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first_imgThe New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate have passed a bill that, if enacted, would update the state’s Internal Revenue Code (IRC) tie-in date for purposes of computing New Hampshire’s business profits tax liability to December 31, 2015 (currently, December 31, 2000). This change would apply to tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2017.The legislation would also require that certain IRC provisions are not applied: IRC §168(k) (bonus depreciation), IRC §199 (domestic production activities), and IRC §181 (election to deduct production costs). Further, IRC §179 (asset expense election) would be subject to a deduction limit of $100,000 for property placed in service on or after January 1, 2017. Currently, the limit is $25,000 for property placed in service on or after 2011. The increase would apply to tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2017.(S.B. 239), as passed by the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate on June 1, 2016last_img read more

first_imgThe IRS has provided guidance with respect to the recovery of investment in the contract from payments received from a qualified defined benefit plan by an employee during phased retirement. Notice 2016-39 provides that if certain conditions are met, these payments are not treated as received from an annuity. Rev. Proc. 2016-39 provides that these rules apply only to annuities under a qualified plan, and do not apply to nonqualified contracts. Notice 87-13, 1987-1 CB 432, is modified by Notice 2016-39.The annuity rules under Code Sec. 72 distinguish between amounts received as an annuity and amounts not received as an annuity for purposes of determining the portion of the amount that is treated as a nontaxable return of investment. Reg. §1.72-2(b)(2) provides that amounts subject to Code Sec. 72 are considered “amounts received as an annuity” only if (i) the amounts are received on or after the annuity starting date, (ii) the amounts are payable in periodic installments at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year from the annuity starting date, and (iii) subject to certain exceptions, the total of the amounts payable are determinable at the annuity starting date either directly from the terms of the contract or indirectly by the use of either mortality tables or compound interest computations, or both, in conjunction with the terms of the contract and in accordance with sound actuarial theory. Reg. §1.72-4(b)(1) provides that the term “annuity starting date” is generally the first day of the first period for which the first periodic payment is made under an annuity contract, provided that obligations under the contract have been fixed as of that date.The IRS in Notice 2016-39 points out that depending on a qualified plan’s terms, the plan’s obligations to an employee receiving phased retirement payments might not be fixed within the meaning of Reg. §1.72-4(b)(1) during the employee’s continued part-time employment. For example, if the terms of the phased retirement program do not fix the employee’s date of full retirement, the plan will not, during the period of part-time employment, be able to determine its total retirement obligations to the employee. An employee’s date of full retirement is not fixed if the date can change, for example, due to a unilateral decision of the employee to commence full retirement sooner or pursuant to an agreement between the employer and employee to change the full retirement date. Also, an employee might accrue additional plan benefits during the period of phased retirement that affect the amounts payable to the employee at full retirement. Further, the plan might allow an employee to elect a distribution option at the time of full retirement that could also alter the plan’s obligations to the employee. Lastly, a qualified retirement plan might be amended to modify the benefit formula with respect to benefits that are not yet accrued during the period of part-time employment.Notice 2016-39 provides that periodic phased retirement benefits under a qualified defined benefit plan do not qualify as “amounts received as an annuity” for these purposes if: (1) the employee begins to receive a portion of his or her retirement benefits entering phased retirement and begins part-time employment, and will not begin receiving his or her entire plan benefits until ceasing employment and commencing full retirement at an indeterminate future time; (2) the plan’s obligations to the employee are based in part on the employee’s continued part-time employment; and (3) under the plan terms, the employee does not have an election as to the form of the phased retirement benefit to be paid during phased retirement, but elects a distribution option at full retirement that applies to the employee’s entire retirement benefit, including the portion that commenced as phased retirement benefits.Rev. Proc. 2016-36 provides that the IRS will not apply Notice 2016-39 to amounts received from a nonqualified contract. Accordingly, in applying Reg. §§1.72-2(b)(2) and 1.72-4(b)(1) to a nonqualified contract, the possibility of further contributions to the contract or a subsequent election under the contract to receive the benefit payable under the contract in a different manner generally will not affect the determination of whether payments are amounts received as an annuity.Notice 2016-39, 2016FED ¶46,344Rev-Proc 2016-36, 2016FED ¶46,345Other References:Code Sec. 72CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶6140.62CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶6140.775Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC INDIV: 30,054CCH Reference – TRC RETIRE 42,354.10last_img read more

