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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mobile numbers, addresses on Facebook 'a security risk'

A security expert has warned that users should remove their home addresses and phone numbers from their Facebook accounts.

Graham Cluley said the website now gives third parties access to that information.

The website said in a blog post at the weekend that it would give developers of applications access to the contact information of users who install their apps.

"These permissions must be explicitly granted to your application by the user via our standard permissions dialogs. Please note that these permissions only provide access to a user's address and mobile phone number, not their friend's addresses or mobile phone numbers," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Facebook's Jeff Bowen as saying.

However, Sophos security expert Cluley, has raised doubts over the move.

"You have to ask yourself - is Facebook putting the safety of its 500+ million users as a top priority with this move?" he said.

"It won't take long for scammers to take advantage of this new facility, to use for their own criminal ends."

Cluley advised that users should take personal info such as home addresses and mobile numbers off their pages.

"You can imagine, for instance, that bad guys could set up a rogue app that collects mobile phone numbers and then uses that information for the purposes of SMS spamming or sells on the data to cold-calling companies," he said.

Facebook may have leaked your personal information - Symantec

Facebook users' personal information could have been accidentally leaked to third parties, in particular advertisers, over the past few years, according to Symantec Corp's official web blog.

Third-parties would have had access to personal information such as profiles, photographs and chat, and could have had the ability to post messages, Symantec's web blog said.

"We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage," the blog post said.

" ... Over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties," posing a security threat, the blog said.

The third-parties may not have realized their ability to access the information, the blog post said.

Facebook was notified of this issue and has confirmed the leakage, the post said.

The blog also said Facebook , the world's largest social networking website, has taken steps to resolve the issue.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Facebook has more than 500 million users and is challenging Google Inc and Yahoo Inc for users' time online and for advertising dollars.

5 things you should never share on Facebook

Almost every user likes to share everything on their Facebook page but certain updates can lead to criticism, embarrassment and even job termination.

So here's a shortlist of what you shouldn't share on the social networking site, reports CBS news.

1.That your job sucks.

If you say this, you could be fired.

2.That you hate your ex.

In the event that you and your boyfriend get back together, or you and that friend you had a falling out with start talking again, you'll look like a total sucker. It's okay to let your emotions govern your thoughts but keep your feelings off your Facebook until you've started to think clearly about said ex.

The important thing to remember about social networks is that although you have the option to delete your comments, sometimes it can be too late. It's immediate and someone might've laid eyes on it before your retraction.

3.That you're going on vacation and then give the dates you're away.

You could be robbed. A recent study found that thieves scan social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for folks in targeted neighbourhoods before they strike.

4.That you love yourself.

In fact, don't give any indication that you're your biggest fan. Your followers will only think the opposite. It's the biggest barometer of insecurity. Researchers at the University at Buffalo also found that women who base their self-worth on appearance and what people think of them tend to upload pictures very frequently.

5.That you're mean.

Saying mean things about people can only make you undesirable-for potential employers, dates, friends and strangers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 5 relationship lies!

Be it an agony aunt or a best friend...everyone has a set of 'expert' relationship-advice to dole out to you. But more often than not, these 'tried and tested' words of wisdom fail to work in real life situations.

We try to dig the truth straight from the horse's mouth, as relationship experts admit the lies...

False advice # 1: 'Honesty is the best policy in love.'
Absolute honesty and the utmost trust make the foundation for a long-lasting relationship – this one is the chart-toppers when it comes to the most common relationship advice.
Reality: White lies become the saviour.
Maintaining 100% honesty and transparency in a relationship is like aspiring for a 'fairy land'. Whether to safeguard your own interest, or to avoid hurting your partner, white lies often become a 'blessing in disguise.' "Altering the truth or substituting it with white lies has nothing to do with wrong intentions. It's all about checking, balancing and adapting to a particular situation," says relationship expert, Kamal Khurana. "Full truth that seems irrelevant in a particular situation or may apparently hamper your relationship is better kept under wraps, until specifically asked for," adds Khurana. Sometimes white lies are any day a better option!

