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Who is Watching You Online?

The world has watched in recent years as Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites have made political uprisings possible where previously very difficult or perhaps impossible. In countries where dissidents had trouble making their voices heard due to the inability to quickly connect with one another, these tools are used to forward their agendas and change history.
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Troubling Signs in California Real Estate

California lawmakers must act to shore up commercial properties by boosting Hollywood production.

Nosy Healthcare Employees Snoop Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are great tools that allow for data exchange between providers and faster access to a person’s medical history. Along with this ease of access comes the potential for abuse.

Chinese Contract Manufacturing

Provided by: Rosemary Coates
Contract Manufacturers for electronics and industrial products provide engineering and manufacturing services to companies that do not want to own and operate their own factories. CMs are experts in manufacturing and can quickly adopt your products into their manufacturing lines. CMs are excellent at assembly and repeatable production and are the kinds of factories you often see in photographs where hundreds of young women are bent over assembly tables.

The War Against Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug misuse and abuse has skyrocketed to unprecedented proportions, forming an epidemic in the United States.

Multiemployer Pension Plans to Legally Reduce Member Benefits under New Pension Reform

The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 was enacted this past December as part of a larger omnibus budget and spending bill. Widespread changes are part of the new measure, which enables private sector multiemployer plans—concerned about financial solvency—to suspend benefit payments to retirees as well as accrued benefits for participants.

The Heartbreak of the Heartbleed Bug: What You Need to Know

The Heartbleed bug is bad, very bad indeed. By one estimate, it affected nearly 2/3 of Internet sites at its discovery. The problem still exists today with sites that were not fixed. Here's what you need to know.

Healthcare Industry is Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

An ID Experts study says that the increased use of smart phones and tablets is significantly increasing the risk of cyber attacks in the health care industry. It links the risk to these devices to not having proper malware and virus protection. The study also indicates that there has been a 100 percent increase in attacks in these types of organizations since 2010.

Transmedia Infusion...Are Indie Film Distributors' Days Numbered?

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
Hollywood’s move into the OTT/direct to consumer service, seen by HBO and potentially Showtime and Starz, is both inevitable and a game changer. As more and more consumers cut the cord and view their programing direct from the creator —as seen for the last several years on YouTube— and now on Netflix, Amazon Prime and others, it makes sense for the major content creators like HBO to follow suit.

To What Length Will Broadcasters Go to Exploit Human Drama?

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
He's either recognizable, or he's not, was the relevant question on a recent case where I served as an expert on behalf of a deceased man’s family. They were horrified and distraught after seeing their loved one in his coffin, on a highly successful cable network. Yes, the man was shown in his blue suit, in a coffin over 11 times during a 5-minute segment. Even though his faced was partially blurred, it was not blurred enough, and the family recognized him.

In the Age of No Security & Privacy: Five Steps to More Security and Privacy

Security and privacy is important, and probably more important than what many realize. Recently it has become more obvious that security and privacy have been lacking, so here are a few, sometimes wacky, tips to ensure your continued safety and privacy from a variety of threats that can arise.

The Fear of Intimacy: Cat and Mouse Games in Relationships

Who are you in your relationships? Do you have a hard time sustaining them? A common dynamic observed in difficult relationships.

Detroit Exits Bankruptcy with ‘Grand Bargain’ that Reduces Pensions of 23,000 City Retirees

As Detroit moves forward in its exit from bankruptcy, thousands of pension holders will see a reduction in their pension benefits.

Attack on GoDaddy Highlights Importance of Employee Security Training

An employee of the website hosting and Internet domain registrar, GoDaddy was tricked into giving a Black hat hacker information that could allow the hacker to take over customer’s domain names. This incident further illustrates that employees can be the weakest link in an organizations security.

Ramp It Up on Safety

Early one Saturday morning, an aircraft mechanic was taxiing an aircraft when an airport vehicle runs into the aircraft. The mechanic was not wearing his seatbelt. He was thrown across the pedestal, his body pushed the thrust levers up to near take off power, and the force pushed the truck over 300 yards down the taxiway ending in an almost fatal accident.

A Tax Avoidance Approach to Disgorgement Generates a Win for the SEC

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been awarded a substantial win in its civil enforcement action against Samuel Wyly and Donald R. Miller, Jr. as the Independent Executor of the Will and Estate of Charles J. Wyly Jr. (the “Wylys”).

California Law Would Require "Destroy" Function in Cell Phones

A proposed California law would force Cellular Providers to have the ability to remotely destroy stolen cell phones. Once destroyed, the cell phone would be useless.

