It’s been a while since I posted some figurines and frankly, if I wasn’t waking up so late every morning I could probably squeeze in more time to work on this blog more. I also wish I had the endurance I did back in 2011 to post every day during the workweek. But, sadly, one can only keep up that kind of enthusiasm for so long. Course, following up news for everyday, isn’t exactly easy per se. Don’t get used to this kind of treatment though. It’s summer and I’m lucky enough to have a computer to work on my stuff with, so I suppose it’s nice. Anyway, today is Thursday so we’ll need to be on our way so let’s get to it. First up, is a figurine  of someone from a game…I think.

 

7th Dragon 2020 Katanako Figure

Author: Leon

 

 

From Sega’s role-playing game 7th Dragon 2020, comes a figure of samurai class character Katanako, and thanks to Max Factory she is looks to be anything but Sega quality.

She will be released in October 2012

 

And next up we have another story about that idiot Sandusky.

 

For Penn State, Freeh report lands in minefield of legal threats

 

For lawyers planning to sue Penn State University over how it dealt with allegations that Jerry Sandusky sexually abused boys, Thursday’s report gives them the kind of investigation that they likely could not afford to do themselves.

The report, commissioned by the university and prepared by former FBI Director Louis B. Freeh, found that top university officials, “in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity” for the university, “repeatedly concealed critical facts” from authorities.

The report also condemned former officials, including President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and football Coach Joe Paterno for the “total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims.”

The report found that officials had two separate opportunities in 1998 and 2001 to take action against Sandusky, but chose to keep the matter an internal issue. In 2001, administrators were pushed by Paterno to reverse themselves and keep the matter in-house.

All of those could be factors in how the civil lawsuits play out, lawyers said.

“It is clear that Penn State officials engaged in magical thinking,” said Daniel Filler, a professor at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “Given their passion to protect Penn State, they ignored all the evidence from both 1998 and 2001, concluding that continued ties to Sandusky wouldn’t expose Penn State to any risk.

“For lawyers and plaintiffs planning on suing Penn State, the Freeh report is literally a road map to the case,” said Filler, who has no client in the Penn State scandal.

Sandusky, 68, is in jail awaiting sentencing on 45 charges that he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years. He could spend the rest of life in prison when sentenced in the fall.

At a minimum, all the victims are potential plaintiffs, and several indicated when they testified in June that they have sought legal representation.

“The Freeh report is absolutely devastating to Penn State,” lawyers Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici, who along with the Philadelphia law firm of Ross Feller Casey represent men identified in court records as Victims 3, 7 and 10. The group also represents Matt Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son who has said he too was abused, as well as other Sandusky victims who were not part of the criminal charges.

The report “confirms that at the highest level, Penn State officials, including the university president and head football coach, knew that Sandusky was a child predator, but made the deliberate and reprehensible decision to conceal his abuse. They chose to protect themselves, Penn State’s brand and image, and their football program instead of children,” the attorneys said.

 

Right there we have the biggest idiot shotacon this side of the West Coast. I’m only saying, we can joke about MJ’s sexuality for so long before we start seeing these kinds of people pop up. Oh and Yahoo! took a leak.

 

Yahoo’s password leak: What you need to know (FAQ)

 

Yahoo has just become the latest big online service to suffer a major password breach. While the number of affected users is far smaller than in the last big exposure — that would be the password hack at LinkedIn last month, which exposed 6.5 million user passwords — the attack is a big black eye for Yahoo and a potential hazard to the 450,000 or so people whose login information is now flapping in the breeze.

So here is CNET’s quick guide to the Yahoo password fumble and what you need to do.

What, exactly, went wrong?
A hacker collective calling itself D33Ds Co. publicly posted more than 450,000 login credentials — i.e., paired usernames and passwords — obtained from Yahoo’s “Contributor Network” site. In that data dump, the hackers described their attack as a “union-based SQL injection,” which is effectively a way of tricking the database on a poorly secured site into divulging private information.

For what it’s worth, the D33Ds hackers claim they released the information to point up lax security at Yahoo, not for malicious purposes. That said, these possibly sensitive passwords are now available to the maliciously minded across the world. So it’s better-safe-than-sorry time.

