Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen can expect questions about interest rates and unemployment when the Fed wraps up its two-day meeting. The Fed had promised to keep interest rates near zero, at least until unemployment hit 6.5 percent. Unemployment is currently at 6.7 percent and dropping (and the Fed has said it will likely look at other factors, too).
Yellen is known as a proponent of transparency – but she’s expected to say as little as possible about what those other factors might be.
Plus, April 8 is the last day that Microsoft will offer technical support for its 12 year-old operating system, Windows XP. Much of that support means fixing bugs. So after that date, any computer running XP will be considerably more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. But who is still using Microsoft XP? Lots of us apparently: 20 percent of computers worldwide use XP. It's the second most popular operating system behind Windows 7.
Michelle Obama lands in China tomorrow, where she’ll meet with Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan in Beijing before touring the country to speak about education. She’s not traveling alone. Her daughters and mother will accompany her on the visit, a detail sure to draw praise in a country that values filial piety.
The two women may have more in common than their husbands do. Both Obama and Peng are passionate education advocates, both are known for their fashion sense, and both have daughters. The trip will be a much-needed break from tense visits between officials of the two countries in recent years – Obama plans to focus her events on cultural exchanges between the two nations instead of discussing thorny topics like human rights or trade disputes. The trump card, however, will be who Obama is bringing with her. “The fact that she has two pretty daughters coming to China is a big sell,” says education reformer Jiang Xueqin, “the fact that she’ll be hanging out with the first lady is a big sale. The fact that she’s a rag to riches story – through hard work and schooling, she went to Harvard Law school and became first lady of the United States – that’s a message that’s very sympathetic in China.”
Obama will visit schools in Beijing, Xi’an, and Chengdu in her week-long visit. She aims to talk about the value of an American education, something the Chinese already understand. Most Chinese recognize the shortcomings of their test-based education system and those who have the means are sending their children to universities in the US in droves - there are now more than 200,000 Chinese students studying in the US, and US universities are establishing campuses all over China to meet a rising demand.
April 8 is the last day that Microsoft will offer technical support for its 12 year-old operating system, Windows XP. Much of that support means fixing bugs. So after that date, any computer running XP will be considerably more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Who is still using Microsoft XP? Probably your aunt, your grandparents and probably your parents.
20 percent of computers worldwide use XP. It’s the second most popular operating system behind Windows 7.
Your kid almost definitely uses it. A recent study by AVAST found that 96 percent of schools still use XP.
Your uncle who works at Hill Air Force Base probably uses it. 10 percent of Federal government computers, including some classified military networks, still use XP.
You use it all the time: 95 percent of all U.S. ATMs still run on XP.
Every week, Microsoft employees look for vulnerabilities in their software. When they find them, they create what’s called a patch to fix it. After April 8, Microsoft will stop offering patches for XP.
“Therefore, anybody running an XP system could fall prey to someone who is trying to exercise one of those vulnerabilities,” says Eugene Spafford, executive director of The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue University. He says XP users had more than six years to prepare for the end, but not everyone has been proactive.
ATMs that haven’t been updated could be hacked in a number of ways. They could be programmed to spit out cash, keep cards or any other “mischief,” says Spafford.
Several major banks including JPMorgan have agreed to pay Microsoft for extended customer service on the outdated software. The good news is that customers will likely not be absorbing those costs, says Doug Johnson of American Bankers Association.
“I don’t see any pricing power in terms of trying to very directly pass off these costs to the consumer at the ATM."
Sony Pictures Entertainment will reportedly lay off its entire interactive marketing team — more than 200 employees. It's part of a cost-cutting trend by the major film studios.
Organizing for Action, the social welfare group formed out of President Obama's campaign organization, has stumbled over its own fundraising rules. Now it's trying to clean things up.