver Bullet provides a safe and efficient system to ensure clean livestock drinking water. For technology companies, Silver Bullet’s water treatment minimizes water use, reduces maintenance and provides significant energy savings. 
In 2012, Silver Bullet was recognized with the Best Venture award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for its cost effective and environmentally responsible water treatment solution.  For more information, visit http://www.silverbulletcorp.com/.

About the 2013 Colorado Cleantech Awards
The 2013 Cleantech Awards Celebration brings together Colorado’s cleantech community to honor the creativity and dedication to the global energy economy put forth by Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem.
About the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA)
Founded in 2008, CCIA is a statewide, industry-led, industry-focused organization dedicated to promoting Colorado’s cleantech industry. CCIA impacts Colorado’s policies, people, products and programs that drive expansion of a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient and secure energy economy.  Through advocacy, public policy leadership, development and education, CCIA works to ensure that Colorado is a global cleantech leader.  For more information, visit http://www.coloradocleantech.com.

Second part of national survey reveals average increase of 41 percent; quantifies average cost per minute at $7,900 for unplanned downtime  

Columbus, Ohio – Data center downtime proves to remain a costly line item for organizations, and the cost has increased significantly in the last three years, according to the results of the “2013 Cost of Data Center Outages,” a new Ponemon Institute study, sponsored by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure. The study of U.S.-based data centers quantifies the cost of an unplanned data center outage at slightly more than $7,900 per minute. This is a 41 percent increase from the $5,600 it was in 2010, when Emerson Network Power first partnered with the Ponemon Institute to calculate the costs associated with data center downtime.

This year’s report analyzes costs at 67 data centers within the last year across varying industry segments with a minimum size of 2,500 square feet. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the direct, indirect and opportunity costs from data center outages, including damage to mission-critical data, impact of downtime on organizational productivity, damage to equipment, legal and regulatory repercussions, and lost confidence and trust among key stakeholders.

“Given the fact that today’s data centers support more critical, interdependent devices and IT systems than ever before, most would expect a rise in the cost of an unplanned data center outage compared to 2010. However, the 41 percent increase was higher than expected,” said Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder, the Ponemon Institute. “This increase in cost underscores the importance for organizations to make it a priority to minimize the risk of downtime that can potentially cost thousands of dollars per minute.”

Highlights of the 2013 Costs of Data Center Outages report include:

·        Average cost of data center downtime across industries was approximately $7,900 per minute. (A 41 percent increase from the $5,600 in 2010.)

·        The average reported incident length was 86 minutes, resulting in average cost per incident of approximately $690,200. (In 2010 it was 97 minutes at approximately $505,500.)

·        For a total data center outage, which had an average recovery time of 119 minutes, average costs were approximately $901,500. (In 2010, it was 134 minutes at about $680,700.)

·        For a partial data center outage, which averaged 56 minutes in length, average costs were approximately $350,400. (In 2010, it was 59 minutes at approximately $258,000.)

Those organizations with revenue models that depend on the data center’s ability to deliver IT and networking services to customers – such as telecommunications service providers and e-commerce companies – and those that deal with a large amount of secure data – such as defense contractors and financial institutions – continue to incur the most significant costs associated with downtime; with the highest cost of a single event more than $1.7 million. 

These same industries did see a slight decrease (two-to-five percent) compared to 2010 costs, while those organizations that traditionally have been less dependent on their data centers saw a significant increase. The largest increase was in the hospitality sector, which saw a 129 percent increase; followed by the public sector (116 percent), transportation (108 percent) and media organizations (104 percent).

“As data centers continue to evolve to support businesses and organizations that are becoming more social, mobile and cloud-based, there is an increasing need for a growing number of companies and organizations to make it a priority to minimize the risk of downtime and commit the necessary investment in infrastructure technology and resources,” said Peter Panfil, vice president, global power, Emerson Network Power. “This report gives these organizations the data they need to support more informed business decisions regarding the cost associated with eliminating vulnerabilities compared to the costs associated with not taking action.”

Emerson Network Power also issued an infographic summarizing the costs of data center downtime and the findings of the study.

In September, Emerson Network Power released the first part of this study, which surveyed more than 450 U.S.-based data center professionals and focused on the root causes and frequency of data center downtime. Survey respondents experienced an average of two complete data center outages during the past two years, while partial outages, or those limited to certain racks, occurred six times in the same timeframe. The average number of device-level outages, or those limited to individual servers was the highest at 11. These durations have declined slightly from 2010 findings (complete: 2.5, partial: 7, device level: 10).

Eighty-three percent of respondents said they knew the root cause of the unplanned outage. The top three most frequently cited root causes of outages remain unchanged from the 2010 report: UPS battery failure (55 percent), accidental EPO/human error (48 percent) and UPS capacity exceeded (46 percent). Thirty-four percent of respondents cited cyber attacks, which is up from 15 percent in 2010, while 30 percent cited weather-related reasons, which is up from 20 percent in 2010. Fifty-two percent believe all or most of the unplanned outages could have been prevented.