first_imgA Philadelphia ordinance creates a healthy beverages tax credit available against the business income and receipts tax. Beginning in 2017, a “qualifying merchant” that provides healthy beverages for sale in its store will be eligible for a credit equal to the amount the “merchant cost” that year exceeds the “merchant cost” for the immediately preceding tax year, up to a maximum of $2,000. Unused tax credits can be carried forward.“Merchant cost” is the amount paid by the qualifying merchant to purchase healthy beverages for sale in the merchant’s store. A “healthy beverage” is a non-alcoholic beverage that does not list as an ingredient any form of caloric sugar-based sweetener, including, but not limited to, sucrose, glucose or high fructose corn syrup; or any form of artificial sugar substitute, including stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), saccharin, and advantame.Philadelphia Bill No. 160552, Philadelphia City Council, effective June 20, 2016last_img read more

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportA taxpayer was liable for Arkansas sales and use tax on various replacement components since they did not qualify for the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption, except for the black light since it was a complete replacement used in testing the finished product, rather than a component part of the machine.Components Considered Insubstantial ReplacementsThe following items were not entitled to the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption since they were considered insubstantial replacements of manufacturing machinery: tool holders and shim purchases (not considered exempt dies), carbonseers (component parts of the furnace), the transformer (part of the building’s electrical system rather than the machine for which the transformer alters power), the process control panel even though the upgraded panel allowed the quantity of furnace control panels to be reduced from three panels to a single panel (component part of the furnace), the operator controls, the gauge replacements (even if they qualified as exempt testing equipment, they did not function independently and did not represent a substantial replacement of all the items involved in the quality control function), the heads for hammers (not considered dies since they did not have a predetermined and distinctive shape), and jaws, chucks and drill bushings (component parts of lathes).Adjustments to Machine SoftwareAdjustments made to machine software and certifications of mechanically adjusted pieces of machinery were also considered taxable machine repairs rather than nontaxable software programming services since the machinery or device was not functioning properly and the adjustment was made to return it to its original working order which is considered a taxable repair.Item Must be Used Directly in ManufacturingThe purchases of chip conveyer components were not exempt because the chip conveyer system, like an environmental control system, was not used directly in manufacturing. Yet the black light did qualify as exempt manufacturing machinery and equipment since it was a complete replacement, rather than a component part of the machine, and the black light was used in testing the finished product.Invoice Affects TaxabilityHow the invoice is prepared affects the taxability of the item or service. While it was conceded that the rental of the nitrogen storage tank was exempt, the gauge rental and hazmat fees associated with the tank were not exempt as they were separately stated on the invoice and it was unknown whether these fees were required by the seller for the tank rental. Fees described on the invoice as a taxable alteration to a piece of machinery were also taxable since despite testimony otherwise, the taxpayer was unable to prove that the services described and billed in the invoice were not performed. Finally, a nontaxable roof repair became taxable since it was billed with the taxable gutter cleaning and not separately stated on the invoice.Administrative Decision Nos. 16-128, 16-183, 16-184, 16-410, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals, September 15, 2016, ¶400-734last_img read more

first_imgThe California State Board of Equalization (BOE) has announced that Returns and Notices of Determination that were mailed and issued December 1-20, 2016, for sales and use tax, motor fuel tax, alcoholic beverage tax, and other taxes administered by the BOE, reflected an incorrect interest rate for underpayments effective January 1, 2017. The correct interest rate that will apply to unpaid and underpaid taxes effective January 1, 2017, is 7% per annum (0.00583 per month). This is an increase from the previous rate of 6% per annum (0.00500 per month).Current and past interest rates for taxes administered by the BOE are available at http://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/interates.htm.The complete release can be viewed at http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/l490.pdf.Special Notice L-490, California State Board of Equalization, December 30, 2016last_img read more

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportA listed transaction penalty was not time barred because the assessment occurred more than one year after the examining agent came into possession of enough information to justify the penalty. Code Sec. 6501(c)(10)(A) provides that the IRS must assess a listed-transaction penalty within one year of the date the “Secretary is furnished the information so required.” The statute’s reference to “the information so required” under Code Sec. 6011 functions as an incorporation by reference of the disclosure requirements of Reg. §1.6011-4(d), which requires a taxpayer disclosing a listed transaction to do so on Form 8886 and send a completed copy of the disclosure of the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis (OTSA). Since the taxpayer did not file a Form 8886 or send it to the OTSA, the taxpayer failed to do what was required to start the running of the limitations period. Therefore, the IRS’s assessment of the penalty was timely.Reversing and remanding a DC Ariz. decision 2015-1 ustc ¶50,341.S.T. May, CA-9, 2017-1 ustc ¶50,233Other References:Code Sec. 6011CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶35,141.78Code Sec. 6501CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶38,963.42CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶38,967.328CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶38,967.624Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC FILEBUS: 9,456CCH Reference – TRC IRS: 27,212last_img read more

