The seven-day GM diet is back – but is it actually good for you?

Bananas are your GM friend

Bananas are your GM friend CREDIT: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Shoulder pads, sequins, and a seven-day diet plan that asks you to eat eight bananas in one day – the 80s certainly gifted us with some weird and wonderful trends. And now (along with the shoulder pads and sequins), that diet plan is making a comeback.

Supposedly the brainchild of General Motors (GM), the GM diet plan was developed to help their employees lose weight – although the automotive company has never actually confirmed the connection. A quick Google search reveals pages of fans of the diet, who rave about their 11lb weight loss after just seven days.

So what’s behind this ‘miracle’ diet plan – and is it actually good for you?

In short, the GM diet is an extremely strict seven-day plan that suggests you drink 12-15 glasses of water a day while cutting out alcohol, tea and coffee; and restrict your calorific intake from food.

Wondering what to eat on 8th day after GM diet? Many of the readers have asked this question in the comments and a few through email. So, I thought of explaining this topic as a separate post rather than replying to them so that it can help everyone who’re in a confused state about what to eat after completing GM diet program for a week.

  • Overweight or Obesity, is undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems faced by most of the people these days. The scientific solution to lose weight is to increase the expenditure and decrease the consumption of calories. Generally, our body burns a certain number of calories even while we’re completely at rest.

    That is called the Basal Metabolic Rate aka BMR. This BMR varies from one individual to another, based on several factors such as height, weight, age and lifestyle. So, if a person’s BMR is 1500 calories per day, then his body will burn those 1500 cal even if he does nothing. However, if the same person consumes around 2000 calories or more, then his/her body will store the remaining 500 calories in the form of FAT cells, resulting in weight gain. So, according to this principle, losing weight is purely calculation. Spend more than you consume and you’ll obviously shed weight.

    Now, let us come to our topic. Most of the people who follow the 7 day diet plan will lose around 4 to 7 kgs, depending on how they followed it. Unfortunately, there are several other factors that interfere with weight loss, due to which a few people might not get such fantastic results.

    Let us assume you’ve followed the diet properly and lost around 5 Kgs of weight in the span of 1 week. You’ll definitely gain weight after the 7 day diet, if you get back to your old lifestyle (eating habits). There is actually no guarantee that the weight you’ve lost is permanent. To be frank, there is no diet plan in this world that promises such guarantee. It is because, our body weight depends on how we manage it and it is a continuous process. If you wanted to stay fit and healthy, then you should always see what you’re eating. Consuming unhealthy or fast foods may lead to obesity and it is an open secret.

    What to Eat on GM Diet 8th Day?

    So What Should You Eat After Completing GM Diet?

    If you want to avoid those lost pounds from coming back, then you should definitely change your diet routine. It is advised to consume low carb high protein diet in order to maintain your weight permanently or until your next GM diet session. Failing in doing so will obviously ruin your efforts that were put into following the General Motors diet program.

    Simple Weight Loss Logic:

    1 pound of FAT = 3500 calories; 1 KG = 2.2 Pounds; In order to lose 10 Kg of weight, you should spend/burn around 10 x 2.2 x 3500 = 77000 calories. Since, reducing such a huge number of calories won’t happen even in the dreams, it is recommended to reduce a minimum of 500 to 800 maximum per day. So, if you cut down 800 calories per day, then it would take 77000/800 = 96 days to lose 22 pounds/10 Kgs of weight naturally without following any crash diet plans.

    What to Eat After Finishing GM Diet?

    First, calculate how many calories you need per day and based on the BMR value, you should plan your meal plan accordingly. Below, you can find sample meal plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters.

    If your BMR is under 2000 calories, then you can consume either the 1200 calorie meal plan or the 1500 calorie meal plan. No matter, what your BMR is, you should never go below the 1200 calorie limit as it would impact your health in a negative manner.

    Along with the above diet routines, below are a few tips which if followed will result in much quicker weight loss.

    • Avoid high calorie foods like noodles, samosas, pasta and all kinds of foods that are high in carbs or starch.
    • Replace the white foods (white rice) with brown colored foods (whole-wheat). Brown rice is always better than the White rice.
    • Try to stop your coffee or tea drinking habit and consume Green tea for weight loss. It is both healthy and boosts your metabolism.
    • Drink enough water per day (min of 3 to 4 liters)
    • Soups are very beneficial for losing weight as they aid in better digestion. Include this Cabbage soup or Tomato soup in your daily routine.
    • Try to allot at least 30 minutes every day to perform exercises like cardio workouts or Yoga poses. If time is your biggest problem, then at least try to perform this 7 minute HIIT workout instead.

    If you follow these tips, you’ll definitely lose weight and also keep it OFF after finishing the GM diet.

