Sunday, May 31, 2015

The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most

There is a lot of advice out there on how to be healthy. Unfortunately, much of it is confusing and contradictory, making it hard to know what’s important and even what works. But when you strip away the media headlines, the best-selling books, and the biased studies, you’ll find a solid core of the most important health tips: nine of them.

In the free report, we’ll take you step-by-step through these nine top health tips of all time. You may already be doing some of them and just need to take your health and fitness to the next level, or you may be starting from the beginning and looking for guidance on good health. Wherever your journey begins, let us guide you to optimal health.

Tip 1: Eat Well

You would think that something as fundamental as eating well would come naturally to us, but it’s often incredibly difficult and confusing. Food writer Michael Pollan presents the simplest possible guide to healthy eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” But that simple advice can be difficult to translate into practice. So we break down the most relevant eating health tips and present you with a simple and easy eating plan.

Tip 2: Sleep Well

Good sleep is one of the most important elements of good health. Without enough good quality sleep, it is impossible to achieve optimal physical and mental health. Furthermore, when your body is actively trying to heal from any type of illness or injury, sleep is critical medicine. In spite of its supreme importance for good health, many people of all ages struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. We will give you some hints based on solid scientific evidence on how you can get the rest you desperately need.
Free Report The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time Cover LRG 200x255 The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most
Download Your Free Report Here! To claim your free copy of“The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most” just click the button below. We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and you’ll have instant access to the top 9 health tips of all time!
We understand that your email address is private. We promise to never sell, rent or disclose your email address to any third parties.

Tip 3: Move Around

Exercise is the key to optimal health and fitness. Yet if we are being entirely honest, most of us will admit that we don’t exercise nearly enough and many don’t enjoy exercise at all. While many people exercise simply to lose weight, the effects of physical activity in the body go far beyond weight control. Regular exercise improves the function of your mind and body, protects you from disease and prolongs your life expectancy. Find out how easy it can be to get the exercise you need.

Tip 4: Care for Your Gut

One of the most surprising health foundations is a healthy gut. It is absolutely essential to optimal health because the digestive system is related to and affects everything that happens in your body.
In addition to digestion and nutrient absorption, your body’s metabolism, immunity, nervous system function, and hormonal function are all highly dependent on your gut health. In just the last decade, there has been an explosion of research linking the health of the gut to everything from depression to obesity to cancer, not to mention general good health and being free from nagging digestive upset. We’ll give you a plan to restore your guy health and feel better than you imagine.
Free Report The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time Cover LRG 200x255 The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most
Download Your Free Report Here! To claim your free copy of“The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most” just click the button below. We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and you’ll have instant access to the top 9 health tips of all time!
We understand that your email address is private. We promise to never sell, rent or disclose your email address to any third parties.

That’s Not All!

That’s just the beginning of the report. Download this FREE report The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most now to get five more tips for good health and fitness. Don’t waste your time on fads and trends; our health tips are thoroughly researched, trustworthy, and easier to implement than you think. Each one is broken down into a simple action plan so you can start today.
We wish the best to you in that great and worthy endeavor!
carrie signature The 9 Top Health Tips of All Time: How to Implement the Health Choices that Matter Most
Carrie Adkins-Ali
Daily Editor
Natural Health Advisory Institute

Source: http://www.naturalhealthadvisory.com/downloads/the-9-top-health-tips-of-all-time-how-to-implement-the-health-choices-that-matter-most/?mqsc=G-Ad282&gclid=CK_xu5y868UCFYrJtAodMgQAMg

Ladies, most of you have no idea how beautiful you…




Ladies, most of you have no idea how beautiful you are. Don’t let mean words from an insecure soul blind you from the truth of your beauty. You are beautiful by design… just the way you are. – Steve Maraboli

Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/ladies-most-of-you-have-no-idea-how-beautiful-you.html

Friday, May 29, 2015

15 Creative Packages That Will Brighten Up Your Day

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Opening up a package can be fun, but when the packaging itself makes you smile, you know its going to be a good day. Whether you are picking up something at the grocery store, receiving your latest purchase from Amazon, or sending your friend a get well soon box, the packaging can make all the difference. Here are 15 creative packages that are sure to bring a smile to your face.