first_imgSeveral out-of-state limited liability companies (LLCs) were subject to tax on their Maryland allocable income. The Maryland Tax Court held that state tax liability existed even though the LLCs had no federal tax liability.Liability for Maryland Income TaxThe six out-of-state companies, organized as LLCs under Maryland state law, were wholly owned by another out-of-state LLC. The six LLCs had no federal taxable income for the period at issue.Maryland imposes income tax on pass-through entities that have:members that are nonresidents; andnonresident taxable income.Maryland Tax Starts with Federal Taxable IncomeFederal taxable income is the starting point for calculating Maryland corporate income tax liability. If the taxpayer has no federal taxable income, the figures calculated under federal return rules determine the starting point.Taxing of Nonresident LLC MembersAs each wholly-owned LLC was a nonresident pass-through entity with a single member that was a nonresident of Maryland, the tax of 8.25% could be imposed on their nonresident taxable income that was allocable to Maryland.Although federal law didn’t require the parent LLC to file a federal return, the parent and the six LLCs were required to do so in order to complete the Maryland return. The fact that the LLCs were not required to file federal returns did not change the tax liability of the subsidiaries in Maryland.CNI Technical Services, LLC v. Comptroller of Maryland, Maryland Tax Court, Nos. 17-IN-00-0743 and 17-IN-00-0748, January 17, 2019, ¶202-056Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

first_img One Way Ticket Curt Chambers. You may know him as a former member of Franklin Bridge. Or, you may know him as Eminem’s guitarist. But, did you know that this Philly native is taking on a solo career as an artist? Curt Chambers just dropped his lead single “Grass Is Greener” off of his upcoming album One Way Ticket. He’s working with one of our ambassadors Ivan Barias of the powerhouse production team Carvin and Ivan.  Insider tip: Check back for more on Curt. We’re going to give you access to free downloads of his new music! Listen to his single “Grass is Greener” below. Grass Is Greener by curtchambersmusic Curt Chambers’ Upcoming Show Catch Curt Chambers at his upcoming show in Manayunk. He’s returning to his hometown to perform songs from his upcoming project One Way Ticket, including his single “Grass is Greener.”  Event Details Curt Chambers Saturday, December 17 10:00 p.m. The Grape Room 105 Grape Street Insider Tip: There is a $10 cover for the show.center_img Curt Chambers(Courtesy of Curt Chambers)last_img read more

first_img(Missourinet) Missouri’s governor says a proposed state government reorganization plan is scheduled to take effect on August 28th. Governor Mike Parson (R) updated the Capitol Press Corps on the restructuring plan during a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Jefferson City.Missouri Governor Mike Parson (at podium) briefs Capitol reporters about his state government reorganization plan on March 19, 2019 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of the governor’s office)The restructuring involves four state agencies, primarily the state Department of Economic Development (DED). Monday was the end of the 60-day period in which Missouri lawmakers could vote to oppose the proposal, and that didn’t happen.Governor Parson is praising the Legislature.“And I want to thank the Legislature for their support of our efforts to improve state government and make Missouri the best in the Midwest,” Parson tells Capitol reporters.The proposal involves moving DED’s Division of Workforce Development to the Department of Higher Education and several other moves, which Parson says will allow DED to focus entirely on economic development.The restructuring plan also involves returning the Division of Energy from DED to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and making the Missouri Arts Council part of the Lieutenant Governor’s office. It would also move the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of Public Counsel to the newly-named Department of Commerce and Insurance.Governor Parson says Missouri is not competitive with neighboring states, adding that Missouri’s DED houses more functions than any of its Midwest peers.Parson says the Show-Me State ranks 14th among its Midwest peer states in gross domestic product (GDP) and eighth for wage growth. He says it ranks ninth for job growth.The governor says the plan will focus DED.“We must do a better job clearly identifying expectations and priorities, and ensure our agencies are structured in the best way to meet those goals,” says Parson.Parson says DED has 865 full-time employees, more than any of its Midwest peers.Missouri DED Director Rob Dixon joined Governor Parson at Tuesday’s press conference. Dixon says other Midwest states are outperforming his agency in nearly every measure, including workforce development.Dixon backs the governor’s state government restructuring plan, saying that when everything is a priority, “nothing is a priority.”“In economic development, Missouri is not competitive in economic development with other states and we had to take action or we’re going to continue that negative trend line,” Dixon tells reporters.Governor Parson says DED has had seven directors in the past decade.State Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, and State Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, also spoke at the press conference. Riddle and Fitzwater both praise the reorganization plan.last_img read more

