Tag Archives: Carboman
Hey folks, I’ve posted 2 advisories about the risks of mobile apps and what steps a user can take to increase the level of security and privacy by employing simple common sense with some help from technology such as the Norton 360 Multi-Device. If you haven’t read the earlier posts, go and read it here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). Now, here’s the good news! Symantec Malaysia is giving away 3 copies of the powerful software to protect your devices and machines.
And here’s even better news! The giveaways are 3 copies of Norton 360 Multi-Device for FIVE devices worth RM249 each!
The raffle opens Mar 10th 2014 12am (Malaysian time) and ends Mar 14th 12am (Malaysian time). As always, the draw will be made via Rafflecopter. Just click on the link below and follow the lead. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I run the marathon and all distances under it to find out how fast a slow middle-of-the-packer like me can be. Any distance over 42K is done purely out of fun and a chance to experience new paths, trails and roads with friends. Right now, my threshold for fun is capped at 50K and I’ll continue to be selective in entering such events. If there’s no fun to be had, there’s very little incentive for me to be putting in the investment of time and money for that. You might have guessed by now that I don’t give a damn to the pursuit of titles. Life’s too short for that.
So it was the lure of fun and the nostalgia of Mt. Nuang that brought me back to the foothills of the famous spot. Pangsun, from which we will be starting our 10K loops, is located far away from where I live. My weekend schedule is tight enough to ensure that my visits there would be rare. With Nuang being the training grounds for established local ultra runners and strong hill climbers, I would toe the line rather short on fitness having just come off Titi 2 weeks ago. The mix of cough and cold, and some niggling knee issues which crept up of late didn’t help either. But no excuses – the aim was just to enjoy the outing and come out unscathed for the April marathon.
The trailhead up to Nuang was so festive on race morning. The site was very well organized. The start/finish area was separated from the hospitality area, which kept things tidy. There’s something about the ultra community that’s different from the rest. Sure there are the color coordinated folks that we see at the road races but mostly, the runners you’ll see at these long haul back-to-nature events don’t give much of a hoot as to how they look. I for one, looked like a clown with my multi-colored outfit. Totally unplanned, by the way. I just went with the lightest apparel for the job. There were folks in sandals, slippers and Salomons. Still, there were those in matching Salomon and Compressport outfits. Some were equipped with trekking poles while many were there as if they were about to do some road running. I would later spot a runner who hand carried his sling bag up and down the hill and another hand-holding a large tumbler of water in the oddest manner. As long as one gets the job done safely.
The flag off followed immediately after check-in and a short briefing of the ground rules. If one is caught littering, 5K will be taken off the runner’s log. Nice. I was well prepared for a tough day out and yet not 500m into the trail, my heart rate would already be working hard. Only the darkness eased some of the visual pain. When it was clear that the elevation would be that hard, the race strategy became all too simple – walk up the climbs, try to run what little flats there are and depending of the conditions of the legs, shuffle down the descents. Expectedly there was a short queue for the bib marking at the 5K CP but there was no hurry. I refilled my soft flask and promptly made my way down. Along the descent, I got a bit annoyed at how the soft flask was bouncing around like crazy (remember this scene from Ace Ventura 2?). When I got to the bottom, the first thing I did was to swap out the flask with a traditional bottle filled with Coke and ditched my headlamp. At the same time, I wolfed down a slice PB bread which I packed from home to ensure I didn’t repeat the Titi fueling folly. A look at the watch showed a decent 1:15, ahead of the planned 1:30. I wasn’t about to waste time and politely declining the curry puff offered by Cally, I went off to start my second loop.
By now, the trekkers/runners were well spread out and I was able to use the poles more freely. They certainly helped in the ascent. Upon reaching the 15K CP, it was another very quick pitstop before heading down. Nick was about 150m ahead while Richi was nowhere to be seen. I was enjoying the cool morning air when I suddenly felt some twitching on the right knee. The discomfort quickly build up to a degree that I was very close to pulling out of the race. The going was very hard and I knew that it would not get any easier but I kept my calm and slowly walked all the way down. The steepness certainly didn’t help as did 2 tricky sections where we had to negotiate rocky terrain. By the time I got down to the base, my mood was cheered by the level of enthusiasm the crew and volunteers were displaying. It was fantastic and everyone who passed the trailhead arch had their “hero moment”. The folks from the Le Sabuns were there too with their “unofficially official” support station. I limped to the hospitality area where Julie was already boiling a pot of barley drink, I told (ok, whined) Cally that I had a bombed knee and she immediately leaped into action with an ice pack. I rightfully blamed the ITB and while the knee was being iced, I probed the hip area and found the source of the pain. 15 minutes of icing sufficiently numbed the knee and the tight hips loosened a little postponing my premature departure from the race for awhile more. Puzi and the drinks crew were doing a great job ensuring everyone had enough ice, water, Coke and isotonics. I had a Kitkat, another slice of bread and a handful of raisins before trudging off.
