Securing your netbook from theft

Netbooks are terrific for computing on the go. Yet their very compactness makes them easy to lose or to forget — not to mention being a target for thieves.

The material loss is bad enough — the threat of someone getting access to your data can be catastrophic. The two obvious countermeasures include a mechanical lock or one of the various electronic solutions on the market.

There are three primary methods to protect the data on a netbook in the event of theft: encryption, BIOS and Windows passwords, or special anti-theft software.

Passwords alone aren’t necessarily secure, explains Christian Woelbert from German computer magazine c’t: “Thieves can circumvent Windows passwords by reinstalling the operating system, for example, or using a live CD.” BIOS passwords are also relatively easy to reset. If the thief removes the hard drive from the unit, it’s also possible to access the data.

Anti-theft software is also only a limited solution, Woelbert says. It works only if the thief goes online with the device. Then the rightful owner has the chance to lock or delete the hard drive remotely. If the thief avoids the web with the device altogether, then there’s nothing the owner can do.

“Encryption is the only true waterproof method,” Woelbert says.

Encryption doesn’t have to be an expensive option, either, he notes.

One major player in this area, TrueCrypt, is free.

For private users there is an entire series of encryption solutions, says Sascha Pfeiffer from the IT and data security company Sophos. The palette ranges from file packers with simple password protection for individual files or directories to commercial encryption products and on to free open source solutions.

“While the latter do offer reliable protection, they are primarily suited for technically savvy users,” Woelbert says.

In principle the entire hard drive should always be encrypted, not just individual folders or files, Woelbert adds. Otherwise thieves might be able to find copies of key files in unexpected locations, such as the temporary files folder. Another key factor is the password. The security is only as good as the password protecting it.

It should be as long and complicated as possible.

Mechanical locks are a good way to prevent amateur thieves from preying on a netbook. One best selling model is the Kensington Lock from Kensington Technology, for example.

The security mechanism features two components: the security slot located on almost all netbooks and notebooks and the cable/lock combination, explains Stephen Hoare from Kensington. The device is only secured once the owner stretches the cable around a fixed object, inserts the piece into the slot and turns the key.

“The casing on the netbooks should also be reinforced with a metal insert on the inside of the wall,” Hoare recommends. Otherwise the cable can be ripped out relatively easily. For this reason mechanical protections can only serve as an initial protection against theft.

Ultimately the safest method is to encrypt the entire hard drive of the netbook and secure it with a sufficiently complicated and long password.

Stay fit, not thin…

Fitness and nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar talks about her weight loss methods, her bestselling book and, of course, Kareena Kapoor and size zero. An exclusive interview.

She is the brain and inspiration behind Kareena Kapoor’s size-zero figure, the svelte frames of Preity Zinta and Konkona Sen-Sharma and the fit physiques of actor Saif Ali Khan and corporate honcho Anil Ambani. Not just that, sports science and nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar is also credited for magically transforming hundreds of others’ lives by teaching them how to lose weight without losing their minds! In an exclusive chat, Rujuta opens up about her magic mantras of eating, “not less but right”, even as she talks about her bestselling book Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight completing a very successful one year.

To begin with, tell us about your journey before you came into the limelight as the person behind Kareena’s enviable frame.

After my post-graduation in Sports Science and Nutrition from SNDT College, Mumbai, I started counselling people about nutrition and lifestyle. This was in 1999 when celebs were the only ones aware of the benefits of eating right. I began with actor Farah and director David Dhawan’s wife Laali. After that, there was no looking back. Today, I have hundreds of clients ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, and celebrities like Anil Ambani, Saif Ali Khan, Konkona Sen-Sharma, Preity Zinta and, of course, Kareena Kapoor (Bebo).

You are among the pioneers of advocating eating all you want and yet staying fit! Doesn’t this seem contradictory?

