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Category Archives: High Seas

In Dramatic High Seas Rescue, Four Fishermen Rescued By Good Samaritans Off Galveston, Texas, Coast –

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:40 am
In Dramatic High Seas Rescue, Four Fishermen Rescued By Good Samaritans Off Galveston, Texas, Coast
GALVESTON, TX A dramatic rescue on the high seas occurred Friday afternoon off the coast of Galveston, when four people floating along a life raft were rescued in the Gulf of Mexico by a pair of Good Samaritans. The four men are alive today thanks

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Greg McQuade discovers life on the high seas aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower –

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:38 am

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NORFOLK, Va. — Just ask Kyle McCarthy about his job. And the adrenaline that flows through him like an electrical charge.

Yes. Sir, Absolutely. It is one heck of a ride up here Ill tell you what, he said.

Petty Officer McCarthy tackles one of the most stressful occupations in the United States Navy.

Because the first thing I see when I walk up is two jets turning around and moving, said Kyle. So you have missiles, bombs and torpedoes.

Kyle McCarthy

The sailor from Chesapeake is part of the ordinance team on board the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

It is definitely a fulfilling experience, he added.

The 24-year-old welcomed me to go below deck in a rare opportunity to be a sailor for the day.

But before accepting the invitation. I need to look like a sailor.

Our first stop at Naval Station Norfolk, was inside The Navy Exchange, one of the busiest spots in Hampton Roads, where we found Inell Lewis.

Inell Lewis

Ms. Lewis has been a seamstress for 50 years. She has dressed generations of military men and women. The Emporia native does not allow clients to leave until they appear, well, ship shape.

We want to have our sailors looking good because if it is not done right it reflects on us, said Ms. Lewis.

At Naval Station Norfolk security remains tight. Our second destination? The massive nuclear powered Mighty Ike.

Sitting at Sewalls point just west of the I-64 bridge tunnel the second oldest carrier in the fleet just returned from a seven month combat deployment fighting the Islamic State in Operation Inherent Resolve.

As we discovered, each member of the Ikes crew of 5,000 plays a critical role on board the carrier.

Petty Officer Nick Moffett the ships banker and graduate of James River High School in Chesterfield wears many hats.

Were on the front line if you will, said Nick. Were on a ship. Were not on the ground but we are definitely contributing in a hands on way.

When he is not paying his fellow sailors Nick takes charge in one of the ships fire stations where he leads a team of sailors when crisis strikes.

I was the scene leader for the entire deployment, said Nick.

For the 28-year-old training is paramount because in the middle of the ocean calling 911 is out of the question.

If the ship goes down. We go down, said Nick. So we have to protect that. And we protect our lives.

Firefighters on board train every two weeks for hours on end.

So basically we bring all of this stuff out to the hangar bay. Everyone gets dressed to fight the fire or the flooding or any kind of casualty we might have, said Nick.

Nick put this journalist through the drill, helping me don the heavy, hot firefighting gear.

We dont know when the next casualty might happen or how bad it is, said Nick. We need to be ready to fight the fire or fight the flooding or fight whatever happened as soon as possible.

Putting on the equipment in mere minutes when an emergency arises requires several hands.

Nick Moffett

Nick you have a lot of people helping you? I asked.

Yes a ton of people helping you out, said Nick.

Another place on board where the temperatures soar? The four and half acre flight deck especially under the blazing sun in the Persian Gulf.

So the heat index was 150 degrees, said Kyle McCarthy. I have never felt anything like that in my life.

Kyle McCarthy and the ordinance team loaded jet fighters with everything from laser guided missiles to 2,000 pound bombs.

From there it is pedal to the metal. It is pedal to the metal, man, said Kyle.

The Chesapeake native does not take his responsibility lightly.

Were going to go right over here right down these steps, he said. Ill take you in where all the planning is and all the magic happens.

The 24-year-old led me to a room where the ordinance team members don life-saving equipment like the vest which has a transmitter inside in case Kyle falls overboard into the water. Kyle and his sailors work in tandem under and around supersonic jets in a type of high seas ballet.

