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TalkTalk hack: perhaps we’ll finally take cybersecurity seriously



Many people are quite upset that telecoms firm TalkTalk recently fell victim to a hacker who relieved it of hundreds of thousands of customers’ personal details. However I am, in a way, quite pleased. I’ve nothing against TalkTalk, for whom the whole episode has been highly unfortunate, and I have sympathy for those customers affected. But how events panned our afterwards actually provide crumbs of comfort.

The incredible media coverage the attack received is welcome. There can be few people in Britain who are unaware that TalkTalk had a problem. This is extraordinary, because TalkTalk is just the latest to fall victim to something that is going on all the time. In fact, just days later Vodafone admitted it had suffered a breach of its own.

The attack on TalkTalk was initially thought to have affected up to 1.2m customers, but this was later revised down to 150,000 – even if quarterly results show it cost the firm £35m. Compare this to the attack on the Sony Playstation Network in 2011 that affected 70m user accounts, or the attack on Sony Pictures in 2014, which saw the contents of the entire corporate network dredged out in public for the world to see, or indeed any of the many other examples of organisations’ failure to secure themselves.

As governments, businesses and organisations of all sizes have computerised their information, such occurrences have become all too common. So it’s great that TalkTalk has been much talked about – we should have been talking about this problem a lot sooner.

I was also pleased that TalkTalk was so open about the attack. CEO Dido Harding appeared on television and radio where she admitted the company’s errors and was astonishingly frank. I desperately want to commend this honesty, but the sad thing is that I’m not convinced it worked in her company’s favour. While she certainly gave the impression that TalkTalk cared and was apologetic, she appeared to have no better an idea of exactly what had happened or how, which did little to assure customers the company knew what it was doing. Where were TalkTalk’s cyber-security experts? We were left wondering if they had any. Contrast this with the lower key, albeit less significant, Vodafone incident a few days later: less fuss, less reporting.

Perhaps the most useful aspect is how the event really resonated with the general public, and TalkTalk were forced to temporarily suspend some of their services. As a result ordinary customers, whether or not they were affected, became aware of what had happened.

That ‘oh no’ moment is too late. ttc_press, CC BY-SA

No use waiting until the horse has bolted

TalkTalk is not the first and certainly won’t be the last organisation to suffer in this way. Nevertheless it seems to me that some just don’t get the message that they should take the security of their company information and that of their customers seriously, not until it’s too late.

Take for example the British government. In 2007, the revenues and customs department sent two CDs containing the unencrypted records of 25m child benefit claimants through the post, and they were lost. It’s never been clear whether this data fell into the wrong hands, but it was a loss of such magnitude that many credit it in part for motivating the subsequent UK National Cyber Security Strategy.

But within just a few years it was one of many other losses of data from public sector organisations, either from hacks or the sort of failure of basic information security that led to putting unencrypted data in the post, or dropped on USB memory sticks. Yet figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office this year shows things are little better. Let’s hope that TalkTalk is sufficiently embarrassed by its 15 minutes of infamy that they put their house in order.

Experts were repeatedly asked by journalists: “What can we all do to make sure that our data is not exposed?” There is much general advice out there about basic good practices such as strong passwords, backing up critical data, and being wary of scams arriving in unusual emails. It’s absolutely the case that we all need to grow a bit more savvy about cyber-security ourselves, but these answers miss the point – it’s companies that have to take security seriously.

The correct answer to the question about what customers can do is “almost nothing”. Once we submit important information to a third party, whether that’s personal details or bank account and credit card numbers, we are relatively powerless about what happens to that information. We have to trust them to guard our data, or else take our business elsewhere.

It is often said that the mainstream media simply reflects what the public wants to hear. If this is true then the extended discussion that has followed TalkTalk’s embarrassment is a positive thing. It has sent a resounding message to all organisations in whose care we have put our personal data that they will, inevitably, one day suffer a cyber-attack, and that when the dust settles we will hold them to account for their failures to defend what is ours. In the age of data, privacy and security matters.

