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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

Lifestyle

Winter skin care tips for men

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When it comes to grooming regime, men nowadays, have become equally conscious and cognisant of their skin. Keeping this in mind, however, it is essential to take steps wisely.

Karan Gupta, Director and Men’s Grooming Expert of Qraa Men, and Dilip Kundlia, Director and Skin Care Expert at Oshea Herbals, have shared tips for men to look prim and proper in winter.

* Never step out of your house before applying sunscreen on your skin. Sunscreen is an essential product and something most men often tend to ignore and neglect. Therefore, men must incorporate sunscreens that have high moisture content in them to have dual benefits on their skin.

* Men are usually very protective and insecure about their beard and take exceptional care of it. The beard of a man enhances his mystique thereby making him look more attractive and charismatic. Beard vitalizers, beard conditioning spa and beard oils shall be their saviour this winter.

* It is time to get into some serious skin care business and indulge in some charcoal face washes, scrubs and face packs. The presence of activated charcoal sucks out the impurities and detoxifies the skin while soothing it.

* For your skin to be smooth and supple throughout the winters, go in for handmade cleansing bars which are rich in shea butter, neem extracts, blackberry extracts, charcoal and papaya. These handmade bars reinstate the natural moisture content in the skin.

* For healthy skin, it is important to give up on all the bad habits like drinking and smoking. Such habits have a direct impression and control over looks of a person. Instead, start drinking more water to stay hydrated.

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Fashion

Knits to buy this winter season

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As winter is around the corner, it’s the time to opt for knits that can make you both warm and glamorous. 

Suvarna Kale, Head of Design at Blackberrys menswear and Sandeep Khapra, Head of Design – Menswear at Max Fashion, have shared tips for men who don’t want to compromise on style in winter.

* Solid knits: Pick a solid colour knitted pullover to wear under the blazer or over a shirt. They are lightweight and warm. The colour options are there to fulfil man of every taste.

Amplify your winter look with a solid coloured knitted quirky sweater. Experiment with different hemlines to bring out the fashionista in you. Solid knitwear is something that brings forth a sense of tradition with our current infatuation with all things knitwear. Wear them with track pants and loafers for a full-on lazy-Saturday look or pair it one with more sophisticated items to balance things out. Stick to plain colours and let your style make the statement.

* Knits: For the days it is super chilly, chunky knits are all that one needs. These are worn straight like jumpers or over a shirt for a formal look. You may want to choose these with patterns to add the fashion statement.

Pump up your winters with knit options which are perfectly fit for those chilly mornings. This is a perfect solution for the generation that is uniquely wanderer and breaks the monotony. One of many great things about a decent piece of knitwear is how transitional it is between styles and occasions. For example, a casual look may consist of jeans and a pair of Converse, but a formal look could allow you a look consisting of tailored trousers and smart shoes.

* Patterned knits: For the formal, for casual and for everything else, patterns are for everyone. The trick here is to keep the shirt and the bottoms on the mellow side, as the knit will draw the statement out.

With checks being one of the big trends this season, delve into an Indian take to the story with a collection of jackets, capes, dresses with a play on hemlines and silhouettes. When it comes to shopping for basics, one item that frequently pops up on many wish lists is a good patterned knitted sweater. In recent years, it’s become the must-have piece for every fashionista.

* Layer it up with sleeveless knits: Checks, floral, linear, blocks or every other pattern can be seen on these versatile knits. Wear it over a shirt, carry them along with a blazer. The multiple contrasting layers lend a magical appeal to your winter outfit.

This is a perfect solution for the generation that is uniquely rebellious and breaks the monotony. They are the perfect amount of warm and fashionable, if you dress them up with ripped jeans and ankle boots.

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Lifestyle

Ramayana, Mahabharata have identical themes and history, says Devdutt Pattanaik

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New Delhi, Nov 16: Popular belief has it that the Ramayana is idealistic while the Mahabharata is realistic but these two epics have “identical building blocks, themes, and history,” says writer-mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, whose new book “Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison” is all set for release later this month.

In the book, New Delhi-based Rupa Publications informed IANS, Pattanaik, one of India’s most popular mythologists, explores the similarities and dissimilarities between the two epics in a “playful analaysis”. The book will also be accompanied by his signature illustrations.

Pattanaik, who has penned over three dozen books on subjects related to ancient Indian scriptures and mythology, contends in the book that whether it is the family structure, forest exile, or war, the comparison between the two epics proves a startling point — that “the Mahabharata is, in fact, a reaction to the events in the Ramayana”.

The publisher added that the ideas in this book are distributed over 56 chapters.

“In temple rituals, Vishnu is offered 8 different meals daily, different on all seven days of the week – 56 dishes in all. May each chapter serve as a mouthwatering offering to the Vishnu within you,” Rupa informed IANS in a statement.

 

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