Daily Business Report — July 21, 2014
San Diego Nonprofit Teaches How to Hack for Good
Last year Vineel Adusumilli took a weeklong course on computer hacking. Cybercrime professionals taught him how to find weaknesses in online security systems and then he was given his own advanced workstation to hone his skills, all free of charge.
However, although he was discovering how criminals think, Adusumilli was actually learning how to defend against security breaches as part of the Cyber Boot Camp, hosted by Securing Our eCity Foundation (SOeF). Since 2011 the nonprofit foundation has offered free workshops to businesses, families, students, and seniors across San Diego in an effort to thwart cybercrime.
“Cyber touches everyone and we simply have to have people become more aware of their day-to-day practices — how they tend to make themselves safer,” said Liz Fraumann, executive director at SOeF. “All companies, all businesses, and all organizations should be educating their staff on the basics.”
Securing Our eCity first began in 2008 as an initiative by ESET North America, an antivirus and Internet security company. After years of making software to protect computer users from cyber criminals, researchers at ESET found that the real problem often lies between the keyboard and the chair — with the human user.
The goal of SOeF is to raise awareness of the basic steps everyone can take to protect themselves online. In 2011 the foundation received its official 501(c)(3) status and have been spreading the word ever since. The foundation’s workshops reached more than 4,000 people in 2013 alone.
“What we’re actually doing is teaching them how do you find vulnerabilities; how do you find places that could be exploited?” said Fraumann. “Sometimes it’s just a lack of common sense. People still today don’t change their username and password when it comes out of the box. If people do things like that, it would prevent a lot from what’s going on already.”
A wary digital citizen in her personal life, Fraumann is the ideal captain for the foundation. She only accepts contacts on LinkedIn if she has personally met the person for coffee. She opts out of websites like Spokeo that collect personal information, and she prefers to use gift cards for online purchases, rather than a credit card. “I very rarely use credit cards,” she said. “If I use a credit card I go with my credit card unless I can see the person swiping it in the register with my own eyes.”
Fraumann has actually followed servers into the back of restaurants in the past because she is so conscientious of cyber crimes.
Texas Money Snags Another San Diego Tech Company
Qualcomm’s former trucking logistics division Omnitracs will move its headquarters to Dallas with millions of dollars in financial help from Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund. “With a TEF investment of $3.9 million, Omnitracs is the latest employer to call Dallas home,” Perry said in a statement. “Employers of all sizes and from all industries know that Texas’ model of low taxes, smart regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce provide the best chance for their success now and well into the future.”
Omnitracs said Dallas’ role as a major transportation hub and its central location will place the company closer to many of its fleet customers.
The transition is expected to take place in 2015. Omnitracs will retain an office in San Diego.
It is the third San Diego tech firm to be bought by Austin-based Vista Equity Partners and subsequently announce that it is moving to Texas. Websense announced in February that it is moving its headquarters to Austin. Earlier this month, Active Network announced it was moving to Dallas.
Omnitracs is the leading provider of fleet management solutions including software applications, information services, and hardware platforms for private and for-hire truck fleets.
According to Perry’s website, the Texas Enterprise Fund provides the state’s leaders with a “deal closing fund” to attract new business to the state or assist with the substantial expansion of an existing business.
— Times of San Diego
Tenants Sue Affordable Housing Owner
Tenants of Windwood Village Apartments, affordable housing for low-income families, has filed a class action lawsuit against Carlsbad-based Chelsea Investment Corporation, CIC Management, and affiliated companies alleging housing discrimination against families with children. Chelsea Investment Corp. has been identified as being among the top 50 affordable housing developers in the country.
Plaintiffs have sued under the federal Fair Housing Act which protects citizens from discrimination in housing terms and conditions on the basis of familial status.
The tenants allege that they were treated as second-class citizens, with their children effectively not being allowed outside their apartments without a parent present and their children being refused entry to the pool, clubhouse, laundry room, and playground areas, and otherwise prohibited from using or accessing any common or parking areas of the housing complex. Failure to comply with such discriminatory practices often resulted in three-day eviction notices based on children’s activities outside the apartment or use of common or parking areas, no matter how innocuous.
The tenants are represented by attorneys Matthew Wilson of Wilson Law Group PC and Melody Kramer of Kramer Law Office Inc., both San Diego law firms.
Bob Juskie, counsel for Chelsea, declined to specifically address the charges but said the company takes great care of its residents, according to the U-T San Diego. “Chelsea is very proud of the way that they manage their properties and the way that they have and do take care of their tenants and it is unfortunate and it’s disappointing that these claims are being made, but we will address the claims as they need to be through the legal process,” he told the newspaper.
Airport Authority Wins Awards for Green Build Project
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has received five major awards for its Green Build terminal expansion project:
• 2014 Environmental Achievement Award for Environmental Management from Airports Council International – North America.
• 2014 Economic Development and Planning Award from the American Planning Association, San Diego Section.
