Simple Living Lessons From "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau (Part 1)

As I continue reading "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, I must admit that life in 1854 was dramatically different from life today, and I would never want to return to those days of hardship and sacrifice, no matter how simple it appears. However, I have discovered that there is a similarity in our views about dissatisfaction, disorganization and discomfort.

As with those that have gone before us, we make difficult choices; some of them made simply by habit and others that end up enslaving us to our possessions, pushing us deeper into debt. We fill our environment with more than we need while searching for ways to stave off creditors. In essence, we are in debt because we confuse the necessities of life with the luxuries that are available.

Thoreau stated, "It is desirable that a man live so compactly and preparedly that, if an enemy takes the town, he can walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety."

How many of us in an emergency situation could just get up and walk out empty-handed without anxiety? Many of us would find it difficult to determine what things of value or necessity we should grab if we were forced to vacate our homes and offices.

We have been told that the necessities of life are food, shelter, clothing and fuel. Thoreau expands on this concept when he stated, "Humans are bound to things beyond the necessities when these items become so important that we never attempt to do without."

Even more so today, it is imperative to know the difference between a necessity and a luxury if we are really seeking a debt-free, simple life. Our purchasing power and available options are so much greater than in Thoreau's time. Those abundant choices have obscured the line between needs and wants.

I've written this before, but I am compelled to repeat it because it gives you the opportunity to ponder the importance of investing in a life rather than buying a lifestyle. So again, consider the following:

– We need to eat, but we do not need filet mignon.

– We need to be clothed, but we do not need overflowing closets and drawers.

– We need shelter and domestic comfort, but we may not need a 4,000 sq. foot home.

– We need a means of transportation to get to work, but we do not need a Mercedes.

Consider the words of Thoreau carefully. "While civilization has been improving our homes, it has not even improved the men who are to inhabit them."

I challenge you to consider what is truly a necessity and shy away from lifestyle trappings and the consequences of debt. Take time to recognize that less is best. Less household clutter means less time to clean and less to search through when you are looking for something. Do as Thoreau did: He thread out the pieces of limestone on his desk that required daily dusting. All he really wanted to do was sit in the open air, for "no dust cats on the grass!"

Gel Nails – Protecting Your Nails From Overexposure to Chemicals and Allergic Reactions

Our body is composed of chemicals and so are our nails. In addition, our daily routine exposes us to chemicals at home, at our workplace, on the streets in the form of smoke, dust and virtually in all the products that we use. Used in proportion chemicals like creams, sprays and so on protect our skin from aging and damage and add to our beauty. Similarly, used in excess these same products may cause chemical over exposure and allergic reactions on our body.

Allergies are a reaction of our immune system and are a form of hypersensitivity where white blood cells get excessively activated and cause inflammation, redness, boils, fever. At a nail spa, the technician and clients are constantly exposed to chemicals which are used to treat the nails. These chemicals should be carefully used to prevent over exposure which may in turn damage the nails. The nail tech should therefore pay careful attention to each step in the nail enhancement technique ranging from preparation of the chemicals to application and finally the finishing.

Allergies can appear either in stages over a long period of time or immediately after a short exposure to some substance. Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition which develops as a result of skin sensitization over a period of time due to exposure of a substance for few days or years. It is characterized by blisters, itching, redness, swelling of the skin which is present in the area of contact of the allergic substance. Irritant contact dermatitis develops due to heavy short term exposure or a long low exposure to a substance. The chemical or irritant enters beneath the skin and reacts with the tissues to damage the skin. The result is itchiness, swelling, skin damage like blisters and scales.

As nail techs constantly come in contact with nail dust, gels, acrylics, primers, polish removers, they are susceptible to allergies and should take adequate precautions to protect themselves. Clients on the other hand can develop allergies to some nail treatments and products like gels, acrylics, removers which may cause skin and nail damage.

Some tips that nail techs should keep in mind to avoid chemical over exposure to them and clients are:

o Keep your salon clean – use clean linen for each client, see that all equipment is sterilized before and after use, trash bags are changed daily.

o Maintain personal hygiene – wear appropriate clothing to protect your skin from nail dust, wear a face mask to keep away dust and odors frequently changing it and never treat your worktable like a dining area. Undesirable chemicals may pass into your food and cause adverse reactions.

o Carefully prepare your work area before each client appointment so that you do not end up mixing the wrong chemicals in a hurry and causing damage to client nails.

o Use and store all nail care products as per the manufacturer’s instructions and do not try to mix unadvised quantities as this may cause mishaps like burns on the skin and damage to the nail plate.

o Only mix the amount of liquid you will need for application and never more. This will avoid wastage as well as limit the amount of harmful vapors which will be emitted.

o Keep your spa well ventilated to release any vapors and odors which may linger on after a nail job.

o Keep a small area around the cuticle free of any product to allow the application to settle firmly and avoid over exposure of chemical on the nail plate.

o Do not keep wet brushes on towels or indiscriminately wipe them with whatever comes your way. Instead use disposable towels.

Maintaining these basic hygiene standards will go a long way in preventing any allergies or chemical over exposures to yourself and your clients. High standards will also add immensely to your appointment book.

Summary and Review of Goleman’s Leadership That Gets Results

Daniel Goleman’s article, Leadership That Gets Results, is one of the best articles from the Harvard Business Review archives. As the noted author of the book, Emotional Intelligence, Goleman combines his expertise in emotional intelligence with research on leadership styles done by the consulting firm, Hay/McBer. Their research uncovers six distinct leadership styles. Goleman concludes that there is no one best style, but the best leaders use their emotional intelligence to determine which style will best fits their specific situation. He describes each of the leadership styles, their advantages and disadvantages, and offers some brief examples of how a leader might apply the style. Every leader or aspiring leaders should understand each of these styles and how they can be used:

Coercive Style: This is a compliance focused style that is characterized by the phrase “Do what I tell you.” Although this style works well in extreme circumstances of a crisis or turnaround, in most cases it will have a negative impact on the overall organization once the crisis is past.