I advocate a common-sense approach to eating. First, never forget that our bodies need all nutrients; be it vitamins, protein, minerals and, yes, carbohydrates and fats! Depriving the body of any of these will create major physiological imbalances. On the flip side, stuffing yourself with any kind of food will also lead to imbalances: drastic increase in weight, increase in cholesterol levels, sugar levels, indigestion… The secret lies in eating not less, not more, but just right! So I say you can stay fit, despite having samosas and gulab jamuns; as long as you have them in moderation and at correct times. I advocate staying fit, not thin.

What is your take on diets and people resorting to extreme dieting?

A diet is a lifelong commitment to maintaining balanced eating habits. What we see are abused versions of the word, which obviously lead to disastrous results! I always maintain that choosing a diet is like choosing one’s life-partner! What works for you may not work for me! By opting for fads like liquid diet, low carb diet and others, you harm the body by depriving it of essential nutrients. You may lose weight, but at what cost? An ideal diet is one that is tailor-made for you. If you follow such a diet plan with commitment and without succumbing to contradictory fads, nothing can stop you from staying your fittest best always!

Tell us a bit about your Mitahar nutrition plan.

My Mitahar nutrition plan essentially advocates ‘eating food that makes you feel sweet (mita+ aahar) i.e. good about oneself’. The concept behind this is to evolve an eating pattern that fits into your work schedule and lifestyle so that there is no question of going “on” or “off” the diet.

Does one need to supplement a correct diet with correct exercise to gain optimum results?

Definitely! Both go hand in hand. Again, there is no ‘perfect’ exercise for everybody at large. Opt for whatever works best for you; be it cardio, yoga, kickboxing or Pilates. As long as your body is happy with what you’re doing to it and not rebelling. At our URJA gym, which works on the concept of ‘Use It or Lose It’, we focus on imparting the right training to each individual by offering tailor-made fitness advice and plans depending on a person’s current fitness levels, body composition, specific conditions and fitness goals.

You also provide Marathon training sessions. Now, that’s a novel concept…

The idea generated after I trained Anil Ambani for the 2005 Mumbai marathon. I realised that there are many enthusiastic marathon-aspirants who could do with professional training to build up fitness levels. My sports science background and a training stint in New York enabled me draw up a technically superior running programme, which is run in two stages: a year-long programme and the 14-week training programme just before the Marathon. It includes easy runs, long runs, breathing and relaxation techniques, suryanamaskars and so on.

I also believe that fitness can and should be practised beyond the four walls of a gymnasium. Trekking in the Himalayas has been an integral part of my life from childhood. I’m also actively involved with Gaurav Punj’s venture, “Connect with Himalaya”, which takes out interesting treks to these mountains.

Your book, Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, has had a superb innings since its release last year.

I’m thrilled about Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight becoming the national No.1 bestseller and selling over 1,00,000 copies! The translated Marathi version too has been doing well. To put in a nutshell, the book is about what ‘ diet’ is and should be all about, the four principles of eating right, a relearn and rethink about eating, inculcating awareness and fundamental steps to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

No conversation with you can be complete without asking about Kareena’s transformation.

Bebo came to me in 2007 after she was dubbed ‘overweight’ in the Yeh Mera Dil number from “Don”. The first thing she told me was, “Rujuta, I’m a hardcore Kapoor who loves to eat! Don’t expect me to give up my pizzas and pastas! Tell me if you can help me on that condition!” Much to her relief, I told her she would not be put on ‘a lettuce a day’ sort of diet. She is a very dedicated person. Even in the most gruelling schedules, she takes a quick break every two hours to chomp on some peanuts. While travelling, she religiously follows the food-chart I give her that allows her to sample all the local cuisine while retaining her fitness. A lot of noise was made about her ‘size zero’ figure; but she was not toothpick thin and unhealthy or weak! That enviable figure is a combination of a correct diet of home-made food, no pre-cooked foods, fresh local cuisine (when shooting outdoors) and doing 100 suryanamaskars daily! Behind Kareena’s transformation lies discipline, dedication and a completely holistic diet plan.