Sample Employee Termination Checklist

In today's technology world, almost every company uses computers. Here's a sample of an Employee Termination Checklist.

Sample Cell Phone Use While Driving Policy

Here is a sample Cell Phone Use While Driving policy.

Firm Clean Desk Policy

In today's technology world, almost every company uses computers, but there's still plenty of papers to sift through on your desk. Here's a sample of a Clean Desk policy which can be used in your organization.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Announces 2015 Premium Rate Increases on the Heels of Two Multiemployer Plan Bailouts

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has published updated premium rates for 2015 on its website, and per person rates in single-employer and multiemployer plans are scheduled to go up for next year. These rate hikes come amid action recently taken by the PBGC to financially assist two multiemployer plans facing insolvency.

Sample Computer and Email Usage Policy

In today's technology world, almost every company uses computers. Here is a sample Computer and Email Usage Policy.

Collection of Electronic Evidence in Truck Accidents can be Key to Developing Your Case

Black Boxes on trucks including EDR, ECM, ECU, allow help determine what was happening with the vehicle during the time prior to the crash. Some of these devices can store years worth of data, others just store the condition of the Tractor during a recent event such as “Hard Stop” or crash.

Motorola and Bristol-Myers Squibb the Latest to Turn Over Pension Obligations to Prudential

In an effort to reduce the volatility and risk associated with defined benefit pension plans, Motorola Solutions and Bristol-Myers Squibb have announced they will transfer significant pension assets and liabilities to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Following an industry trend, the firms expect to better manage ongoing accounting cost variations associated with pension plan maintenance while ensuring long-term financial security to their retirees.

Why Deleted Data Might be Okay

The first spoliation case of its kind is almost a decade old…. But there are still lessons to be learned from it. The case is known as the "Arista Records, Inc. v. Sakfield Holding Co" case. While this case may not mean much to some, it is a well-known case in the digital forensics world because it brings up an interesting point: What happens when the data you are looking for is gone?

Appeals Court Says Missing Information Doesn’t Prevent Business Valuation

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
A recent Appeals Court decision addressed what level of evidence is required to demonstrate business value in a divorce proceeding. In Hugh v. Hugh, 2014, the wife in a divorce proceeding filed a cross-appeal on a number of issues, including the trial court’s failure to value her husband’s business (“E-Tech”).

Personal Privacy and Google Glass

There’s been a lot of hype in the media of Google’s (based in Mountain View, CA) new toy, Google Glass. A wearable computer that is controlled primarily by voice and eye movement, this rather distracting piece of eyewear has been touted as the new hot item that everyone wants.

You Secured Your Computer and Your Phone, What About Your Car?

With new cars having extra features such as assisted parking and crash avoidance, they require more computers to control them. It is estimated that the average new car can have upwards of 50 microprocessors (computer brains) in it, that control everything from how much you brake to your air conditioning.

Bat Control Contracts

Regrettably, the wildlife control field undergoes minimal regulatory oversight from government. This means that customers must adopt a buyer-beware attitude as government has not provided even minimal standards to regulate the industry. This lack of industry oversight means that customers have to "trust" that the wildlife control operator is actually following industry practices. Unfortunately, too often wildlife control operators are not.

Theft of Intellectual Property is on the Rise

According to a recent survey, about 56% of employees admit to stealing Intellectual Property (IP) from their company when they are fired.

Death and Digital Assets

It is inevitable, one day you will die. Modern science may someday cure this flaw in the human body, but for now we know that at some point, we will cease to be alive. This brings about a flurry of various costs and fees (dying can be expensive) and your possessions will be given to your next of kin. But what happens to your digital possessions?

In Corporate Mergers, Retirement Plan Considerations Should be Front-and-Center

When an employer merges with another company, one of many repercussions in the transaction will be the impact on the design and management of qualified retirement plans.

Ransomware Attempts to Extort Money

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have recently received complaints regarding a ransomware campaign using the name of the DHS to extort money from unsuspecting victims.

Fire Department Mergers, Annexations and Consolidations

Fire department mergers, consolidation and annexations can be described in one word: complicated. But it's not impossible.

Independence and Preparation are the Keys to Success

Selecting the right Expert Witness and litigation consultant can be highly instrumental in the outcome of a case and I have summarized a few key points that should be addressed before any expert is retained. Improve the probability of a positive outcome by adding the right expert to your team.

Social Engineering: How You are the Hacker’s Greatest Tool, and What You Can do to Prevent It

Let’s define the term “Social Engineering”. Simply put, it is the art of manipulating people into doing something, like divulging confidential information or performing actions that would expose information, and making them feel good about doing it, i.e they “solved” a problem or helped someone, etc. This allows the hacker to obtain information in a non-threatening manner.