Authoritative Style: This style is used by leaders who have a clear vision for the organization and can rally people by saying, “Come with me.” It is a generally a positive style and works really well when an organization that has floundered in the past can be inspired to move in the direction of a new vision.

Affilitative Style: This is a style that is used by leaders to build harmony and teamwork within an organization. It is characterized by the phrase, “People come first.” Leaders will use this style to break down silos, to build relationships, and to get people to communicate and cooperate.

Democratic Style: As the name implies, this style is used to get people to buy-in and to build consensus. It is best described by the phrase “What do you think?” It works well in professional environments where subordinates have deep expertise and access to information so that they can collaborate to make informed, consensus driven decisions. However, the democratic style can also be frustrating because it will require many meetings and discussions to arrive at a consensus.

Pacesetting Style: This style is often used by leaders who have technical expertise and can lead by example. Hence the phrase, “Do as I do, now” best describes this style. Pacesetting can achieve quick results if the team has expertise and primarily needs to be motivated; however, this style can also be de-motivating since the focus is on the leader performance and high standards. It deprives some on the team from demonstrating their own leadership and expertise, or causes others to feel overwhelmed by the fast pace and demanding standards.

Coaching Style: This style is used by leaders to develop people through coaching. Those using the coaching style will suggest ideas to subordinates with the catch-phrase, “try this.” This style works well when people are receptive to coaching, but can also require patience and a willingness to accept failure by the leader/coach when subordinates are in a learning mode.

Goleman’s conclusion that there is no one best style is supported by additional research that correlates six factors of organization climate with each of the styles. The organizational factors include: flexibility, responsibility, standards, rewards, clarity, and commitment. The research shows that the coercive and pacesetting styles have a negative correlations on organizational climate while the other four styles have a positive impact. Thus, except for unusual circumstances where coercive and pacesetting styles might be appropriate, leaders should normally use a combination of the authoritative, affiliative, democratic and coaching styles to achieve success. The best leaders will sense from their emotional intelligence when to use each of these styles. If you are an aspiring leader or a leader who wants to get to the next level of leadership excellence, Goleman’s article is a great primer on how to effectively use different leadership styles.

How to Wash Smelly Sneakers and Rubber Shoes Using Your Washing Machine

Smelly sneakers need to be cleaned and washed immediately. Otherwise, this will breed bacteria that may trigger the appearance of skin diseases such as athlete's foot. But you do not have to do this manually. If you have a washing machine, you can do it using your washer.

Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to clean your dirty shoes:

Step 1: If it has shoe laces, remove it first. Other shoes are fastened using Velcro and it is okay to wash that using your washing machine. But the shoe laces have to be removed first. You can include this with your other laundry. Once it is cleaned, you can just hang it to dry completely.

Step 2: Mix your cleaning solution. If it is reliably clean, you only need to use a mild soap. However, I suggest you use a disinfecting detergent specifically used for shoes. Before you buy it, check if it is a good choice for the materials of your shoes. If you are using canvas sneaker, make sure the detergent you are using will work well with canvas materials.

Step 3: Apply the solution to the dirtiest areas first. You might also want to sprinkle baking soda if it is extremely smelly. After treating it with the solution, place it in a net bag. You use this for exclusive clothes but you can also use this to hold shoes together.

Step 4: Set washing machine to the hot water cycle. And use the gentle washing cycle. Add a bit more of the solution to the washing cycle and allow the machine to finish cleaning your shoes.

Step 5: Use the slow spin speed so it can tumble and extract some of the excess water. When the cycle is done, hang it in a warm and sunny place to dry completely.

You might want to clean your washer afterwards as the dirt from your sneakers will be left on the washing machine's drum. If you do not immediately clean it off, it might cause a smelly washer and you do not want that to happen.

Using baking soda is also a good choice for a cleaning solution if you do not have a detergent used for athletic shoes ready. Just sprinkle it before washing your shoes. If it is still smelly after drying it completely, sprinkle it again with baking soda for an effective way of diffusing the smell.

Using Bike Inner Tube As An Exercise Device (Hip Flexor)

I have already written several articles relating to the use of a old bicycle inner tubes as a very effective exercise device. There are two major reason you should consider at least giving this a try. One, you are saving the environment by recycling your old inner tubes and transforming them into an exercise device that can be taken anywhere. Secondly, for some reason, old inner tubes are simply extremely effective in performing a multitude of exercises in both your warm-up and main set workouts. Not to mention that they are free, easily transportable, and easily replaceable if lost. I very rarely go on a trip without several different types of inner tubes (light road racing tubes, regular road bike tubes, and mountain bike tubes).

The most recent exercise I developed for use with either your road bike tubes or mountain bike tubes is what I called the lyning hip flexor activation exercise. This requires that you lie flat on your back on the floor. Loop your inner tube around on itself so you have two loops in order to reduce the diameter of the tube in-half. Then lift both legs in the air with knees bent and at at 90 degree angle to the floor. Place the looped tube around your foot at about halfway up your arch. Then push one leg forward and the other back towards your chest activating your hip flexor. Focus on the pull back of the leg that is opposite the leg pushing forward.

