Prison service spending €80,000 per year so inmates can watch Sky Sports

first_imgThe Irish Prison Service (IPS) has spent more than €325,000 providing inmates with access to Sky Sports and other premium channels during the past four years, new figures have revealed.Almost €7,000 a month of Irish taxpayer money is being put towards TV package deals for prisoners to enjoy while behind bars, according to the Irish Examiner. All inmates have access to free-to-air channels on televisions in their prison cells, and can upgrade to digital packages by having a small sum deducted from their daily pocket money. Prisoners can also access premium channels such as Sky Sports in the recreational areas of enhanced landings – common areas equipped with large television screens. A deduction of 15 cent for in-cell television services is automatically taken from the daily gratuity payment that every inmate receives from the IPS.The prison service has defended its expenditure on premium TV services for prisoners, stating that incidents of self-harm and suicide had been dramatically reduced since the introduction of televisions. An IPS spokesman said: “Prisoners serving sentences are very much isolated from society and access to televisions, radios and newspapers are important to help keep prisoners connected with society and their communities.”All prisoners receive ‘pocket money’ of up to €2.20 per day, which can be used to buy non-essential goods such as cigarettes, sweets and computer games. It can also be used to pay the small fees for access to digital TV subscriptions.More than €2.8 million was doled out to inmates in pocket money last year, according to records released under the Freedom of Information Act. Prisoners can also earn an additional €3.50 per week for chores such as cooking and laundry. A total of €80,760 was spent by the IPS on multi-channel services last year, representing a small reduction from the €83,357 that it paid for the same services in 2017. The expenditure on channel subscriptions in 2016 and 2015 was €82,144 and €80,356, respectively, bringing the total over the four-year period to €326,617.Prison service spending €80,000 per year so inmates can watch Sky Sports was last modified: September 8th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Humboldt State football loses to Azusa Pacific to fall to 1-4 in GNAC play

first_imgAs he sat at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Humboldt State head coach Rob Smith talked about how impressed he was with Azusa Pacific’s improvement from a season ago following the two teams’ meeting last month.Based on how the Jacks’ annual trip to Southern California went, that opinion probably isn’t changing much.The Humboldt State football team suffered its first loss on the road in the 2016 season on Saturday night, as 19th-ranked Azusa Pacific led from start to finish in a 45-13 …last_img read more