• 2014 Project of the Year Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, San Diego Section.
• 2014 Public Works Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association, San Diego/Imperial Chapter.
• 2014 Gold Bulldog Award from the Bulldog Reporter.
Animal Center CEO to Appear at University of Victoria
Mike Arms, president and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center and an acknowledged pioneer in the animal welfare industry, is scheduled to speak July 31 at the Global Leaders Festival at the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Arms will speak to the class of 150 undergraduate business students.
Arms has dedicated his life to revolutionizing animal welfare and is known worldwide for his business-focused approach to revamping the shelter system to put an end to unnecessary euthanasia.
It is the first time that a business-focused college has approached Arms for his business mind. Arms is responsible for creating the International Pet Adoptathon, the International Home 4 The Holidays program which, in partnership with national animal organizations, has placed over 9.3 million pets in homes since 1999 and, most recently, the International Remember Me Thursday Campaign — holding candle lighting ceremonies across the world for healthy orphan pets who lost their lives to euthanasia.
Cadence Hires Account Manager
Cadence, a travel management company, has hired Leah Shader as manager of account development for business travel. Shader is a San Diego native who graduated from San Diego State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. She was previously in a senior sales management position with Hilton Worldwide. Shader begins her new position today.
Cadence is a branch of the Tzell Travel Group.
BOMA Hosts Aug. 12 Seminar
The San Diego Building Owners & Managers Association will host a “Day in the Life Of” seminar on Aug. 12 featuring industry professionals from Cushman & Wakefield and the Irvine Co. Topics to be explored include the ever-evolving realm of tenant amenities and how they play into tenant relations and retention. Wayne Harris, director of engineering at Irvine Co., will moderate the session.
The event will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Marriott Mission Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego. The seminar is free for members, $10 for nonmembers. To register, visit www.bomasd.org.
San Diego Air & Space Museum Marks
45th Anniversary of Moon Landing
Sunday marked the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and San Diego’s Air & Space Museum has an Apollo spaceship and moon rocks on display. The museum in Balboa Park also shows an animated film that recreates a trip from the earth to the moon.
The Apollo 11 lunar module landed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon at 1:18 p.m. San Diego time on Sunday, July 20, 1969. Armstrong stepped onto the moon about six hours later and proclaimed, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” a statement broadcast live worldwide.
In San Diego, an Apollo space capsule that had made an early test trip is on display at the Balboa Park museum. Going by the radio call sign “Gumdrop,” Apollo 9 carried astronauts James MacDivitt, David Scott and Rusty Schweikart on earth orbits where rocket tests on a lunar lander module were performed in the vacuum of space for the first time.
“Visitors can see how three grown astronauts were all hunkered down in there,” said Jeff Burke, Air & Space Museum spokesman about the cramped module.
With its scorched heat shield protected now by a plastic protector, the Apollo 9 command module can be seen on display daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lobby.
The Air & Space Museum has regular viewings of “Fly Me To The Moon,” an animated feature which allows guests to “sneak” aboard Apollo 11 and experience a simulated space flight.
During their historic 1969 flight, Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin stayed about 21-1/2 hours on the moon before lifting off to dock their lunar module with the command module, piloted by Michael Collins.
The astronaut team returned to the Earth and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
More information is available at www.sandiegoairandspace.org.
— City News Service
San Diego Prepares for 130,000 Visitors
Comic-Con International 2014 is almost here and the annual massive celebration of all things pop culture doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
This year’s event will run from Wednesday through Sunday, promising a non-stop, noisy, sweaty, overstimulated week of movies, television shows, comic books and video games.
Now in its 44th year, the Con has grown up. It’s not the pimple-faced, squeaky-voiced teenager any more. It’s smarter, more mature. But with that age has come some problems — impossibly long lines, jampacked hallways and ballrooms and an urban sprawl that requires you to wear your most comfortable shoes and pack some aspirin.
What started out as a small gathering of comic book fans in a hotel ballroom has exploded into a global pop culture festival that has burst at the seams of the cavernous San Diego Convention Center and spilled over into Petco Park and downtown’s Gaslamp quarter.
This year is no exception with more than 130,000 fans and media expected to descend onto the convention center and downtown area. And that’s the just lucky ones able to buy passes or get credentials.
But fear not, true believer. If you couldn’t get a pass to Comic-Con this year, or if you’ve never been and are curious about it, you can still enjoy it.
The easiest way is to simply plop yourself down in a Gaslamp restaurant and watch the parade of costumed fans walk by.
There’s also the annual Zombie Walk through the Gaslamp. A couple of hundred fans dress up as zombies and walk up and down Fifth Avenue, in front of the convention center. The makeup can be elaborate, and there are all kinds of zombies, including children with their parents. Just beware that the Zombie Walk has become incredibly popular so get there early if you want a good viewing spot. This year’s Zombie Walk is scheduled for Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
— Times of San Diego