Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Short Takes – 4-23-24

Russia-linked hacking group claims to have targeted Indiana water plant. CNN.com article. Pull quote: ““While the video is sensational, the actions taken by the threat actor are amateur and would amount to a minor annoyance for plant operators,” Fabela, who is CEO of Infinity Squared Group, a consulting firm, told CNN.”

A powerful volcano is erupting. Here’s what that could mean for weather and climate. CNN.com article. Pull quote: “In comparison, satellite instruments have estimated Mount Ruang has released an around 300,000 tons of sulfur dioxide so far [compared to 17 million tons in 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption] , though it’s unclear how much of that plume made it into the stratosphere. While that amount is quite massive in its own right, it falls well short of the most extreme case, according to Huey.”

Could Trump Go to Prison? If He Does, the Secret Service Goes, Too.  Pull quote: “Former corrections officials said there were several New York state prisons and city jails that have been closed or partly closed, leaving wings or large sections of their facilities empty and available. One of those buildings could serve to incarcerate the former president and accommodate his Secret Service protective detail.”

FEMA is making an example of this Florida boomtown. Locals call it ‘revenge politics’. GovExec.com article. Pull quote: “Even if Lee County manages to contest the decision, homeowners in Southwest Florida are almost guaranteed to suffer more financial pain as a result of this enforcement effort. If FEMA stays the course and removes the discount, it will raise flood insurance costs for homeowners in unincorporated parts of the county between $14 and $17 million per year, equating to a $300 annual hit for each flood insurance customer in the area. But if Lee County cracks down on the 50% rule and FEMA restores the discount, homeowners who rebuilt in flood zones may have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to elevate their homes.”

Stars and Stripes Media Organization. Federal Register DOD proposed rule. Summary: “This rulemaking proposes to update authorities and responsibilities for the Stars and Stripes Media Organization (often abbreviated as Stripes) to reaffirm its editorial independence in providing media products not only to military service members and DoD civilian employees, but to U.S. veterans, families of veterans and current service members, and contractor personnel, particularly those serving overseas, based on changes in the consumption of news and information in a digital age. It additionally proposes to remove internal operational procedures of the Stars and Stripes Media Organization that do not require rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act.” Comments due June 24th, 2024.

DC3 and DCSA Partner to Announce Vulnerability Disclosure Program for Defense Industrial Base. GovDelivery.com press release. Pull quote: “Through operational agreements and strategic partnerships, DC3 and the DCSA routinely collaborate on ways to share information security data. DoD VDP vulnerability reporting is shared with DoD system owners on the Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Networks via the Vulnerability Report Management Network (VRMN). A parallel system, DIB VRMN, employs the same efficient and automated approach while ensuring that DIB data is tracked and held separately from DoD data. Implementation of a DIB-VDP is the most effective means of sharing DIB-sourced vulnerabilities with DIB companies. It promotes timely mitigation of identified vulnerabilities on DIB company internet-facing information systems. This enables vulnerability remediation in DIB companies at a much earlier point than in traditional vulnerability management efforts.”

Green Roofs Are Great. Blue-Green Roofs Are Even Better. Wired.com article. Pull quote: “The water levels in the blue-green roof are managed by a smart valve. If the weather forecast says a storm is coming, the system will release stored water from the roof ahead of time. That way, when a downpour comes, the roof refills, meaning there’s less rainwater entering the gutters and sewers in the surrounding area. In other words, the roof becomes a sponge that the operator can wring out as needed. “In the ‘squeezable’ sponge city, you make the whole city malleable,” says Spaan.”

Rooftop solar panels are flooding California’s grid. That’s a problem. WashingtonPost.com article. Pull quote: “But a year ago, the state changed this system, known as “net-metering,” and now only compensates new solar panel owners for how much their power is worth to the grid. In the spring, when the duck curve is deepest, that number can dip close to zero. Customers can get more money back if they install batteries and provide power to the grid in the early evening or morning.”

A rapid shift in ocean currents could imperil the world’s largest ice shelf. ScienceNews.org article. Pull quote: “These findings come at an ominous time. Even as sea ice shrank in the Arctic, it remained stable around Antarctica for decades. But Antarctic sea ice has declined steeply since 2017, especially near the Ross Ice Shelf. Scientists recently reported that the cold, salty waterfall to the Antarctic seafloor is already starting to slow. This is “alarming,” Lowry says. We now know that the ice shelf can easily switch from cold to warm. “The question is, are we observing the switch?””

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