1. Eat My ‘Fro Bro

Not only do you get to eat an awesome chocolate cookie, but you get enjoy while chowing down on this dude’s hair. Thank you Japan!
Fro cookie
via whatsworthy

2. The Tea Closet

If you are like me, you own quite a few T-shirts. With a little help from this package, the number of Tea-shirts you own is going to skyrocket! Get your Tea Closet ready because these tea bags know what’s up.
Hanger Tea

3. Drunken Oragami Challenge

You know what’s great after a few beers? Making oragami of course! Finding supplies is an annoyance. With this little bottle, you’ve got everything you need for the challenge. This can be a great way to drive your friends crazy after an eventful evening.
Beer oragami
via notcot

4. White Teeth for Fido

Who loves having whiter teeth? Your dog obviously. This whitening treat lets you know its purpose with a single glance. Plus its super cute. Who wouldn’t want such a smiling little doggy to live in their cupboard, at least for a while anyways.
Whitebites

5. I Moustache you to paint

Painting can definitely be a chore, but with these furry faces, you will definitely enjoy it! If you keep the packaging, you can even turn their natural colors into something even more hilarious!
Moustache

6. Orange you ready for a drink?

Orange juice is delicious, but drinking it from a little box is very third grade. How about a box that looks like an orange? Absolutely perfect.
Juicy Juice

7. Grape BLOOD? Yum!

Wine is a nice enough word, but really that isn’t getting to the heart of the matter. Let’s start calling our wine what it is, GRAPE BLOOD!
Blood of Grapes

8. Why Add Cheese when you can add wood shavings?

Just kidding, this Parmesan pencil really does produce cheese. But get ready to freak grandma out!
paremsan pencil

9. Minion Delivery

Next time you are sending some awesome goodies, consider involving minions. Little to no artistic skills required!
Minion delievery
via Instagram

10. Did somebody need a doctor?

Why just tell someone to get well when you can package their own little home nurse and bring it right to their door? It may not be as good as the red cross, but its still pretty yummy.
get well
via creaturecomfortsblog.com.

11. Support Your local lifting bro

Its a lot of work to maintain those muscles, so show your support with this Hulk inspired care package.
Hulk
via Instagram

12. Looking dressy inside and out

H&M knows how to go the extra mile with these fancy duds for their boxes. You know its got to be special if its looking this snazzy.

Dress Shirt

13. New York is coming to dinner

When you think of New York pasta, you think of something special, right? Well this package will help you remember one of New York’s famous landmarks while making your dinner delicious.
NYC pasta

14. Music you can hear

These headphones are designed specifically to make your tunes come to life. Its no secret either. From the moment you see them, you know that’s where the music is at.
music note

15. Your bag of water has arrived

Do you need a waterproof watch? Are you nervous about what it can stand up to? Well Festina is not pulling any punches. When you get your watch, it comes dressed like a goldfish. Waterproof, check.
Festina











Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/15-creative-packages-that-will-brighten-your-day.html

11 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

lifehkiimg Mentally strong parents are the most crucial ingredient in raising mentally strong children who have the courage to explore their passions, the ability to lead fulfilling lives and the values to be an exemplary member of the society. By ensuring that you know the do’s and don’ts of parenting with mental strength, you can raise your child to be a bolder, more prepared citizen of our world. So watch out, here are the11 things mentally strong parents don’t do.

1. They don’t preach

Mentally strong parents recognize that facilitating their child’s development by being a good friend to their kids works better most of the time than commanding and forbidding the child to behave in a certain way. They know that there’s a stark difference between simply lecturing/yelling and suggesting opinions to their children like a friend would.

2. They don’t jump to the same impatient conclusion about their children like everyone else

Most of the time, a child’s problems, behaviours, and attitudes seem difficult to control and on a downward spiral because the child can’t find a trustworthy, willing listener to confide in. Naturally, children are born with a trust in parents who nurse them in their very first days and so by default, children more readily confide in parents if they are patient listeners. When kids are unwilling to share their issues with their parents, it is usually because they have been judged or their previous problems have been incompletely and incorrectly understood when they last tried to express themselves. Mentally strong parents take the extra effort to always ensure that they are lending their full attention to listen and to understand their children from an unbiased perspective. They know that when their child is in a mess, it is because he/she has been misunderstood at some point. Great parents are sympathetic; even when they know their child is wrong, they respond to the issue with patience, understanding, and adopt a positive method to help their child overcome the obstacle.

