Boston Marathon Bombing

The aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.

Boston Marathon Bombing

At least 3 dead, 141 injured in Boston Marathon blasts.

BOSTON — Two explosions ripped through the Boston Marathon’s crowded finish line Monday afternoon, killing at least three people and injuring more than 141.

The dead included an 8-year-old boy, The Boston Globe reported, citing law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation. Among the injured, 17 were reported in critical condition. The victims at eight local hospitals were as young as 2.

“There were so many people in that area that they couldn’t get ambulances in there,” said Joe Difazio, who was working on communications near the site when the blasts occurred. “They were wheeling people out in wheelchairs. One guy had no legs. The bones was just sticking out. … It was horrible.”

WBZ-TV reported Monday night that police were searching an apartment in Revere, a suburb, as part of the investigation into the blasts. Massachusetts State Police confirmed that a search warrant was served but provided no further details, Associated Press said.

Set off at one of the world’s premiere sporting events, the blasts ignited a fresh round of unease and renewed security concerns across the nation. The stark pictures of mayhem and the injured sent over TV and the Internet also rekindled stark memories from the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Monday’s attacks also come just four days before the anniversary of the April 19, 1995, bomb attack on Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building.

The Boston Marathon blasts occurred about 12 seconds and 100 yards apart at about 2:50 p.m., three hours after Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa won the 26.2-mile race.

Police searched widely for other explosive devices, and two law enforcement officials said no other explosive devices had been found. The officials said that as many as seven suspicious packages were destroyed in controlled explosions but they were later found not to be actual bombs. The law enforcement officials who have been briefed on the matter were not authorized to comment publicly.

Authorities also issued a bulletin for a unidentified man who was seen running from a restricted area. It was unclear, according to the federal official, whether the person was anything other than a witness.

The state, local and federal investigation into the bombings is being led by the FBI. Special Agent Rick Deslauriers said investigators were looking at possible terrorism, but he refused comment on specific suspects or leads in the case.  Read More USA Today

WordPress, Joomla Users Victims of ‘Brute Force’ Attack By Botnet


WordPress, Joomla Users Victims of ‘Brute Force’ Attack By Botnet

The ongoing botnet attack against poorly-secured WordPress-run sites reinforces the need for strong passwords, security experts say.

A network of more than 90,000 IP addresses is responsible for an ongoing “brute force” attack against sites and blogs using the WordPress’ default username ‘admin.’ Some Joomla users have also been hit. The campaign first came to light late last week and picked up steam over the weekend.

Online security firm Sucuri is reporting a significant rise in the number of such attacks.

The company’s data showed an average of 30,000 to 40,000 blocked attacks per day from last December through March. In April, hacking attempts spiked to more than 77,000 per day and reached more than 100,000 in the past few days.

According to Sophos security expert Paul Ducklin the online assault is known as a dictionary attack, a method in which the hacker tries the most common usernames and passwords in quick succession to breach accounts.

“The idea is simple: automate the password guessing, speed up the attack, and don’t spend too long on any individual site,” Ducklin wrote on the Sophos blog. “Look for the low-hanging fruit, and harvest it as quickly as you can; if you can’t get in within a few hundred or thousand attempts, move on to the next potential victim. It’s doorknob rattling, but on an industrial and international scale.”

Sucuri CTO Daniel Cid posted a list of the top user names being attempted: admin, test, administrator, Admin and root. The username admin is by far the most popular attempt, he added. In fact, it is tried 60 times more often than any of the other common user names.

“In these cases, by the shear fact of having a non- admin / administrator / root usernames you are automatically out of the running,” Cid said.

The most common passwords being attempted are: admin, 123456, 12345, !@#%^, 123321, qwerty, 12345678, 1234, 123123, password, 666666, 121212 and pass.

Sophos image

Sophos image

Founding developer of WordPress Matt Mullenweg recommends anyone who uses admin as his or her username change it immediately and implement a strong password.