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Trader Joe’s: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience



Trader Joe's: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience

Discover the unparalleled shopping experience at Trader Joe’s, a renowned grocery store chain offering a wide range of high-quality products at affordable prices. Explore the diverse selection, innovative offerings, and friendly atmosphere that make Trader Joe’s a favorite destination for food enthusiasts.

Introduction: Welcome to Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has revolutionized the grocery shopping industry with its distinctive approach to retail. With a commitment to providing unique and high-quality products, Trader Joe’s has garnered a loyal following of customers who are eager to explore the ever-changing assortment of items on their shelves. In this article, we will delve into the world of Trader Joe’s and explore the reasons why it stands out from the competition.

Trader Joe’s: A Shopper’s Paradise

A Haven for Food Enthusiasts

Trader Joe’s is more than just a grocery store; it’s a paradise for food enthusiasts. With an extensive selection of gourmet and specialty items sourced from around the world, Trader Joe’s caters to the discerning palate. From unique snacks and appetizers to artisanal cheeses and decadent desserts, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at Trader Joe’s.

Unbeatable Prices and Value

One of the hallmarks of Trader Joe’s is its commitment to providing exceptional value to its customers. While the store offers a wide range of high-quality products, it manages to keep its prices affordable. This combination of quality and value is what sets Trader Joe’s apart from its competitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers.

A Neighborhood Vibe

Step into any Trader Joe’s, and you’ll immediately notice the warm and welcoming atmosphere. With friendly staff members who are always ready to assist you, shopping at Trader Joe’s feels like a visit to your neighborhood store. The company prides itself on fostering a sense of community and creating an enjoyable shopping experience for its customers.

Exploring Trader Joe’s Selection

A Cornucopia of Fresh Produce

Trader Joe’s offers an impressive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced from trusted suppliers. Whether you’re in search of everyday staples or exotic produce, Trader Joe’s has you covered. From crisp apples to vibrant heirloom tomatoes, their produce section boasts a colorful array of options that will inspire any home cook.

Delightful Dairy and Cheese Selection

Cheese lovers rejoice! Trader Joe’s is renowned for its diverse selection of cheeses from around the world. From creamy Brie to tangy blue cheese, you’ll find a range of flavors and textures to suit your taste buds. Pair your favorite cheese with their assortment of crackers and you’re in for a treat.

International Flavors Galore

At Trader Joe’s, you can embark on a global culinary adventure without leaving the store. Their shelves are stocked with a wide variety of international ingredients and products, allowing you to explore different cuisines and expand your culinary horizons. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai curry, Italian pasta, or Indian spices, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to create authentic and flavorful dishes.

Unique and Innovative Offerings

One of the reasons why Trader Joe’s is so beloved is its constant introduction of unique and innovative products. The store takes pride in being a trendsetter in the grocery industry, and customers eagerly anticipate the arrival of new items. From seasonal treats to unexpected flavor combinations, Trader Joe’s never fails to surprise and delight its customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What makes Trader Joe’s different from other grocery stores?

Trader Joe’s stands out from other grocery stores due to its unique selection of products, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere. The store offers an exciting array of gourmet and specialty items, all at affordable prices,making it a destination for food enthusiasts. Additionally, Trader Joe’s prides itself on creating a neighborhood vibe with its welcoming staff and sense of community.

2. Does Trader Joe’s offer organic and healthy options?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is known for its commitment to offering a wide range of organic and healthy options. The store carries a variety of organic produce, as well as organic dairy products, meats, and pantry staples. In addition, Trader Joe’s has a selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian products to cater to different dietary preferences and needs.

3. Are Trader Joe’s products affordable compared to other grocery stores?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is renowned for its affordability. While providing high-quality products, Trader Joe’s manages to keep its prices competitive. This combination of quality and value makes it an attractive choice for shoppers looking to get the most out of their budget.

4. Can I find international ingredients and spices at Trader Joe’s?

Absolutely! Trader Joe’s takes pride in offering a diverse range of international ingredients and spices. Whether you’re looking for exotic spices for a specific recipe or unique international snacks, Trader Joe’s has a selection that will satisfy your culinary cravings.