Humans Can Selectively Wipe Out Certain Animals

first_img(Visited 402 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The human impact on animals is well known today and is becoming apparent in history, too. Implications for ancient history are considered.The white rhino is nearly extinct in our own time. We know the cause: poaching. The majority of humans respect these magnificent animals (see scientists desperately trying to preserve an embryo of the last northern white rhino on Science Daily). It only took a few bad humans, though, to wipe them out. Sometimes humans drive an animal extinct out of superstition, as in the case of the rhinoceros. “Even though these spikes are just made of keratin—what makes up our nails—many Asian markets deem it a viable treatment for low libido, among other things,” Emma Bryce wrote in 2014. “This has made rhino horn enormously popular, and poachers supply traffickers with horns that get sent across the globe.” Sometimes greed endangers animals, as in the case of the demand for elephant ivory. Sometimes vanity drives extinction, as in the case of a hummingbird threatened by ladies of a bygone era who thought them beautiful on their corsages. We know about how beaver narrowly escaped extinction in the fur trade era, all because European men found beaver hats fashionable for awhile. In Roman times, emperors would gather exotic animals for gladiators to fight in the arena.Human influence can be quick and dramatic. American bison were nearly wiped out within a few decades during the era of westward expansion. Some men thought it sporting to shoot them with rifles from the comfort of their railroad cars. Other humans drive animals to extinction out of anger, such as the ranchers who would see their sheep and cows lying dead from wolves and would go on a rampage to shoot every wolf they saw; one can understand their reticence at the decision to re-introduce wolves into Yellowstone. Fear can be another motivation. It may be a default human reaction when seeing a snake or spider to kill it. Other animal deaths are accidental, as in road kill (8 bears killed in Georgia this year by cars, Fox News reports). Then there are all the unforeseen consequences of human activity, such as encroachment on a species’ habitat, that can threaten creatures with extinction. In summary, these human motivations can drive species extinct:SuperstitionGreedVanityPrideEntertainmentAngerFearAccidentCivilization expansionEducation can help people respect the proper role of each species in an ecosystem, even rattlesnakes. Learning about animals’ benefits can help to reduce shortsighted actions that endanger species. The BBC News reports that some women in the UK got “sick to their stomach” when told that ivory trinkets they were wearing came from elephants slaughtered by poachers.  Oregon State researchers have shown that bears are like seed farmers: “Berry-gorging bears disperse seeds through scat and feed small mammals.” The goal of this article is not to excuse human behavior, nor endorse measures by bureaucrats to protect endangered species that can sometimes seem over the top to landowners and other stakeholders. The point is to note that human beings—unlike any other creatures on earth—can bring about extinction of selected species, even large animals, and do it relatively quickly.Mammoth hunt. Mural at La Brea Tar Pits museum.Scientists continue to debate whether the rich American megafauna that thrived in North America were killed off naturally or by early humans. (Consistent evolutionists who view humans as just another mammal wouldn’t say there’s a difference.) In the La Brea Tar Pits museum, remains of these large animals silently tell of a prior time around Los Angeles ruled by mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, camels, lions, saber-tooth cats, wolves and many other species of significant animals. Humans were present, we know, because a woman’s skeleton was found at the site, and evidence of mammoth hunts are known. The large animals ranged far and wide on the continent before, during and after first humans arrived. They are all gone.The following news articles touch on human involvement in extinction.America’s lost dogs (Science Magazine). Today’s pet dogs have almost no direct relationship to the dogs that followed the first human migrants from Asia. “It remains unclear why precontact dogs survived and thrived for thousands of years in the Americas only to swiftly and almost completely disappear with the arrival of Europeans.” (The full paper can be found at Science; see also Science Daily.) This story has a parallel with horses. Several species of horse thrived throughout North America. They were all gone before Europeans re-introduced them. As we know, Indians quickly made good use of horses after they were imported.Grizzly bear (Corel Pro Photos)Lost history of brown bears in Britain revealed (BBC News). Bears are large and fearsome beasts compared to people, but wild bears are unheard of in the British Isles today, Helen Briggs writes, even though they existed relatively recently. Romans hunted bears for gladiatorial contests. Indirect evidence suggests they still roamed wild 1,500 years ago. Scientists are divided on what happened to these large animals that thrived before and after the Ice Age, according to secular timelines. “Either ‘native bears’ went extinct around the early Middle Ages, or they disappeared some 3,000 years ago in the Bronze Age or in Neolithic times.” A bear is no match for a motivated human:Bears were present in the Tower of London and continued to be imported into Britain until well into the 20th century.Dancing bears were a common form of entertainment. Bears were also widely used for their body parts, with bear grease still being sold in Britain in the early 20th century as a putative treatment for hair loss.More work needs to be done to figure out the fate of British bears, says Science Daily about research conducted at the University of Nottingham.Human Responsibility and World ViewChris Packham is angry. “Let’s stop