Do Oil Additives Really Work?

With all of the negative articles about oil additives, which have been written and supported extensively by special interest groups, its time to tell the real truth about oil additives. In most cases they perform a positive function and with regular use can provide a number of benefits to vehicles and equipment.

First, lets get one thing clear, it’s important to distinguish from oil additives developed by companies that have been extensively tested, and others, usually made by individuals, without such testing and documentation. Anyone can put an additive package together and have a label made. There are many on the market, which have no real testing, even though, they claim they do. This is where additives have gotten a bad name. On the other hand there are a number of companies that sell additives that have extensive research and development teams that have tested their additive packages. For example, Lubrizol http://www.lubrizol.com whose revenues were over 4 billion dollars for 2005 specializes in additive packages including aftermarket engine and fuel treatments. Anyone doing this kind of volume is not selling snake oil to millions of dumb consumers—just doesn’t happen. And they are only one of several that are very large. Others include Oronite, Ethyl, Infineum, Bardahl, Wynn’s, SFR, Power Up, STP, Slick 50. This is just a partial list of companies that have well documented additive products.

In actuality additives are used in most all lubricants, because even the best synthetic base oils cannot protect vital parts alone, as it’s the additives that do all of the work. Let’s concentrate on the internal combustion engine in looking at the need for additives. According to the American Petroleum Institute the powerful watchdog for the oil companies, “The temperatures and types of service under which an engine is operated vary markedly. Moderate-speed driving on short trips or stop-and-go driving in traffic uses only a fraction of the available engine power. Because the cooling systems must be capable of meeting the cooling requirements of the engine at high speeds, they may overcool the engine in short-trip driving. In such light-duty service engines and motor oils warm up slowly and often do not reach proper operating temperatures.

Under these conditions automatic chokes will provide the engine with the rich air-fuel mixture it needs to operate smoothly at cold temperatures, but this richness will result in incomplete combustion. Soot and partially oxidized hydrocarbons undergo further oxidation in the crankcase, forming sludge and varnish deposits. These may clog oil screens or plug oil rings, interfering with oil circulation and control, or they may cause hydraulic valve lifters and valves to stick. Corrosive acids are formed that cause wear on piston rings, cylinders, and occasionally on piston skirts. Steam from combustion condenses on cylinder walls and drains into the crankcase. Water, often in combination with acidic gases, may cause valve lifters to rust and stick. It may also create rust deposits on piston pins, rocker arm shafts, and valve stems. Liquid fuel leaking past the piston rings dilutes the oil and reduces its lubricating value. These are some of the effects of engine operation at cold temperatures.

In contrast legal speed limit driving and long trips allow the engine and oil to warm p properly. The choke is open, and the carburetor is feeding the cylinders with a lean, clean burning air-fuel mixture. As a result there little or no incomplete combustion to produce soot other residue. Under these conditions water compensation is not a problem, nor is dilution of the motor oil by raw fuel.” Additives have been developed to address these problems as most of us qualify much of time for driving in severe service conditions. Furthermore, the API goes on to say “Under some conditions it is impossible to maintain a continuous oil film between moving parts, and there is intermittent metal-to-metal contact between the high spots on sliding surfaces. Lubrication engineers call this boundary lubrication. Under these circumstances the load is only partially supported by the oil film. The oil film is ruptured, resulting in significant metal-to-metal contact. When this occurs, the friction generated between the surfaces can produce enough heat to cause on or both of the metals in contact to melt and weld together. Unless counteracted by proper additive treatment, the result is either immediate seizure or the tearing apart and roughening of surfaces.

Boundary lubrication conditions always exist during engine starting and often during the operation of a new or rebuilt engine. Boundary lubrication is also found around the top piston ring where oil supply is limited, temperatures are high, and a reversal of piston motion occurs.

Extreme pressure conditions can develop between heavily loaded parts from lack of lubrication, inadequate clearance, extreme heat, and sometimes as a result of using the wrong type or grade of lubricant for the operating conditions of the engine. Since motor oils do not contain extreme pressure agents this is an area that aftermarket additive manufacturers focus a lot of attention. In modern engines the valve train with its cams, valve lifters, push rods, valve stem tips, and parts of the rocker arms operate under conditions of extreme pressure because they carry heavy loads on very small contact areas. Unit loading, which may be as high as 200,000 pounds per square inch, is many times greater than the loads on the connecting rod bearings or on the piston pins.” Motor oils rarely contain extreme pressure additives, thus premature wear could take place. The preceding has laid the groundwork for the need for additives. Additives to take care of the deposits and sludge, called detergent/dispersant additives, anti-oxidants to delay the effects of oxidation. Anti-foaming additives are important as if foaming occurs in a motor oil the film strength is reduced allowing wear. And since base oils alone cannot withstand the metal-to-metal contact inside an engine, anti-wear agents are needed. With acids there is also a need for corrosion inhibitors; and in reducing friction in hydrodynamic lubrication such as on the cylinder liners, where metal-to-metal contact does not occur, friction modifiers or lubricity additives are desired to improve engine efficiency and improve mileage.

If additives are a necessity to reducing wear in an engine and are contained in motor oils, then that must be the end of the story right? Not quite. Few people know that the oil companies do not make the specifications for motor oil. They are required to make their motor oils to meet the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) specifications. Motor oil specifications are established by the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee, which consists of the Big Three domestic car manufacturers as well as the Japanese car manufacturers. ILSAC defines the performance characteristics and the chemistry of the oil it will accept for use in its engines; and then the American Petroleum Institute (API) makes sure the oil sold by marketers displaying that label meets the definition. This isn’t an easy process as the OEM’s are not best of friends as competitors, thus they have driven the cost of this highly political process into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Yes, just to come up with a new specification. ILSAC comes up with a series of Sequence Tests that a motor oil must pass to receive certification. The public is not aware of the fact that, a motor oil formulation going through the process, can fail a Sequence test two times and not have to re-formulate. If the formulation fails three times on a single Sequence test then it must be re-formulated and start over. To control how many additive companies that can supply the complete packages to meet the new warranty specification, ILSAC has proposed the testing process to cost a whopping 1.5 million dollars for diesel motor oil warranty, and over $500,000 for gasoline engine motor oil. That is assuming you pass on the first try other wise the costs can escalate. With specifications changing so fast, only a few large companies can recover their cost of development in such a short time. When oil companies advertise they exceed the highest standard available it’s the only one so it’s also the lowest standard. Regardless of how good your motor oil is there is only one standard, currently GF-4 for gasoline engines and CJ-4 for diesel engines. There is no incentive to improve beyond the lowest passing standard because it costs money to add additives that do the work. Motor oil companies often cut additives to the core to exceed the standard by the narrowest of margins to cut costs and maximize revenues. In summary, the oil companies make their motor oils to the OEM’s standards not theirs!