Each teammate is assigned to a different task depending on their colorful shirt.

Were the Skittles on the flight deck because you have all of the colored jerseys, said Kyle.

The 70 plus F/A 18s on board the Mighty Ike were launched in missions against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Our seven month deployment we dropped 1,222 pieces of ordinance on the bad guy. On ISIS, said Kyle.

He said with so many moving parts on the flight deck his duties can be hazardous. It is a dangerous but rewarding job.

As much as it gets difficult and stressful it is honestly one of the coolest things Ive ever gotten to do, he added.

Commander Erik Stinson leans heavily on Kyle. The pilot said no one individual can claim glory.

Without the ordinance on the aircraft we are nothing, said Stinson. The whole team. The whole strike group team. It is a team effort to accomplish a mission.

Its clear Petty Officer Kyle McCarthy and the crew of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower take pride in their jobs and their country.

At the end of the day you come back and say I cant believe I just did that, said Kyle. There is not a better feeling I can experience. It is a unique experience being in the Navy. I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

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Greg McQuade discovers life on the high seas aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower –

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‘The internet is like the high seas’ – Deutsche Welle

Posted: at 4:38 am

Deutsche Welle: Mr. Chertoff, cyberspace basically right now is a space without borders. but now, a new global commission on Cyber Security is set to be launchedand you are slated to be a commissioner. The challenge seems big, the challenge seems urgent. Cyber security is a big topic at this year’s Munich Security Confrerence. What can this global commission achieve realistically?

Michael Chertoff: I liken the internet a little bit to the high seas. Everybody uses it but it is not necessarily within any countries boundaries. So over a period of time we developed a body of maritime law that governs free passage – what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do on the high seas. Sometimes there is controversy and sometimes the rules get broken. But the fact that we have rules makes it possible for everybody to use the oceans. And I think we could do the same in cyberspace. We can at least in some areas reach agreement that there should be some limits to what is done offensively or what is done defensively in cyberspace. It is not going to solve every problem and it won’t be perfectly enforceable. But if we begin with some common interest, then I think first if we can reach some agreements we can build trust and we can at least begin to reduce some of the challenges to using the internet and the trust in the internet which otherwise I think can be a problem.

One of the big problems when it comes to enforcing norms in cyberspace is that it is a problem of attributing cause or blame. It is really difficult to pin down a violator and to find a smoking gun.

Michael Chertoff is a former head of US Homeland Security

Attribution is difficult, and one of the things that makes it more challenging to enforce the rules is that, with respect to cyberspace as with nuclear proliferation, it is precisely that the capabilities are wide and distributed. It is easy to masquerade as somebody else. And, in fact, one of the norms that perhaps we ought to have is an obligation to identify onesself.

That being said, there are ways to attribute. It may not be as straightforward as watching where a missile might have been launched, but there are tools you can use to actually track back who launched an attack. So, while it won’t be a perfect situation, I do think there is enough capability. I think that we could call out somebody who persistently violates the norms – often, frankly, because you see the effects of what they do in terms of how it benefits the perpetrator.

What are the next steps after the launch of the commission?

First, we will have a broad representation from countries around the world and we have representatives coming on board; hopefully coming on board including China and Russia, as well as obviously the West and Africa and South America. I think we then want to define clearly what we want to achieve – at least in the short term and then in the medium term – and put together a plan to begin to develop some output and some results relatively quickly. Then, we can begin to socialize the recommendations with governments around the world. There are some areas where I think you could reach a pretty broad consensus because everybody benefits from having a clear understanding of the rules of the road.

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Star-Studded Broadway on the High Seas 8 Sets Sail Feb. 17 –

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:40 am

Broadway on the High Seas 8, featuring 19 Broadway performersPlaybills most star-studded cruise yetsets sail February 17-24 from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The eighth cruise in Playbills series of exotic and unparalleled trips, travelers board the newly renovated luxury liner Silverseas Silver Wind for a Caribbean cruise, including stops in St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda, and more.

