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Are you Prepared?

This Simple Tip Can Make Your Online Passwords Nearly Impossible To Hack August 17, 2017

If you’ve been using the internet since at least the mid-2000s, you’ve probably noticed a slow and inexorable change occur on almost all websites that ask for a password. Where once you could make your password anything you want, over time websites began to demand that you add capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols.

As frustrating as it may be, it seems to make sense. These websites want you to make a password that is more sophisticated, and thus more difficult to hack. The only problem, is that much of the advice we’ve been given on password security over the past decade is just plain wrong. But don’t take my word for it. Take it from Bill Burr, the guy who first introduced the idea that our passwords should have these characters.

Bill Burr worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2003, where he wrote a guide on password security that has since become the standard by which most websites set up passwords. Now he’s telling people to forget about everything he recommended.

Nearly 15 years ago, Mr Burr wrote guidelines for password security for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. It included suggestions that passwords should be changed every three months and be made up of a range of different characters.

That document led to stipulations for computer and online accounts that require people to abide by the rules. But he said that they don’t work and people still pick terrible passwords – but now they’re just harder to remember.

“Much of what I did I now regret,” Mr Burr told the Wall Street Journal.

“It just drives people bananas and they don’t pick good passwords no matter what you do.”

The problem wasn’t that this advice was necessarily wrong. If you make a password that’s a random assortment of characters and change it every few months, it’s doubtful that anyone will guess your password. The problem is that it’s incredibly difficult for people to go through that procedure.

So they make passwords that are easy to remember, and incorporate a few numbers and symbols. As an example, a password like “bassfishing,” might be written up as “b@ssf!5h1Ng”. Then when they change their password, they only change it slightly so that again, it’s easy to remember.  Unfortunately what’s easy to remember is also very easy for hackers to guess, and since everyone uses this strategy it makes life even easier for hackers.

In other words, his original advice didn’t factor in human nature (or human laziness).

So how can we make a better password? According to Burr, “It’s probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters,”

As for why that’s a better way to set up a password, ever since Burr came out with his apology and revised recommendations, there’s been a comic strip floating around the internet that perfectly explains why simple long phrases make better passwords. It shows how Burr’s original advice led us all to adopt passwords that are a pain to remember, but easy to hack.

In a nutshell, a password that is a phrase consisting of a random, nonsensical assortment of words, is many times more difficult for a computer or a human to guess than a password that is just one word, and consists of a random assortment of capitalizations, symbols, and numbers. That’s because in the latter case, it’s not really all that random. The former, which really is random, is also far easier to remember.

So the next time you need to change a password, it would be wise to take this advice. Obviously you’ll still need to incorporate a few numbers and symbols since that’s what most websites these days force you to do, and they’ll probably continue with that policy for a few years. But you can still make lengthy phrase based passwords that will do a far better job of protecting your information online.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 17th, 2017
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Could A Nuclear War In Asia Effect You? Absolutely August 13, 2017

Right now all eyes on North Korea, which is totally understandable. The rhetoric being exchanged between our government and theirs has never been so heated, and at this point it wouldn’t be a surprise if war broke out. However, while the media has been parading an endless stream of worrisome stories on this subject, they’ve neglected to keep tabs on another brewing conflict between China and India.

For weeks the two countries have been hashing out a war of words over a border dispute in Bhutan. The Chinese tried to build a road in disputed territory, and the Indian army was deployed to block them. Since then the Chinese have been threatening to annihilate the Indian soldiers if they aren’t removed.

Over the past month, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been on the move. We believe that the PLA has made sufficient preparation for military confrontation.

It is a war with an obvious result. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA’s overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region.

And that isn’t just bluster. China and India have gone to war over border disputes as recently as the 1960s. The only difference now, is that these nations both have nuclear weapons.

While many Americans are now deeply concerned about the possibility of their country being embroiled in another world war, most haven’t considered the possibility that there could be a nuclear exchange that has nothing to do with us, in countries that are far away from us. Which has to make you wonder, should we be concerned? Would a war like this have a major effect on life in America?

The answer is yes. It absolutely would. It certainly wouldn’t be an apocalyptic event for us if America decided to stay out of the fray, but we’d have reason to be concerned. That’s because any nuclear weapons detonated in East Asia could produce a cloud of fallout that would reach us. It wouldn’t be cataclysmic, but it would be dangerous.

