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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

India blocks millions of mobiles for security reasons

Millions of Indian mobile phones with no valid unique identification code have been blocked for security reasons.
The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a 15-digit code which appears on the operator's network whenever a call is made.
The absence of this number makes it impossible to trace either the caller or the phone or to access call details.
Indian intelligence agencies say phones without the code have been used in attacks by militant groups.
Mobile phones without the code were blocked at midnight - operators were asked to bar calls to them "in the wake of increased threat perception from militants".

It is estimated that India has more than 25 million phones without codes.
Phones with no codes or invalid numbers are mostly cheap, unbranded phones.
Millions are manufactured in India or imported, mostly from China.
Correspondents say these phones are popular because they are usually much cheaper than the branded ones.
Many phone subscribers said they were being wrongly penalised because they were not aware that every handset had to have a code.
The Cellular Operators' Association of India has asked the government to extend the deadline for blocking the numbers so that it can install identity numbers on unbranded devices.
According to estimates by the Indian Cellular Association, unbranded phones account for nearly 30% of all sales in India.
India has the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with more than 488 million subscribers.
Every month millions of new subscribers are added to the list.

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Loving Your Life

However much your boss may have stressed you out last week. Refresh yourself with these tips to enjoy the week ahead

5 steps to loving your life

Do what really makes you happy
Mounting obligations and hectic schedules can make it all too easy to lose track. But whether it's the little things in life that make you smile, or the joy of working toward a larger goal, focusing on your happiness each day can help protect your emotional wellbeing and your physical health.

Enjoy distractions
When you're adding items to your to-do list, don't forget the good stuff. If you look forward to reading in bed, going out to breakfast, taking long walks, listening to music, or just sitting quietly outside, make time for at least one of your favourite diversions every day.

Consider crossing out pesky items on your list that you keep saying you're going to do but haven't gotten to in over a year, like alphabetizing your bills or organizing your sock drawer. Or get rid of a time-consuming chore that isn't enhancing your life one bit.

Be kind to yourself
We all have low-energy days, but if you can resist the urge to skip your daily workout when you’re feeling low, you'll be rewarded both now and later. Try this trick: Tell yourself that you need to do only 10 minutes of exercise. Once you're up and moving (and feeling better) you'll most likely want to finish your workout. Even if you can't push past the 10-minute mark on the occasional bad day, you’ll feel good about doing at least a little something. Sticking with an exercise plan helps you feel good about yourself, strengthens your immune system, and enhances production of mood-boosting hormones.

Bust that stress
Defuse daily hassles by practicing stress-reduction strategies. Try taking deep-breathing breaks throughout the day, inhaling through your nose and then exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Repeating this action three or four times allows more oxygen to get into your bloodstream, creating a feeling of calm. Progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation also are effective ways of reducing tension, stress, depression, and anxiety. And a brisk 10-minute walk will do far more to dissipate your stress and lift your spirits than eating the bad-for-you snacks you might crave when feeling frantic.

Share your skills for happiness
Volunteer at a local school, club, or community organization. Not only will sharing your unique talents and expertise benefit others, but research shows that volunteering can make you happier and improve your wellbeing, too. Feeling engaged and involved in your local community is good for your emotional health. It's also an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.

Connect with loved ones
Unwind and share a few laughs with your family or friends at least once or twice each month. The openness and trust you share with the important people in your life can help give you the perspective you need to cope with everyday challenges. These regular connections will also have a positive impact on your health, especially when you share a good laugh. Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and releases endorphins that can ease pain.

Also, don't neglect relationships at work. Colleagues and coworkers can provide valuable support and keep your blood pressure under control during stressful situations. .

Feeling satisfied and fulfilled with your life is an essential part of your emotional and physical well-being. As you grow to appreciate your time, independence, self-assurance, skills, and relationships, you will be amazed at just how good you feel, both in body and in spirit.

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World AIDS Day 2009

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December every year. It is an international day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS around the world. The first World AIDS Day was celebrated on 1 December 1988. This year’s theme for the day is “human rights and access to treatment”.  The theme has been chosen to address the critical need to protect human rights and make HIV prevention, treatment, care and support accessible to all. The theme acts as a call to countries to remove laws that discriminate against people living with HIV.  

