Month: August 2019

Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims

A number of malicious websites used to hack into iPhones over a two-year period were targeting Uyghur Muslims, TechCrunch has learned.

Sources familiar with the matter said the websites were part of a state-backed attack — likely China — designed to target the Uyghur community in the country’s Xinjiang state.

It’s part of the latest effort by the Chinese government to crack down on the minority Muslim community in recent history. In the past year, Beijing has detained more than a million Uyghurs in internment camps, according to a United Nations human rights committee.

Google security researchers found and recently disclosed the malicious websites this week, but until now it wasn’t known who they were targeting.

The websites were part of a campaign to target the religious group by infecting an iPhone with malicious code simply by visiting a booby-trapped web page. In gaining unfettered access to the iPhone’s software, an attacker could read a victim’s messages, passwords, and track their location in near-real time.

Apple fixed the vulnerabilities in February in iOS 12.1.4, days after Google privately disclosed the flaws. News of the hacking campaign was first disclosed by this week.

These websites had “thousands of visitors” per week for at least two years, Google said.

But it’s not immediately known if the same websites were used to target Android users.

Victims were tricked into opening a link, which when opened would load one of the malicious websites used to infect the victim. It’s a common tactic to target phone owners with spyware.

One of the sources told TechCrunch that the websites also infected non-Uygurs who inadvertently accessed these domains because they were indexed in Google search, prompting the FBI to alert Google to ask for the site to be removed from its index to prevent infections.

A Google spokesperson would not comment beyond the published research. A FBI spokesperson said they could neither confirm nor deny any investigation, and did not comment further.

Google faced some criticism following its bombshell report for not releasing the websites used in the attacks. The researchers said the attacks were “indiscriminate watering hole attacks” with “no target discrimination,” noting that anyone visiting the site would have their iPhone hacked.

But the company would not say who was behind the attacks.

Apple did not comment. An email requesting comment to the Chinese consulate in New York was unreturned.

Full-length ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ trailer: more Arnie, more plot, more callbacks

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On Aug. 29, 1997, Skynet became self-aware. On Aug. 30, 2019, a new trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate became available. And as in the teaser released in May, it would very much like to emphasise that the Rise Of The Machines/Genisys/Salvation timeline is as dead as… well, all of humanity in the future.

If you’d like to be surprised, look away now, because this trailer is packed with details designed to reassure you that this is the Terminator franchise, classic flavour. We get Mackenzie Davis’s I-come-from-the-future exposition explaining that Sarah Connor did not, in fact, avert Judgement Day; Linda Hamilton’s Connor smirking and wisecracking like the apocalypse-averting veteran she is (complete with a callback I’d rather have been surprised by); and some absolutely wild-looking fight scenes — including a moment where Gabriel Luna’s evil new-model nanomorph appears to split itself into two separate humanoids. Read more…

More about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Trailer, Terminator Dark Fate, Entertainment, and Movies Tv Shows

Malicious websites were used to secretly hack into iPhones for years, says Google

Security researchers at Google say they’ve found a number of malicious websites which, when visited, could quietly hack into a victim’s iPhone by exploiting a set of previously undisclosed software flaws.

Google’s Project Zero said in a deep-dive blog post published late on Thursday that the websites were visited thousands of times per week by unsuspecting victims, in what they described as an “indiscriminate” attack.

“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Ian Beer, a security researcher at Project Zero.

He said the websites had been hacking iPhones over a “period of at least two years.”

The researchers found five distinct exploit chains involving 12 separate security flaws, including seven involving Safari, the in-built web browser on iPhones. The five separate attack chains allowed an attacker to gain “root” access to the device — the highest level of access and privilege on an iPhone. In doing so, an attacker could gain access to the device’s full range of features normally off-limits to the user. That means an attacker could quietly install malicious apps to spy on an iPhone owner without their knowledge or consent.

Google said based off their analysis, the vulnerabilities were used to steal a user’s photos and messages as well as track their location in near-realtime. The “implant” could also access the user’s on-device bank of saved passwords.

The vulnerabilities affect iOS 10 through to the current iOS 12 software version.

Google privately disclosed the vulnerabilities in February, giving Apple only a week to fix the flaws and roll out updates to its users. That’s a fraction of the 90 days typically given to software developers, giving an indication of the severity of the vulnerabilities.

Apple issued a fix six days later with iOS 12.1.4 for iPhone 5s and iPad Air and later.

Beer said it’s possible other hacking campaigns are currently in action.

The iPhone and iPad maker in general has a good rap on security and privacy matters. Recently the company increased its maximum bug bounty payout to $1 million for security researchers who find flaws that can silently target an iPhone and gain root-level privileges without any user interaction. Under Apple’s new bounty rules — set to go into effect later this year — Google would’ve been eligible for several million dollars in bounties.

When reached, a spokesperson for Apple declined to comment.

8 Helpful and Effective Strength Exercises For Cyclists

For cyclists, the primary target of doing strength exercises is to train in the same motion as in cycling together with one’s upper and lower body, while improving overall muscular endurance and core strength.

Strength training generates a stronger support system for a cyclist’s prime movers while riding a bike. If you have aerobically stronger core and muscles, you will gain more potential in increasing power and consequently experience less fatigue while cycling.

Now that you understand why strength training is helpful before cycling, you might wonder what those strength exercises are.

Below are the 8 strength exercises for cyclists you can try.

Front Plank

strength exercise for cyclists
Via indianexpress.com

Steps:

  • Lie on your stomach and place both elbows under your shoulders with hands and forearms on the floor.
  • Raise your hips off the floor, straighten your back, tighten your abs, and rest on your toes.
  • Keep this position for 40-60 seconds and do two-three sets.
  • Front plank focuses on strengthening your transverse abdominis or TVA muscle, and upper and lower back. In cycling, the front plank can help you to build both strength and muscle endurance that you need in order to ride in aero position or in the drops powerfully.

