Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘tornadoes

Stormy Weather

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I think I can speak for all of us here in the U.S. south and mid-west when I say we’re soooo over this seemingly never-ending storm and tornado season.

I watched CNN with rapt attention yesterday afternoon as the storms made their way through north Texas and into Oklahoma, and was horrified at the funnel clouds dropping left and right.

After the entirely tragic E5 storm that devastated Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, I, like so many, was concerned we would see more of the same through Oklahoma.  It was still bad there, of course, but fortunately not quite that bad.

In the Dallas area, several tornadoes touched down in the metroplex as well, and a couple of funnels dropped but didn’t stick around, near my hometown of Denton.

The Washington Post Capital Weather Gang cites the fact there have been approximiately 1,000 tornadoes this season, nearly 500 perished (with Joplin being the most deadly tornado since 1950 with 122 people dead).

Even worse, technology doesn’t seem to be faring well in terms of prediction.  As Andrew Freedman writes, “this tornado season has obliterated the notion that massive investment in a national severe weather forecasting infrastructure and early-warning network ensures a low tornado death toll.”

There’s likely no silver bullet that will entirely prevent such tragedies, but I like Capital Weather’s suggestion: Follow @capitalweather (or your local Twitter weather-related ID) for breaking weather alerts.

Between that and the civil warning sirens going off, that would be enough to send me running for cover, especially in this insane storm season.

Finally, if you missed the other breaking news today, CNBC anchor and co-host of “Squawk Box” Mark Haines died unexpectedly overnight at his home.

This is truly sad news, as he was a welcome host in mine and so many millions of homes trying to stay abreast of breaking business news.

Thoughts, prayers, and good wishes to the entire CNBC family.  It can’t be an easy day for them to be on the air.

They’ve set up a web page for Mark Haines remembrances here.

Written by turbotodd

May 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Posted in weather

Tagged with , , ,

Royal Friday

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TGIF.

The whole Royal Wedding thing is almost over.  I think the party’s about to start for the newlyweds somewhere in London, and here I am in sunny Austin, Texas, wishing it was a bank holiday here in the U.S. as well.

If you missed all the action, fear not.  Fortunately, I caught the highlights on the DVR (thank God for technology), and no matter how hard hearted you might be, it was a sweet and beautiful ceremony, and all the pomp and circumstance, and the fact that it went off without a hitch (or was that, with a hitch), made it all that more fun.

Not so much fun, however, has been the horrors of the destruction wrought by all those tornadoes here in the American South.  Fortunately, I’ve never experienced a tornado firsthand, but I have relatives who have, and I’ve certainly come close.

I’m most saddened by the reports of so many people killed or injured, and of course, by the massive destruction the storms have wrought.

For those of you who may have been asking yourselves the question, “How can I help?,” this link from Good provides a few answers.  It provides opportunities to contribute via the United Way, Feeding America, the American Red Cross, and even several local churches.

Remember, if you’re in the area, lots of folks are also going to need food and clothing, many having lost everything in the storms.

It seems trivial to transition from the horrible storms to technology, but often the two are tied one to the other, and Amazon has certainly experienced some stormy weather of its own over the past week.

Following up on last Friday’s post about the ups and downs of the cloud, Amazon has now published a summary of its EC2 and Amazon RDS disruption from last week.  The statement includes a thorough forensic analysis of what went wrong, as well as an apology.  At 5,600+ words, that’s a whole lot of explanation.

Also with some explaining to do, Sony, whose PlayStation network was hacked last week and the hackers for which are apparently trying to sell off customer credit card lists from the attack for upwards of $100,000, so reports the New York Times Bits blog.

This was one of the largest data breaches ever, and also led to the outage of the PlayStation Network for nearly a week.  The story goes on to report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s San Diego office is helping Sony with its inquiry into the hacking incident.

Probably not a bad idea to have the Feds helping where they can, as Sony faces global legal action over the data theft, suggests Reuters.  The breakdown has “infuriated” gamers, and Sony stock saw a nearly 5 percent decline in Tokyo yesterday.

Just in case anyone was wondering about the dramatic, and often negative, bottom line impact security breaches can have.

Me, I’m all about actionable intelligence.

If such incidences have you thinking about your own security situation, take this security self-assessment  and see what steps your company might need to take to strengthen its own security posture.

Meanwhile, winding down, and back to the bright side of life, for those of you in the U.K., here’s wishing you a nice long banking holiday weekend. ‘

Whether you’re in the royal wedding mode or not, it’s gotta be nice to have some down time to spend with family and friends.

Particularly after this week.

Written by turbotodd

April 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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