Researcher Demos Spy Phone

Since the dawn of the modern smart phone it has been apparent that they can be used to spy on someone. Reviewing cell phone GPS information can track the user’s movements. In addition, if you want to know who calls have been place to or received from a review of the phone’s call logs stores this information.

Pension Reporting: The Differences between a 10-K and Form 5500

Institutional investors, retirees, corporate stockholders, and regulators all have a need to closely monitor pension fund performance. There are two leading sources of publicly disclosed information for public company pensions, the Form 10-K and the Form 5500. This article reviews both data sources and compares the information found in each.

Facebook Exposes Personal Data

Facebook recently released a statement detailing how over 6 million of its 1.1 billion users had their personal information unduly exposed. The cause? A minor error in the software of one of its largest archives. This error inadvertently allowed unauthorized users to view confidential contact data (such as email addresses and phone numbers) without any need for a password.

Traveling? Treat Your Laptop like Cash!

In today’s society, traveling with a laptop seems like an everyday occurrence, whether for “mobile office” or just personal use. There are some things you should be aware of when traveling with your laptop. Since it is portable and portable items can be easily lost or stolen. Here are a few tips to help avoid heartache and an employer’s wrath.

Ninth Circuit Overturns Daubert Exclusion, Noting Trial Court Is a Gatekeeper, Not a Fact Finder

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
In a recent case involving the City of Pomona (“Pomona”) v. SQM North America Corporation (“SQM”), Pomona alleged that SQM’s importation of sodium nitrate for fertilizer caused a perchlorate contamination in the city.

IRS Issues Final Regulations for Material Advisors, Accountants, Attorneys and Insurance Agents

If you sold, advised on or had anything to do with a listed transaction you will be fined by the IRS. For those that bought listed transactions like, 419 welfare benefit plans or 412i plans, you have been or will also be fined.

How to Keep Anyone From Snooping Around Your Cloud

In recent years government has increased its requests for access to Cloud data. Storage-As-A-Service providers such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iDrive, Microsoft Skydrive, Apple iCloud and others are receiving numerous requests to view what has been stored by various individuals and companies. In addition to the government, there are instances of the storage company’s employees exposing or taking data for their own or others use.

Captive Insurance Plans, Want to Get Audited?

The insurance industry have been conjuring ways to make life insurance premiums tax deductible. Over the years we have seen many schemes that have failed IRS scrutiny. Welfare benefit plans set up under I.R.C. section 419, 412(e) plans and Producer Owned Reinsurance Companies (PORCs) are all common examples.

How to have Safer Passwords: Rules 1-3

As part of our forensics practice, we sometimes have to break or “crack” passwords. Password cracking is much more difficult and can, perhaps, foil hackers when a few simple rules are followed. Here are some tips to help keep our client's data safe:

Law Firm's Trust Account Hacked! Six Figures Taken!!!

A Toronto area law firm is missing six figures from their trust account. After being hit over the holidays by a virus which gave hackers remote backdoor access to the firm’s bookkeeper’s computer. The virus, known as the Trojan Banker Virus, was designed to capture keystrokes, which can include bank passwords, as they are typed.

"Group Captives" Insurance Scam

Just a few years ago, captive insurance companies were a hot news item in the arcane world of abusive tax shelters. Sleazy promoters were signing up small businesses in droves. If you created a cell captive as a property and casualty loss management tool, it’s probably legitimate. If you “bought” an off the shelf captive from a promoter who promised tax savings, there is a good chance you own an abusive tax shelter.

Do You Have a Potential Abusive Tax Avoidance Transaction

People think that accountants and tax lawyers lead boring lives. Perhaps that may be true for some, but there is plenty of action these days with the IRS and their Employment Plans tax group. Recently, the IRS identified an “emerging issue” that it calls a potential Abusive Tax Avoidance Transaction. If you are a small business with an employment benefit plan, those words are never good to hear.

Ten Steps to Android Smartphone Security

Smartphones continue to grow in popularity and are now as powerful and functional as many computers. As mobile cybersecurity continues to grow, it is important to protect your smartphone just like you protect your computer. Mobile security tips can help you reduce the risk of exposure to mobile security threats.

Ten Steps to Smartphone Security for iPhone

Smartphones continue to grow in popularity and are now as powerful and functional as many computers. As mobile cybersecurity continues to grow, it is important to protect your smartphone just like you protect your computer. Mobile security tips can help you reduce the risk of exposure to mobile security threats.


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