The 3rd loop was really tough but I had Razif for company for part of the way up. He was deep in UTMF training and Nuang had been his training ground the last few months. We would jog the early flats and hiked the climbs. In ditching my poles for a lighter climb (not that the Komperdells were heavy), the glutes were getting their year’s worth of workout. The gulf of ability between Razif and I was indescribably huge and I shooed him off before I slowed him down more. By then, the Garmin 620 had intermittently lost signal under the trail canopy and I’d reverted to tracking by elapsed time instead. The day was really warming up rapidly and on a few open sections, the participants started to feel the rising temps and most were slowing down. The bees certainly had a field day buzzing around sweaty people, attracted to the salt no doubt. Other than CY, Batman Ben also reported he was stung. The 3rd descent was uneventful other than the knee issue.
Cally worked my knee with the icepack again while I downed half a pack of fried rice, another bar of Kitkat and slice of PB bread. My hydration and fueling had been great. Thankfully, I got something right. The thought of DNFing was stronger than ever, however, and I was really battling the decision to preserve the knee for the April marathon which I’ve invested money and time in. But the icing worked just enough to make me feel like I should take the risk and try another loop. And that was how the 4th loop happened for me. The number of runners out in the trails had gotten scarcer by then, with the number of campers outnumbering participants.
With the 4th loop tucked away and plenty of time on the clock remaining, I took a longer break wolfing down my last slice of bread, a mini chocolate bar, a handful of raisins washed down with copius amount of Coke. The 25-or-so minute rest provided some respite from the noon heat, although I felt really bad to have Cally ice the knee all the time I was seated there. without the icing, I wouldn’t have been able to continue. With the sole intention of getting it wrapped up as early as possible, I staggered to my feet to start my final loop. But just as I was leaving the refreshment area, Jeff came in bearing a large bag of plum flavoured icicles! My walk can wait then! The treat was heaven sent and I slurped down the stick. As I turned on my turtle pace up the hill, Batman Ben drew alongside and we spent a little time catching up as we brisk walked. It’s been so long since I saw him, the last time during his event, the mindnumbing, joint-crushing Twilight Ultra Challenge in Singapore several years ago. He dropped me like a rock half a mile later. He’s not called “Iron Lung” for nothing.
When you’re walking slowly, you get to appreciate your surroundings more. I’d noticed the darkening skies and windy conditions. If it wasn’t for my bummed leg, I’d have enjoyed the dramatic turn of the weather. Nevertheless, it was a welcome change and the climb wasn’t as energy sapping as I feared. A few minutes later, it started drizzling. I’d to pay more attention to where I was stepping, what with the proclivity of the Wildhorse to slip.
With 2K to the 45K CP, I bumped into Nick who was on the way down to finish his 5th loop. Just as we parted, the skies parted too and my, did it rain! Ordinarily I’d love to run in the rain but on the trails, I was a little more apprehensive. I wasn’t geared appropriately and my pace ensured that I’d have to stay out longer than necessary. But in a long haul event, one has to tough it up and roll with it. Mentally I urged myself to keep going to keep the body warm while shading my eyes from the rain. Puddles started forming here and there and I made sure that I avoided planting my feet on any slick looking surface. I’ve been to Nuang twice and twice it’s been a wet affair! The wonderful volunteers at the CP had evacuated to a well setup shelter and the bees were no longer a nuisance in the pouring rain. I had my bib wiped and marked and off I went, 5K to the finish. This time I was surprised to see Yim heading up.