“If you’re on turn on two-factor authentication, and of course make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest version of WordPress,” Mullenweg wrote in a blog post.  “Do this and you’ll be ahead of 99 percent of sites out there and probably never have a problem.”

Password-guessing attacks such as these are common, Ducklin said.

In this case, the attack volume “has been sufficient to attract global attention, which is a good thing, but it’s currently thought to be only about three times the usual level,” he said.

“In other words, even when ‘normal service’ is resumed, we’ll all still be firmly in the sights of the cybercriminals, so take this as a spur to action.”

Online security provider CloudFlare is warning that attacks such as this could spell trouble in the future.

CloudFlare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince said the attacker is using “a relatively weak botnet of home PCs” to construct a significantly larger botnet “of beefy servers in preparation for a future attack.”

“These larger machines can cause much more damage in DDoS attacks because the servers have large network connections and are capable of generating significant amounts of traffic,” he wrote in a blog post. “This is a similar tactic that was used to build the so-called itsoknoproblembro/Brobot botnet which, in the fall of 2012, was behind the large attacks on U.S. financial institutions.”

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Pause To Avoid A Puppy Scam

Pause To Avoid A Puppy Scam

Pause To Avoid A Puppy Scam

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April 2013: Looking for a furry friend? Watch out – scammers continue to use cute and cuddly canines to pull on people’s heart strings and get them to part with their money.

SCAMwatch has received an increase in the number of scams involving puppies this year. This scam typically involves ads for non-existent puppies being placed in newspapers and online classifieds at suspiciously low prices. The ‘seller’ provides interested buyers with pictures of an adorable puppy and then tricks them into paying fees for transport, customs or medical costs before the dog can be delivered. Once the payment is made, the puppy and money vanish without a trace.

Scammers prey upon individuals and families who just want to give a dog a good home.

Don’t let your search for a furry friend be sidelined by a scammer – make sure the seller and the puppy are the real deal.
How these scams work

  • You visit a reputable newspaper or online classifieds website where you come across an ad offering a pedigree puppy for a really cheap price. The ad may include a picture of a very cute puppy and claim that it is registered and has been ‘lovingly raised’.
  • If you wish to buy the dog, the ‘seller’ will often claim that they have moved interstate or overseas and that you will need to pay for transport or medical costs before the puppy can be delivered. The ‘seller’ asks for payment to be made via money transfer.
  • If you pay, you will never receive the puppy or see your money again.
  • If the scammer claims that the puppy is overseas, they may pretend that non-delivery is due to customs or quarantine issues, and that further payment is due before the puppy will be released. Again, any further money sent will be lost and the dog will never be delivered.

Protect yourself

  • Be cautious – if the advertised price of a pedigree puppy looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t trust the legitimacy of an ad just because it appears in a reputable newspaper or online classifieds website – scammers often use these.
  • Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for upfront payment via money order or wire transfer – it’s rare to recover money sent this way.
  • Search online using the exact wording in the ad—many well-known scams can be found this way.
  • If you are in doubt, seek advice from someone in the industry such as a reputable breeders association, vet or local pet shop.
  • Remember: it is impossible to import a dog from overseas into Australia in a few weeks as quarantine procedures need to be followed. For details check the requirements with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

You can report a scam to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.
More information
For more information about how you can protect yourself, check out the upfront payment scams page on SCAMwatch.
SCAMwatch has also issued the following radars on puppy related scams:

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit


Moto Guzzi National Owners Club

Moto Guzzi National Owners Club

500cc V8 at factory

How It all Started

Very late in the year of 1970 a motorcycle magazine by the name of Motorcycle World (now defunct), printed a letter written by a fellow who was about to take delivery on a brand new 1970 750cc Moto Guzzi Ambassador. moto guzzi ambassador

The new motorcycle owner – Dennis Sterlace, had written the magazine asking for people about their experience and what they considered the pros and cons of the Moto Guzzi Ambassador.

Frank Wedge  wrote to Dennis and they began exchanging letters. After corresponding for a month or more, Frank and Dennis decided to try to get a Moto Guzzi correspondence club going. Dennis lived in Lackawanna, New York, and Frank lived in the tiny town of to Sylvan Grove, Kansas.

