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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tips to play Croquet game

Croquet is a great game. The guidelines taken from official rules of the United States Croquet Association.

1. Divide players into two teams: a "cool" team that plays the blue and black balls, and a "hot" team that plays the red and yellow balls of a croquet set.

2. Decide which team goes first. They will play the blue and black balls. Take turns in the order of the corresponding colors on the stake - blue first, yellow last.

3. Place your ball 3 feet south of the first wicket, and try hit it through. If you succeed, you earn a bonus stroke. Otherwise, your turn is over.

4. Take two bonus strokes if your ball comes to rest in contact with another player's ball during your turn. This is a "roquet."

5. Use this first bonus stroke to hit your ball so that both your ball and your opponent's ball move. Use your second stroke to hit your own ball toward the proper wicket.

6. Pass your ball through the wickets in the proper order: southwest 1, northwest 2, northeast 3, southeast 4, south-central 5, and north-central 6, followed by 2, 1, 4, 3, 6, and 5.

7. Remove your corresponding colored clip from the wicket when your ball passes through, and place it on the next one.

8. Become a rover once your ball has passed through all six wickets twice (in the proper order.) Take your rover ball out of play when it hits the final stake.

9. Roquet any other ball in play, but no more than once each a turn - unless your rover ball passes through a wicket (any wicket). Your rover, however, cannot roquet the same ball twice in succession, even if it passes through a wicket.

10. Win the game if your team is the first one to hit the final stake with both balls.

The Five wonders of Nature

The following sites captures the imagination with its natural power and beauty. And they have one thing in common. Nothing made by humans:

1. Aurora Borealis:

The aurora borealis (also called the northern lights) consists of awe-inspiring twirls of light in the sky, caused by “solar wind” — electrically charged particles interacting with Earth’s magnetic field. The aurora borealis can be up to 2,000 miles wide, but it fluctuates in size, shape, and color, with green being the most common color close to the horizon while purples and reds appear higher. Named after Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, and Boreas, Greek god of the north wind, these ribbons of color are best viewed in northern climates like Alaska but have been seen as far south as Arizona.

2. Great Barrier Reef:

The Great Barrier Reef blankets 137,600 square miles and extends a dramatic 1,242 miles along Australia’s northeastern coast, making it the largest group of reefs in the world. The reef began forming more than 30 million years ago and is made up of the skeletons of marine polyps. Four hundred species of living polyps can also be found there, along with 1,500 species of fish, as well as crabs, clams, and other sea life. The area is an Australian national park and is visited by two million tourists a year.

3. Victoria Falls:

Victoria Falls, originally called Mosi-oa-Tunya (“smoke that thunders”), was named after Queen Victoria of England in 1855. The raging waters of the Zambezi River pour 19 trillion cubic feet of water per minute into a gorge that is 1.25 miles wide and 328 feet deep, making this the largest curtain of falling water in the world. Located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is flanked by national parks and is now one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, with resorts, hiking trails, and observation posts springing up around it. White-water rafting at the foot of the falls makes for a thrilling adventure.

4. Paricutin:

Paricutin provides one of nature’s best lessons in how volatile Earth is. Exploding out of a Mexican cornfield in 1943, Paricutin was the first known volcano  to have witnesses at its birth. Within a year, the cone had grown to more than 1,100 feet high. The flow eventually spread over 10 square miles, engulfing the nearby towns of Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro. The eruptions ceased in 1952, and the cone now soars 1,345 feet high.

5. Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona was formed by the erosive power of the weather and the Colorado River and its tributaries as they scoured away billion-year-old rocks. Although known to Native Americans for thousands of years, the vast gorge was not discovered by the first Spanish explorers until 1540. Grand Canyon National Park was established in 1919, preserving the more than 1.2 million acres of colorful cliffs and waterways that are home to 75 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, 25 species of fish, and more than 300 species of birds. The canyon stretches 277 miles, with some sections reaching a mile deep and 18 miles across. More than five million visitors view the canyon annually, often hiking or riding mules down to the canyon floor, while the more adventurous opt for boating or rafting the Colorado River through the canyon.

