News briefs:July 30, 2010

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Disaster Recovery Or Business Continuity

Category : It Services

Submitted by: Paul Moore MBCI

I remember a great quote by Sir John Harvey Jones, he said

The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression

This is still the approach many customers take when it comes to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. However, with high profile events over the last few years, along with new legislation, many customers are driving forward with projects to protect their business should an unplanned interruption occur.

As computing power gets ever more powerful and costs keep falling, in addition to the high availability of broadband network services, the time has never been better for customers to consider tackling this critical issue; but where do they start?

Do you want a Hot Site, Warm Recovery, Cold Space? Do you want Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity? Do you want A Mobile, Static or Business Recovery Centre? What do want you cover? How quickly do you need it? (once you ve decided what it is!). Etc, etc, etc ..

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No wonder the customer is confused and ends up putting the exercise off. I spoke to a customer recently who had been subscribing to a Disaster Recover service for many years, only to find that when he needed the service it failed to work! This was because they had been focusing on a Disaster Recovery service, and not Business Continuity.

So what is the difference?

Disaster Recovery services tend to focus on the provision replacement resources. These are often provided on a shared subscription basis by specialist suppliers (hardware, network connections, office space, computer rooms, voice etc.). Business Continuity is exactly what is says on the tin; Business Continuity. In other words it provides continuity of business following an unplanned interruption. But there are many areas that need to be explored before a full Business Continuity Plan can be developed and tested.

The common steps that need to be taken are shown below.

Threat Assessment The very first step on any successful Business Continuity Plan is the Threat Assessment. If you don t know what you are trying to protect yourself against how can you possibly protect yourself?

Many customers find this exercise invaluable as it also highlights risks to their business that could be reduced, or in some cases removed all together: Therefore, prevention forms a very important part of the pre-planning phase. Any areas needing improvement should also be highlighted at this stage.

Many customers identify the more obvious threats such as bombs, air crashes etc, but many ignore the less obvious, such as non-physical disasters or environmental side effects such as bomb warnings, adverse weather conditions or loss of access to the building caused by a localised incident. How many customers are aware of what risk their neighbouring business pose? Do they house combustible or toxic materials? Would they attract attention of extremist groups? Could a localised incident prevent you from accessing your facility? If so, for how long?

Business Impact Review This is when it really gets down to the true impact on the business. One of the problems of constructing a successful Business Continuity Plan is balance: What do I want, and when do I want it? It is quite simple really, the quicker you want it the more is costs! To balance this, the customer has to review the real impact on his business of an outage (loss of revenue, loss of customers, impact on share price, legal requirements, cash flow protection etc.). Even if the impact is so severe the customer will find it very difficult to re-deploy their entire workforce to a recovery facility within very short timescales. Several emergency events in London have highlighted the impact on public transport and the road system (these were so severe that some customers found that they could not get their staff to a recovery facility!). Therefore it is essential that recovery options are priorities for short, medium and long term.

Resource Requirements Now we know what we want, and when we want it, it is possible to start looking at the Disaster Recover element of Business Continuity. Remember I mentioned short, medium and long term recovery? Well, this is where Hot, Warm and Cold come into the picture.

Hot Recovery is normally available in minutes. This service would utilise a complete live replacement service, at an alternative facility, with a suitable network connection in place. This would enable customers to transfer operations to the recovery system with minimum (sometimes zero) impact to the business. The obvious disadvantage of this is the cost.

Warm Recovery Although Hot Recovery is gaining in popularity, Warm Recovery is still by far the most common solution deployed. Warm services are usually based on a shared subscription (shared risk) basis, and are available within hours of invocation. Typically it would take up to 24 hours to have the systems up and running to support the business. Warm can be provided in several ways; ship-to-site, where the equipment is loaded onto the back of a van, delivered and installed on the customers site (obviously there has to be a site to deliver it to!). If the compute room was impacted by the outage the service could be delivered in a Mobile Recovery Facility (a computer room in a lorry). And if the site is not accessible at all a remote Recovery centre could be utilised.

