tech, cybersecurity, ransomware, casinos, Las Vegas, MGM Grand breach
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MGM Casino Hack Throttles the Betting World (Maria)

The authors write, “MGM Resorts International’s 19 casino hotels are dealing with a decidedly bad hand. On Sunday, a cyberattack forced the Las Vegas-based company to take down some systems. Digital room keys stopped working, manual payouts were required for slot machines and websites and online reservations systems were down. … A 2019 breach at MGM Resorts exposed the personal information of as many as 10.6 million customers, some of whom are suing over the release of their personal details. And this month, the FBI said a North Korean outfit known as Lazarus Group had stolen $41 million in virtual currency from, an online casino and betting platform.”

How to Donate to Earthquake Survivors in Morocco (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “More than 2,100 people have been killed and more than 2,400 injured in the earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday evening. As rescuers sift through the rubble in hopes of finding survivors, here’s how to aid victims of the 6.8-magnitude earthquake, the largest to hit the area in over a century.”

Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? (Sean)

From The New York Times: “A decade or so ago, Americans were feeling pretty positive about higher education. Public-opinion polls in the early 2010s all told the same story. In one survey, 86 percent of college graduates said that college had been a good investment; in another, 74 percent of young adults said a college education was ‘very important’; in a third, 60 percent of Americans said that colleges and universities were having a positive impact on the country. Ninety-six percent of parents who identified as Democrats said they expected their kids to attend college — only to be outdone by Republican parents, 99 percent of whom said they expected their kids to go to college. … A decade later, Americans’ feelings about higher education have turned sharply negative.” 

Silicon Valley Billionaires’ Land Grab for Utopian Development Draws Fury, Fears (Russ)

From the Mercury News: “Kathy Threlfall received two offers from a group of ultra-wealthy Silicon Valley investors to buy her Solano County, California, farm and a two-story farmhouse built by her great-grandparents that’s ‘a little cocky-wobble’ with age. The would-be buyers, a who’s-who of Silicon Valley billionaires, are snapping up farmland and suing neighbors to construct their vision of utopia. … Now, the uber-rich folk from out of town, operating under a secretive company, Flannery Associates, and its just revealed parent, California Forever, are bringing change, stress, and turmoil.”

A Tree Grows in Birmingham (Laura)

The author writes, “Sometimes Thomasine Jackson can’t get to work. Jackson, 65, said if there’s been a hard rain, water covers her entire street, leaving her no choice but to call her supervisor at Drummond Coal and tell him she can’t make it in. ‘It is what it is,’ she said one humid August day, standing in the front yard of her modest brick home in Birmingham. Overhead, an Alabama thunderstorm was already brewing. Jackson may work for a coal company, but she knows the science. Climate change, she understands, will only make conditions worse. That reality is why Jackson has become known as the ‘tree lady’ in the East Thomas community, where she serves as president of the neighborhood association. And it’s why those like Jackson — with the support of a local nonprofit and the county’s health department — aim to plant more trees in her neighborhood and beyond.”

Where Is the Love? Musical Recognition Crosses Cultures — With an Exception (Gerry)

From Yale News: “Music can take on many forms in cultures across the globe, but Yale researchers have found in a new study that some themes are universally recognizable by people everywhere with one notable exception — love songs. ‘All around the world, people sing in similar ways,’ said senior author Samuel Mehr.”


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