With Rachel Alexandra Out, Borel the Story in Belmont

Now that Rachel Alexandra’s status for the Belmont Stakes Odds has been determined (she will not run), the focus turns to jockey Calvin Borel as he tries to do something that has never been done, win the jockey Triple Crown aboard two different horses.  He won with Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby and with Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes.  Now he will get back on Mine That Bird in the Belmont. “Now that the decision is made, I am excited to come to New York and ride Mine That Bird in the Belmont Stakes.” Borel said.

 

Mine That Bird is going to be a solid favorite in Belmont Stakes Odds and that might put a little added pressure on Borel.  Recent history might not be on Borel’s side either as Belmont Stakes favorites have been a bust recently, including last years’ favorite Big Brown.

 

Mine That Bird is a big closer but that type of horse rarely wins the Belmont.  A horse with tactical speed does far better in Belmont Stakes odds.  In the last 30 years, 27 of the 30 winners were within two lengths of the leader at the top of the stretch.  That does not bode well for Mine That Bird who has come from the clouds in both the Derby and the Preakness. “If you look at previous Belmonts, the horses closer to the pace tend to win,” trainer Chip Woolley said, “People think just because it’s longer it will suit my horse better but history says you need to be closer to the pace so he’s got his work cut out for him. But as far as changing his style, we’re not going to do that. If you change his style he’s not going to finish and I’d rather be finishing than stopping.”

 

Horse betting  at SBG Global.

 

The key to winning at the Belmont is timing everything just right which is where Borel will come into play.  “Not only is getting the timing right key but knowing where you are in the race and how much you have to make up is crucial because the track is so much deeper,” Woolley said. “If you push the button too early, you sure can come up empty at the wire.”

 

Not all deep closers have failed either, as in 2006 it was Jazil rallying to win after sitting last early in the race.

GOT CYBERSLACKERS?

Rough Notes September 1, 2006 | Chivvis, John Policies, technology, and monitoring help agencies reduce risks from employee Internet abuse Does your agency take risks?

If your employees have access to the Internet, then you may be risking a whole lot more than you think.

“According to a number of studies, more and more employees are using the Internet at work for personal business,” says Craig Fuher, president of iPrevision(TM), an Internet security solutions provider. “So whether it’s the 50% of employees who receive and circulate inappropriate material using the office network, the 10% who use the network to download illegal music and other media, or the 26% of IT employees who have admitted to distributing confidential information outside the company, you’re seeing a new set of risks that agencies need to protect themselves from.” That being the case, more and more agencies-including Nulty Insurance in Kalamazoo, Michiganare turning to Internet usage policies, enforced and backed up by Internet monitoring technology. go to website programs like limewire

“Porn” ucopia of problems Like many agency principals, Nulty Insurance President Dana Nulty-Beals admits that implementing an Internet usage policy was difficult. “It’s one of those things you wish you didn’t have to do because you want to trust people,” she says. “It goes back to not needing something like this-in this case a usage policy-until you really have a problem.” The problem for Nulty-Beals was two different employees using the agency Internet connection for downloading pornographic material. Before implementing the policy, she says that it was hard to catch the employees because when she or another employee would stop by their offices, the employees would just “click and close.” What made it even harder was that one employee would come in on the weekend to use the system, and the other set up his system to automatically purge his browser history to hide his tracks. Ultimately Nulty-Beals and her IT person were able to provide proof of the employees’ activities and eventually terminate their employment.

“It was after the second incident that we started looking at monitoring our employees’ Internet usage,” says Nulty-Beals.

IM, P2P and Webmail threats The problem with monitoring, though, is that so much of Internet usage goes beyond the basic browser window. It’s the applications that use the Internet to transfer information and communications.

“Instant messaging [IM] is the perfect tool for a cyberslacker,” says Pat Kellner, a business development executive for iPrevision. “That’s because IM can be used to transfer files and information in a way that’s instant and untraceable.” He adds that IM is a “tool of the trade” for a number of identity theft rings for quickly transmitting sensitive data including Social Security numbers, credit card information, and maiden names.

That stuns Nulty-Beals. “We put an Instant Messaging client on our systems for our receptionist as a way for her to let us know we had a call on hold, and we also use it for some intra-office communication,” she says. “While employees can’t access client lists or P&L information, they do have access to customer SSNs and driver’s license numbers. Wow!” Besides the identity theft risk, IM is also becoming a target of virusdevelopers and spammers (called SPIM). “Right now, over 40% of the top viruses can propagate through an instant messaging client,” adds Fuher.

