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Sanjeev Nanda on Pod Slurping

19 Jul

Pod Slurping – An easy technique for stealing data

The problem with uncontrolled use of iPods, USB sticks and flash drives on your network. A common misconception is that perimeter security measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software are enough to secure corporate data residing on the corporate network. In this white paper, we explore how the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices such as iPods, USB sticks, flash drives and PDAs, coupled with data theft techniques such as ‘pod slurping’, can lead to major security breaches.

Pod slurping: How can insiders steal your data?

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iPods - if in wrong hands can do more damage

Developments in portable device and data storage technology are escalating. The latest versions of MP3 players and flash memory devices have huge storage capabilities; yet these gadgets are small enough to easily conceal and sneak in behind the corporate line of defence. Further to this, easy connectivity and high speed data transfer has become increasingly more widespread – a user may simply plug the device into a USB or FireWire port and they are up and running – no drivers or configuration required! In practice, this means that a data thief can get away with even more precious data, and a negligent employee can dump more viruses onto the corporate network even when connecting for only a short time. iPod is just one example of such portable contraptions. At a glance it is an innocent-looking portable audio device. However under the hood it boasts up to 60 GB of portable storage space; practically large enough to store all the data found in a typical workstation. This means that a malicious insider can use an iPod to covertly take out (i.e. ‘steal’) proprietary data and millions of financial, consumer or otherwise sensitive corporate records at one go!

Gartner analysts Contu and Girard (2004) warned of the security risks associated with the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices within corporations. Today, information theft has become a plague on modern society; data leakage, data ciphering, and data disclosure incidents are all but some of the terms used by security experts to refer to information theft. However, the most original term so far is probably the term ‘pod slurping’ that was coined by US security expert Abe Usher (2005).

Pod slurping: An easy technique for stealing data

Usher uses the term ‘pod slurping’ to describe how MP3 players such as iPods and other USB mass storage devices can be easily used to steal sensitive corporate data. “There are dishonest people in the world”, says Usher, “many of them work at many companies – and these USB devices make it rather trivial to steal huge amounts of data” (Schick, 2006). To demonstrate the vulnerability of corporate security, Usher developed a “proof of concept” software application that can automatically search corporate networks and copy (or “slurp”) business critical data onto an iPod. This software application runs directly from an iPod and when connected to a computer it can slurp (copy) large volumes of corporate data onto an iPod within minutes. What’s more is that slurping is not limited to iPods and MP3 players alone. All portable storage devices can be used to slurp information; digital cameras, PDAs, thumb drives, mobile phones and any other plug-and-play devices which have storage capabilities! Data slurping is a very simple automated process and does not require any technical expertise; a user may plugin the portable storage device to a corporate workstation and by the time it takes to listen to an MP3, all the sensitive corporate data on that workstation is copied to the portable storage device.

Insider information theft is a real problem

Information theft has now become a major concern for every organization and thus data leakage prevention is slowly taking up a bigger portion of the IT budget. This drive is attributed to two factors: The wave of malevolent threats that is hitting every industry and the increase in regulatory requirements which demand more protection and tighter controls over client records and other confidential information. More stringent controls and severe penalties are forcing organizations to address regulatory compliance more seriously. In January 2006, the Federal Trade Commission charged commercial data broker ChoicePoint Inc. a settlement fee of 15 million dollars for leaking consumer data and violating consumer privacy rights (Federal Trade Commission, 2006). A misconception shared by many organizations is that security threats mostly originate from outside the corporation. In fact, countless dollars are being spent every year on firewalls and other solutions that secure the corporate perimeter from external threats. However, statistics show that internal security breaches are growing faster than external attacks and at least half of security breaches originate from behind the corporate firewall. Unfortunately, corporate insiders are the first and easiest route to evade perimeter security. The trusted position of corporate employees and their constant exposure to corporate data makes detecting and stopping of data theft an enormous challenge – especially in environments where corporate data is largely distributed!

Why would insiders want to slurp information?

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Is your computer safe from insider theft.

Corporate data can be profitable in various ways; blueprints, engineering plans, tenders, pricelists, source code, database schemas, sound files, lyrics and much more – all this valuable intellectual property may be exploited
by individuals or corporations to gain economical and business advantage over their competitors. The 2006 CSI/FBI survey indicates theft of intellectual property as having the fourth highest economical effect over organizations (Gordon et al., 2006). Malicious perpetrators may also steal sensitive consumer information such as medical and financial records from a company and divulge it to the public. This would damage the company’s reputation as well as make it liable to legal prosecution for violating consumer privacy rights. In a nutshell, malicious intent, monetary gain and curiosity are probably the major motives behind information
theft. Anyone is an enemy for a price and thus perpetrators can be various. Disgruntled employees that believe they are disrespected or exploited by their employers may take advantage of their trusted position and sell
corporate plans and other sensitive information to direct competitors. Former employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed may use their inside knowledge or exploit internal relationships to access, steal and
publicly expose consumer information and damage the company. Trusted insiders can also turn into paid informers and engage in industrial espionage, data warfare or other extensive fraudulent activities such as
‘identity theft’. The term ‘identity theft’ refers to crimes in which someone obtains and uses the personal details of another person (e.g. social security or credit card number) to commit criminal acts, usually for financial gain. To date it is the fastest growing crime in the United States. It was estimated that identity theft victims amounted to around nine million adults in the U.S. in 2005 (Johannes, 2006).

How can corporations mitigate the risks of information theft?

The key advantage of iPods and similar portable storage devices is easy access. In theory, this may be of great advantage for corporations. However, it is a well-reported fact that access and security are at opposite ends of
the security continuum. The reason is that you never know what users may be doing with their portable devices. An employee might appear to be listening to music on his iPod, but actually he or she might be uploading malicious files or slurping gigabytes of valuable corporate data. A possible solution to avoid information theft is to implement a corporate-wide portable storage control policy. To mitigate the security risks, some experts and researchers suggest conventional courses of action such as the physical blocking of ports, stringent supervision as well as drastic actions such as the total ban of iPods and similar devices from the workplace. However, this is not the best practical approach. Portable storage devices can be beneficial tools for the corporate workforce and a blanket ban would be counter-productive. In addition good practice dictates that you must never rely on voluntary compliance.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How to Overclock your PC

8 Jul

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Overclocking is an Art and if mastered an addiction

Overclocking today could be considered very common. PC retailers are beginning to give you the means to overclock your computer very easily, and some are even doing it for you. Now that overclocking is everywhere, I’m attempting to take it a step further and become a master overclocker. So, here’s what I’ve learned along the way…But before I begin here are some reasons you shouldn’t try overclocking your PC.

