Mar 29 2016
07:31 am

At least five hospitals across the country have been hacked in the past month and a half, three in California, one in Kentucky and most recently one in the Washington D.C. area. The D.C. area MedStar Health systems hack occurred Monday morning, May 28, 2016.

So far the hacks appear to be ransomware attacks, where a virus infects the network and encrypts files. The hackers hold the system ransom for payment.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to get their systems back up and running. Chino Valley Medical Center, Chino, CA, and Desert Valley Hospital, Victorville, CA, both part of Prime Healthcare Services Inc. were hacked Friday, March 18, 2016. Representatives of the hospitals say they did not pay any ransom.

Methodist Hospital, Henderson, KY, was also recently hacked. It is unknown whether they have agreed to pay the ransom.

When hacked these hospitals are nearly forced to return to paper systems, slowing down all activity and in some cases people are not able to make appointments. No one is saying that medical records are in danger.

If hospitals and medical providers are going to be forced to go electronic, then is it possible there should be higher levels of security required? Is more training required for medical staff on what not to do online?

Mar 28 2016
07:43 pm

The FBI has asked a California federal court to vacate a previous order compelling Apple to help the FBI gain access to an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI says they have been able to access it with the help of a third party.

So much for Apple's bulletproof security that supposedly protects our privacy.

Apple is now expected to demand information about who helped the FBI and how. The FBI should tell them to take a hike. Apple's security flaws aren't the FBI's problem to solve. Just like national security is apparently not Apple's problem.

NPR: The FBI Has Successfully Unlocked The iPhone Without Apple's Help


From knoxnews.com ...

Legislation produced and given quick initial approval by a state House panel last week would prohibit public disclosure of most body camera recordings made by Tennessee law enforcement officers for at least a year — and potentially keep video of police misconduct under wraps for even longer.

Bill would black out police bodycam videos in Tenn.

Mar 27 2016
08:04 am

Bernie Sanders swept round two out west, racking up big wins in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Delegate counts are difficult to sort out because of the various steps involved in actually allocating delegates in these caucus states. The following are rough estimates based on info from various sources available at the time of this post.

Washington: Sanders 73% 68  Clinton 27% 21
Alaska:     Sanders 82% 13  Clinton 18%  3
Hawaii:     Sanders 71% 17  Clinton 29%  8

Pledged delegates: Clinton 32    Sanders 98 
Pledged total:     Clinton 1243  Sanders 975
Total Delegates:   Clinton 1712  Sanders 1004
Mar 26 2016
03:03 pm

This is the sort of business, environment that will hopefully disappear from south of river in near future.

South Knoxville brawl shooting

Mar 26 2016
02:48 pm
By: jlynn  shortURL

What: Knoxville SOUP
When: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 6:00pm
Where: Dara's Gardens

The next SOUP dinner will be April 7th and will be held at Dara's Gardens, 2637 Maryville Pike [view a map to this location].

Doors open at 6 p.m. with proposals presented at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Diners will have about an hour to eat, share and connect with others while voting for the project they like best. By 8:15, the votes will be tallied and the winning project will be awarded all donations raised at the door. NOTE: a suggested donation of $5 will be collected at the door.

SOUP is a community dinner that is part pot luck and part planned. It is an opportunity for the community to gather, share and connect. It is an opportunity to support projects that, in some manner, benefit the community as a whole. It’s where Democracy meets Charity.

For more information or to submit a proposal: KnoxvilleSOUP.org

Mar 26 2016
01:55 pm

From the back yard this morning

Dogwoods are starting to bloom. The Dogwood Trails open on April 15th, with other festivities scheduled to begin on April 1st. Seems like the timing is about right...

Dogwood Arts Festival events...

Mar 25 2016
04:37 pm

We've been keeping the bird feeders stocked through the winter and here's the list of birds we've seen at the feeders and around the yard through today (our best guesses on a couple):

Red-winged blackbird
Canadian geese
Carolina wren
House finch
Gold finch
Mourning doves
Song sparrow
Red bellied woodpecker
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Downy woodpecker
Cooper's hawk
Dark eyed junco
Eastern towhee
White throated sparrow
Northern flicker
House sparrow
Tree Swallow
Tufted titmouse
White crowned sparrow

The bluebirds and tree swallows were first spotted today. Both have nested in our bluebird box, so maybe these were coming home to nest? Unfortunately, the house sparrows have taken over the box and we've given up trying to keep them evicted.

Mar 24 2016
07:08 pm

We purchased a small appliance from Amazon earlier in the week. The day after it arrived, we noticed the price had been reduced on their website. We contacted Amazon yesterday and they credited the difference, no questions asked.

Today we noticed the price had been reduced yet again, and once again we contacted them. Within an hour or so they credited the difference, again.

So, if you purchase something from Amazon, watch the price during the 30 day return period. They appear to be pretty good about issuing price match credits for their own price reductions.

Mar 24 2016
03:02 pm

SMG is the only bidder for a contract to take over operations at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium/Coliseum and Chilhowee Park.

Mike Donila has the scoop and more...

"We've also encouraged (employees) who want to remain city employees to look for positions in the city and a number of them have been able to get positions in the city in other departments," [city spokesperson Jesse] Mayshark said.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION: City outsourcing Coliseum and Chilhowee Park management


Mayor Madeline Rogero along with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke sat together at a witness table before the State and Local Government Committee to voice their objections to a bill that would allow residents of areas annexed into cities since 1998 to call referendums for deannexation.