Two questions are always asked when discussing oil additives and whether they work or not and they are: Why doesn’t the OEM’s recommend oil additives and why doesn’t the oil companies get into the additive business if they are so good.

First, it seems fairly obviously why the OEM’s do not want to recommend oil additives as they have spent millions of dollars protecting their engineering. When I say protecting their engineering I mean using a fluid to insure that the engine, on average, lasts as long as they engineered it to last. They are in the business of selling cars and they know to be competitive it has to last a certain amount of time, but then they want you to purchase a new car. They do not want to have to test other additive products as they have spent money to develop their specification. This does not mean that oil additives can’t be beneficial as a Sequence Wear Test was run by SFR Corporation with the leading selling motor oil in the United States—once without the additive and once with the leading motor oil and 5% SFR’s additive package SFR 100. The test was run by a large testing facility certified to conduct tests for motor oil warranty approval. The results of these expensive tests showed that the additive package reduced the overall wear of the leading motor oil by 17% and on the exhaust lobe part of the test the results were an outstanding 80-90% reduction in wear using the additive. When OEM’s are developing their own specifications they are not going to say their specification needs help in performance by using an additive as it’s against their best interest. However, no OEM will state that the use of an additive in itself will void a warranty. The reason is that they must run the battery of tests which costs from $500,000 to 1, 500,000 per test. This doesn’t mean that an additive could not hurt or destroy an engine and that is why the leading additive suppliers have performed extensive testing to validate their product.

Why aren’t the oil companies involved in the additive market? Truth is they are the leaders in the development of aftermarket oil additives. Many of the additives used in the aftermarket industry are actually purchased from the oil companies. The oil companies, with their big budgets, can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of testing to validate additive performance. The public is unaware of this though as most all oil companies run their additive divisions as separate companies under their corporate umbrella. They include Infineum for Exxon/Mobil, Oronite for Chevron/Texaco and then there is Ethyl who is well known for its tetraethyl lead previously found in all gasoline. Shell has their own as does Castrol. Quaker State owned Slick 50 additive company, and I cannot see them buying this company if the product would not have any benefit as the liability would be too great if the products would not perform. Chevron sells Techron today an aftermarket gasoline treatment, Valvoline has marketed aftermarket additives as well as others including the additive leader Lubrizol. One must realize the following: The oil companies make products to meet the OEM’s requirements not theirs. You could call an oil company up right now and ask if oil could be made better and your response would be similar to this: We have over 150 chemists in this building alone and if motor oil could be made better, we would be the ones to do it. On the other hand we could call their additive division and say we want a heavy duty performing oil that would out perform the current specification and they could fax you a product with hundreds of thousands of dollars of testing documentation.

It all boils down to special interest groups protecting their special interests. The OEM’s and the major oil companies all protect their interests. It’s hard for an oil company not to defend their oil as the best there is, but in reality we know the specification was created by the OEM. This is the main reason why so many articles have been posted about why additives do not work. A magazine writer doing an article on additives will go to a source that he or she thinks is an expert, and thus they call someone up at the oil company. That person reinforces that their oil is the best and doesn’t need additional additives. Even the specialty motor oil marketers such as Amsoil support the notion that oil additives are not needed. They do not want competition from additive companies because in their mind all you need is their oil. Unfortunately, being a (MLM) multi-level marketing company, most all are part-time, thus more laymen in the business than any other oil marketing company. Their dealers go to great lengths supporting articles that additives do not work. What a paradox, because if additives do not work, than why is their motor oil better than anyone else’s. Doesn’t take much thought to figure that one out.

To support the issue of additives all one has to do is look at Mobil’s new marketing campaign. They still claim their oil meets GF-4 or the new specification that API certifies, but they are now calling for extended drain intervals. And, if you read anything about Mobil’s new products is that it has to do with additional additives being used, mainly detergents. From their literature it states: Mobil Clean 7500 is a synthetic blend formulation with a boosted level of cleaning performance, 18 percent beyond the level of even our premium Mobil Clean 5000 conventional motor oil, to keep your engine cleaner longer.

Additives are what make motor oil what it is and additives are what make aftermarket additive manufacturers their gains in performance. It’s all based on testing both engine and fleet tests. Additives have been around for years and auto parts stores devote entire rows of products related to additives. Additive manufacturers are seen as nuisances because the OEM’s engineer their products to last on average a certain amount of time and the oil companies make their products to meet the OEM’s needs. So if you want to find out about additives you wouldn’t ask the OEM’s or oil companies but the testing laboratories like Southwest Research Institute and Auto Research Laboratories Inc. that performs thousands of tests each year. I am including some links to additive suppliers and testing companies so that you can see the tremendous amount of data that is available from large substantial companies. They include [http://www.lubrizol], http://www.infineum.com, http://www.rheinchemie.com, http://www.sfrcorp.com, http://www.stp.com, http://www.rtvanderbilt.com, http://www.ethyl.com, http://www.powerup.com, http://www.slick50.com, [http://www.wynns.com], http://www.bardahl.com, http://www.oronite.com and many more that I have not mentioned.

The Incredible Weekly Diet Plan

There are real concerns in regards to plans, and there are many people talking about better opportunities. People insist that there are problems with health due to poor diets. Well now it is possible to check out an incredible weekly diet plan and it offers health and wealth of variety, taste and so much more. It’s important for you to enjoy your life and what you’re eating, so it’s even more crucial to pick a good plan of attack in regards to your health.