5. Are there any Trader Joe’s branded products?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has its own line of branded products. These Trader Joe’s branded items are carefully curated and developed to meet the company’s high standards for quality and taste. From snacks and pantry staples to frozen meals and beverages, you’ll find a variety of Trader Joe’s branded products throughout the store.

6. Does Trader Joe’s have a return policy?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has a customer-friendly return policy. If you’re not satisfied with a product you’ve purchased, you can return it to the store with a receipt for a full refund. Trader Joe’s aims to ensure customer satisfaction and stands behind the quality of their products.

Conclusion: A Shopping Experience Like No Other

Trader Joe’s offers a shopping experience that is truly unique. With its diverse and high-quality product selection, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere, it has become a favorite destination for food enthusiasts and budget-conscious shoppers alike. Whether you’re searching for everyday essentials, international ingredients, or innovative snacks, Trader Joe’s has something to offer. So, the next time you’re in search of a grocery store adventure, don’t miss out on the vibrant and exciting world of Trader Joe’s.

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Rebbe’s Dollar distribution



Rebbe's Dollar distribution

Uncover the extraordinary story of the Rebbe’s Dollar distribution, a powerful tradition that has transformed lives and inspired acts of kindness across the globe.

The Rebbe’s one-dollar bill, a symbol of charity and compassion, continues to embody the spiritual legacy of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, inspiring countless individuals to embrace a life of giving and kindness.

Every Sunday, people from all walks of life – Jews and non-Jews alike – would line up outside the Rebbe’s residence at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, eager to receive a dollar bill and a blessing from the Rebbe.

It was a testament to the universal nature of the Rebbe’s message of love, kindness, and the power of good deeds.

The Rebbe would hand out dollar bills to each individual, instructing them to donate the money to a charity of their choice. Through this small act of giving, the Rebbe instilled the value of charity and the potential of a single dollar to create positive change.

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Sustainable Diamonds – What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ



Sustainable Diamonds - What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ

The use of lab grown diamonds NZ in jewellery has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This is because they are eco-friendly, and they cost less than mined diamonds. However, it is essential to understand the differences between a lab-grown and a mined diamond before making a purchase decision.

A Lab-Grown Diamond is a synthetic diamond created by humans in a lab instead of being mined from the ground. They are similar to natural diamonds in almost every way, except that they do not cloud or lose their luster over time.

There are several processes that can be used to grow a diamond in a lab, but the most common ones are High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods are incredibly complex, but they have the same end goal: to replicate the conditions that naturally occur when a diamond grows on the earth’s surface.

Unlike mined diamonds, formed after millions of years of exposure to extreme heat and temperatures within the earth’s crust, lab-grown diamonds are created by scientists in a controlled environment. This allows them to mimic the same physical and chemical properties of natural diamonds, while also being significantly cheaper and environmentally friendly.

How They’re Made

When a diamond seed is placed inside of a sealed chamber, it is pressurized and heated until the carbon particles break down and crystallize into a fully grown diamond. This process is called growing a diamond in a lab, and many companies have done it since the 1960s.

In addition to being more sustainable, lab-grown diamonds are more ethical than mined diamonds because they don’t heavily impact the environment. For example, a study by Frost & Sullivan found that for each carat of diamonds mined using traditional methods, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and more than 5,798 pounds of mineral waste are created.

Another great thing about lab-grown diamonds is that they don’t consume as much water in the making process. This is because the processes involved in creating a mined diamond require significant amounts of water, and they also create a lot of pollution.

This can lead to many issues, including depleted water supplies and environmental calamities. In addition, the soil can be destroyed, and in turn, the land is rendered unusable once mining operations have ceased.

It is also worth noting that lab-grown diamonds don’t contribute to global warming like mined diamonds, as their carbon is sourced from CO2 emissions. This is a very good thing for the planet, and it is one of the major reasons why people are switching to lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds.

If you want to buy a piece of jewellery with a lab-grown diamond, you’ll need to do some research and make sure that you are getting a good deal on the product. You can do this by checking out prices at different retailers and comparing the costs. You can then choose which option is best for you and your budget.

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