Archive for June, 2012

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Bears need to extend Urlacher’s contract


2012
06.30

You cant get attached to players in professional sports. Thats any good GMs motto. You pay for future performance and not because there a fan favorite. In this case though, the Chicago Bears need to  make sure Brian Urlacher remains a Chicago Bear after this season.

Urlacher has one year on his deal remaining. He commented a few weeks ago that he will look forward to experiencing free agency next season if the Bears do not get a deal done prior. Urlacher is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered in last years finale. He will be ready for the start of the season by all accounts. Brian Urlacher is the face of what the Chicago Bears are. He needs to get a extension this off season so that he retires a Bear. The Bears dont need another messy contract negotiation like the one they currently have with Matt Forte. A long term deal getting done with Forte seems like a long shot now. The Bears have bigger priorities in Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher who both will need extension in the next year or two. The Bears have no apparent heir to the middle linebacker position. Even though the linebacker will be 35 next season, he still is performing at a high level.  He has been named to 7 Pro Bowls which is the most in Bears history for a player. In 2011, Urlacher had 92 total tackles and 77 were solo. He had 3 interceptions on the season as well.

Urlachers numbers obviously will slowly start to decline. The production level wont be at its peak, but he should still provide solid production at his position. From a PR standpoint, a extension  keeps the face of the franchise intact. Fans will be thrilled and the locker room of players will be pleased to see how the veteran was treated. When negotiating contracts future production equals the dollar amount. This may be a time though were you pay for the player and not the future numbers. Urlacher remaining with the Bears should be a priority. If they can get a deal done before the opening of camp in Bourbonnais it would great. Its time GM Phil Emery sits down with Brians agent and get this issue resolved.

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Your Head or Your Gut: How to Know Which to Trust and When


2012
06.30

The Solution: Youre destined to make bad decisions if you always trust your gut, so you need to learn when to listen and when to ignore it. There are two ways to do this, and both involve developing the habit of asking the right questionsboth to yourself and others.

The way my guy tries to lead me astray most oftenand Id guess this is the case with most peopleis when it comes to buying things and eating poorly. When a shiny new gadget or chocolate cupcake is right in front of your face, its hard to trust anything but the sudden desire provided by your gut feeling. This happens because youre defaulting to a bad question: Do I want this thing? Of course you do. The trick to getting around these impulses is reframing the question by asking yourself if you want what youre going to lose. When presented with the prospect of a new smartphone, dont ask yourself if you want it. Instead, pretend a stranger is offering you $200 and the freedom to choose any cellular carrier. In the case of food, pretend that same stranger will give you health and even fat loss. When you reframe the question by focusing on what youre going to lose, youre able to have a gut reaction to that loss as well. Youll generally have the answer you want by going with the strongest feeling.

Your gut doesnt stop there. Its capable of screwing you over by causing you to believe youre right when pretty much everyone else can see that youre wrong. This is due to a phenomenon called illusory superiority, which a fancy term to describe how you think youre a lot better than you actually are. Because we all think were pretty great, and that cant be true 100% of the time, its better to just assume youre below average. (Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, found this worked great for him.) Doing so will cause you to ask more questions, question yourself when you need to, and listen better to others. This way you can avoid the negative effects of illusory superiority and the problems your gut can cause when it leads you to believe youre right at the wrong time.

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Where did Flashback start? Blame the blogosphere


2012
06.30

The Flashback outbreak has been one of the largest to hit the
Mac platform to date, and while some estimates claim the number of Flashback-infected OS X systems has been swiftly dropping since its peak of 600,000 systems on around April 9, others suggest this may not be the case and the infection rate remains relatively high.

This development along with several other recent malware scams in the past few years has been a wake-up call for Mac users to mind their security; however, the security of the Mac platform and even others extends beyond the computer itself.

When this malware was first announced it became apparent that the problem largely rested on Apples avoidance of attending to Java updates. By not pushing the latest Java updates to OS X users, Apple left a large window of opportunity open for known vulnerabilities in the software on OS X systems to be exploited.

As a result of this, much of the blame for this attack falls on Apples shoulders, but even with blame directed to Apple, we cannot overlook how the attack was spread in the first place. Contemporary malware attacks have been known to spread through underground Web sites, illegal file-sharing services, warez distribution, and other behaviors for which the end-user is responsible; however, recent malware attacks have happened outside of these means.

Analysis of the Flashback infection by Kaspersky labs suggests that the malware started in compromised WordPress blogs, so instead of illicit or underground activity resulting in attacks, people have been infected by visiting legitimate Web sites without even realizing these sites had been made part of a malware distribution network.

