Technology
Apple Pay and Google Wallet Now in Disney World
January 3, 2015
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Planning for a visit to Walt Disney World? From now on, you don’t have to swipe your credit card during your trip to Walk Disney World.

The huge Orlando-area theme park has started accepting contactless mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. The new service was launched on 24th Dec ‘14.

To start with, Disney will run the mobile payment service in bars, park’s stores, quick-service restaurants, and ticket booths. As of now, table-service restaurants and other localities that use portable payment terminals are not in the list. Ticketing system is currently undergoing a transition to integrate the new payment system.

NFC-based mobile payment uses RFID technology that is already in use for MyMagic+ system, an innovative technology which lets people charge purchases using a wristband.

It is well known that Walt Disney World gets a massive number of visitors every year. Last year the figure peaked to 18 million. Later this year, the company has got plans to extend the payment service to Disneyland Park in California, a relatively smaller theme park.

Soon after the Apple Pay launch in October, Disney management decided to join hands with Apple for a long-term association. The management has planned to transform the payment method in existing retail stores with new mobile payment system.

Apple Pay is slowly strengthening its position among established competitors like Google Wallet and Softcard. Apple Pay has done a good job so far in promoting its shiny payment service and has received a lot of media attention. Google Wallet team has performed relatively poor in taking the service to a wider audience. It’s early days, soon we can expect Apple Pay and Google Wallet to take control over the new “going-to-become” mainstream payment method.

Health
Cleanse & Detox Your Body at Home Naturally – Ayurvedic Way
January 1, 2015
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The need to cleanse your body regularly is a crucial portion of making your body available for even greater potentialities. It’s invariably best to detoxify your body the natural way, and you can do this right in your own home.

Actually, your body consists of five elements – earth, water, air, space, and fire. It is not uncommon in India to describe the body as a puppet that is made up of five elements. The body is composed of 72 percent water, 12 percent earth, six percent air, four percent fire, and another six percent Akash or space.

How these elements act within your body will govern every aspect of your existence. “Bhuta” translates as elements; “Bhuta Shuddhi,” translates as becoming free of the tarnish of elements. It literally means to become free from the visceral or physical self. Bhuta shuddhi is the fundamental sadhana of yoga to go beyond the restrictions of that which is physical and become accessible to dimensions beyond physical.

Some simple acts you can do to accomplish bhuta shuddhi in a natural way, but are not the ultimate standard of bhuta shuddhi, yet these will provide some cleansing to these five elements.

Water

Our largest concern among these five elements is of course water. You must use substantial care with this element as water makes up 72 percent of our body and has exceptional memory. One way you can accomplish this is to add a few tulsi or neem leaves to it. This will not eliminate chemical contaminants, but the leaves will add vigour and energy to the water. Another thing you can do is store the water in copper vessels, so the water will acquire beneficial qualities from the copper.

Earth

Twelve percent is earth. How we consume our food, whose hands bring us those foods; all these things are imperative, as food is life. And, other forms of life were given up to sustain ours. When we eat with immense gratitude to those once living things, food will act very different within us.

Air

Six percent is air. Out of that six percent, barely one percent is our breath. Not only the air we breathe which affects us, but the way in which keep air within us. City life does not leave us much choice about most of the air we breathe. So, try to get out of the city as much as possible and when you can’t, at least walk in the park or by a lake or ocean frequently.

Especially those with children, we must get our children out. Not just to the cinema, or other indoor events, but outside with the Creator’s creations. Swimming, or rock climbing is good, but any type of adventurous activity to expand their minds and become one with these magnificent creations is very important.

Fire

Believe it or not, you can care for the fire which burns inside you. Get sunlight on your body to stoke the fires that burn within you. Sunlight is pure and fortunately for us, no one can corrupt its purity. If you take care of the fire within you, you won’t need to be concerned with mental or physical well-being; it will be taken care of.