Frank wrote a letter to Road Rider magazine. Road Rider printed his letter, which asked for interested Moto Guzzi owners to contact either Dennis or Frank . Letters (although small in numbers at first) began coming in from all parts of the United States and a couple from Canada.

The MGNOC (Moto Guzzi National Owners Club)  is now an international club for the Moto Guzzi  owner and enthusiast.  Membership totals around 3200 people. All 50 states are represented, also several provinces in Canada and 16 or 17 other countries.

The MGNOC  is a small club, compared to some, but the members are very devoted to the marque, and most are active motorcyclists who probably ride more miles in an average year than many motorcyclists.


Now, 25 years later, Frank sometimes thinks back at how everything fell into place so that Dennis and himself were able to start up the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club . They are friendly group and  welcome any and all to attend their rallies or join the club.

Club Meetings and Rides Information

People who ride other brands of motorcycles often comment on how much they enjoy attending the rallies, and so the MGNOC  invite others to visit them at their various activities throughout the United States.

Moto Guzzi powered in Texas

In Italy, there is one motorcycle marque that stands above all others when it comes to history and tradition: Moto Guzzi. Today Guzzi is seen very much as a traditionalist, but this was not always so. From its inception shortly after the first Great War, its initial efforts remain shining examples of vision and achievement – and this would continue until the end of the 1950’s, some four decades later. From its Mandelo del Lario factory came a constant stream of mould-breaking designs which were to achieve glory on both road and track.

Visit the Moto Guzzi Museum

Motorbike Boots all worn out? Check These out

Paws For Thought

Paws for thought

Paws For Thought

Your pet is a beloved member of the family so it can be a tough call when it comes to food. Your four-legged friend gazes longingly at what you’re eating and, no doubt, you’re tempted to share with them. But the chances are that, if you do, you won’t be doing your pet any favours. In fact, food that may be find for humans can unfortunately be hazardous for our furry friends.

Foods that can harm dogs, cats and other pets:

  • Avocado contains persin, which causes respiratory distress and fluid build-up around the heart in birds. It also causes mastitis and heart problems in rabbits and other rodents. In dogs it can cause an upset stomach.
  • Caffeine found in tea, coffee, soft drinks and chocolate stimulate an animal’s nervous system and can damage the heart, lungs and kidneys.
  • Chocolate abounds around the Easter season. It contains both caffeine and theobromine, a chemical compound that makes humans feel good but which causes sickness in dogs and cats. Even small amounts cause dogs to vomit and have diarrhoea, in larger doses it can be fatal
  • .Cooked Bones splinter and are very sharp. They can puncture the digestive tract anywhere from the mouth onward, or get stuck and cause an intestinal blockage.
  • Grapes, Raisins and Sultanas can cause vomiting, lethargy and depression in dogs.
  • Macadamia Nuts contain a chemical that in some dogs causes muscle weakness, joint swelling and paralysis.
  • Onions and garlic damage red blood cells in dogs, producing a sort of anaemia that can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.
  • Stonefruit, especially apricots have seeds that are just the right size to get stuck in a dog’s gut. Corn cobs are also notorious for getting stuck.
  • Sugar free products may contain xylitol which is an artificial sweetener that stimulates a dog’s pancreas to produce extra insulin. This can lead to seriously low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs within just 30 minutes. Ferrets are also susceptible to adverse reactions from xylitol.
  • Easter Lilies are deadly for cats. The leaves, flowers, stems and even the pollen of plants in the Liliaceae family lilies cause life-threatening kidney failure in cats. If you have a cat, the best idea is to ban lilies from your home and garden. If you think your cat has mouthed or eaten a lily, go straight to the vet as your cat will need intravenous fluids and other support.

So when you get the puppy dog eyes, offer your pet a toy or a liver treat while you indulge in “human” food.  Keep the whole family happy and healthy, fur-babies and human babies!