We know this because when China tested a nuke back in 1967, it produced fallout cloud that enveloped almost all of the United States. According to a book called Nuclear War Survival Skills (which is still a very relevant book that you should check out):

Trans-Pacific war fallout, carried to an America at peace by the prevailing west-to-east winds that blow around the world, could be several hundred times more dangerous to Americans than fallout from the worst possible overseas nuclear power reactor accident, and many times more dangerous than fallout from a very improbable U.S. nuclear power reactor accident as lethal as the disastrous Chernobyl accident was to Russians…

…Fallout from the approximately 300 kiloton Chinese test explosion shown in Fig. 1 caused milk from cows that fed on pastures near Oak Ridge, Tennessee and elsewhere to be contaminated with radioiodine, although not with enough to be hazardous to health. However, this milk contamination (up to 900 picocuries of radioactive iodine per liter) and the measured dose rates from the gamma rays emitted from fallout particles deposited in different parts of the United States indicate that trans-Pacific fallout from even an overseas nuclear war in which “only” two or three hundred megatons would be exploded could result in tens of thousands of unprepared Americans suffering thyroid injury.

It would take several days for the fallout to reach us, at which point most of the radiation would have decayed. But there would still be enough radioactive material in our food supply to cause thyroid damage to thousands of people.

The best thing you can do to prepare for a nuclear exchange in Asia, is have a supply of potassium iodide on hand, and to stock up on supplies that could remove radioactive materials from your body and the environment. It would also be wise to prepare yourself for a global financial crash that would inevitably follow the destruction of two countries with massive economies.

It’s unfortunate, but the bottom line is that nuclear weapons have a global effect, in one form or another. Even if you live far away from where these bombs land, they can still ruin your health.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 13th, 2017
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The Four Most Effective Ways To Treat A Migraine August 5, 2017

There aren’t many things in life that are more miserable and debilitating than a migraine. The nausea, light sensitivity, visual aberrations, and sharp searing head pains all come together to make a painful cocktail that can put you on your butt within a few hours, and leave you feeling spent for days.

Unfortunately, nobody really knows what causes migraines. Despite the fact that 12% of the population suffers from migraines on a regular basis, the scientific community has never been able to figure out an underlying cause. We know genetics plays a role, and that certain factors can trigger it like the food we consume, poor sleep, depression, and some medications. But we don’t know what really causes it.

However, we do know many ways to treat a migraine, which include:

Applying heat or ice-packs to the head. Both might sound like they could increase the painful symptoms of a migraine, but they are effective. However, these methods don’t work for everyone. You’ll have to see what works best for you through trial and error, which could be said for any migraine treatment.

Consuming caffeine in small amounts has been known to alleviate the symptoms of a migraine. And more importantly, it works well with other medications. For whatever reason, when caffeine is consumed with either acetaminophen and aspirin, it drastically increases the pain relieving effects of those medications.

However, it should be noted that this doesn’t work for everyone. For some people, caffeine can actually increase migraine symptoms, or increase the likelihood of having a migraine.

Certain teas can help a great deal. Just as certain foods and drinks can trigger a migraine, there are substances that have the opposite effect. Chamomile and green tea are known to alleviate migraine symptoms, as well as teas that include ginger or peppermint. Ginger, in particular, may be the most potent natural migraine treatment. One study found that ginger was just as effective as a common migraine treatment drug known as Sumatriptan, but had fewer side effects.

Reducing your exposure to light is probably the most intuitive migraine treatment. Migraines almost always cause a painful light sensitivity and are sometimes caused by bright lights, so it’s natural for most people to shut the blinds, turn off the lights, and close their laptops while they suffer through the symptoms. Doing so won’t usually “cure” a migraine, but it’s the fastest way to relieve the pain and nausea.

However, you should take this a step further. In my personal experience, the best thing to do when you have a migraine is to take a nap for about an hour. Every time I’ve done this, it has dramatically reduced the short and long-term symptoms. I still feel pain for a day or two, but it’s very mild. And the sooner you catch some shut-eye after experiencing the early symptoms of a migraine, the more effective your nap will be.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 5th, 2017
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