Akash

If you take care of yourself, you need not concern yourself with Akash. If you cleanse the other elements, Akash will care for itself. And, you will have a blessed life.

Technology
Just $2.99 to Take Down Any Website – Hackers Claim
December 31, 2014
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A group of hackers that claim to have taken down PlayStation and Xbox’s servers Christmas Day will now assist you in taking down the website of your choice for as little as $2.99.

Lizard Squad launched a marketing campaign on Tuesday called “Lizard Stresser,” which proposes a denial of service attack (DDOS) on any website for paying customers.

How do they do it? These attacks flood the website with fictitious traffic, denying legitimate traffic access. This is a favourite “tool” of protesters and hackers who desire to disrupt access to particular site.

Why would the Lizard Squad want to disrupt the two biggest video gaming corporations on the year’s busiest day? It was basically a marketing ploy or strategy to boost Lizard Stresser. Prior to this week, it had been unclear what their motivation was.

Any attempt to deny services to a website you don’t personally own is illegal. Lizard Stresser has claimed to be a legitimate or White Hat service that tests a client’s website’s capacity to repel an attack. However, given the Lizard Squad’s notoriety that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Lizard Stresser’s proposal to customers is an offer to take out an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is the online version of a website or server’s phone number, for anywhere from 100 seconds for $2.99 to eight hours for $69.99.

This online “tool” is advertised for any user from the beginner to the advanced users. You simply provide an IP address, specify a time for the attack, and pay. They even promise tech support.

Technicians at Lizard Stresser say it can provide attacks averaging five gigabits per second (gbps) of fictitious traffic to the maximum 20 gbps. Even 5 gbps would have a significant effect on unprotected sites. Yes, you can even buy denial of services protection.

Cloudflare is a leading provider; their service masks a website’s real IP address to preclude attacks. Lizard Stresser boasts the ability to resolve Cloudflare, by tricking its software into providing a real IP address. You can even buy software that will give you an IP address that will make it look as if you are located somewhere else.

Lizard Stresser can also attack an individual’s Skype or Steam account. Steam is an online video-gaming network. Lizard Stresser’s site even boasts an index of IP addresses previously attacked. The hacking group has announced that more technical tools are on the way. The Lizard group hacking of Sony has turned into a ‘big marketing campaign’ to launch Lizard Stresser. Though media report says it is a hack, the Lizard group clearly specifies it as a DDOS attack.

In spite of the Lizard Squad’s admitted propensity to disrupt and deny services to video game servers for fun and profit, these hackers still claim they provide a legitimate, white hat service.

Their “Terms of Service” claim stress tests for personally owned networks and servers and the opportunity to test firewalls and make those stronger. However, they also claimed to be “governed by the laws of the State of Chicago,” Go figure!         

Health
Indoor Tanning, more Dangerous than we thought?
November 30, 2014
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Most of us are aware that indoor tanning causes serious diseases such as skin cancer due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Yet, recent information indicates aside from the risk of melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer, it can also cause serious burns, many of which were so severe they required emergency room visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed information that shows some tanning bed users burned eyes and/or damaged optical nerves. Some even passed out from dehydration and overuse after staying too long inside these machines.

Researchers at the CDC collated information from national samples that gathered data from emergency rooms across the country. There were approximately 400 reports of injuries related to tanning from nearly 70 different hospitals. When they extrapolated the data gathered to include the entire population, they estimated on average about 3,200 people suffered injury during indoor tanning bed use every year. This data includes gathered information from 2003 – 2012 in America alone.

Gery Guy from CDC and one of the co-authors of the study reported that most victims were treated at the emergency room and released without requiring an overnight stay in the hospital. Nonetheless, a burn severe enough to require a visit to the emergency room certainly would indicate UV radiation overexposure occurred and that person acquired an elevated risk of developing skin cancer.

Incidents of reported injury had dropped significantly by 2012. In fact, reports of injury were nearly cut in half, from 3200 to 1957 per year, researchers noted. Most of the injuries were burns, accounting for 80 percent, followed by fainting at ten percent, and less than six percent were burns involving the eyes.

