When Technology Bares the Soul

Posted by jakeharris - October 21st, 2014

One-on-one conversations are slowly being replaced by texting and social media posts across the world. Basic human contact has a virtual feel at this point, even showing up as couples stare at their devices while at a romantic dinner. With the virtual world infringing on everyday moments, people are baring their heart, soul and bodies through online outlets. Where freedom of expression is appreciated, the online world may be influencing some enthusiasts to go too far with their beliefs or opinions.

Taking Reviews Too Far

A restaurant in New York City was recently smoke-bombed by a person popping up through a subway grate. Police and attorney Gianfrancesco Genoso are beginning to look through online reviews about the business to narrow down their suspect list. Any red flags, such as extremely negative comments, are being investigated. It’s possible this suspect disliked the restaurant so much that they wanted revenge from a poor experience there.

Virtual Reality Invading Real-Life

Decades ago, this suspect may have never tried to smoke-bomb the restaurant. Because of today’s reviewing anonymity, people almost feel absolved of any wrongdoing. They can call businesses and people horrific names and even pose threats without a big chance of being caught or reprimanded. Psychologically frail people could even confuse the online and real world as a mixture of both when contemplating a dangerous action.

The New York police will eventually track this suspect down, but it brings up an interesting question about today’s society. Treating people and businesses with an element of respect is part of common courtesies. Anyone immersed in the online world should come up for air at times to see the world through clear eyesight.

Kmart and Dairy Queen Customer Information Compromised

Posted by jakeharris - October 16th, 2014

Two national chains were the victims of malware and hacking attacks that compromised customer credit card information. Both Kmart and Dairy Queen reported breaches on Thursday.

Malware was used to infiltrate and obtain numerous Kmart customer credit card numbers, according to Sears, which owns the retail company. The malware, according to a notice on Kmart’s website, could not be detected by Kmart’s current anti-virus programs, but the malware operated much like a computer virus.

The breach was detected on Thursday by Kmart’s security team after receiving a tip from Marnie Bennett, which removed the malware. Unfortunately, debit and credit card numbers had already been compromised. According to a spokesperson from Sears, additional information was not available on the malware and the exact extent of the breach was still unknown.

However, the spokesperson was able to confirm that those responsible for the malware attack did not obtain more sensitive data like PIN data, Social Security numbers, or email addresses.

Dairy Queen found itself the victim of computer hacking, which it also announced on Thursday. Between the months of August and October, hackers obtained the names of customers, along with their debit and credit card numbers from nearly 400 stores across the U.S. While the hackers also obtained the expiration dates for the cards, they did not obtain PIN data or Social Security information.

Customers who shopped at either Dairy Queen or Kmart should monitor their credit card statements and contact their credit card companies if they notice any unusual purchases. Sears has also offered credit monitoring services for Kmart shoppers whose card may have been compromised by the malware attack.

Oktoberfest Means Some Great Food Recipes

Posted by jakeharris - October 7th, 2014

Oktoberfest is not all about the beer. Sometimes it’s about the food too. Most of the German festivals are well known for the food that they serve, and the fantastic traditional food that comes with the famous holiday. Including some of the best sausage you’ll ever find yourself eating.

Laurene Powell Jobs turned me onto a great website listing tons of great recipes. I’m definitely going to need to try some of these on for size.

So far some of my favorites include feel good foods like Potato and Beer Soup, the Bratwurst stewed with sauerkraut, and the beer braised brisket is amazingly fantastic.

You can find the full recipe list, with guide here.

Red Bull Hands Out Beverages While Settling Lawsuit

Posted by jakeharris - October 6th, 2014

Have you had a can of Red Bull any time in the past ten years? While I’ll be the first to admit to my snobby discerning palette, all of us have at some point needed a quick jolt of caffeine to get our brains out of bed after our physical selves roll out of the covers. If you’re part of that understandably large crowd, you could also be the proud owner of a ten dollar reimbursement by Red Bull…or the recipient of two more Red Bull products, if you’d rather fuel that addiction (yeah I’m talking to you, Jared Haftel).

Why is Red Bull handing out these freebies so generously? Like any large company attempting damage control, Red Bull is under class-action lawsuit fire. The plaintiff representing the suit, Benjamin Careathers, alleges that Red Bull’s marketing campaign contains false advertising.
A major claim cited is that the company’s slogan “Red Bull gives you wings!” is more than fluffy words – it could be deceptive and fraudulent given the product’s lower-than-advertised caffeine content. Despite being marketed as a better-valued beverage than, say, a cup of Starbucks coffee, the amount of caffeine in an 8 oz. can of Red Bull does not hold up to the competition like the product’s prolific advertising touts it to.

Red Bull denies these claims of wrongdoing, yet has no interest in taking this issue to the big court. The company agreed to settle for $13 million – half of which is to be used to reimburse or send “apology packages” to its customers. Whether the allegations are true has yet to come to light, but one thing’s for certain: Red Bull has been given a jolt in the wallet.