Apparently he registered for the event but was still in recovery mode from his weekly adventures. Soon enough he was on the way down again and we got to do some serious chit chat. That got me out of the funk and I, in all likelihood, covered the downhill quicker – the rain had stopped – than I did the last 2 loops. After crossing the line and battling “Slave Driver Jason” for my completion token, it was time to shower and freshen up to cheer the rest of the participants. There were plenty of war stories to be shared all round. The camaraderie was unlike any found at the road races and I really had fun catching up with friends. An hour later, Nick, CY and I were in the car heading home, tired but happy. For me it was a slow 9:18 for the 50K, but I was just happy to emerge unscathed.
The event, IMHO, has been a success. The organizing team had been fantastic and I’m sure other participants will agree too. I’m especially grateful to Cally (I owe you coffee!) for all the icing on my knee, which contributed greatly to my finishing and without injuries too. As I’m writing this 4 days after the event (publication of the post scheduled on the 5th day), the soreness is nearly gone and I’m already looking forward to getting back to prepare for the marathon.
Here’s my take on the race as a whole:
Runners’ amenities (food/water/bath/toilet/rest area): 5/5
Could be improved: A more cheat-proof check-in/out punch card system
While we wait for a single device that will be able to encompass all our smartphones, tablets and computers features into one, we will keep adding new devices into our digital lives. As the world increasingly becomes a ‘multi-device personality’, the cyber threats out there increases as well.
The latest Norton 360 Multi-Device from Norton by Symantec protects us from evolving threats in our daily online lives. The latest version improves on the industry’s leading protection and performance, and is designed for compatibility with the new features of Windows 8.1. The Norton 360 Multi-Device comes in the form of a single license to protect up to five different devices.
According to the 2013 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Web attacks increased 30 percent in 2012, driven by the easy availability of malware toolkits and the high frequency of unpatched vulnerabilities on websites. We are exposed to cyber threats even when visiting a legitimate website, putting our devices and personal information at risk. Norton 360 Multi-Device actively protects your devices from online threats, without impacting speed and performance.
The Norton 360 Multi-Device product’s five patented layers of protection provide comprehensive security, improved performance and ease of usability. The key features include:
- Multi-Device Protection – The Norton 360 Multi-Device software gives protection to all devices – PCs, Mac, iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets.
- SONAR Behavioural Protection – SONAR detects the signs that a file is dangerous to proactively protect you from never-before-seen threats. It helps with the removal and cleanup of malware attempts by saving the evidence of the attack for later use by Norton’s repair technologies. This remediation helps to ensure that all traces of a malware attack are removed and a system is returned to its original state.
- Internet Protection System – This feature actively protects your devices from online threats. The system scours websites and social networking sites for suspicious links and content to identify the latest social networking scams.
- Parental Control – This feature helps you protect your kids from online dangers by giving you direct access to Norton Family. Norton Family is a web-based service that helps connect parents to their children’s online lives and start a dialogue about appropriate online habits.
- Faster performance – Based on recent testing, compared with last year’s releases, Norton products have improved boot time by 15 percent, install speed by 10 percent and memory usage during scan by 100MBs, resulting in the fastest and lightest performance yet. (Source: PassMark, August 2013)
- Locate missing phones/tablets – The Scream Alarm feature alerts you to the location of a misplaced mobile device, and the Remote Locate feature pinpoints your lost or stolen device on a map.
- Enhanced Norton Identity Safe – Norton Identity Safe remembers, secures and automatically enters your usernames and passwords for you, so they can’t be lost or stolen. The latest release offers enhanced password management tool, including improved form filling, with drag-and-drop functionality and full vault searches available directly from the toolbar to help manage passwords even more securely and conveniently.
The latest version of Norton 360 Multi-Device, is now available for purchase in Malaysia through various retailers and online at http://malaysia.norton.com. The MSRP for Norton 360 Multi-Device is MYR 189.00, which provides one year of protection for up to three devices.
Are you like the millions of people around the world who use mobile fitness or health apps to track your fitness level whether it is for calorie burn, weight loss tracking, abs crunches or running programs?