3. They are not adamant about living their own ambitions through their children

My parents have always dreamed that I would become a medical doctor and thus fulfill the ambitions of their own youth. Two years ago, when I told them that I didn’t want to study medicine, they were first shocked, and then saddened. But they quickly moved on after accepting that though I was their dear daughter, I am a different individual from what they are, and that I have different aspirations that ought to be respected and supported. This is one of the hallmarks of mentally hardy parents. They recognize that their young ones are different individuals and do not push their own dreams on their children. Rather, they encourage their kids to reach their full potential in the fields about which their kids are personally passionate.

4. They don’t forget that ‘unconditional positive regard’ is the best way to parent

According to psychologist Carl Rogers, Unconditional positive regard is the basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does. Unconditional parenting with resilient positive regard is the best means to raise a child with self-esteem, while still instilling the values that you want instilled. Unconditional parenting can be seen as parenting your children for what they are, not what they do. Even when their child does something unacceptable, mentally strong parents do not turn to negative means of disciplining their child. Rather, they remember who their children really are inside, and positively respond to the situation by offering to listen and showing that they still love their children. Ultimately, the strongest parents are aware that nothing beats the power of being unconditionally loved and positively reinforced regardless of one’s actions. Though it might be challenging to be shower unconditional love all the time, In the long run, they know that positive reinforcement will make their children the best individuals they can become.

5. they don’t force their decisions and viewpoints on their children

Instead, great parents let their children decide for themselves most of the time. Even in the most crucial times, mentally strong parents allow their children the liberty of thinking and speaking out for themselves, because they know that this autonomy to be their own person will tremendously boost the growth of their child’s personality as a confident, independent thinker.

6. They don’t claim to know everything

The wisest parents know that their children have novel, incredible ideas and interesting lives that can teach fascinating lessons which no book or institution possibly can. These parents recognize that learning from children is a fun, rewarding process and that there is much more in life that has to be learnt. Because they are willing to learn, they are also strong enough to let their children know that they don’t know everything.

7. They don’t plan out their children’s entire lives in a neat map

Mentally strong parents let much of their children’s life to be shaped as time passes and things change. Besides saving up for basic essentials like education and medical insurance, they let their children earn for and carve their own adult lives from scratch. They leave their children just enough wealth to start off, but not enough to comfortably live their entire lives with their parent’s neat maps and money. Mentally sturdy parents let their kids build their own lives out of their own hard work and character.

8. They never, ever physically abuse their children

A mentally strong parent is smart enough to know what does the worst job of disciplining their kids: physical harassment. They don’t slap or hit or interact with negative physical contact. Instead, they look out for when their kid is doing a good job, and they reward this desirable behavior and appreciate their kids for what they specifically did well.

9. They don’t measure their kids’ success by the same measure as the rest of the world

Awesome parents know that their child is worth much more than the popular measures of success such as fame, money and an esteemed job title. They don’t raise their children for these superficial goals, but rather raise them in a way that prepares them to meet the challenges of life with a head held high, to live life optimistically, to view happiness as a journey, to find satisfaction in doing what they love and to seek meaning in themselves. Mentally strong parents look deeper into their child than the world does and encourage their kid to find success in his/her own terms, rather than in the terms of the world.

10. They don’t suppress a rebellious child

Mentally tough parents don’t rebel against a rebellious child. Instead they are ready to view things from their child’s different perspective. They accept their child for who he/she is and never compare their child with someone else. Ultimately, the strongest parents forgive their children and embrace the uniquely extraordinary strengths of their own child’s character.

11. They don’t expect their child to learn from values that they don’t already represent

The most amazing parents teach their children by example. They understand that they cannot possibly instil values of honesty in their child when they are liars themselves or teach humility if they are pompous braggers pampering their kids. Mentally tough parents are ready to change themselves so that they become positive examples for their child’s growth.   Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/11-things-mentally-strong-parents-dont.html?mid=20150528&ref=mail&uid=342294&feq=daily

Monday, May 25, 2015

Flood or trickle? Course of U.S. economy’s rebound murky

MW-DM515_NEWORD_20150521153100_ZH

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The engines of the U.S. economy are sure to fire back up. What’s still a mystery is just how much.