To download full details of the complete 2013 Ponemon Institute study and a podcast on the study, or to register for our upcoming webinar “The Increased Costs of Data Center Downtime and Best Practices to Prevent It,” visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com/Downtime. For more information on technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.


About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands.  Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.


About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2013 were $24.7 billion.  For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.

Premium Hillsboro Data Center Hosts Supercomputer for High Performance Testing

Denver, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation services provider in North America, announces its partnership with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC)to house their most efficient and densely packed supercomputer in ViaWest’s Hillsboro Data Center located in northwest Oregon. The supercomputer recently received the number 400 ranking on the Top 500 Supercomputer List for the most powerful computer systems in use today.

As Oregon’s leading colocation provider, ViaWest is proud to support Intel’s innovation efforts,” states Jim Linkous, Regional Vice President Sales and General Manager for ViaWest. “Our technical team was very excited to support this supercomputer configuration by delivering 140 kW (kilowatts) of power and cooling capacity – a powerhouse configuration in which no other provider had the power or cooling systems to deliver,” he added. The supercomputer consumed 74kW of power spread over two standard cabinets.

With 80,000 square feet of energy-efficient capacity, the ViaWest Hillsboro Data Center is marked by 8.5 megawatts of backup power generation and 13 on-net carriers all encompassed in a fully secure compound. The facility supports companies that have high-compliance and security requirements across a variety of industries including technology, Software-as-a-Service, healthcare and financial services, among others. The Intel supercomputer project further exemplifies ViaWest’s forward-thinking and innovative approach in creating customized solutions for companies of all sizes.

“Our team needed a data center partner that could not only handle the stringent high-density power requirements, but also one that is extremely flexible and willing to work closely with us,” states Jon Markee, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer for Intel’s Data Center Group. “ViaWest has been a tremendous partner in that regard and we look forward to working on future projects with their team.”

ViaWest’s 27 enterprise-class data centers located across the western United States support both production workloads and disaster recovery solutions. The company provides unmatched technical and customer support for its colocation, cloud computing and managed services suite. To learn more about its operational strategies for creating fully compliant and green solutions, please visit www.viawest.com .


About ViaWest

ViaWest is the leading colocation provider in North America. We enable businesses to leverage both their existing IT infrastructure and emerging cloud resources to deliver the right balance of cost, scalability and security. Our data center services include a comprehensive suite of fully compliant environments, premium wholesale and retail colocation, private and public clouds and managed services. For additional information on ViaWest, please visit www.viawest.com or call 1-877-448-9378. Follow ViaWest on LinkedInTwitter or visit their YouTube channel .

Companies that emphasize strong health and safety environments outperform their peers in the market, suggests a new report. It provides evidence that health, wellness, and safety programs not only reduce workers' comp and other health-related costs but may actually lead to better financial performance.


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"Evidence seems to support that building cultures of health and safety provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace," says the report. "A portfolio of companies recognized as award winning for their approach to the health and safety of their workforce outperformed the market."

The research was published in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. While the study does not conclude that a health and safety culture is the cause of better financial outcomes, "results consistently and significantly suggest that companies focusing on the health and safety of their workforce are yielding greater value for their investors as well," the report says.



Cyber attacks have become a top concern for businesses in 2013, with 85 percent of corporate executives naming it their greatest risk – but surprisingly, less than 20 percent of companies purchase cyber insurance for protection against this increasingly common cause of loss.[1] As cybercriminals begin employing more sophisticated tactics, cyber insurance is becoming a necessity; companies hit by hackers could be held accountable with class actions in court for large-scale data breaches.

Cyber insurance is available to everyone and is designed to mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, network damage and cyber extortion. The Department of Commerce has deemed cyber insurance an “effective, market-driven way of increasing cybersecurity” because it may help reduce the number of successful cyber attacks by promoting widespread adoption of preventative measures, encourage the implementation of best practices by basing premiums on an insured’s level of self-protection and limit the level of losses that companies face following a cyber attack[2].



By Brian McNoldy

It was a hurricane season almost without hurricanes. There were just two, Humberto and Ingrid, and both were relatively wimpy, Category 1 storms. That made the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended Saturday, the least active in more than 30 years — for reasons that remain puzzling.

The season, from June through November, has an average of 12 tropical storms, of which six to seven grow to hurricane strength with sustained winds of 74 mph or greater. Typically, two storms become “major” hurricanes, Category 3 or stronger, with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.



December 2, 2013

Obsolescence as risk

I don't usually consider obsolescence as a risk.

We usually know when things start to reach the end of their useful life. After all, when we make a Major Purchase (and "major" depends on the budget) we look for a Use By date or MTTF information. Warranties and extended warranties also give us a clue to a product's useful life.

Today, as I tried to enter the gated community in which I reside I - like Froggy the Gremlin - tried to plunk my magic twanger, a/k/a gate clicker, and it once again failed to raise the barrier.
The gate mechanism recently was replaced and the residents were told we would need to buy, at more than $50 each, new clickers. Turns out that the new mechanism could be programmed to receive signals from the old clickers. (Some of the residents suspect shenanigans on the part of the board, but that's another matter.)