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Wogs visit Aussies on Australia Day

Wogs visit Aussies on Australia Day

THE Sydney creator of a YouTube comic phenomenon known as Superwog is fighting to stop his alter ego being stripped from him by the entertainment giant DC Comics, the owner of Superman.

Theodore Saidden, 22, applied for a trademark registration for Superwog and a stylised shield logo for his character, which has gained popularity among university and school students online.

DC Comics, a division of Time Warner, the largest entertainment company in the world, and owner of comic characters including Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash, is far from amused. It has engaged the legal firm Baker & McKenzie and has filed its opposition to the registration application with IP Australia.

Mr Saidden, a final-year business law student at the University of Technology, Sydney, said he had received a letter two months ago ordering him to close his website and stop producing T-shirts and stickers with the Superwog logo.

”I have been accused of stealing the identity of Superman and misleading people with my character,” said Mr Saidden, who is of Egyptian and Greek background. ”They told me the public would think that Superman is endorsing Superwog.”

Inspired by the comedians Chris Lilley and Sacha Baron Cohen, Mr Saidden and his friends created the character two years ago. Since then, satirical instructional videos have appeared on YouTube, which led to demand for merchandise and paid appearances.

”This is quite crushing,” Mr Saidden said. ”I am just trying to make people laugh.

”Their lawyers have come back to us saying I can keep using the name Superwog but not register it as a trademark. But this is just ridiculous; they are not the same.

”I was just trying to do things properly and you get punished.”

An intellectual property lawyer, Trevor Choy, said DC Comics was staging a pre-emptive strike.

”DC Comics don’t know where Superwog will end up – it could stay as a small website selling novelty tees, or it could one day end up as a TV series or film.

”Or worse, what if slackness in this case encourages others to come up with Superaussie, Superkid and Superwidget? DC Comics could lose millions because their licensees will be reluctant to pay the current high licensing fees. They can’t afford to take the risk.”

Mr Choy believed DC Comics was acting correctly and the Super- wog logo was an obvious and deliberate parody of the Superman logo.

Baker & McKenzie did not respond to inquiries from The Sun-Herald.


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NASA contractor United Space Alliance migrated to Linux from Windows

NASA contractor United Space Alliance migrated to Linux from Windows and went to The Linux Foundation for help with training.

logo nasa, NASA contractor United Space Alliance migrated to Linux from Windows

It’s hard to get tech support 400 kilometers away from the Earth, which is why Keith Chuvala of United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor deeply involved in Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) operations, decided to migrate to Linux. As leader of the Laptops and Network Integration Teams, Chuvala oversees the developers in charge of writing and integrating software for the Station’s “OpsLAN” – a network of laptops that provide the ISS crew with vital capabilities for day-to-day operations, from telling the astronauts where they are, to inventory control of the equipment used, to interfacing with the cameras that capture photos and videos.

“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable – one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt, we could.” With the transition to Linux looming, Chuvala turned to the Linux Foundation’s Linux training program for help.

Expert training produces seamless Linux migration

With a goal of getting his team up to speed on developing applications in Linux, Chuvala was looking for solid training that would address various skill levels. The Linux Foundation’s training staff arranged two courses geared specifically for the USA/NASA team’s needs: Introduction to Linux for Developers and Developing Applications For Linux. Both training sessions were adapted to provide tailored instruction for the diverse group.

Dominic Duval, the Director of Enterprise Training, was able to leverage the group’s mixed backgrounds, augment their existing knowledge with Linux-specific skills, and prepare them for developing apps related specifically to the needs of the ISS. Chuvala was extremely pleased with the expertise and flexibility Duval provided the team. “Initially, I was worried about some of our real techie guys getting ‘bored,’” said Chuvala. “But that was not the case at all. Likewise, the new people were sufficiently challenged.”

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How to Grow Early Crops Using an Age-Old Technique

How to Grow Early Crops Using an Age-Old Technique
Hot Beds

By Jack First

How to Grow Early Crops Using an Age-Old Technique

Hot beds are nothing new—they were used by the Victorians and even by the Romans. By reviving and modernizing this ancient vegetable-growing method, Jack First produces healthy plants that crop at least two months earlier than conventionally grown vegetables, even in his native Yorkshire, England.