Because cybercriminals are actively targeting mobile devices that lack sufficient protection, keeping your smartphone safe is extremely important. Here are some facts you cannot ignore:
- Mobile “malware” families (malicious software that can threaten or compromise the information on your mobile device) increased by 58 percent (2013 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report)
- 61 percent of malicious sites are actually legitimate websites that have been compromised and infected with malicious codes (2013 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report)
- More than 1/3 of smartphone users have experienced mobile cybercrime (2013 Norton Report)
- 57 percent of users aren’t aware that security solutions for mobile devices exist (2013 Norton Report)
With fitness apps flooding the mobile app stores, this has provided an opportunity for cyber criminals to take advantage of the apps to steal personal information of the users. Have you ever zoomed right by an app’s permissions and clicked ‘Install’ without reading or understanding exactly what you were allowing onto your smartphone? Take the time to read what’s there. You could be agreeing to something you’d rather not. Pay particular attention to the permissions with free apps. You may ‘pay’ for them in other ways you’d rather avoid–like providing unfettered access to your contact list or even giving away the publishing rights to your private photos.
Spammers could also promote fake offers on health or fitness related products. Most of these spam messages encourage users to buy the products early to take advantage of the bogus offers. Spam is not only an unsolicited and annoying nuisance, it can be a channel for cybercriminals to lure you to a fake or “spoofed” website to re-enter your credit card number or verify your password. So, avoid falling into the spammers’ scams by taking the simplest approach to suspicious offers and just hit delete.
To protect yourself from cybercriminals, the following are some tips from Norton by Symantec to keep you fit and healthy online:
- Do not download mobile apps from unknown sources
One of the beauties of apps is that they can be built by anyone—from mega-corporations to the 10-year-old paperboy down the street. The downside of that is they can be built by anyone, including a cyber thief with malicious intent. So before you click that download button, make sure you’re getting an app from the official market of whatever platform you’re on.
- Don’t leave breadcrumbs online
So you’re using the Internet to track your favourite running route, but did you ever think that some of this information may tip off the bad guys? Are you leaving enough information for someone to figure out where you’re running every morning? The solution is to not be specific about who you are and exactly where your usual route is. When you post information on your fitness activities, make sure your identity is shielded and everything you write is general enough so you won’t jeopardize your personal security.
- Do not neglect mobile device protection
Ensure you have security software which automatically scans downloaded apps and app updates for threats, blocks fraudulent websites designed to trick you into revealing personal info, and detects and removes mobile hazards that cybercriminals can use to eavesdrop on you, send spam texts and control your mobile device. Be sure to check out Norton Mobile Security which protects devices against potential privacy risks, malware and phishing.
- Do not be ignorant of the latest mobile threats and tricks
Having knowledge on the latest threats is the first step to online mobile protection, whether it’s malicious apps or cybercriminal tricks. Stay informed so that you could stay ahead of the cyber thief who is out to steal your personal information.
- Back up your data often
Keep files on your phone safe by backing up your data periodically. By syncing your phone with your PC or the Cloud, you can store extra digital copies just in case of an accident.
I received an email from a blog reader, Elizabeth P. alerting me to a noble initiative currently underway to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victims and survivors. I’ll let the her message speak to you.
I love your blog, and I wanted to let you know about a movement to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victims and survivors before the next marathon on April 21 by “raising” a million acts of kindness in case you were inspired to support the effort and perhaps share it with your readers.
Last year, I was among the runners who fled from the finish area of the Boston Marathon after the bombing, and I will run the race again this year. I am hoping to bring together the running community from near and far to perform ordinary acts of kindness leading up to the race to stand with Boston, in memory of the victims, and in solidarity against terrorism.
There is no financial ask–the One Fund and other great organizations already raise money. Rather, the idea is to remember what happened through small actions that, in aggregate, act against the ugliness of the bombings. In part, this idea was inspired by Martin Richard. He is my nephew’s age, and I was sickened and outraged and horrified at his loss. Then, seeing his poster and message of peace reminded me that we have a responsibility to the next generation to do more to create a
better world. Often we don’t because we think we need to do something huge, so we let ordinary opportunities to make life better for others in small ways pass us by. The idea is to encourage a sentiment that you don’t need to be a capital H hero to change the world and that if we come together to honor Boston through a million acts of ordinary kindness, we are creating a movement that truly remembers the victims in a worthy manner.
It is easy to participate:
- do a small act of kindness in memory of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing (you can do as many as you want);
- go to kindthis.com/post-kindness and log the act (takes two seconds, can be anonymous);
- forward info on the project to others and encourage them to participate. If you have social media, you can “Like” the page at facebook.com/kindthisorg or follow on Twitter: @KindThisTweets.