Diets are dumb. Most diets are just crash courses in what not to do. These things never pan out the way you want them, and it’s important to remember that for the past thousands of years our tastes for foods have change. So if you see something you don’t like in a diet, then don’t go for it. You don’t need to twist your own arm to start something new, especially if you’re going to end up hating your life because of it. It’s interesting that many people are dieting and hating their choice, because it’s just not that flexible.

If you’re looking for an incredible weekly diet plan, you need to make sure you do some research. Seriously, do some research, learn about what you like in regards to food and move forward. There’s no hope in sitting around complaining about diets you haven’t tried, so try something, move along and if you don’t think it’s important to continue don’t do it. Nothing in the world is forced on you less than food is. It seems that everyone has something to say about what your diet should be or shouldn’t be, but no one is offering real solutions. That’s why it’s important to make sure you get variety in your choices as well as improve on your health overall.

A great new weekly diet plan might be something you need overall. There is so much value in getting a nice meal and a good plan. A good meal and a nice plan also works fine, but you can’t simply sit around and wait for these things to happen. You need to focus on the greater good that is available by simply looking over a plan with your tastes in mind. If you don’t like certain flavors, you don’t have to eat those items. No one is going to force you to do these things, that’s why it’s important to remember that life is short, and if you’re constantly eating like a rabbit, you might not love your options. So don’t get bogged down by what you hate, go for something that you enjoy and stick to it. Your body will thank you for it, that’s for sure.

You can’t go wrong with a good plan. No one goes forward in life without at least a short term plan. A good diet might be the plan you need to move along to another state of being, and enjoy the greatness that exists in food that you might not be eating. So make sure you love your life, you love your food and enjoy everything that is available to you with the budget you have.

The Non-Sewer’s Guide to Hemming

What a hoot! I was talking to a group of plus sized petite women about the various measures we have taken over the years to shorten the clothes we buy that are too long. I never knew hemming could be so funny!

Of course, if you are even reading this, chances are you have done some of these yourself. It’s OK, don’t be embarrassed. You are among friends.

So, here we go:

The Velcro Method–They sell these little Velcro dots in notions departments. The dots have sticky backs so no sewing is required.. All you have to do is place one side of the little dots around the bottom of the garment‘s sleeves or hemline and the other at the right length.. Next you just fold up the two pieces, squish them together and VOILA! Instant hem. Now, don’t skimp on the dots because huge puckers will occur. Oh, and never wash your garment with the dots still on because you might have to replace the dots after they go through the washer and dryer! And one more thing, Never, never iron your garment with the dots on because they aren’t exactly flat and after you iron them you have these big dots impressions along your hemline. So much for quick and easy.

The Safety Pin Method–Just buy a bunch of very small safety pins and keep them on hand if your Velcro Dots fail. This method is very similar to the Velcro Dots Method, and many people prefer this method to the Velcro Dots Method any way. Again, if you skimp on the safety pins, you will wind up with puckers. This is a very convenient method, just remember to place the safety pins on the underside of the garment! Oh, and make sure you use the tiniest stitch possible with each pin because you really don’t want anyone to notice that your hem is pinned up. It is recommended that the pins be removed for laundering because your garment may tend to get rust spots around the safety pins after going through the wash a few times. Do they make rust proof safety pins? Hey, there’s an idea for some budding entrepreneur!

The Scotch Tape Method #1–Just lay your garment down inside out and fold the fabric up to the desired length. Next place 2 inch pieces of Scotch Tape vertically at close increments along the desired length. This method works better on fabrics that are not fuzzy because the tape doesn’t stick that good on fuzzy material. The beauty of this method is that if you get a pucker or need a dart, all you have to do is put another piece of tape there. Don’t worry too much about laundering, just keep plenty of Scotch Tape on hand and redo the hem after each wash.

Scotch Tape Method #2–Only the experts should try this method and unless you can find really wide Scotch Tape, this method should only be used on the most delicate fabrics. Prepare your garment by turning it inside out and folding the fabric up to the right length. Hold the Scotch Tape in one hand and in one continuous motion, use your other hand to press the tape along the hemline, completing one entire side at a time. You really must turn the garment to get to the other side so you’ll have to put the tape down, unless you have a helper. Repeat after laundering.

The Duct Tape Method–Since duct tape doesn’t come in all colors, (Hey, another idea for budding entrepreneurs!) if you are using the usual dark gray duct tape, use it only on dark colored fabrics. This method works well on fuzzy material and is also good for heavier fabric like denim. The advantage of this method is that the duct tape is durable and usually will make it through at least one washing. We aren’t sure about clothes that have to be dry-cleaned–consult with your dry-cleaner when you are dropping them off.

The Super Glue Method–Be very careful when using this method. Some fabrics, especially synthetics, may actually be damaged by the glue. Do a spot test on the fabric somewhere that won’t show. You must work fast and be careful not to get the glue on your fingers, you might wind up permanently glued to your garment. Also, be careful not to glue your garment to the surface you are working on as you really don’t want a table hanging off your hemline.

The Double Sided Scotch Tape Method–Did you know that Scotch Tape comes in “Double Sided Durable” ? You can buy it in any large stationary store. This method is great because if your hem should happen to flip up, the tape is between the layers of the fabric and no-one will know your hem is taped! There are several possibilities for how to apply the tape. You may use small pieces, as in Scotch Tape Method #1 or you may attempt long continuous strips as in Scotch Tape Method #2. Please refer to Scotch Tape Methods #1 and #2 for laundering instructions.

The Press On Hem Method–They actually do make a special tape that you can press on to your fabric using your iron. Be very careful that your hem is exactly the right height because unlike the Scotch Tape Methods, this is a permanent bonding of the fabric. Do not use this method on a child’s clothes because if they grow you will not be able to let the hem down. Also be careful not to use this method on certain synthetic materials because they might melt when you apply the hot iron.