 

[“Source-7daygmdiet”]

EXERCISE CAN BE PUNISHING – BUT HERE’S HOW TO STOP THINKING OF IT AS A PUNISHMENT

Image result for EXERCISE CAN BE PUNISHING – BUT HERE’S HOW TO STOP THINKING OF IT AS A PUNISHMENTThe fitness industry is said to be worth £4.4bn in the UK alone. But, despite medical research telling us that exercise will help us live longer, the majority of people do not engage with health and fitness. Could it be that exercise is still considered a punishment – as it was in Victorian prisons?

Or do we just need to increase the fun and social aspect to exercise to get more of us working up a sweat?

Medical research suggests exercise is good for our health and will help us all live longer. But a report by the British Heart Foundation says that 20 million people living in the UK are physically inactive.

To be considered active, the Department of Health recommends adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. So it begs the question: why do close to a third of the country’s population struggle to meet this recommended amount of exercise, when doing so could prolong their life?

A reason why inactive people may not engage in enough exercise is because it is not perceived to be a fulfilling or satisfying leisure pursuit. Other competing pastimes of a more sedentary nature, such as watching TV, reading and gaming, are seen by some as being more enjoyable.

Exercise as punishment

The treadmill was devised as a form of punishment for convicted criminals in the Victorian era. At this time, prisoners had to undertake long hours of hard labour by walking on treadmills to grind flour. This form of punishment was abolished in the late 19th century for being too cruel.

Exercise also has a long history of being used as a form of correctional behaviour in schools. Indeed in 2014 the then-Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, proposed to ban exercise being used in schools as a form of punishment for fear that it would put children off being active.

Given that exercise has a lengthy historical association with the use of discipline for the purpose of punishment and obedience, can 21st century society ever be truly accepting of exercise as a leisure pursuit that can have personal fulfilment?

At present, the high volume of inactivity levels in the UK suggests a large amount of people are not motivated to take exercise. Getting people to be more active, therefore, would require a shift in people exercising because they want to rather than having to.

Making it social

My research explores the role of social psychology for the development of interventions that make physical activity a fulfilling pursuit for long-term condition sufferers. This is because social psychological science has consistently demonstrated that people are motivated to seek social connections in order to fulfil their psychological needs as human beings. For example, “the belongingness hypothesis” states that people have a basic need to feel closely connected to others.

So it is important people have positive social exercise experiences that enrich their quality of life and, in doing so, make the pursuit of exercise a more satisfying and worthwhile activity. This can be achieved by creating exercise environments that provide individuals with a shared sense of social connectedness, creating opportunities for people to form friendships, meaningful attachments and mutually supportive relationships.

For example, the EuroFit programme takes a unique approach for improving men’s health and fitness by allowing fans to train in the environment of a professional football club they support. City Ride events are another example, where families and friends of all ages and abilities can enjoy cycling together through the streets of a vibrant traffic-free environment. Similarly, walking sports offer a social atmosphere of fun, laughter and camaraderie for those who may have difficulty participating in high impact activities.

Connecting people in dynamic and socially rewarding exercise environments has the potential to offset the drudgery often associated with exercise and make it a leisure pursuit worth doing.

[“Source-independent”]

Julia Lipscombe: Postpartum hair loss is no joke — but it grows back

Julia Lipscombe, with her son Indiana in their Edmonton home on Feb. 2, 2017, noticed a few strands of hair fall from her head about three and a half months after her son was born.David Bloom / Postmedia

“Thinking about getting pregnant again so that my hair stops falling out.”

It was an innocent Facebook post a few months ago. And, for the record, I’m not recommending that.

The post was just a joke that I thought would make a couple of people smile. But it ended up being one of the most popular mom-related things I’ve ever put on social media.

The women in my larger Internet circle really wanted to talk about their hair falling out. And mostly, it seemed, this was one of those things they hadn’t been prepared for.

Personally, I’d heard about the glossy, shiny and thick hair you’re supposed to acquire during pregnancy. I hadn’t been aware, however, that after you give birth you will be leaving a trail of DNA behind you everywhere you go.

My hair loss went something like this.

At three-and-a-half months postpartum, I noticed a few strands of my almost chin-length bob coming out in my hands in the shower. It wasn’t gradual — from that moment on, I couldn’t touch my hair without several coming loose.

There are a few different causes for postpartum hair-loss, said Dr. Jonathan Tankel, an obstetrician gynecologist working at the Hys Centre and the University of Alberta’s University Health Centre.

“By far, the most common cause is called telogen effluvium. There’s different phases of hair development — there’s a growth phase, and a resting phase. (In this case), the resting phase, where you lose the hair, tends to be accelerated and the growth phase is decreased.”

Telogen effluvium isn’t exclusive to women who’ve given birth, and can also occur when someone has had major stress, a major surgery or has nutritional deficiencies, for example.

There are two types of this condition — acute, the kind most women will experience after childbirth, and chronic.

“The acute type will usually occur in the first few weeks or months after childbirth and most people will start regrowing their hair by a year or a year-and-a-half afterward,” said Tankel.

In other words, most people shouldn’t stress too much about it.

But how much hair loss is too much?

“If someone is having hair-loss that is ongoing for more than a year, it’s worth seeing their primary care physician, just to make sure there’s no other cause. For example, we would generally check people’s blood count, we would check their iron.”