Not long ago, economists thought U.S. growth could reach nearly 4% in the second quarter after a tepid 0.2% gain in the first three months of the year, a period marked by unusually harsh weather. That would be a carbon copy of the feast-or-famine growth pattern that occurred in 2014.

Now many are not so sure after an uneven batch of economic reports midway through the second quarter. A poll of analysts compiled by MarketWatch predicts the U.S. will expand at a 3.2% annual rate from April through June — and some have chopped their forecasts to below 3%.

A cluster of fresh reports this week probably won’t give much inkling.

Orders for durable goods such as TVs and trucks that are meant to last a long time are expected to fall again in April. Business spending and investment have softened considerably since last fall.

Sales of new homes nationwide, meanwhile, might creep higher in April, but closings are still historically weak. And a pair of surveys on how consumers fell about the economy probably won’t show much change. Americans are happier, but they are far from satisfied.

Dollar daze

The biggest blow to the U.S. economy appears to have been struck by a soaring U.S. dollar. The greenback’s value has jumped 18% since last summer and it briefly touched an 11-year high, according to the WSJ Dollar index. The index compares the dollar to other major currencies.

A stronger dollar makes imports such as Roquefort cheese from France, Volkswagen Passats from Germany or HDTVs from Japan cheaper for Americans to buy. The downside is that it hurts many export-heavy American companies such as Caterpillar and Microsoft,and if the wound is deep enough, hiring in the U.S. also suffers. And that’s exactly what’s happened.

“The strong dollar is undoubtedly hurting our exports,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.

As recently four or five months ago, many economists on Wall Street or at the Federal Reserve didn’t think a strong dollar would hurt the U.S. as much as it has. After all, the U.S. is now a service-based economy in which the bulk of buying and selling takes place within the nation’s borders.

Yet the impact of foreign trade on the nation’s economy has been growing steadily for years, making the U.S. more sensitive to sudden shifts in the dollar. The value of exports and imports equaled a record 28.7% of gross domestic product in 2014, twice as much compared to 25 years ago.

Fed on alert now

After barely mentioning the dollar last year, the Federal Reserve has also become very sensitive to its influence on the economy — a factor that could prompt the central bank to put off an increase in interest rates anytime soon.

“The value of the dollar had increased significantly since the middle of last year, and it was seen as likely to continue to be a factor restraining U.S. net exports and economic growth for a time,” note the minutes of the Fed’s last big meeting in late April. The minutes came out late last week.

Steve Blitz, chief economist of ITG Investment Research, said an interest-rate hike could boost an already turbo-charged dollar and hurt U.S. exports even more.

“The Fed is now more worried about the strong dollar,” he said. “They can’t raise rates because of that.”

If there’s a silver lining, most of the damage already appears to have been done. The value of the dollar has leveled off, and it remains that way, the U.S. trade picture is also likely to stabilize. That would ease the pressure on American businesses and let them go about hiring and investing without worrying so much about currency shifts.

Consumers still key

The improvement in the labor market is ultimately what offers hope that U.S. will rebound like it did in 2014, when the economy bounced back with an average 4.8% growth rate in the middle of the year after contracting sharply in the first three months.

Although hiring has tapered off since last fall, the economy is still adding nearly 200,000 jobs a month, the unemployment rate continues to creep lower and layoffs are at a record low. Just as important, a long freeze in wage growth finally appears to be thawing, though at a glacial pace.

All of that is enough to drive a steady increase in consumer spending, the pillar on which the U.S. economy stands. Just don’t expect the economy to suddenly revert to the juggernaut it once was.

“I think we’ll see a bounce back in the second quarter, but I don’t think you are going to get a boom in consumer spending going forward,” said Stanley, who forecasts 3.7% growth. “Consumer spending is going to live or die with income growth.”


Flood or trickle? Course of U.S. economy’s rebound murky

Sunday, May 24, 2015

_83166407_027088696-1


The UK government has started selling off internet addresses that it no longer uses.