Reasons to not Overclock

  • Protection – Warranties are voided on almost all CPUs, and some motherboards as well.
  • Stress – More Stress on the CPU (and on all devices if you increase the FSB)
  • Heat – More Heat Generation from CPU (and RAM if you increase the FSB)
  • Sensitivity – The heat sensitivity of your system will be greatly affected. If you o/c in the winter and summer comes around, you might be forced to reduce your speeds because your system cannot work stably with the large change in ambient temperature.
  • Efficiency – Increasing your CPU speed with overclocking doesn’t increase its efficiency at processing data.
  • Hassle? – Some people get fed up with having to constantly adjust their system for stability. Other, however, find this the most intriguing and education part of overclocking, so it’s your call.

Now that you have mustered the guts to overclock your PC, here are some reasons why you should overclock.

Reasons for Overclocking

  • Speed – Your CPU will perform more operations per second (and your RAM if you increase the FSB)
  • Cash – Who needs to buy a “pricey” 1900+ when you can get a 1600+ for half the price and overclock it to the same speed?!
  • Troubleshooting – an Overclocker MUST know what is going on in their system, because if he doesn’t, he’ll have an unstable system. Being able to overclock successfully will educate a person on vast areas. Everything from CPU temperatures, to BIOS updates, to OS drivers, to motherboard jumpers. This knowledge is invaluable.

SAFETY PROCEDURES

Know what you have :

You should know everything about your system – motherboard, CPU, heatsink/fan, RAM, operating system, video card, and all add-on devices you have.

Understand what you are doing :

The term “Overclocking” is actually very general. There are several ways to overclock a CPU and other components. Please read MORE than what I am about to provide here, the intricacies of these components can span pages… While overclocking, you will change several or possibly ALL of the following:

  • Front Side Bus (FSB) – This is how fast your motherboard chipset communicates with your CPU, and is also one of the two factors that determine overall CPU speed in MHz.
  • CPU Clock Multiplier – This is a unit less value, who’s value increases or decreases in 0.5 increments (such as 10.0, 10.5, 11.0, etc) This value only affects the CPU, and is the other determining factor in overall CPU speed in MHz, when multiplied together with the FSB.
  • CPU Core Voltage (Vcore) – This is the amount of voltage your motherboard will stream to your CPU. An INCREASE in voltage will ensure that your CPU will cleanly pass data, and will prevent data corruption when your CPU is running at higher than stock speeds. An increase in Vcore will also increase your CPU’s core temperature. Find out what your specific CPUs voltage is, because not all CPUs use the same voltage. Look at www.amd.com or www.intel.com
  • RAM Voltage (Vio) – This is the amount of voltage your motherboard will stream to your RAM modules. Similar to Vcore, it ensures stability at higher speeds, although you will only need to increase this value at high FSB speeds, not high Clock Multiplier settings.

Once again, a reminder to please go out and find more resources on all and MORE data regarding what exactly happens when you “overclock”. That term is not specific in the least.

Don’t Rush :

The best thing you can do when overclocking is to not rush. Rushing will most likely lead to failure, which leads to aggravation. And there’s definitely a possibility of killing your CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc. if you rush.

TEMPS, TEMPS, TEMPS:

Any overclocker will know how well his heatsink removes heat from his CPU, and he will measure this using the temperature sensors that almost all motherboards include. Using either the BIOS or other software (such as Motherboard Monitor for Windows) will provide you with real time temperature values. Do some research to find out the acceptable temperature values for your CPU. I can tell you that all AMD Athlon and Duron CPUs should ABSOLUTELY and WITHOUT QUESTION be under 70C. If you are overclocking, you will require a much lower temperature. The reference point I usually recommend to overclockers is 60C at full load. Please note, that by “full load” I am suggesting a CPU intensive test. The best one I’ve seen is Sandra 2002’s Burn In Test. Run 50 passes of the two CPU benchmarks using Sandra’s Burn In function, then check your CPU temperature. If you are under 60C, you are safe. You can find Sandra at www.download.com.

Check Everything:

My last safety suggestion would be to always take your time… make sure your heatsink is installed properly on your CPU and make sure you used a thin, even layer of thermal compound. Make sure your heatsink was perfectly clean before installation. Make sure all your fans in your case and on your heatsink work properly. Make sure your RAM and all PCI devices are snugly in your board. Make sure all cables on the back of your PC are snug.

Increasing the FSB will affect the CPU and also nearly all devices in your system. This is both good and bad, because in a stable system, while all devices will benefit from a slight boost, this also means all devices are stressed more than usual.

Increasing the CPU Clock Multiplier will only affect the CPU. What MOST overclockers do is increase the FSB and leave the clock multiplier alone. What the HARDCORE overclockers do is lower the multiplier first and then MAX OUT the FSB.

There is no reason you should ever LOWER the FSB from stock speeds, unless you’re in an emergency of some kind. It will NOT help in overclocking.

A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT TEMPERATURES

If you computer ever runs too hot, stop overclocking, back off a bit on your FSB and voltage, and leave it there (make sure that it is stable using prime 95 and memtest) Make sure you do not run 65+C, or you run the risk of damaging something. Keeping it under 60C at full load is always good practice. In addition, I recommend that you get a good heatsink and fan before you even start to overclock. Keeping your CPU at acceptable temperatures is very important.

