Thursday, February 13, 2020

Beware the ransomware attack

Ransomware attacks are on the increase. The online assaults, in which hackers lock down entire networks and demand payments for their release, have forced the closure of small businesses, disrupted factories and crippled governments. Last year, 205,280 organizations reported hacks — up 41% from 2018. Also on the rise is the average payment demanded to release files, hitting $84,115 last quarter, more than double the previous quarter. The FBI warns ransomware attacks are becoming more targeted, sophisticated and costly. (New York Times)


Retail job losses impact women more

With store closings on the rise, scores of U.S. retail workers are losing jobs. Department stores have shed 241,000 employees in the last five years, and clothing stores 67,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An expert from Institute for Women’s Policy Research says it’s due to the fact that these losses impact mostly women. With the growth of online shopping, retail jobs, which traditionally favor women, are becoming less available while warehouse employment, which tends to favor men, grows. (Time)


Device Capable of Printing Artificial Skin Passes Animal Trial 

A team of Canadian scientists has developed a device that can be used to “print” sheets of artificial skin directly onto the wounds of burn victims, and the team said it was tested on full-thickness burns in pigs, with positive results. The team published the results of its latest trial in the journal Biofabrication, putting it one step closer to actual use in burn clinics, which now has limited options to replace damaged skin. The most common is a skin graft, which involves removing damaged tissue and replacing it with healthy skin from another part of the body, however it is not always an option. The device creates an alternative method by depositing strips of a special bioink directly onto a wound. This bioink contains healing proteins as well as mesenchymal stromal cells, which assist the body’s immune system and encourage new cell growth. (Sputnik News)


A Florida teacher is facing felony drug charges after police say she tried to buy methamphetamine while teaching

The first-grade teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida was in contact with an undercover officer with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release. An audio recording that sheriff’s office provided to the media revealed a woman talking to an officer about buying an $85 “eight ball” an eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine. The woman is heard telling the undercover officer he can come to the school before kids arrive at 8:30 a.m. or during her lunch break at 11 a.m. The teacher intended to leave the classroom of first graders to buy the narcotics, use some and save the rest for her boyfriend, said Clay County Lt. with the CCSO during a press conference. The CCSO actually made the arrest after school and the teacher was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She also admitted she used methamphetamine 10 times within the last five to six months, the news release said. She was being held at the Clay County Jail and scheduled to be arraigned March 10, court records show. (The Florida Times Union)


Sex for unmarried people in Virginia might be legal soon

Lawmakers in Virginia are closing a legal loophole that could charge unmarried people with a crime for having consensual sex. The House of Delegates passed a bill this week that aims to repeal the crime of fornication, which makes it illegal for people to have consensual sex outside of marriage. Currently, fornication is a Class 4 misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $250. Delegate Mark Levine introduced House Bill 245 to repeal what he called a Victorian-era law. The Virginia Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in 2005. (WJLA)


Oklahoma leads country in medical marijuana dispensary licenses

A study from Cannabiz Media shows Oklahoma has the most dispensary licenses in the country. Another recent study shows Oklahoma has the second most dispensaries per capita in the country. It may result where the demand not remain as high for every dispensary as some gain more of a following. Others that don’t may not be able to stay open after the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has made it easier to setup shop in our state. Medical marijuana has also brought in millions in tax money for the state of Oklahoma. It is also noted that Oklahoma also has nine of the top 30 cities in medical marijuana dispensaries per capita. (Fox 25)


Coronavirus toll surpasses SARS

The coronavirus has killed more than 910 people, overtaking the death toll of the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003, which claimed 774 lives worldwide. The number of confirmed infections has topped 40,000, according to China’s National Health Commission, while U.S. officials reported the first known death of a U.S. citizen, in Wuhan, China, from the disease. A World Health Organization medical and research team has left for China to help. (New York Times)


Bill could help police with impaired driving arrests

Lawmakers are trying to prevent a spike in impaired crashes across Oklahoma, one that has been seen in numerous states that have legalized marijuana. As the medical marijuana industry grows across the state, organizations like AAA are bracing for a rise in impaired drivers being involved in accidents. In Oklahoma, AAA looks at statistics in other states that have legalized marijuana, like Washington, which saw its number of THC-impaired drivers in fatal accidents jump 10 percent after recreational marijuana was legalized. Law enforcement in Oklahoma could be getting more direction in what to do when they suspect someone is driving high. House Bill 3960 aims to fix, by saying exactly what an officer needs to observe. THC can be picked up in a blood test two weeks after use, and depending on the person and what they took, effects can last two to five hours, or even more, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. There is also an issue with testing after a crash in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. After a crash, if alcohol is found in a person’s system, the crash is designated alcohol-related. However, this does not catch any other factors, so the state is developing program to test for everything. There have been different programs throughout the state to help officers identify when someone is driving high. Officers observed the effects on several people as they drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, and texted on a closed course. It turned out, the marijuana drivers slowed their total course time by 10-15 percent each round. Oklahoma could also become the first state to try a marijuana breathalyzer pilot program – a concept and product developed in California. (KJRH)


North Carolina man struck in unusual hit and run

A man and his wife was leaving a McDonalds restaurant in Locust, North Carolina when they saw something approaching. What they saw coming wasn’t a car, but a frenzied deer that had run startled, likely from woods nearby, and stopping for nothing in its way. Security video taken from the store showed the animal barreling toward them before plowing them over him and continuing on. The couple say they were surprised, but not hurt during the incident. In fact, he didn’t even spill his Diet Coke. (WSOC)


Noted Thief

Authorities in Tennessee say they busted a well-organized burglar after he allegedly dropped a notebook during a break-in that contained a list of other places he planned to target. The 49-year-old man is accused of smashing a glass door and breaking into a Nashville area home on January 29th, stealing a TV and a gun from the residents, according to records filed in Davidson County court. But prosecutors said he left a notebook that listed multiple addresses, including one for another home a few miles away that had been burglarized that same day. Investigators were able to identify the suspect, in part, through notes his daughter left in the journal, along with her address. He was caught on video kicking in the back door of another house the next day, court records state. He was arrested last week and was being held on a $15,000 bond for felony burglary and theft charges, jail records showed. (The Tennessean)


Thursday Leaves Us Thirsty With:

  • Desperation Day
  • Employee Legal Awareness Day
  • Galentine’s Day
  • Get a Different Name Day
  • International Condom Day
  • Madly In Love With Me Day
  • National Break Up With Your Carrier Day
  • National Cheddar Day
  • National Giving Hearts Day
  • National Wingman’s Day
  • Self-Love Day
  • World Radio Day

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