The first group of 150,000 addresses has been snapped up by a Norwegian firm called Altibox for about £600,000.


The addresses are becoming valuable because the net has almost outgrown the addressing scheme it adopted in the 1970s.


If the UK government sells off all the surplus addresses it owns it could get up to £15m.


However, some fear that as the addresses are shared out more widely, data could go astray.The surplus addresses are part of a much bigger block of 16 million addresses given to the Department of Work and Pensions in 1993. Earlier this year, the DWP started a project to see how many of these IP addresses could be freed.


An official report produced before the DWP began its investigation suggested that 70% of the massive block was used for the UK government’s internal network, leaving about five million free for disposal.

A government spokesman said: “Government periodically reviews all its assets to consider their financial value, including options to release income from those that are not used to their fullest potential.


“The scope of the value of these assets is commercially sensitive and protected by standard legal confidentiality agreements.”

Diverted data


The addresses are known as IP Version 4 (IPv4) addresses and are valuable because of a hard limit in the numbering system they use. This caps the total number of IPv4 addresses at 4.3 billion. In practice there are fewer available because some are reserved for other uses.

The net is in the process of moving to IP Version 6 (IPv6), which has an almost inexhaustible supply of addresses. However, technical incompatibilities between the two versions means many firms are seeking to expand their existing IPv4 networks instead of switching.

Regional caches of IPv4 addresses have all but run dry, meaning many firms have to look elsewhere for them, said Sandra Brown, president of address broker IPV4 Market Group.


Trading in IPv4 had been brisk in Europe, said Ms Brown, because the organisation that oversees net addresses in the region had approved policies that allowed transfers. In the busiest months, about two million IPv4 addresses were being traded in Europe.


_83166409_493900263-1 “Supply has met demand but we are reaching a point where supply is about to fall short and we have seen prices escalate because of that,” she said.


Each individual IP address was worth up to $11 (£7), she said, but prices were lower when big deals were done.

Trading was likely to continue for years as firms were only slowly migrating to IPv6.

“Most of the people I talk to say it will take five to 10 years to convert,” said Ms Brown.

That might spell trouble, said Doug Madory from network specialist Dyn, because there were concerns about what happened when that finite stock of addresses was divided very finely.


“People typically try to deal with addresses in contiguous blocks to keep the binary math from getting unwieldy leading to errors,” he said.

“As you slice it thinly the number of routes gets larger and larger and it’s computationally expensive to look up where each packet has to go.”

In addition, he said, delays in transferring ownership had already led to some data going astray.

“We see this as a transition period,” said Andrew de la Haye, chief operating officer of the Ripe agency that oversees net addresses in Europe.

He added that some European companies were analysing how they use IPv4 as a way to help them move to the larger addressing system.


“It’s a bit early to say but I have spoken to a few of our members and they are freeing up IPv4 address spaces to fund their IPv6 migration,” he said. “The long-term strategy should be IPv6.”


Original link



Consumers now have this excuse to buy a new TV





NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Even if they already have a flat-panel, high-definition TV, consumers now have another reason to buy a new TV.

The reason: the latest TV technology, called 4K Ultra HDTV, has four times the resolution, or over 8 million pixels, compared with what’s available on the nearly ubiquitous HDTV. In simple terms, it means the TV screen image can show such fine details as mosaics on a castle wall or tiny dots on a fish in an aquarium, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

And these TV screens, especially those 50 inches or more in size, have become a bright spot in an otherwise declining market for TVs and other electronics.

“The last five to 10 years, there’s not been a lot of value in the TV business,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at market research firm NPD Group, said in an interview. “Now there’s a premium product people are trading up to. 3D TV (that flopped) was focused on gimmicks. (4K) gives you what you want — a great picture.”

Baker said as the falling price of glass and other components knocked down the price of big-screen TVs, it fueled consumer appetite to trade up. For instance, the average 4K TV price has fallen by half to about $1,600 in the first quarter of this year from $3,200 in the fourth quarter of 2013, the year 4K TV was introduced in small quantities. Meanwhile, the number of 4K TVs sold jumped 16-fold and the total value of those sales, even at the lower unit price, is up nine times, Baker said. Average TV price is $450 for a 40-inch set, he said.

