Cybercriminal Group Targets Hotels, Restaurants With Malware...

Hospitality businesses should be on high alert for attacks from a notorious gang. But rather than doing physical harm, this group is attempting something much more sinister: they use malware attacks to steal countless credit card numbers. A 2013 study found that an average of 82,000 new malware threats occur on a daily basis. That number has most likely increased within the last three years, especially as more organized cybercriminal groups choose to orchestrate widespread attacks. A security firm called Trustwave confirmed that three of the company’s clients have fallen victim to malware attacks in the last month. Although not confirmed, the offenders behind the attacks are likely the Carbanak gang, which was blamed for stealing nearly $1 billion from numerous banks last year. The malware coding in these recent attacks matches that of previous onslaughts perpetrated by the group. The recent invasion has targeted the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants. The culprits will call a customer service line and pretend to be customers who are unable to access the business’s reservation system online. They will then send an email to the customer service representative. These emails have Word documents attached that supposedly contain their reservation information. Instead, opening these documents will allow malware to be downloaded to the computer system. These hackers are particularly persistent, as they seem to be doing a lot of research through sites like LinkedIn in order to sound more legitimate. “During the call, they’ll do some name-dropping to establish credibility,” says Brian Hussey, the global director of incident response for Trustwave. He says they’ll also insist on staying on the line with the rep until the document is opened. After the malware is installed on the computer, it turns vicious. The entire point of the attack is...

New Business Opens In Indiana Offering Unique Cryo-Sauna Services...

Most everyone has heard of saunas and their mind-body healing and relaxation benefits, but Konnie Komarovsky has opened a new business in Carmel, IN, that offers a variety of services, including a chilly take on the traditionally steamy sauna. According to CurrentinCarmel.com, the name of the business is A Better You Wellness. Komarovsky, the owner, is a former coach who’s spent time helping athletes develop and recover their bodies. To help them take this to the next level, Komarovsky decided to open this new venture. The facility offers services such as sensory deprivation float sessions, infrared saunas, and a cryo-sauna. That last one is something you may not have ever heard of before. There were approximately 21 million households in the U.S. that owned a spa, pool, or hot tub in spring of 2014, but chances are not many of them were of the cryo variety. Cryo-saunas use cryogenic cold temperatures instead of the traditional hot steam to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. The process is as futuristic sounding as the name suggests. The person receiving cryogenic sauna treatment enters a chamber that is subsequently filled with liquid nitrogen gas. This liquid gas can reach temperatures as cold as negative 240 degrees. The whole procedure only lasts two or three minutes. The process was originally developed to treat arthritis, but now, in addition to treating pain and inflammation, it can also help tighten skin and collagen production. If a full-body experience sounds like a little too much for some people, visitors to A Better You Wellness can also receive locally administered cryo-therapy, which sort of like an extreme version of icing. “It’s a new version of a wellness facility,” Komarovsky said. “What you can accomplish with 30 minutes of icing, we can accomplish in...

String of Propane Related Explosions Continues This Week as Two Separate Trucks Crash and Explode...

In what can only be described as the latest in an inexplicable uptick in propane-related incidents across America, an 18-wheeler carrying massive quantities of the volatile gas rolled over this afternoon in Calloway Co., KY, shortly before bursting into flames, reports local news station KFVS12. Police were forced to close the 5000 block of Murray-Paris Road and evacuate several homes in the area. People are reportedly still being asked to avoid the area until it has been deemed safe by authorities and emergency responders. The incident is only the latest in a string of propane-related fires or explosions which have bedeviled the country over the past few months. This has Americans understandably concerned, as over eight million homes are powered by the gas. People want to know if they’re running their homes on something potentially unsafe. Just last week, firefighters and police responded to the scene of another propane truck crash in Callaway, MN, where a tanker truck collided with a freight train and caught fire. The crash and explosion caused the train to derail, according to the Star Tribune. The driver of the truck, Biya Abdella Buta, 31, was not injured in the crash. However, the two-member crew of the Canadian Pacific freight train both suffered minor injuries. Fire from the crash and the threat of additional explosions prompted authorities to temporarily evacuate the area. Authorities are looking into potential criminal charges for the driver, who, Twin Cities reports apparently displayed negligence in the leadup to the crash. Onboard video from the train recovered last Friday proves that the crew aboard the train sounded the horn and did everything in their power to alert the truck driver and slow down the train. Over the weekend, Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to Callaway to view...