sleepwalking towards mass extinction,” he preaches at New Scientist, decrying the mess human beings are making of ecosystems. He blames agriculture for species loss, but would he really give up western cuisine?There, I’ve gone and said it, I’ve had the temerity to point out the great big bag of pesticides in the room. I’ve summoned the nerve to actually confront the sanctity of farming, to actually criticise the system that feeds us. Because that system has become dependent on vast quantities of poison and practices that are destroying our wildlife and our countryside. And will thus ultimately destroy us.So what do you want to do? Carry on musing about the stats, mumbling about “loss” or stand up and say enough is enough? On 22 September, I’m organising the first Peoples Walk for Wildlife in London and if you would like your kids to ever hear a nightingale I would suggest you get your boots on and pack some sarnies. Your wildlife needs you, and it needs you more than ever.Something in Packham’s soul finds beauty in wildness, and wants to preserve it. But why? At The Conversation, Elizabeth Boakes and David Redding offer this argument, “Extinction is a natural process, but it’s happening at 1,000 times the normal speed.” Let’s see if they (as evolutionists) can be consistent about what is ‘natural’ in the world:The northern white rhino will surely be mourned, as would other stalwarts of picture books, documentaries and soft toy collections. But what about species of which of which we are less fond – or perhaps even entirely unaware? Would we grieve for obscure frogs, bothersome beetles or unsightly fungi? Extinction is, after all, inevitable in the natural world – some have even called it the “engine of evolution”. So should extinction matter to us?They cannot deny that extinction is natural. Their argument for doing something about it hinges on the rate of extinction, and the fact that not protecting wildlife will eventually harm us.The most regular counter argument contends that we should not worry about extinction, because it is a “natural process”. First of all, so is death, but it does not follow that we meekly surrender to it (especially not prematurely or at the hands of another).But secondly, fossil records show that current extinction levels are around 1,000 times the natural background rate. They are exacerbated by habitat loss, hunting, climate change and the introduction of invasive species and diseases. Amphibians seem particularly sensitive to environmental change, with estimated extinction rates up to 45,000 times their natural speed. Most of these extinctions are unrecorded, so we do not even know what species we are losing.Hidden within their arguments are moral feelings that human beings (who are also ‘natural’ in evolutionary thinking) “should” take action. But why? Is there really a ‘natural’ background rate of extinction? So what if it is faster now? They would counter, “but animals need more time to evolve defenses.” Again, why? Evolutionists believe that 95% of species went extinct in the Permian, before man had anything to do with it. They believe a meteorite wiped out 76% of animals, including dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. Humans were not around, in their scenario, to try to deflect the meteor so that ecosystems would survive. There is no “should” in the evolutionary world view. Stuff Happens. It follows that evolutionists can only observe, not preach, about what humans are doing now. If humans were to wipe out enough species, and go extinct themselves, it would be a tale never told, a tragedy never mourned.Let’s turn a corner in the commentary and apply what we’ve learned to dinosaur extinction. The current extinction theory for dinosaurs has numerous problems, as we have shown over the years: its selective effects, and the presence of soft tissue in dinosaur fossils. The evolutionists’ mechanism doesn’t work, and their timeline is falsified. So Biblical creationists should get a shot at this never-ending debate. The Bible suggests that dinosaurs thrived for centuries, probably for over a millennium, after being created on Day Six of creation week. The Flood wiped most of them out; that’s why they show the “dinosaur death pose” of suffocation, and why we can find soft tissue just a few thousand years after they drowned. If Noah took representative species of dinosaurs on the ark, and they began proliferating from the Ark’s landing site at the end of the Flood, they could have spread far and wide for centuries, giving rise to all the “dragon legends” from Europe to China (and possibly some in the Americas). None of the post-Flood dinosaurs fossilized. Recall that the bones of millions of bison that died in the American west left no fossils.So what happened to the post-Flood dinosaurs? Read the top paragraphs again. Just like rhinos, bears, saber-tooth cats, and numerous other species, they perished at the hand of man. Look at that bullet list of motivations for driving animals extinct. Those were all certainly active motivations for centuries after the Flood and the Tower of Babel. The tales of Beowulf and Saint George and the Dragon typify the lust for fame at being able to kill a “dragon,” a word signifying a fearsome reptile. The fanciful accounts of dragons were probably exaggerated by storytellers to enhance the hero’s reputation. The word “dinosaur” didn’t exist until it was coined by Richard Owen in 19th-century Britain. Many people probably considered dinosaurs major pests or threats to their own safety. If they could wipe out bears and lions, they could have wiped out the post-Flood dinosaurs. This explains the selectivity of the extinction. It happened by intelligent design, not by a chance event like a meteor strike. It explains the soft tissue remains (because the Flood was recent, not millions of years ago). It explains the ubiquitous “dinosaur death pose” and the fossil graveyards in flood deposits. Sounds like a good explanation. If it weren’t for secular scientists’ hatred of the Bible, it should be a contender.last_img read more