Trailer of Shrek Forever After

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Process to run a self Web Hosting Service

A web host is a type of Internet service provider. Instead of providing access to the Internet, a web host provides server storage space for websites online. Every website online is hosted on a server at a data facility. It is far too expensive for most people to own and maintain their own server, so most people opt to lease space on a server that is professionally maintained by another company. These businesses are known as web hosting companies, and they make up a multi-billion dollar industry that is relatively easy for most people to cash in on. If you are looking for a long-term business opportunity that has the ability to generate phenomenal profits, learn how to run your own web hosting service.

1. Acquire your servers. The number of servers really depends on how many websites will be hosted on your servers, as well as how much storage space and bandwidth are allocated to each of those customers. For most small hosts, a single server with a 3.2 GHz Pentium processor is sufficient. If something with more computing power is needed, then using a dual processor, such as dual Opterons or dual Xeons, will expand the speed of your server. If your space begins to fill, you can always add additional servers to your rack as they are needed.

2. Rent rack space in a data center. You can technically use any data center in the world as a home for your servers, but many people prefer to use a center that is close to where they live. Rack space is rented so that you will have a place to keep your server, in an area where it has easy access to an internet connection. Websites, such as Data Center Atlas help locate data centers within your area. Your local telephone company will often have a data center in your vicinity with rack space that can be leased.

3. Provision bandwidth for your server. The bandwidth that you purchase is what connects your server to the Internet and allows people to visit the websites that are hosted on your server. This bandwidth will be divided among your customers, according to how much bandwidth you include in a monthly hosting package. The general idea is that you want to purchase bandwidth at a wholesale price, from either the local telephone company or from a company like Level 3, then sell that same bandwidth at a retail rate to your customers.

4. Choose between Unix and Windows for the operating system on your server. Unix is the overwhelming leader of the market because it is fast, easy to manage and it is free. Unix is also popular since most websites use PHP for the source code. However, if one of your clients likes to build their website with Active Server Pages (ASP), then using Windows is the only option. Most larger web hosts build the bulk of their business around Unix web hosting, but have a Windows server available for those who are willing to pay extra for it.

5. Choose a control panel system to operate on your web server. The control panel is what allows your clients to manage the web site that is hosted on your server. It also includes a web host manager application that allows you to monitor and manage the individual hosting accounts that your clients pay for. There are a number of options available for the control panel function of your web hosting business. The two most common are cPanel and Plesk. Links to each of these can be found in the Resources section.

6. Arrange for a complete data backup at regular intervals. You can never predict when disaster will strike, and you can't rely on your customers to keep an up to date backup of their websites. Many of them will not have an adequate backup and will blame you if their data is lost. This makes it very important to routinely backup everything on the entire server, or server cluster. The most effective way is to use the services of a company, such as BQ Backup, who will make a backup copy of your files and store it at a remote facility. That way you can recover your data even if your entire data center is hit by a natural disaster.

7. Build a website to accompany your web hosting business. Having a website is an essential part of the business. It allows potential customers to review the different options you offer for hosting plans, and also allows them to sign up and create an account in real time. A good website will also offer some form of live customer support as a gateway for potential customers and new customers to get answers to their sales questions. A web hosting business can not expect to get customers without a website, so spend some time looking at competitors' sites to get an idea of what aspects you would like to incorporate into your own design.

8. Integrate a billing system into your website. You will need to obtain an account with a credit card billing company, such as Authorize to handle your credit card orders. Integrating this service into your website will allow give your customers the ability to pay for their service online and to instantly have access to the account they created. You may also want to offer third party payment gateways as an additional option, such as accepting PayPal payments for those who already have an account at Pay Pal.

9. Form an advertising strategy for your web hosting business. You can have the greatest deal in the history of web hosting, but if people don't know about your company they will never sign up. Getting the word out about your company is a critical component in the success of your business. Try sponsoring text ads in search engines

Importance of House Plants

Caring for house plants is a source of joy and pleasure for many people. For others, it's a nightmare. Learning more about the different types of houseplants and what they need to survive and thrive can give you a greener thumb. Everything from pot size to water needs to sunshine can affect the way a plant grows.