False advice #2: Never sleep over a fight!
"As a part of the regular advising sessions, my mom emphasised on thrashing out all issues before sleeping. The habit of hitting the sack with a mind bogged down with frustration and anger ends up ruining the next day and in turn spoiling the relationship," shares Madhumita Ganguly, a Delhi-based advertising professional. But the reality is different.
Reality: Sleep can only suppress the issues to pop up again.
Sleeping might appear as an ideal solution to a fight, but psychologist Aroona Broota says it's actually impractical and impossible to resolve an issue before sleeping. Usually, before retiring to the bed, both partners are exhausted with the day's work. And in such a state you cannot expect your sleepy and crotchety partner to give you due attention. Hence, there's no question of figuring out a solution. Aroona says, "The issue deserves patience and due attention. So, don't try to resolve them at night, but at the same time, don't forget the issue either. Decide a time to resolve it the other day and sleep. Sleep eases your anger and will leave you with a better frame of mind the next day. Take time out from your schedule and meet at a place out side your home and solve the issue forever, rather than sleeping over it every time it erupts."

False advise # 3: No 'sorries' and no 'thank you's' in love!
When actor Salman Khan penned the rule of 'Pyar mein no 'sorry' and no 'thank you'" in the 90s romantic flick Maine Pyar Kiya, it seemed everyone took it a tad too seriously. And soon the age-old mannerisms of saying a meaningful sorry after a fight or a hearty thank you for partner's effort went straight out of the window, with a cover-up that love is way deeper than mere petty 'thank-yous and sorries'!
Reality: Apologising and acknowledging your partner's effort does make a difference.
It's time to get real and get back to those nursery lessons that highlighted the importance of sorry and thank you. Fights and arguments do happen, but not apologising shows that you are taking your partner for granted and might give rise to ego-hassles in the long run. "I thought my husband would understand that I was feeling guilty for our fight but, somehow I didn't feel the need of saying sorry. But that spoilt the situation further," shares Smita Kathuria, a Mumbai-based bank executive. Psychologist Aroona says, "Good manners work everywhere. Saying sorry and thank-you should come as naturally as washing your hands when they get dirty. These are not just words, but the testimony of the fact that you are realising and assuring your better half that you'll amend the wrong. The the lack of it simply shows your casual approach towards a relationship.

False advice # 4: Any time is good time to have a baby.
Whenever the personal equation between partners tend to go topsy-turvy, mommies and grannies come to the fore with the typical advice – plan a baby. The birth of a baby is often related to a fresh lease of life in a stagnating relationship. It is thought that the baby will fill up the void in a couple's life making them forget their mutual differences.
Reality: Baby at the wrong time can make it worse!
"Coming of a baby when the parents don't feel the need to have a child together can be disastrous," says relationship expert, Arvinder Kaur, adding, "Parenting is a highly specialized and serious business. Until the parents clear the emotional mess between them and are financially ready, the baby should ideally wait. Else, their woes will get multiplied and the brunt will be borne by the baby, who will be many times exploited as a bait and bargaining device to keep the marriage intact."

False advice # 5: Marriage is not only about sex.
Thanks to gruelling urban schedules, sex is the last thing on a modern couples' mind. With due respect to the age old suggestion – 'spending time together is important', they often consider sex to be too much of an effort and find a happy escape in heart-to-heart talks.
Reality: Marriage means being together and you can't find a glue better than sex.
Well, you need not make love every night, but at the same time, you cannot take it completely out of your schedule! "It has to be a priority," says Arvinder. "Sex allows your partner to make the most intimate contact with you, which strengthens bonding. Sex in any form – caressing, holding, love making or having intercourse, is the most important exercise in vulnerability, which also lends physical comfort. The frequency of intercourse may come down with age, health factors and time, but for a healthy marriage you cannot negate the existence of having regular sex".

