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How your phone may be spying on you

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Smartphon

New Delhi, July 7: Some popular apps on your Android phone may be actively listening to you, monitoring your habits and even secretly taking screenshots of your activity and sending them to third parties, a new study has found.

These screenshots and videos of your activity on the screen could include usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other important personal information, the researchers said.

“We found that every app has the ability to record your screen and anything you type,” said David Choffnes, a Professor at Boston’s Northeastern University.

The findings will be presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium Conference in Barcelona.

For the study, the team analysed more than 17,000 of the most popular apps on the Android operating system, using an automated test programme written by the students.

In all, 9,000 of the 17,000 apps showed the potential to take screenshots.

“There were no audio leaks at all. Not a single app activated the microphone,” said Christo Wilson, Professor at the varsity.

“Then we started seeing things we didn’t expect. Apps were automatically taking screenshots of themselves and sending them to third parties.” Although these privacy breaches appeared to be benign, they emphasised how easily a phone’s privacy window could be exploited for profit.

“This opening will almost certainly be used for malicious purposes. It’s simple to install and collect this information. And what’s most disturbing is that this occurs with no notification to or permission by users,” Wilson noted.

Although the study was conducted on Android phones, there is no reason to believe that other phone operating systems would be less vulnerable, the researchers said.

Another study, published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, found that apps developed to help people track their migraine pain often share information with third parties, posing privacy risks partly because there are few legal protections against the sale or disclosure of data from medical apps to third parties.

“In 2018, it is estimated that nearly half of 3.4 billion smartphone users will use health related apps, and currently, there are a wide range of apps on the market for various neurologic and pain conditions,” said lead author Mia Minen, from the New York University Langone Medical Center in the US.

“We think our study may have widespread implications for people suffering from various chronic conditions,” Minen added.

IANS

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Fashion

How to be flight fabulous

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Airport looks
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New Delhi, July 16: Airport looks are as important as black-tie events nowadays. So, while ensuring that outfit is on-point, let’s not forget to get a flawless beauty and hair look.

TIGI Educator Audrey D’Souza and Rashmi Shetty, Pond’s Skin Expert help you get jet-setting hair and skin.

D’Souza shares three styles for tresses trend while you are in transit.

* Scarfed hair: Headscarves are a simple accessory that make traveling in style almost too easy and the patterns and colours can help brighten up even the worst in-transit blues. Simply tie a pre-stitched hair scarf behind your ears by either back-combing or side parting your hair

* Mermaid braid: Get the base right by applying a texturing serum. Part the hair into two and work with volumizing mousse for a messy, bed head look. Maintain the tempo and take smaller sections using the Dutch braiding technique and secure the end with a black ribbon. Finish the look with a texturizing spray

* Halfsie Pony: Spritz dry shampoo onto your roots and gather half your hair into a messy. The Half-twist bun for a girl-next-door hairstyle is effortlessly chic

Shetty shares a skincare routine to cope with in-flight cabin air which causes the skin to dry very quickly:

* Before you get on the flight, it’s good to apply a good light moisturizer enriched with Vitamin E or something like a hydrating gel that quickly absorbs in the skin and is cooling on your skin

* Once on the flight, don’t neglect the lips and nails, I advise using a good cuticle oil and an oil rich lip balm to keep them from getting chapped and dry

* For long flights, it’s important not to forget to hydrate yourself along with the skin, drink water and intake lot of fluids

* Use a good serum before going to sleep, I recommend choosing a good serum that is clinically proven to boost skin’s cellular energy and reduce spots, tighten pores and even brighten skin quality.

* The right ingredients make a huge difference, the DermPerfect complex for example, contains two powerful bio-actives (Vitamin B3 and Hexyl Resorcinol) that are known to work on these skincare needs

* Before stepping out, instead of heavy makeup and foundations, I recommend using a multipurpose product like a good BB cream that almost acts like a one-step solution that gives coverage, protects skin from sun and is clinically proven to reduce spots and tighten pores and boost radiance in the skin.

