Tips Links and Tidbits Newsletter

Tuesday 31st October 2006


I have just finished reading an article about “social engineering” where a Victorian council hired a person to test the human defences of their IT assets.

They asked him to gain unauthorised access to a server room by quoting the IT manager’s first name. It worked. Without any ID or verification checking the person got to the server room.

It occured to me that we have a pretty nice bunch of people as clients. Not your overly suspicious types who would naturally think to check if a young guy rocked up and said, “Hi. I’m from Just For You Software and Tom has asked me to do a maintenance patch for you.”

So before anyone you have not met calls on you and wants access to your computers, ensure that whomever on your staff stands between the stranger and your intellectual property knows to verify their identity first. Please.

Basic Computer User

Council social engineering test exposes flaws
Kingston City Council in Victoria recently conducted a social engineering experiment to see how its staff would react to a stranger trying to gain access to the server room; the exercise revealed, and helped fix, serious flaws in staff awareness. More

Human factor essential for IT security
Global enterprises need to focus more time on policies, processes and people rather than technology if they are to successfully secure IT infrastructures, a report claimed today. More

Analysis: Which Vista Is the Right Vista?
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Microsoft unveils Vista update coupon program
Consumer PC receive discounted upgrades where premium systems can update at a nominal fee. More

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Panasonic Toughbooks: A Look At Panasonic’s Torture Chamber
Panasonic’s Toughbooks run through the gauntlet to earn their moniker. More

IBM Aims Translation-By-Email Service at Teachers
IBM recently added email translation to their Traducelo Ahora (Translate It Now) translation program so that school teachers can communicate with their pupils’ Spanish-speaking parents. More

Motorola Shows Off Future Tech
America’s No. 1 cell phone maker gave a small number of journalists access to its “Technology Innovation Showcase” in Chicago. Sascha Segan reports back on the next wave of mobile tech. More

Analyst: Fewer reasons to upgrade to Vista
There’s even fewer reasons for businesses to upgrade to Windows Vista than there were for upgrading to Windows XP, according to an expert in software migration. More

Organised crime steals millions from online brokers
Criminals have broken into customer accounts at several American online brokers, including E*Trade, and made off with millions, brokers have acknowledged. More

Microsoft launches completed version of Windows Defender
According to Microsoft, changes in the final version include additional scanning performance improvements, support for the 64-bit edition of Windows XP, and automated spyware cleaning during scheduled scans. More

Review: Five recovery apps that bring your PC back from the dead
Sometimes you just have to wipe everything and start from scratch - and a good recovery app will make sure it takes hours rather than weeks. Here are some of the best. More

Norman conquest of malware rolls out sandboxes
SandBox Analyser provides in-depth reports. More

Brainpower tested on new website
A Web site launches targeting Baby Boomers who may feel their brainpower is not as strong as it used to be. More

Microsoft clarifies Vista licensing; users still irked
Microsoft on Thursday finally attempted to clear up confusion over licensing of Windows Vista for power users who rebuild their PCs on a regular basis. But the answer from the software vendor did little to placate some users, who are still upset about Microsoft’s one-machine transfer policy for Vista. More

Vista with 2GB RAM ’great’ says Dell CEO
Windows Vista may need double the RAM that Microsoft recommends, a Dell exec opines. More

Surprises inside Microsoft Vista’s EULA (End User License Agreement)
Not a thing of beauty More

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Advanced Computer User

Hmmm... nothing went into the Advanced section this week. Am I setting the bar too high? Should some of the Basic content be going here instead?

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Antidepressant drugs reduced sperm count of patients to near zero: More

Mobile phone use linked to sharp decline in sperm quality: More

“What exercise is to the body, employment [in the sense of ’activity’ or ’engagement’] is to the mind and morals.”

- Henry David Thoreau

The Aerobics Craze - a Monumental Mistake

By Al Sears, MD

Back in the 1970s - while studying at the University of South Florida - I made a curious discovery when running a series of tests on the gymnastics team.

I had picked out the gymnasts with low pulmonary function (lung capacity). The goal was to improve their performance by increasing their lung volume - and everyone believed that sustained running at an “aerobic level” would do that for them. But their next round of scores was even lower.

This triggered a wave of revelations that laid the foundation for my PACE® exercise system. Thirty years and dozens of clinical studies later, I can tell you this: The aerobics craze has been a monumental mistake.

Doing aerobics isn’t a smart way to exercise, and it doesn’t build your lungs or breathing capacity as the name implies. In fact, aerobics actually shrinks your heart and lungs - making you more vulnerable to fatal heart attacks.

If you exercise only within your current aerobic limits, you do so without improving your aerobic capacity. In other words, you never push hard enough to stop to catch your breath.