Now, access Facebook without internet

Singapore-based software applications developer U2opia Mobile has developed a new application for mobile phones that will allow them to access Facebook on all kind of handsets without paying for a data connection.

"We are using USSD technology, which will enable users to access Facebook without having a GPRS connection on their phones," said Sumesh Menon, the co-founder and CEO of U2Opia Mobile.

Unstructured Supplementary Data (USSD) is the technology used by telecom players to send alerts to their users that inform them about their balance at the end of call or for sending miss call alerts.

Menon mentioned that though the technology will not provide access to graphics, it will help users send and view updates on their friends' Facebook walls.

"It is like SMS and hence, the load on the network is negligible. We have built some commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update," said Menon.

U2opia launched this application with Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel. While Airtel customers can update their Facebook status through this USSD service free of cost, Rs 1 per day will be applicable for accessing the full-feature application, which enables viewing news feeds, commenting on or liking news feed stories, posting on friends' walls, confirming friend requests, viewing notifications and finding as well as adding friends.

"In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smartphones is relatively low and the use of internet on mobiles is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones," said Shireesh Joshi, Bharti Airtel Director -- Marketing, Mobile Services, in a statement.

Airtel users can dial *325# and *fbk# for non-Qwerty mobile handsets to access Facebook without subscribing to data plans, the statement said.

"We look forward to bringing millions of Facebook users in India closer to their love for social networking by allowing them to access it anytime, anywhere on their Airtel-powered mobile phones," Joshi added.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meaning of Yoga And Misuse Of Hatha Yoga

What does Yoga truly mean? Yoga has now become a highly misinterpreted term. The meaning of Yoga and its essence is lost in misinterpreted ideas where much or all importance is given to the non essentials.

Yoga in the modern days is pursued largely for everything else other than with the view to realise one's spiritual goal. It is sad that the meaning of Yoga is ignored or merely not known to people who follow it, forget about those who exploit it. Sara Jean Underwood has been video tapped performing nude Yoga asanas, which is featured on Playboy!

It is a pity that Yoga is being reduced to a handmaid for cheap pursuits as mentioned above. Now its more than a million dollar question as to where Yoga is being driven to, starting from beauty parlours to being exploited for more demeaning inclinations.

The Meaning of Yoga

Yoga which emphasises on meditation, forms one among the six schools of thought in Hinduism. It is further classified into Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Jnana Yoga.

The term Yoga would mean 'joined together' It has its root in 'Yuj' in the ancient Sanskrit language which means to unite, to yoke, to control, with the meanings included like joining, uniting, union, conjunction and means. It makes possible the union of body, mind and the spirit.

Sage Patanjali is regarded as the founder of the formal Yoga philosophy and the Yoga Sutras which contains his teachings came to be known as 'Patanjali Yoga Sutras'

The writings of Patanjali also formed the basis for the system called as 'Ashtanga Yoga' or the Eight limbed Yoga, the concept being derived from the 29th Sutra of the 2nd book .

The motive of pursuing Yoga is to realise the unification of the body, mind and the soul.

Misuse Of Hatha Yoga

The meaning of Yoga, today is narrowed down to Hath Yoga or Yoga asanas and Yoga poses which has become widely popular for its non essentials, while the essence of it being union, or the merging of the body, mind and the spirit is neglected.

While some of the misuses of Hatha Yoga (It is said misused owing to the motive or the attitude of the person pursuing it) that may be admitted like adopting Yoga practices for fitness, for de stressing, for getting rid of vices etc, it pains when Yoga is used for sensual pursuits, like Yoga for good sex etc, going much against the actual essence of pursuing Yoga.

Yoga for a beautiful body, Yoga for weight loss, Yoga for flat stomach, Yoga for good skin etc etc have all reduced Yoga to a commercial commodity. It is to be understood that while Yoga can definitely benefit people in the above mentioned aspects, it is actually intended for attaining self realisation, the ultimate purpose of man's existence.