UNAIDS and the World Health Organization released its annual AIDS Epidemic Update on 24 November this year, indicating that 33.4 million people were living with HIV in 2008, up slightly from 2007. The higher figure is credited to increased availability to treatment allowing more people to live longer. Overall, the data indicates that new infections have dropped 17 percent over the past eight years. Despite areas of progress, children still account for 2.1 million of people living with HIV, although the number of deaths has declined. The number of children newly infected with HIV in 2008 was roughly 18% lower than in 2001.

How can you contribute in raising awareness about AIDS?

  • Find out facts about HIV and talk to your friends, family and colleagues about HIV- make sure they know the reality, not the myths.

  • Know your HIV status: get tested if you have put yourself at risk.

  • Talk to all new sexual partners about using condoms. Using a condom during sex is the best way to protect yourself and your partner from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • If someone tells you they are HIV positive, treat them with respect and don’t tell others without their agreement.

  • Wear a red ribbon as a symbol of your support for everyone affected by HIV< and to raise awareness.
The basics

What is HIV? Is there any difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system - the body's defence against diseases. If left untreated, HIV eventually weakens the immune system so much that the person falls sick with infections known as opportunistic infections or OIs. The most serious of these OIs are called AIDS defining illnesses. When the person becomes ill with one of the AIDS defining illnesses, s/he is said to have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

How does it occur?
HIV can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. The most common ways HIV is passed on are:

  • Sex without a condom with someone living with HIV

  • Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment

  • From an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (but with effective treatment and care the risk of transmission can be greatly reduced)

Can HIV be cured?
At this time, there is no cure or vaccination that can prevent or cure HIV infection, though a lot of research is being done for a vaccine. Nevertheless, timely diagnoses and treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment. The best way is to protect yourself from HIV by observing the following points:

  • Using condoms correctly and consistently. 
    Not sharing needles and syringes for injecting drugs

  • Insisting on sterile disposable syringes and needles for injections

  • Getting all sexually transmitted infections treated by a qualified doctor as soon as possible, also getting your partner checked/treated

  • Avoiding casual and unprotected sex with partners of unknown sexual status

The task ahead

To make this year's World AIDS Day theme - "human rights and access to treatment" - a success, the following aims need to be met:

  • Non-discrimination: Those battling with HIV/AIDS should be treated with utmost equality with others and should not be discriminated against on the gourd of their HIV status.
    Right to privacy: HIV status of the patients must be kept confidential 

  • Right to liberty and freedom of movement: Those suffering from HIV/AIDS should be protected against imprisonment, segregation, or isolation in a special hospital ward 

  • Right to education/information: Access to all HIV prevention education and information and sexual and reproductive health information and education should be ensured

  • Right to health: There should be access to all health care prevention services, including for sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, voluntary counseling and testing, and to male and female condoms.

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Red wine 'prevents tooth decay'

Red wine 'prevents tooth decay'

Earlier studies have linked moderate red wine intake with everything from improved longevity to diminished risk of cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

And because the new study was conducted with non-alcoholic red wine, even teetotallers can enjoy dental benefits, reports ABC Science.

Co-author Professor Gabriella Gazzani, of Pavia University in Italy, said that alcohol's cavity-preventing benefits are already well known and that's why they investigated "de-alcoholised red wine to verify if substances different from ethanol with anti-strep properties occur in this beverage."

The researchers purchased red wine from the Veneto region and removed the alcohol using a technique called vacuum concentration.

They then cultured Streptococcus mutans, a common bacteria that feed on sugars in food and contribute to tooth enamel demineralisation, which often results in cavities.

In the lab, the bacteria easily mixed with saliva and saliva-coated pulled teeth, along with saliva-coated calcium ceramic beads.

However, when the non-alcoholic red wine was added to each one, the wine prevented S. mutans from clinging to teeth and saliva.

Next, the researchers determined that the active components in red wine that protect teeth are proanthocyanidins, naturally occurring flavonoid compounds previously found to have antioxidant properties.