The Staple It Method–This method is only for thick skinned people who do not mind pointing and snickering when they walk by. There are two possible methods of stapling, depending on how thick your skin really is. You can staple from the inside out so only small parts of the staples are showing or you can throw caution to the wind and staple from the outside in. If you do decide to staple from the outside in, try to place the staples so close to each other that the line looks like part of the design of the fabric. Do not wear panty hose if you have used the outside in method as your panty hose will get snags from the staples. Please refer back to the Safety Pin method for warnings about possible rusting when your garment is laundered.

Well, that’s it for now. If you have any other hemming without sewing methods that you would like to share with the world, or if you want to find clothes that don’t have to be hemmed before you can wear them, join our community at [http://www.GrandePetites.com]. We intend to change the shopping experience for Plus Sized Petite Women of the USA!

An Overview of Some Common Types of Cellulitis

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin that has been caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. The infection may have varying degrees of differentiation to the skin and neighbor organs. There are cellulitis symptoms that are common like the swelling, redness, fever, chills and the softness of the skin tissues. Yet when one closely examines each type, varying consequences and treatment for cellulitis can also be considered. Knowing the types of cellulitis will help you and your doctor decide the appropriate treatment for cellulitis. Cellulitis facts will help you understand important terms during a doctor's consultation and will elucidate some important concepts.

Leg Cellulitis
This is widely-known as cellulitis of the extremities. Symptoms of this kind of cellulitis like extreme pain, tendness of muscles due to enzymes produced by the Staphylococcus bacteria and swelling can be seen in the person's legs. Symptoms may be distributed to the arms and hands. Among adults, leg cellulitis is caused by S. aureus, found in the person's skin and mouth. Doctors identify certain factors contributing leg cellulitis such as pregnancy among women, radiation therapy and surgery that may produce wounds and trauma. This may also be a side-effect when chemotherapy is done among patients.

Orbital Cellulitis
The same symptoms of cellulitis can be found in the eye sockets of the infected person and is usually associated by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacterium. Typically, children are affected in orbital cellulitis especially when previous infections of the teeth, middle ear or face occurred. Infection of the sinuses is the usual culprit because of its proximate to the eyes. This is a serious infection and may affect visual acuity and eye movement of the individual.

Periorbital Cellulitis
The eyelids and other external eye areas have been attacked by this type of cellulitis infection. This may also be associated with other symptoms like swelling of the eye whites and eyesballs. Again, it is more common among children. Upper respiratory infection, eye wounds or trauma and insect bites have been associated with the development of periorbital cellulitis. Antibiotics that are taken orally and intravenously are the immediate treatment options.

Facial Cellulitis
If your shoulders are swollen, painful, red and tender and itching, then maybe you have facial cellulitis. Fever is also a sign that the ailment has already aggravated. The person's mood is also affected with the presence of this infection. Your doctor may give you antibiotics or let you stay in the hospital for a couple of days depending on the level of progress of the ailment.

Perianal Cellulitis
If cellulitis symptoms are found in the anal orifice, then it is called perianal cellulitis. The same cellulitis symptoms may be associated with itching in the anal area, blood on stool and painful bowel movement. Individuals affected with perianal cellulitis may or may not have fever and chills.

Breast Cellulitis
Streptococcus bacteria may affect the breast skin area causing it to be tender and inflamed. Breast cellulitis is associated with breast cancer and surgical breast operations like lumpectomy.

The Top Five Benefits of IT Auditing

IT auditors frequently find themselves educating the business community on how their work adds value to an organization. Internal audit departments commonly have an IT audit component which is deployed with a clear perspective on its role in an organization. However, in our experience as IT auditors, the wider business community needs to understand the IT audit function in order to realize the maximum benefit. In this context, we are publishing this brief overview of the specific benefits and added value provided by an IT audit.

To be specific, IT audits may cover a wide range of IT processing and communication infrastructure such as client-server systems and networks, operating systems, security systems, software applications, web services, databases, telecom infrastructure, change management procedures and disaster recovery planning.

The sequence of a standard audit starts with identifying risks, then assessing the design of controls and finally testing the effectiveness of the controls. Skillful auditors can add value in each phase of the audit.

Companies generally maintain an IT audit function to provide assurance on technology controls and to ensure regulatory compliance with federal or industry specific requirements. As investments in technology grow, IT auditing can provide assurance that risks are controlled and that huge losses are not likely. An organization may also determine that a high risk of outage, security threat or vulnerability exists. There may also be requirements for regulatory compliance such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act or requirements that are specific to an industry.

Below we discuss five key areas in which IT auditors can add value to an organization. Of course, the quality and depth of a technical audit is a prerequisite to adding value. The planned scope of an audit is also critical to the value added. Without a clear mandate on what business processes and risks will be audited, it is hard to ensure success or added value.

So here are our top five ways that an IT audit adds value:

1. Reduce risk. The planning and execution of an IT audit consists of the identification and assessment of IT risks in an organization.

IT audits usually cover risks related to confidentiality, integrity and availability of information technology infrastructure and processes. Additional risks include effectiveness, efficiency and reliability of IT.

Once risks are assessed, there can be clear vision on what course to take – to reduce or mitigate the risks through controls, to transfer the risk through insurance or to simply accept the risk as part of the operating environment.

A critical concept here is that IT risk is business risk. Any threat to or vulnerability of critical IT operations can have a direct effect on an entire organization. In short, the organization needs to know where the risks are and then proceed to do something about them.

Best practices in IT risk used by auditors are ISACA COBIT and RiskIT frameworks and the ISO/IEC 27002 standard ‘Code of practice for information security management’.

2. Strengthen controls (and improve security). After assessing risks as described above, controls can then be identified and assessed. Poorly designed or ineffective controls can be redesigned and/or strengthened.

The COBIT framework of IT controls is especially useful here. It consists of four high level domains that cover 32 control processes useful in reducing risk. The COBIT framework covers all aspects of information security including control objectives, key performance indicators, key goal indicators and critical success factors.

An auditor can use COBIT to assess the controls in an organization and make recommendations that add real value to the IT environment and to the organization as a whole.

Another control framework is the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) model of internal controls. IT auditors can use this framework to get assurance on (1) the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, (2) the reliability of financial reporting and (3) the compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The framework contains two elements out of five that directly relate to controls – control environment and control activities.