He also suggests seeking help from a family doctor or dermatologist if the hair loss is causing psychological distress, or if it’s showing cosmetically.

I was pretty lucky.

The shedding slowed down by five-and-a-half months postpartum, and by six months it had altogether stopped. My hair is not noticeably thinner.

But, there’s another thing they don’t tell you about — regrowth.

My now legitimately chin-length, curly brown bob is accented by a ring of short, copper-brown curls that stick out around my face like a crown — including new short sideburns. I love curly hair, but the inconsistency is pretty funny.

When I wear my hair down, it looks like I have a tangled nest around my head before my regular hair starts. And when it’s up, I have a sort of Orphan Annie thing going on. My hairstylist, Quinn, is able to straighten and therefore hide the tiny hairs when I see her for special events, but I can’t do it at home for everyday.

On the grand scale of life’s annoyances, this is tiny and insignificant. Hair grows back. I joked to my mom friends that I’m paying more attention to wearing cute outfits so that people don’t look at my mane. Ball caps have become my best friend.

I wonder though, is there anything I could have done to be proactive? To stop the shed in the first place? Can I make my little wisps grow faster? My original Facebook post resulted in plenty of tips that some of my friends swore by. But I’m skeptical about most miracle beauty cures.

Tankel suggests that supplementing with iron might make a difference, but is uncertain about other remedies. “Some studies showed that taking extra iron — even if the iron levels weren’t low to begin with — could make a difference.

“There are other supplements that people use. For example, some people use zinc, some people use biotin, some people use vitamin D. But there’s no clear proof that they work. I can’t say that (they definitely don’t work), but I’m not aware of any clear evidence that they do.”

Vance Elliott, of the Advanced Hair and Cosmetic Medicine and Surgery Clinic, agrees.

“There’s no harm in taking biotin, but it doesn’t do anything,” he said. “But there is also treatment that does work.”

Like Tankel, Elliott suggests that postpartum women experiencing hair loss for a year should see a doctor. And if you’re worried about it, he said, there’s no harm in seeing a doctor before then.

“If they’re concerned that their hair isn’t going back to normal or is continuing to thin, they should have it looked at. I don’t like the idea that treatment gets delayed for someone just because it gets chalked up to, ‘This is what happens after babies’.”

Elliott said that significant, prolonged hair-loss after childbirth can, in some cases, be the onset of female pattern hair loss.

“If someone genetically has inherited the genes that predisposes them to female pattern hair-loss, sometimes pregnancy or their series of pregnancies can be what kicks that off.”

If you’ve seen your physician and determined your hair loss is outside of the postpartum norm, there are two main medical treatments that are effective, said Elliott.

“Minoxidil, which is also on the market as the brand name Rogaine, which is a topical medicine. And low-level laser therapy, which is not medication. It’s a laser modality that’s applied to the scalp externally.”

You can undergo laser therapy while breastfeeding, said Elliott. But the safety of Minoxidil during breastfeeding is not known and Elliott recommends discussing either option with an obstetrician or family doctor first if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

For most of us, though, the worst things we’ll have to deal with is a drain full of hair and all that pesky regrowth.

“It’s a normal thing,” said Tankel. “In the vast majority of people, the hair will come back.”

In the meantime, it’s summer — invest in a good floppy hat.

[“Source-nationalpost”]

AYUSH Diets Claim to Heal All But How Easy Are They to Follow?

Image result for AYUSH Diets Claim to Heal All But How Easy Are They to Follow?

New York: On this International Day of Yoga (IDY), India’s 69.2 million diabetics might consider waking up to a spoonful of methi seeds soaked overnight on an empty stomach, followed by with meals of salads fresh fruits, multigrain rotis and brown rice gruels.

This is part of the ideal sattvic diet for diabetics, according to the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), a body of the Ministry of AYUSH, most recently in the news for advising pregnant women to “detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatredness [sic] and lust”.

The pamphlet on Mother and Child Care, distributed by AYUSH minister Shripad Yesso Naik, in the run up to the IDY, is scarcely the only document advising lifestyle and dietary practices. The aforementioned diet is part of a similar booklet on the benefits of yoga and naturopathy on diabetes, one of India’s most prevalent non-communicable disease (NCD). Dr. Ishwara Acharya, president of the CCRYN told News18 that these practices could rid India of NCDs.

Much of this advice, however, is treated warily by nutritionists.

“AYUSH diets endorse ‘sattvic’ philosophy, which is fine, but does not mean that people who have been consuming non-vegetarian foods are not eating healthy. In fact, several nutrients are only found in non-vegetarian foods like long chain omega 3 fats, vitamin B12 etc,” said Dr. Shweta Khandelwal, nutritionist and associate professor, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

Nor is the humble egg, disdained by the sattvic diet, easily substituted. Khandelwal did the math. One egg has the biological value (BV) — the unit for measuring how much protein a food source provides the body — of 100. One whole egg makes available 6 gram of protein for the body. Thus eggs are an excellent source of protein. However, she explained, many of the vegetarian sources of protein have a low BV. Thus one has to consume about three to four bowls (200-250 ml each) of dal to get as much bioavailable protein.