first_imgThe Missouri River is now the highest it’s been in nearly six years in Jefferson City.It crested at nearly 28 feet early Monday morning. That’s moderate flood stage. It reached 30.83 feet on June 2, 2013.Glasgow is still seeing major flooding, over 32 feet. The river is predicted to drop now in mid-Missouri.We got more than two inches of rain since last Thursday, leading to the latest jump in the river levels.Highway 87 is still closed between Boonville and New Franklin due to flooding. Route 179 is closed just west of Boone County at Sandy Hook.last_img read more

first_img(AP) – The fate of Missouri’s only abortion clinic is at stake starting Monday, when a member of the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission will begin hearing arguments over whether the clinic can keep its abortion license.The hearing at a downtown St. Louis state office building is expected to last five days and a ruling isn’t expected until February at the earliest. Missouri officials have asked St. Louis police for heightened security since the licensing issue has generated protests from those on both sides of the debate.Planned Parenthood has been battling Missouri’s health department for months to try and keep open its St. Louis clinic. The state has refused to renew its license to perform abortions, citing concerns that include failed abortions.Planned Parenthood officials say the state is “weaponizing” the licensing process.last_img read more

first_imgCommunity Members, I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this with you as I have been waiting awhile to showcase more about CIRA & what is coming in Montevina from a vPro stand point. I remember awhile back I was asked by a group of students if this capability would exist like this in the future & finally I can showcase more of the pieces of the puzzle to the world. For the folks out there that asked me about this & I just smiled.. well.. here’s more of the puzzle.. Here is the AMT 4.0 (Cira, Montevina) Platform User Guide that explains the MEBx settings in detailed screen views. If you have any questions let me know & hopefully soon to follow will be a youtube video to show off these new capabilites of the new mobile platform.Please watch out for this new platform to hit the news wire in the near future….. Also here is my first post on CIRA about what it does in picture format.last_img read more

first_imgHey everyone!We hosted a great webinar this morning to provide the basics on Intel vPro technology. It was a very interactive session and we had Josh in the audience who piped up with some good comments AND some good humor. 😀 We referred to quite a few helpful resources in the webinar, which I e-mailed to all of the registrants afterwards. If you missed my email, here are the links:Webinar RecordingIf you missed the live event, you can now watch the recording!http://vproexpert.com/E24VZ/Training/Intro_to_Intel_vPro_Technology.wmvWebinar SlidesWant to download the deck? It’s attached to this blog post.Intel® vPro™ Heartbeat NewsletterA bi-weekly newsletter that announces training, user docs, downloads, and other news about Intel® vPro™ technology. View the last issue here: http://eepurl.com/cVxxSubscribe here: http://intel.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=755b64b0b11a68448fce67d4b&id=0f3040214eIntel® AMT Scan ToolThis tool identifies the vPro systems in your environment.http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-2061Information about Intel® Anti-Theft Technologyhttp://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-3266Webinar Archivehttp://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-3492Demo Videolast_img read more

first_imgIntel’s Xeon 7500/6500 processor series brings the biggest leap in performance in Xeon’s history.This level of performance enables consolidation of a ton of older servers onto significantly fewer Xeon 7500/6500 generation platforms…saving a considerable amount of money.For example, IT managers can consolidate up to 20 older single-core 4-socket servers onto a single Xeon 7500 4-socket system representing a 4-socket to 4-socket consolidation ratio up to 20:1. The resulting savings from reduced power usage and OS licensing costs can show a payback of less than a year on the cost of the new server. That’s a fantastic payback….and if application software costs and other savings are included the ROI is even greater.Similarly favorable 2-socket consolidation ratios are possible by moving workloads off of older 2-socket systems and onto Xeon 7500/6500 servers.A good example of this comes from Dell. Their engineering solutions teams recently published three technical white papers showing the benefits of consolidating database and virtualization workloads running on older 2-socket servers onto their new R810 server based on the Xeon 7500 processor series. The R810 is a pretty cool, innovative platform with Dell’s FlexMem Bridge Technology that allows full access to the entire system memory whether the system is populated with just 2 or the full 4 sockets.The Dell engineers provide a lot of useful technical information. Check the white papers out yourself by following the link below. Link to Dell’s technical white papers:http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/b/tech-center/archive/2010/05/10/scaling-database-workloads-on-dell-poweredge-11g-servers-with-intel-nehalem-ex.aspxLink to more information about the new Intel Xeon 7500/6600 processor series:http://www.intel.com/itcenter/products/xeon/7500/?iid=gg_work+home_xeon7500last_img read more