“But I am troubled and frankly very confused by the sections allowing elective deannexations in a handful of specific cities. The obvious question is why — why these five cities out of more than 300 in the state?” she [Mayor Rogero] asked.

Mayor Rogero does say that the loss of property taxes for the city would not be insignificant.

Mar 23 2016
05:35 pm

Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre just proposed a budget that eliminates TAP and APEX bonuses and gives certified personnel such as teachers a 3% raise and non-certified personnel a 2% raise.

Elections matter.

Mar 23 2016
02:35 pm

Numerous voter suppression issues were revealed in Arizona's primary election yesterday--and into early this morning--including a grossly inadequate number of polling places, poll workers disallowing Dem voters from voting in their party's primary, and both primaries being called by media many hours before thousands of voters were even able to enter their polling places.


Mar 23 2016
01:35 pm
By: Treehouse  shortURL

Our Tennessee State legislature yesterday once again caved to the NRA and voted down penalties for allowing children to find guns and use them "accidentally." Today, with proof staring them in the face, they were afraid they might get shot. Southern Beale wrote an excellent article. I am so sick of the power of the NRA and the legislators they buy.


Mar 23 2016
10:15 am

Clinton wins Arizona, Sanders wins Idaho and Utah. Trump wins Arizona, Cruz wins Utah.


Arizona:    Clinton 58% 46 Sanders 40% 29
Idaho:      Sanders 78% 18 Clinton 21%  5
Utah:       Sanders 80% 27 Clinton 20%  6

Pledged delegates: Clinton +57, Sanders +74
Total pledged: Clinton 1168, Sanders 865
Total (w/supers): Clinton 1700, Sanders 957


Arizona:    Trump 47% 58 Cruz   25% 0 Kasich 10% 0
Utah:       Cruz  69% 40 Kasich 17% 0 Trump  14% 0

Delegates: Trump +58, Cruz +40
Total: Trump 752, Cruz 463, Rubio 169, Kasich 144

UPDATE: Delegate counts for Clinton and Sanders updated with newer information.


From the City of Knoxville...


Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center is celebrating the East Knoxville gathering spot’s unique history – and facility managers are seeking the community’s help.

Dozens of historical photos are being collected and displayed in the Jacob Building. The City of Knoxville and Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center staff are asking for and accepting historical photos from the public, as well as printing photos from the Thompson Photograph Collection and the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection of the Knox County Public Library System.

"There’s a lot of history on this site," said Greg Mackay, Director of Public Assembly Facilities. "We just wanted the community to be able to not only see it, but contribute to the collection."

Photos obtained for the collection so far date back to 1913, just three years after the event venue hosted the first Appalachian Exposition. In one 1913 photo, the Chilhowee Park Bandstand, the only original building from 1910 that remains today, is featured. The bandstand is the only familiar structure in the photos, as most of today’s Chilhowee venue was under water at the time – just one of the many changes the photo display illustrates.

Also featured as part of the collection is a dramatic photo capturing a moment in 1938 when the Liberal Arts Building – located where the Jacob Building now sits – was destroyed in a fire.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the collection can donate his or her photo to be displayed permanently, or a copy can be made and the photo returned. Email Mackay at gmackay@knoxvilletn.gov with inquiries about contributions.

Meanwhile, here’s a video, in which Mackay talks about the photo initiative and Chilhowee’s unique history: (link...).

Mar 23 2016
08:28 am

The internationally acclaimed music and arts festival Big Ears is almost here (March 31st through April 2nd) and tickets are selling out.

From creator Ashley Capps:

...I thought I should give you a heads up that some options will soon sell out…for the first time ever.

Day passes for Saturday will likely sell out in the next 24 hours or so.

Some weekend passes remain, but they will also sell out at some point prior to the festival.

Tickets for the Laurie Anderson & Philip Glass matinee at the Tennessee Theatre on Saturday afternoon are also in short supply. There are a very limited number that can still be purchased alone, without buying a weekend or day pass for the festival. You can find them here.

To be clear, single day passes for both Thursday and for Friday remain, as do reserved seat tickets at the Tennessee Theatre for the spectacular Knoxville Symphony Orchestra program on Thursday night and for the Andrew Bird / eighth blackbird (with Bonnie Prince Billy and Bryce Dessner) on Friday night.

For those attending the festival, we have a number of new programs to announce and other details to come, including an exciting series of free programs exploring Knoxville’s history - with the Tennessee Archive of Moving Images and Sound (TAMIS), Jack Neely, RB Morris, Black Atticus, and others - as well as surprise performances by Big Ears artists which will take place at Boyd’s Jig and Reel throughout the festival.

Also, don’t forget our “free and open to the public" Grand Finale - on Sunday, April 3 at noon at Ijams Nature Center surrounding Mead’s Quarry - when Inuksuit, the outdoor percussion masterpiece by our Pulitzer Prize winning composer in residence John Luther Adams, will be performed by a small army of percussionists from throughout the region…organized by master percussionist Andy Bliss and his nief-norf team, along with composer Steven Schick.

We’re all blown away by the response to this year’s festival…huge thanks to all of you who have supported this event and make it all possible.

Big Ears info, lineup, tickets, more...

Mar 22 2016
08:15 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Andrew S. Grove 1936 – 2016

A pioneer in the industry that has changed just about everything.


Upcoming events:

  • May 7 2016 - 11:00am (1 day 18 hours from now)

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)