Does It Really Take A Government To Launch Cloud-Based Cyberattacks?

first_imgU.S. financial institutions are apparently the main targets for hackers bent on disrupting the banks’ online business, combining old tools and new tricks to muster a whole new class of zombie computers into attacking bank servers. But even as banks level accusations of state-sponsored hacking, the identity of the attackers is still not entirely clear.Certainly the banks and their allies in the U.S. government haven’t been shy about calling out the attackers. Last week the bank security experts were concluding publicly that the nature of the attacks meant that it could not be anything less than a state-sponsored cyberattack from one of the U.S.’s biggest bogeymen, Iran.The reason for fingering Iran was the sophistication of the attackers, who used centrally controlled botnets to launch highly targeted distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against banks’ infrastructure. That was not the part that freaked out the security experts… apparently new characteristics of the attacks included the addition of cloud-hosted servers within the botnets launching the attacks, lending huge computational power to the DDOS sorties, as well as aiming at servers beyond the public-facing websites that usually get smacked around.But does this level of sophistication really point to state-level sponsors like Iran? Or are “everyday” hackers and hacktivists just upping their game in their perpetual war against banks, corporations and government agencies?Bringing Out The ArtilleryDr. Ken Baylor, Research vice president at NSS Labs, knows his way around a bank server or two – his previous gig was a three-year stint as vice president of Security and Antifraud at Wells Fargo.When discussing the nature of this latest set of bank attacks in an interview last week, Baylor described the scale of the attacks with a chilling analogy. Past attacks directed by groups like Anonymous and LulzSec, he said, were like people running around shooting handguns. These new attacks that marshal cloud-based resources are more like using artillery.And well-aimed artillery, too: Baylor outlined that past DDOS attacks tended to be aimed squarely at Web servers, to which intended victims would simply add more Web-server resources as failovers when weathering an attack.“Now they’re going after key weak systems,” Baylor said. For example, a bank’s three or four authentication servers might be new targets, and once those fail, the whole chain of online banking collapses, since customers are unable to log into their accounts.Attackers are also using the sheer power of their newfound ammunition to launch much more sophisticated deep queries at targeted servers, which are much harder to tag as part of a DDOS attack and thus ignore.The Fog Of WarDetermining the identity of the attackers is by no means easy, beyond the technical tricks used to obfuscate the identities of the hackers. The other problem is determining motivation.Thus far, past and present attacks have seemed very determined to not involve the theft of money, what would seem to be the obvious goal of attacking a bank’s cyber infrastructure. Indeed, after initial cyberattacks against banks proved successful, hacktivist groups began announcing their intended targets to make sure banks knew they were about to get p0wned.But Baylor explained that soon after following through on attacks to pre-determined targets, it became known that fraudsters would take advantage of the attacks to initiate call center campaigns that would use social engineering to trick call center representatives, locked out of their downed systems, to transfer money fraudulently. After that type of activity was discovered, the original hackers stopped pre-publishing their intended targets.It is actually this lack of monetary gain that leads security experts to believe that state-sponsored groups are behind the attacks. According to The New York Times article, “[a] hacker group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters has claimed in online posts that it was responsible for the attacks.”American intelligence officials, the article goes on to state, claim the hacktivist group is actually just a front for Iranian government activities and all of these activities are a calculated response to economic sanctions and cyberattacks launched against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure by the United States and Israel.Iran, for its part, has denied these specific allegations.“Whoever it is, it’s a show of power,” Baylor said. “They’re not out to steal. They’re out to disrupt.”Bad Actors Or Good Hackers?While the sheer power of the cloud-based servers would seem to suggest that the perpetrators of these attacks would have to be someone with a lot of money, time and power, other attacks would seem to suggest that this is not necessarily the case.Consider, for a moment, the different levels of sophistication it takes to hack into a personal computer or a server (physical or virtual). Didn’t take long, did it?The fact is that hacking into servers is only a touch more difficult than hacking into personal computers, and that’s only because PC owners are often dumb enough to allow malware onto their machines, thus making hackers’ jobs a whole lot easier. (Full disclosure: I’m one of those dummies.)There is a recurring myth that somehow it’s very hard to hack into servers hosted on the cloud, because Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and other public cloud servers are perceived as being so secure.Indeed, such services are very secure, emphasized Patrick McBride, vice president of marketing for Xceedium, an access control vendor for cloud computing. But that security extends only to the infrastructure level of the cloud hosts: the operating systems and networks that actually host the virtual machine “containers” in which customers’ servers reside.What runs within the containers, though, are just as prone to the fumbles and pratfalls that any hosted server can have. Someone like me can, with a credit card and an AWS account, go out and set up a nice little Hadoop cluster in the cloud today. But if I don’t lock that server down and keep it patched and maintained, it’s just as vulnerable as it would be if it were plugged into the Internet back in my server room. Careless server admins can get their systems hacked just as easily as PCs.“Cloud providers have done a pretty good job locking down their infrastructure,” McBride said. “But you’ve got to lock down access to your own servers.” More Shelling To ComeGarden-variety hackers are already pretty sophisticated with their online weaponry, too. With whole botnets ready to be rented and deployed as a service against any desired targets, hackers (political or criminal) are able to acquire online weapons to use in their crusades or criminal activities.A problem with the gun/artillery analogy is that it applies only to the level of power that can be used in an attack – it does not correlate with the sophistication or financing of the hackers themselves. If a hacker can crack a virtual server and control its computing power with little more skill than it takes to hack some poor slob’s PC and tie it to a tightly controlled botnet, then how sophisticated does a hacker have to be?This is not to say Iran’s name can be cleared. The Middle Eastern nation could still be involved with these attacks, as might any other nation with a beef against the United States. But these attacks could just as well be the work of pro-Iranian hacker groups, any one of a slew of anti-bank protest organizations or some super-genius kid ticked off a bank foreclosed on his parents’ house.Using sophistication as a prime identifier for state-sponsored attacks paints an incomplete picture. The truth is, building a detailed and powerful cyberattack is not like building a nuclear weapon or creating counterfeit currency – activities that typically do require government-level resources and money. Cyberattacks like the ones in question, while complex, use the same methods employed in other botnet attacks. It’s just the weapons that have changed.Nevertheless, the fact that there’s now cloud artillery lying around for hackers to replace their virtual handguns is very bad news for banks and any other potential online targets, regardless of the attackers’ identity.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… brian proffitt Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidcenter_img Why You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#Banking How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?last_img read more