Broadway on the High Seas includes nightly main stage performances from our Broadway lineup, as well as Chatterbox interviews, Broadway trivia, autograph and photo sessions, cocktail parties with performers and celebrity guests, Playbill Happy Hour and After Dark programming, and more.

Among the stars sailing on Broadway on the High Seas 8 are Drama Desk Award nominee Bryan Batt, Tony nomine Kevin Chamberlin, Tony nominee Melissa Errico, Tony nominee Judy Kuhn, Lacretta, Lorna Luft, Tony winner Andrea Martin, Drama Desk nominee Karen Mason, Tony nominee Howard McGillin, Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony nominee Louise Pitre, Christine Pedi, Tony winner Alice Ripley, Emmy winner Ernie Sabella, Tony winner Lillias White, Virginia Ann Woodruff, and Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck. They are joined by Chatterbox host Seth Rudetsky, and Grammy-winning music director John McDaniel.

In May, Playbill will also launch its first-ever river cruise, which will venture down Frances picturesque Rhne River. This sold-out experience departs from Avignon, and explores Tarascon sur Rhone, Viviers, Tournon/Tain LHermitage, Lyon, and Macon.

From August 1320, Playbill will sail the Rhine River. Departing from Basel Switzerland, stops are planned in Breisach, Kehl, Mannheim, Koblenz, Cologne, Amsterdam, and more. Stars include Andrea Burns, Charlotte dAmboise, Terrence Mann, Faith Prince, and Seth Rudetsky.

Playbill Travel operates the premier vacation programs for discerning travelers with a shared love of exotic locales and the theatre. The Broadway on the High Seas series has become a hit with hundreds of theatre-loving travelers since its inaugural voyage in September of 2011. Entertainers aboard Broadway on the High Seas and its sister resort program, Broadway By The Sea, have included Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Ebersole,Tommy Tune, Andrea Martin, Ana Gasteyer, Megan Hilty, Lewis Black, Sherie Rene Scott, Laura Benanti and others. Since its inception in 2011, over 1,000 Playbill travelers have visited over a dozen countries including Italy, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Poland, Germany, French Polynesia, Vietnam and beyond!

Visit for inquiries and booking.


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Star-Studded Broadway on the High Seas 8 Sets Sail Feb. 17 –

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The Cold War returns to the high seas – CNN

Posted: at 1:40 am

Ho, hum.

Viktor Leonov first appeared off Delaware and, at this writing, is loitering south of the US submarine base at Groton, Connecticut. The ship is undoubtedly vacuuming up electronic signals emanating from the base, monitoring the US Navy’s comings and goings and gleaning anything it can about the construction of new US submarines.

In other words, two can play America’s game.

It’s worth remembering what a common maritime game this was during the Cold War. Ever since the US Navy sank the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, it has seen itself as the guardian of freedom of the seas and as the sharp edge of US foreign policy. At the height of the Cold War, US mariners mounted a standing presence in potentially embattled waters. Ships voyaged around the Eurasian periphery constantly, close to the Eastern Bloc shores.

Rather than submit meekly to American dominance of the world’s oceans and seas, the Soviet Union built an oceangoing fleet larger, albeit more technologically backward, than the US Navy fleet. By the 1970s, in fact, the Soviet Navy was active not just in the vicinity of Soviet coastlines but throughout the Seven Seas. This included American-dominated “lakes” like the Mediterranean Sea. During the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, for instance, the Soviet contingent in the Eastern Mediterranean outnumbered the Italy-based US Sixth Fleet — and shocked US commanders in the process.

But such interactions became routine during the end of the Cold War. Each navy shadowed the other’s ships and aircraft. Fleet commanders departing from, say, Pearl Harbor, knew a Soviet “AGI” — a fishing trawler packed with electronic snooping gear, and a forerunner to Viktor Leonov — would be lurking offshore and would follow along to collect signals intelligence and information about American tactics and practices. Prudent US commanders took to assigning the AGI a station in the formation, lest it get in the way or cause a collision when the task force changed course or speed.