In total, sales of flat-panel TVs 50 inches or bigger have risen 22% to $8.4 billion in the 12 months through April from $6.9 billion two years earlier, according to NPD Group. In contrast, overall flat panel TV sales fell 5.8% over the same period.

One in four consumers said they plan to buy a new TV this year, including 38% of those under age 30, according to deal site FatWallet.com’s TV Buyer Survey, released in January. Among those who are planning a purchase, 53% said they would spend more than $500, up 18% from 2014. The percentage of those planning to buy 4K TV jumped 45% to 11%, the survey showed.

3D TV (that flopped) was focused on gimmicks. (4K) gives you what you want — a great picture.
Stephen Baker, NPD Group

And that’s good news for such retailers as Best Buy Co. BBY, -2.22% The top U.S. specialty electronics retailer on Thursday reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit and sales on higher demand for products like 4K TV that helped offset lower tablet and other traditional consumer electronics sales, an area that represents about two-thirds of its U.S. sales. Industrywide consumer electronics sales dropped 5%, NPD’s Baker said.

There’s a “genuine customer interest for larger screen televisions,” said Best Buy Chief Executive Hubert Joly on Thursday. Partly driven by 4K, “a large screen TV is actually very appealing given (the number) of pixels.”

Joly said Best Buy has worked with suppliers including Sony and Samsung to better showcase the products and staff “expert labor” on the floor to answer customer questions. “We’ve really created a material difference in the customer experience,” Joly said. He expects Best Buy will pick up “a material share” in the category especially because “it’s still early in the cycle of adoption” of the large screen TVs and 4K TVs.

“We are believers in 4K and what it could generate in sales throughout the year,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman. He estimated 4K TV category could contribute 4% to 5% to Best Buy’s U.S. same-store sales even as the average selling price is expected to continue to decline.

Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joe Feldman estimated TVs make up about a quarter of Best Buy’s total sales.

And it’s not just Best Buy that’s capitalizing on the demand.

Best Buy’s smaller rival HH Gregg Inc. HGG, -4.62% said this month 4K ultra-HD TVs, which represent about 30% of its TV products mix, will jump to about half of its assortment by this holiday. “We continue to see growth in this part of the television business,” said President and Chief Executive Dennis May. He calls it a “significant shift into more premium television.”

Wal-Mart’s WMT, -0.33% Sam’s Club began carrying 4K TVs a year ago. They have since become one of its best-selling televisions, spokesman Bill Durling said. “We feel it’s a bright spot and is driving members to upgrade their TVs,” he said. “The larger sizes are definitely selling best.”

“2015 is a sweet spot of opportunity for retailers who are focused on 4K TV,” said NPD’s Baker.

TV is also a category that could offer physical retailers a better defense against price competition from Amazon AMZN, -0.93% than most other electronics. A lower percentage of TV sales are online compared with the percentage for the overall electronics category, Baker said.

Consumers now have this excuse to buy a new TV

NSA and Allies Planned to Infect Your Phone via App Stores

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The official app stores are considered to be a safe haven where malware and spyware can’t reach but it seems our judgement and trust were misplaced. NSA and several of its allies’ secret agencies planned to spy on users by releasing spy software using the official app stores from Samsung and Google.

Official documents dating back to 2011 and 2012 were shared by Edward Snowden. The documents revealed how NSA planned with five of its allies to infect users’ phones with spyware by hacking the connection between a user and app stores. Meaning this was not limited to just one or two apps and any app transfer could have been “interjected” with spy code. The group worked in quite a few workshops in Australia to develop methods of achieving the aforementioned target.

According to the document


The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google.

The spyware was codenamed Irritant Horn and it was programmed to share user data from smartphones with the agencies without user consent. This is not new, Snowden and Wikileaks have previously revealed how agencies designed spywares for iPhones and Android smartphones and the new documents are further insight to how they planned to implement this. The loopholes were revealed thanks to activist groups so that the developers can patch their software and the companies could ensure proper security in their app stores.

The spyware was codenamed Irritant Horn and it was programmed to share user data from smartphones with the agencies without user consent.