Protein requirements are still easier to achieve with a vegetarian diet for an adult, said Purnima Menon, senior fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); the trouble would be with iron, zinc and calcium. In a country with widespread anemia among girls and women, which affects lifelong health and makes pregnancy more dangerous, iron is hard to ignore.

According to Acharya, naturopathic diets could correct menstrual cycles from puberty on, perhaps stopping the loss of iron from excess bleeding. He was careful to add that the CCRYN was not asking anyone to stop taking supplements, even though naturopathy is a drugless system.

However, iron has limited vegetarian sources — certain leafy vegetables or lentils — Menon said. These are either expensive or not readily available.

The latest antenatal guidelines by the World Health Organisation recommend “consumption of a variety of foods, including green and orange vegetables, meat, fish, beans, nuts, whole grains and fruit” for healthy pregnancies.

Even if an AYUSH prescribed diet fulfills one’s nutritional needs, it trips over accessibility and affordability, as pointed out by both Khandelwal and Menon.

Seasonal fruits, prescribed for diabetics, are often priced too highly for urban poor to afford, who have now become increasingly vulnerable to diabetes according to the ongoing diabetes survey of the Indian Council of Medical Research. As are the dry fruits to be consumed by pregnant women.

“Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet is a problem across all classes and sectors,” said Khandelwal, adding “With the rise in working populations and erratic lifestyles we all often fall prey to cheap, ready-to-eat options, which are mostly empty calories laden with trans fats.”

However, the minutely detailed AYUSH diets are more suited to those either leading a life of leisure or who have enough help at home with the amount of preparation required.

Menon, who works at the Health and Nutrition Division at IFPRI, said the prescribed diet, at least for pregnant and lactating women would take significant efforts in terms of time and resources. “It takes time to procure and process, things like alfalfa and sprouts,” said Menon, “and many pregnant women do not have the time, the access or the support.” For many women, it will be hard to adhere to fruits and sprouts at 7am, whole wheat rotis at 11am and juices at 3pm.

Recently having completed a study on nutrition and behavioural changes in pregnant women in Bangladesh, Menon called it impractical to expect women to make drastic changes in their diet at the moment of pregnancy. Acharya may call naturopathy a change of lifestyle. However, “changes, and recommendations on what changes to make, to add those extra 350 to 400 calories and other nutrients to a pregnant woman’s diet, have to be incremental and contextual,” said Menon. People form habits by eating multiple times a day, every day. One cannot expect women from coastal communities to suddenly stop eating fish, a ready source of protein. In India, diverse socio-agricultural diversity, a daily family diet in Kerala would be very different from Gujarat or from any other state, she said.

 

 

 

[“source-news18”]

Windows 10 Build 15019 may be about games, but its many bugs could spoil the fun

Windows 10 game bar beam broadcasting windows 10

The gaming-focused Windows 10 Insider build that Microsoft promised earlier this week, with Game Mode, Beam livestreaming and other features, is rolling out—but with some game-breaking bugs, unfortunately.

What’s officially known as Build 15019 for the Insider Fast Ring also includes a number of more general improvements, including a version of Edge that will read your ebooks aloud and a better out-of-box experience, complete with voice actors to guide you through the process.

If you’re hoping to try out the new PC-centric Game Mode for yourself, though, be wary: Microsoft warned that unspecified “popular games” may experience crashes or black screens when loading, and clicking on certain elements in a Win32 game may cause it to be minimized (and therefore unplayable) unless killed. Even the new Game Mode will show up as OFF when in fact it’s enabled by default. Also, be aware of one download glitch: The issue Microsoft had with its progress bar is still there, so the download will still show “0% completed” even when it’s actually downloading.

“We recognize that this is painful for those wanting to try out the new gaming features announced this week,” Microsoft’s Insider chief, Dona Sarkar, wrote in a blog post. “We deliberated a lot on whether to release this build to Insiders with these issues; however we decided to go ahead and release it as we need feedback from Insiders on other areas of the OS.”

Windows 10 game mode

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Microsoft

Windows 10’s new Game Mode settings, which are designed to optimize your PC for gaming.

Some great new gaming features

Build 15019 is specifically optimized for gaming, with new additions to both the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms. (A separate build for Xbox Insiders should roll out today, with support for Screentime, a parental control that is already on Windows 10.) Our previous story outlined the new additions, but we’ll briefly recap them here:

Game Mode: a specific mode for the PC that minimizes the resources other background tasks have at their disposal, giving the game all of the resources your PC can spare. My colleague Brad Chacos has outlined what Game Mode does for your PC. The Windows Game Bar now supports 17 more games in fullscreen mode, including Battlefield 3, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, FIFA 14 and FIFA 17, Rocket League, and more.