Soviet ships became de facto members of US fleets!

Mostly, though, Washington and Moscow managed their maritime interactions in the interest of preventing war. They concluded an Incidents at Sea Agreement designed to forestall escalation when US and Soviet ships encountered each other at sea. In short, each navy sought to deter the other while grudgingly tolerating its presence in nearby seas.

And Viktor Leonov appears to be in compliance with this law.

Competition against rival navies is once again a fact. Americans and their elected officials had better get used to it.

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All aboard for Cosplay on the high seas – The New Paper

Posted: at 1:40 am

Top-class cosplayers from eight countries in the region will be competing at the Asia Cosplay Meet Championship this weekend aboard Royal Caribbean’s 15-deck Mariner of the Seas cruise ship.

Back for its second edition, Cosfest Sea: Beyond The Great Horizons will feature US guest cosplayers for the first time, a cosplay parade along the ship’s 136m-long Royal Promenade, and a superheroes costume museum for passengers to try on outfits.

All guests aboard – cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike – are welcome to watch the competitors from Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China vie for the top prize.

The champions from Thailand won $2,000 in cash last year.

At the championship, teams of three will dress up as characters from any movie, TV series or anime, and perform acts of sword fighting, dancing or singing before a panel of judges.

It is not all fun and games for the cosplayers, some of whom learn new dance routines or make their costumes from scratch.

Event co-organiser Stephanie Loh, president of The Singapore Cosplay Club, said: “Some contestants even undergo martial arts training to play their role.”

Ms Loh, 34, who also cosplays as comic book character Wonder Woman and Elsa from the movie Frozen, said tickets for this year’s Cosfest Sea sold out last December.

This is earlier than for last year, a testament to the growing popularity of cosplay here.

Ms Loh said: “It takes courage to express what you like in costume, but more people are plucking up the courage to do so.

“That’s why cosplay is so refreshing to Singaporeans.”

Royal Caribbean’s corporate communications manager Chin Ying Duan said last year’s cruise saw full capacity, exceeding 3,500 passengers, and this year will be the same.

The ship also has an ice-skating rink, full-sized sports court, DreamWorks Entertainment theatre, six whirlpools, boutiques and cafes.

The cruise ship will leave Singapore this afternoon and make a stop in Penang before returning on Monday morning.

Tickets cost $495 a person.

Co-organiser Takahan Tan, 42, who also cosplays as Batman, is glad about the rising popularity of Cosfest Sea.

He said: “We want to make it better each year so the cosplay culture can continue spreading”.

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Sailing the high seas: Top cruises for first-timers, families and excursions in 2017 – Malay Mail Online

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Sailing the high seas: Top cruises for first-timers, families and excursions in 2017

The Disney Dream cemented its reputation as the gold standard in cruising, taking the title of best overall large ship for the third year in a row. AFP pixLOS ANGELES, Feb 16 Disney, Viking and Celebrity cruise ships have emerged the top-rated brands by cruisers around the world.

If you’re thinking about sailing the high seas for your big vacation this year, consider checking out the results of the latest Cruisers’ Choice Awards, which collected ratings and reviews from cruisers over the last 12 months.

In the seventh edition, a trio of cruise brands emerged the big winners along different categories, including large, mid-size, small-mid, and small ship class.

The Disney Dream cemented its reputation as the gold standard in cruising, taking the title of best overall large ship for the third year in a row.

The ship was also named best for cabins, service, public rooms and shore excursions.

The Disney Magic took the title of best overall ship in the mid-size category and was also named the best cruise ship for families.

Cruisers without small children and first-time cruisers, meanwhile, may want to check out the Viking Star, which was named the best ship for first-timers.

Unlike larger ships, the Viking Star is destination-focused, with port-intensive itineraries and longer than average calls that frequently drop anchor overnight, reads a staff review.