Kaspersky found that between September 2011 and February 2012, the criminals behind the Flashback malware worked in tandem with a cyber crime hosting program that supplied the malware. The hosts in this program were then accessed by injecting redirect scripts into personal Web blogs that were running vulnerable versions of the WordPress software. The specific vulnerabilities that were exploited for this are unknown, but may have been in the main WordPress package itself or in one of the numerous add-ons for the software, such as the ToolsPack plug-in.

With the compromised blog sites active, users visiting them would be redirected to the cyber crime network that would host variants of the malware. As a result, the criminals only had to update the malware versions on the cyber crime network in order to spread new variants of the attack.

Over the months between September 2011 and February 2012, the criminals used these means to evolve the attack from being downloadable Flash updates to those that exploited Java vulnerabilities and installed without user intervention. Therefore, people visiting their favorite blogs might have suddenly found their browser offering a new Flash Player update, or perhaps quickly showing a blank window that they didnt expect, but which had run the Java-based variant of the malware.

Often those who were infected with early variants would revisit the compromised blogs and be subsequently reinfected with more-advanced variants as the crime network evolved its software. This was evident by later variants of the malware checking for and removing the components of early versions before installing on the system.

By February 2012, estimates of the affected Web sites have been at between 30,000 and 100,000, with approximately 85 percent being located in the United States.

This development shows that while the end-users system is the ultimate barrier to malware attacks, the responsibility also falls to those who are running their own personal blogs and other software on hosting services that may be hijacked and used to spread malware.

While the WordPress organization offers hosted services that are kept up-to-date with the latest WordPress releases, only about half of the roughly 73 million WordPress blogs worldwide are hosted and managed by WordPress. The others are managed on secondary hosting services using the free WordPress software, and which require maintenance and update management by the administrators of these hosts.

Unfortunately as with the lag in Java being updated on Apples systems, if an administrator of one of these sites omits an update, then the site may be left vulnerable to security holes, and potentially taken advantage of by hackers who can use it to spread malware to PC systems that visit the site.

Therefore, while the Flashback malware was ultimately enabled by the poor maintenance and support of Java in OS X, its spread was enabled by numerous well-meaning sites whose administrators have been oblivious to the changes made that have been helping distribute the malware.

To help stem the use of personal sites to spread malware, if you have your own Web blog for which you manage the blog software, be sure you keep your software up-to-date and configured with proper security settings to prevent exploitation of it and the users who visit it. You can also regularly use a test computer or virtual machine with various installations of OS X and Windows to view your site and ensure it behaves as it should without redirecting users to different sites or performing other unwanted behavior.

If you suspect your blog has been compromised, then be sure to contact your blogs support resources to see what can be done. Often as is instructed in WordPress security FAQ, the easiest way to remove hacks is to reinstall the blog software on your server, which should remove injected code from the files that the blog uses, but the specifics of what should be done will depend on what aspects of your site have been compromised.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or !
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.

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Study Shows Treasures Bought for Pleasure More Than Profit


2012
06.29

In a year of record-breaking auctions, it seems clear that the affluent are becoming more interested in putting their money into tangible, and often showy, assets.

The worlds multimillionaires are devoting an average of 9.6 percent of their fortunes to non-financial assets like art, jewelry and cars, according to a new survey by BarclaysWealth. This buying trend is especially true of millionaires in their 30s.

While the upside of investing in treasure is that you get to enjoy your assets as well as potential large returns, the downside is that often these items require special storage, taxes and insurance which can be costlyand the market can be volatile.

When it comes time to sell, people tend to have grown attached to their objects, even those purchased solely for investment purposes.

Studies show that more often than not, the motivations behind buying things like art objects and jewelry are for pleasure as opposed to profit. The survey found only 18 percent of treasure is admittedly owned purely as aninvestment.

In the United States, 34 percent of high net worth individuals surveyed own treasure, and 82% of those say they own it for pleasure.

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Smoking Tied to Back Pain, Arthritis


2012
06.28
  • Two new studies have implicated smoking in the development of psoriatic arthritis and inflammatory back pain.
  • Note that taken together, the study results illustrate that the interactions between environmental factors and the onset, course, and outcomes of rheumatic diseases are growing increasingly complex.
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Column: Durant is the anti-superstar superstar


2012
06.28

Lets get one thing clear right from the start: This is not another rant against LeBron James.

But its sure hard not to root for Kevin Durant and the little city that could from Americas heartland.