3. Comply with regulations. Wide ranging regulations at the federal and state levels include specific requirements for information security. The IT auditor serves a critical function in ensuring that specific requirements are met, risks are assessed and controls implemented.

Sarbanes Oxley Act (Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act) includes requirements for all public companies to ensure that internal controls are adequate as defined in the framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s (COSO) discussed above. It is the IT auditor who provides the assurance that such requirements are met.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has three areas of IT requirements – administrative, technical and physical. It is the IT auditor who plays a key role in ensuring compliance with these requirements.

Various industries have additional requirements such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard in the credit card industry e.g. Visa and Mastercard.

In all of these compliance and regulatory areas, the IT auditor plays a central role. An organization needs assurance that all requirements are met.

4. Facilitate communication between business and technology management. An audit can have the positive effect of opening channels of communication between an organization’s business and technology management. Auditors interview, observe and test what is happening in reality and in practice. The final deliverables from an audit are valuable information in written reports and oral presentations. Senior management can get direct feedback on how their organization is functioning.

Technology professionals in an organization also need to know the expectations and objectives of senior management. Auditors help this communication from the top down through participation in meetings with technology management and through review of the current implementations of policies, standards and guidelines.

It is important to understand that IT auditing is a key element in management’s oversight of technology. An organization’s technology exists to support business strategy, functions and operations. Alignment of business and supporting technology is critical. IT auditing maintains this alignment.

5. Improve IT Governance. The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) has published the following definition:

‘IT Governance is the responsibility of executives and board of directors, and consists of the leadership, organizational structures and processes that ensure that the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives.’

The leadership, organizational structures and processes referred to in the definition all point to IT auditors as key players. Central to IT auditing and to overall IT management is a strong understanding of the value, risks and controls around an organization’s technology environment. More specifically, IT auditors review the value, risks and controls in each of the key components of technology – applications, information, infrastructure and people.

Another perspective on IT governance consists of a framework of four key objectives which are also discussed in the IT Governance Institute’s documentation:

*IT is aligned with the business *IT enables the business and maximizes benefits *IT resources are used responsibly *IT risks are managed appropriately

IT auditors provide assurance that each of these objectives is met. Each objective is critical to an organization and is therefore critical in the IT audit function.

To sum up, IT auditing adds value by reducing risks, improving security, complying with regulations and facilitating communication between technology and business management. Finally, IT auditing improves and strengthens overall IT governance.

References:

ISACA. Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT).

ISO/IEC 27002 Code of practice for information security management.

Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Framework.

Junk Removal Service Tips

Whether you're moving, renovating, or simply doing some long overdue cleaning at and around the house, you may need some help to get rid of all the unwanted stuff.

Sooner or later you'll find yourself at odds with what to do with some unneeded items lying around. Those may be too bulky, or too heavy, for a garbage truck to pick up: such is the case with the old furniture, worn out appliances, construction or garden waste. Put them out at your curve, and they'll probably be ignored by the garbage collectors.

Some items are specifically prohibited from disposal in the regular trash: the specific items which are hidden by law to simply toss out vary from place to place, but in general, chemicals – including paint – are on that list.

Junk is not only an eyesore, but can even pose a health treat. For instance, old tires can collect rain, making them a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Oil from old car parts can poison your pets!

Getting rid of junk can indeed seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are professional services that specialize in junk removal. Let them handle all of the mess!

Junk removal services will have the right vehicles and the work at their disposal to rid you of your unwanted stuff safely and efficiently. They will come to your place and haul away any junk that the recycling companies and garbage trucks will not take.

Before calling a junk removal service, be clear on what exactly is in your junk, and how much junk you have. Make sure that all items are empty and clean.

A good money-saving tip is to first call a free recycling service (if it is available in your place) for the recyclable items, and then use a junk removal service for the rest of the items.

Many services also offer cleaning up of the site after the junk is removed. A professional junk removal company will have their trucks and drivers insured.

They will give you a quote based on how much space your junk will take up in their truck.

Sometimes the price can be lowered if there's an option for you to haul the junk to where it can be easily accessible by their truck. You can arrange for them to do all the work without needing you to be present at the site.

Let the professional junk removal service address your mess!

Cure For Diabetes – Step Toward Advancement

"Diabetes is irreversible". "Diabetes can not be cured". We all know this well but still a question in the mind of every diabetic and his loved one is that how close are we to the cure for diabetes.

Actually it depends on our own mental level that is what we mean by this simple word CURE. Diabetes actually has many genetic and environmental causes behind it and therefore it has many ways of treating. Most of the research in the previous few years was for the prevention of diabetes and its management if it occurs. These researches are obviously very important unless and until the cure for diabetes becomes available. The final cure for this disease would be a replacement for the cells of the pancreas as it is caused by the malfunctioning of these cells that makes insulin. To do this an insulin pump would have to be inserted which would be regulated automatically by the glucose sensors. This pump has been invented and tested in about 500 people in different areas of world. But Glucose sensors are not yet developed but will be very soon.

Another approach which many of us are already aware of, is to transplant insulin producing cells into the person with diabetes it has been more difficult in humans, because human body looks at these cells as foreign invaders and tries to hunt them off. Many researchers are trying to overcome these problems it is here when we can say that we expect a cure of diabetes in the coming year.

Till the scientists, researchers find the cure to diabetes we have to live with diabetes, we have to reprogram our minds so that it starts to believe that there is a cure for diabetes – its all about mind programming.

Automation Technologies And Manufacturing Safety

As a business leader, you have to continually search out ways to increase operational efficiency and throughput, and lower manufacturing costs. Besides improving the productivity and streamlining production processes, the working environment is something that demands special attention from business leaders. It is crucial to ensure safe working conditions and reduce incident rates. This can be a challenge to maintain a balance especially when production and safety are in a constant battle with each other.

Fortunately, industrial automation and safety systems have made major advancements in the past decade. Sophisticated automated machines and control systems have bridged the gap between production and safety. Your job is to make sure that your engineering staff is implementing new technologies correctly.