Peer-to-peer file transfer programs like LimeWire and Kazaa are another avenue for viruses. “Fortunately for us, nobody downloads any files any more,” says Nulty-Beals. “We’re now all scared to death to do so because the last time someone downloaded a file, it contained a virus and our system was down for two days.” Pandora’s Box meets Panoptech’s box “For an agency, you have to look for some type of solution that will allow you to monitor and manage those Internet applications-IM, P2P and Webmail-as well as what your employees should or shouldn’t be browsing,” says Fuher.

Instead of using simple keylogging programs on the individual desktop which can be easily disabled, or incurring the expense of new servers and maintaining server software, Nulty-Beals implemented iPrevision’s Panoptech(TM) “single-box” solution.

The “single-box” is a network appliance about the size of a cable TV or satellite signal receiver. As information or packets of data pass in and out of the agency, the Panoptech box scans and caches information, URLs, and more in order to not only analyze and monitor usage but also to minimize any congestion. From a technical standpoint, iPrevision manages all of the content and software updates from their end, because “we don’t want to create more IT work for an employee,” says Fuher.

Fuher says that once the inconspicuous-looking appliance is delivered to an agency, installation is not much more than taking it out of the box and plugging it into the network. “With Nulty Insurance,” notes Kellner, “within 10 minutes they were up and running and seeing usage data.” Real-time data Panoptech offers on-demand, realtime reporting on Internet, IM, and Web usage. Since the system is connected to the network, those who administer, monitor or review the data can do so from their office, from home or another remote location, which makes monitoring of multiple or branch offices much easier. website programs like limewire

Nulty-Beals says, “We just use it for Internet monitoring right nowjust to see how the Internet is being used in our office. We’re not using it for filtering.” Internet monitoring reports show user name, their IP address, the computer name, date and time stamp, and a URL with clickable link. “We’ve had stories of people coming in after hours, even cleaning staff using the network, so having detailed information is key,” says Kellner.

“In one instance,” he recalls, “an agency had been running the system for only a week and when they went to do employee training, their reports showed that some employees had been downloading inappropriate material. After dealing with that eye-opener, they now say their reports are ‘kind of boring.’ ” Panoptech makes it easy for managers or owners to set filters for Web sites or types of sites. For example, with a single click on the “porn” check box, Panoptech will automatically filter out over 1.3 million active pornography sites thereby denying access to anyone trying to visit one of those sites. “We have ‘bots’ that continually look for sites, putting them into categories ranging from shopping and sports to entertainment and porn,” says Fuher. “But, we also leave it customizable so you could filter out all shopping but still allow eBay-so basically, we’re letting you create your own whiteand blacklists.” Panoptech also monitors IM usage, tracking usernames and logging all conversations to and from “buddies.” Besides being able to monitor IM usage on most of the common IM formats/protocols like Yahoo, MSN, AOL and even IRC, The Panoptech solution also gives agencies a good way to meet retention policies for IM communication. As with all of the other monitoring and filtering capabilities for Internet and Webmail usage, specific employees or groups of employees can be blocked from any and all IM usage.

“In the past, Internet monitoring was handled by the IT staff-usually reactively after something happened,” says Fuher. “For small agencies without an IT person, it’s difficult to implement an enforceable usage policy, so we try to provide a scalable, manageable-and yet affordableservice that shows an almost immediate return on investment.” “Whether you have 10 offices or one office, agency owners or managers now have an eye into those offices to see how their employees are using the Internet,” says Kellner. “It really hits home for them when they can see the reports and the usage, and that data can help them evolve their policies and plans. So if they run a report showing the top domains visited by their employees and none of their carrier or customer sites show up on the list, it becomes easier to address.” “For the most part, and for whatever reason, a lot of these Internet applications have been off of our radar,” says Nulty-Beals, “but the more I learn about how they can be used, the more I’m thinking they shouldn’t be off of our radar.” [Sidebar] For more information:

iPrevision Web site: www.iprevision.net [Author Affiliation] The author John Chivvis is a Texas-based writer who specializes in topics of technology implementation. His work has appeared in a number of national and regional publications.

Chivvis, John

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