This is a great move to include after you have foam rolled, completed your stretching routine, and are ready to re-activate your muscles prior to your main workout. You will immediately feel the difference once you first stand-up from this movement and begin to walk. You will be amazed at the more fluid feeling you experience in your hip flexor and overall forward movement. I highly recommend this exercise to activate your muscles prior to any and all bike rides and runs. This will help prevent muscle tears and pulls if done on a regular basis and before all workouts and races.

Please refer to my other articles that include using old inner tubes for use in maintaining strength and general health for your rotator cuff, glutes, and chest. Use various inner tubes for varying resistance in your training. As always start out with the lighter more elastic tubes and build up gradually to the standard tubes. I like to use the mountain bike tubes for the lower body and not for the upper body since they provide too much resistance.

Depreciation, Causes of Depreciation, Need for Provision of Depreciation

Life span of an asset to a business rests primarily, on the purpose of its acquisition and secondary, on its nature. An item acquired for immediate consumption or sale is a short-lived asset and that meant for prolonged use, is long lived asset, though both produce revenues. Whereas the former asset expires within one year of its acquisition, the latter asset lasts longer. Hence almost entire expenditure on a short lived asset becomes an expense and is matched against current year’s revenue.

But the position is otherwise with a long-lived asset which wears out or depreciates over a long period. Accordingly, the outlay of a fixed asset is spread over several years and annually only a fraction thereof expires. Simply, this fraction, called expired cost or depreciation, is charged against current revenues and the rest, termed un expired cost, is carried forward for future expiration.

“Depreciation may be defined as the permanent decrease in the value of an asset due to use and/or the lapse of the time.” -Terminology of Institute of Cost and Management Accountants, England

“Depreciation is the permanent and continuous diminution in the quality, quantity or value of an asset.” -Pickles

“Depreciation may be defined as measure of the exhaustion of effective life of an asset from any cause during a given period.” -Spicer and Pegler

“Depreciation is’ the gradual and permanent decrease in the value of an asset from any cause.”-Carter

Objects of making provision for depreciation

For attaining following objects, depreciation accounting is a must for every business:

(1) Recovery of cost incurred on fixed assets over their useful life so as to keep owner’s capital intact;

(2) Provision is for replacement cost on the retirement of original assets ;

(3) to include the depreciation in the cost of production to find out the correct cost of production;

(4) to find out correct profit for the year ;

(5) to find out the correct financial position through balance sheet.

Causes of Depreciation

Depreciation may be of two types :-

(1) Internal-Depreciation which occurs for certain inherent normal causes is known as internal depreciation. The causes of internal depreciation are :

(1.1) Wear and Tear-An asset declines on account of continued use e.g. building, plant,

machinery etc. such decline depends upon quantum of use of an asset. If a factory works double-shift instead of single shift, depreciation on plant and machinery will be doubled. It is obvious that such loss is unavoidable. An asset may be kept in proper working conditions

through repairs for the time being, but it can not be done so permanently: At one time the asset will become unfit for repairs, when it will no longer be suitable.

(1.2) Depletion-Some assets decline in value proportionate to the quantum of production, e.g. mines, quarry etc. With the raising of coal etc. from coal mine, the total deposit reduces gradually and after some time it will be fully exhausted. Then its value will be nil.

(2) External-Depreciation caused by some external reasons is called external

depreciation.

The causes of external depreciation are:

(2.1) Obsolescence

Some assets, though in proper working order, may become obsolete. For example old machine becomes obsolete with the invention of more economical and sophisticated machine, whose productive capacity is generally higher and cost of production is lesser. In order to survive in the competitive market the manufacturer must install new machine replacing the old one.

(2.2) Passage of time

Some assets diminish in value on account of sheer passage of time, even though they are not used e.g. lease hold property, patent rights, copy rights etc.

(2.3) Accidents

Assets may be destroyed by abnormal reasons such as fire, earth quake, flood etc. In such a case the destroyed asset may be written-off as loss and a new one purchased.

Need for Provision of Depreciation

The need for provision for depreciation arises for the following reasons:

(1) Ascertainment of true profit or loss-Depreciation is a loss. So unless it is considered like all other expenses and losses, true profit/loss cannot be ascertained. In other words, depreciation must be considered in order to find out true profit/loss of a business.

(2) Ascertainment of true cost of production-Goods are produced with the help of plant and machinery which incurs depreciation in the process of production. This depreciation must be considered as a part of the cost of production of goods. Otherwise, the cost of production would be shown less than the true cost. Sale price is normally fixed on the basis of cost of production. So, if the cost of production is shown less by ignoring depreciation, the sale price will also be fixed at a low level resulting in loss to the business;

(3) True Valuation of Assets-Value of assets gradually decreases on account of depreciation. If depreciation is not taken into account, the value of asset will be shown in the books at a figure higher than its true value and hence the true financial position of the business will not be disclosed through Balance Sheet.

(4) Replacement of Assets-After some time an asset will be completely exhausted on account of use. A new asset then be purchased requiring large sum of money. If the whole amount of profit is withdrawn from business each year without considering the loss on account of depreciation, necessary sum may not be available for. buying the new assets. In such a case the required money is to be collected by introducing fresh capital or by obtaining loan by selling some other assets. This is contrary &0sound commercial policy.

(5) Keeping Capital’ Intact-Capital invested in buying an asset, gradually diminishes on

account of depreciation. If loss on account of depreciation is not considered in determining profit/ loss at the year end, profit will be shown more. If the excess profit is withdrawn, the working capital will gradually reduce, the business will become weak and its profit earning

capacity will also fall.

(6) Legal Restriction-According to Sec. 205 of the Companies Act, 1956 dividend cannot be declared without charging depreciation on fixed assets. Thus in “Case of joint stock companies charging of depreciation is compulsory.