It is a necessity to have a corporate safety plan focusing on the implementation of plant safety technologies. We need to dig a little deeper in order to understand how an integrated production system can contribute to a company’s overall success. Safety management is supposed to provide a safe workplace for employees, whereas, engineering department is tasked with improving the manufacturing process. We cannot separate these disciplines as they are interconnected.

Most of the traditional machine guarding systems are simple in design and do not require an engineering background to implement or understand them. However, traditional machine safeguarding techniques are limited in scope. Modern automation and engineering safety controls are intelligent enough to automatically change the safeguarding methods depending on current hazards.

What if the safety system at your production facility were intelligent enough to allow safe human interaction for tasks that are repetitive, routine, and integral? An intelligent safety mechanism can help you improve the productivity of workers and lower the injury risks. It can have a big impact on your bottom line. The advanced industrial technology offers capabilities necessary to develop an integrated manufacturing process where manufacturers can maintain a balance between safety and production.

The advanced integrated technologies are more complicated than traditional safeguarding devices. The use of safety-rated devices can unknowingly create an unsafe environment where safety is nothing but an illusion. Even the advanced safeguarding solutions come with the risk of creating a dangerous work environment. Therefore, it is important to have skilled engineers who can implement and maintain modern machine safeguarding systems.

If you are not satisfied with the current safety conditions at your production plant, consult an engineering company that can design a better safety plan for your manufacturing unit.

The Versatility of PVC Railings

Vinyl Railings for Your Home

For many years when we thought of railroads and appropriate materials, wood always came to mind as the material of choice. While wood is still widely used because of its beauty, whether in the home or out, vinyl railings are being a great alternative to wooden railroads. Many companies that deal in deck and railing products sell PVC (synthetic resin) railings. These are very popular because they are sturdy and resistant to fading from sun exposure. They also will not rot or warp like wood deck boards and furniture tend to do as well as requiring regular maintenance.

Why Use Vinyl Over Wood For Railings?

Vinyl railings are very convenient to use because they are lightweight and often come in easy-to-assemble kits. The parts can also be customized to your preferences of sizes and shapes. Because they are so light, the shipping is going to be reliably cheap. Without you get really close to the vinyl railroads, you will not be able to tell them from wood railroads. Vinyl railings are not just popular in homes, but also in agricultural and commercial uses. The beauty of vinyl railings, their warm inviting look as well as low maintenance have made them very popular. With the rising cost of lumber, vinyl railings are the ideal choice because of their low life cost for maintenance.

As we said, vinyl has an appearance very similar to wood. You'll often see vinyl railings in high-rise apartments as well as expensive buildings. Another advantage of vinyl railroads, which makes them so perfect is that they come in a variety of styles including colonial, contemporary, standard or even custom styles. Many architects or contracts will recommend vinyl railings because of their durability, resistance to weather conditions and their little or no maintenance requirements.

The one characteristic of decks that must be considered when purchasing materials is the amount of time they will be outdoors in the many elements of weather. For this reason, people are choosing the material that will last the longest in all types of weather, which is why vinyl railings are chosen most often today. They can be subject to many different weather conditions and still look great. If they do fade in color, they'll fade evenly. They also will not blister, rot, rush or peel, which are qualities you see in wood decks and products. Rock salt or other products you use for ice and snow removal also will not affect vinyl. Most importantly is the fact that vinyl is not a fire hazard. PVC vinyl railings are used in some of the most influential homes in the country.

Cost & Time For Installation of Vinyl Railings

Installing vinyl railings is very similar to installing wooden railings. With both products, you need to attach the post to the post mount, followed by the installation of the bottom horizontal rail. Next comes the pickets and then the top railing. The vertical pickets secure the bottom railing. The top railing secures the pickets and vice versa. You may think vinyl railings are very expensive when you start pricing them. While they may appear to be more expensive at first, what you save in maintenance costs will more than make up the difference.

Maxim Magazine – Number One Selling Men’s Lifestyle Magazine

History of Maxim

Maxim magazine started its circulation barely two decades ago in 1995. An international monthly men’s magazine, MAXIM has its origins in the United Kingdom. Today considered the first and last word in men’s magazines, MAXIM is exalted in its ranks owing to the distinct, bare-all approach it takes while showcasing the biggest names in fashion, cinemas, music, sports and more. The MAXIM editions are available in Argentina, Canada, India, Indonesia, Israel, Belgium, Romania, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, and Portugal.

Felix Dennis was the brain behind the MAXIM in 1995; as he went on to introduce the publication to audiences in the US. By1997, the popularity of the magazine was soaring, as Dennis cleverly inserted appealing tags such as: sex, sports, beer, gadgets, clothes and fitness.

MAXIM magazine was then sold to Quadrangle Capital Partners LP in 2007 and is currently in the hands of a publishing giant called Alpha Media Group Inc., controlled by creditor Cerberus Capital Management LP.

The MAXIM Purpose

MAXIM has poised itself as the home of everything sexy, amusing, racy and fantabulous. It really is all you’ll ever need including super-sexy cover shoots of world-famous gorgeous models or celebrities together with their behind-the-scene videos. You’ll never turn down the hottest ladies on the planet!

MAXIM is the bridge between cutting edge and adventurous; racy and rollicking; smoldering and stupendous. It also lets you in on the other things you need to be aware of including news that matters, sports, TV, movies, music, video games, food, alcohol, crazy stunts, celebrities, gadgets, gear, sex, cars and so much more. You can always count on MAXIM for that teasing amount of danger and stupidity. From the finest drinks on the planet to the buzz in the entertainment industry MAXIM has it all mapped out.

Fun is serious business at MAXIM

They take their fun seriously at MAXIM, with the homepage bearing testimony to the craziness that makes the publication.

MAXIM boasts of an amazing archive of all of the best celebrity interviews with Hollywood A-listers, sporting superstars, legendary comedians, sexy starlets, and the strange yet wonderful people that give you advice on everything useful and surprisingly weird. A subscription to MAXIM gives you access to what most men want – humor, wit, sports, entertainment, gadgets, rides, and beautiful women.

