1. Here's why Malaysia Airlines thinks the plane went down in the Indian Ocean
By Kelvin Chan and Justin Pritchard/AP
Crewman on board a plane look at their radar while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean on Monday, March 24. Richard Wainwright/AP
A British communications satellite and classroom physics are helping investigators figure out what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
It comes down to some faint signals sent from the plane
An analysis of faint signals sent from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to an Inmarsat satellite led officials to conclude the plane crashed in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean. More precise information about the plane's position when it sent the last signals is helping authorities refine the search being undertaken by planes and ships in seas 1,550 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.
Those faint signals were sent once an hour
Even with other communications shut down, the plane sent an automatic signal - a "ping" or a "handshake" - every hour to an Inmarsat satellite. Flight 370 completed six pings, and the time each took to be sent by the plane and received by the satellite showed the plane's range from the satellite, according to the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch. This initial analysis showed the last ping came from a position along one of two vast arcs north and south from the Malaysian Peninsula.show more
2. Marijuana ruling could overturn up to thousands of convictions
By John Ingold/The Denver Post
Marijuana is in jars for customers to look at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, January, 01, 2014. Colorado became the first U.S. state to allow the sell of recreational marijuana. RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post
Anywhere from a few dozen to more than 10,000 people could be eligible to have their old marijuana convictions overturned as the result of a landmark Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that applied marijuana legalization retroactively.
Colorado defense attorneys are poring through previous marijuana cases, looking for former clients who might be eligible for such relief, but much depends on how subsequent courts apply this month's ruling. On the surface, the ruling appears to have little reach, but attorneys say it is possible courts could follow the reasoning of the ruling to overturn every marijuana case in the state in which an adult was convicted of a crime that stopped being illegal when the state's marijuana-legalization law went into effect in late 2012.
"I think there are thousands of people who could potentially have their convictions overturned," said Sean McAllister, an attorney who specializes in marijuana cases and who said he is already working with several clients to see if their previous convictions could be tossed.
But, in order for that to be true, Colorado courts will have to adopt an expansive reading of the ruling - a scenario prosecutors see as unlikely.show more
3. US notified 3,000 firms about cyberattacks in 2013
By Ellen Nakashima/The Washington Post
Federal agents notified more than 3,000 U.S. companies last year that their computer systems had been hacked. Thinkstock
Federal agents notified more than 3,000 U.S. companies last year that their computer systems had been hacked, White House officials have told industry executives, marking the first time the government has revealed how often it tipped off the private sector to cyberintrusions.
The alerts went to firms large and small, from local banks to major defense contractors to national retailers such as Target, which suffered a breach last fall that led to the theft of tens of millions of Americans' credit card and personal data, according to government and industry officials.
"Three thousand companies is astounding," said James Lewis, a senior fellow and cyberpolicy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The problem is as big or bigger than we thought."
The number reflects only a fraction of the true scale of cyberintrusions into the private sector by criminal groups and foreign governments and their proxies, particularly in China and Eastern Europe. The estimated cost to U.S. companies and consumers is up to $100 billion annually, analysts say.
The scale of notifications is an effort to ramp up the sharing of threat information by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies with U.S. companies, officials say. The alerts follow a February 2013 executive order by President Barack Obama to "increase in volume, timeliness, and quality" the cyberthreat information shared with the private sector so people can better defend themselves.
The disclosure comes as the federal government has struggled to pass legislation to set security standards that companies in critical sectors must follow and to increase information-sharing between the public and private sectors.show more
4. Inspiring Girl Scout breaks cookie sales record with 18,107 boxes
By Todd Wasserman/Mashable
Girl Scouts kicks off National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal on Feb. 7, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of the USA
An Oklahoma girl has broken the all-time national record for Girl Scout cookie sales with 18,107, which shatters the record of 18,000 from the '80s.
In the interview below, Katie Francis, 12, told The Oklahoman's Brandy McDonnell that her goal for the season was 18,100. "There's three ingredients to selling cookies. There's lots of time, lots of commitment and I have to ask everybody I see." Francis says that in previous years she sold 2,004 boxes of cookies, then 7,482 and 12,428 last year. "I'm good at what I do," Francis continued. "Cookie selling is just so much fun to me. I just love doing it. I love meeting all kinds of people and setting a goal and achieving it."
See also: Starting Young: Can You Really Teach Entrepreneurship?
Francis says before the sales began, she called around to local restaurants and businesses. She also created a sweepstakes for buying multiple boxes (six and 12) at once with prizes including concert tickets and a night's stay at a hotel. Francis dislodged Elizabeth Brinton, a.k.a. "The Cookie Queen," whose record stood for more than 24 years. Brinton, who is from Fairfax, Va., is now a PR exec living in Munich, Germany. Brinton is credited with originating booth-based sales, rather than the standard door-to-door method.
Meanwhile, 13 year-old Danielle Lei pioneered another innovative selling method this year: She parked her booth outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco. Lei sold 117 boxes in two hours.
This article originally appeared on Mashable.
By CHRIS MAYS / Reformer Staff
HALIFAX -- Dr. Sue Kelly says approximately 50 residents signed a petition to establish interim zoning that would have delayed a quarry from being developed.
"A project of this scale was not anticipated when the zoning bylaws were written," she said. "So it would be wise to bring the bylaws into accord with the Town Plan. But our proposal that this be done was rejected."
On March 18, the Selectboard accepted the petition but its members did not feel it was a good time to move ahead with interim zoning.
"There are other aspects of the zoning that also need review," said Selectboard Chairwoman Edee Edwards. "And we were planning to work on all those elements together."
Russell Denison had submitted preliminary Act 250 paperwork that the Selectboard and concerned residents had previously discussed. The board will meet on March 26 and will likely finalize correspondence with the attorney representing those associated with the project.
Plans include using forestland for the quarry. According to Kelly, it would be located on the largest unbroken parcel of undeveloped land in Halifax.
"It would be badly fragmented. It would increase segmentation," she said.show more
Those opposed to it say that the use of land, which is in the conservation district, would not be consistent with the Town Plan. Concerns also include the effect the quarry may have on local wells, wildlife habitat and waterways such as the Green River. Others noted road safety as well as the potential damage that could be done to the roads.
Kelly told the Reformer that many residents did not believe there should be a large-scale industrial operation in the conservation district. She said the interim zoning would have allowed for more discussion by the public.
"This is what interim zoning is designed to do: Enact it in a relatively shorter time frame. In this case, it would be closing an inconsistency in zoning bylaws," added Kelly. "The operation being proposed would not be consistent with what the town permits in conservation districts. We would have asked that zoning bylaws be consistent with the Town Plan then continued to the process of regular zoning bylaws. It would have given us time."
Edwards mentioned that with the plan being approved at Town Meeting, the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustments would soon be working on the bylaws.
"We had a request to put (the petition) on the Selectboard agenda and I happened to be at a Planning Commission meeting prior to that. I felt it should have been brought up to them," she said. "We agreed to put it on the Selectboard agenda but I was attempting to let people know that the Planning Commission was the first step for zoning requests."
For now, some of the residents who are opposed to the project are waiting to see what applications come forward. They have also hired an attorney.
"We feel we want to be sure we do whatever is appropriate to protect this conservation district," said Kelly.
Edwards believed that applications for Act 250 permits had not yet been submitted for the project.
"My understanding is that the formal application will bring into effect lots of different people looking at the various land use issues that Act 250 attempts to regulate. At that point, we at the town expect to receive a full set of the plans. So far, we've only received parts of it," she concluded.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.