The leaked documents names Samsung’s appstore and the UC browser as potential victims as well. It should be noted that Google says chances of infection from Play Store while installing apps almost non-existent thanks to new security protocols. This should make you feel a little safe though who is to stay that the agencies aren’t working on new strategies to work around the loopholes and spy on the people of the world.

The agencies that partnered with NSA are from UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand or commonly referred to as the “Five Eyes” countries. The documents do not contain the information if the plan is still under works or it was ever implemented but no matter what happened after, the agencies’ propaganda has been revealed and should keep us on high alert.

NSA and Allies Planned to Infect Your Phone via App Stores

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland same-sex referendum set to approve gay marriage

Gay marriage referendum votes being counted in Dublin


 


Early indications suggest the Republic of Ireland has voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum.


More than 3.2m people were asked whether they wanted to amend the country’s constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.


Government ministers have said they believe it will pass, while prominent “no” campaigners have conceded defeat.


Counting started at 09:00 BST on Saturday morning. An “unusually high” turnout has been reported.


A result is expected by mid to late afternoon on Saturday.


Conceded


If the change is approved, the Republic of Ireland would become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.


Minister for Equality Aodhan O Riordain said on Twitter: “I’m calling it. Key boxes opened. It’s a yes. And a landslide across Dublin. And I’m so proud to be Irish today.”


Partners Adrian and Shane after casting their vote in Drogheda, County Louth
Partners Adrian and Shane casting their vote in Drogheda, County Louth

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, who earlier this year came out as the Republic of Ireland’s first openly gay minister, said the campaign had been “almost like a social revolution”.


Speaking from the Dublin count, he told Irish broadcaster RTE that it appeared about 75% of votes being counted there were in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.


Some prominent “no” campaigners have already conceded defeat.


David Quinn of the Iona Institute, a Catholic group, said it was “obviously a very impressive victory for the ‘yes’ side”.


“Obviously there’s a certain amount of disappointment, but I’m philosophical about the outcome,” he told RTE.


“It was always going to be an uphill battle – there were far fewer organisations on the ‘no’ side, while all the major political parties were lined up on the ‘yes’ side and you had major corporations coming out for the first time to say how we should vote on a particular issue.”


Counting of ballots in Dublin
Counting of ballots began at 09:00 BST
Referendum count
An ‘unusually high’ turnout has been reported

Dublin, Limerick and Waterford passed the 60% electorate turnout mark, while in Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Donegal, Tipperary, Kerry and Galway it was above 50%.


The upper courtyard of Dublin Castle is open to 2,000 people for people to view the declarations on a large screen.


Before Friday, votes had already been cast in some islands as well as hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. Irish citizens who are registered were allowed to vote, but there was no postal voting. Many people returned to Ireland to cast their votes.


Newly married couple Anne and Vincent Fox were determined to take part in the referendum and voted in Dublin
Newly married couple Anne and Vincent Fox were determined to take part in the referendum and voted in Dublin
Irish President Michael D Higgins was among those who took the opportunity to vote
Irish President Michael D Higgins was among those who took the opportunity to vote
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny voted in Castlebar, County Mayo
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny voted in Castlebar, County Mayo

They were asked whether they agreed with the statement: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”


The referendum was being held 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in Ireland.


In 2010, the Irish government enacted civil partnership legislation, which provided legal recognition for gay couples.


Banners encouraging voters to support the Yes and the No campaign in the Irish same-sex marriage referendum
The result of the referendum is expected some time on Saturday

But there are some important differences between civil partnership and marriage, the critical one being that marriage is protected in the constitution while civil partnership is not.


Presidential candidates


A constitutional convention established by the Irish government in 2013 considered the specifics of a proposal on extending marriage rights, as well as discussing other changes to the constitution.


It voted in favour of holding a referendum on same-sex marriage and the date was announced by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny earlier this year.


If the measure is passed, Catholic churches will continue to decide for themselves whether to solemnise a marriage.


The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Eamon Martin, has said the church may look at whether it continues to perform the civil side of solemnisation if the change comes in.


A separate referendum, on whether the eligibility age of presidential candidates should be lowered from 35 to 21, was being held at the same time, along with a parliamentary by-election in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency.


Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 19 countries worldwide.