Half Squat

half squat with barbell
half squat with barbell via t-nation.com

What you need:

  • Barbell

barbell

Steps:

  • Stand tall while carrying a barbell over your shoulders.
  • Bend your hips and knees until your thighs can form a 45-degree angle.
  • Repeat the sequence and complete 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions.

Here’s one thing to note:

Expect that the last few repetitions during the last 3 or 4 sets will be hard to complete but still ensure that you will make it through the last rep. Half squats work on your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. It would build strength for sprinting and climbing.

Single Leg Hip Bridge

single leg hip bridge exercise
Via tfdgym.co.uk

Steps:

  • Lie on the ground (placing a yoga mat would make you more comfortable) with your one leg bent while lifting the other one off the ground.
  • Raise your hips up in the air while contracting your glute muscles like you’re pushing through your heels.
  • Hold the position for a second or two before going down.
  • Do two to three sets of 10-12 repetitions on each side of your legs.

Single Leg Hip Bridge can be done at any time, but it is the best pre-workout to do to wake up your glutes before a strength workout, especially if you have been sitting and inactive for a while. Aside from that, it also improves speed, endurance, and strength used while cycling.

Lunges with Bicep Curl

lunges with bicep curl and resistance band
lunges with bicep curl and resistance band via pinterest

What you need:

  • Resistance band or dumbbell

dumbbell

Steps:

  • Stand in an upright position with either a resistance band or a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Execute a lunge position: straighten your back, step one leg forward and bend the knee to a 90-degree position, while your leg in the back should be straight.
  • While on it, do a biceps curl with both arms.
  • Repeat the same with the opposite leg forward.
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions in every leg.

Lunging with bicep curl is an excellent workout when you want to develop strength in your biceps, quadriceps, glutes, and deltoids. These four muscles are utilized when there is a need to stand and accelerate cycling.

Boat Pose

strength exercises for cyclist
Via yogajournal.com

Steps:

  • Sit with your feet flat on the floor and with your knees bent forward.
  • Execute a V-position: Raise and extend your legs out forward, and lean your upper body backward.
  • Stretch your arms away from you so you can tighten your lower abdominal muscles.
  • Make sure to relax your shoulders and keep your back straight.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds and do it for 5-10 repetitions.

Boat pose mainly focuses on strengthening your transverse abdominis and lower back. As a result, you will feel less fatigue through strengthening the muscles that can improve your lower back. Also, this workout will allow you to encounter less pain and feel more comfortable while on aggressive cycling positions.

Single Leg Reach

single leg reach with cones
single leg reach with cones via sidelinesoccer.com

What you need:

  • Three water bottles or cones

water bottles

Steps:

  • Place three water bottles or cones in a triangular form.
  • While on a single leg stance, slightly bend your knees to do a squat and slowly reach down towards the left cone and return to a standing position. Do the same with the remaining bottles or cones.
  • Repeat the same sequence with the other leg.
  • Complete a set of 10 repetitions.

Single leg reach workouts focus on your hips and core and improve your balance on the bike, which is essential to develop bike handling and endurance. This strength exercise also works with your proprioception, also called as ‘sense of self,’ or the body’s awareness of movement and position in space.

Single-Arm Row

single arm row with cradle column machine
single arm row with cradle column machine via livestrong.com

What you need:

  • Cable column machine
cable column machine
Via amazon

Steps:

  • Stand across a cable column machine. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and knees are slightly bent.
  • Take the handle and do a standing row, while keeping your body still as much as possible. Do not lean forward nor backward to lift more weight.
  • Finish 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Single-arm row enhances the muscles of your shoulder, back, and hips. It also strengthens the scapular region, which is a common area of fatigue caused by hunching too much on the bike. As a result, cyclists can avoid injuries and ride longer without discomfort.

Exercise Ball Hamstring Curl

hamstring curl with handle cradles
hamstring curl with handle cradles via pinterest

What you need:

  • Handle Cradles

Steps:

  • Lie on the ground (with yoga mat is recommended) and place your handles in the handle cradles.
  • Raise your hips and curl your heels (almost like pointing your toes) towards your hips
  • Do not drop your hips as you are bending your heels.
  • Finish two sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Exercise ball hamstring curl is one of the TRX routines (Total Resistance exercises) that strengthens your lower back and hamstrings. Strengthening hamstring and quadriceps is significant to enhance upstroke while in a pedaling motion and avoid lower extremity injuries.

Overall, these strength exercises for cyclists can help you prepare your body.

See Also: Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life?

The post 8 Helpful and Effective Strength Exercises For Cyclists appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association warns that restricting online access would be ruinous for the region

After Hong Kong’s leader suggested she may invoke emergency powers that could potentially include limiting Internet access, one of city’s biggest industry groups warned that “any such restrictions, however slight originally, would start the end of the open Internet of Hong Kong.”

While talking to reporters on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suggested the government may use the Emergency Regulations Ordinance in response to ongoing anti-government demonstrations. The law, which has not been used in more than half a century, would give the government a sweeping array of powers, including the ability to restrict or censor publications and communications. In contrast to China’s “Great Firewall” and routine government censorship of internet services, Hong Kong’s internet is currently open and mostly unrestricted, with the exception of laws to prevent online crime, copyright infringements and the spread of obscene material like child pornography.

In an “urgent statement” addressed to Hong Kong’s Executive Council, the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (HKISPA) said that because of technology like VPNs, the cloud and cryptographies, the only way to “effectively and meaningfully block any services” would entail putting all of Hong Kong’s internet behind a large-scale surveillance firewall. The association added that this would have huge economic and social consequences and deter international organizations from doing business in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, restricting the internet in Hong Kong would also have implications in the rest of the region, including in mainland China, the HKISPA added. There are currently 18 international cable systems that land, or will land, in Hong Kong, making it a major telecommunications hub. Blocking one application means users will move onto another application, creating a cascading effect that will continue until all of Hong Kong is behind a firewall, the association warned.