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Once a poetic experience, sex has now become an unfulfilling encounter: Writer Seema Anand

The Arts of Seduction” (Aleph/188 pages/ Rs 499), the publisher says, will forever change the way one thinks about love and lovemaking.

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Seema Anand

She is an acknowledged authority on the Kama Sutra, and her recent book, “The Arts of Seduction”, is billed as a guide to having great sex in the 21st century. London-based mythologist and narrative practitioner Kamadevika Seema Anand laments that people are not having “great sex” these days, and that it has been reduced to an “act of instant gratification”.

Once a poetic experience“For the most part, sex is now a brief, tiresome, unfulfilling encounter, something that ‘needs to be done’. For the ancient Indians sex was a poetic experience centred on the nuances of seduction and the subtlety of exploration whereas our idea of ‘great sex’ focuses on the tiniest (and possibly the most irrelevant) part of it — the act of penetration. The ‘Kama Sutra’ holds that there is only so much one can do with the genitals. The real excitement comes from what happens before and after, from what the mind can conjure up,” Anand told IANS in an email interview.

To explain better, she asks her readers to imagine a feast of their favourite foods laid out in front of them.

“You pick up each thing separately, you savour it, you roll it around your mouth till its flavour fills your brain. Then, and only then do you move on to the next thing so that at the end of it even the memory of each taste will have the capacity to bring a smile to your face.

“Similarly, we are like a banquet of erogenous zones with an incredible capacity for pleasure, where each spot has its own sensations and its own manner of arousal — imagine the potential,” she said.

Pleasure, she said, is the bringing of each little nerve ending tingling to life — one tiny nerve at a time.

“It needs the indulgence of time and fantasy — you need to be physically, mentally and emotionally present with your lover. When was the last time you can say you did that,” she asked.

Anand reminded that “Kama Sutra” author Vatsyayan’s solution for exploring pleasure was to create variety — variety in everything.

“The only way to keep it fresh is to constantly change what we do. However, that is a challenge in itself — in our heads we can fantasise to the end of the universe and back but in terms of ‘doing’ we never vary things. So if it is the kiss then let there be 500 different types kisses to choose from, depending on the occasion — kisses that only use the lips, those that use the lips and the tongue, yet others that use the lips, the tongue and the teeth…” she quipped.

Anand said that if there was ever a time to bring back the “Kama Sutra” and its ideas, it was now.

The book, she said, began with an exploration of the incredible literary and cultural heritage which is all but lost to us. “I wanted to unravel those metaphors, to dig up the ancient myths and stories, to unsilence the narratives that made sex such a poetic experience for Ancient India. I wanted to put the seduction back into sex and reclaim the refinement and joyousness of sexual pleasure for the human race,” she said on what propelled her to write the offering.

The Arts of Seduction” (Aleph/188 pages/ Rs 499), the publisher says, will forever change the way one thinks about love and lovemaking.

The book charts several techniques and refinements that can elevate sex to “an altogether different level” — featuring innovative codes for loves messages, the effects of applying perfume to different parts of body, the many different types of kissing, and, among others, where and how to massage your lover’s feet.

(Saket Suman can be contacted at [email protected] )

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An orange a day may keep age-related vision loss away

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Orange

Sydney, July 13: Eat oranges on daily basis, if want to prevent losing your vision as you age and keep your eyes healthy, according to a study led by an Indian origin researcher.

Macular degeneration is a condition associated with old age that causes vision loss at the centre of the field of vision.

The results revealed that people who ate at least one serving of oranges daily had more than 60 percent reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.

However, the effect may be due to the presence of flavonoids in oranges.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants present in almost all fruits and vegetables, and they have key anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system.

“Essentially we found that people who eat at least one serve of orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges,” said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney.

“Even eating an orange once a week seems to offer significant benefits,” It added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the team conducted an interview of nearly 2,000 people aged over 50 and followed them over a period of 15 years.

Gopinath explained that previously most of the researches had focused on the impacts of basic nutrients including Vitamins C, E and A on the eyes.

The research team also looked at other flavonoid-containing foods such as tea, apple, red wine. But in the end, they did not find any relation between other sources and protection of eyes against the disease.

Age is usually considered as the strongest known risk factor and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.

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