1. Types of House Plants:
House plants have different needs for light exposure. Some plants, like baby tears, crown of thorns, English ivy and jade tree thrive in rooms where there's a lot of natural light; place these by a sunny window. Others, like white flag, heart leaf rhododendron, Boston fern and Chinese evergreen thrive with very little light. These go well in interior rooms, stairwells and other areas that might not get a lot of sunlight. Other plants aren't as finicky, and do well in areas with medium exposure to sunlight, such as begonias, asparagus ferns, coralberry, grape ivy and inch plant.

2. Selecting House Plants:
When you choose a house plant, keep in mind the amount of light that you have to offer and the amount of water the plant will need. If you have a hard time keeping plants watered, then you'll want one that doesn't require a lot of water, such as the Chinese jade tree. You may also want to opt for succulents or cacti. Indoor trees and hanging plants are also popular. The adventurous indoor gardener may want to nurture an orchid.

3. House Plant Needs:
In addition to specific light requirements, each variety of house plant also requires a certain amount of room for its roots to grow. Some plants, like certain fern varieties, prefer to have their roots crowded and cramped, growing greener and fuller when there's less room for their roots. Other plants are crippled by a cramped pot and fail to grow larger if they're not re-potted occasionally. Different plants have different watering requirements as well. Some need their soil to stay wet, others need their soil to stay dry for long periods between watering.

4. Caring for House Plants:
Most house plants can thrive for a long time with weekly watering. Learning the specific light requirements of your plant and placing it in an area with optimal sunlight is the best way to care for your houseplants. Since house plants are generally in potting soil with a fair amount of rich compost soil, they don't need to be fertilized very often. Knowing when the plant has outgrown its pot and then repotting it properly is also important. Remove dead leaves every few weeks and wipe dust from larger leaves with warm water so they look nicer.

5. House Plant Health:
If your house plant is droopy, leaves are yellowing or it fails to grow, then you may have a plant health problem. Failure to grow can be caused by soil mites. Mites in the soil can be killed by adding a small amount of vinegar to the water (1 teaspoon per quart), but some plants can't handle the acidity. Yellowing leaves can be caused by insufficient light or lack of water. Improving the situation may not save the dead leaves but will keep future leaves green. Droopiness is often caused by lack of water, and in most instances can be cured almost instantly just by watering.

6. Benefits of House Plants:
In addition to purifying the air of impurities and increasing the amount of oxygen in a room, house plants can bring psychological joy to many people. They're so important for mental health that in the Chinese system of feng shui, house plants are a required component of every room. Caring for a living thing that doesn't talk back, argue or make messes is joyful. Every time you notice new growth on your houseplant you may rejoice, and feel like a powerful part of the force of creation, knowing that your care and nurture has made a small difference in the world.

Importance & types of Health Insurance

You can buy health insurance from your employer (group plans) or, if you must, directly from an insurance company. Either source will give you a choice of at least one or more of the four existing types of plans.

1. Groups:
When employers, unions and professional organizations offer health care insurance, they create (or, in rare cases, join) "group" health insurance plans that cover literally thousands of individuals. Because of the large numbers involved, group insurance lets insurers forecast future expenses. That means group plans usually have better benefits at lower costs.

2. Open Market:
When you can't get group health care insurance, your only option is to purchase it directly. Health insurance purchased on the open market typically contains fewer benefits in return for higher premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

3. Four Types:
There are four general types of plans available:
* Fee-for-service (FFS) plans, developed in the 1930s, are rare in the 21st century because of their cost. FSS plans let you choose your providers.

* Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are unique in that they both insure and deliver medical care to their members. Because HMOs provide services "in house," they offer the best bargain in health care (care versus cost), but give you little choice over who provides that care.

* Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) have a network of providers who have agreed to accept PPO patients on a "discounted" fee-for-service basis. PPOs are more expensive than HMOs but give you more choices.

* If you belong to a Point of Service (POS) plan, you decide each time you need care whether to use HMO or PPO benefits (the plan contains both).

4. Costs:
All health care plans require that you share in the cost of your own care. Consequently, you will pay monthly premiums plus "deductibles" and "co-pays." A deductible is a set amount you must spend before your policy benefits begin. Co-pays are a share of the actual charges, usually expressed in your policy either as a flat fee or as percentages of the total cost. For example, a doctor's visit might cost $20, but you might have to pay 20 percent of the cost of a hospital stay.

5. Balance:
The fact that premiums, deductibles and co-pays are directly related means that raising one usually lowers the other two. Based on your budget, perceived health care needs and desire for personal choice, you want to achieve the balance between your premiums, deductibles and co-pays that's right for you. For example, if you have low yearly medical expenses, you might want a high deductible with lower premiums. On the other hand, if your yearly costs are high, you might be willing to pay higher premiums to get a lower deductible.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Basic steps to perform a Salsa Dance

The basic steps to perform a Salsa Dance:

1. Forward & Backward: Preferably, place one hand on or around your partner's waist. The other person may rest his/her opposite hand around your shoulder. Hold each other's remaining hands, typically above one's waist and mainly in the air. See the picture provided on this step.

2. Move one of your foot one step forward, then return it to the original position. Move the other foot one step backward, and return to the original position as well. As you do this, your partner should be simultaneously performing the same steps, only in the opposite direction as you go along. When stepping forward, the other person uses the opposite foot to step back. Repeat.

3. Side Steps: Move one foot to the back of the other, then return it to the original spot. Repeat the same step with the other foot. While moving each foot, slightly bend your knees to give more style to your moves. Your partner should be performing the same steps. Feel free to keep your hands in their original positions.

4. Spin/Turn: While performing either of the steps above, keep holding your partner's upper hand and release the ones on your waist and shoulder. Lift it slightly to indicate your next move, the spin. Smoothly, your partner will turn 360 degrees and return to the original position.

5. Switching Positions: While performing steps 1 through 3, simply lower both your hands (opposite from the ones on the waist & shoulder) to indicate a switch in positions. Your partner will take three steps around you, as you do the same to place yourself where he/she previously was.

Alice In Wonderland becomes highest grossing 3D movie

Disney's Alice In Wonderland is a monster hit alice in wonderland posterdespite blowing past its budget and bringing back mediocre reviews. It clearly becomes the biggest 3D bow ever and the best March release ever and the highest grossing movie of 2010 with $41 million on Friday and $44.3 million on Saturday. Remember, those higher priced 3D tickets make all the difference. Even so, the Tim Burton-directed, Johnny Depp-starring fantasy flick had the biggest 3D release of all time. Of its 3,728 North American locations this weekend, its total domestic 3D count is 2,063, plus 180 Imax 3D engagements. That helped the pic post a $116.3M opening weekend with numbers  blowing away Avatar's first Fri-Sat-Sun. IMAX on Friday had the biggest day in their history with $4.3M for Alice. The IMAX weekend take of $11+M also is a record for the big screen company. Overseas, Alice shot to #1 almost everywhere after opening day and date in 40 territories beginning Wednesday. Disney narrowly avoided a boycott overseas when UK and other exhibitors were angered by the studio's plans to shorten the theatrical-to-DVD window from 16 weeks to just 12 weeks.