Facebook Keeps Crashing My PC! How To Fix This Problem For Good

Facebook may keep crashing your system for all sorts of reasons, including the likes of the web browser of your PC not working correctly, your system having some sort of errors with its settings, and Windows not being up to date. If you’re experiencing errors with the Facebook website on your PC, you have to be able to repair any of the possible issues that it may have leading the crashes to occur – which can be done by using the steps outlined on this page.

Why Will Facebook Crash Your PC?

The reason why Facebook will crash your system is basically through the way in which this site works. It uses a technology called “JavaScript” and “Ajax” – both are described as client-side programs which work by installing themselves onto your computer, and then linking with the Facebook server to continually update various pieces of data on the page. That’s why your Facebook page can update so quickly – because it uses these Javascript & Ajax technologies… but the downside to this is that your PC’s memory & settings take a huge hit with the amount of processing power required for the Facebook page to update itself every few seconds.

The bottom line is that, for many computers, Facebook’s technology is just to resource-intensive and will consequently make your system run much slower – and often crash. To fix this, there are fortunately a few things you can do to make it run much smoother.

How To Fix Facebook Crashes

The first thing to do to fix the Facebook crashes is to first ensure that you are able to repair any of the potential issues that the web browser you’re trying to use may have. To do this, you should re-install the web browser, which can be done by clicking onto “Start” then selecting “Control Panel”, before selecting “Uninstall A Program”. This will allow you to uninstall the web browser you’re using, after which you’ll be able to then re-download and install the browser again. This will not only allow your computer to properly read the web browser again, but will ensure the smooth operation of your computer as well.

The second thing you need to do is to use a “Registry Cleaner” program to scan through your computer and fix any of the potential problems that Windows may have inside. A registry cleaner tool is a program that’s been specifically designed to fix errors & problems within the Windows system, and is a tool that can be used to fix the Facebook crashes. One of the main causes of crashes will be the way in which many of the “registry settings” of your computer will not be able to be read by your system – leading to a large number of errors to form. This will often lead the registry errors to show, making it vital that you’re able to use a registry cleaner to fix any of the potential issues that the database may have – boosting the speed and reliability of Windows as a result.

Chevrolet Corvette Named After a War Ship

Chevrolet Corvette named after a War Ship you say? Corvette is a French word given to (nautical, historical) a flush-decked warship of the 17th-18th centuries having a single tier of guns; it ranked next below a frigate; In the modern navy, a lightly armed and armored blue water warship, smaller than a frigate, capable of trans-oceanic duty.

Most modern Navies of the world include War Ships in the Corvette class in their fleets. You may remember seeing in the news ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772) was a South Korean Pohang-class Corvette of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), commissioned in 1989. On 26 March 2010, it broke in two and sank near the sea border with North Korea. North Korean torpedo from an attack submarine was believed to be the cause of its sinking.

In 1953 the first of the classic Corvettes hand built in Flint, Michigan named after a famous class War Ship the two door sports car was meant to be a gentlemen's sports car. Although a classic beauty it was under powered with its 6 cylinder engine it almost fell by the wayside.

The birth of the Chevrolet Corvette may not have happened had it not been for the War. You see steel was still in short supply back in 1953 which sent the car designer looking for a new idea. A promising new product hit the market that was durable and could be shaped into ca car body without much trouble. And a revolution started with the invention of fiberglass. The first of the Corvettes were hand built with fiberglass bodies and standard Chevrolet parts.

The 53 was powered with Blue Flame 6 cylinder truck motor that proved to be underpowered for the Corvette. It did get some upgrades to spice it up a little a three duce take set up and by 54 some of the dealers were installing Paxton supercharges.

Many say had it not been for the development and release of the small block V8 a 265 cubic inch engine of 1955 the Corvette would not be with us today. From 1955 on the new V8 put the Chevrolet Corvette on the map being a true performer.

Owning one of these classics today has become a matter of immunity pride. From the first to the models be built today they are stylish and classic and many appreciate the beauty of a high powered Chevy Corvette. Although very costly there is the attraction of their fuel economy. For the adventurous true connoisseur they are especially popular.

The market for restored Chevrolet Corvettes is powerful with the invention of internet auction sites, buying and selling these classic beauty's has become safe, easy and convenient. You can find restored original condition better than when they were new. Another class out there is restored using the latest technologies like disk brakes and modern power options and air conditioning. Many get attached and will not ever let them go.

How To Install Car Seat Covers

Seat covers should snug fit the seat with no sagging ends. Although it requires a very few instruction to follow, the process of installation is very important. There are a few important instructions to follow when attempting to install car seat covers, although the installation method will vary depending on the type and style of seat covers you have.

In the case of universal bucket seats, firstly take off headrest and place seat cover over the top of seat and pull it down over the seat. Then place bottom of seat cover nicely over seat bottom. After that, fit base of cover snugly over seat. Later, fasten elastic under seat with supplied "S" hooks. At last, tie the supplied cord in position to ensure that the seat cover is held in correct shape. Check the seat cover is perfectly fitting the seat. After all the processes are over, re-install the headrest.

Installation of custom fit seat covers requires more steps than any other car seat covers. Firstly, remove any guards or shields covering original material that may obstruct seat cover installation. Install bottom of seat cover first. Tie three strings provided to bottom seat cover flap and attach to loops on the flap and fasten them under the seat to springs or to another opposing loop on the seat cover. Next place the seat cover backrest on the seat backrest Tie strings or straps to loops on the seat cover backrest. Then feed the strings or straps between the bottom and backrest of the seat and fasten them to corresponding loops on the top or sides of the seat cover. Make sure that seat covers are fitted correctly. Then, make small holes in the seat cover fabric to accommodate headrests and hardware. After all the processes are over, re-insert headrests and hardware.