Even though official at the CDC and other health personnel have warned against tanning bed use, it is still quite popular, though it seems people are getting smarter about overexposure. According to information gathered by the CDC, more than one-fourth of high school girls claim to have tried it at least once and about the same percentage of young adults use salons and tanning beds frequently.

Due to the ultraviolet radiation and cancer risks, the United States Food and Drug Administration recommended a health warning sticker or a sign should be posted on the machine, to warn users of the adverse health risks.

General Technology
Obama Administration Imposes Sanctions on North Korea, after Sony hack
November 25, 2014
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After quite a bit of speculation regarding whether or not the US was going to sit back and entertain (sometimes comical) oppressive threats or negotiate with foreign terrorists, it has been reported that the Obama Administration has finally decided to strike back against North Korea. In a bold move against their Asian adversary, the US government has decided to take a firm stand against foreign nationals who attempt to dictate what is and what is not allowed in the United States of America. The Obama Administration has decided to stand up for the rights of its citizens instead of sitting back on their laurels in hopes of eventually placating their aggressor.

In its first official response to North Korea’s alleged cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Obama Administration has reportedly imposed a wave of sanctions against North Korea’s government on Friday.

Regardless of the fact that private security analysts are currently still questioning whether or not North Korea is in fact responsible for the cyber attack, as per the FBI’s findings, the Whitehouse remains adamant that these sanctions be described as retaliation against the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary has released a formal statement assuring the public that the US government will not allow a foreign nation to bully its citizens by way of threatening them, oppressing their freedom of speech and expression, nor by allowing its citizens to be negatively impacted financially. He echoed President Obama’s words and has given firm assurance to the public that the US’ response will be in proportion to the North Korean attacks and that these sanctions are the first steps in that particular direction.

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against any and all agencies and officials linked to North Korea’s government as well as the Workers Party of Korea. The order describes North Korea as offensive, destabilizing, and oppressive, with regards to its attempt at cyber bullying and coercion of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November and December of 2014. According to the Department of Treasury, three government related entities, as well as ten officials have been designated under these sanctions.

The end result? Being denied access to the US financial system, as well as being officially banned from the country. Kim Jong-Un has not specifically been named by the department or the administration, but representatives of the North Korean government, stationed internationally in locations such as Russia, Syria and Iran have all been designated. North Korea’s intelligence organisation, arms dealer, as well as their technology procurement organisation, have all been named and shamed and therefore placed under these sanctions. It seems the list of US sanctions is likely to keep expanding as North Korea is already subject to past sanctions due to their nuclear program.

Despite the fact that a number of Friday’s targets are already under sanction, House of Foreign Affairs Committee Representative; Congressmen Ed Royce, called for stronger measures to be put in place against North Korea.
Congressman Royce claimed it was good to see the Administration take action, but in the same breath proclaimed that many of the officials blacklisted presently have already been sanctioned in the past and will thus be unaffected. He suggested that the US need to take it further, that the financial institutions in Asia and beyond should be sanctioned just as was done back in 2005. This time it should be done specifically for supporting such a brutal and dangerous regime.

The cyber attack on Sony ended up severely disrupting Sony’s systems as well as releasing confidential information that lead to the public embarrassment of the company. It is believed that North Korea had set out to punish Sony because of their plans to release “The Interview”, which is a comedy about two journalists sent to North Korea to assassinate their leader.

However, it has been recently brought to the attention of the public, that there are cyber security experts within the private sector, who have been raising questions regarding the allegations that North Korea is behind the cyber attack.

Norse is just one such company, they claim to have strong evidence in their possession that supports the theory that the Sony hack was an inside job, which was probably carried out by a disgruntled former employee. It is said that they spent some time earlier this week briefing the FBI on their findings. The Senior Vice President of the company, named Kurt Stammberger reportedly handed over raw data to the FBI after briefing them for approximately 2 or 3 hours. Along with other pertinent details, he also informed the press that Norse had acquired sensitive data regarding the malware samples which logically point to extremely sensitive information, the type that only a Sony insider would be privy to.