Your First Error
Once you get that dreaded error (and yes, your heart may sink, that’s ok), you need to increase voltage. Go by the smallest increment possible and run Prime 95 again. If you are able to pass this time, continue upping the FSB and voltage until you reach a 5% or so increase in voltage. If you cannot pass, then increase the voltage a little more (one more increment) and try again. Like I stated before, only increase your voltage by about 5%. Once you hit that voltage, stop. When you think you have found your best overclock, run Prime 95 for several hours (preferably overnight or for a day) to make sure that your computer is stable. If it returns an error, then you should back off your FSB by about 5MHz or so and try again. This process is very time consuming, but you want to ensure you are running a stable computer.

Are You Done?
Now what? Have you hit your maximum overclock? The answer is most likely, no. There are several little tweaks you can use to increase your overall clock speed. First, find out what is limiting your overclock. This can often be the CPU, motherboard, or RAM. To find out if it is your RAM, run memtest. If that returns no errors, then it is likely the CPU. If memtest does return errors, then it is likely either the motherboard or RAM. Try to increase the RAM voltage and see if you can get memtest to return no errors. If this does not help, then it could still be the RAM or motherboard. Sometimes, if your power supply is weak, that can actually limit your overclock. Your voltages should be within 5% of their nominal value. If you are overclocking, I would recommend a 400+ watt power supply from Antec, Enermax, or OCZ, but there are many brands out there and many threads here at guru on this topic, so search for one of those threads and see if you can’t find a power supply well suited or you. Generally, I would look for 25A+ on the 12V line (that’s 25 or more amps on the 12 volt line).

Are You Done Yet?
Still aren’t running stable? Try reducing your multiplier. Increasing your FSB is the most important factor in gaining real world performance. So, reducing the multiplier and increasing the FSB is a great way to get more performance. However, your motherboard or RAM will limit you here. For instance, you can run 10×220 to get 2.2GHz or 11×200 to get that. The 10×220 will run faster than 11×200 even though the processors run at the same frequency. Keep in mind that RAM or motherboard will be a limiting factor here, as long as you know that your CPU can run at whatever frequency you are running. Take for instance the 11×200. I know my computer can run that, but if it can’t run 10×220, I know either my RAM or my motherboard is holding me back. Try increasing your RAM voltage by few notches to see if you can achieve a stable overclock.

So, you’ve increased your RAM voltage and still can’t get it running stable. Now is it game over? No, not quite. You can try and loosen up your memory timings. You will see these values as something like 2-2-2-5 or 2-3-3-6 or 2.5-3-3-7 or 3-4-4-8, or something similar to that in your BIOS. Generally, I would leave these alone because increasing your timings can actually result in worse performance, even though you may be able to increase your FSB. As an example with my computer, running 200 MHz at 2-3-3-7 gave me 1423MB/s of throughput. Running 2.5-3-3-7 at 213 gave me 1486MB/s. As you can see, for 13 more MHz, I gained almost nothing (and you certainly won’t notice a performance gain from that). Running 2-3-3-11 at 200MHz gave me 1373MB/s. Finally, running 2.5-3-3-7 at 200MHz gives me 1398MB/s of throughput. So keep in mind that relaxing memory timings is not always the best idea. This option is more geared towards advanced and seasoned overclockers, so just leave this alone for now until you get more experience. The only reason I am sharing this is just to let you know it exists.

Ways to Spend Money to Get More Clocks
Now that you have overclocked, you are wondering if you can push it farther, yes? Well, the answer is, of course! However, that may require some money. Purchasing components that are known to overclock well is always helpful. So buying new RAM, a motherboard, or processor that is known to be able to achieve high speeds will likely allow you to overclock farther. Also, if you were limited by temperature (reaching 55 – 60C or so), you can invest in a new high performance heatsink or water cooling. This will cool your processor down more so you can increase your voltage. Also, something that is equally as important as your heatsink and fan is your case cooling. If you can, get more case fans to lower the temperature inside your case. This will result in your processor running cooler. This is very important. Like I said, the things mentioned in this paragraph will require you to spend money. If you are not that serious, then I would recommend you don’t really buy anything. However, if you enjoy this, and you want to get into it more, then by all means, help boost the global economy and buy more stuff.

Sanjeev Nanda tips for Shooting in the Dark

28 Jun
Sanjeev Nanda tips and tricks

Night time aura is mesmerizing

There’s something mysterious and seductive about nighttime photography. Perhaps it’s the romantic air of celebratory fireworks or a gentle snowfall.

Maybe it’s the eeriness of an old, dilapidated farmhouse or an ancient cemetery on a foggy eve. A spooky scarecrow or an old wooden fence may also make great targets for your camera’s roving eye.

Even still, a crisp and cool fall evening produces great subjects with harvest-ready pumpkin patches and silhouettes of trees with half-fallen leaves.

Here are some tips that will make your night photography a delight:

1. Select a creative subject.

Sanjeev nanda tips and tricks

Light illuminating the structure at night

You might choose a romantic cityscape or the boardwalk at night. You may find favorable opportunities in shooting fireworks or other light shows. Don’t forget about bridges and other structures that may be lit at nightfall.

2. Begin with the night mode setting

Sanjeev Nanda tips and tricks

Night Mode Shot - Using a tripod is a good idea

Until you are comfortable with your camera and its settings, practice photographing nighttime scenes and subjects with your camera’s presets.

3. Elongate the exposure time

Sanjeev Nanda tips and tricks

Playing with exposure time can surprise you

A longer shutter exposure will help you to capture sharper nighttime images.

4. Don’t erase imperfection!

Blurry and out of focus images make for a unique, artistic touch. Remember, you can always delete images later, but you can’t recreate the opportunity very easily.

5. Allow a tripod to do the dirty work

Sanjeev Nanda tips and tricks

Tripod not only enhances stability but also gives you patience to click those stunning images

Affix your digital camera to a tripod for ultimate stability and elimination of camera shake. It is vital to keep the camera steady if you want to capture the best shots.

6. Consider shooting without a flash

Sanjeev Nanda tips and tricks

Low light photograph without flash

Switch between a flash and settings based on your proximity to the subject. Close subjects may benefit from flash whereas distant subjects will not. Where you have natural light, such as a full moon, overhead streetlights or bright city lights, consider shooting without a flash. You can also take photos during or just after sunset for a beautiful glowing hue.