As for foreign grosses, Alice debuted to $94 million in 40+ markets representing only 60% of the international marketplace. That means the worldwide box office was $210.3M. That's only 2nd to Avatar's $242M global bow, but Wonderland's domestic total blew past Avatar's. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release:

1. Alice In Wonderland (Disney) NEW [3,728 Theaters]
Friday $41M, Saturday $44.3M, Weekend $116.3M, Worldwide $210.3M
2. Brooklyn's Finest (Overture) NEW [1,936 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $5.2M, Weekend $13.1M
3. Shutter Island (Paramount) Week 3 [3,178 Theaters]
Friday $4.0M, Saturday $6.0M, Weekend $13.0M, Cume $95.6M
4. Cop Out (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,150 Theaters]
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $4.0M, Weekend $9.1M, Cume $32.3M
5. The Crazies (Overture) Week 2 [2,479 Theaters]
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $3.0M, Weekend $6.9M, Cume $27.3M
6. Avatar (Fox) [2,163 Theaters] Week 12
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $3.6M, Weekend $7.7M, Cume $720.1M
7. Percy Jackson (Fox) Week 4 [2,994 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $5.1M, Cume $78.0M
8. Valentine's Day (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,040 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.2M, Cume $106.4M
9. Crazy Heart (Fox Searchlight) Week 12 [1,274 Theaters]
Friday $925K, Saturday $1.6M, Weekend $3.3M, Cume $29.5M
10. Dear John (Sony) Week 5 [2,496 Theaters]
Friday $965K, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $2.8M, Estimated Cume $76.6M

Details of Average College Tuition

Estimating the average college tuition is not an easy task. Numerous factors go into consideration, including location, type of college, length of the degree and even your geographical location at the time of enrollment. Prices also vary widely between public and private schools.

1. Geography: College costs are different for in-state and out-of-state residents. The standard difference is about 100 percent higher for those who are not residents of the state in which they study.

2. Identification: Estimating the average college tuition takes some work, as prices vary considerably from state to state. Vermont ($15,426), New Jersey ($14,853) and New Hampshire ($14,343) have the highest college tuition fees in the country, while the lowest go to a few states in the South and Midwest, including Oklahoma ($8,295) and Kansas ($9,068).

3. Features: The average tuition for a four-year public college stands at $12,796 as of September 2008. According to national statistics, however, over 50 percent of the students in four-year colleges are paying less than $10,000 a year for tuition. Two-year colleges or junior colleges are considerably cheaper, sometimes up to 50 percent less. Private colleges, on the other hand, rank much higher on cost, coming up to an average of $25,143 per year for a four-year college. Community colleges may be the best bet for those who are on a tight budget. A credit hour at Pratt Community College in Kansas costs $29, while an hour at the University of Kansas (state college) will run about $300.

4. Expert Insight: Rates for college tuition go up an average of 5.9 percent a year. That includes only the actual education and does not take into consideration additional costs, such as room and board (a 5 percent growth per year). In 2005, however, there was a remarkable hike in tuition, and some colleges, such as the University of Colorado, increased their prices up to 27 percent.

5. Potential: The five most expensive colleges in the U.S. are, in order: George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), University of Richmond (Virginia), Sarah Lawrence College (New York), Kenyon College (Ohio) and Vassar College (New York). All cost upward of $36,000 for the 2007-08 year. Some of these colleges were not in the list just a year earlier. The University of Richmond, for example, charged a tuition of less than $25,000 in 2006, which makes for a tuition increase of more than 30 percent in a single school year.

Sandra Bullocks Oscar to be welded to her car

Sandra Bullock wants to have her Oscar welded to her car. The 45-year-old star, who picked up the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 'The Blind Side', wants to be reminded she is a movie star when doing mundane daily chores and has asked her husband, biker Jesse James, to attach the statue to her vehicle.

She said: I'm going to have Jesse weld the Oscar to the hood of the car. It will be there to remind me as I do the school and grocery runs. I'm taking my award food shopping. More people will see it. Sandra also admitted she has not yet come to terms with winning the award and being in the company of other Oscar-winning actresses such as Dame Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep - but is glad the ceremony is over so she can go back to leading a normal life. She told the Daily Star newspaper: It's really hard for it so sink in. Now I can go days without wearing make-up, eating cheese burgers, get back to my life walking the dogs and doing the things everybody else does. There's a sense of relief. Now I can look back and think, 'Wow, this is a little piece of history.' I'm glad I got to share this time and exhilaration with extraordinarily beautiful and talented women.