Device Hardening, Vulnerability Scanning and Threat Mitigation for Compliance and Security

All security standards and Corporate Governance Compliance Policies such as PCI DSS, GCSx CoCo, SOX (Sarbanes Oxley), NERC CIP, HIPAA, HITECH, GLBA, ISO27000 and FISMA require devices such as PCs, Windows Servers, Unix Servers, network devices such as firewalls, Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) and routers to be secure in order that they protect confidential data secure.

There are a number of buzzwords being used in this area – Security Vulnerabilities and Device Hardening? 'Hardening' a device requires known security 'vulnerabilities' to be eliminated or mitigated. A vulnerability is any weakness or flaw in the software design, implementation or administration of a system that provides a mechanism for a threat to exploit the weakness of a system or process. There are two main areas to address in order to eliminate security vulnerabilities – configuration settings and software flaws in program and operating system files. Eliminating vulnerabilites will require either 'remediation' – typically a software upgrade or patch for program or OS files – or 'mitigation' – a configuration settings change. Hardening is required equally for servers, workstations and network devices such as firewalls, switches and routers.

How do I identify Vulnerabilities? A Vulnerability scan or external Penetration Test will report on all vulnerabilities applicable to your systems and applications. You can buy in 3rd Party screening / pen testing services – pen testing by its very nature is done externally via the public internet as this is where any threat would be exploited from. Vulnerability Scanning services need to be delivered in situ on-site. This can either be performed by a 3rd Party Consultant with scanning hardware, or you can purchase a 'black box' solution wherey a scanning appliance is permanently sited within your network and scans are provisioned remotely. Of course, the results of any scan are only accurate at the time of the scan which is why solutions that continually track configuration changes are the only real way to guarantee the security of your IT estate is maintained.

What is the difference between 'remediation' and 'mitigation'? 'Remediation' of a vulnerability results in the flaw being removed or fixed permanently, so this term generally applies to any software update or patch. Patch management is incrementally automated by the Operating System and Product Developer – as long as you implement patches when released, then in-built vulnerabilities will be remedied. As an example, the recently reported Operation Aurora, classified as an Advanced Persistent Threat or APT, was successful in infiltrating Google and Adobe. A vulnerability within Internet Explorer was used to plant malware on targeted users' PCs that allowed access to sensitive data. The remediation for this vulnerability is to 'fix' Internet Explorer using Microsoft released patches. Vulnerability 'mitigation' via Configuration settings ensures vulnerabilities are disabled. Configuration-based vulnerabilities are no more or less potentially damaging than those needing to be remedied by a patch, although a strictly configured device may well mitigate a program or OS-based threat. The largest issue with Configuration-based vulnerabilities is that they can be re-introduced or enabled at any time – just a few clicks are needed to change most configuration settings.

How often are new vulnerabilities discovered? Unfortunately, all of the time! Worse still, often the only way that the global community discovers a vulnerability is after a hacker has discovered it and exploited it. It is only when the damage has been done and the hack traced back to its source that a preventive course of action, either patch or configuration settings, can be formulated. There are various centralized repositories of threats and vulnerabilities on the web such as the MITRE CCE lists and many security product vendors agree live threat reports or 'storm center' websites.

So all I need to do is to work through the checklist and then I am secure? In theory, but there are literally hundreds of known vulnerabilities for each platform and even in a small IT estate, the task of verifying the hardened status of each and every device is an almost impossible task to conduct manually.

Even if you automate the vulnerability scanning task using a scanning tool to identify how hardened your devices are before you start, you will still have work to do to mitigate and remediate vulnerabilities. But this is only the first step – if you consider a typical configuration vulnerability, for example, a Windows Server should have the Guest account disabled. If you run a scan, identify where this vulnerability exists for your devices, and then take steps to mitigate this vulnerability by disabling the Guest Account, then you will have hardened these devices. However, if another user with Administrator privileges then accesses these same servers and re-enables the Guest Account for any reason, you will then be left exposed. Of course, you wont know that the server has been rendered vulnerable until you next run a scan which may not be for another 3 months or even 12 months. There is another factor that has not yet been covered which is how do you protect systems from an internal threat – more on this later.

So tight change management is essential for ensuring we remain compliant? Indeed – Section 6.4 of the PCI DSS describes the requirements for a formally managed Change Management process for this very reason. Any change to a server or network device may have an impact on the device's 'hardened' state and therefore it is imperative that this is considered when making changes. If you are using a continuous configuration change tracking solution then you will have an audit trail available giving you 'closed loop' change management – so the detail of the approved change is documented, along with details of the exact changes that were actually implemented. Furthermore, the devices changed will be re-assessed for vulnerabilities and their compliant state confirmed automatically.

What about internal threats? Cybercrime is joining the Organized Crime League which means this is not just about stopping malicious hackers proving their skills as a fun pastime! Firewalling, Intrusion Protection Systems, AntiVirus software and fully implemented device hardening measures will still not stop or even detect a rogue employee who works as an 'inside man'. This kind of threat could result in malware being introduced to other secure systems by an employee with Administrator Rights, or even backdoors being programmed into core business applications. Similarly, with the advent of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) such as the publicized 'Aurora' hacks that use social engineering to dupe employees into introducing 'Zero-Day' malware. 'Zero-Day' threats exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities – a hacker discovers a new vulnerability and forms an attack process to exploit it. The job then is to understand how the attack happened and more importantly how to remediate or mitigate future re-occurrences of the threat. By their very nature, anti-virus measures are often powerless against 'zero-day' threats. In fact, the only way to detect these types of threats is to use File-Integrity Monitoring technology. "All the firewalls, Intrusion Protection Systems, Anti-virus and Process Whitelisting technology in the world will not save you from a well-orchestrated internal hack where the perpetrator has admin rights to key servers or legitimate access to application code – file integrity monitoring used in conjunction with tight change control is the only way to properly govern sensitive payment card systems "Phil Snell, CTO, NNT

See our other whitepaper 'File-Integrity Monitoring – The Last Line of Defense of the PCI DSS' for more background to this area, but this is a brief summary -Clearly, it is important to verify all adds, changes and deletions of files as any change may be significant in compromising the security of a host. This can be achieved by monitoring for should be any attributes changes and the size of the file.