7. Be camera-happy

Take as many photos as you like, and then take some more. If you shoot a large number of photos, you are sure to have more “keepers” than if you merely shoot a handful of each subject.

8. For situations with limited light, adjust your ISO to a higher setting

This enhances your digital camera’s sensitivity and thereby reduces blur.

9. Gradually increase your settings for best results

This is known as “bracketing,” a technique photographers use to adjust and modify their cameras’ settings without making any drastic changes. After you take a number of photos with each different setting, you’ll be able to examine the images on the computer and determine the best programming.

10. Shoot at different angles.

In addition to standard horizontal and vertical angles, get a little bit creative. Shoot wide shots for landscape and city line images and vertical shots for tall subjects. Experiment with aerial shots from atop bridges, buildings and other structures. If it is a warm evening and you are in a safe, clean location, lay on the ground and take a shot upward. Modify your angles until you find the ones that best suit your shooting style.

Many people consider nighttime photography to be a tough facet of digital photography to master. Low lighting calls for modified settings on the camera, and multiple shots to achieve the best possible image. Take your time, practice and you’ll soon discover your own talents in nighttime photography.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Quit Smoking

18 Jun Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Relapsing was strongly associated with the length of time an individual had quit. Approximately 1 in 5 men and women who had quit smoking for two years or less had started again. By contrast, approximately 5% of former daily smokers who had quit for three to five years had started smoking, and among those who had quit for more than five years, the figure was 1%”. Conclusion, the longer you stay quit the less chance you have of starting again. Understanding relapse prevention and recovery may help you to avoid relapsing or it may help you to recover quickly.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

Instantaneous Relapse

Instantaneous relapse occurs when you start smoking because something unexpected occurs. The unexpected situation can occur while on vacation, in the midst of having a great time, or it can be during a new and unusual stressful situation. An example of this is where you are out with friends having a great time, maybe alcohol is involved and out of nowhere someone offers you a cigarette and you take one. Or you come home from work and find your pet is very ill and needs immediate attention. You remember you kept a pack in the cupboard and light one up.

Planned Relapse

You finally did it; you stopped smoking, got through the craving, withdrawal and habit stages and have been smoke free for some time. But lately and for no apparent reason you have been thinking about cigarettes. Then one day you decide to buy a pack, you know they aren’t good for you, but you buy them anyway. In the back of your mind you have convinced yourself that by now you can control it or maybe you convinced yourself a few won’t hurt or maybe you will be able to ration them and have a few at a time. You bought the cigarettes and now you are playing a mental tug or war game. Part of you say’s don’t do it; the other part says a few can’t hurt. Finally you lose the tug of war and give in; you have the first one and all bets are off.

Latent Relapse Potential

Latent relapse potential is something you need to be aware of because it can sneak up on you when you are least expecting it. You just found out you are pregnant or your wife is pregnant and you instantly quit smoking and can’t believe how easy it was or you stopped smoking before you took a long vacation and you feel great about beating smoking. When something as exciting as a pregnancy occurs you can be so excited you stop instantly but the day after the baby is born some wo/men find themselves right back at it wondering what hit them. The same goes for a long vacation or a hospital stay. While on vacation or in the hospital you didn’t miss smoking. You are away from your normal routine and have been smoke free all along, you return home only to find everything was just as you left it. Knowing that latent relapse potential exists will help you to develop your reentry strategy after giving birth or returning from a vacation or a hospital stay.

Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Cut down your craving for cigarettes

Relapse Recovery

Relapse recovery is all about stopping again quickly. The sooner you stop again after that first smoke the higher the probability you will return to being smoke free. When you decide to have one you are at a fork in the road and you have a very important and timely choice to make. One fork is where you continue to smoke. The other fork is where you stop right then and don’t have another one. If you happen to have one don’t panic, don’t give in and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can control your intake of cigarettes. Get right back onto that horse don’t light up another cigarette and never look back, the sooner you stop again the more likely you will succeed again.

People who convince themselves that they will quit again some time in the future may find they are still smoking a decade later.

Relapse Prevention

When it comes to quitting smoking and relapse prevention an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To protect yourself against relapse:

Expect the Unexpected

Mentally preparing yourself for unexpected or unusual events and situations can prevent you from relapsing. Weddings, family and school reunions, buck and does are events that don’t occur everyday and are events that increase vulnerability.  If you are planning to attend one of these events just think ahead or back to what normally happens. At some point smokers will go out for a smoke and you need to have your personal plan in place before you get there. If someone invites you out for a smoke, simply reply, “No thanks I don’t feel like one“.


You can’t control it

Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Smoking is injurious, Stop it Before it stops you

The tongue in cheek definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. When it comes to thinking you can have one or that you can manage and control your cigarette consumption, you are deluding yourself. If you are smoking again after quitting you know this to be the case. Some people relapse because they start off with just one cigarette, thinking they can control it, but usually don’t stop there.  Statistically the odds are against you controlling your smoking to one or two a day.

Get rid of cigarettes.

Your personal relapse prevention strategy should include getting rid of any remaining cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia in your own way. Some plan their quitting by getting rid of ashtrays, detailing their car or work vehicle and smoking the last one the day they stop. Some wrap their cigarettes in shipping tape so they can’t get at them. Some bury them in the back yard. Do what feels right for you, but make sure you have a plan to say good-bye once and for all to your cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco and smoking paraphernalia.

Manage chronic stress

Sudden and unexpected stress can catch you off guard, while chronic stress can make the job of quitting smoking tougher. Chronic stress occurs where you have something, somebody or a job that is constantly causing you to feel uptight and maybe out of control. When it comes to chronic stress you have two choices, eliminate the cause or learn to cope and manage your stress.

Eliminating the cause is the preferred solution but is not always possible. Chronic stress can cause you to secrete cortisol a stress hormone. Normally a good thing, when cortisol is present over a sustained period of time it can be damaging to your health, compromise your immune system and can lead to serious disease. If you can’t change the cause of the stress in your life you will need to find news ways to mange or reduce the effects of chronic stress to your body and mind.