‘IED’ destroyed on J&K highway

first_imgA major tragedy was averted on Monday with the timely detection of a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) along the Jammu-Poonch national highway, prompting suspension of traffic for nearly one and a half hours, officials said. A bottle filled with liquid material and a polybag filled with some solid material was found by the roadside near Kallar chowk along the highway in the morning, Rajouri SSP Yougal Manhas said. He said an Army unit noticed the suspicious material around 7.30 a.m. and subsequently the bomb disposal squad destroyed the IED on the spot. A police team headed by in-charge of Chingus Chatyari police post and Sub-Inspector M.D. Khan reached the spot soon after the Army flashed an alert and enforced closure of traffic on particular stretch. However, the traffic resumed around 10 a.m. after the bomb disposal squad completed its action, Mr. Manhas said. The device was suspected to be planted by some anti-national elements, he said. ‘Timely action’“Timely action by the alert jawans of Army averted any untoward incident,” the SSP said, adding that a probe into the matter has been started with the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Govind Rattan, personally conducting the investigation. On May 22, the police busted a major militant hideout in the same region (Chatyari forest) and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including four Kalashnikov assault rifles and 11 pistols.last_img read more

Kessie is following in the footsteps of Bakayoko

first_imgTiemoue Bakayoko should be an example to all AC Milan players, according to Franck Kessie.AC Milan breezed past Empoli 3-0 at the San Siro thanks to goals from Piatek, Kessie and Samu Castillejo.The win took the Rossoneri within a point of third place, awaiting Inter’s match with Fiorentina.However, the Ivorian midfielder who was on target feels Milan players should emulate the hard-work of Chelsea loanee Bakayako in their quest for a Champions League ticket.“There’s a long way to go yet. We have to keep going, pick up three points every time and continue to win,” Kessie told Football Italia.“We just have to work hard and do what the Coach asks. I have to continue like this, do better than last season and try to score more goals.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….Bakayoko was jeered during the first few months of his Milan career, on loan from Chelsea, but was given a standing ovation at San Siro tonight.Kessie goal… cheeky… #MIlan— Jay 🇮🇳 (@JayGooner_) February 22, 2019“This is football, when things go badly, everyone jeers. Now Bakayoko is doing remarkable things, helps the team so much and we must remember if we all follow his example, we can win every game.”Milan are still in the hunt for the Coppa Italia and with Piatek in prolific form, it may be risky to write them off.last_img read more