I would love if you would do an act of kindness and, if you feel so moved, to share this effort with your readers.
We runners have a great capacity to give. This time, it’s not financial but to do an act of kindness, no matter how simple. Let’s get it going!
The NUC is happening this weekend. Standards are raised for this year’s edition – its 2nd year running – and to qualify for the finisher swags, one would have to tackle at least 50K. I’ve only gone up Nuang once (Trans Nuang epic recap here) and that was achieved in a totally different condition than presently. The terrain was impossibly slick with deep ruts on the ground cut by heavy rainfall ready to trap some poor ankles.
Now that we’re deep into a drought season with temps nudging at 40 Celcius everyday, the same paths up the 530m CP will be bone dry. The ruts will still be there and it will be hard going for most runners. There’s also a chance of bush fires, reported over the last few days. Other than staying well hydrated, carrying too much additional weight won’t make sense. One would already be working against the harsh weather and long and challenging ascent/descent afterall. It was with those considerations in mind that I thought about what shoes I should be going with. For awhile I thought of sacrificing a little efficiency by going with the Fellraiser but after sleeping on it for a few nights, I’m beginning to feel that taking that beast out on Sunday would be akin to bringing a howitzer into an urban warfare setting.
The choice naturally narrowed down to 2 low-drop shoes. One is light, has great cushioning, roomy toebox and 4mm drop. The other has a touch less cushioning resulting in a more responsive ride, possesses a roomy toebox, 4mm drop and aggressive lugs. And those 2 shoes would be the Wildhorse and GObionic Trail. They go well with my favorite Drymax socks too. I believe they should excel on the dry trails and therefore would accompany me to Nuang.
My gear’s all packed which is quite an easy thing to do since I’m keeping everything simple, and it does get easier as one does more of such long haul events. The drive to Pangsun will be very early since the race starts 6:30am. I’ll need to catch some good sleep these few nights.
If you’re going to Nuang this weekend, be it to run or to support, don’t hesitate to scream, “You worm!” and go all Gunny on me. I’ll need the extra shot in the arm to get me through hell, but go easy with the waterguns, ok?
Buffalo Beaten Mountain Trails
Following the success of the first Vietnam Mountain Marathon in 2013, the event is set to return this year on September 20.
It offers unique trail runs of 21km, 42km and 70km in the stunning rice terrace-clad mountains surrounding Sapa. September is the most beautiful time of year to visit these northern hills – the rice fields will be bursting with colour and the harvest season will be in full swing.
Racing deep in the beautiful Hoang Lien National Park, runners can expect an extraordinary adventure along twisting, buffalo- beaten trails. The route will take them across bamboo bridges and through small villages where colorfully dressed ethnic mi- norities will be out in force to cheer them on. The challenging runs offer total ascents ranging from around 1000m (21km race) to around 3000m (70km race).
This is a pristine corner of Vietnam that is usually completely closed to all but the few ethnic minority people who live there, so running in the area will be a true privilege for all involved.
With an expected field of 400 runners, this will be the largest mountain marathon ever seen in Vietnam. Competitors from Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Brunei, England, and Switzerland have already signed up.
Vietnam’s Ly A Song, winner of the 2013 21km race, is set to re- turn to defend his title, while Simon Grimstrup of Denmark will be looking to keep his 70km crown.
The 70km is also a qualifying race for The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® 2014, with 2 points available to all finishers.
10km fun run for all
The 2014 event features a 10km fun run on September 21. This will be a great opportunity for more people to get a taste of off- road running. Starting and finishing in Sapa town, the race prom- ises to attract plenty of running talent from the local minority groups who will be keen to show the international contingent how it’s done.
Every race fee includes a $20 donation to Sapa O’Chau which runs a variety of local projects, including its own school with over 70 students.
Many ethnic minority kids from the villages surrounding Sapa have limited access to educational opportunities beyond the age of ten. Even before that, many drop out of school to help their families.
There is a clear need to enhance the educational opportunities of ethnic minority youths in Sapa. Through participation in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon, runners can help make this happen.
The organisers cater to all racing budgets. Those looking to get close to nature can choose a tent in the runner’s camp on the hill-top of Topas Ecolodge; otherwise, there are several packages to choose from in Sapa town.
The Vietnam Mountain Marathon team hopes to see you on the hills this September!
Asger Køppen Race Director