Friday -

F R I D AY, D E C E M B E R 1 9 , 2 0 1 4
Why Michigan’s $48M offer to Harbaugh is a bad idea. IN SPORTS, PAGE 35
A ‘serious’ threat to America
The devastating cyberattack is a matter of “national security,”
and a “proportional” response will be delivered against the
country responsible, the White House vowed.
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post.
Why N.J.
trees are
the best
If, like Gov. Chris Christie,
you still haven’t picked out a
tree for Christmas, consider
getting a homegrown N.J.
fir, spruce or balsam. You
may not know this but the
Garden state and Christmas
trees share a lot of history.
Here are three nostalgic
reasons why Jersey trees
are part of the holiday
tradition. / Page 17
The suspected North Korea
computer attack on Sony Pictures
Entertainment is a “serious
national security matter,” White
House press secretary Josh
Earnest said on Thursday, as
officials said the Obama administration is preparing to publicly
name the country behind the
devastating hack.
Earnest said that the White
House is weighing options for a
“proportional” response to the
attack whose ramifications
President Barack Obama is
monitoring “very closely himself.”
Public attribution of the attack
could come as early as this week,
one national security official said.
U.S. intelligence officials have
concluded that the government of
Kim Jong Un is behind the attack.
North Korea has publicly denied
“This destructive activity merits
an appropriate response,” Earnest
said, characterizing the hack
discovered last month that
resulted in the theft of massive
troves of executives’ e-mails and
sensitive internal documents, and
the deletion of data on hard drives.
The attack came in apparent
retaliation for Sony’s planned
Christmas Day release of a comedy
built around the assassination of
the North Korean leader.
Earnest’s remarks indicate the
White House has elevated a case of
The attack marks the
first known intrusion by
North Korea into U.S.
computer networks and
was improbably
effective: Not only were
the hackers able to
penetrate Sony’s system
and root around for three
weeks before being
detected, but they cowed
one of Hollywood’s
biggest entertainment
firms into pulling a movie.
I didn’t want to be seen as a computer
nerd. But the stigma is disappearing.
It’s so essential now, we all have to be
computer nerds. I just got a head start.”
John Shammas, 17
Obama urged to seek
Chesimard’s return
Two Republican state lawmakers Thursday urged the Obama
administration to immediately
seek the return of Joanne Chesimard, who escaped to Cuaba after
she was convicted of killing a
State Police trooper in 1973.
Chesimard, a Black Liberation
Army member, was convicted in
1977 of shooting to death Trooper
Werner Foerster on the New
Jersey Turnpike. / Page 14
John Shammas, 17, a senior at Old Bridge High School, unveils his new app at an assembly in the school’s auditorium. Students can customize the app
to remind them of their daily activities, from classes to sports practices. And that’s just for starters. (ROBERT SCIARRINO /NJ ADVANCE MEDIA FOR THE STAR-LEDGER)
Step aside, Bill Gates. Make
room for John Shammas
Mark Di Ionno
[email protected]
Ferguson ends his
run on late-night TV
Craig Ferguson, TV’s kinetic
Scottish cut-up, on Friday
brings to a close his decadelong
run as host of CBS’ “The Late
Late Show,” concluding a grand
stretch of silliness and smarts
that never posed much of a
ratings threat to talk-show rivals
but struck a chord with a loyal
following. / Page 29
ohn Shammas stepped
out from behind the
curtain and into the
spotlight, as applause erupted
through an auditorium
filled with a couple hundred
Dressed in jeans and
stylish, tight gray blazer, he began a presentation introducing an interactive, real-time,
customized app that he invented that could be
accessed on iPhones, Androids, Apple or
Miked-up, poised and relaxed, and in
command of his practiced delivery, he looked
and sounded every bit the part of a tech
pioneer — a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Mark
Zuckerberg. The kind of innovators and
thinkers who populate the Internet catalog of
TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
That’s because Shammas is one, with a
catalog of TED and YouTube presentations of
his own to prove it.
Shammas is the chief creative officer and
head designer of Meddle, a New Jersey company that creates blog platforms.
He has Web-design clients of his own, too:
Whisk, a New York company that connects
transportation services; Datacratic of Montreal, which will track real-time consumer
behavior; and DNA-7 of New York and Israel, a
start-up for which Shammas is developing its
branding identity.
Perhaps this is the best time to interrupt
Shammas’ résumé to say that he is just 17 years
And that when he started at Meddle, his
mother had to drive him to work.
And that the presentation he gave Tuesday
was not at a tech symposium, but in front of his
fellow students at Old Bridge High School,
where Shammas is a popular senior with a 4.8
grade point average (4.0 is an A).
And that the sophisticated app he invented,
built and demonstrated, was created for the
Old Bridge High community of students,
parents and staff.
How sophisticated?
Kidney broker caught in Dwek sting is free and won’t be deported
By Ted Sherman
NJ Advance Media for The Star-Ledger
After pleading guilty two
years ago in a bizarre scheme
brokering the sale of blackmarket kidneys, Levy Itzhak
Rosenbaum was looking at the
possibility of deportation to
Israel following his release from
federal prison in New Jersey.
On Wednesday, however,
Rosenbaum — the first person
ever convicted in this country of
trafficking in human kidneys
for profit — walked out the door
of the federal correctional
facility at Fort Dix and was back
home in Brooklyn, his lawyer
said, after federal immigration
officials decided his crimes
were nondeportable offenses.
“He is reunited with his wife
Sunny, with a northwest wind 9 to 14 mph,
and remaining clear overnight.
High: 41° Low: 26° / Forecast, Page 2
and looking forward to enjoying
freedom and to start living life
again,” said attorney Edward
Shulman of the Shulman Law
Group in Paterson.
Immigration officials had no
Rosenbaum, 63, is an Israeli
citizen, but had been living
legally in the United States
before being caught up in a
Advice / 30
Business / 25
Classified / 43
Comics / 33
Editorial / 18
Home / 31
wide-ranging federal corruption
and money-laundering sting
operation in New Jersey that led
to the arrests of 46 people in
July 2009.
The case, known as Bid Rig III,
ensnared three mayors, two
legislators and more than 20
candidates for public office,
who were charged with taking
cash bribes to help green-light
Lottery / 2
New Jersey / 17
Obituaries / 21
Puzzles / 30
Real Estate / 47
Sports / 35
questionable development
projects. Separately, five
Orthodox rabbis from Brooklyn
and the Jersey Shore were
charged with laundering
millions of dollars through
various religious charities.
The two parallel investigations were all tied together by a
single informant — failed
Today / 29
Towns / 20
TV Grid / 32