Managing stress involves finding healthy outlets that allow you to temporarily get some relief. For some people this means going to a gym and working out the frustrations with weights and cardio exercise. Some people find yoga, or mediation will give them relief while other people turn to a new hobby or learning to play an instrument. Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy it.

Sanjeev Nanda on How To Drive Safe in the Rains

14 Jun

I live in India, a country of extreme weather conditions and inadequate road infrastructure, but this guide is not only for the Indian motorists but for everyone, no matter you live there are certain things you should keep in mind while driving in the rains. I hope that the following tips & guidelines help you toward safer motoring in the rains.

Sanjeev Nanda rain driving tips

Flooded roads can be brutal sometimes

IMPORTANT

• Be twice as considerate to two-wheelers! Not only are they completely exposed to the rains, but neither do they have the same braking / grip levels as your car. Don’t tail bikes either. They are prone to slips / falls and I don’t want you to run over them.

• Likewise for pedestrians. In rainy conditions, pedestrians are extremely hard to spot. Also, please don’t splash water on pedestrians.

• Plan the journey such that you reach your destination within daylight hours.

• When possible, stay off the roads during heavy rains. If you are on the road and visibility gets worse, park someplace safe, get a cup of coffee and wait for the rains to simmer down.

• Don’t park anywhere on the road, or close to where other cars would pass you. Poor visibility could result in someone banging into your car. The ideal place to park would be one that’s off a street and at a level higher than the road. If you are parking only for a short time, switch your parking lights on.

• For overnight parking, choose a clean area and one that’s away from rodents. Corner / isolated spots are best avoided. During the rains, rats take shelter under the hood and chew on wires.

Sanjeev Nanda on monsoon driving

Be Considerate towards pedestrians

PREPARING YOUR CAR FOR THE MONSOONS

• Ensure that your car is in healthy condition; the tyres, brakes and wipers, especially, must be in top shape. It’s a good idea to get a set of new wiper blades at the start of each monsoon season.

• Your tyres must have at least 2 – 3 mm of tread left, and should be inflated to the manufacturer recommended levels. Driving on tires that are over or under-inflated can prove to be dangerous, even on dry tarmac.

• Check the focus of your headlight beams and correct if necessary.

• Ensure that your foot pedals are not slippery. It would be a good idea to get new plastic / rubber mats too.

• Drain hole rubber plugs are found missing on many a car. Check if yours are in place. Missing plugs lead to wet floors, even in conditions of mild rain.

• Have the windshield washer fluid topped up at all times, and clean all glasses thoroughly. Try using a newspaper to clean your windscreens. If you have dark sunfilm, that’s going to create a problem at night.

• If your car is kitted with a cold air intake (or similar), consider replacing it with the stock version. Exposed CAI’s can make your car vulnerable in the monsoons.

• Check the rubber beadings / weather strips on the doors; they should sit flush with the glass. If they appear loose, tighten or change them. The rubber beadings stop water from seeping inside the door panels, which could cause an errant central locking system, short circuit or rust.

• You never know when you may end up stuck on the road. Don’t ever let your fuel tank go below the 1/2 level mark. Also, stock up with sufficient supplies of snacks and bottled water. Chocolates, packaged wafer chips and energy bars make for great snacks to store in your car.

• Keep a first-aid kit, torch and umbrella handy. Some people even recommend keeping a small hammer in the car. In the event of flood waters jamming your doors, the hammer could help in breaking the windows for escape.

• Rains can make for damp smelly interiors. Get an air-fresher for your car, the type that hooks onto the air-con vent. Packets of silica gel keep fungus in check.

• Carry a couple of cigarettes or a pouch of tobacco in your glovebox. If visibility becomes a problem due to heavy rainfall, rubbing tobacco on the windscreen works wonders.

• Some products like RainX, Abro Clearview anti-rain etc. are available in the market. Use them at your own discretion.

Sanjeev Nanda on monsoon driving

Avoid Aquaplaning

SAFETY ON THE ROAD

Remember that the first rains (or rains after a long dry spell) result in the slipperiest roads. Be overtly cautious in these driving conditions.

• Concrete roads are very slippery, far more than our good ol’ tar roads. Bridges and flyovers can also be extra slippery, so drive carefully over these areas.

• More than anything, go slower in the rains. It’s that simple. Adopt a conservative driving style and plan for a longer travel time. For instance, brake earlier and with lesser force than you would in the dry. The taxi behind you is running on 3 year old wet drum brakes! If you would have squeezed into that small gap on a dry day, refrain from doing so in the rains. Steer and brake with a light touch. Prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on the curves. A gentle approach is the key here.

• Use your turn signals liberally. Strictly no sudden lane changing manouveurs either.

• Maintain a safe distance with the car ahead, one that’s twice as longer than in the dry. Braking distances are severely affected on wet roads.

• Engine braking has certain advantages on slippery roads. That said, use engine braking in a smooth transitional manner, and in a combination with your regular brakes. Your brake lights will let the car behind know of your intentions to stop / slow down.

• Switch on your low beam headlights in the rains, whether night or day. Not only can it potentially improve your vision, headlamps will also let others see you better. Avoid using high beam in the rains as it can reflect light as well as blind oncoming traffic.

• Avoid driving on lane cuts or lane divide lines; your car will tramline much easier in the rains. Also, try to stay off the paint on the road (zebra crossings, lane markers etc.) as the painted surface is low on traction.

• The safest place to be is in the middle lane. Why? Crowned roads will have water settle on either side. Plus, you will notice puddle formation in the right lanes, while the left will always have people joining the road or exiting.

• Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.

• Avoid puddles like a plague. Firstly, you never know how deep they are. Second, if you are at speed, they can make your car aquaplane in water, leading to an absolute loss of control. Drive around large puddles, you never know what’s lurking underneath.

• Never splash into a puddle as it could severely damage your car. For instance, water getting into your air intake could kill your engine.

• Blind spots! In the monsoons, trucks and other commercial vehicles have absolutely no rear view. Take extreme caution before overtaking them because, in all probability, they can’t see you! Honk and flash your headlights liberally.