first_imgHenry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, once said that “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”  When you provide employees with collaboration-enabling technology, you’re paving the path for your organization’s success.However, the path to true collaborationOpens in a new window can be a difficult one and IT managers are constantly looking for methods to maximize organizational efficiency. Not all roadblocks to collaboration are readily-obvious – many issues, such as content decay, only present themselves after significant damage has been done. Other issues, through small annoyances or frustrating experiences, may slowly chip away at your employees’ perception of their ability to collaborate.In the comments section, tell us: if budget and time were no object, how would you address some of your organization’s collaboration gridlocks?- IT Peer Network Administrator1. Content DecayContent decay occurs when content produced on one type of platform looks different when viewed or edited on another type of platform. For example, if Sarah creates slides in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, and an external collaborator views them on his iPad using Apple Keynote, Apple’s presentation software for iOS, then the slides could look quite different.                Content decay can be more than a mere annoyance, especially in highly-regulated industries where documents must be captured correctly and archived. In these cases, content decay could undermine compliance and complicate discovery and retrieval efforts.A document created in Microsoft Word* (top image) and opened in Apple Pages* for iOS* (bottom image)—note the Pages warning, which advises that certain functionality will be lost (emphasis added)2. Personal Work Styles and DevicesAnother barrier is the fact that multiple devices and platformsOpens in a new window are now used for business communication and collaboration. This trend means that users have a choice of widely-available devices, applications, and browser-based services they can use to do their jobs — without the involvement or approval of corporate IT.Users see this reality as a boon to their productivity, but it can also impede collaboration. Widespread adoption of various devices, apps, and services by definition means diminished adherence to common standards, which can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and wasted time. You have probably heard or had conversations like this many times:Team member: “The file is too big for my company e-mail limits. I can Skype you and share my screen so we can review it.” External collaborator: “Skype is iffy on my wireless connection, especially for sharing video. Can you just upload the document to DropboxOpens in a new window and call my mobile?”Team member: “Dropbox is blocked here for security reasons. I’ll send it through my personal webmail.”This conversation and many more like it demonstrate both the benefit and a common challenge with the consumerization of IT. While it can increase user freedom, it can become a collaboration barrier when too many options undermine the common ground of standardization. This lack of standardization can become much more serious than mere inconvenience: it can introduce real risk and compliance hurdlesOpens in a new window.3. Security ConcernsConcerns over security can also stand in the way of collaboration. Although internal collaboration tools and processes are built with security and compliance in mind, enterprises cannot give unfettered access to partners outside the firewall. This means that the security and compliance measures built into these internal tools might extend only as far as the network boundary. This limitation is not automatically a problem—e-mail encryption can provide a measure of security for most messages and attachments. However, security limitations can be a collaboration roadblock for information workers who deal with highly sensitive or highly-regulated data.4. Company CultureEvery company has unique collaboration processes and requirements, in addition to unique expectations about how collaboration is best accomplished. This combination of tools, processes, requirements, and institutional history composes a company culture—an accepted way of doing things. Company culture and personal work styles can make changes difficult. Collaboration tools or devices that require significant changes in user work styles are as likely to create obstacles as they are to remove them because users will work around them or simply not use them.The good news? Simple, intuitive tools that enable workers to collaborate exist to address these challenges without disrupting workflow. Stay tuned for the next post in this series, which will outline the shortest path to true collaboration.This blog is part 3 of 4 in a series focused on intercompany collaboration. Previous entries include:What Does Collaboration Mean to Information Workers?Cutting Through the HypeFor more information on how business leaders from Microsoft and Cisco are overcoming roadblocks to collaboration, click here.For more conversations about IT Center and enterprise collaboration, click on the hashtags below:#itcenter #enterpriselast_img read more