Meanwhile, Jesse, 40, has proclaimed how proud he is of Sandra, claiming he loses his breath when he looks at her. He told People magazine: It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support my wife and her work. She does it all the time for me. She goes to Mexico, to the desert, to the hospital - a lot - to support me and my work. The least I can do is put on a suit and support her. She's beautiful. She's amazing. She takes my breath away. Sometimes I look at her and I do, I just lose my breath. I'm so proud of her. Nobody deserves this more and works harder. She's old-school Hollywood - just gracious and a star who's so much better than you expect them to be.

SRK says Ra.One(Superhero movie) is for my kids

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is excited about his first superhero film Ra.One”, which will also see him flying. And he says he is doing it for his children and hopes to succeed at the box office. The film ‘Ra.One’ is a superhero film. There is a good guy, there is a bad guy, there is a beautiful girl, there is a wonderful singer and a fantastic director, Shah Rukh told reporters at a press conference organised to welcome the international R&B singer Akon at Sahara Star hotel Tuesday. It’s a kind of film, a genre we guys haven’t tried at ‘Red Chilies’. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to try and I hope we succeed. It’s a new thing for all of us, so we are giving it our best shot. Hopefully, we will be able to do what we are set out to do. I am doing it for my kids, he added. The film is being directed by Anubhav Sinha and Kareena Kapoor plays Shah Rukh’s love interest in it.

SRK said: My superhero character is called Jeeva and he can solidify electricity. It’s a concept we are trying to work on. Hopefully, visually it will be understandable too. It is a superhero film and I am going to fly in it. Shah Rukh confirmed Akon will record a number for the film, but clarified that the R&B singer won’t sing for the promotional song for his IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). No, he is actually here to do a song for ‘Ra.One’. We would love him to do a lot of songs. We haven’t developed the song for KKR, but if I do, I would obviously request him to do that.

No, there is not any business deal with Akon. He has just been very gracious. You know, he is unlike me – I charge for everything. I will be really honest. When you see an artist or a singer, you truly realise that they want to do it for the sake of art. And what I love about him is that he only loves to work, said Shah Rukh. Kareena was also present and welcomed Akon by putting ’tilak’ on his forehead and a garland around his neck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MINI Countryman Photos

Kilometer magazine has leaked three photos of the MINI Countryman. Officially not to be shown to the public until March in Geneva, the Countryman was scheduled for an internet debut in a few weeks. As it stands now it’ll be interesting to see how MINI handle this leak and if they release the rest of the information of photos. One thing for certain, Kilometer magazine likely will not be invited to the next MINI vehicle launch.

Initial thoughts? Let’s hear them…

Updated: Look for our full analysis of the Countryman along with dozens of new photos both inside and out. Along with that MINI will be releasing full information on the Countryman for the EU, UK and US markets as well. Finally we’ll be following is all up with video of the car in motion. It all starts tomorrow morning.

Robert Pattinson On for Haiti Telethon

The Twilight Saga star will join a number of other celebrities this Friday as part of Hope for Haiti, the George Clooney-hosted telethon that will air across all major networks and focus on earthquake relief in that troubled nation.

Reports indicate that Robert will be the sole presenter in London, likely introducing performances by Jay-Z and Bono.

Artists performing during the live, two-hour event will include Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Bruce Springsteen.

Meanwhile, other A-listers scheuled to present and/or work the phone lines will be: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Brad Pitt, Anna Kendrick, Sandra Bullock, Zac Efron, Bradley Cooper, Renée Zellweger, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Colin Farrell and Jon Hamm.

Stars such as Sanda Bullock, Gisele Bundchen and Brangelina have already donated at least $1 million each to the cause.