• If you experience heavy rains on the highway, follow a conservatively driven bus / truck with working stoplights. However, don’t follow it too closely else the spray from its huge tyres will impair your vision.

• Severely heavy downpour can restrict your visibility to only two car lengths’ (or less). In these conditions, it is best to safely pull over and take a break. Heavy downpour doesn’t normally last for too long.

FLOODED AREAS

Sanjeev Nanda monsoon driving tips

Avoids floods, take precautions

• If you aren’t sure about the depth of the flood, do NOT drive through it. Taking an alternate route is best. If you just have to use that stretch, wait until another car / bus attempts to pass the flood, and gauge its depth. Never drive through a flood unless you know how deep it is and that your car can handle it.

• Switch off your air-con before entering the flooded area.

• Always keep your windows slightly open when traveling through a flooded area. If you get stuck, you can shout for help or even force the window down.

• When in a flooded area, choose the first gear, slip the clutch and keep the revs high enough to ensure that exhaust gases are pushed out of the tail pipe. Do NOT stop revving. The lower your car’s speed, the better. If your car stalls, it is very difficult to start it again.

• If your car does stall, do not attempt to restart. This may lead to engine hydrolock. You first need to check if any water has entered the air intake or exhaust pipe.

• Once out of the water trap, pump / tap your brakes to dry the drums and discs off.

WINDOW/WINDSCREEN DEFOGGING

• Remember the fundamentals : Window fogging occurs due to a temperature difference between the inside surface of your glass and the outside. For example, if you drive without the air-con and all your windows are shut, the cabin is warmer than the outside, resulting in the window fogging up from inside. On the other hand, if you run your air-con on full blast mode, the interiors of your car will be colder than the outside. Thus, your glasses will fog up from the outside.

• Keep the air-con on fresh air / ventilation mode.

• It is important to maintain the right temperature balance between the inner & exterior sides of glass. Don’t turn your air-con to full blast. Keep it at a level which is just about comfortable.

• Use your rear windscreen demister liberally. It heats up little wires in your rear glass and gets rid of the mist / fog.

• When the windows fog from the inside, the best thing to do is to switch the aircon on. It will clear up the screens in a jiffy. The situation is a little tricker when the windows fog up from the outside. The ideal solution is to roll down the windows a little, and let the air flow more or less neutralize the temperature difference. Most modern cars come with the demist / defog mode as part of the standard HVAC system.

Drive safe! The rains are simply beautiful. Taking the necessary precautions will make your rainy drives a pleasure that you will look forward to!

Sanjeev Nanda tips on Signs of Attraction

27 May

In today’s society, beauty, physical attraction, and sexuality are all commonly misunderstood as some transcendent inevitable fact; falsely interlocking the three makes it seem doubly true that in order to initiate attraction between a man and a woman, both sexes should be beautiful to be sexual.  That of course is not true at all. The definitions of beautiful, attraction, and sexual constantly change to serve the social order, and the connection between the three ideas is a recent invention.

In a survey conducted by an “evolutionary psychologist,” from 10,000 individuals who were interviewed, it was found out that men have high-regards to physical attraction in their budding sexual mates, while women attach importance to prominence, goals, and monetary sources.

No wonder why most cases of attraction are all based on sexuality and physical attributes. This is because men and women would rather have their significant others physically and sexually capable of giving them their necessities.

How can the individual identify the clear signs of attraction?

There are many probable actions that might suggest attraction. However, the real signs include but not limited to the following:

1. Visual contact

This is when both a man and a woman gazed upon each other and instantly prolonged the moment as they look at each other longer than the typical glance.

Eye Contact - 1st step of attraction

Both are completely immersed on each other’s anecdote, and every word will impress them both. All eyes are glued to each other that send a message that they are drawn to each other.

2. Preen

Preening means to adorn oneself carefully or to groom oneself with particular attention to details. Hence, attraction sets in when both would try to instantly make a quick fix and conquer each other’s space.

3. Flirting

Flirting - 3rd Stage of Attraction

Teasing could have been the more appropriate term for it. This is when both sexes converse in a relaxed manner, with bodily actions associated to their thoughts and feelings, where, most often than not, sexual tensions and arousal are the primary upshots.

4. Physical contact

This is when a woman leans to wards the man and places a modest hand on his hand or arm. In this way, the woman is trying to tell the other person that she is attracted to him and that she is open to possibilities that involve the concerned person.

All of these things are boiled down to the fact that the asymmetry of the correlation among beauty, attraction, and sexuality that tells both men and women lies on how they both perceive each other’s physical attributes. This is inevitable because the lack of it will definitely keep them sexually estranged.

Attraction is generally focused on imagery that is exclusively on the physical attributes of both men and women, where the society has created a very important role. This goes to show that the signs of attraction indicate the clear identification of desirability.

Given all that, both men and women should make the choice, by and large, to take each other as human beings first and not just mere sexual objects.

It should be well noted that these signs of attraction may be well confined on the premise that both men and women send out these signs as a ticket to conquer each other’s space so as to start the “getting-to-know-each-other” stage.

Sanjeev Nanda tips to Lose Weight in 2 Weeks

26 May

Easy Ways to Lose Weight in 2 Weeks

1. Beware scale obsession – weight should come off slowly – a half pound to one pound a week – as a result of cutting junk calories while fueling your body properly for the next workout and recovery. Think of your body as a high performance engine – raise the octane of the fuel you use and stop filling when the tank is full.

2. To lose weight in 2 weeks, you have to cut down on the junk foods (not completely), stop eating out and drink less sugary drinks, including the diet kinds.

3. Eat more fresh wholesome foods and whole grain products. It’s simply the best and loaded with the essential fiber to keep you satisfied longer. The simple rule is, try to get in 2 serves of fruits and 5 serves of veggies a day.

4. Make it a point each day to include a good habit like drinking one less can of coke or eating one more serve of fruit.

5. Eat 6 healthy mini meals a day to keep your stomach satisfied. The key here is eat in controlled portions and never go for that second serve or a super size meal. Stick to the 1 plate rule to keep your calorie intake at bay.