That also means fewer onboard amenities like casinos, organized activities and entertainment. The minimum age to sail is 16. A Nordic spa, however, is available and features a thalassotherapy pool, steam room, hot tub, sauna, and snow grotto.

The Viking Star is destination-focused, with port-intensive itineraries and longer than average calls that frequently drop anchor overnight.The ship also won titles like best value, dining and cabins in the small-mid category.

The Celebrity Xpedition also won six awards in its class (small ship), including best overall, best value and shore excursions.

The awards are based on reviews submitted for cruises taken in 2016. Cruise Critic is the leading online cruise community with more than 160,000 reviews.

Here are some of the winners:

Best Cruise Overall

Disney Dream (Large) Disney Cruise Line

Disney Magic (Mid-Size) Disney Cruise Line

Viking Sea (Small-Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Celebrity Xpedition (Small) Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

Celebrity Reflection (Large) Celebrity Cruises

Marina (Mid-Size) Oceania Cruises

Viking Star (Small-Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Wind Surf (Small) Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

Allure of the Seas (Large) Royal Caribbean International

Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) Celestyal Cruises

Viking Sea (Small-Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Silver Shadow (Small) Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Service

Disney Dream (Large) Disney Cruise Line

Marina (Mid-Size) Oceania Cruises

Viking Sea (Small-Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Paul Gauguin (Small) Paul Gauguin Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions

Disney Dream (Large) Disney Cruise Line

Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) Celestyal Cruises

Viking Sea (Small-Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Celebrity Xpedition (Small) Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Value

Norwegian Sky (Large) Norwegian Cruise Line

Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) Celestyal Cruises

Viking Star (Small Mid) Viking Ocean Cruises

Celebrity Xpedition (Small) Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruises for Families

Disney Magic Disney Cruise Line

Best for First Timers

Viking Star Viking Ocean Cruises AFP-Relaxnews

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To Boldly Cruise Where No Couple Has Cruised Before – Bloomberg

Posted: at 9:36 pm

On her left upper arm, Allison Holmes has a tattoo of an octopus with pointy Vulcan ears wrapping its tentacles around a spaceship that resembles an elongated VW camper. The Spocktopus is a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, who played the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr.Spock on the originalStar Trektelevision series. It was inspired by old science fiction posters, says Holmes, 33, of SanAntonio. Holmes is a self-described Trekkie, though that probably goes without saying ifyoure showing off Spock-inspired body art. Especially if youre showing it off in a hot tub aboard theNorwegian Pearlas it sails through the Western Caribbean on the first-everStarTrek: The Cruise.

Joining Holmes in January were Trekkies from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, their suitcases full of costumes and body paint. Shorts and bathing suits were the favored daywear, but at night fans emerged from their cabins dressed as Vulcans, fierce-looking Klingons, antennaed blue Andorians, and green Orions. There were also several reptilian Gorn and YeomanRand look-alikes with beehive hairdos. Didnt get any of these references? Then this cruise was definitely not for you.

Star Trek screening in the central room.

Photographer:Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

You might not think of wannabe Klingons as people who leave their parents basements much, let alone as sun-and-fun types. But superfans such as Holmes make up one of the newest and most enthusiastic groups hitting the high seas. Music themes have dominated the industry for years, but cruises are increasingly embracing other forms of pop culture. In addition to theStar Trektrip, fans are filling ships for shows includingThe Walking DeadandProperty Brothers, where the Scott brothers held Q&A sessions about design, signed autographs, and sang karaoke. Oprah is going to attend anO, The Oprah Magazinecruise to Alaska in July, and the publication, with partner Holland America line, is running four additional theme cruises this fall and next year. There is a tremendous sense of camaraderie on these cruises, says Howard Moses, a travel agent who also runs the website Theme Cruise Finder. Its nice to know that people you meet at dinner share yourpassion.

Angela Vaughan (left)

Photographer:Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

Its also nice for the cruise lines, which see themed events as a way to draw new clientele. Third-party production companies book entire ships, usually during what would otherwise be cruisings fallow season; fans care more about the what of the experience than the when or where. And theyre willing to spend. The average fare paid by the 2,300passengers on the six-dayStar Trekcruise was $2,400 per person, more than double Norwegian Cruise Lines typical January rate.

