National / International News
This week, following a series of security lapses, the Secret Service director resigned. For a look at the agency beyond the scandal, author Ben Dolnick recommends the novel Big If by Mark Costello.
The video is made in the same style of others, and a masked man warns that the Sunni militant group has captured another American citizen.
Entrepreneurs who want to launch a retail business in the fashion industry have found a more affordable way to do it — by launching food-truck-inspired rolling boutiques.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has apparently figured out what she wants to do with some of the billions her company made from the Alibaba IPO a couple of weeks ago.
There are reports today that Yahoo is going to take a stake in Snapchat, the app that lets users send messages that disappear after a couple of seconds.
No word on exactly how much, but it values the start-up at $10 billion.
And yes, Yahoo is a company on the ropes, buying a company that makes things disappear... fill in the blank on your own joke here.
It’s a big weekend for novelists-turned-screenwriters.
There's "Gone Girl" from writer Gillian Flynn.
"The Drop," a crime drama from author Dennis Lehane.
And "This Is Where I Leave You," a star-studded story about a dysfunctional family, from author Jonathan Tropper.
"Adapting your own book for a film is kind of like doing surgery on your own child,” says Tropper. He says adapting his novel for the screen was a long and painful process. But one, he says, he wanted to do himself. “You get really protective of these characters, these stories,” says Tropper, “Even with good writers you don’t want to see them take your stuff apart.”
Authors often want the job. They know the story best, and there can be big money in writing the screenplay if the movie is a hit.
But, Hollywood typically shrugs them off.
“The studio or the production company will frequently prefer to have it adapted by a well known, proven screenwriter,” says Robert Zipser, a Hollywood entertainment attorney. He says writing for print is a different skill than writing for the screen. Also, says Zipser, with a known writer there’s a better chance the movie will actually get made.
“The involvement of an A-list screen screenwriter can also help attract cast and director to the movie.”
If authors still want to elbow their way onto the set, literary agent Rebecca Friedman says it helps to write a best-seller or several. “The more successful the book is the more likely it is that the author will get to write the screenplay,” says Friedman.
It also doesn’t hurt if you know your way around a script. Tropper and Lehane both have TV credits.
But at the end of the day, studios want to minimize risk. And the success of a few movies using authors as screenwriters isn’t going to change that script.
The family that hosted Ebola patient Thomas Duncan in Dallas is under quarantine. It's a time-honored public health tool to stop the spread of infectious disease. But it can be abused.
This week, Lizzie O'Leary sits down for brunch with Ben Walsh from the Huffington Post, and Celine Gounder, doctor and freelance medical journalist, to discuss the economic news of last week and what's on their plate this week (get it?).
David Eagleman is a scientist who asks people to jump off of buildings.
No, he's not an evil villain (as far as we know). He's a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine who studies time.
As a boy, Eagleman fell off his roof, and had that classic film-reel experience of time slowing down, even though the fall took less than a second. Ever since, he has been interested in how the brain perceives time.
In the experiment, Eagleman built what he calls a "perceptual chronometer," essentially giant flashing numbers that subject saw as they fell 150 feet toward a giant net.
"I can measure the speed at which you're seeing the world, so I could figure out if people were actually seeing in slow motion, like Neo in The Matrix, or whether it was just a trick of memory, retrospectively."
As it turns out, it was a trick of memory. People falling, or in the midst of a car crash, lay down memory more densely than in the average moment, Eagleman concluded.
"So when you read that back out you think, 'wow, that must have taken a really long time.'"
It's not only freak accidents that pass in milliseconds. Super-speedy automated systems have become staples of our economy, from high frequency trading to commercial airplanes to the profuse streaming video libraries online.
"It's happening at a scale we can't perceive," Eagleman said, pondering an ever-more sci-fi future. "Maybe someday we'll fight our wars that way. We'll have drones fighting. World War III will be over in a tenth of a second... and we'll see who won."
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
The move, which was announced by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, would make Sweden the first major European nation to take that step.
A group of pro-Beijing demonstrators attacked activists who have staged a week of civil disobedience calling for greater freedom.
Several dozen children in California and Colorado have suffered paralyzed limbs, which doctors speculate could be caused by the respiratory virus EV-68. But we're a long way from knowing for sure.
Hackers got into JPMorgan Chase’s network over the summer, and according to the bank, that breach compromised 76 million households and seven million small businesses. The bank says there is no evidence hackers got a hold of account information, just names and addresses, e-mails and phone numbers, but those data are valuable.
Companies often learn their systems have been breached from third parties. According to Anton Chuvakin, a vice president in Gartner’s security and risk management group, law enforcement will call if they spot stolen data on underground forums.
“Oh, by the way, we are seeing your data here," might be the message from law enforcement, he says. "What’s up with that?”
These days, big banks spend big on their own security. JPMorgan has allocated $250 million.
When a bank discovers a breach, “you’re going to have a big senior management powwow,” says Julie Conroy, research director for the Aite Group’s retail banking practice, who covers data security. Management will put into place a “security incident response plan,” “and the forensic analysis is very much like what you see at a crime scene,” she says.
It’s methodical, and according to Martin Lindner, a cybersecurity specialist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, banks keep logs of everything that happens on their servers. “So, in theory, they can go back to all those logs, replay them, and see what happened that was the thing that appears to be nefarious,” he explains. That is a lot of information, and going through that is time consuming.
Forensics is just one part of a “security incident response plan.” There is also remediation and communication. With this breach, tens of millions of people are at risk. Lawrence Baxter, the William B. McGuire Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University, says hackers could use what they have gathered to phish for more information using, say, an official-looking e-mail message.
“You may only get a half of one percent of the customer base fooled by it, but that’s enough,” he says, to cause more damage to customers’ bank accounts, and also to the bank’s reputation.