6. No matter what you’ve eaten, take note of how your body feels after a meal, rather than how you think you should feel. If you’re still hungry later in the day, treat yourself to a piece of sweet in season fruit rather than a sugar filled snack or dessert. Then go ahead and pat yourself on the back.

7. Food is not the enemy. Food powers your brain and your muscles; without it, you’ll lose your energy soon. If you missed a midday meal, eat a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of whole wheat crackers before you head for the gym.

9. It’s vital to stop buying junk if you want to stop eating junk! Be strong and avoid purchasing extra snacks. You’ll notice that both your grocery bill and snacking habits will start decreasing. If the foods aren’t there, you can’t eat them!

10. Your favorite exercise – only better – daily walker? Seasoned swimmer? You get kudos for your commitment, but you maybe short changing yourself. As you become more accustomed to your favorite activity, you burn fewer calories.  As your fitness improves, increase the intensity levels to challenge your body (but train with in your limits). Look at jogging 1km followed by another km of walking, rinse and repeat. It’s a great way to jolt the body’s metabolism.

Alternatively, look at a combination of interval training and strength training like Turbulence Training to get the maximum output from your body – And when combined with good nutrition, it is one of the easy ways to lose weight with.

Ladies, strength training is good for you too – you will not bulk up and with muscles, you will burn more calories.

11. Use your lunch break wisely – spend half your lunch break walking. Taking a midday walk or a run can boost your energy, and reduce stress. Best yet, it gives you more time after work with family or friends.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How To Build an Attractive Mascular Body

26 May

Most people know that they need to lift weight to build muscles. However many just want to have nice muscle tone and an attractive but not too muscular body as they do not want big muscles. So they just lift light weights with high repetitions. Well, it is not going to work. To have nice muscle tone, you will have to build some muscles right? So you will have to lift heavy to force your muscles to grow. Once you are satisfied with the size of your muscles, you will then need to cut your body fats for your muscles to show up well and that means nice muscle tone.

You need to have a solid commitment and knowledge to get nice muscle tone and build an attractive muscular body. Here are some muscle building tips. Before you commence weight training, remember to warm up and as well as doing some stretching exercises.

Train Muscle With Free Weights

Machines will have its uses, but for a start, concentrate on free weights. That means work almost exclusively with barbells and dumb bells. Free weights recruit many stabilizing muscles for balance and control. That means you will work a lot more muscle parts other than the intended ones. That will give rise to little bumps, striations and definitions all over your body instead of one huge lump of muscle on your intended muscle. Because of the extra stimulant created, your muscles grow faster too. Why else do you think all professional body builders almost exclusively use free weights?

Free Weight training

Train With Compound Exercises

Incorporate as many compound exercises as possible to your routines. Compound exercises are exercises that involve 2 or more joint movements. Because they utilize more joints, which means greater muscle mass are involved. Greater muscle mass means heavier weights. Heavier weights mean encouragement of greater muscle growth. More muscle growth means more tone to your muscles.

Squats for good muscle tone

Some excellent compound exercises are the Squat, Deadlift, Chin ups, Dips, Bench press, Barbell Press, Lunges, Bent-Over Barbell Row…etc.

Train Intensively But Do Not Over train

You must train intensively for your muscle to grow. Try to do more reps or add more weight than the previous session or else your muscles will think (actually muscles don’t think, they adapt), “Ah… we’ve done that. Nothing new, so no need to grow bigger and stronger.” That being the case, you will wreck your chances of attaining an attractive muscular body.

Because of this, it is important that every time you train hard, you give your body time to recover as it has suffered strains and actually sustained many small scarring. Contrary to popular belief, your muscles grow when you rest, especially when you sleep and not in the gym. So sleep at least 8 hours a day. Also, do not train everyday or work the same muscle group more than once or twice a week. If your training was vigorous enough, do no more than an hour per session.

Try not to do cardio work on the same day as your weight lifting work. In fact, during the muscle building phase, you should do less cardio work as aerobic exercises burn muscles. You can increase your cardio work at cutting body fat phase, so as to lose body fat in order for your muscle tone to show up nicely.

Technique And Form

This is the most neglected fundamental of bodybuilding. Everywhere, everyday, you will see people using wrong forms and techniques. This not only compromises your growth, it will also make you susceptible to injuries… sometimes even permanently putting you out of the gym.

Wrong form occurs usually when people try to lift weights that are too heavy, whether out of vanity or ignorance. As a guide, always lift with strict focus on the muscle you intend to build for that exercise. Feel it contract and extend. Lift the weights deliberately and slowly. Never ever swing your weights up especially when doing bicep curls or the military press.

To Build Muscles Fast You Must Perform Lower Body Exercises!

This is what most people don’t realize. Your lower body makes up 60-70% of your musculature. If you don’t train them, not only will you look spider-legged, your entire body will not grow as quickly and as large. Don’t think that you can hide those skinny limbs in pants! Most people do not train their legs because squats, dead lifts and lunges can be very grueling exercises. But it is precisely because of such intensity that you will produce more growth hormones. when you sleep and overall muscular development is stimulated. Your body shape will also be more balanced and therefore more attractive.

Leg Curls to build strong lower body

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How To Make A Girl Fall In Love

25 May

Let’s get started. Getting a girl of your dreams is much like getting the car of your dream. But unlike a car which you can always bargain for, there is nothing like a 20 percent discount in courting the girl of your dreams, she’s so sweet a thing to be discounted, you dearly are in love with her and your feelings for her can only be communicated not by the words of the mouth, but by the words of the heart. Getting the girl actually depends on how big your heart is – faint heart, never won fair lady.

The first dating idea for any man is to make a good impression. In your doing so, you don’t have to talk, dress or do the common things that all the Toms do to get a decent girl’s attention. Be unique, that’s all you need. Be a man of his own style. Dress decently – indecency can make one be mistaken for arrogance; watch your language – obscene language gives the impression of immaturity, being uncultured and cheap; be a man of good habits – don’t drink or smoke like any other loser.

How to make her fall in love with you?