Gaming Settings: Microsoft has consolidated gaming controls for Game Bar, GameDVR, and more into a Gaming section in Windows 10’s Settings.

Beam livestreaming: Microsoft bought Beam and its livestreaming technology last year to take the games you’re playing on Windows 10 and the Xbox and broadcast them to others on the Internet. You’ll be able to trigger the Game Bar (Win + G) and show others how fast you can drive in Forza Horizon 3.

Windows 10 download bar

Microsoft

Action Center now keeps tabs on your games.

Microsoft also revealed a small additional convenience: If you buy a game from the Microsoft Store app, you’ll be able to track its download progress in the Action Center notifications. The company also fixed a bug that would crash the display controller if an Xbox controller was attached, and another that could cause the screen to flicker if a player used Alt + Tab to change focus to another window.

A better out-of-box experience

Having just reset a balky Surface Pro 4 that couldn’t get past Build 15002, I can confirm that the out-of-box experience that build introduced is excellent—and Build 15019 promises to improve on it even more. Setting up a new PC is now voice-driven: Cortana asks you the questions you’d normally have to be at your keyboard to answer. (For those who are unable to hear Cortana, there are now subtitles.)

Windows 10 out of the box experience

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Microsoft

Cortana will guide you through the new “Out of the box” setup experience,

With build 15002 and the latest build 15019, you can be working away at another PC while Cortana’s voice asks you if you’d like to accept the default options and other questions. It’s fun to holler “Yes!” and keep typing.

At one point during build 15002’s reset process, Cortana’s voice was replaced by a more robotic text-to-speech voice. That’s been fixed, with additional voice acting in place to maintain a consistent, pleasant tone. A bit of spit and polish has updated the UI, including the way in which you sign in with a Microsoft account. Windows Hello enrollment, which simply asks you to smile at the camera for a second or two, has also been updated.

Troubleshooters, all in one place

I have sporadic issues at my home office where my Wi-Fi connection needs to be reset, requiring me to right-click my Wi-Fi icon on the Taskbar and launch the troubleshooter. For Build 15019, Microsoft’s grouped all of the Troubleshooter options inside Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot so you can see the complete list, including tools for resolving printer issues, Windows updates, Bluetooth, and more.

Windows 10 troubleshooters

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Microsoft

The collected Troubleshooters.

A bevy of other useful features

Build 15019 adds a number of other useful features, most of which don’t require that much additional explanation:

  • A new “read aloud” button in Microsoft Edge will read ebooks stored in Edge in 24 languages.
  • Windows 10 Microsoft edge aloud

    Microsoft

    Edge’s new “read aloud” interface.

  • Full-color emoji, on those sites that use them.
  • Blue light support, which removes the blue colors your display produces late at night so as to help prevent insomnia. (Microsoft now calls the feature “night light.”)
  • If you use the Hyper-V feature to create virtual machines, you can now resize the window and the guest OS will rescale the resolution appropriately.
source”cnbc”

Router-killing,Mirai,botnet,variant,going,worldwide,,but,slowing

A new Mirai strain has been infecting routers across the world.

The latest strain of Mirai, the malware that’s been infecting internet routers from Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, has spread to devices in at least 10 other countries, according to security firm Flashpoint.

The company has detected the new Mirai strain infecting internet routers and modems across the globe, including in the U.K., Brazil, Iran and Thailand.

It’s still unclear how many devices have been infected, but Flashpoint estimates that as many as five million devices are vulnerable. “If even a fraction of these vulnerable devices were compromised, they would add considerable power to an existing botnet,” Flashpoint said in a Tuesday blog post.

The malware grabbed headlines on Monday when Deutsche Telekom reported that close to a million customers experienced internet connection problems from the new Mirai strain infecting their routers. Although Deutsche Telekom has offered a software update to stop the malware, security experts worry that the hackers will continue to upgrade Mirai’s source code to infect additional devices.

The original version of Mirai became notorious for quickly enslaving poorly secured IoT devices, such as DVRs and surveillance cameras. This new strain infects routers from a company called Zyxel, using a known flaw with the product’s SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) to take them over.

The goal of Mirai is to form a botnet, or an army of enslaved computers that can be used to launch massive distributed denial-of-service attacks that can shut down websites. In October, Mirai botnets were blamed for doing just that in a disruption that slowed internet access across the U.S.

Flashpoint said it’s already found this new strain of Mirai creating a botnet to launch “small-scale” DDoS attacks on an IP address in Africa and a cloud hosting provider. The attacks, which lasted between a few minutes and to more than an hour, occurred on Monday and Tuesday.

Hackers have been exploiting the Mirai malware ever since its source code was released on a forum in late September. The developers of this new strain probably wanted to make their Mirai botnet bigger, Flashpoint said.

However, the spread of the new Mirai strain appears to be slowing down, according to Craig Young, a security researcher at Tripwire. On Monday, he estimated the malware was attempting to infect devices at a rate of one every 90 seconds. But as of Tuesday morning, that rate had slowed to about one every six minutes, he said.