A change in the attitude of a discerning few to pursue Yoga for a higher ideal is no way to going to curtail the benefits that people expect out of the system, as they invariably show up as secondary benefits. An aim for the highest simply accommodates all the other aspects. A Crore rupees accommodates tens, hundreds, thousands and lakhs, to illustrate.

The misuse of Hatha Yoga today pains a person who follows Yoga closely as a means to meet his spiritual goal. To cite an example the Playboy website has featured Sarah Jean Underwood in a video doing Yoga asanas nude, which is not less than an attempt to strangle Hinduism, an age old religion practised by many. Yoga has thus been used for mercantile benefits completely banishing its lofty spiritual essence.

Let us thus keep in mind the meaning of Yoga while practising it. Let us at least have the least sense of responsibility and respect for an age old tradition that originated for a lofty ideal and not to tarnish it by adopting it for trivial, selfish and sensual pursuits.

The world after all has countless ways other than religion and spirituality to meet one's mercantile greed. A few may change and yet a lot may continue with their selfish disposition, who have their intentions based on nothing better than baseness.

While Hinduism is open to the world to partake of its spiritual treasures, its aspect of accommodating all may not be misused.

Jewish Yoga - The New Trend In USA

After the very hype trend of gym and aerobics, people are returning back to the basic and thus, yoga is gaining optimum popularity. Yoga which originated from India is now a hit trend in the United States and also in some other parts of the world. Various establishments and individuals across USA now offer what is termed as “Jewish Yoga”.

In the United States have a association called the "association of Jewish yoga teachers" (to bring teachers and students together to explore their roots in Judaism and yoga), besides a “Torah Yoga Association”. The Torah Yoga Association aims at provided an insight of Jewish wisdom to it's followers through Iyengar yoga and with the study of Jewish texts. The “Gentle Jewish Yoga” offers workshops, classes and retreats in Jewish yoga, meditation and mystical text study.

Apart from this there are many other forms of Yoga. One of them is the "Kabbalah Yoga" . The Kabbalah Yoga offers a “Technique of the 13 Point Prostration". Another type, the claims to be “Iyengar Yoga with a Jewish Bent”.

Yet another programme for Jewish Yoga is the “Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training Program”; besides a “200 hour Yoga Teacher''s Training Course For Torah Observant Women”; “Learn yoga with a highly experienced and knowledgeable Torah observant Trainer”, “Yoga for Jewish Women”, etc.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism in his statement in Nevada (USA) has expressed that though yoga belongs to Hinduism, it is a world heritage open to be utilized by all. According to Rajan Zed, this helps one to achieve spiritual goals and strengthens one's believe in it.

Explaining more about Yoga, Rajan Zed has referred to Yoga is a "Living Fossil", whose inception traces back to 2000 BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization. The basic aim of Yoga is mental and physical discipline.

Judaism is a monotheistic religion of world’s about 14 million Jews whose most sacred text is Torah. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Green Tea Not Safe During Pregnancy

Green tea has great medicinal values and is a cure/prevention to several health issues but the same can be harmful during pregnancy. Lets look at health risk of green tea during pregnancy.

1.Epigallocatechins(EGCG) – This is a cancer fighting compound in green tea which prvents the body from all types of cancer but the same compound can be dangerous for the baby during pregnancy. This is one of the major health risk of green tea during pregnancy. This compound works on a property called folate, a sort of DNA regulator. This causes birth defects. It is most dangerous when taken few months before the due date and can also lead to anemia.

2.Caffeine – Green tea has caffeine content which if taken in large quantity may lead to miscarriage. Thus, during the first trimesters, one should not exceed consumption of more than one cup of green tea. Other health rish of green tea during pregnancy is birth defects.

Apart from these two health risk of green tea during pregnancy other risks include, low baby weight, deformation, defects are caused to the neural tube, which may lead to still birth. Thu, it's best to avoid green tea during pregnancy or to stick to one cup of tea per day.