Since the first theme cruises set sail about 30years ago, theyve become a bigger and bigger part of the industry. Moses site recorded 150 in 2012. Today there are 600-plus listings. Included are small group gatherings and shipwide takeovers. Music and superfan charters have become such an attractive business that in 2012 Norwegian bought Sixthman, a production company in Atlanta that began staging Festivals at Sea each year; the 2017 lineup includes cruises featuring Pitbull, Kid Rock, Kiss, acts from the Warped Tour, outlaw country musicians, and the funny men of the TruTV showImpractical Jokers. The purpose of a theme cruise is orange juice concentrate, says Michael Lazaroff, executive director of Entertainment Cruise Productions and the mastermind behind theStar Trekvoyage. We are providing fans with a chance to experience their passion in the most intense possible way.

Lazaroff and his team started talking with CBS, owner of theStar Trekfranchise, in the summer of 2015. As it happened, CBS had been looking for ways to celebrate the 50thanniversary of Gene Roddenberrys creation, which went on the air in 1966. We considered developing aStar Trekcruise for fans for some time, and the 50th anniversary seemed ideal, says Veronica Hart, senior vice president for CBSs consumer-products division. She adds that the stars aligned when William Shatner, 85, Captain James T. Kirk in the original series, signed on to host. He wasnt cheap, Lazaroff says.

That September, Lazaroff and his staff headed to the annual LasVegasStar Trekconvention to test fan reaction. The website we had wasnt ready to take reservations, he says. Interest was overwhelming, and his team cobbled together an online sign-up. We just threw it up, and next thing we knewboom!we were done. The cruise sold out in three weeks, although many who booked had never attended aStar Trekconvention, according to a precruise survey. Hart says the experiences arent mutually exclusive: The cruise is a completely unique, immersive experience.

Diane Ahlberg and Sherry Quinn.

Photographer:Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

The Pearl was tricked out with references to the showsthe original series,Next Generation,Deep Space Nine,Voyager,Enterprise, andDiscovery, which is set to premiere this Mayand films. Special signage transformed elevators into turbolifts. The ships specialty restaurants incorporated the names of characters into dishes such as Vic Fontaines chateaubriand, which was named forDeep Space Nines holographic lounge singer.

Programming included the Q&As and the autograph and photo sessions youd find at a convention; autographs cost $25 to $35, depending on the actor, and photos were $40. Klingon foreheads ran $45. Shatner, whose contract mandated that he pose for one photo per cabin, joked to the crowd about how cute Chris Pines portrayal of Captain Kirk is in the latestStar Trekmovies, talked physics and global warming, and attempted to answer fans requests for details about his experiences on set.

Debbie Fisher (left) and Stephanie and David Batchelder.

Photographer: Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

Passengers could also attend a no-fee yoga class hosted by Terry Farrell, aka Jadzia Dax,Deep Space Nines Starfleet science officer; play blackjack with Marina Sirtis, aka the half-human, half-Betazoid Deanna Troi onNext Generation; and attend a happy hour with Denise Crosby, aka Tasha Yar, briefly theUSS Enterprises chief of security onNext Generation. Special actor-led shore excursions to Cozumel and the Bahamas, which cost $75, up from the normal $50, sold out before the ship set sail. A lecture by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, author ofThe Physics of Star Trek(1995), drew a standing-room-only crowd. FormerSaturday Night Livecast member Joe Piscopo, who guest-starred as a comic on an episode ofNext Generation, got multiple standing ovations for a nighttime set.

If thePearlwasnt quite a floatingEnterprisethe crew didnt wear Starfleet uniformsthere were constant references to boldly going and warp speed. The mood was friendly and accepting. Its nice to be among your people, says Holmes of the Spocktopus. You see a lot of cool costumes and a lot of people really, really geeking out. Her parents were also on board, and she and her husband, Allen, 33, have already booked a penthouse for the first of two moreStar Trekcruises that will take place next year, both hosted by George Takei, who played Sulu, the helmsman on KirksEnterprise.