The compounds are in many plant edibles, such as apples, cinnamon, cocoa and teas.

The researchers do think that proanthocyanidins could be separated from wine and studied for their potential oral health benefits.

Acids and sugars in some wines may actually contribute to tooth decay, so isolating wine's tooth-supporting components could lead to an even more beneficial product, at least from a dentistry standpoint.

In separate research, scientists from Laval University in Quebec, Canada found that polyphenols in red wine also help to control immune cell response in gums to bacterial infection.

The study will be published in the journal Food Chemistry. (ANI)

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Gone in 60 'secs' in India


200 cops take 6 hrs to catch 6 car thieves

New Delhi, Nov. 29 -- It required more than 200 policemen to arrest a gang of six automobile thieves from a village in Haryana. A Delhi Police team lay siege to a village in Palwal in Haryana and caught the six men after a six-hour struggle.
The gang was involved in more than 100 vehicle thefts in and around Delhi. Those arrested have been identified as Mohammad Anees (22), the gang leader, Sazid Hussain (25), Arif (19), Mohd Arif (21), Mohd Arshad (22) and receiver of stolen vehicles Mohd Qayum (25). All belong to the same village in Palwal.
"On November 23, Hussain and Arif were arrested from Khirki (a crowded neighbourhood in Malviya Nagar, South Delhi) but Anees had managed to escape then," said H.G.S. Dhaliwal, deputy commissioner of police (south). During interrogation, it was found that Anees allegedly used to prepare the master keys with Arif's help.
"They used to sell a stolen motorcycle for Rs 2,000- 3,000 to some people in Mewat in Haryana," the officer said. "It is very difficult to recover the stolen vehicles from Mewat as there is a strong cooperation amongst local residents and anti-social elements."
Keeping in view the possible resistance and protest by the residents, a strong police team consisting of more than 200 personnel was sent to arrest the remaining accused and to recover the stolen vehicles on Friday night.
"All the exit and entry points leading to Kot village in Palwal district were manned in the wee hours and Anees, Mohd Arif (key maker), Arshad and Mohd Qayum (Receiver) were arrested," Dhaliwal said.
With their arrests, 13 motorcycles and a bunch of master keys and 17 instruments/figure sets used for changing the engine and chassis numbers were also recovered.


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Harmful effects of coffee

Cut down the coffee

We all know that there's really nothing to beat that curiously intoxicating smell of freshly ground coffee beans as well as that addictive first cup to jump-start your day. But it's not just the morning a steaming cup always comes in handy while driving negotiations, initiating great conversations or even kicking back next to a log fire.
It even gets a nod from researchers like Thomas H. Lee, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. Attributing the benefits to large, long-term studies, Lee says that "long-running research shows that drinking coffee cuts the risk of dying early from a heart attack or stroke, and the bean improves productivity, too."
Now, before you make a manic sprint to the nearest store for a cappuccino machine, you may want to listen to what Upasna Kamineni, Vice Chairman, Apollo Charities, and an active campaigner for health issues, has to say. "Coffee is both a health and a social hazard, and the cons far outweigh the pros," she says. Kamineni, also the Director of Lifetime Wellness RX, an Apollo Group body that conducts health talks, assessments and camps and also undertakes research-based projects on lifestyle disorders, thinks that it's best one stays away from the brew altogether.
"The excessive caffeine in coffee can boost your blood pressure and can leave you dehydrated. Add milk and sugar, and it becomes a recipe for disaster, that is bound to add extra pounds, she adds. Aerated drinks and canned fruit juices also get a thumbs down from her." Aerated drinks and canned fruit juices have a high concentration of sugar and should be avoided in the mornings. Try jasmine and green tea or even lemon water as the three are rich in antioxidants. Kamineni recommends switching over to juices and lemon soda by afternoon.
"Buttermilk is easy on your digestive system, too, and goes well with most Indian foods," she says. And for those of you who just can't kick the coffee habit, she suggests skipping milk. Taken black, both coffee and tea are calorie-free and full of antioxidants. Not a bad option for the coffee-crazy but health-conscious folks out there.


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