Impact of MAXIM

The rising popularity of MAXIM saw several similarly themed titles springing up. Many men’s publications in the U.S. attempted to create their editorials to keep up with the growing trend.

MAXIM on digital

In 2005, MAXIM was launched across cellular carriers in twenty European and Asian countries. This was the start of the digital publishing era; MAXIM realized that, in UK, there was a future for the brand in the digital market. So, as the print magazine was losing its sheen, publishers launched the digitized version and gained a huge consumer base; extending this to every part of the world.

The shift in trend from print to digital is evident in the current market scenario. Many of the publishers are making the transition cautiously enabling them to benefit from increased revenue streams. A digital magazines offers storage of thousands of magazines in the cloud; instant access and easy reading on your mobile devices whenever and wherever you want.

You can gain access to your digital magazines on practically any mobile device of your choice: iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows 8 devices, other tablets, or on the web. Switch to the digital version of your favorite Maxim magazine and be an active part of the green revolution!H

Understanding Your Vehicle's Springs

There are a multitude of applications for a used coil springs suspension system. The majority of front-wheel-drive vehicles are built with coil springs which are assembled to the strut basically coiling around it. Larger and much heavier duty vehicles place the coils between the chassis and the frame and feature shocks as a completely separate suspension element.

In another popular segment of the aftermarket parts market are coil over shocks. Similar to a strut, the coil wraps around the entire shock but it does not usually bolt to the steering knuckle like a strut does. You need to change shocks and struts much more frequently than a regular set of used coil springs, but make sure to thoroughly check the used springs when you decide to replace any suspension components.

Even a good set of used coil springs may become compromised after long periods of time therefore you need to pay attention to the longevity of the springs. Moreover, depending on how they are used on the vehicle, many coil springs can actually last as long as the vehicle can. The reality is that there is not really any sort of expiration date on springs. There are only a few things that you need to pay attention to when inspecting your car or truck's suspension system.

Even though it is the springs that support the entire weight of a car, it is the shocks or struts that hinder the bouncing after encounter rough or uneven terrain. You can test this by simply bouncing the front or the rear end of suspension of your car and count how many bounces take place after you release the car. A total of 2 or more full bounces may mean that you may have very weak shocks or struts. This is when you need to determine the cause of this. The overall age of these parts is likely the determining factor. Coil springs are definitely much more durable than a set of shocks or struts. In many instances simply replacing the shocks or struts will return the vehicle back to its original level of performance.

On the other hand, weak shocks or struts will wear down coil springs if left unattended for an extended period of time. As the coils begin to become weak, you will start to notice thumping sounds or bottling out more often especially when going over speed bumps. The reason for this is that the coils are not able to administrator stability to the weight of the car anymore.

Furthermore, weakened coils can cause irreparable damage to your car's shocks or struts since their rebound distance will be much higher than the components were designed to handle. Weak coils will ruin the ride height of the vehicle and if left unattended may jeopardize the alignment as well. Measuring the ride height of the vehicle and comparing that with the specifications will aid you in figuring out whenever the used coils are working properly together with the shocks and struts.

There are some cars that have an extended and well known history of breaking coil springs so these are one to look out for. It can be an extremely hazardous situation depending on the position of the break in the coil spring. Since springs are positioned very close to the tires, it's not rare for a broken spring to rub against the sidewall of a tire and inadvertently puncture it causing a flat tire or even worse a blowout of the tire.

Upon examining a set of used coil springs or used lower springs, run your hands all the way around the coils from the front all the way to the back. You will notice that some coil springs make us of a protective cover that can conceal the break. However, if you attempt to run your hands around the symmetrical coil you will feel a slight abnormality.

Furthermore, another thing to listen to and look for is a squeaking sound or binding of the strut bearing plate on strut applications. Attempt this by turning the steering wheel back and forth and listening for binding or squeaking sounds. Damaged bearing plates will cause the coil springs to react in ways they were not designed to do and over the course of time wear them out.

An important thing to pay attention to is when you should consider replacing your current coil springs with a set of good quality second hand used springs. You definitely should not replace them each time you replace your shocks or struts. To start off with, inspect the coil springs every time you change any suspension parts. Idler arms, ball joints, pitman arms, tie rod ends and control arms that are damaged in any way can all cause damage on the spring and shock or strut.

Take a moment to measure the ride height of your car, van, truck or SUV, and then compare it with the manufacturer specifications. As the coil spring supports the weight of the vehicle, one that is performing significantly below its' determine specifications may likely have been compromised springs. Additionally, examine in contrast the ride height side to side on the same axle. The coil springs are separate elements and it is plausible that one side can become weak while nothing is wrong with the other side. Even though this may cause one side of the car to sag lower make sure you replace both just in case. A key point is to always change your shocks, struts, coil or leaf springs in complete sets as opposed to individually.

You may well wonder whether you should always change shocks or struts when replacing your springs with a set of good used springs. Although many people will debate the necessity of it, unless you know how long your existing set of coil springs has been compromised, you need to be aware of the fact that that shock or strut has taken up the slack of the spring. If you are looking for a more comfortable and better performing ride from your vehicle then you definitely need to consider replacing the shocks or struts every time you change to a set of high quality used coil springs. If you are looking to save a buck or two then this option may not be for you. However, you need to realize that you may not be saving money in the long run. Remember, you need to remove coil over shocks and struts and compress them when trying to remove the coil springs from their assemblies. Therefore, if you choose to cut costs in these situations you may be stuck with additional expensive labor costs or wasted time in trying only to change to a set of used lowering springs without replacing your shocks or struts.

The Best Sex Position to Give Multiple Orgasms to Her – Amazing Positions You Must Know

If you have been deluding yourself saying that you are the best lover a woman could have and if you still can’t satisfy her with the most amazing multiple orgasms, then it is time to stop talking and learn about two amazing positions that would give your woman the most amazing multiple orgasms ever.

Amazing Position 1

As for the very first position during intercourse, I would recommend the usual missionary position. This position would give you better control of your penetrations and help you to prolong your orgasms. In the mean time your penis would directly hit her g-spot while your body would keep rubbing her clitoris and stimulating it. These two actions would guarantee fast and multiple orgasms in no time.