I’ve never heard of the Yahoo Contributor Network. Am I really in any danger here?
Maybe, maybe not. The Yahoo Contributor Network is, to be honest, sort of obscure. It was originally an independent site called Associated Content — a content farm that paid users a pittance to publish their written submissions, plus a bonus for any traffic generated. (Such “low-cost content,” as it’s known in the biz, is basically a lure used to draw search traffic to ads displayed nearby.) Yahoo acquired Associated Content two years ago, reportedly for more than $100 million.

It’s not immediately clear whose login credentials have been exposed. Yahoo has formally confirmed the password breach, but the online media company didn’t elaborate on their origin. (See Yahoo’s official statement below.) It does, however, seem highly likely that the exposed passwords mostly belong to Yahoo’s contributors themselves — i.e., the individuals who wrote material for either Associated Content or Yahoo.

One big hint: Quite a few of the email addresses and passwords contain the word “writer.” I.e., usernames such as “legalwriter5@yahoo.com” and “honestwriter@hotmail.com,” and occasionally aspirational passwords such as “paidwriter” and “richwriter.” Not to mention umpteen-jillion instances of “writer” as a password.

So if I’ve never contributed to the Yahoo Contributor Network, I’m safe, right?
Possibly — but you never know.

In its official statement, Yahoo insists that the “file” the hackers “compromised” was an “older” one. (This statement itself is kind of suspect, since the hackers probably didn’t just steal a particular file. More likely, they repeatedly poked a Yahoo database until it started spitting out login credentials. But set that aside for now.) The company claims that fewer than five percent of the Yahoo passwords disclosed are currently valid.

Which all sounds reassuring enough, except that no one with a Yahoo ID has any way to know whether it might have been compromised elsewhere within the site. And, of course, you won’t know until either a public-spirited group like D33Ds decides to publish your password — or you get hacked in a more malicious fashion. (You are free to believe that the hack of the Yahoo contributor network was an isolated incident, and maybe it was. But maybe it wasn’t.)

I get the sense you’re leading up to something. Go on.
Yahoo’s statement, however, is silent on the non-Yahoo ID credentials revealed in the D33Ds hack. The published file also contains a huge number what appear to be login credentials for many other email services, including Gmail (106,873 instances), Hotmail (55,148), AOL (25,521) and any number of ISPs (Comcast, Cox, Mindspring, etc.).

Presumably the pre-merger Associated Content allowed users to use email addresses as their usernames, and Yahoo never forced users to change their logins to Yahoo ID. These days, in fact, Yahoo still allows people to sign into the contributor network via Google or Facebook IDs in addition to their Yahoo accounts.

All of which suggests that close to 300,000 people could have just seen their personal, non-Yahoo email accounts compromised as well as their Yahoo accounts. They’ve effectively just dropped a trail of breadcrumbs to their personal email, since they’ve identified the service, their username and (assuming general laziness on the part of Internet users, which is usually a safe bet) their password.

OK, so how do I know if I’m at risk?
To be on the safe side, if you have a Yahoo ID, you should assume it’s no longer secure and change it. (I just did, and I’ve never visited the Yahoo Voices site until today.) You should also change other passwords if:

  • You’ve used the same password for any other major service — particularly for sensitive accounts such as banking, investing, or email.
  • You’ve ever signed into Yahoo or Associated Content with a non-Yahoo email address.

Yes, it’s a pain. But it only takes a few minutes, and the peace of mind is worth it. You really don’t want to find your email account hijacked or your bank account emptied, do you?

If you’re one of those folks who likes to live dangerously, you can always call up the file of cracked credentials (just Google “yahoo-disclosure.txt”) and see if your email or Yahoo ID is on there. This may or may not prove anything, and of course there’s no way to know if your password might have been cracked and displayed elsewhere — at least until it’s too late.

So do the smart thing. Change your Yahoo ID password and any other passwords associated with email addresses listed in this disclosure.

Where is Yahoo’s official statement on all this?
Glad you asked. It’s right here:

At Yahoo! we take security very seriously and invest heavily in protective measures to ensure the security of our users and their data across all our products. We confirm that an older file from Yahoo! Contributor Network (previously Associated Content) containing approximately 450,000 Yahoo! and other company users names and passwords was compromised yesterday, July 11. Of these, less than 5% of the Yahoo! accounts had valid passwords. We are taking immediate action by fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo! users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised. We apologize to all affected users. We encourage users to change their passwords on a regular basis and also familiarize themselves with our online safety tips at security.yahoo.com.

 

“We take security very seriously.” I’m sure you do, that may explain why you and Sony both had leaks. Next up is an article about milk.