first_imgWednesday, Feb. 4 Thursday, Feb. 5 Wednesday, Feb. 4 (con’t.) The stage is set and the curtain is ready to be drawn in San Diego February 3-5 for the largest annual utility show in the U.S., DistribuTECH. This blog is your one-stop shop for information on Intel’s activities during the show so check back often for updates and schedules.Intel will be on hand in booth 825 with information and insight on how new technologies can pave the way for a smarter, safer, more efficient energy grid. A speaker stage will feature expert presentations (see daily schedules below):Intel Speaker Stage Schedule at DistribuTECH (CLICK to enlarge):Tuesday, Feb. 3 In-booth demonstrations will showcase:Intel® Security – Critical Infrastructure Protection See how to secure the Smart Grid Synchrophasor devices handling the C37.118 traffic.Intel® Intelligent Secondary Substation – The IoT Platform for Large Scale Distributed Generation Learn how the Intel® IoT Platform enables Capex and Opex efficiency while increasing the security through predictive analysis essential for planning and responding to energy trends.In addition, Kevin O’Donovan, director of worldwide energy sector sales for Intel, will be leading an educational workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 4:15 p.m. during the Utility Products Exposition on the Mobile Utility Worker of the Future.In his presentation, Kevin will explore how the role of the utility worker is evolving. This workshop will specifically focus on how utilities can increase worker efficiency and return on investment with new mobile technology capabilities such as no passwords, no wires, augmented reality, touch, video/voice, and the effects of deploying such technologies in the real world.You’re invited to come by the Intel booth to hear expert speakers and see technology in action, and attend Kevin’s workshop to find out how technology is enabling more intelligent, connected and secure business operations and addressing the energy challenges of today and tomorrow. We’ll also be tweeting from the show floor so follow @GridInsights for updates.What are you most looking forward to seeing during DistribuTECH 2015?last_img read more

first_imgInstalling a home surveillance camera system can add great benefits but also may introduce new risks to privacy and network security. The goal is to increase the security and peace of mind, while avoiding cybersecurity threats. Here are three tips to consider when purchasing, installing, and configuring your new home camera system.The RisksHome internet connected cameras are targets for cybercriminals. Recently a number of large Internet-of-Things (IoT) attacks have occurred where hacker have compromise hundreds of thousands of devices and enlisted them in massive botnets. These collections of ordinary devices, such as IP Cameras, DVRs, and home routers, are then directed by their bot-herder to all send network traffic to a target destination. The massive flow of data overwhelms the target site and makes it unavailable.  A recent attack against DYN, an Internet DNS lookup service, took out much of the U.S. East Coast access to Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, PayPal and other sites. Hacking home internet connected devices has become a powerful tool for cybercriminals. That home camera you are considering could add to the problem and even be used by hackers to spy on you!Tips for Securing Home CamerasMost attacks are not incredibly sophisticated. They can be traced back to insecurely designed products, absence of patches, and poor installation configurations. Security does not need to be difficult or time consuming, but it does require forethought and care.1. Choose the vendor wiselyIt all starts with choice. If privacy and security is important to you, it should be part of your purchase criteria. Not all home camera vendors are equal. Look for ones which works hard to keep safe your privacy and security. How do you tell? Go out to their webpage and look beyond their marketing advertisements, as everyone will splash the word “secure” everywhere. The question you must consider is do they take it seriously and deliver? Look to see if they publish security updates, is there a security team, and do they talk in detail how they secure their products and services.No product is safe for indefinitely, especially in the Internet of Things (IoT) world. What is important, is the level of commitment a company places on keeping their products secure for their customers. It is highly desirable if they are producing security patches and explaining what vulnerabilities they are closing. Transparency is a sign of trust. For your part, you must be sure to patch and keep products up to date.Many companies don’t bother to have a security team. It is a major warning sign if the vendor is without such expertise. It means they are not likely designing in robust security features, don’t have people looking at vulnerabilities, not developing patches, and not verifying security in updates.Those with a security team should be open in the controls designed into the product, testing criteria, certifications, and what bugs they have closed. Professionals work hard and want to build trust with their customers. I like companies who also have bug bounty programs that reward white-hat hackers who find vulnerabilities and bring them to the attention of the company. Having the hacker community helping make your products more secure is a good thing.The first and most important step is yours. You must select a trustworthy partner who is supplying the camera, software, and any additional services. Look at reviews, comments from owners, and by security professionals who test these cameras. Choose wisely and you will be rewarded.2. Setup in a non-sensitive areaCameras are great ways to watch over your home. But expect at some time, even the best products, could be compromised for a period of time. Therefore, placement is hugely important. Entry, common areas, and even watching over babies are great places to setup cameras. Bedrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, and other private areas are not optimal. Many modern cameras have microphones and other sensors. So even in common areas, you might want to consider what you are saying. Home cameras are tailored for easy setup and minimal fuss when dealing with data. Most work with cloud services which store data and make it accessible to you anywhere on most devices. A great feature, but that also means the recordings are not directly under your control and it is another place for hackers to target. So consider what data you want in the cloud. You don’t want embarrassing or private clips appearing on the internet. Where you setup the camera will determine the limits of how uncomfortable such situations become.3. Change default passwords Home cameras come with a number of default settings to facilitate easy setup. Most don’t need to be modified, but the default password should be changed! Change them to a unique and strong password which you don’t use anywhere else. Store it somewhere safe. Worst case, if you forget it, the can typically be reset on the camera itself. Many of the current variants of IoT botnets are targeting the vast number of devices which still have default passwords, which are published on the Internet, thus granting them full access to cameras. Some vendors are now forcing users to change the password upon installation, but many still don’t. Don’t be an easy target. Be smart and change the default password, as it makes a significant difference.Home cameras a great. They provide a new sense of security and flexibility to our modern lives. It is important to balance those benefits with the accompanying risks. By following a few steps, you are increasing the controls and making yourself a less attractive target. Enjoy your new camera with the confidence of security and privacy.Interested in more? Follow me on Twitter (@Matt_Rosenquist) and LinkedIn to hear insights and what is going on in cybersecurity.last_img read more

