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April 3rd, 2013
10:54 AM ET

Battle to secure cyberspace

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) –  It's happening right now, probably to your bank or your electric utility: the hacking of computer and network systems across the world. The crime goes well beyond garden variety personal identity theft. More and more, there are signs that cyber attacks are coming from coordinated criminal groups and countries that are adversaries of the U.S. - attacks that threaten the country's financial and national security every minute.

Reports of suspected hacking from groups connected to China, Russia and North Korea have risen in recent years. But suspicions of cyber attacks from a new player, Iran, may be the tipping point that could push cyber-defense legislation through Congress.

A bill to encourage threat information sharing from U.S. companies to the government failed last year. But this year, it's getting a fresh push, despite an old sticking point – privacy.

James Lewis, cybersecurity expert and senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the mechanics of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) can be worked out, but there are still stumbling blocks:

[4:20] "The problem is political. People are so nervous...you had the surveillance program in the previous administration, and people are worried in general about their privacy on the internet that it makes it an emotional issue. How do we get around that? That's the political problem."

CISPA currently is in House committee. The bill’s sponsors say there are ongoing discussions with the White House about certain points in the legislation.

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Filed under: Crime • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
March 21st, 2013
10:47 AM ET

Tracking homicides case by case

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @libbylewiscnn

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(CNN) - Chicago has the highest homicide rate in the nation with over 500 reported murders last year. Such murders are about to get easier for Chicagoans to track. In about a week, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper will roll out its version of Homicide Watch. The paper’s licensed the software of the award-winning website, Homicide Watch D.C., one that tracks every single homicide case in the city.

Craig Newman, the Sun-Times’ managing editor, said the paper wants to deal differently with what he calls a public health epidemic in Chicago:

[5:26] "We have too many young people killing young people and disenfranchised communities all over the city. The idea behind Homicide Watch is that it’s reporting these crimes, but not casting any judgment. Whether it’s a gang crime, or a crime of passion or a run-of-the-mill homicide, it’s a place where all the facts are laid bare.
And people can have a place to have a community, and the survivors can talk to each other and people can interact."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Crime • Culture • Justice • Media • Soundwaves • Technology
March 19th, 2013
01:27 PM ET

Misquoted for 13 Years

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – There are untold numbers of e-mail and Internet hoaxes. But there are few, in fact there may only be one, that has lasted 13 years and has evolved and been updated for three presidential elections.

Unfortunately for him, James Olson, law professor at Hamline University, has been falsely attached to that e-mail since 2000.

The much-forwarded message cites him as an expert claiming that Republican presidential candidates won more states, more population and more of the “tax-paying” American public in the U.S. The false e-mail also stipulates that Olson believes Democrats have won in areas with high-murder rates. None of it is true.

FULL POST

February 26th, 2013
11:29 AM ET

How Billboard counts on YouTube

By Jonathan Binder, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jbinder

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - A recent change to how Billboard magazine measures a song's popularity means the publication now incorporates YouTube views to determine its iconic Hot 100 list.

The timing of the decision was convenient for a Brooklyn DJ named, Baauer. His song, “Harlem Shake,” started a YouTube phenomenon and launched to number one on the Billboard chart this week.

But Billboard's Director of Charts, Silvio Pietroluongo, explains the song would have made it near the top of Billboard's Hot 100 without YouTube's numbers:

[1:54] "It isn’t like it’s not getting activity somewhere else. It would have been a top 15, maybe a top 10 record before we introduced YouTube. So it’s been aided by YouTube but it’s not like it’s showing up on the chart just because of YouTube." FULL POST

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Filed under: Culture • Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
February 15th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

Asteroid kind of headed toward Earth

By Jonathan Binder, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jbinder

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

It's no Armageddon, but the planet will have a close encounter with an asteroid on Friday. Luckily it will miss the earth by about 17,200 miles. Still, that's considered close by many astronomers.

But how concerning is this event and what would happen if the unthinkable should occur? Dr. Bruce Betts of the Planetary Society, the world's largest space interest group, says this could be more common than most might think:

[3:15] "2012 DA14 [the Asteroid] is a close reminder that we do live in this cosmic shooting gallery."

According to NASA, 9,672 objects have been classified as Near Earth Objects. But Bill Nye the Science Guy says there are more out there. Nye is the CEO of the Planetary Society which provides grants to astronomers around the world to help find these asteroids:

[1:01] "We've been doing it over 15 years. The thing about this is that it takes a long time, it takes very diligent people to find these things. They're very small compared to, say, the earth. And they're like pieces of charcoal – they don't reflect very much light."

Although the timing of the asteroid fly by and the meteoric explosion that happened in Russia Friday morning is eerie, NASA says the two events are unrelated.

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Filed under: Science • Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
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