Cold Solutions Although less common, cold space (empty office and computer facilities) can still be attractive for the medium term. Enabling customers to recover 50% to 80% of their operation via Hot or Warm options, and relocating within a few days or weeks to a suitable location.

Business Recovery Centres – Business Recovery Centres are located around the world and can help the customer streamline resumption of normal office-related business processes following a disaster. These facilities include up to a thousand desks equipped with PCs, phones, and computer rooms. They also offer meeting/board rooms, canteen and recreational facilities and even secretarial support, along with full telephone switch and communications capabilities including PABX/ACD, ISDN,ADSL, SDSL, MPLS and other networking connections.

Now it s just a simple matter of writing the plan and testing the recovery! And of course, looking at standards such as BS 25999; but that will have to wait until my next papers.

About the Author: Paul Moore is highly experienced Business Continuity professional accredited to the Business Continuity Institute at MBCI level; he has also recently been awarded the Lead Auditor’s Certificate from the BSI for the Business Continuity Management standard BS 25999.


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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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IRA disbands military structure

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Independent Monitoring Commission has reported that the Provisional Irish Republican Army has undergone major changes within their military structure and shows that the IRA Army Council wants to put its military campaign behind it. The Commission consists of John Alderdice, a former Alliance Party leader; Joe Brosnan, former Secretary General of the Department of Justice, Republic of Ireland; John Grieve, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and former head of the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terror Branch; and Dick Kerr, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Agency.

The report states the IRA no longer has the capacity to mount a military campaign anymore or return to one. The units that have been shut down were responsible for weapons-making, arms smuggling and training. The IRA decommissioned their arms last year.

The report also mentions that the IRA has also put its criminality beyond use and is “clamping down” on criminals within the organization, said Lord Alderdice, as he presented the report. He also added, “That doesn’t mean that criminal activity by all members has stopped but the leadership has made public statements and internal directions, investigated incidents of breach of the policy, even expelled some members and has emphasised the importance of ensuring that business affairs are conducted in a legitimate way.”

Finally, the report added that there is not enough evidence or intelligence to identify who killed Denis Donaldson, a British spy who infiltrated the IRA and Sinn Fein, before revealing his status as a spy.

However, the report added that splinter groups like the Real IRA (RIRA) and Continuity IRA (CIRA) are still threats and are still continuing their activity. The Real IRA was the group behind the deadly 1998 Omagh bombing. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) “was not capable of undertaking a sustained campaign [against the British State], nor does it aspire to” according to the report.

It is also noted the creation of two new organizations, Oglaigh na hEireann (Irish Gaelic for “Volunteers of Ireland” and is used by the Irish Defence Forces and the various IRAs.) and the Republican Defence Army. However, the groups are small dissident factions according to the report.

The report also added that the two loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) are also beginning to move from violence but at slower pace and not at a grassroots level like the IRA. Another loyalist paramilitary, the Loyalist Volunteer Force

The report was received warmly by Irish Toaiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Ahern, said “These positive and clear-cut findings are of the utmost importance and significance. It is time to make decisions and for Northern Ireland to look to the future.”

“The IRA has done what we asked it to do, and while issues like policing remain to be solved, the door is now open to a final settlement, which is why the talks next week in Scotland are going to be so important.” said Tony Blair in a live statement.

In a surprising reaction, the notoriously hardline leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley, also welcomed the report. He believes that his party’s pressure is working and if Sinn Fein signs up to policing there could be a deal. Paisley said, “If the police question is settled absolutely on a democratic basis and principle we would have come a long way along the road.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said “The DUP don’t have anything other than very limited options. They will or will not participate in power-sharing arrangements. If they don’t participate they are condemning people here, but particularly their own constituents, to second class public services, run by second class fly-in, fly-out British ministers. All the DUP can do is to delay, is to attempt to slow down, but they can’t stop the process of changing.”

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Protestors want ‘carnival not confrontation’ at Forbes conference

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The 30A network has said that it wants to create a carnival atmosphere while protesting at the Forbes Global CEO conference. The protest, which starts on August 30, is expected to attract up to 2,000 protesters. Similar events in the past often had instances of violent confrontations between police and some of the activists. The 30A network is a loose affiliation of groups and individuals co-ordinating the protest.