Note to THG readers: stay in Friday night. Save money on drinks at the bar and donate to the victims of this earthquake.

stop using IE6 Use Internet Explorer Says Microsoft

So Google got hacked, or something, by cyber criminals in China, and Microsoft has acknowledged that their Internet Explorer browser was part of the problem. Specifically, Interent Explorer version 6 was part of the problem, and Microsoft is quick to point out that version 8 is much better, and much more secure. Cliff Evans, Microsoft’s Head of Security and Privacy in the UK, further states that switching away from Internet Explorer is also a bad idea. According to him, it’s MSIE8 or nothing. Firefox? Chrome? Safari? Opera? None of those will keep you as safe from cyber attacks as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 8.

Is that true? Microsoft’s Windows — in all its incarnations — is the most popular operating system on planet earth, meaning that if you’re looking to attacks something, attacking Windows is a fairly safe place to start. Similarly, if Internet Explorer is the de facto browser of choice, attacking it will yield a better-than-average chance of finding and exploiting a vulnerability. If you’re trying to attack an Opera exploit, for example, you’re going to be waiting a long time for some poor Opera user to visit your malicious website, simply because there aren’t many Opera users in the world.

Ed Bott makes a rather breathless attack against anyone still using MSIE6, claiming It’s time to stop using IE6 on his ZDNet blog. In general, I agree with the notion that there’s been ample time to move away from MSIE6; but the unfortunate reality is that there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with doing so. Until a software vendor certifies that a browser works correctly with their product, most organizations are reluctant to declare that browser a supported product (even though the browser may work flawlessly with the software). IE8 is a case in point: it works with Peoplesoft, but since Oracle (owners of Peoplesoft) haven’t certified IE8 on various Peoplesoft products and versions, it remains “use at your own risk”. If an organization wants to continue to enjoy receiving technical support, they need to use the application vendor’s supported browser versions, and the application vendor may be in no particular rush to certify a new browser version.

The bottom line? Whenever possible use the latest version of your preferred browser, whichever one that might be.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Side Sleeping is More Comfort

In this crazy lifestyle of ours, sleep is the only rejuvenating factor to look forward to. But slumber hasn’t been easy for 50 per cent of the adult population that sleeps on their sides. That is precisely why AbsolutelyNew has devised the Side Solution Pillow.

The pillow has a unique shape designed so that the entire neck is cradled along with the head and the shoulders. This reduces stiffness and allows good blood circulation in the arms and even prevents snoring and sleep apnea.

Doctor-turned-inventor Paul Mettler created this polyfoam pillow. Mettler works as a physical therapist specialising in treatment of headaches and painful conditions affecting jaw and facial muscles.

Actually, it ws during one of his consultation that Mettler realised that the ailments of some patients, who slept on one side, was the cause of an incorrect sleeping posture owing to the traditional pillow. Their lower shoulder was hunched into their ear.

And so the Absolutely New Side Solution Pillow was born. It is currently available in two models, the Standard with polyfiber fill with a thread count of 260 where as the Deluxe version is a dual sided model with 75 per cent polyfiber fill and 25 percent memory foam. The former is available for USD $49.99 while the latter comes for $79.99 boasting a thread count of 300 with a bacteria inhibitor. Both types are machine washable.

Best Film at Golden Globe 2010 Awards for Avatar

Avatar and the director of this blockbuster both bagged top awards of Best Film and Best Director at the glittering Golden Globe Awards Ceremony held at Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles. James Cameron’s last blockbuster Titanic too had bagged best film and this award again endorses the cinematic genius of this great director. Haiti’s tragedy loomed large on everyone’s mind at the award ceremony and celebrities, film fraternity showed solidarity with victims by wearing yellow, blue and red ribbons.

The awards function was hosted by Ricky Gervais who kept audience entertained throughout the ceremony. The best actress was bagged by Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side and Jeff Bridges took home the Globe for his brilliant portrayal of a country singer in Crazy Heart. Evergreen Julia Roberts won everyone’s heart when she was awarded Golden Globe for top actress in a comedy for her film Julie & Julia. Best animated movie and original score went to Disney’s Up. Martin Scorsese received lifetime achievement award for his brilliant contribution to the cinema.

It would be another one long year wait for another Golden Globe Award ceremony when celebrities, film stars and noted people of Hollywood will once again converge to celebrate the magic of cinema.