Young said the Deutsche Telekom attack was in one sense a failure. The hackers probably never intended to disrupt Deutsche Telekom customers’ Internet connections, but simply to secretly infect their routers to grow the botnet, he said.

The way the Mirai strain took over the routers drew too much attention, provoking the German carrier to quickly issue a security patch. “The malware may have been too demanding on the routers, and overloaded them, so they wouldn’t be able to operate,” Young said.

He expects the hackers to keep upgrading Mirai. “Someone will fix the bugs in the code,” he said. “People will also incorporate more exploits related to routers.”

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source”cnbc”

Android patches fix Drammer RAM attack, but leave the Dirty Cow exploit to roam

Android N statue

Google released a new monthly batch of security patches for Android, fixing a dozen critical vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to compromise devices. One of the mitigated issues is a bit-flipping attack against memory chips that could lead to privilege escalation, but a more widespread rooting vulnerability in the Linux kernel remains unpatched.

While Google releases firmware updates for its Nexus and Pixel devices on the first Monday of every month, the security patches are shared with third-party device manufacturers one month in advance and are also contributed later to the Android Open Source Project to benefit the entire ecosystem.

Like it has done in recent months, Google has split this month’s security fixes into several “security patch levels,” to make it easier for manufacturers to deploy only fixes that apply to specific devices. The security patch level is a date string displayed in Android’s settings under “About phone” and indicates that the firmware contains all Android security patches up to that date.

The new 2016-11-01 patch level contains fixes for flaws in Android’s own components. It addresses two critical vulnerabilities, 16 high-risk flaws and 10 medium-risk ones.

One of the critical flaws is located in the Mediaserver component, which has been a major source of serious Android vulnerabilities over the past year. The flaw can be exploited by tricking users into downloading or opening a specially crafted media file.

The second critical flaw is located in the libzipfile library and could enable malicious applications to execute code within the context of a privileged process. This can lead to a full device compromise that requires reflashing the operating system to fix.

The second patch level is 2016-11-05 and primarily includes fixes for vulnerabilities in kernel drivers for various hardware components. This level covers 21 critical vulnerabilities, 23 high-risk ones and 10 with a moderate impact.

The critical flaws are located in the kernel file system, SCSI driver, media driver, USB driver, ION subsystem, networking subsystem and sound subsystem, as well as in the Nvidia GPU driver and Qualcomm’s crypto driver, bootloader and other components.

One of the patches for the ION memory allocator is intended to mitigate a physical attack against DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) chips that could be exploited by applications to gain root access on a device. The attack is known as Drammer and was devised by researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Graz University of Technology in Austria, and the University of California in Santa Barbara.

The third patch level is 2016-11-06 and covers a privilege escalation vulnerability in the memory subsystem of the Linux kernel that was disclosed a few weeks ago. The flaw, which the security community dubbed Dirty COW (copy-on-write) has existed in the Linux kernel for the past nine years and is already being exploited in the wild.

Google has not patched this vulnerability in its Nexus and Pixel devices yet and will probably do it next month. However, device manufacturers can address the flaw by importing the upstream fix that was included in the Linux kernels versions 3.10 and 3.18. The flaw was disclosed after this month’s patch levels had already been defined, which is why Google refers to the 2016-11-06 patch level as “supplemental.”

source”cnbc”

Delhi is the most polluted, but other metros aren’t getting better

<p>Delhi is the most polluted, but other metros aren't getting better<br></p>Delhi is the most polluted, but other metros aren’t getting better

MUMBAI
Mumbai’s a coastal city isn’t always able to counter the pollutants in the air. On several days in the year, air quality drops into the poor category , and experts say more monitoring and data is needed to ensure it doesn’t go the Delhi way. Not all existing monitoring stations are able to give us the right picture because they don’t meet the required standards. Having access to data and using it to take precautionary measures is important,” says Neha Parkhi of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. Local governments claim to have recognized air pollution as a major problem. “Some of the major sources of pollution are smoke from bakeries and burning garbage,” says Vinayak Karnik, deputy chief engineer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation environment department. The corporation issues an environment status report every August. In its recent report (2015-2016), BMC said the total number of vehicles in the city rose from 25 lakh in 2015 to 27 lakh in 2016, he says. –Vinamrata Borwankar

CHENNAI
In humid Chennai’s `winter’ months of November and December, doctors’ clinics fill up with patients with respiratory illnesses.The numbers are far lower during in March to August, but those are the months when the PM10 count goes up to 200mcg per cubic metre. Winter may get people coughing, but it’s in summer that the air is dirtier. Vehicular emissions, road dust and construction activity (including eight years of work on the Chennai Metro Rail) are major air pollutants. The ratio of people to vehicles is almost 1:1 in Chennai, says Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board lab director Dr K Rangana than. TNPCB works with the corporation and transport de partment to keep pollution in check.

“Chennai’s air is clean. Improving green cover could further bring down pollution levels,” says Ranganathan. Air quality at Adyar, a busy residential and commercial locality within easy access of the beach, is the best in the city. It records PM10 count as low as 20mcg per cubic metre–but that could also be because the monitoring device is located at the green Periyar Science and Technology Centre, beside the lush IIT-M campus.