30A spokesman Bruce Knobloch, of the International Socialist Organisation, made the call for a peaceful protest in a press release last week.

“We want a safe community action showing that people in Sydney oppose Howard¹s plan for a US-style wages system, the war in Iraq and his kow-towing to global corporate chiefs. We pose no threat to the Opera House or the millionaire delegates, or to other users of east Circular Quay,” Mr Knobloch said.

The conference will be held at the Sydney Opera House. The Forbes website says that at the event “senior figures from the world’s leading companies and institutions will discuss the best ways to nurture and capitalize on innovation and reveal the latest global trends.” It was recently announced that George Bush Sr will be attending the conference, along with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Prime Minister John Howard, and former NSW Premier Bob Carr.

Mr Knobloch described the attendees as “a few hundred neo-conservative corporate chiefs”.

The protesters have been denied access to the Opera House forecourt for the duration of the conference. Mr Knobloch believes that this decision is unjustified. He also accused the police of deliberately creating the conditions for confrontation.

“The police seem intent on creating chaos and confrontation, which is the last thing we need. We’ve urged police to build a barrier in front of the Opera House proper and to allow us to use the public space in the forecourt. By pushing us out into the CBD the police are going to create problems for commuters and business owners,” he said.

30A protestors this week organised a media conference outside Surry Hills Police Station, requesting a meeting to negotiate an agreement. According to an article on Sydney Indymedia, police at the station were unable to discuss the issue, but told 30a representatives that they would be contacted to organise a meeting.

“Minimising the protesters right to peacefully rally dramatically increases police powers and strikes at the heart of protesters’ democratic right to peaceful assembly,” the article said.

ASIO has assessed the conference to be “medium risk”, and this has been used by the police and government to justify the increased security.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Roofing In Virginia

byAlma Abell

New roofs are expensive–costing an average of $18,800 for a new roof made from composition shingles, and up to $40,000 for a roof made of higher-end materials. When you make that sort of investment, you should do all you can to protect it; even if your roof is older, keeping it in good repair will prolong its useful lifespan. Below, you’ll get some tips that will help you make the most of your home’s Roofing in Virginia.

Regular Gutter Cleanings

Clogged gutters can cause problems such as wet basements and ruined siding, but the overflow can also move upward. When your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water can soak into your roof sheathing, rotting it and the rafters. Repairing this kind of water damage can cost thousands, but you can avoid the problem by cleaning your gutters at least twice per year. You can do it yourself if you’re comfortable doing so, or you can hire a roofer to do the job for less than $250 in most cases.

Clean the Roof Itself

If your home has a peaked roof surrounded by relatively low landscaping, your roof likely stays clear naturally. However, if you live under the shade of a few trees, or your roof is more complex, you’ll probably see leaves collect near chimneys and in valleys. If they aren’t removed, these leaves will decompose and trap moisture, encouraging the growth of weeds. For those with low Roofing in Virginia, the leaves may be removed with a brush and a telescoping pole, but if your roof’s pitch is high, the job should be left to a roofing professional.

Clear the Moss

In many places, composition shingles can become covered with unsightly algae–which can be cleaned with a bit of bleach water. Those living in the Northwest may find moss growing on the roof, especially if it’s made of composition shingles or wood. Moss must be removed because it holds water; new moss can be swept away, but older build-up will need to be killed with a potassium salt product. Apply the product only where moss grows, and try to keep the run-off out of storm drains. You can also consider hiring a roofer to install zinc strips to inhibit moss regrowth. Visit us at Orndorff & Spaid Inc.

Toothpaste fills cavities without drilling

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A paste containing synthetic tooth enamel can seal small cavities without drilling. Kazue Yamagishi and colleagues at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo say that the paste can repair small cavities in 15 minutes.

Currently, fillers don’t stick to such small cavities so dentists must drill bigger holes. Hydroxyapatite crystals, of which natural enamel is made, bond with teeth to repair tiny areas of damage.