 

Why milk has gone sour: Tasteless, stripped of nutrients and churned out by ‘battery cows’ who never see a blade of grass

By Graham Harvey

On the Reading estate where I grew up in the early 1950s, our milk was from a local dairy.

Our two pints of silver top would arrive daily on the doorstep, each with a thick band of yellow cream stretching one-third of the way down the bottle – a sure sign that the cows had been grazing up to their hocks in clover-rich grassland.

In those days, full-fat milk was considered a ‘protective food’, one that would keep you fit and free of disease.

All I know is that my brother and I invariably squabbled over who was to get ‘the top of the milk’ on our breakfast porridge.

The dairy had been set up by a local farmer in the 1920s.

Then, as now, milk producers were being crippled by rising costs and the meagre prices paid by powerful dairy companies.

Entrepreneurial farmers responded by setting up retail rounds in nearby towns and villages in a bid to make a better living for their families.

Though the pre-war economy was deep in recession, it was a period of expansion in the British dairy industry.

By the time my brother and I were racing each other to the morning pintas, our Berkshire dairy was supplying half the town.

Everywhere in Britain — outside the biggest cities — milk was mostly local and from cows spending most of the year grazing fresh green grass.

Since then, dairy farming has changed beyond recognition. During my 40 years as a farming journalist, nine out of ten dairy farms have gone out of business.

I’ve known dozens of farming families who’ve been forced to put their beloved herds under the auctioneer’s hammer — families who loved their animals, cared for the countryside and took pride in the fine food they produced.

Today’s milk business is dominated by a handful of large supermarkets and processing dairies, all slugging it out for a share of the action.

The farmers who survive the inevitable war of attrition are forced to squeeze more and more milk from their over-worked cows.

Even then they struggle to earn a living from the job, as yesterday’s gathering in Westminster of militant dairy farmers — who forced farming minister Jim Paice to admit he did not know the cost of a pinta, and are now threatening to disrupt the Olympics — testifies.

No doubt classical economists view all this as a triumph of efficient food production.

Milk is plentiful and cheap, with supermarkets frequently using it as a loss-leader in their battle for market share. Low-fat milk was on offer at just 32p a pint in Tesco this week.

Whether we consumers truly benefit from the dairy revolution is open to question. The nutritional quality of most supermarket milk wouldn’t hold a candle to the pinta delivered to our doorstep all those years ago.

Many dairy farmers, in their bid to drive down costs, now keep their cows off pasture, feeding them instead on high-energy cereals and maize, and on high-protein crops like soya.

Herds are getting bigger, and some farmers are choosing to keep them inside for much of the year or even all of it. US-style mega-dairies — in effect, battery-farmed cows — are now threatened for the British countryside.

Professor Ton Baars, a global expert on the health qualities of dairy foods, says milk produced this way contains lower levels of key disease-fighting nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and the anti-cancer substance CLA.

From a health point of view, the best milk comes from cows grazing fresh pasture in which there are plenty of clover plants and deep-rooting herbs such as plantain, dandelion and chicory.

In fact, the very milk enjoyed by earlier generations before the arrival of supermarkets and the EU common agricultural policy.

Even the supposed benefits of low-fat milk are now being challenged.

A number of scientists claim it’s sugar and refined carbohydrates that are to blame for modern diseases like diabetes and heart disease, not saturated fat — especially when the fat is from natural sources such as cattle grazing clover-rich pasture.

They point out that even whole milk contains only four per cent fat, hardly making it a fatty food.

And apart from calcium, many of the most valuable nutrients such as omega-3s, CLA and vitamin D are in the fat fraction most of us throw away.

It’s not just consumers who are worse off.

Farmers’ relentless drive for cost savings has put increasing pressure on the long-suffering dairy cow.

She’s now forced to produce twice the volume of milk provided by her 1960s forbears, and it’s taking a heavy toll on her health, fertility and lifespan.

No wonder actress Joanna Lumley has taken up the cudgels on behalf of dairy cows.

She’s heading an animal rights’ campaign aimed at giving them the sort of protection in European law that’s provided for battery hens.

One of the key guarantees she’s seeking is the animals’ freedom to graze fresh pasture, at least in summer.

With Britain’s hard-pressed dairy farmers on the streets demanding a better deal, there’s a clear need for a new vision for dairy farming.

Fortunately we have a perfect model from history — the epic story of a forgotten food hero of 90 years ago.