–Abdullah Nurullah

BENGALURU

An unusual combination of a long weekend a dispute over sharing water keeping out fireworks from Tamil Nadu, and activism meant Bengaluru had slightly cleaner air this Diwali compared to previous years. But that’s no indication of overall air quality in the city . The annual average increase in levels of respirable suspended particulate matter in the last five years is 5%, according to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board The increasing pollution is in step with the rising number of vehicles: 8% every year. While vehicle emissions are the main source, road and construction dust and burning of garbage also contribute “In fact, the air we breathe in Bengaluru is clean only during bandh days,” says Lakshman, chair man, KSPCB. The problem is the lack of coordinated efforts by various civic agencies.While KSPCB monitors air quality and churns out data, its power stops at issuing notices to various agencies. State governments have failed to set out an action plan to tackle air pollution. Transport department officials said they try to detect polluting vehicles. “We have random checks to fine those without pollution under control certificates. It isn’t easy as we are short staffed,” said an official.

–Rohith BR & Aditi Sequeira


KOLKATA

Last week, after Diwali the PM 10 count in Kolkata was 10 times the permissible limit, and though it dropped, it remained at 3.5 times above normal for the next four nights. Every year, pollution peaks after the festival, though the worst months are December and January . The administration has been taking sporadic steps to check pollution. For instance, use of adulterated fuel by autorickshaws, a major source of pollution, was banned. Automatic pollution recording stations have been set up, but monitoring and implementation of norms remain lax.Automatic recording stations often do not work. The three major causes of pollution are vehicle emission, construction dust and industrial emission. Over the last five years, a number of industrial units have been forced to move out of Kolkata or adopt less-polluting methods. Many have switched from coal to LPG. Pollution from construction dust remains a threat since Kolkata is expanding fast and construction activity is on the rise. –Prithvijit Mitra

source”cnbc”

Not,robocop,,but,robojudge?,AI,learns,to,rule,in,human,rights,cases

ECHR European Court of Human Rights

An artificial intelligence system designed to predict the outcomes of cases at the European Court of Human Rights would side with the human judges 79 percent of the time.

Researchers at University College London and the University of Sheffield in the U.K., and the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S., described the system in a paper published Monday by the Peer Journal of Computer Science.

“We formulated a binary classification task where the input of our classifiers is the textual content extracted from a case and the target output is the actual judgment as to whether there has been a violation of an article of the convention of human rights,” wrote the paper’s authors, Nikolaos Aletras, Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis, Daniel Preoţiuc-Pietro and Vasileios Lampos.

The system examined public court documents relating to 584 cases of violations of articles 3 (prohibiting torture), 6 (right to a fair trial) and 8 (respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been ratified by 47 European countries.

The court documents have a distinctive structure, discussing first the procedure by which the case reached the court, the facts and circumstances of the case, relevant law, and the legal arguments applied. Then, for each alleged violation of an article of the convention, they examine the parties’ submissions and the judges’ evaluation of their merits, before concluding with the verdict or, in the court’s terminology, the operative provisions.

The researchers extracted clusters of words (N-grams) from the procedure, circumstances, relevant law, facts and legal argument sections of the case documents, and to generate lists of topics, or semantically related groups of word clusters, for each case.

Then they applied machine learning algorithms called support vector machine (SVM) classifiers to determine which of those data inputs most accurately predicted the outcome of the cases. They set aside 10 percent of the cases to test the accuracy of their system.

Of all the data, they found that it was the topic list and the circumstances of the case that provided the best predictors of case outcome, allowing them to predict 79 percent of verdicts in their sample of article 3, 6 and 8 cases correctly.

The researchers don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but say it could help them rapidly identify patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes.

“It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Aletras.

That could well be of interest to the court in managing its workload: In 2015 it delivered 823 judgments — but struck out or dismissed 43,100 as inadmissible. The previous year, almost twice as many were ruled inadmissible, for 891 judgments delivered.

This suggests that judges at the court are realists, not formalists, and choose to take into the importance of non-legal facts, such as the life circumstances of a plaintiff. Studies of other high-level courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have uncovered similar patterns, the researchers said.

source”cnbc”

SpotCam HD Eva review: The security features are good, but the app isn’t

book shelf eva

SpotCam is a relatively recent entrant in the DIY security sweepstakes, offering a trio of HD (720p) indoor and outdoor cameras. The $160 SpotCam HD Eva looks to muscle in—perhaps literally, given its bulky body—on the crowded Dropcam/Nestcam space with attractive features such as 24-hour continuous recording and motorized pan/tilt. A few peccadilloes, however, keep it from the top tier.

You can forget about hiding the SpotCam HD Eva in plain sight—there’s nothing inconspicuous about this camera; it’s easily the bulkiest we’ve reviewed so far. The head unit is bigger than a tennis ball—which is typically the largest comparative size we see on DIY security cams—and the base is nearly as big. In fact, it almost looks as if they stacked two of the same cone-shaped modules one on top of the other.