James is the best player in the world, hands down, and certainly deserving of his first championship. Rest assured, Commissioner David Stern and the bigwigs over at ABC are sure glad LBJ is back in the NBA finals after the television ratings bonanza he was largely responsible for during Miamis riveting Eastern Conference victory over Boston.

That said, the Oklahoma City Thunder and their gracious star have shown another side to a league where the big names often come across as petty, selfish and overflowing with hubris.

Theres the glasses and backpack Durant wears off the court, which make him look more like a Star Wars nerd than perhaps the second-best player on the planet. Theres the heart-tugging hugs he doled out to his mom and family after beating San Antonio for a spot in the finals, the humility he shows when talking about his stupendous game, the sense that he truly embraces playing in one of the leagues backwater cities.

Hes the anti-superstar superstar.

Kevin gets it, said former player Steve Smith, now an analyst for NBA TV. The way he plays. The way he carries himself. The way he handles the media. What tops it off is his love and passion for the game. During the lockout, he was just continually wanting to play basketball. Thats a treat for me.

Hes kind of a throwback player, like those guys back in the `80s and `90s.

Unlike players such as James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, who either joined new teams as free agents or engineered trades by threatening to bolt, Durant seems perfectly content to stay where he is. Never mind that his marketing clout would be much greater in a city such as New York or Los Angeles.

He passed up even a shot at restricted free agency to quietly sign a new five-year deal with the Thunder, a contract that didnt even come with an opt-out clause _ normally standard operating procedure for someone of his ilk.

While there are players who speak of themselves in the third person and act as though their needs come before the teams, Durant spends most of his time talking humbly about ways to get better, sounding more like a backup than a three-time scoring champion.

He truly seems to have no interest in the trappings of fame.

Theres just something about him. Hes got charisma. Hes the humblest superstar, said Mike Breen, who will call the series for ABC. Hes a special, special player, but he seems to have that charisma people are attracted to even if they arent basketball fans.

No doubt, its easy to get a big head playing in the NBA.

By its very nature, basketball is built on star power. One player can have more impact on the game than any other sport. One player can turn a bad team into a great team, or at least a very good one. Not surprisingly, the small group of athletes who take on these roles can get a very inflated view of themselves, which might lead one of them to, say, hold an hourlong TV special to announce where theyre going to play.

But again, this is not about being anti-LeBron.

Were over The Decision, and its time for rest of the nation to do the same (except Cleveland, which is allowed to keep fuming).

This is about being pro-Durant.

Hes a superstar player whos as likable off the court as he is effective on it, said another player-turned-NBA TV analyst, Greg Anthony. That bodes well for the game.

The NBA finals, which begin Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, are certainly being viewed by many as good vs. evil, a story line that is largely rooted in James 2010 decision to leave Cleveland and his lifelong roots in northern Ohio to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on a South Beach super team. The move represented all thats wrong about the NBA: a superstar turning his back on a worshipping city, three guys gaming the system to get on the same team, a glitzy franchise trying to ensure itself of a championship simply by pulling out its checkbook.

Never mind that these sort of tactics have gone on for years in all professional sports. James certainly deserved criticism for the way he announced he was dumping the Cavaliers in favor of the Heat, and the over-the-top ceremony that welcomed the Big Three to Miami justifiably left the rest of the league seething.

But its time to get past it and recognize James for what he is: the No. 1 player in the game and certain to go down as one of the greatest of all time. His performance in the playoffs _ especially after Bosh went down with an injury _ was beyond spectacular. Anyone who doubted the heart and willpower of this guy was apparently not watching games 6 and 7 against the Celtics.

James, a three-time league MVP, stared down Beantown and took the Heat on his back, single-handedly carrying them to the finals for the second year in a row.

He is worthy of your admiration, if not your adulation.

This guy is a great player who plays very hard, very unselfishly, said former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, who will serve as ABCs analyst in the series. If the biggest mistake hes made in his life is how he announced that he was exercising his free agency decision and, then, the celebration that ensued because of it, I really dont get (why) for casual NBA fans or fans in other NBA cities, it provokes bitterness and animosity thats lasted this long.

The way he goes about his business and the way he plays the game, Van Gundy went on, are models for the way you should play the game.

But Durant is just so darn likable.

Sorry, LeBron, but its hard to root against him.

___

Paul Newberry is a national writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or http://www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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Council opens consultation on Barnet’s health


2012
06.27

Council opens consultation on Barnets health

11:10am Tuesday 12th June 2012 in News

By Emma Phippen

Barnet Council is inviting people to give their views on how the local authority can help people to live healthier and more active lives.