In the early 1920s, farm prices crashed following the mini-boom in agriculture that accompanied the First World War.

Dairy farms were particularly hard hit, with many going to the wall.

But an innovative farmer-inventor called Arthur Hosier came up with a revolutionary idea.

He would keep his cows out in the fields permanently, so saving the heavy labour costs and disease risks associated with putting them in sheds for part of the year.

To make the system work, he designed a mobile milking platform through which cows could be milked in the field.

It was equipped with generator, refrigeration plant and vacuum pipeline to take the milk direct from cow to churn without coming into contact with the air.

Hosier’s friends thought he’d gone off his head when he bought a big stretch of Wiltshire downland and covered it with cows at a time when many dairy farmers were going bust.

But the intrepid pioneer went on to make his fortune by selling quality milk direct to the public. Because his costs were low — and there was no middleman — it remained affordable to most people, even in hard times.

Out in the open air, his cows stayed remarkably free of disease, including TB which was rife among dairy herds of the time.

His milk was certified so pure by the county medical authority that a lot was sent direct to London hospitals for patients too sick to tolerate everyday milk.

So successful was the system that by the early 1930s several hundred farmers had adopted ‘open-air dairying’.

But with the coming of the Milk Marketing Board in 1933 — which guaranteed a market for milk — farmers lost their entrepreneurial edge. Hosier was bought out by one of the big dairies, and his revolutionary system forgotten.

Today a handful of new pioneers are rediscovering its benefits for consumers and their own profits.

In Dorset two young farmer-entrepreneurs — Tom Foot and Neil Griggs — have established a new outdoor herd producing pasture-fed milk. They’ve designed mobile milking units based on the principles of Hosier’s model.

In Somerset new farmer Nick Snelgar is developing a mobile milking-and-processing plant for use by small herds.

His aim is to bring back local, grass-fed milk across Britain. He hopes it’ll also create new business opportunities for young people in rural areas.

Between the wars, hard times for milk producers heralded a new golden age for dairy farming.

At the same time it put a wonderful, nutritious food on the doorsteps of austerity Britain.

If the tough times that brought protesting farmers to London have the same impact today, we’ll all be winners.

I, for one, can’t wait to experience once more the rich, creamy taste of real milk.

 

Nothing terribly interesting, this is once again what we in the journalism industry call a slow news day.

 

Driver crashes, starts wildfire in Idaho — after escaping Colorado wildfire

by Stephanie Zepelin

 

ONTARIO, Ore. – Idaho State Police say a Subaru was passing a Jeep when the Subaru’s driver had a mechanical problem, lost control, clipped the Jeep and went off the interstate.

Bureau of Land Mangement says the accident sparked a wildfire which would burn a total of about 2,000 acres. They declared that fire controlled Wednesday night.

But the chain reaction of events didn’t end there. The driver of the Subaru that started a wildfire on Interstate 84 tells KTVB how it all happened.

Krista McCann was living in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area when she evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon Fire.

On her drive to Ontario to surprise her dad, she didn’t make it past milemarker 66 on I-84 when her car started a wildfire.

“This is everything I own now,” said McCann as she showed us the few possessions from inside her purse.

At the age of 19, she’s escaped two fires.

McCann lived in the same house in Colorado Springs since she was nine. When the Waldo Canyon fire neared her neighborhood, she decided to leave.

“I was afraid that something might happen, or the wind might change in Colorado and my house would be in danger again.”

She loaded up her car with all the things she hoped to save from the Colorado wildfires, like her mom’s wedding dress.

“I just couldn’t go straight anymore and I ended up clipping the car next to me.”

McCann said she lost control of her car, and drove off the road. She grabbed her purse as her car burned. Everything she owned went up in flames.

“The adrenaline was going through me for a while, but after that started to fade it hit me pretty hard,” said McCann.

After running from the wildfire in Colorado Springs, she watched her car start a wildfire off the interstate.

“I know I got out and i saw that the field was on fire and at that point I was just…I was pretty devastated. I didn’t want to do anything like that,” she said.

McCann said she is glad no one was hurt. Now she is looking to the future.

“This is a chance to start completely over. I have nothing. So I’ll start with a new wardrobe and a new car, and a new state of mind. And I’ll just move forward.”

McCann wants to move to a new city and create something beautiful. She says has auto insurance, and is working things out with the driver of the other car.

 

That’s our show for today, this is Grass signing off.