Take your time. Add some romance to your dating style. When in College I had a crush on the most beautiful lady in our first year lot. Though all senior guys were out to get that girl, I managed to divert her attention from the other guys. I wrote her three letters without disclosing my identity and slid into her room secretly; all I said was ‘Yours Secret Admirer.’ The first letter contained the meaning of her name, this I got by playing around with the initials of her name to make meaning. The second was a funny message that could only be read backwards and it was all about her physique and her smartness. In the third letter I told the girl to be ready to receive a rose flower from her admirer, but only if she could be kind enough to phone him using a number that I had included in the letter. The girl did phone me that very night, and her first words to me were, “Hallo Secret Admirer.” So, the story of our love affair came to be. Later she told me that was so creative of me, no one had approached her in that manner. I made her fall in love with me and made a date in the romantic manner.

Befriending and understanding the girl you are out to get is the next important thing.

This is what I also did. You have to understand that as a lady, she loves to be loved, adores to be adored and needs to be needed. This will move you closer to the girl and you’ll get to know what she’s into, what she likes and dislikes, and what her style is. Love is built upon friendship and it always leaves individuals better off having known each other should they break up. I and my College steady were to break some time later but to date, we are the best of buddies. Be sure that bringing out the selflessness friend in you will make her create room for you in her heart.

A shoulder to lean on and some good friend that she can always turn to is all that a lady wants. Please don’t hesitate to be helpful and supportive. Be that friend who rekindles her zeal of hardworking and restoring hope back into her life when she looses hope. This above all other things will make you her daily vitamin simply because you bring out the best in her in terms of personality and character. In you, she’ll have found that friend whom she can open up to, share with and advice each other on the rights and wrongs, the dos and don’ts of life. Don’t forget to always be there to celebrate the good times, and to lend an ear when the girl needs you to listen as a friend.

Make the girl feel special; because she’s someone’s friend – your friend, and let her know that she too has touched your life in a unique way like no one else could. Compliment her for her company and for being there when you needed her, when you felt sad and all alone. Show appreciations for the comfort the girl offers you and for making you smile.

In your day to day talks, share your dreams, your world, and every aspect of your life with your girl. Always dream with her, build with her, and always cheer her on and encourage her. Tell your girl how you always think about her even when you try not to think about her. Let the girl know that she’s your first thing in the morning and the last thing when you go to bed at night.

Her knowing that you were thinking of her when you slipped beneath the softness of your blanket and gave in to the bliss of sweet dreams, will make her go ‘my my’ and her heart will sing your name all the year round.

You have to be creative and constructive to keep girl’s interest in you so full of life.

Never fail to phone her, even when she least expects it. I once called some girl that I was interested in at four o’clock in the morning. When inquiring of what I was doing up so early, I told her I was in thirteenth heaven, where people think of their loved ones when they can’t sleep. Wow! First thing early the next morning, she was at my door with a king-sized hug for me. No matter how many dates you take her, don’t make any elbow – exceeding moves after any date, just drop her home and with a friendly handshake, wish her good night. Don’t kiss her when she expects you to. Your respect as a gentleman will be earned on how patient you are with her when it comes to such matters as kissing her and accessing her inner graces.

The writing is on the wall that you want her, but you can’t have her just yet. Increase your demand. Try to show her that men are also hard to get at times. Make her realize that when she feels a little dizzy, a little tired, a little sad, a little sick, a lot bored and very much cold, she’s actually missing vitamin you. By this time, she’ll be so much into you and since love is truthful and is characterized by open and honest communication, honestly promise her your everlasting devotion, loyalty, respect, and your unconditional love for a lifetime. Prove to her that you’ll always be there for her, to listen and to hold her hand, and that you’ll always do your best to make her happy, and feel loved.

Remember, patience is the key to her heart; be like that gardener watching a fruit as it hangs on the tree, day after day admiring it, but, exercising tremendous self-discipline, neither feeling the fruit, nor pinching it, nor testing it to see if it is ready. And then, one day he holds out his hand and the fruit simply drops into it, ripe, warm and eager to be eaten.

The patience and self-control which you practice will make you more attractive and charming. This will qualify you as her daily vitamin and win you that heart hers.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How to Reduce Belly Fat

24 May

Jelly Belly. Love Handles.  Whatever you want to call it, the excess fat around your midsection that wiggles and jiggles in all the wrong places just isn’t pretty. Not only is belly fat unattractive, it can be downright dangerous to your health. Extra fat carried around your abdomen can increase your risk of heart disease. With so many pills, potions and programs flooding the weight loss industry today, many people are left feeling just plain confused about how to effectively reduce belly fat.

Belly Fat

Reducing body fat levels requires a three pronged approach that doesn’t come from popping diet pills or gulping down foul tasting drinks. Belly fat also won’t come off by trying to spot reduce only doing sit-ups or crunches. It’s just not possible to spot reduce, so don’t waste your time.

* Here is a safe, practical three pronged approach to get rid of belly fat.
Step 1 – Healthy Meals
Notice the word diet isn’t part of the equation. That’s because the word diet conjures up visions of carrots and celery and not much else. The word diet gives us nightmares of deprivation and hunger, and that’s not the image we’re looking for with permanent weight loss. Just because the word diet isn’t used does not mean you’re free to gorge on junk food at will. Healthy meals consist of lean protein, lots of vegetables, whole grains and some fruit. Your should consistantly choose foods that are as close as possible to their natural state.
Step 2 – Cardiovascular Exercise
Regular cardiovascular exercise will reduce body fat levels. Where should you start? Wallking is great cardio! Put your shoes on and get moving for at least 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you walk in the beginning, the most important point is that you’re moving your body aerobically on a regular basis. If you don’t enjoy walking then ride a bike, rollerskate, jog, run. Participate in whatever aerobic activity you enjoy.
Step 3 – Lift Weights
Yes, you did read that correctly! If you’re wondering what lifting weights has to do with effectively reducing belly fat, then read on. Regular weight lifting has several beneficial effects for those folks trying to reduce their body fat levels. Muscles burn extra calories. The more muscle you carry on your frame, the more calories you burn in a 24 hour period which translates into extra fat burning power. Muscles take up about one third less space than fat. Muscles give you the power to carry on your daily activities more effectively and with energy to spare.