first_imgIn today’s world, disruptive technologies will increasingly be the keys to new digital experiences that bring a company closer to its customers, real-time insights that drive better business decisions, and new product and service offerings that were all but unimaginable just a few years ago. Thanks to transformational technology trends, such as cloud computing and 5G networks, we now have the potential to exponentially increase the volume of data we consume, while emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) promise to help businesses unlock deeper actionable insights from that data.Network Transformation Technologies ShowcasedIntel® Xeon® processor Scalable familyAt Intel, we are excited about the promise of powerful data center technologies spanning compute, storage, memory, network, and security that will enable data scientists and engineers to bring this vision to life. To that end, we are working actively to help organizations develop and implement IT transformation strategies across the enterprise. One way we do this is by bringing new technologies to market, like the upcoming Intel® Xeon® processor Scalable family, which we will be showcasing this week at the HPE Discover conference in Las Vegas.Capitalizing on Data Analytics, AI and HPCIntel® Xeon® processors improve data center performanceThis new platform represents a major leap forward in processor architecture and platform advancements, delivering workload-optimized performance for compute, network, and storage. The Intel Xeon processor Scalable family is designed to empower organizations that want to capitalize on data analytics, AI, high-performance computing, and other demanding applications, while gaining the benefits of hardware-enhanced security and reliability capabilities for ideal operational efficiencies and agility.Emerging Markets Require Complete SolutionsOf course, even the best processors and algorithms don’t make a complete solution. You also need lightning-fast 5G networks and memory and storage technologies to power emerging workloads like autonomous vehicles and personalized medicine. We will be demonstrating some of these new technologies at HPE Discover.Intel Innovation Sessions at HPE DiscoverJoin our innovation sessions for a deeper dive into the technologies that enable 5G networks, AI, and modern data centers:“Intelligent Network Transformation.” Speaker: Lynn Comp. Tuesday, 11 a.m.“AI is Transforming Society… It Will Transform Your Organization too!” Speaker: Martin Hall. Thursday, 10 a.m.Performance, Reliability, and Endurance: Intel Innovations to Modernize Your Data Center.” Speaker: Greg Matson. Thursday, 11 a.m.Look for the Intel booth to see how we can enable tomorrow’s 5G networks to run on industry-standard Intel architecture along with the new Intel® Optane™ DC SSDs — ideal for managing an ever-increasing volume of data. Utilizing revolutionary memory media technology, these data center-class SSDs combine attributes of DRAM and storage to deliver an intelligent, amazingly responsive computing experience. Also look for demos showing an AI/object detection algorithm, HPC use cases, and virtual reality on HPE systems with Intel Inside®.If you’re at HPE Discover this week, don’t miss your chance to see these innovative technologies in action at the Intel booth. You may even walk away with some cool giveaways for taking a booth tour. We are excited to be at HPE Discover this week and look forward to having some great conversations about how we can help fuel your business transformation!last_img read more