Yamagishi and colleagues have tested their paste on a lower premolar tooth that showed early signs of decay. They found that the synthetic enamel merged with the natural enamel. The synthetic enamel also appears to make teeth stronger which will improve resistance to future decay. As with drilling, however, there is still the potential for pain: The paste is strongly acidic to encourage crystal growth and causes inflammation if it touches the gums.

The paste is reported in the journal Nature.

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UK border staff Olympic strike abandoned

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the largest civil services trade union in the United Kingdom, yesterday reversed its decision to hold a strike for its UK Home Office worker members scheduled for today, the day before the Olympic Games are due to start in London. The strike, which was called last week as a result of job reductions being made, would have affected the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the Identity and Passport Service, and the Criminal Records Bureau, at London Heathrow Airport amongst other UK airports.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka cited the “significant development” of the creation of 1100 new job positions, 800 in the UKBA and 300 in the Passport Service, as the reason for the union’s decision change. “We believe that significant progress means that there is no case for the union to proceed with industrial action tomorrow,” Serwotka said yesterday morning. The PCS also reported position recruitment advertisements appearing on the Internet for London Heathrow, London Luton and Gatwick Airport.

However, the UK government’s Home Office denied that they had created such positions. “We have made no concessions to the PCS and are not creating any new jobs in response to their threat of strike action”, a spokesperson for the Home Office stated. Saying the recruitment effort, initiated two months ago, was amongst scheduled modifications to the UK Border Force, the spokesperson clarified: “Unfortunately, due to an administrative error, a figure of 400 posts was repeated in both adverts by mistake. This will now be corrected”.

Serwotka’s announcement was made one hour before lawyers representing the UK government had been due at the High Court to attempt to gain an injunction preventing the strike. According to the PCS, the government’s plan was based on accusations that twelve staff members in Brussels and Paris became involved in the dispute despite the fact they would be unaffected.

What do you think about the decision of the PCS?
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The PCS’ decision was welcomed by airport operating company BAA. “So far passengers arriving for the Olympics have had a smooth journey through Heathrow and it is great news that those arriving tomorrow can also expect a warm welcome to London and the Games”, a spokeswoman for BAA said yesterday. UK Home Secretary Theresa May had considered the PCS’ plans “opportunist and wholly unjustified”. Serwotka said he had “[a]bsolutely no regrets” about his previous decision to call the strike.

The PCS has also postponed plans to launch a work-to-rule initiative during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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How To Choose Among Garage Doors


You may have spent a great deal of time and effort on the way your house looks. You should also think about your garage door. Otherwise, it can spoil the look that you have spent so much time in trying to create. You get garage doors in a variety of styles, so some research is sure to ensure that you find one which complements the rest of your house.

You can start your search on the net for firms in this field. Make a list of a few of them, after you have done a price comparison. You should read customer testimonials on the site so that you have an idea of how satisfied previous clients were with the service.

In case a friend or a relative has a garage door that you like, you can find out where he or she obtained it. Carriage style ones are available, and look attractive on many different kinds of houses. Raised panel doors are also popular.

Steel ones are affordable, low maintenance, and durable too. You can paint them, and they are also available in textures similar to wood. Choose a suitable thickness, which can withstand the impact of the occasional basketball thrown on the garage door.

Steel is a poor insulator, so choose a material which will insulate your door to reduce energy costs and muffle noise as well. Aluminum is more affordable than steel but also less durable than that material. You can also choose wood, which looks traditional and attractive.

Wood is a good insulator but needs to be refinished on a regular basis. You will also need to install a garage door opener. This will prove to be safe if you make sure that there is a keyless remote control pad. Within garage door openers also you can choose from different types.

Understand from the company representative the advantages and disadvantages of using each of these. You can then take an informed decision depending on your budget. Make sure the company staff is trained, competent, and professional.

Choose a company with round the clock service so that you can call them in case of an emergency. Look for an established company when you are choosing among garage doors. MN residents should look for one in the area, so that it is easy to co-ordinate whenever required. Maintain the garage door and opener well so that you do not need to get them repaired often.

Garage doors MN – Are you looking for a quality doors? All American Door Co. carries only top quality garage doorproducts and brands. Get in touch with the today!

News briefs:May 15, 2010

Category : Uncategorized

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