The council is holding The Health and Wellbeing Consultation until July 20 to gauge people’s opinions on whether their current proposals are right for residents.

The consultation is designed to allow people to express their views on a draft three year strategy called Keeping Well, Keeping Independent.

This strategy is intended to give more people of all ages the opportunity to live healthy lives and to avoid preventable illnesses.

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New health programme for Mid Sussex families


2012
06.26

THE Mid Sussex Wellbeing team is providing help and support to local families who would like to eat more healthily and take more exercise.

The Wellbeing team, in partnership with Freedom Leisure, has set up a new Junior Wellbeing programme for families with a child who is above a healthy weight. The programme is completely free and will help families to discover that small changes in lifestyles can make a big difference to their health.

The basic goals of the course are to:

* support families who are looking to eat more healthily

* Increase confidence

* increase fitness and activity levels

* support children and adults to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

The Junior Wellbeing programme is run over 10 sessions, during which, a qualified instructor will provide expert one-to-one support. The regular sessions will be tailored to individual family need and will be scheduled at a time which suits the family.

It doesn’t matter if you have very little time to exercise or to prepare healthy meals, the experts can offer advice that will fit in with your busy schedule. Fitness levels are also unimportant because the qualified instructors are able to devise a programme that works for everyone.

“Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise is something to which we should all aspire but it is particularly important for children as they grow up,” said Councillor Christopher Snowling, Cabinet Member for Health and Community. “Developing good habits in childhood can make a real difference to future health. Any parents who feel that their child could benefit from the new Junior Wellbeing programme should get in touch with the Mid Sussex Wellbeing team to find out more and book a place.”

The sessions are run from local leisure centres at the Triangle, Burgess Hill, Kings Centre, East Grinstead and the Dolphin, Haywards Heath. However, if a family cannot reach one of the three centres then sessions can be provided in any location that is considered safe and accessible by the instructor and the family.

Any local families with a school aged child or children who are above a healthy weight and are interested in taking part in the Junior Wellbeing Programme can contact the Mid Sussex Wellbeing team by calling 01444 477191 or emailing info

Referrals with parental consent may also be made by GPs, Practice Nurses, School Nurses, Health Visitors and Parent Support Teams.

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Young professional sports car racer Dion von Moltke endorses Dr …


2012
06.26

CORAL GABLES, Fla., June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Grand-Am and American Le Mans series rising star Dion von Moltke is on a quest to become a multiple champion at the highest levels of sports car racing. In addition to maintaining a grueling physical training regimen and a disciplined nutrition program, Dion recognized early on that the ‘mental game’ was perhaps the most critical component necessary for him to achieve his performance goals. His research to find the best solution to help him master this component of the success equation led him to the doorstep of internationally-respected performance specialist Dr. Jacques Dallaire of Performance Prime.

Dr. Dallaire has worked with more than 700 high-performance racing drivers, as well as many hundreds of top-level athletes and high-risk/high-demand occupational professionals from different walks of life. In the sport of motor racing, he has worked with such iconic names as Senna, Mansell, Fittipaldi, Unser, Gordon, Haywood, Bell, Castroneves, and many more.

“I knew that well-developed mental skills were critical to my performance in a race car and learned that Dr. Dallaire has worked with many of the most successful race car drivers in the world. While he doesn’t advertise his services and many of his clients never discuss it, I luckily found out about his work from another competitor in the paddock who was willing to share with me what he got from his experience working with Dr. Dallaire. I decided that I had no choice but to contact him and find out more about his performance programs,” said Dion. “I’m so glad that I did because the experience and what I learned through his program has truly been life-changing for me as well!”

Dr. Jacques Dallaire shared this observation: “Every one of us mentally sabotages ourselves on a regular basis… it seems to be a trait shared by all humans! However, when we understand how this process of self-sabotage occurs and how we can more effectively control our thoughts, performance improves. My goal has always been to shed light on these issues and provide solutions that work, and Dion has been a top student who has really learned how to incorporate this kind of mental control into his work as a professional racing driver and into his life in general. He has over time, transformed his approach to performance and is developing a level of mental toughness that high-performance people dream of.”