Ireland same-sex referendum set to approve gay marriage

Google patents 'creepy' internet toys to run the home

Google toys


Google’s patent shows a toy rabbit and teddy bear but says that other child-friendly designs would be possible

Google’s R&D team has looked into making internet-connected toys that control smart home appliances.


The firm has published a patent that describes devices that would turn their heads towards users and listen to what they were saying, before sending commands to remote computer servers.


The three-year old patent was spotted recently by the legal technology firm SmartUp.


It described the proposal as “one of Google’s creepiest patents yet”.


Privacy campaigners have also raised concerns.


A spokeswoman for Google was unable to say whether this was a product the firm might develop and sell.


“We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with,” she said.


“Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications,” she added.


Curious face


The patent was originally filed back in February 2012, but has only just been published.


Google patent
Google describes how the toys would communicate with its servers to control devices in the home

Its inventor is named as Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose job title is “director of rapid evaluation and mad science” at Google X – the firm’s secretive “skunkworks” lab.


The patent describes how the toys would include microphones, speakers, cameras and motors as well as a wireless connection to the internet.


It states that a trigger word would cause them to wake up and turn their gaze towards the person addressing them, and would be able to check if the person talking was making eye contact.


The document suggests the device could respond both by speaking back and by expressing “human-like” expressions of interest, curiosity, boredom and/or surprise.


“To express interest, an anthropomorphic device may open its eyes, lift its head and/or focus its gaze on the user,” Mr DeVaul wrote.


“To express curiosity, [it] may tilt its head, furrow its brow, and/or scratch its head with an arm.”


Bedroom commands


Drawings show that the machine could be made to look like a bunny rabbit or teddy bear, and the text suggests other alternatives that include dragons and alien life forms.


The patent adds that making the device look “cute” should encourage even the youngest members of a family to interact with it.


“Young children might find these forms to be attractive,” it says.


“However, individuals of all ages may find interacting with these anthropomorphic devices to be more natural than interacting with traditional types of user interfaces.”


Super Toy Teddy
The movie AI featured a “super” teddy bear that interacted with its owners

The document suggests the toys could be used to control a wide range of devices, from televisions and DVD players to home thermostats, motorised window curtains and lights.


It adds that they might prove so popular that families would wish to buy several, placing them around the house including inside their bedrooms.


The idea echoes the “super toy” teddy bear featured in Stephen Spielberg’s 2001 movie AI.


But Mikhail Avady, from SmartUp, said he thought it belonged in “a horror film”, and the campaign group Big Brother Watch has also expressed dismay.


“The privacy concerns are clear when devices have the capacity to record conversations and log activity,” said its director Emma Carr.


“When those devices are aimed specifically at children, then for many this will step over the creepy line.


“Children should be able to play in private and shouldn’t have to fear this sort of passive invasion of their privacy. It is simply unnecessary,” she added.


Five Nights at Freddy's`
The idea risks evoking memories of the evil toys in the video game Five Nights at Freddy’s

The Center for Democracy and Technology – a research group that helped shape child protection laws in the US – said that parents would have to be “especially vigilant” over the coming years, whether or not Google ever put such toys on sale.


“In general, as technology moves forward, markets will offer a steady stream of products that push or even break mainstream social norms – on privacy as well as other things,” said its director of European affairs, Jens-Henrik Jeppesen.


“Responsible companies will understand they need to provide full transparency about how such devices handle data.


“Some consumers may find such products appealing – I suspect most will not,” he added.


Hi-tech dolls


Google is not the first firm to see the appeal of a family-friendly voice-activated control for the home, as an alternative to using remote controls or smartphones.


Amazon already sells the Echo in the US – a cylindrical internet-linked device that can be used to control music playback, check the weather and order food.


A marketing video for the device shows children using it.


Amazon Echo
Amazon launched the Echo in the US last November

But the fact that it does not look like a toy may have helped it become relatively uncontroversial.


By contrast, Mattel’s recent announcement of Hello Barbie – a doll that uses a wi-fi connection and voice recognition to chat with young girls and recall things they said in earlier conversations – has prompted a backlash.


A lobby group called the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has launched petitions calling for the toy firm to drop the idea.


The petitions have attracted more than 42,000 online signatures.


 


Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32843518



Google patents 'creepy' internet toys to run the home