In its statement, the HKISPA wrote that “the lifeline of Hong Kong’s Internet industry relies in large part on the open network,” adding “Hong Kong is the largest core node of Asia’s optical fiber network and hosts the biggest Internet exchange in the region, and it is now home to 100+ data centers operated by local and international companies, and it transits 80%+ of traffic for mainland China.”

“All these successes rely on the openness of Hong Kong’s network,” the HKISPA continued. “Such restrictions imposed by executive orders would completely ruin the uniqueness and value of Hong Kong as a telecommunications hub, a pillar of success as an international financial centre.”

The HKISPA urged the government to consult the industry and “society at large” before placing any restrictions in place. “The HKISPA strongly opposes selective blocking of Internet Services without consensus of the community,” it said.

The best upcoming games to pre-order right now

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2019 has already been a stellar year for games — with massive releases like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Crash Team Racing — and the second half has plenty more to come.

If you’re looking to get your hands on the biggest upcoming titles — special editions especially — pre-ordering is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on release day. Plus, pre-ordered games often come with rare or limited edition in-game gifts.

Below is our comprehensive list of the best upcoming games across all platforms — in order of release date — and where you can pre-order them.

The best upcoming games to pre-order right now

Image: The dark pictures man of medan Read more…

More about Gaming, Xbox, Video Games, Playstation 4, and Mashable Shopping

How To Deal With Pests: A Quick Guide

Las Vegas is known as the Sin City. It’s a home for gamblers and showgirls and a place where you can find a variety of Elvis’ lookalike.

However, it’s not all fun in this part of the globe since there are pests that can ruin the fun. We’re talking of desert creatures that will interact unexpectedly and inflict potential harmful and annoying bites and stings to its victim.

With increases in rainfall in Las Vegas at the start of the year, pest activity is likely to thrive. Find out which creepy crawlers call Las Vegas valley their home and how to deal with pests.

Deadly Scorpions

how to cope with different types of pest

Las Vegas summer is the birthing season of scorpions. These creatures just love the desert heat.

A scorpion sting is painful and itchy. You’ll need to put an ice pack on the affected area for relief.

Go directly to the ER if a victim experiences the following:

  • Puffiness
  • Soreness
  • Fever
  • Extreme pain
  • Increased heartbeat rate or blood pressure
  • Struggles in breathing
  • Muscle weakness and twitching
  • Numbness

Bring the body of the scorpion with you so that the staff will know what anti-venom to apply. As a protective measure, sweep the areas in your home or trap the scorpions.

Infesting Cockroaches

During cold months, cockroaches hibernate and adults emerge at the slightest heat source. Cracks and crevices in the house serve as breeding grounds as well as entry points.

They scavenge for food, mostly spoiled and discards, and water and trip to places that you can’t imagine. All the germs, bacteria, and grime are brought to your place when they visit.

They bite with a stinging pain. Although it’s not alarming, swelling, unbearable pain or puffiness should encourage you to see your doctor.

So, how to deal with pests like them?

Improve sanitation, declutter, and eliminate sources of food and water. The application of cockroach killers can help eliminate a roach infestation, too.

Pesky Ants

During summer months, ant colonies grow and their numbers multiply.

The presence of an ant trail is a nuisance. When they are hunting for food and water, their trail will most likely end in your things.

Although they are small, some ants pack a mean and destructive punch. They can inject venom with their bites, producing a burning sensation and blisters.

There are ways to stop ants from coming in like sprinkling boric acid or flour at entry points. You can use vinegar, pepper or the juice from citrus fruits.

Dangerous Spiders

how to cope with different pests

Male spiders trek buildings and homes for food and insects. They do it to find female partners, too.

Las Vegas is home to the Black Widow whose bite is potentially harmful. You won’t notice the bite until you see it, and it’s not painful at first. However, the venom can cause pain, cramping, and spasms within the hour.

Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold compress to reduce puffiness, and take a sedative if needed. If pains or cramping are serious, go the ER.

There are natural ways to get rid of spiders like using eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon peel, and vinegar. They don’t like the smell of these.

These summer, fun-ruining pests may have you scratching some imaginary itch, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what nature has to offer in sunny Las Vegas. You just have to know how to deal with pests.

See Also: Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

The post How To Deal With Pests: A Quick Guide appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

More than 130 U.S. companies have reportedly applied to sell to Huawei, but the Commerce Department has approved none of them

Trump said in July that some U.S. suppliers would be allowed to sell to Huawei while it remains blacklisted, but so far no vendors have been allowed to do so. Reuters reports that more than 130 applications have been submitted by companies that want to do business with Huawei, but the U.S. Commerce Department has not approved any of them yet.

Huawei has served as a bargaining chip in the U.S.-China trade war, which escalated again last week when Trump said he would adds tariffs to $550 billion worth of Chinese imports, after China said it would impose duties of $75 billions on U.S. goods. Trump’s mixed signals during this weekend’s G7 summit also created confusion on Wall Street.

When both presidents met at the G20 Summit in June, Donald Trump told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that he would allow some American companies to sell to Huawei, even though it remains on the Commerce Department’s Entity List. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the Commerce Department would begin accepting applications again, requiring companies to prove that the tech they sell to Huawei would not pose a national security risk.

But one of the reasons no licenses have been granted yet is because the Commerce Department is unclear about what it is supposed to do. Former Commerce department official William Reinsch told Reuters that “nobody in the executive branch knows what [Trump] wants and they’re all afraid to make a decision without knowing that.”

In addition to providing telecom equipment, Huawei is an important customer for many U.S. tech firms, including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron. Out of the $70 billion in parts it bought last year, $11 billion of that went to U.S. suppliers. The U.S. claims Huawei is a national security risk, a charge the company has repeatedly denied.