This practical, illustrated guide has everything you need to understand about how to utilize this highly productive, low-cost, year-round, eco-friendly gardening technique. Straightforward explanations, diagrams, and examples show how the natural process of decay can be harnessed to enable out-of-season growing without using energy from fossil fuels or elaborate equipment.

With some stable manure (there are also alternative options), an easy-to-construct frame, and a small space to build your bed, you can revolutionize your vegetable growing and be harvesting salads in March and potatoes early in April.

Jack First is an experienced horticulturalist who has pioneered, developed and fully tested the hot-bed methods covered in this book. He works with volunteers on a large plot in Keighley and is the sole supplier to his local wholefood shop of out-of-season greens, new potatoes and salads.

Read More about Hot Beds

I’m Too Sexy For My Hoodie

I'm Too Sexy For My Hoodie

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I’m Too Sexy For My Hoodie

RSPCA Our History
The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Australia was formed in Victoria in 1871. On July 4th a public meeting was arranged by the Society for the Promotion of Public Morality to discuss the carefree colonial attitude towards animals. The main concern of people who attended the public meeting was the ill treatment of horses.

Become a Volunteer
Are you passionate about animal welfare and want to make a difference by being involved?

Are you dedicated and willing to make a regular commitment to help animals – animals that have been displaced, abandoned and possibly neglected and abused?

If so, you may be just the person we are looking for to become an RSPCA NSW Volunteer.

Volunteers are an integral part of the RSPCA NSW team and play an active part in supporting our work to improve the welfare of animals and protect them from cruelty and neglect. Volunteering involves dedication, commitment and passion. It is a great way to meet new people and be directly involved in the animal welfare cause.

There are many volunteer roles available; some involving contact with animals, while others provide support without direct contact with animals. Opportunities exist to assist with animal care, administration, events, customer service and local community fundraising (roles available may differ between shelters and branches).

Please click on a link below for further information.


Heavy Snow Claims Eight Lives In Northern Japan

Heavy Snow Claims Eight Lives In Northern Japan

Heavy Snow Claims Eight Lives In Northern Japan

(CNN) — Heavy snow in northern Japan claimed the lives of eight people over the weekend, while a blizzard forced a high-speed bullet train to derail.

In one incident, a woman and her three children were found dead on Saturday after becoming trapped in their car in Nakashibetsu, a town in eastern Hokkaido prefecture, police told CNN.

Authorities believe they died of carbon monoxide poisoning as the car’s engine was left running and filled with exhaust fumes. The vehicle’s exhaust pipe and windows were buried under snow.

A 23-year-old woman, also from Nakashibetsu, died Sunday after she was found collapsed on farmland near the town. Police said she had abandoned her car, which was found a few hundred meters away.

Elsewhere in the region, a 53-year-old man and his nine-year-old daughter were discovered unconscious after being buried in snow on farmland near Yubetsu in Monbetsu district. The father was pronounced dead at hospital, but his daughter is now conscious and does not have any life-threatening injuries, police said.

The two went missing after leaving their home Saturday afternoon in a truck to visit a friend of the father. Police and rescue workers found the truck on a road Saturday evening and the man and his daughter Sunday morning. According to local media, the father had covered his daughter with his body to try to warm her under heavy snow.

The bodies of two other men — ages 74 and 54 — were also found outside Sunday. They are believed to have gotten lost after leaving their snow-trapped cars, and police say the elder man froze to death; the other’s man’s death is under investigation.

Meanwhile, a six-car bullet train en route from Tokyo to Akita on the high-speed Akita Shinkansen line derailed on Saturday afternoon after the front wheels of the train’s first car left the track in blizzard conditions near Daisen in Akita prefecture. Nobody on board was injured, and the service resumed on Monday, a spokesperson for operator JR East told CNN.

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