The True Heroes of Game of Thrones Are Software Developers...

Figuring out why the season premier of Game of Thrones crashed last year for HBO’s streaming users was not just a matter of customer service for the network. If people couldn’t get their fix of the series, they were going to look elsewhere for it, and when they found it, HBO was going to lose out big time. Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show in the world. One episode, “The Wars to Come,” was downloaded a staggering 13 million times, a new record of piracy for the series, Entertainment Weekly reports. By one estimate, the piracy resulted in $44 million in lost revenue for that one episode alone. One of the ways HBO has tried to mitigate piracy levels of the show is to make it easy for users to stream, but when that fails — as it did last year — people are going to go watch it one way or another. In order to figure out why live streaming services failed, HBO turned to software developers, who can create applications like web functionality tools, video games, device drivers, operating systems, business productivity software, and more. Specifically, HBO turned to AppDynamics. This company also helped Beachbody fix its slow loading times on mobile devices, and SAP’s Concur unit counts on the same vendor to see where bugs emerge across its thousands of servers. Last May, AppDynamics announced that HBO GO was its new client. The network’s hit shows like Game of Thrones andTrue Detective were experiencing widely reported glitches, an embarrassment for the company when it was trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon. HBO tapped AppDynamics’ software to find the potential trouble spots ahead of time, a tricky task for a show that brings in about 8 million viewers...

Apple’s New ‘Spaceship’ Office Propelling Employees Towards Success...

In a shocking turn of events, Apple has decided to take a leap of faith in innovation and try something completely new. Wait, they already do that, don’t they? Man, these guys are good. According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Apple and its team of architects are building a massive UFO-shaped campus that should be completed sometime in early 2016. It is being built on a 175-acre construction site in the company’s birthplace, Cupertino, CA. This gives Apple employees yet another thing to brag about to all their friends and family. The “superoffice” will be as loaded with amenities as any office in history, but the project is also being lauded for its potential to boost spirits in the workplace by giving employees some beautiful scenery to look at for inspiration. In addition to a full-sized Apple Store and gymnasium inside the office, the main reason for developing the “spaceship” was to create an aesthetic value that is unattainable in a normal office. Employees who drive to work will leave their cars in an underground parking area, eliminating the depressing parking lot views of most office windows. It’s sort of an “office mind game” that Apple is trying out, replacing asphalt parking lots with calming landscapes featuring oak trees and orchards to improve employee morale. Sir Norman Foster, chief architect of the project, gave some insight into the inspiration for the design, and it’s no surprise that much of the idea stems from Apple founder Steve Jobs. “The car would visually be banished, and tarmac would be replaced by greenery, and car parks by jogging and bicycle trails,” said Foster. Improving the design of an office can be an important part of streamlining communication and reinvigorating the creativity of employees. In fact, a recent...

TED Teams Up With PBS for Six Nights of Presentations on Education, War, and Science...

PBS is teaming up with the nonprofit organization TED to present a six-night series of “TED Talks Live” at the Town Hall in Manhattan’s theater district this coming fall. Already a well-known organization, it’s expected that TED will draw a big crowd to the event. Variety describes the group as a “brainy nonprofit that showcases notable ideas,” but bringing in big-name academics and celebrities is just the first part of what makes TED conferences such a huge success. TED has found unprecedented success by utilizing digital marketing and social media sharing. Considering that around 56% of American adults engage with the arts, either live or through digital media platforms, TED talks make the most of each presentation (which last about 20 to 25 minutes on average) by organizing live conferences and by posting videos of each speaker online, to stream and/or download for free. The upcoming conference will be held from November 1-6, according to the Associated Press, and the majority of the speakers will focus on the topics of war, education, and science. The six nights have been divided into three segments for later broadcasts on PBS. The first two nights (Nov. 1-2) include talks dedicated to the first planned PBS special, “The Education Revolution”; the next two nights (Nov. 3-4) focus on the subjects “War and Peace”; and the last two nights (Nov. 5-6) are titled “Science and Wonder.” Notable speakers will include musician Rufus Wainwright, singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey, author Sebastian Junger, and HBO Girls actor and Marine Corps vet Adam Driver. The event will be hosted by comedian and author Baratunde Thurston and Tony award-winning actress Sara Ramirez. Tickets to the conference will cost $100 each (students and teachers can apply for free tickets online) but the recorded talks will air...