Beam, the remote-controlled telepresence robot, gets acquired by Denmark’s Blue Ocean Robotics

Beam, a telepresence robot with a screen that a person can remotely control and use to communicate via video, became a breakthrough success in the world of robotics in part because of its role in helping high-profile, but movement-limited, people like Edward Snowden better communicate with the outside world, and disability rights activists meet with world leaders. Now, the control of Beam the product itself is changing: Suitable Technologies, the creator of the Beam, is selling it to Blue Ocean Robotics, a Denmark-based developer and incubator that describes itself as a “Robot Venture Factory.”

In an interview we conducted via a Beam robot — where I dialled into Blue Ocean’s offices and navigated a Beam from its docking station around the office and into a private room — Blue Ocean’s CEO and co-founder Claus Risager said his company is not buying Suitable itself: the deal includes only the IP, staff who work on Beam robots, hardware inventory and other related assets. Currently, there are a few versions of the Beam on the market: the two main categories are a smaller robot that is priced around $2,000-$4,000, and a larger Beam Pro that sells for around $15,000 per machine.

The key with Blue Ocean’s development to date is that it has built a “toolbox” (Risager’s term) that it uses to build different robotic hardware — one of its most successful has been its UVD Robot that can perform remote, ultra-violet-based disinfection in hospitals and other infection-prone environments — that it will be using to develop iterations of the Beam. That could mean that long-rumored ideas of the Beam getting robotic arms and other appendages could be coming at some point.

Suitable Technologies, meanwhile, was founded by Scott Hassan, a robot enthusiast that was an early investor in Google; a prolific and prescient software engineer whose work is associated with some of the most iconic and transformational internet companies of our time (he was a key figure in Google’s early search development, and had built Yahoo Groups and was at analytics company Alexa Internet, the latter of which became part of Amazon and has become the name synonymous with AI-based voice interfaces); and an entrepreneur who founded the now-defunct robotics incubator Willow Garage before Suitable Technologies. Both Willow and Suitable were privately financed by Hassan himself.

Hassan is known for being somewhat media shy, and he declined to respond to requests for comment on what will happen with Suitable Technologies now that the only product that it has developed and released to date is getting sold. Risager also declined to talk about why his company acquired just the product but not the company behind it, but he noted that the two companies had been working in partnership for some time already to help distribute the Beam in Europe, where it is used in settings like hospitals as well as other enterprise and industrial applications.

“Our logic behind the purchase is that we have a large customer base ourself and every one of them is buying more Beams and discovering more applications for it,” Risager said. “This is proof for us that there is big growth in this market and that is why we believe in it.”

In a statement provided by Blue Ocean, Hassan described the sale as a “multi-year partnership”, which seems to imply that Suitable will be sticking around for a while more, although it’s not entirely clear if he’s referring to the past or the present in the statement.

“Through our multi-year partnership, I am confident that Blue Ocean Robotics has the commitment, knowhow, and passion to support current Beam customers, acquire new customers, and build the business into new areas,” said Hassan.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Blue Ocean has raised only around $15 million in funding according to PitchBook, although Risager said the actual figure is actually closer to $30-40 million. It has a number of enterprise products already on the market that Risager said have made the company profitable to date, and so the purchase of Beam, and future development, will be financed internally. Risager said his company plans to invest “several million dollars” into the development and future of Beam.

But at a time when robotics as a startup idea has had some significant setbacks — recent shutdowns include Rethink Robotics, Anki, Keecker and Jibo — it seems that this is not the rule for everyone in the field. Risager told me that he has daily emails from firms that would like to take stakes in the company, and it seems that the startup has engaged with more than one large tech company that has approached it with M&A in mind.

“We started six years ago and have three products today,” he said, “and we expect in two years’ time one of them will be acquired or something like that. It’s a part of our business model: at some point these will be worth more to a large global company than to us.

“Everyone understands that in the next 10-20 years the robotics field will grow a lot,” he continued. The professional service robotics market is doubling ever year at the moment. It is currently quite small, with sales of around 100,000 robots annually, but with companies like Amazon and Facebook taking interest, you can see how is potential for a bigger enterprise, but also consumer, push. “I could have a serious conversation with potential investors every day, if I wanted to,” he said.

Taylor Swift called out Trump for ignoring her Equality Act petition at the VMAs

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Taylor Swift opened the 2019 VMAs with a performance of her single “You Need To Calm Down” — in which she famously, finally, Said Gay Rights. She picked up the Video For Good award for the clip, peppered with celebrities and icons of queer pop culture, but allowed her co-executive producer and BFF Todrick Hall to give that acceptance speech. 

When she won the fan-voted Video Of The Year, however, she took the mic and proceeded to back up the video’s message, surrounded again by Hall as well as other members of the YNTCD cast such as Trinity the Tuck and Jade Jolie.

“In this video, several points were made, so you voting for the video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify,” she said. Read more…

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5 Ways to Manage Anxiety in Public Places

After losing my second child during pregnancy in May 2019, I developed what I thought would never fully grip me — anxiety. I had suffered with it before but never to the extent that I had when I lost my son. I found myself having panic attacks in the middle of supermarkets or uncontrollably sobbing when I saw a blonde baby boy. Right there, I knew that I needed to do something and I needed to act fast.

Here are some things that have helped me in managing anxiety in public places.

Choose Your Playlist

I have often seen people wondering around the supermarket in their headphones and laughed at how ignorant they looked. Then, I became one of those people.

Music is a wonderful gift and lyrics have the power to speak directly into our hearts and minds. Whenever I find myself experiencing anxiety in public places, I force my headphones into my ears and listen to music that declared hope, truth, and life.

This is a fantastic way to manage your anxiety as no one knows what you are doing. It really helped me to carry on with ordinary tasks.

Take a Deep Breath

anxiety public places

Breathing exercises have become somewhat ‘trendy’ now with all the mindful apps circling around. Despite that, I have found that deep breathing in a moment of dread has saved me on more occasions than I can count.

