Monday in the Midwest, USA — Best of the Midwest! Hiking – nature – photography

Today the thermometer clocked in at 0 degrees. High will be 9 degrees. A photo essay…

Monday in the Midwest, USA — Best of the Midwest! Hiking – nature – photography

Nice photo essay on the Polar Vortex 2021.

We are subject to periodic rolling blackouts here in Oklahoma. Our relatives in Texas have zero electricity and zero natural gas.

Outdoor experts agree, risk management is key

So, it might not come as a shock that after this past year Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported a 30 percent increase in visitations through Nov. 2020, as noted by the Denver Post; a staggering number considering that just one year prior, the Outdoor Foundation reported that nearly half of the U.S. population did not participate in outdoor recreation.The Roaring Fork Valley (RFV) is no outlier to this outdoor participation trend, and with more travel and a dangerous snowpack this season, the risks are intensified. Fortunately, outdoor leaders in the RFV have noticed that recreationists are taking risk management – the ability to independently assess the risks of an activity – seriously.

Outdoor experts agree, risk management is key — https://www.soprissun.com/2021/01/07/outdoor-experts-agree-risk-management-is-key/
Architect on the mountain actively engaging in avalanche training.
Aliens with headlamps “skinning” up a mountain somewhere near Aspen CO
Blogger staying near sea level.

Bank by Phone? You Better Check Your Account

Researchers from IBM Trusteer say they’ve uncovered a massive fraud operation that used a network of mobile device emulators to drain millions of dollars from online bank accounts in a matter of days.

The scale of the operation was unlike anything the researchers have seen before. In one case, crooks used about 20 emulators to mimic more than 16,000 phones belonging to customers whose mobile bank accounts had been compromised.

The thieves then entered usernames and passwords into banking apps running on the emulators and initiated fraudulent money orders that siphoned funds out of the compromised accounts. Emulators are used by legitimate developers and researchers to test how apps run on a variety of different mobile devices.

To bypass protections banks use to block such attacks, the crooks used device identifiers corresponding to each compromised account holder and spoofed GPS locations the device was known to use. The device IDs were likely obtained from the holders’ hacked devices, although in some cases, the fraudsters gave the appearance that they were customers who were accessing their accounts from new phones. The attackers were also able to bypass multi-factor authentication by accessing SMS messages.

“Evil mobile emulator farms” used to steal millions from US and EU banks — https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/12/evil-mobile-emulator-farms-used-to-steal-millions-from-us-and-eu-banks/

I bank online but never use my phone. I check my accounts on a regular basis to see if anything looks odd (besides some of the websites you know who shops at).

Check your accounts. Now.

PSA (public service announcement) – Ring Doorbells are on Fire!

Amazon has announced a massive recall of a version of its Ring doorbell, according to a notice posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. The recall involves the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) with the model number 5UM5E5. The reason for the recall is because the “video doorbell’s battery can overheat when the incorrect screws are used for installation, posing fire and burn hazards,” according to the CPSC.

350,000 Amazon Ring doorbells recalled after some units catch fire
Fast Company

U.S. Election Discussion Thread — Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry No words. The only thing crazier than the U.S. election is this morning’s hurricane forecast. I have no words re the election.  For a diversion, here is my hurricane forecast for Eta. Summary:  current: TERRIBLE.  forecast: CRAZY Latest from NHC (7 am EST): 145 mph max sustained winds, min pressure 936 mb, […]

U.S. election discussion thread — Climate Etc.

I am re-posting this article by Judith Curry. Yes, the headline is somewhat misleading but I’m glad I clicked and read her post. There’s another hurricane coming.

Admit it. We all need a diversion from the election.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma – 2020 Halloween Ice Storm Cleanup

The sounds of chainsaws are buzzing in the neighborhood. A few days ago I promised some pictures. It has been a week from hell.

Our power at the house has remained on for two full days in a row. We were planning on cleanup work this weekend until our longtime yard services provider showed up. The Boss took a tour of the property with the crew leader who told us not to do anything and that they would take care of all debris, trim up the trees, and stack along the curb for city pickup. I don’t have to buy or borrow a chainsaw. That’s the good news. The bad news is I feel my checkbook getting lighter.

Minimizing the Social Cost of COVID-19

East Asian countries were the first to be infected, meaning they had little, if any, time to prepare. And yet many of them are among the countries that have reduced COVID-19 cases to near zero. The difference comes down to attitudes: what role and responsibilities each society attributes to government, and to what extent it expects the community to act as a collective agent of the common good.

In the US, there is a long-standing emphasis on personal freedom. “Small government” is a commonly heard refrain, with many arguing that individuals acting as self-interested participants in markets and in social and political processes will naturally produce positive outcomes. Government intervention – even in the event of a pandemic – infringes on individual rights and, indeed, on the very meaning of being an American. Protests over shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates reflect this view.

Minimizing the Social Cost of COVID-19 — https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/east-asia-covid19-successful-responses-institutional-arrangements-by-andrew-sheng-and-xiao-geng-2020-08

Meanwhile SD reported another triple digit increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases, as 380 new positive tests were recorded Sunday.

Sturgis resident here, the 5 days before the event were much bigger this year than normal because people had the wrong dates and then just kept those reservations instead of switching (or couldn’t switch because the places were full.)… The official count is around 460,000 and I’d say there was another 75-100 thousand the week before.

You Tube comment on a Tectonix video on cell phone migration patterns exiting Sturgis SD

DO NOT DRINK Hand Sanitizers

From May 1 through June 30, 2020, 15 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in Arizona and New Mexico, associated with swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Four patients died, and three were discharged with visual impairment.

Serious Adverse Health Events, Including Death, Associated with Ingesting Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol — Arizona and New Mexico, May–June 2020

HandSanitizerCOVID19_IMAGE_05Aug20_1200x675-medium

This should be obvious but I guess it’s not.