Young von Moltke is enthusiastic about the new book just released by Dr. Dallaire. “Dr. Jacques’ new book ‘Performance Thinking – Mental Skills for the Competitive World…and for Life!’ addresses two basic but profoundly important questions for anyone interested in performance like me: How do I mentally sabotage my own performance? and How can I control my thinking in order to optimize my own performance? I am confident that it will help people clearly understand how the way that they think directly influences how they perform and it will help them to learn what I’ve learned… how to bring laser focus to everything I do, and how confidence plays into how I perform. While I’m not really happy that my competitors now have such easy access to this information with this book, I am excited that this information is now getting out to a lot more people who can certainly benefit from it.”

Dion, who has been supported in his racing efforts for many years by PR Newswire and South African Airways, plans to continue to work with Dr. Dallaire as he advances in international sports car racing and strives to establish himself as a household name in the racing world. He has come to realize that the knowledge he has acquired from his work with Dr. Dallaire can help him to transfer this knowledge to other racers and performance-driven clients and he is incorporating the principles, concepts, and techniques that he has learned into the way he approaches his driver training sessions. His clients will be the beneficiaries of his quest for excellence and as he commits to further developing his mental skills and the mindset of a champion, he is confident that it may some day help him to win more racing championships around the world.

About Dion von Moltke: Dion von Moltke, who is managed by Team Vomo, is a professional race car driver who has multiple wins in Skip Barber, Grand-Am, and the American Le Mans series, including a recent win at the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring. Dion, also a highly popular driver instructor who focuses on all aspects of peak performance, will compete in the Grand-AM Rolex season in the APR Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, with co-driver Dr. Jim Norman. Visit
www.dionvm.com to find out more about Dion, his resume, and his 2012 racing program.

About Dr. Jacques Dallaire: Dr. Jacques Dallaire, President of Performance Prime, is an internationally-respected performance specialist who has worked with thousands of high-level athletes, race car drivers, occupational specialists, and business professionals over the past 40 years. Visit
www.performanceprime.com for more information about Dr. Dallaire and Performance Prime.

About PR NEWSWIRE (
www.prnewswire.com ): PR Newswire is the premier global provider of multimedia platforms that enable marketers, corporate communicators, sustainability officers, public affairs and investor relations officers to leverage content to engage with all their key audiences. Having pioneered the commercial news distribution industry 57 years ago, PR Newswire today provides end-to-end solutions to produce, optimize and target content — from rich media to online video to multimedia — and then distribute content and measure results across traditional, digital, mobile and social channels. Combining the world’s largest multi-channel, multi-cultural content distribution and optimization network with comprehensive workflow tools and platforms, PR Newswire enables the world’s enterprises to engage opportunity everywhere it exists. PR Newswire serves tens of thousands of clients from offices in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a UBM plc company.

About South African Airways: South African Airways features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with morning departures from New York JFK and afternoon direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service. Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180-degree fully flat-bed seats, and in Economy Class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors. Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit. SAA’s unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to nearly 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 25 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler’s “gateway to Africa.” To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways’ premier mileage program. To sign up, visit
www.flysaa.com , and link to the Voyager icon. As a Star Alliance member, South African Airways is able to offer its customers 1,290 destinations in 189 countries and more than 21,000 flights daily, including convenient connections from more than 25 cities in the U.S. through code share service with Star Alliance member United Airlines. Members of United’s, US Airways’ and Air Canada’s frequent traveler programs are able to earn and redeem miles on all SAA flights. For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit
www.flysaa.com , where travelers can sign up to be notified of other great travel deals and vacation packages. For information about South Africa, visit
www.southafrica.net .

SOURCE Team Vomo

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Diablo 3′s Real Money Auction House Requires Authenticator


2012
06.25

I dont know about you guys, but I like knowing that my money is safe and sound where I left it. That way, I can keep buying things. I like things. With that in mind, Blizzard has announced it will require the use of a Battle.net Authenticator before funds can be added to Battle.net Balance — funds which can then be spent on things in Diablo 3s Real-Money Auction House. No Authenticator, no RMAH. Sure, it means adding a step to the login for players who dont already use the Authenticator, but thats worth it for the sense of security youll feel once youve locked down your account.

If you dont have an Authenticator yet, you can pick one up for $6.50 over at the Blizzard store, which isnt a totally unreasonable price for the protection of your hard earned cash money. For those with smart phones, the Mobile Authenticator app can be downloaded free of charge. Maybe that little speed bump will stop some of us from impulse buying that new crossbow weve been eyeing.

Anyone who already has funds in their Battle.net Balance proverbial wallet can still use that money on whatever they want without using the Authenticator, but theyll have to pick up the device before they add any more. Read more about the way the Authenticator will work in the Diablo 3 forums.


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