I have found that a couple of deep breaths can fully reset my thoughts and bring me back to my present reality. Sometimes I will even audibly say to myself “okay” as I take a deep breath and continue on my way.

See Also: 11 Really Effective Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

Remind Yourself of Your Current Reality

Often, when we find ourselves experiencing a difficult season and the weight of our reality is heavy on our chests, we assume that we will always feel this way. The truth is that anxiety can be something that we consistently have to work through, but it will not always be this intense. When I experience a panic attack or a feeling of dread, I try to remind myself of all the times it has happened before and how I am still standing. No one can rush anxiety.

Talk to the Right People

When feeling extremely low, people typically fall into one of two categories.

The first is a complete shut down of any kind of communication as we can become embarrassed of what we are feeling. The second is that we completely overshare with everyone as we are desperate to be understood and to have our feelings validated.

I have found that having two to three people who I can really trust and care deeply about me that I can contact at any time has literally saved my life in certain scenarios. Good friends are like gold dust in seasons of depression and anxiety as sometimes we become a hard friend to keep. Find your nearest and dearest and hold them close.

Just Get Out There

public places anxiety

It is so easy to stay indoors and stay in alone. When anxiety is a very real thing in our lives, it is also incredibly draining. We find that even just looking after ourselves becomes a near impossible task.

I encourage you to get outdoors at least once every day. Sometimes, it is necessary to get out of our own heads. This can only be possible if we physically get out of bed and face the outside world. I have found that even just walking my dog while applying all of the above techniques has helped me to move forward.

In closing, anxiety can be all-consuming but there are things that we can do to manage it. By letting the right people in and applying healthy techniques, we can ensure that we are moving forward step-by-step, day-by-day.

The post 5 Ways to Manage Anxiety in Public Places appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

New Alexa smart speaker skill plays music for your dog

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“Who let the dogs out? Woof! Woof!”

That’s one of the songs (along with any other remixes of the Baha Men’s 2000 hit) we’d include on the new Alexa smart speaker skill for your dog. Puppy Jams! is an iHeartRadio music skill that plays songs for your dog even if you’re not around.

Monday is International Dog Day. Let your dog rock out in honor of the very official holiday by turning on the Alexa skill.

For any Amazon device connected to the digital assistant Alexa, you can say, “Alexa, open Puppy Jams!” Then you tell the AI how your dog is feeling: stressed, lonely, or happy. Based on the mood you indicated, the device will select an iHeartRadio playlist made for canines.  Read more…

More about Music, Dogs, Amazon Alexa, Playlist, and Tech

Web host Hostinger says data breach may affect 14 million customers

Hostinger said it has reset user passwords as a “precautionary measure” after it detected unauthorized access to a database containing information on millions of its customers.

The breach is said to have happened on Thursday. The company said in a blog post it received an alert that one of its servers was improperly accessed. Using an access token found on the server, which can give access to systems without needing a username or a password, the hacker gained further access to the company’s systems, including an API database. That database contained customer usernames, email addresses, and passwords scrambled with the SHA-1 algorithm, which has been deprecated in favor of stronger algorithms after researchers found SHA-1 was vulnerable to spoofing. The company has since upgraded its password hashing to the stronger SHA-2 algorithm.

Hostinger said the API database stored about 14 million customers records. The company has more than 29 million customers on its books.

The company said it was “in contact with the respective authorities.”

hostinger

An email from Hostinger explaining the data breach. (Image: supplied)

News of the breach broke overnight. According to the company’s status page, affected customers have already received an email to reset their passwords.

The company said that financial data was not compromised, nor was customer website files or data affected.

But one customer who was affected by the breach accused the company of being potentially “misleading” about the scope of the breach.

A chat log seen by TechCrunch shows a customer support representative telling the customer it was “correct” that customers’ financial data can be retrieved by the API but that the company does “not store any payment data.” Hostinger uses multiple payment processors, the representative told the customer, but did not name them.

Chief executive Balys Kriksciunas told TechCrunch that the remarks made by the customer support representative were “misleading” and denied any customer financial data was compromised. A company investigation into the breach, however, remains under way.

Updated with remarks from Hostinger.

Related stories:

‘Breaking Bad’ Netflix movie drops tense first trailer

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Where the hell is Jesse Pinkman?

That’s what cops want to know in the first teaser for the forthcoming Breaking Bad story, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.  And Skinny Pete isn’t saying a word.

“In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future,” a release from Netflix explains.

The thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will star Aaron Paul. 

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie hits Netflix Oct. 11 Read more…

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Uber tries to reassure customers that it takes safety seriously, following NYTimes book excerpt

It’s hard at times not to feel sorry for Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, given all that he inherited when he became the ride-share giant’s top boss back in April 2017.

Among his many to-do items: take public a money-losing company whose private-market valuation had already soared past what many thought it was worth, clean-up the organization’s win-at-all-costs image, and win over employees who clearly remained loyal to Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick, an inimitable figure who Khosrowshahi was hired to replace.

Things are undoubtedly about to get worse, given the fast-upcoming publication of a tell-all book about Uber authored by New York Times reporter Mike Isaac. In just one excerpt published yesterday by the newspaper, Isaac outlines how Uber misled customers into paying $1 more per ride by telling them Uber would use the proceeds to fund an “industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, development of safety features in the app, and insurance.”

The campaign was hugely successful, according to Isaac, who reports that it brought in nearly half a billion dollars for Uber. Alas, according to employees who worked on the project, the fee was devised primarily to add $1 of pure margin to each trip.

Om Malik, a former tech journalist turned venture capitalist, published a tongue-in-cheek tweet yesterday after reading the excerpt, writing, “Apology from @dkhos coming any minute — we are different now.”