Inside that ample head is an IP camera ringed with 18 high-power infrared LEDs for night vision. The camera has a 110-degree field of view, which should be enough to take in most rooms.

In the event it’s not, you can take advantage of the SpotCam Eva’s pan-and-tilt functionality. Using the Spotcam mobile or web app, you can pan the camera 360 degrees—180 degrees in either direction—tilt it up 50 degrees, or down 20 degrees. Motorized pan-and-tilt is also a nice feature for tracking pets or (hopefully not) intruders as they move through your home.

SpotCam HD Eva also includes a speaker and microphone, so you can communicate remotely with family members or pets at home or scare off burglars with your voice. And, like all SpotCam’s, Eva can be used with IFTTT recipes to connect with other smart-home devices, including Philips Hue lighting, Nest Labs’ Nest Protect smoke/CO detector, and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.

eva front

SpotCam

SpotCam HD EVA boasts many desirable features, but its pan-and-tilt is hampered by clunky app control.

All surveillance footage is recorded to SpotCam’s cloud servers, and buyers get the SpotCam Live plan, which stores a rolling 24 hours of recordings for free. To store more, you’ll need to purchase one of the SpotCam NVR packages: 3-day recording for $3.95 per month or $39/year, 7-day recording for $5.95 per or $59/year, or 30-day recording for $19.95 per month or $199/year.

Setup and Usage

Setting up SpotCam HD Eva isn’t difficult, but it is clunky. Using the SpotCam mobile app, I had to first to connect the camera to SpotCam’s Wi-Fi, then toggle to my phone’s settings to find my Wi-Fi network. Once I entered my Wi-Fi password, I then had to flip a switch on the back of the camera to put it in “client” mode before toggling back to the SpotCam app to wait for it to connect.

Confirmation that this rigmarole worked is a still shot from the camera’s live feed displayed on the SpotCam app’s home screen. Tapping this picture takes you to the live feed itself.

The Spotcam app is clean and intuitive, if a little unpolished. Directly beneath the live feed window are icons for turning audio on and off, capturing still photos of the feed, and a 30-second rewind. There’s also a button for sharing access to the camera in case you want multiple family members to peek in on the homestead. Tapping this opens a window where you enter the party’s email address, customize a couple of access settings, and add an invitation message.

book shelf eva

SpotCam

SpotCam HD Eva’s size makes it tough to conceal.

The bottom half of the screen features a horizontally scrolling timeline and icons for viewing a chronology of detected sound and motion events, triggering the microphone, opening the settings tab, and getting back to the live stream.

Both live and recorded video were sharp and vibrant during my use. Even in night-vision mode, the image had good contrast with plenty of detail. Many wide-angle lenses suffer from distortions around the edges of the image, but the Eva’s showed little warping.

You control the camera’s pan-and-tilt feature by swiping horizontally or vertically in the desired direction on the live feed image. This operation is hardly precise. In theory, the length of your swipe should determine how far the camera pans or tilts (the app displays the degree of rotation). But sometimes the slightest swipe would send the camera rotating the full 180 degrees, while what seemed like a longer swipe would barely budge it. Other times, the app wouldn’t respond to swiping at all.

spotcam app
All detected motion and audio events are easily accessible from a chronological log.

The SpotCam HD Eva can detect both motion and sound—the latter is always a bonus as you’re still getting some protection if something is happening outside the camera’s field of view. Detection alerts were timely and accurate in my tests. The SpotCam app offers a fair amount of customization to reduce the incidence of false alarms: You can set motion and audio sensitivity to low, normal, or high, and opt in to be alerted to motion or audio events, or both. You can also schedule alerts to be deactivated during certain hours or days, which means you won’t need to unplug the camera when you’re home.

When an event is detected, it’s added to the event log. You just tap the event icon and select the event to see video of the triggering action. You can also access recorded events from the live feed screen by sliding through the timeline, but pinpoint accuracy is tough on a phone’s small screen. Also, sometimes trying to view videos this way caused the app to close and reboot.

Although you can view recorded videos on the SpotCam mobile app, you can’t download them. For that you need to log in to the SpotCam web portal (which has all the same features as the app) and create a video from your surveillance clips. Once you select a period of time, you can opt to make a “normal” or time-lapsed video. The result is saved to a tab called My Film on the portal, from which you can download the video to your local drive.

Bottom Line

The SpotCam HD Eva has most of the makings of standout home security camera; unfortunately, some shortcomings in execution hinder its performance. Its bulky, non-descript design is curious considering how much emphasis other manufacturers—MyFoxand Neatmo in particular—have put on the aesthetics of their products. The clumsy pan-and-tilt operation diminishes what should be a standout feature, and the need to “create” a video feels like extra work.

Maybe these things will be improved down the line. If you can overlook them in the meantime, SpotCam Echo still offers solid security for a reasonable price.

source”cnbc”