However, since we are looking to prevent one of the most sophisticated types of hack we need to introduce a completely infallible means of guarantee file integrity. This calls for each file to be 'DNA Fingerprinted', typically generated using a Secure Hash Algorithm. A Secure Hash Algorithm, such as SHA1 or MD5, produces a unique, hash value based on the contents of the file and ensures that even a single character changing in a file will be detected. This means that even if a program is modified to expect payment card details, but the file is then 'padded' to make it the same size as the original file and with all other attributes edited to make the file look and feel the same, the modems will still be exposed. This is why the PCI DSS makes File-Integrity Monitoring a mandatory requirement and why it is incrementally considered as vital a component in system security as firewalling and anti-virus defences.

Conclusion Device hardening is an essential discipline for any organization serious about security. Furthermore, if your organization is subject to any corporate governance or formal security standard, such as PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, NERC CIP, ISO 27K, GCSx Co Co, then device hardening will be a mandatory requirement. – All servers, workstations and network devices need to be hardened through a combination of configuration settings and software patch deployment – Any change to a device may adversely affect its hardened state and render your organization exposed to security threats – file-integrity monitoring must also be employed to mitigate 'zero-day' threats and the threat from the 'inside man' – vulnerability checklists will change regularly as new threats are identified

Clothing in Sub Antarctica

Clothing in Sub Antarctica is different but similar to clothing worn on the Antarctic continent.

The main difference is that in sub Antarctica it rains and it can be a cold, wet and windy climate. Most of the sub Antarctic areas of interest that Antarctic cruises and voyages visit and have stations or bases are islands or are on the Antarctic peninsula.

Most of the sub Antarctic islands and peninsula are subject to wet, drizzly and sleety conditions as the climate is kept above freezing point by the surrounding southern ocean.

This poses a challenge for the clothing as it needs to be waterproof, windproof and warm but it also requires to breathe allowing the perspiration and excess body heat to escape.

One of the most popular clothing materials which have all these properties is Gore-Tex. This is usually worn as the outer shell in a series of layers for clothing in sub Antarctica. Other windproof and waterproof materials are also used for Antarctica clothing, with venting panels and zippers to allow moisture and excess heat to escape

What to expect in sub Antarctica
While living and working for a year on a sub Antarctic island – Macquarie Island, it was of utmost importance to have the right gear and clothing so as not to risk exposure and hypothermia.

Ironically the most popular modes of transport are by foot or by IRB (Inflatable Rubber Boat), both are open to the elements, however by foot or walking has the extra problem of creating body heat and thus perspiration. If this excess body heat and perspiration is not expelled from your clothing you run the risk of hypothermia and exposure as the perspiration soaks your clothing and becomes cold or freezes.

On the IRB's the opposition was a risk as you sit in an open boat as you are traveling, increasing the wind chill factor. You had to keep dry from the outside and warm on the inside as your body does not generate much heat while sitting still.

So, as is the case with clothing on the Antarctic continent, the correct clothing layering is the trick.

Clothing in sub Antarctica: layering

  • Layer 1 – Polyester thermal underwear to wick away moisture from skin.
  • Layer 2 A warm insulating second layer such as wool or polar fleece jumper. Sleeveless turtle neck polar fleece vests are great if you will be walking or will be active as the arms are not restricted and they keep your torso core warm.
  • Layer 2; bottom – Shorts, preferably of light low water absorption synthetic material.
  • Layer 3 – Outer Gore-Tex or similar hooded jacket and long pants (waterproof and windproof outer shell)
  • Footwear – Synthetic low water absorption socks and Gore-Tex or similar hiking boots.

For most tourists visiting sub Antarctica the above list would be the most practical and suitable. Thick bulky ski type jackets are not a good idea for sub Antarctic regions as they will soak up the moisture and not allow the excess body heat and moisture to escape.

The idea behind the layering system is to be able too peel off or layer back on clothing layers, as necessary, in order to keep at the right temperature. The outer shell layer can be peeled off (pants and or jacket) as required if the weather warms up or the sun is out, then the second layer can be peeled off if necessary and so on.

Summary and tips:

  • Rely on the middle layer – Polar fleece or wool type jumper or vest for warmth.
  • The shorts are a good idea for that little bit extra warmth and wind-proofing for that most vulnerable part of your body. It also allows you to take off the outer shell pants if necessary but still have some protection and an insulating layer on top of the thermal underwear in that area.
  • The polyester thermal underwear will also keep you warm and wick away moisture from your skin

How to Build a Brick Wall

There is something about constructing walls that gives individuals a sense of fulfillment. This is the reason why that even though you can appoint a bricklayer to do the job for you; you feel that you want to try to build your brick wall yourself. Whether you plan to pursue a professional bricklaying career or just want to enjoy it as a pastime, constructing a brick wall needs careful study of the basics of brick wall construction.