Malik was close. Instead of an apology, Uber today sent some of its riders an email titled, somewhat ominously, “Your phone number stays hidden in the app.” The friendly reminder continues on to tell customers that their “phone number stays hidden when you call or text your driver through the app,” that “pickup and dropoff locations are not visible in a driver’s trip history,” and that “for additional privacy, if you don’t want to share your exact address, request a ride to or from the nearest cross streets instead.”

The email was clearly meant to reassure riders, some of whom might be absorbing negative press about Uber and wondering if it cares about them at all. But not everyone follows Uber as closely as industry watchers in Silicon Valley, and either way, what the email mostly accomplishes is to remind customers that riding in an Uber involves life-and-death risk.

Stressing that the company is “committed to safety” is the debating equivalent of a so-called negative pregnant, wherein a denial implies its affirmative opposite. It’s Uber shooting itself in the foot.

Uber

It would have been more effective for Uber to email riders that when it talks about safety, it really does mean business — and not the kind where it swindles its own customers for pure monetary gain.

Either way, the affair underscores the tricky terrain Uber is left to navigate right now. Though campaigns like Uber’s so-called “safe rides fee” was orchestrated under the leadership of Kalanick — who did whatever it took to scale the company — it’s Khosrowshahi’s problem now.

So is the fact that the company’s shares have been sinking since its IPO in early May; that Uber’s cost-cutting measures will be scrutinized at every turn (outsiders particularly relished the company’s decision to save on employees’ work anniversaries by cutting out helium balloons in favor of stickers); and that Uber appears to be losing the battle, city by city, against labor activists who want to push up the minimum wage paid to drivers.

And those are just three of many daunting challenges that Khosrowshahi has been tasked with figuring out  (think food delivery, self-driving technologies, foreign and domestic opponents). No doubt Isaac’s book will highlight plenty of others.

How Uber handles the inevitable wave of bad publicity that comes with it remains to be seen. We don’t expect Khosrowshahi to come out swinging; that’s not his style. But we also hope the company doesn’t take to emailing riders directly, without any context. It’s great if Uber is taking customer safety more seriously than it might have under Kalanick’s leadership, but reaching out to tell riders how to remain safe from their Uber drivers isn’t the way to do it, especially without acknowledging in any way why it’s suddenly so eager to have the conversation.

Internal report exposes cocaine abuse, lax testing, inside SEAL Team 10

The Little Creek, Virginia-based command conducted urinalysis testing on April 9 and April 16, 2018, nabbing six SEALs for allegedly abusing cocaine and other banned substances.

Several SEALs told investigators they previously beat the testing program by swapping out tainted urine for clean samples — but they weren’t screened very often anyway.

“I never once got piss-tested on deployment or on the road, where I was using most often,” one busted SEAL said in a statement.

“When I was in Buenaventura, Colombia, I was using cocaine. I think I was the only one of the four SEAL TEAM TEN guys using cocaine there. It was everywhere.”

The names and other details involving the SEALs are redacted in the copy of the investigation obtained by Navy Times following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Citing regulations designed to protect sailors from “an unwarranted invasion of … personal privacy,” Naval Special Warfare Command spokeswoman Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence declined to name the SEALs netted during the probe or specify the punitive actions taken against them.

But she confirmed that no SEALs went to court-martial in the wake of the urinalysis screening and four were administratively separated from the sea service.

A fifth SEAL “ingested cocaine” at his home on April 15, 2018, and killed himself the following month, the lead investigator wrote.

The sixth SEAL, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Daniel Boggs, confirmed to Navy Times that he tested positive and lost his trident.

But records provided by Boggs show an administrative board later cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Boggs, 34, said he was given the option of remaining in the Navy with a different rating, but he plans on exiting the service.

He insists that he never intentionally used cocaine and suspects he unwittingly drank from another SEAL’s cocktail that was laced with the drug.

At least one SEAL told investigators he would splice his drinks with cocaine while at a popular watering hole.

Boggs echoes other SEALs by saying no one in the team took the urinalysis screening system seriously and that he knew other operators were using drugs. But because he avoided illegal substances, he said he “never had to worry about it.”

In the wake of the probe, SEAL Team 10′s superiors at Naval Special Warfare Group 2 updated the urinalysis program, retrained those who administer the tests and hiked the frequency of the screenings, spokeswoman Lawrence said.

“We now test our operators and combat support personnel while in garrison, TDY for training and when deployed,” she said.

Lawrence also indicated that the command investigation shouldn’t be read as an indictment of the entire special warfare community.

“I will not speculate as to the reasons why these service members made the poor decisions that they did, but I will say that the actions of a few are not reflective of the SEAL code or culture,” she said.

“We have tightened our processes. We are focused on performance and we are proud of our progress.”

In the report, the lead investigator wrote that the command found no evidence that drug use by any of the SEALs led to teammates getting hurt.

But one sailor “during Tactical Ground Movement training may have unnecessarily exposed his teammates to greater training risk.”

Despite what often are hectic training and deployment cycles, the investigator who drafted the command report insisted that SEALs should never be exempted from urinalysis screening.

“On deployment, no location should be treated as too remote for testing,” the officer recommended. “No distance or cost should, by its inconvenience, implicitly sanction unlawful drug use or insulate service members from rigid adherence to Navy standards.”

But that was far from the case in mid-2018, according to the investigation. Back then, the testing program “suffered from serious deficiencies, which did not maintain accountability for substance abuse and adversely affected readiness,” the report states.

“Failure to conduct the Urinalysis Program in strict compliance with Navy standards, regulations, and guidance proved corrosive to good order and discipline by allowing drug use to continue undeterred and undetected.”

One SEAL said the system was “easy to cheat” and so there “was no real reason not to use any substance.”

“Most of the time no one had to watch urine leave the hole,” a SEAL told investigators. “It was usually a buddy that would just follow you in and let you piss.”

Because empty urine bottles were left “everywhere,” he’d also sneak one filled with clean urine into the bathroom to swap out the pee.