Amazing Position 2

As for the second position you could employ the doggie-style. In this position, you will have to penetrate your woman from behind. This would look like the usual doggie mounting position, thus gaining its name. I recommend this position because, your penis will directly hit her g-spot while you have your fingers to let it roam all over her body and tease her clitoris extra time. In this position you can stimulate her clitoris, erogenous zones, play with her nipples and simultaneously stimulate her g-spot with your penis.

Now employ these two amazing sex positions and see which suits you and your woman best. Use that position regularly and give her multiple orgasms that she will never forget what you did for her when it’s her turn to reciprocate.

The Dangers of Internet Fact-Checking

The TSTC Publishing Blog posted a good article on their site recently about the importance of fact-checking. In it, they mention a nasty gaffe found in a Virginia history textbook last week.

I was curious, so I did a little more digging and found a Washington Post story related to the incident. My jaw dropped when I read it. I knew the author! I actually edited one of her books! (Although it was a children's board book, not a history textbook.)

Now, nobody is perfect, and I can not say absolutely that I would have had the error in question. But I do know that back when I first started in publishing, as an intern at Charlesbridge, the importance of checking every fact, especially in a children's book was hammered into me. I spent at least a month researching the accuracy of a book on dolphins at the library, trying to find at least two sources for every sentence. That's right-every sentence! And boy, did I learn a lot about dolphins.

Now the current state of the publishing industry has made it more difficult than ever for short-staffed editorial departments to put this kind of vigilance into fact-checking. And I can not say that I was ever as vigilant on subsequent books I edited. But now, especially now, checking your facts is more important than ever.

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about Gap's logo debacle. When the 20-year-old apparel retailer decided to revamp their logo, there was a huge outcry on Twitter and Facebook. It forced them to do an about-face. Thanks to social media, your customers and your readers have a powerful way to get their voices heard. And if you make a mistake, they'll be quick to point it out for you and for everyone else in the world. For an author or a publisher, factual blunders can be really bad for business.

The author of the history textbook responded to her criticisms by saying that she had three sources for the dubious statement she made. Three Internet sources. But a statement's mere presence on the Internet does not make it legitimate! You've been surprised by how many authors I've had to convince of this. (One in particular liked to use and "borrow" from Wikipedia, God bless her.)

So go to the library, people! There are still books out there. And if you're publishing textbooks or children's books, at least do it for the kids.

So how do you do your fact-checking? Do you do it yourself or outsource it? What's your biggest fact-checking blunder?

Starcraft 2 – Zerg Versus Zerg Basic Strategy

So you are playing another Zerg? Well this will be a true test of your skills. You have a few choices in the game and you also need to watch out for a few different kinds of attacks. The first attack you should watch out for is the speedling / baneling attack. You need to scout often to make sure our option is not building banelings. If you are not ready for this attack it can cripple your drones and effectively end the game very quickly. I would recommend also getting a few banelings and speedlings to counter this but I would not recommend getting a ton of banelings, just enough to take out his. Another thing you need to keep on eye on is a fast tech to mutalisks. This is easy to counter if you see it coming (the key in this type of game is to always know what your opponent is building). To counter mutalisks get hydralisks and you should not have any trouble taking him out.

Of course the main attack choice of a Zerg player is to go roaches / hydraliks so most of the games you play vs Zerg will go this way. The best way to win against this is to also go roaches / hydraliks but also grab a few banelings and if you use them correctly it will turn the game in your favor. In a Zerg vs Zerg game I would always grab a few banelings as they are the one unit that can get you the edge in a large battle.

Going back to the mutalisks for a second I would strongly recommend staying away from them yourself. The reason is simple, they take 100 gas to make and they get beat pretty easily by hydralisks which only take 75 gas to make. So you can see that going for mutalisks in this type of game is often a death wish for a Zerg player.

How To Properly Paint Wood Paneling

If your house is thirty years old or older, then there is very good chance that you have one or two rooms with wood paneling. At the time the house was built, wood paneling was very common in that time period but now you want to update to a more modern look. The best and most inexpensive way to modernize your paneling is to paint it. Painting paneling is not very difficult but there are a few important steps to take before you begin painting.

If your paneling has a rough finish, you will need to sand it down before you begin priming and painting. An electric palm sander is the best tool for this job because it can quickly and efficiently sand large areas. Make sure that you wear eye protection and a mask to prevent dust and debris from getting into your eyes and nose. Sand the paneling thoroughly until it is completely smooth to the touch

After sanding, you will then need to clean the paneling thoroughly. To do this you will need to purchase a good cleaning product that is designed for this type of project. You can buy this type of cleaner at most paint or hardware stores. There are several cleaners that come in a spray form so that all you need to do is spray the cleaner on and allow it to sit on the surface of the paneling for a few minutes and then clean with a scouring pad. You should clean the paneling as well as possible because this is a very important step in order to insure that the paint adheres properly.

The next step is to apply an oil based stain blocking primer. Apply the primer using a brush and roller. Using the brush to cut in around the corners and trim and prime into the grooves of the paneling. After you finish cutting out the room with the primer you can then roll out the remaining areas. You can have the primer tinted when you purchase it so that it matches your topcoat. Doing this makes it much easier to cover over the primer when you begin painting. Permit the primer to dry completely before you begin painting. Most primers will dry in a couple of hours or less.

Before you begin painting, you will need to caulk any gaps in the paneling after you finish priming. Cracks that were unseen before are disclosed once the primer is applied. Use wood putty to fill in any nail holes. I do not recommend trying to caulk the grooves in the paneling.

You can now begin to apply your paint. Apply two coats of a good quality latex paint using the same method that you applied the primer, allowing it to completely dry in between coats. If you see any runs in your finish coat, you should light sand the run out with fine sandpaper and then repaint over the sanded areas.

Painting your paneling is a great way to update any room. Just follow these steps and it can change the look of the dull, drab paneling, making it much warmer and more modern. Painting paneling is not very difficult but there are a few important steps to take before you begin painting.