MATERIALS THAT YOU WILL NEED IN CONSTRUCTING A BRICK WALL

You need to gather all the materials that you need to build your wall like a mortar mix, jointer, level, hammer, H2O, brush, wall ties, tape measure, nails bricks, trowel, shovel, line and wheel barrow. You also need to wear safety equipment at all times so that you will be protected from any untoward accident.

The trowel, which is a triangular metal shaped material is the main tool that you need to make your wall. You will need a trowel to even spread the mortar mixture as you assemble the bricks to make a wall.

STEPS IN BUILDING A BRICK WALL

A mortar mix is ​​mud-like concoction wherein the bricks are place in. To create a mortar mixture, you need combine fifteen to twenty scoops of sand and 1 seventy-pound container of mortar mixture. You will also need five gallons of H2O but it is advisable to combine the dry ingredients first before pouring water.

Place 1 gallon of H2O at a time until you achieve the consistency that you are aiming for. Bricks come in different sizes but for your first brick wall project, use the normal size bricks.Bricks are meant to be built as a veneer, which means that it should be constructed against another wall like in a house. You have to make sure that your foundation is strong enough to support the bricks. You also need to decide on the length of the brick wall that you are planning to construct.

Since the standard size of a brick is eight and a half inches long, place eight and three fourths intervals in the wall to give enough space for mortar mixture that will be spread in the joint of the bricks.

After you have placed the marks, you can now finish placing the 1st line of bricks. To accomplish this, you have to begin from left to right. Your left hand can pick up a brick from the stack and then your right hand can spread the mortar with the help of the trowel. Place an appropriate portion of mortar mix and set the brick in the mixture. Remove any residue after the brick is set in.

Repeat the whole process and continue placing down the brick until you achieve the height that you want. Remember to constantly check if the wall that you are making is level. If one portion appears disproportionate, place the bricks closer to the other side.

This simple brick wall building guide is helpful in your project but to learn more about the whole process, you can buy a DVD guide regarding the whole thing or enroll in courses that will teach you how to correctly construct a brick wall.

Etosha Camps: Okaukuejo or Halali? The Better Option

Etosha National Park has three camps inside the park, but which is the better option, Okaukuejo or Halali? Namutoni is the third camp, and by far the least popular. Why? The waterhole doesn’t draw in the large numbers of wildlife as the other two camps.

Of the two, which camp is the better option?

Halali Camp is the newest of the three camps and the most relaxed, in a stretched mopane woodland setting. The rooms have en-suite toilet/shower. Camping has toilet/shower facilities, braai areas, and electrical outlets. There is also a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, and the Tsumasa Trail up a small dolomite hill to the summit. A small floodlit waterhole, at this Etosha Camp, was built about three hundred meters behind the camp attracting elephants and rhinos along with other game animals.

Okaukuejo is Etosha’s oldest resort, located near Andersson Gate. Climb the tower to have a 360° view from the park’s highest vantage point and spot game far off in the distance. In the evenings, relax on the benches in front of a floodlit waterhole visited by Etosha’s game animals including giraffe, elephant, lion, and black rhino. The rooms have en-suite toilet/shower. Camping has toilet/shower facilities, braai areas, and electrical outlets. There is also a bar, restaurant, museum, swimming pool, and post office.

As you can easily see, essentially the two Etosha camps are the same. However, it is the waterholes, and those around the camps, that visitors generally use as decision makers.

Okaukuejo is famous for its waterhole having the ability to attract large numbers of wildlife -elephant and rhino visit regularly -on any given day. It’s seating around the waterhole spreads far and wide leaving ample room for visitors to cozy in comfortably.

Halali’s waterhole on the other hand provides a feeling of exclusive seclusion, a quiet hide tucked amongst the rocks, the same rocks you sit on whilst waiting for wildlife to appear. The hide, at this Etosha camp, is perched above, allowing for great views of wildlife only few feet away. Halali is also in the center of the park with excellent year-round waterholes attracting large herds and hungry prides.

No matter which camp you choose, or if you divide your time between the two, you’ll certainly fall asleep to the roars of lion, the crying of hyena, or the callings of the various other wildlife that call Etosha home.

It is important to note advance bookings must be made at Namibia Wildlife Resorts main office in Windhoek or online. Reservations for Etosha camps cannot be made over the telephone, and should be made well in advance.

When booking with Etosha NWR, you need to stick to your itinerary, as it is very difficult to change your plans, especially during the holiday months or at the end of July and August. During these months the park is full and the resorts and camping spots are generally completely booked. It is sometimes possible to camp without reservations, however to keep your trip smooth it’s better to book your reservations in advance.

Reception offices are at each Etosha camp and are open from dawn to dusk. It is here you pay for your stay and park fees that are due. It is important to note that all park fees must be paid at the reception office before attempting to leave the park as you can’t pay at the gate.

Combine your visit to Etosha with Sossusvlei. Get started planning your safari today! http://wildsafariafrica.com/about/your-specialist-in-african-safari-planning/

Insulation Covers And Connectors – Important Electrical Accessories

Brief on Insulation Covers

Insulation covers or blankets help maintain process temperature, protect machine components from environmental stress and give highest level of insulation thus ensuring long product life. They not only protect the product but also the personnel working on the machines. Insulation covers reduce undue stress on the machinery and offer increased energy efficiency. These blankets also aid in effective process control by keeping checks on process temperatures, flow of the material, levels of ingredients in the process, etc. Overall they help in making the process cost effective.

An insulation cover is either tight fit or removable. Even the tight fit covers are removable and replaceable. They ensure a complete covering and are highly long lasting. Customized insulation blankets can be designed by studying the facility, evaluating the process parameters and ensuring they increase the efficiency.