Lastly, tell us about your future plan.

For starters, I’ve just launched the ‘Fettle Club’, an initiative to keep my clients focussed and informed about their food, lifestyle and fitness. I’m also working on a new book for women and the diet they should follow in the various stages of their life; teenage, pregnancy, motherhood, hormonal upheavals, a busy lifestyle…

Rujuta’s mantras

Start your day by eating and not by drinking tea/ coffee. Fruits, nuts, milk or hot homemade breakfasts are great options.

Never leave home without carrying at least one dabba of a nutritious meal.

Grabbing lunch is an offence. Eat at leisure; it keeps you smart at work.

Exercise is something that you owe your body. Cull out time to work out at least three hours a week.

Restful sleep is non-negotiable and an integral part of staying fit.

Take a break from work, home and your “responsibilities”. Go trekking in the Himalayas. Check out my trips on http://www.connectwithhimalaya.com

Remember to eat when you are busy; it’s the smartest thing you could ever do.

Throw off those weighing scales; focus on feeling and looking better, not on losing kilos.

To know more visit, http://www.rujutadiwekar.com

Kareena Kapoor

“I met Rujuta Diwekar in 2007 when my friend Shaira introduced me to her. The first thing I told her was that I would NOT give up my pizzas, pastas and Christmas puddings for anything; glossies who termed me overweight, be damned! To my utter relief, she said I could have all that and still become healthily lean. I learnt some very imperative things about healthy eating from Rujuta: Eat something every two hours; or eat fresh food as far as possible. She made me chuck out all my pre-processed soups, soy chaklis, nachni crackers the first time she came home! They were my survival mechanisms but she made me see the logic behind eating freshly cooked food as opposed to the pre-packaged one. Rujuta has not just changed my physique; but has also changed my mind and soul. She is the best thing to have happened to me!”

Four basic principles

Never wake up to tea or coffee. First eat something that’ll help increase blood sugar levels that are always low in the morning, and then have your cuppa.

Eat every two hours; it actually creates a conducive environment in the body to burn fat!

Eat more when you’re active (working, travelling) and less when you’re inactive.

Try to wind up your last meal at least two hours before bedtime so that the body gets ample time to repair wear and tear and rejuvenate while you sleep.

Worst Actor Award for Harman

Harman Baweja was named worst actor for his performance in the dud What’s Your Raashee? and Kareena Kapoor got the worst actress title for her role in Kambakkht Ishq at the second annual Golden Kela awards, a spin-off on Hollywood’s Razzies in Delhi.

Funnyman Cyrus Broacha was the chief guest and he was awarded the Cyrus Broacha Memorial Award. “It’s great. I’m thrilled. I hope to win this award every year,” Cyrus said cheekily.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar won the ‘Bas Kijiye Bahut Ho Gaya’ (Please stop its enough) award, asking him to stop making films. Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards won the ‘Baawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke’ (Have you gone nuts?) award for participating in the expensive flop Kambakkht Ishq. The worst supporting actor (male and female) went to Ranvir Shorey and Deepika Padukone, respectively for their roles in Chandni Chowk To China. While the worst film went to Kambakkht Ishq, Ashutosh Gowariker was declared the worst director for What’s Your Raashee?.

Rahul Ram, the vocalist of the band Indian Ocean, performed a humourous take on the songs Nani Teri Morni and Raat Ke Musafir. Jackky Bhagnani and Shruti Haasan were declared worst newcomer actors for their roles in Kal Kissne Dekha and Luck, respectively. Rani Mukerji-starrer Dil Bole Hadippa! was given the Most Original Story award for being copied from Hollywood’s She’s The Man, while her pairing with Shahid Kapoor in the same was named the Worst Pair.

IPL cricket: Why is Sachin Tendulkar so harshly judged as captain of Mumbai Indians?