On that same note, a former Sony employee has reportedly spilled the beans to Fox news regarding the apparently growing consensus that North Korea is in fact not responsible for the Sony hacks.
The main reason behind the growing doubt regarding North Korea’s guilt is a simple question;
“Why hasn’t North Korea released any other damaging information?”….
Well, personally I honestly don’t think it’s too farfetched that North Korea may not have wanted to use their best ammo so early on in the battle. They could be using the “save the best for last” tactic.

Despite continuous private sector investigations and reports of a growing general consensus, the FBI has decided to stand firmly by its original allegations. According to their official statements, the FBI has concluded that there’s no credible information to support the fact that anyone besides North Korea could be responsible for the Sony hacks.
The Obama Administration and the State Department all seem to be in agreement that North Korea is in fact guilty of the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew made a strong statement as part of Friday’s announcements, regarding how key North Korean officials and entities will now be further isolated and their activities will be disrupted.

Health
How Aging Affects Your Bladder Health
October 25, 2014
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Some changes related to age are obvious, such as wrinkles and grey hair.

Other shifts occur out of sight, inside of our bodies as the years pass. Our urinary system and bladder are prime examples of that change and many changes are undesirable, to say the least.

However, recognizing, understanding, and taking intelligent steps to cope with these changes will improve how you handle these changes and quite possibly your health.

Unfortunately, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) follows some into their later years:

Nearly ten percent of the postmenopausal women continue to experience UTIs each year. Although that rate isn’t quite as high as that of younger women, whom report having a UTI at a 17 percent rate every year, the symptoms can be different in older women.

Those differences according to the results of a recent study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics: elderly women encounter a strong compulsion to urinate, accompanied by leakage, abdominal and lower back pains. Young women are apt to urinate more often and reported a burning or painful sensation when they did.

Preventive measures include

Drinking ample amounts of water, six or eight, 8-ounce portions per day are recommended; wear cotton panties; always wipe front to back; and urinate as soon after sex as possible.

Urethra Blockages

Changes to our reproductive systems occur in both male and females, which can cause bladder problems.

For men, it is usually caused by the prostate, a gland about the size of a walnut that surrounds the urethra and sometimes enlarges as we get older.

For Women, a weakening in pelvic muscles could lead to the bladder slipping from its original position; this might cause difficulty fully draining your bladder.

Either of these problems could disrupt urine flow. If you experience symptoms, such as trouble urinating, unexplainable discharges or bleeding, notify your doctor.

Stones and Leakage might happen more frequently

Whereas incontinence or leaking urine can become more commonplace as we get older, we don’t have to just accept it. Speak with your physician about possible lifestyle or diet changes, holistic remedies, medications, or in extreme cases, surgery to relieve symptoms.

Advanced age might increase the risk of bladder stones, which are a build-up of hard, crystal minerals in the organ and are painful to pass. These are less prevalent in women than men and normally occur simultaneously with enlarged prostates and infections.

Small stones are often passed, although this is not a painless process. While others, may require surgery.

Increased Risk of Cancer

Bladder cancer affects men a lot more often than women, but is the sixth highest occurring cancer and the probability escalates with age for both sexes. Family history, smoking, and chemical exposure increase the odds, as well.

The symptoms include: painful urination; having to force urine out; lower back pain; and blood in the urine. Although these symptoms could be caused by other health issues, they’re not natural and should be reported to your doctor right away.

Key Takeaways:

  • UTIs occur in ten percent of post menopause women each year.
  • Enlarged prostates and bladder slippage could block urine flow.
  • Incontinence, bladder stones, and cancer occur more frequently with age.
  • Discuss all symptoms with your doctor; it is nothing to be embarrassed about.