This kind of aerobic exercise trains your body for endurance and efficiency. And that sounds great, right? Well, it may sound great, but it’s not. Because this kind of exercise causes “shrinkage” - smaller muscles, smaller heart, and smaller lungs. What’s worse, it wipes out your lungs’ reserve capacity.

Reserve capacity is what your lungs use to deal with a sudden increase in stress or high exertion (like lifting, carrying, running, or climbing stairs). Injuries or physical trauma, a shocking emotional blow, a particularly intense session in the bedroom with your partner - these all demand reserve energy. Without reserve capacity, you’re much more likely to drop dead from a heart attack when faced with one of these situations.

It’s normal to lose lung capacity as you age. By the time you’re 70, you’ll lose about 50 percent of it. But if you practice aerobics, you’re going to make that loss even worse.

You don’t hear much about this in the media, but the damage caused by lost lung capacity is far worse than you might imagine.

In the 1980s, a pioneering doctor named Ward Dean did extensive research on lung capacity. He discovered some remarkable statistics from the Framingham Heart Study. (If you’re not familiar with it, the Framingham study has been running for over 50 years. It has no interference from drug companies, and is the most reliable source of data relating to heart health.)

Ironically, one of the study’s most startling discoveries had nothing to do with the heart. It found that lung capacity is the best predictor of longevity - hands down. Simply stated, the bigger your lungs, the longer you live.

This is why reserve capacity is so critical - and why I’m so concerned about the popularity of aerobics. Aerobic exercise actually takes years off your life.

But a different kind of exercise builds reserve capacity ... and it gives you many other health benefits.

I call this kind of exercise supra-aerobics. It is the key to higher lung capacity, good muscle tone, high energy, and a strong heart. Plus, it takes a fraction of the time to achieve much better results.

Think of your lungs as a car engine. Traditional aerobics trades power for a smaller engine. Sure, a smaller engine is fuel-efficient. But fuel efficiency is not the best goal for your body in our modern world. And God help you if you need to quickly get out of the way of an oncoming truck. You just don’t have the power.

Supra-aerobics, on the other hand, gives your heart and lungs a turbo boost that can get you out of a jam.

Other researchers are corroborating my findings: A Harvard study revealed that participants who used supra-aerobic principles in their workouts reduced their risk of heart disease by 100 percent more than those who practiced ordinary aerobic exercise. And a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that men and women who exercised with supra-aerobic methods had:

Lower blood pressure
Lower triglycerides (blood fat)
Higher HDL (good cholesterol)
Less body fat
But to get these results, you have to exercise beyond your current aerobic capacity and cross your aerobic threshold.

Aerobic means “with oxygen.” Your aerobic metabolism combines oxygen with carbs, fats, and proteins to make energy. Because walking is not a strenuous activity, when you walk you have plenty of oxygen available to make the energy required. This is why you can walk for hours.

You can also sustain jogging with aerobic metabolism.

But let’s say you start sprinting. You can’t sustain that high output of energy with oxygen alone, so your anaerobic system kicks in. (This is known as crossing your aerobic threshold.)

Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” The anaerobic system converts carbs - and some fats - into energy without using oxygen. When you’re using your anaerobic system, you are training your high-energy output system. You’re successfully building up reserve capacity in your heart, expanding your lung volume, triggering the production of growth hormone, and melting away fat.

When you exceed a rate you can sustain with oxygen and start using both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems ... this is when you’ve crossed over into your supra-aerobic zone.

Remember ... aerobic exercise is low to medium output held for an extended period. Supra-aerobic exercise is high output, but short in duration.

To move your workout into the anaerobic range, you have to create an “oxygen debt” by asking your lungs for more oxygen than they can supply at that moment. You do that by exercising at a pace you can’t sustain for more than a short period.

For instance, pedal a bike as fast as you can for 15 seconds. When you stop, you’ll be panting - the sign that you’ve created an oxygen debt in your body. You can’t sustain this kind of high-output challenge for very long. You have reached the supra-aerobic zone. This is very different from doing an aerobic workout for 45 minutes.

In a matter of weeks, you can:

Lose pounds of belly fat
Build functional new muscle
Reverse heart disease
Build energy reserves that will be available on demand
Strengthen your immune system
Reverse many of the changes of aging
By making small changes in your workouts, you can achieve remarkable results with supra-aerobics. And it takes only 12 minutes a day.

[Ed. Note: Supra-aerobics is the basis of Dr. Sears’ PACE® system, which he’s been using for 25 years. Recently, he added progressivity to the system to increase its benefits. Now, for the first time, you can hear Dr. Sears explain exactly how it works. Click here for more information on his brand-new audio program.]

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