first_imgStrong indications are that President-elect Barack Obama has picked physicist John Holdren to be the president’s science adviser. A top adviser to the Obama campaign and international expert on energy and climate, Holdren would bolster Obama’s team in those areas. Both are crowded portfolios. Obama has already created a new position to coordinate energy issues in the White House staffed by well-connected Carol Browner, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and nominated a Nobel-prize winning physicist, Steve Chu, to head the Department of Energy. That could complicate how the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which Holdren will run, will manage energy and environmental policy.  “OSTP will have to be redefined in relation to these other centers of formulating policy,” says current White House science adviser Jack Marburger. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Holdren had been planning to attend a staff meeting this morning with colleagues at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he heads the technology and science program. But instead, he flew today to Chicago to meet with the transition team and prepare for the announcement; initial plans are to release the official news of the appointment on a weekly radio program that Obama records and will be broadcast on Saturday. The transition office declined to comment.Holdren is well known for his work on energy, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Trained in fluid dynamics and plasma physics, Holdren branched out into policy early in his career. He has led the Woods Hole Research Center for the past 3 years and served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceInsider) in 2006.last_img read more

first_imgTOKYO—Japan’s scientific whaling effort has cost taxpayers $378 million since 1987, even as demand for whale meat has shrunk and the research has proven of little value, according to a report released here on 5 February by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). A moratorium has suspended commercial whaling since 1986, but a clause in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) convention allows countries to hunt whales for research purposes. The meat can be sold to cover the cost of research, which in Japan is overseen by the Institute of Cetacean Research located here. Critics contend that scientific whale hunts by Japan and a few other countries are thinly disguised commercial whaling. A quarter century of scientific whaling has shed little light on the creatures, said IFAW Japan Representative Naoko Funahashi at a press conference here to unveil the report. “There are very, very few findings which meet [scientific] aims,” said Funahashi, a member of IWC’s Scientific Committee. “Results from ‘scientific whaling’ are scant,” agrees Leah Gerber, a marine conservation biologist at Arizona State University, Tempe. She says she doesn’t know of any marine researchers—apart from those involved with the research whaling programs of Japan, Norway, and Iceland — who believe that scientific whaling produces valuable results. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) A telephone receptionist at the Institute of Cetacean Research said the institute will not comment on the report and declined to pass the call to public relations or other officials. But other backers of the scientific whaling program insist it has value. Masayuki Komatsu, a former Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official who is now at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies here, says that if the research results are weak, it is because the number of whales taken “is far too small to achieve scientific significance.” Komatsu, who helped plan the scientific whaling program, says the numbers actually taken in Antarctic waters have been far short of Japan’s current official target of 850 minke, 50 fin, and 50 humpback whales annually. (According to IWC data, the take has come close to those numbers only once: in 2005, when Japan harvested 866 whales in the Southern Ocean. Japan has also refrained from taking humpbacks in response to IWC pressure.) Numbers have dropped precipitously in the last 2 years because of interference by antiwhaling activists. If the planned number of whales could be killed and analyzed, Komatsu says, the data would shed light on the size and health of stocks, and the interaction of whales with their prey and the ecosystem. Critics disagree. “It is well established in the scientific literature that there are many ways to study whale diet and condition without killing them,” Gerber says. Most IWC science committee members, Funahashi adds, “do not see any reason to kill whales.” Opponents have also long condemned research whaling on conservation and humanitarian grounds. The IFAW report seeks to undermine the economic argument. “Whaling is an economic loser,” said Patrick Ramage, IFAW’s whale program director, at the press conference. In addition to an average of $9.8 million a year in subsidies, Japan’s scientific whaling program in 2011 received $28.6 million from a supplemental budget intended to fund earthquake and tsunami relief, according to the report compiled by E-Square Inc., a Japanese public interest consultancy hired by IFAW. In the meantime, whale meat consumption in Japan has slumped to 1% of its 1960s peak and stockpiles of unsold whale meat have quadrupled over the past 15 years despite attempts to auction it off at bargain prices. As a result, the gap is growing between the Institute of Cetacean Research’s expenses and its revenues from selling whale meat, states the report, which adds that the Fisheries Agency of Japan has had to steadily ramp up subsidies for research whaling. The IFAW investigation shows “that this industry is in the red, that it is losing money and that it is getting worse every year,” Ramage said. IFAW’s report comes as an annual game of cat-and-mouse begins in the Southern Ocean. Japan’s four-vessel whaling fleet is now in Antarctic waters hunting minke and fin whales. Chasing them are four vessels, a helicopter, and drones operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which hopes to reprise its successful campaigns of recent years to disrupt the hunt.last_img read more