Brief on Screened Separable Connectors

Functional Parameters

Connectors are an electro mechanical device for joining and making the electrical terminations touch proof. They consist of a male component viz. Plugs and the female component viz. Jacks. The screened separable connectors are made of silicone EPDM rubber. They connect cables to switch gears, transformers and other equipment. These connectors are protected by touch proof outer screen making them fully insulated, submersible. The fully screened connection makes mating with both A and C type bushings possible. Their design is compact, finish is smooth, current capacity is high to the tune of 250A, 630A to 1250A and performance is effective. Their voltage ratings are 11KV, 15KV, 24KV, etc. Using these connectors both ends of the cable are terminated sometimes using identical connectors or at times terminated differently.

Installation

The screened separable connectors are easy, safe and quick to install due to their optimized design and selection of material. They fit into smallest of installation spaces and even when the clearances for operation is insufficient.

Characteristics

Connectors are a physical interface and they should be of a proper size, offer good resistance, give proper insulation, show ruggedness, should be resistant to water, pressure and other factors. Their reliability, durability and ease of installation determine the area of usage.

Applications

These connectors find usage in a wide range of industries like electric substation, underground distribution, shipping, mining, oil and gas, railways, etc.

Summarizing

Screened separable connectors make the terminations touch proof and the insulation covers provide utmost electrical safety. The installation, operational and performance qualification of these accessories must be well documented to ensure compliance with regulations. Onsite training and documentation of the same is also a requirement for safety compliance.

Bahama Shutters – The Distinct Advantages of Bahama (Bermuda) Shutters

Shutters are a reliably inexpensive way to add style and charm to any home. They come in two main types: indoor and outdoor shutters. The latter type has historically been used to protect homes and buildings from weather; and to provide residents with both privacy and a means of adjusting the amount of light entering a room. Certain shutter types can be beneficial for homeowners living in turbulent or extreme climates. For example, Bahama shutters provide storm protection, while louvered shutters are an excellent way to block large windows from various temperature shifts.

Exterior shutters, especially distinct or carefully crafted wood pieces, can also add panache to many architectural styles. For example, Bahama shutters give the historical flavor of British colonialism to architecture, while brightly colored board-and-batten shutters lend a touch of the Old American West to homes and other structures. Homeowners today have a wide variety of shutter materials from which to choose, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.

Bahama shutters: A unique, top-hinged option

The design and functionality of outdoor shutters vary by model. Bahama shutters (also known as Bermuda shutters) have top hinges, so they stand in stark contrast to other side-hinged styles. The top-hinged design enables a homeowner to push his or her Bahama shutters out and away from the house. Most other shutter styles have side hinges, enabling the homeowner to open them from the center seam and push them away from the house.

Some common types of side-hinged shutters include:

-Board and batten shutters, which consist of large, shapely slabs of shutter material. The rough-hewn designs are crafted to mimic the shutter styles found on American frontier homes.

-Loured shutters, which consist of wooden slats surrounded by a wood frame. Today, louvered shutters are often made of vinyl or fiberglass, as well. They are good choices for blocking off large panel windows or multiple windows in a series, and they can be customized to complement multiple building styles.

-Panel shutters, which are a European style of shutter and can be be customized to fit period architecture or décor. They are usually square, with one or more recessed rectangular panels set inside the shutter frames. Panel shutters also often come in fiberglass or vinyl models.

When people think of outdoor shutters, they are often imagining one or more of these side-hinged styles. However, the less-common Bahama shutter has some distinct advantages for homeowners. This style is worth considering as a quality, high-performing window covering option.

What are the advantages of Bahama shutters?

Bahama shutters are specifically designed to act as storm shutters. Because the hinges of these shutters run along the top of the window rather than down both sides, the shutters can be swung out quickly, and can be quickly closed in preparation for inclement weather. The quick-close, storm-protective nature of Bahama shutters make them an excellent choice for homeowners living in storm belts.

The New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MI regions of the United States were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, rebuilding is rapid and ongoing. More importantly, architects and contractors have learned from past mistakes and are creating homes designed to withstand hurricane winds, rain, and flooding. Bahama shutters make highly functional window covering options in this Southeastern American hurricane belt. When coupled with intuitive architecture, such as housing establishments that are raised off the ground to allow for flooding, Bahama shutters can be useful assets during storm season.

Bahama shutters also aid in natural climate control. The top-set hinges are designed so that a homeowner can choose the angle at which he or she wishes to keep the shutters open. This enables the homeowner to control the amount of air entering a room, and allows him or her to set the shutters at angles that facilitate natural cooling by air circulation. Bahama shutters are smart picks for homeowners living in warm climates; the natural cooling properties allow homeowners to conserve energy while saving money on utility bills.

The Bahama shutter style benefits a variety of climates. In fact, homeowners staying in temperate climates can enjoy the advantages of Bahama shutters over different seasons. Many major American cities, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York experience rainy spring and hot, humid summer weather. Homeowners in these cities can reap the benefits of quick-close shutters during periods of rainy weather, and can enjoy the natural cooling properties of the shutter design during periods of summer heat and humidity. Furthermore, homeowners in all climates can enjoy the privacy protection and noise dampening properties of Bahama shutters.

Like other shutter styles, Bahama shutters are customizable. Reputable shutter companies have design staff members on hand to render the shutter style or shape that each customer desires. Talented shutter designers can often re-create shutter styles from customer sketches or AutoCAD files. Like most other shutter styles, Bahama shutters can be constructed of aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. Many wood styles and designs are elegant and sophisticated, and those made from Spanish cedar or mahogany are typically the longest lasting.

Homeowners who desire privacy, quiet, storm protection, and climate control can benefit very by choosing durable Bahama shutters.