The most revered cricketer in the world is Sachin Tendulkar and if anybody tells you differently, he (or she) should be lowered head first from the top of the Eiffel Tower, have his (or her) ears tweaked, nose tickled with a feather and  knuckles rapped with a sledgehammer.

Usually, there is more tortuous punishment for heresy, but since India was born out of non-violence (never mind Harbhajan Singh planting his palm smack on Sreesanth’s chubby cheek in the first edition of the IPL), the offender could be let off after that and fed a purgative to cleanse his system of such outrageous thoughts.

In India, of course, Tendulkar is not only revered but deified. He is master, lord, master-blaster, god, little master… you can choose the most euphemistic description without fear of reproach or dissent. Everything fits right. Yet, there remains one area where his stupendous record falls short: when it comes to captaincy, god becomes all too mortal and questions are occasionally asked, even if in furtive tones.

It is borne out by Wisden, and from anecdotes real and apocryphal, about how some of the game’s greatest players were somehow never brilliant captains. Hammond, Sobers, Richards, Lara, Botham are a few names that come readily to mind: their captaincy record pales in comparison to their other feats. Is it because they expect every player to perform to the same high degree that comes so easily to them, and are therefore impatient of lesser mortals?

But while I agree that Tendulkar’s record as Test captain falls short of the extraordinary standards he has set otherwise, I think this assessment is also a tad unfair because he is also judged by a different yardstick from other players. For instance, in Saturday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, Shane Warne, considered the Wizard of Oz in matters of tactics and man-management, conceded 212 runs to Mumbai and even lost the match, but came out unscathed as captain; Tendulkar, having won the game, however narrowly, had darts of doubt thrown at him.

Life’s not fair, even for the world’s best, best-known, most loved, richest cricketer. I doubt any captain on Saturday could have done much to thwart Yusuf Pathan’s onslaught at the magnificent Cricket Club of India. When a batsman scores 100 runs off just 37 deliveries, a captain can at best wring his hands in despair and pray.  Tendulkar did more: he ran to his bowlers to guide them, cajoled his fielders to put in more effort — did so much work in fact that he ended up being fined for slowing down the over-rate.

None of this could faze Pathan however. With four wickets down for very little, and chasing a daunting 213, Rajasthan looked down for the count till the tall and strong Pathan opened his powerful, imposing shoulders and started hitting the ball with such frequency and such long distances that it seemed the parameters of a cricket field needed serious and rapid revision.

In the end, Mumbai won by a whisker, a mere four runs, but Pathan it was who won the awe and admiration of everybody, including the mighty Tendulkar. He has come nowhere near a Test match and last year lost his place in the one-day side. His batsmanship still appears one-dimensional. Make that two: slam-bang. But in the Twenty20 firmament, Pathan is the game’s fastest rising superstar.

In 2008, when the IPL began, he came cheap; at a little more than $100,000. Come next year, when all players will be up for sale again, the buzz already is that he will be a Multi-Million Dollar Baby. Want to know more why the IPL holds so much fascination for almost every cricketer in the world?

Aircel Peek – A device to read your emails

With the evolution of technology, gadgets too gradually undergo a change. The development continues till the time a gadget stabilizes and proves its utility. In a huge gamble Aircel has launched a new device, Peek, that can only read emails. There is no precedence of this kind of a device thus far.

The Peek targets the segment of people who need to keep in touch with their emails constantly while on the move. It is similar to Blackberry devices and has a QWERTY key board. Aircel has claimed that it is the thinnest device ever created. The device is priced at Rs 2,999. The charges are Rs 300 per month for checking your email. The device is available in two colors, black and red. You can configure three email accounts on the device.

However the biggest question is will such a device be a hit with the users. The only thing that it can be used is emails. When compared to this smartphones have more than a dozen additional functions. Even operating cost wise smartphones may prove better since the cost of GPRS access itself is Rs 300 per month or lesser. So it is very much possible that this device does not take of at all.

Aircel may have taken a big gamble by launching the Aircel Peek.