One SEAL said that others stashed clean urine in their gear cages to use if the command popped a surprise test.

Another described a testing system “so relaxed that once an individual saw his name on the urinalysis list, he commonly asked others to urinate for him into a spare bottle, and then set aside the urine in that bottle for later submission as a sample.”

One several occasions, another SEAL “simply dunked the specimen bottle into the urinal water and gave that fluid as a urine sample,” the report stated.

“The specimen he provided on 9 April 2018 was entirely composed of urinal water,” it added.

Another SEAL “was always worried he would ‘piss hot’ after a ‘big weekend,’ but he made no effort to protect against it,” the probe indicated.

One SEAL told investigators that he was never forced to buy his cocaine or other drugs because he received them for free “when he is at local bars.”

“Random people would offer me cocaine and I would go with them to use drugs,” he added.

One SEAL confessed he used cocaine “while cleaning his gear at his house,” according to the investigation.

Another SEAL who admitted snorting coke in Colombia also recalled years of drug abuse in the United States.

He told investigators that “he ‘partied’ with five service members from (SEAL Team 10)” during a stint at sniper school in September 2017 and also abused drugs during training for armorers in Indiana.

Back home in Virginia Beach, he’d mix cocaine into an “orange crush” drink while hanging out at The Shack, a local bar popular with SEALs, according to the report.

He described buying two of the cocktails to bring to the tavern’s restroom. Once at a stall, he’d dump cocaine into one of the drinks before returning to the bar.

“My normal process was to quickly consume the drink with the cocaine in it, then sip from the other drink so I didn’t have to carry two drinks around,” the SEAL admitted.

“If there was any ice or anything left in the cup from the Orange Crush with the cocaine, I poured the remainder into the other untouched Orange Crush and sipped from that one until the next round.”

The SEAL “stated that he never touched cocaine with his fingers because of its sticky residue” and instead “always used something to scoop the cocaine into his beverages as he stood at the urinal, such as a credit card, or he poured it directly into his ‘Orange Crush’ from the small plastic bag.”

The report indicated that the cocaine “made him very aware of his actions and very interested in conversation with members of the group” and the way he ingested the drug “at the Shack seemed well-rehearsed and calculated.”

A photo of the Virginia Beach bar's restroom shows where a Navy SEAL allegedly poured cocaine into his cocktail. (Navy)

A photo of the Virginia Beach bar’s restroom shows where a Navy SEAL allegedly poured cocaine into his cocktail. (Navy)

The SEAL’s disciplinary review board records are included in the investigation.

The team’s command master chief convened the DRB in May 2018, after the SEAL used cocaine shortly before both urinalysis sweeps, according to the records.

“Member took full responsibility for his actions and openly admits to using cocaine and (ecstasy) numerous times a week for the last three years,” the documents indicate.

He also confessed to using cocaine throughout pre-deployment training, except for a land warfare segment at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in rural western Arkansas.

“Apparently, cocaine is hard to find in (Arkansas),” the board’s notes state.

The board recommended he receive non-judicial punishment consisting of reduction in rank and forfeiture of half his pay for two months.

The SEAL’s wife left him and took their three kids across the country in February 2018 due to his “continued drug use” but he also entered substance abuse treatment to get help, according to the DRB records.

Navy SEAL Boss Orders Discipline Crackdown After Embarrassing Scandals

Navy Rear Adm. Collin P. Green addresses a crowd March 3, 2017, at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida. He is now the head of Naval Special Warfare. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite)
Navy Rear Adm. Collin P. Green addresses a crowd March 3, 2017, at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida. He is now the head of Naval Special Warfare. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite)

Discipline trackers, intrusive leadership and routine inspections: Those are just some of the changes coming to the Naval Special Warfare community after a host of scandals led to an ethics review and a call to restore good order.

Rear Adm. Collin Green sent a four-page memo to his senior leaders this week, ordering a host of changes within the Navy SEAL community, which has been rocked by sexual assault allegations, high-profile legal battles and drug use in the ranks.

The force, Green wrote in a memo first posted by CNN, has drifted from its core values of honor, courage and commitment “due to a lack of action at all levels of Leadership.” The problems have broken down the trust SEALs have earned from their military and civilian leaders and the American people, Green said.

“All Hands will address this issue with urgent, effective and active leadership,” he said. “This drift ends now.”

Officials at Naval Special Warfare Command could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Green’s memo was issued less than three weeks after he told the force they had a problem, calling on all personnel to clean up their behavior. A platoon had just been booted from Iraq over allegations of sexual misconduct and drinking in the war zone. There were also reports of cocaine use in one SEAL team and allegations that a member of another tricked a woman into sending nude photos.

There have also been high-profile legal cases, including that of Chief Special Warfare Operators Adam Matthews and Anthony DeDolph in connection to the death of an Army staff sergeant, and Special Warfare Operator Eddie Gallagher was recently found guilty of wrongfully posing for a photo with a human casualty.

Green is cracking down on bad behavior, calling for a return to routine inspections including strict enforcement of all Navy grooming and uniform standards.

The use and distribution of all unofficial unit insignia, including logos and patches, is banned. Only those with special approval under formal Navy regulations will be allowed to stray from the standard-issue uniform items.

Green also wants to be personally informed when anyone above the rank of E-6 is accused of misbehavior. It’s possible those sailors could be reprimanded directly by the commander, raising questions about whether those cases had been mismanaged in the past.

“I reserve the right to withhold all Non-Judicial Punishment authority for those reports at my level as I deem appropriate,” Green wrote.

Within the next 30 days, Green also wants a force-wide accountability tracker that will ensure transparency of all disciplinary problems across the command. And leaders must be “intrusive,” he said, and assign only the right people to run drug tests and lead suicide prevention and sexual assault prevention and response programs.

