Sunday, March 27, 2011

Body Hacking

It kinda fits that when a geek finds he needs to change his ways health wise that he would choose a hacker's path to do so...

A few years back I picked up Tim Ferriss's book "Four Hour Workweek" and loved it.  Pretty much a guide to hacking your work life.  Last fall I found out that getting the high score when it comes to blood tests is not a great thing.  During the holidays I stepped on a scale and found that sometime since college a kinderg√§rtner had somehow taken up residence around my mid section.

Enter Tim's new book "The Four Hour Body".  Tim is known as a "life hacker".  A term made popular by the web site of the same name.  He - like myself and hopefully a lot of you reading this right now hack - well - pretty much every aspect of our lives.  He just does it with abandon and writes books about his exploits.  I got the book immediately and devoured it.

It's not a whiny self help book.  Or a diet book.  It's a "here's how I hacked myself and what you need to know to try it too" book.  The first sections of the book (before the chapters on sex and building muscle) are about a way of eating called the slow carb diet.

I had been a proponent of eating a low GI diet for years so this sounded pretty interesting. The premise is that what makes you fat isn't really fat.  It's caused by our modern way of eating TONS of simple carbs like bread. sugar, potatoes and the insulin spikes that come with it.  Considering that an average American meal is HUGE and everything is either bread or loaded with high fructose corn syrup it makes perfect sense.  It also explains why type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the western world.  Here is a link to a nice article in Diabetes Health magazine that explains the real problem with HFCS quite nicely.

Review of the book: Fantastic.  Great read and if you get the paper copy just carrying around it's roughly 900 pages will improve your health.

The Slow Carb Diet: So...  here is my personal experience.  Today marks my 90th day (the reason for posting today).  In a nutshell -  I feel better than I have in 20 years.  I'm down 29 pounds.  I've lost a total of 13.5 inches as measured in 6 areas - 4.5 of those inches are now missing at my navel!   For the data geeks out there (you know who you are) that works out to loosing .322 lbs a day.  Slower than Tim's claimed results, but all I did was change my eating habits.  No intense exercise. No starvation.
My Results

First - Don't waste your money on a fat percentage bathroom scale.  Unless it's the cheapest scale in the store.  Then ignore the body fat feature if you do.  They are so bad they are laughable (I have data to prove it).

Things that I never expected to happen:  The nightly battles with acid reflux are gone.  Not sure why.  I no longer have those 3pm crashes at work and (unless alcohol is involved) I don't fall asleep watching tv after dinner either. I've also noticed that I hate grocery shopping a lot less and I buy less.   Finally - this week I realized I hadn't cleaned a lump of hair out of the shower in about 3 months.  Which is amazing considering the length of my locks.

I am going to have my blood tests re-done shortly.  I'd hoped to have had done before this writeup but that's what updates are for...  I'll let you all know the results of that too.  I've obviously obsessed about data collection and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about my experiences.

My reccomendations.  Get the book.  Eat slow carb.  Educate yourself on food.  Watch the movie Food Inc and read the book Omnivore's Dilemma at a minimum.  Be healthy!

Update: More support for this book.  It is now (16:30 MDT 3/29/11) the most highlighted book of all time on the Kindle.  To put this in perspective have a look at the rest of the list.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Published author walks away from 6 figures - to self publish!

Ebooks and Self-Publishing - A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath

"Joe: It reminds me of the golden age of television. You had three choices, ABC, NBC, or CBS. They dictated what you would watch.
But that model no longer works for TV. Now there are hundreds of channels. And it no longer works for books, either. If you look at the current Top 100 bestsellers on Kindle, twenty-seven of them are self-published. Many of those authors were rejected by NY. Yet consumers are showing us what they want to read, and voting with their wallets."

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wondering about radiation risks? Let XKCD explain:

Sunday, March 06, 2011

An Update on Android Market Security - Official Google Mobile Blog

An Update on Android Market Security

Saturday, March 5, 2011 | 10:08 PM

On Tuesday evening, the Android team was made aware of a number of malicious applications published to Android Market. Within minutes of becoming aware, we identified and removed the malicious applications. The applications took advantage of known vulnerabilities which don’t affect Android versions 2.2.2 or higher. For affected devices, we believe that the only information the attacker(s) were able to gather was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device). But given the nature of the exploits, the attacker(s) could access other data, which is why we’ve taken a number of steps to protect those who downloaded a malicious application:

  1. We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack.
  2. We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices. This remote application removal feature is one of many security controls the Android team can use to help protect users from malicious applications.
  3. We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices. If your device has been affected, you will receive an email from over the next 72 hours. You will also receive a notification on your device that “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. You are not required to take any action from there; the update will automatically undo the exploit. Within 24 hours of the exploit being undone, you will receive a second email.
  4. We are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues.

For more details, please visit the Android Market Help Center. We always encourage you to check the list of permissions when installing an application from Android Market. Security is a priority for the Android team, and we’re committed to building new safeguards to help prevent these kinds of attacks from happening in the future.

Rich Cannings, Android Security Lead

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Equality State Earns it's Name

In the category of "Things I never expected":  Actual tears of pride welled up as I watched this clip from the Rachel Maddow show.  I never thought I'd say it but I'm actually PROUD OF OUR REPUBLICAN WYOMING LEGISLATURE this morning!  Stunned, Amazed and Hopeful!

Rachel Maddow plays audio from actual small government, pro-freedom conservatives in the Wyoming legislature arguing against an anti-gay marriage bill on the grounds that it's not government's business and not in keeping with Wyoming's principle of equality.