Friday, March 27, 2009

March 29: '60 Minutes' to Focus on Growing Global Cyber Security Threat

On this Sunday's edition of "60 Minutes" [March 29 at 7 p.m. ET/PT], Lesley Stahl reports on computer viruses that propagate on the Internet and infect PCs, which enable their creators to learn the information they need to electronically rob bank accounts.

You will learn about a menace lurking on the Internet that could affect your PC and maybe your bank account. Computer viruses, sometimes called worms, are hiding in the PCs of millions of Americans, threatening to steal financial information or cripple computers with multitudes of spam.

Viruses like Conficker -- which experts say will be given new instructions on April 1 -- are worrying security experts, who wage war against the evolving viruses that are often the creation of foreign cyber gangs.

Steve Trilling, of Symantec, maker of the best-selling Norton AntiVirus 2009 software [and a GoodBiz113 sponsor], tells Lesley Stahl, "Imagine a network of spies that has infiltrated a country and every day, all of the spies are calling in for their instructions on what to do next."

GoodBiz113's take: Computer viruses pose a huge threat to banks, businesses and consumers alike. Tune in to "60 Minutes" this Sunday. Before then, though, you might want to do a quick scan of your own PC and/or network, and then rid it of any nasty worms, etc., wiggling their way through your precious data.

SOURCES: CBS News, Symantec

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

SBA Aims to Hire Summer Students in Select Areas Across the U.S.; Job Closing Date Is April 1

The U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA] is seeking to hire summer students across the country under the Student Temporary Employment Program [STEP]. According to job postings at USAJOBS, the salary range for these full-time positions is $9.57 - $23.74 USD hourly, depending upon major duties performed. SBA is accepting applications until April 1, 2009. The summer program will begin as early as May 11, 2009, and end as late as Sept. 30, 2009.

Among the key requirements:
* Applicants must be at least 16 years of age at the time of appointment.
* Applicants must provide proof of academic enrollment.
* Applicants must have U.S. citizenship.

SBA-related STEP jobs are available in several areas in which SBA offices are located, including:
* Boston metro area, Massachusetts
* Minneapolis, Minnesota
* Harlingen, Texas
* Denver, Colorado
* Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York
* Pittsburgh metro area, Pennsylvania
* St. Louis metro area, Missouri
* Los Angeles County, California
* San Diego County, California
* Augusta, Maine
* Concord, New Hampshire
* Atlanta, Georgia
* Lubbock, Texas
* Wilmington, Delaware
* Seattle, Washington
* Omaha and Offutt AFB areas, Nebraska

STEP provides maximum flexibility to both the student and manager, because the nature of the work does not have to be related to the student’s academic or career goals. The program is designed to integrate the students’ educational studies with a wide range of clerical, administrative, professional and/or technical experiences that support the federal agency’s mission.

For more info about these SBA STEP positions and to apply online, go to:

About SBA
SBA is a highly diverse team that seeks talented people to help Americans realize their dreams of starting or expanding a small business. The agency has successfully served the nation's small-business owners for more than 50 years.

GoodBiz113's take: This is an exciting time and opportunity to serve the public and assist SBA in stimulating America’s economic growth via President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Oh, and the pay's not bad, either; it sure beats the $4.74 - $6.25 per hour that our editor and publisher earned as a staffer in the federal Youth Conservation Corps [YCC] and Minnesota Conservation Corps [MCC] many, many moons ago! If we were a few decades younger, we'd seize these summer SBA job opportunities in a heartbeat -- for the good experience and compensation.

SOURCES:, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten Things a Company Can Do to Support Earth Hour

On March 28, 2009, at 8:30 p.m., tens of millions of people around the world will turn out their lights for one hour -- Earth Hour — to demonstrate their concern for our living planet, and send a loud message to our leaders that they support action on climate change. Here are a few ideas for ways your organization can support and publicize the annual World Wildlife Fund-originated event:

1. Hold a contest among employees, with a prize for the best ideas for reducing waste and cutting energy consumption in your company’s daily operations.

2. Ask your business partners, suppliers and industry peers to support Earth Hour. Hang banners and posters so that your support is visible to all who enter your offices or buildings.

3. Turn your website “go black” during the week leading up to Earth Hour; make all white backgrounds black and all black text white. [Google did this in 2008!] Post a blurb about the event on your homepage that links to the Earth Hour home page.

4. Hold a companywide event or celebration for employees the week proceeding Earth Hour and serve “green-themed” refreshments. Host an Earth Hour “lights out” party for your staff, customers and vendors on the night of the event. Be sure to turn out the lights, etc., at 8:30 p.m. local time.

5. Schedule a meeting or send an e-mail to employees from the chairman or CEO explaining why the company is supporting Earth Hour, and urge them to “turn out” at home. The entire executive team, including the CEO, should pledge to participate as well.

6. Create an Earth Hour section on the company intranet where employees can post ideas for celebrating Earth Hour and photos following up the event.

7. Hold employee contests, with awards going to the staff member who recruits the most people to sign a pledge to say they will participate, or who comes up with the most creative promotional idea for Earth Hour.

8. Ask the company cafeteria to hold a special candlelight lunch the week of Earth Hour, featuring dishes prepared using organic and sustainably products to remind employees about the event.

9. Create special TV, radio and newspaper ads to showcase your company’s participation in Earth Hour, and to urge others to join.

10. Issue a news release and contact news media and radio stations and tell them what your company is doing to support Earth Hour and why.

For a variety of Earth Hour-related downloads -- e.g., T-shirt logos, posters, postcards, iPhone wallpaper, stickers -- go to:

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