Janyce and Mike Wright

Photographer: Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

The cruisers knew their stuff. At a trivia contest with Max Grodnchik, who played Rom, a large-eared Ferengi onDeep Space Nine, passengers rushed to call out answers to questions such as In the Enterprise Incident episode, the Romulan commander offers Spock what? (Answer: The Right of Statement.) During a $40pub crawl with Robert OReilly, Gowron fromDeep Space Nine, passengers showed off their Klingon language skills. One man pounded his feet as he sang the words to several Klingon battle songs. OReilly was impressed.

In one session, Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer, 57, and her husband Tom, 63, of Reno, Nev., renewed their wedding vows at a ceremony officiated byDeep Space Nines Farrell. Married 35years and wearing Starfleet uniforms, they repeated vows written by Jordan Hoffman, host ofEngage: The Official Star Trek Podcast. They referenced phasers and Tribbles and holodecks and, near the end, said, You are the bridge to myEnterprise, you are the captain to my starship.

Inside the ship’s elevator.

Photographer:Eva OLeary for Bloomberg Businessweek

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To Boldly Cruise Where No Couple Has Cruised Before – Bloomberg

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Suspect in high-seas homicides hospitalized, putting case on hold – Sacramento Bee

Posted: at 12:32 am

Sacramento Bee
Suspect in highseas homicides hospitalized, putting case on hold
Sacramento Bee
Former Sacramento resident Silas Duane Boston, charged in the 1978 murder of two British tourists and suspected in the 1968 disappearance of his wife, has been hospitalized due to apparent complications from heart and liver disease, defense attorneys …

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Ransomware Gangs Have Become the High-Seas Pirates of the Internet – On the Wire (blog)

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:42 am

SAN FRANCISCOAs bad as the ransomware problem is right nowand its plenty badwere likely only at the beginning of what could become a crisis, experts say.

Lots of people are being infected and lots of people are paying. The bottom line its its getting worse and its going to continue to do so, Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy at SentinelOne, said during a talk on the ransomware epidemic at the RSA Conference here Monday.

Seven-figure ransoms have already been paid. When youre out of business, youll pay whatever you have to in order to stay in business. Youre dealing with an active, sentient adversary.

Ransomware gangs have sprung up all over the world within the last couple of years, and many of them have found success quite quickly. The barriers to entry for a ransomware attacker are incredibly low and once he has the infrastructure set up, an attacker can scale his operation almost infinitely. The only real limiting factor to financial success for these attackers is the number of users they can trick into infecting themselves. And that has not proven to be a real obstacle.

Podcast: Jeremiah Grossman on Ransomware

Grossman, who has been studying the economics of the ransomware problem, compared the model to that of maritime pirates who have tiered organizations with division of labor and financial backers who help them launder the profits when theyre successful.

The closest parallel Ive found is high-seas piracy, he said. They need intelligence on targets and a trusted financial system to launder the money. Ransomware is much less risky and it requires much less equipment and upfront costs. You dont have the risk of getting shot and you can do it from anywhere in the world. And attribution is incredibly difficult.

The ransomware market seems to be headed in the same direction as real-world kidnapping, where high-profile targets take out insurance policies to pay ransoms. Grossman said it probably wont be long before the insurance companies latch onto the ransomware game, too.

The insurance companies are going to see a large profit potential in this. Kidnapping and ransom insurance is still very boutique. This economic model will probably apply equally well to ransomware, he said.

And, as in physical abductions, the bad guys have all of the leverage.

Time is on the adversarys side. Theyll wait you out. Theyll leverage fear and anxiety, Grossman said. Do we know how to fix ransomware? Probably. We need to start thinking of this as an economic model.

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Ransomware Gangs Have Become the High-Seas Pirates of the Internet – On the Wire (blog)

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