SEALs told investigators last year they were able to skirt drug tests easily, Navy Times reported this summer, with operators referring to them as a “joke.” And at least one member of the team booted from Iraq last month was accused of sexual assault.

The Navy SEALs will retain only their best, Green said, keeping quality over quantity. He says he wants only the “right leaders that demonstrate adherence to the highest standards.”

More SEALs will be added to the ranks only after they ensure they have groomed the right number of leaders who have adequate training, certifications, and the “highest standards of character and competence,” Green said.

There will be peer reviews, legal training, lessons on naval special warfare heritage and a leadership development program.

The SEALs’ mission of taking on terrorists, rogue nations and peer adversaries is too important to have anyone compromising their values or standards, the memo states. Everyone in the command must “right the ship and remain the Force our Nation Expects,” Green said.

“We own the problem and the solution,” he said.

‘The Mandalorian’ Star Wars footage raises plenty of questions

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“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Those words, spoken by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars about Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine, have passed into legend. They heralded the arrival of arguably the movie’s most iconic moments, the scenes where it mutates into a Sergio Leone-loving Space Western. Few remember what Kenobi said next: “We must be cautious.”

And cautious is exactly what the Star Wars franchise has been since then, returning to the Mos Eisley template fewer times than you might think. Mos Espa, the Tatooine spaceport in The Phantom Menace, offered pratfalls and podracing rather than tense Western standoffsThe Force Awakens and Rogue One had their desert planet moments, but both focused on those planets’ stormtrooper occupations at the expense of the scum-and-villainy underbelly. The first Star Wars movie to go full Space Western, Solo, was also the first Star Wars movie not to make its budget back at the box office.  Read more…

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Confirmed: Disney is making an Obi-Wan series with Ewan McGregor

The rumors have been suggesting it for a while now, and fans have been pretty much begging for it… and it’s happening: Ewan McGregor will return to the role of Obi-Wan for a new Disney+ series.

Disney dropped the news at a panel during D23 this evening, almost immediately after premiering the trailer for its other live action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

Details are still remarkably light. There’s not even an official name for the series yet. Beyond McGregor’s involvement, the only details mentioned are that the scripts are written, and that shooting should begin in 2020.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Hello there! Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in an untitled series for #DisneyPlus! #D23Expo

— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) August 24, 2019

What To Do If A Doctor Makes a Medical Mistake

Just the thought of going under the knife and having a medical procedure is frightening. But as there is nothing you can do, you’ll listen to your doctor’s advice and have surgery. Unfortunately, surgical malpractice can happen. It can lead to injuries and even death. In other cases, a doctor’s mistake arises to a medical malpractice claim. So, what to do if a doctor makes a mistake?

Types of Surgical Medical Mistakes

surgical mistake

It is not easy going under the knife. A patient will be helpless, relying only on the doctor and the medical staff. He is cut open while unconscious. But having surgery, a patient hopes to get better. Unfortunately, mistakes can occur, even in the simplest operations.

The following are the most common surgical mistakes that can happen during the procedure.

  • Foreign objects left inside the body: This is one of the most common surgical mistakes. Surgeons might leave gauze, pads and even a scalpel inside a patient’s body, causing much pain and infections. In other cases, foreign objects left inside can cause the patient’s death if unattended.
  • Anesthesia mistakes: It is a fatal surgical error when administered excessively. When this happens, the patient won’t receive sufficient brain oxygen, leading to brain damage and eventually, death. In some cases, anesthesia might not be enough, leading to the patient not feeling numb, experiencing pain and waking up in the middle of the operation.
  • Wrong patient: It is another common surgical mistake that can lead to death, happening when the surgical staff and the doctor forgot performing a preoperative verification. As a result, they perform a surgery to the wrong patient.
  • Incorrect surgical site: A doctor can operate on the wrong body part. It can happen with amputations or kidney transplants, leading to a surgical mistake.
  • Nerve damage: This mistake can result in a lifetime of disability or pain. It happens with just a hand tremor or an incorrect flick of the wrist. In other cases, a scalpel slip can lead to nerve damage and lifetime disability.

Other types of surgical errors also include:

  • Failure to detect or diagnose a dangerous medical condition during the procedure
  • Damaging healthy organs
  • Failure to fix or prevent any complication during a surgery
  • Not monitoring a patient well for any issues like internal bleeding or infection following a surgery
  • Mistakes made during an emergency surgery
  • Leaving any instrument in the body of the patient after surgery

What Are My Options After A Doctor Performed a Surgical Mistake?

If you’ve inflicted from an injury following a surgery, you might want to know your options. What should you do next?

Check out the following for what you need to know.

Medical help

Health is always a top priority. If you’re injured due to a surgeon’s mistake or negligence, you should report this issue to the surgeon right away. Then, seek medical help from a physician who can improve the medical error if it’s detected early.

If you have Medicaid plans, which provide health coverage for low-income individuals, you can use it to lower your costs and get health coverage.

Also, you need to find a health specialist for treating the specific injury. But, you must provide the medical provider with your medical history, as well as all information about the medical error. You must be honest and give correct and thorough information.

You might also have to share what your health was like before, during and after the error along with your current condition.

Be sure that the doctor will have access to the medical records that would affect the diagnosis and plan for treatment.

Report

Each state has its own procedure when it comes to filing a complaint with the medical board along with varying requirements and forms. When a complaint is filed, an investigation is conducted by the medical board for disciplinary action against the doctor. However, there is only a small percentage of the filed reports that are given action or doctors that get a disciplinary action.

Legal Action

what to do if doctor makes a mistake

If you want to take a legal action, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney for advice. However, make sure to ask help from lawyers with specialization in such cases to help you fight for your rights.

You have what you need to know about the types of surgical mistakes and options you have following a surgical error. Learn what to do, especially if you have to file a medical malpractice claim.

The post What To Do If A Doctor Makes a Medical Mistake appeared first on Dumb Little Man.