SRK: I think Aamir & I are friends

Shah Rukh Khan’s performance in My Name Is Khan has brought him to a new level of self-realisation as an actor. Speaking candidly on the year-long sabbatical in 2006, Shah Rukh says he has been able to sharpen his skills as an actor while recovering from his back and shoulder injury and surgery.

He says, “On February 16, it was a full year since my back surgery. It has been a year of torture, because my movement was confined and I hate to be restricted. But, I got to spend a lot of time with my children. I also read several books on acting. I connected to emotions within myself. It’s been 18-20 years that I’ve been acting and am starting to discover aspects of myself as an actor, that I didn’t know existed.”

In spite of the obvious preparedness, Shah Rukh has no intention of directing a film. “Not for a long, long time. I think it would be a while before the actor in me is satiated. People say I’m in character in MNIK, and that earlier I was only doing fluff. Being the court jester or the clown isn’t easy. It’s not easy making people smile.”

Shah Rukh sees his stardom as a monkey on his (injured) shoulder. “The luxury of failure is denied to you when people expect you to be successful constantly. When I hear someone like Mr Rakesh Roshan, whom I respect, tell me that people are applauding at the end of MNIK, I feel good. Somewhere, the film has connected emotionally with people.”

The star says he isn’t bothered with box-office figures and finds the comparisons of MNIK with Raj Kumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, or any other film, absurd. “In our country, we always belittle what we have by saying something else is better. Better is the undoing of good. Have they ever compared Latabai (Mangeshkar) with Mohd Rafi saab or Kishore Kumar saab? Have you heard American critics comparing Brad Pitt to Tom Cruise?”

Comparison brings us to Aamir Khan constantly taking potshots at him. Says Shah Rukh, “We’re friends. At least, I’d like to think we are. We both have a sense of humour. At least, I do. I’d like to think all our exchanges are in good humour. Quite honestly, I’ve no desire to look at what he or anyone else is doing. I never look at my own box-office figures. Why would I look at others’ collections?”

The shoulder injury got aggravated while he was doing the guest appearance in Dulha Mil Gaya. Shah Rukh has decided to do no more guest appearances. “I don’t regret doing this one for producer Vivek Vaswani. I can’t forget his generosity when I came to Mumbai.”

However, Shah Rukh, who has done guest appearances, cameos and voiceovers in innumerable films, says he is done with guest appearances. “I’d do these things for any friend. ”

Ra.1, he says, is for his children. “And for children everywhere. I want to play superhero, yaar. I want my kids to be proud of me.”

So, is he looking at a whole shelf of awards for MNIK next year? “Why clear a shelf in my house? I’ll buy a new house for the awards to come,” he retorts. At the moment, he has just begun to enjoy all the praise for MNIK. “After the film’s release, when I was in Dubai performing on stage, I could feel the vibes from the audience were warmer than usual. It was meant to be for an hour, but I remained on stage double that time.”

Youtube can get you arrested

Lima (IANS/EFE) A Peruvian police officer who posted a video on YouTube to complain about corruption and irregularities on the force has been arrested, a media report said.

Sgt. Rogelio Escalante, 49, was charged with conspiracy and insubordination, El Comercio newspaper said Wednesday.

The video, which was posted on the Internet last month, shows Escalante in uniform demanding a pay raise for police and denouncing the ‘gag rule’ imposed on the force by former Interior Minister Mercedes Cabanillas, an influential figure in Peru’s ruling APRA party.

Escalante also urged fellow officers to join in a strike announced for April 5.

He voluntarily gave a statement to the police Inspector General Office after posting the video, but a judge subsequently ordered Escalante’s arrest.

Escalante is being held in a lockup at the police academy in Lima, along with Sgt. Edward Casas, who was detained last month for advocating a strike.

Following the two officers’s protests, President Alan Garcia’s government decided to pay a one-time bonus of 1,000 soles ($300) to members of the Peruvian police and armed forces.

Congress ratified the payments after a long, heated debate