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Government

Are We Ready For a True Data Disaster? 113

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions how long we can go before a truly catastrophic data disaster strikes. 'The lure of potential profits in the information economy, combined with the apparent ease with which data can be gathered and a lack of regulation, creates a climate of recklessness in which a "data spill" of the scale of the Deepwater Horizon incident seems not just likely, but inevitable.' Witness Google mistakenly emailing potentially sensitive business data to customers of its Local Business Center service, or the 1.5 million Facebook accounts and passwords recently offered up on an underground hacking forum. 'These incidents seem relatively minor, but as companies gather ever more individually identifiable data and cross-reference these databases in new and more innovative ways, the potential for a major catastrophe grows.'"
Earth

Pacific Northwest At Risk For Mega-Earthquake 457

Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily Headlines reports on research by Oregon State University marine geologist Chris Goldfinger showing that earthquakes of magnitude 8.2 (or higher) have occurred 41 times during the past 10,000 years in the Pacific Northwest. By extrapolation, there is a 37% chance of another major earthquake in the area in the next 50 years that could exceed the power of recent seismic events in Chile and Haiti. If a magnitude-9 quake does strike the Cascadia Subduction Zone, extending from northern Vancouver Island to northern California, the ground could shake for several minutes, highways could be torn to pieces, bridges might collapse, and buildings would be damaged or even crumble. If the epicenter is just offshore, coastal residents could have as little as 15 minutes of warning before a tsunami could strike. 'It is not a question of if a major earthquake will strike,' says Goldfinger, 'it is a matter of when. And the "when" is looking like it may not be that far in the future.'" Read below for more.

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