Start Healthy, Stay Healthy

Pakistan is growing with a rate of 1.49% of its population each year. Out of 1000 of those infants born, 57.48 die. We are among the few countries with moderate percentage of child miscarriages. A whopping 33% of the entire population of Pakistan consists of children between the ages of 0 and 4.

A high number of child mortalities are partly due to the lack of knowledge of a child’s nutrition. Nestlé, a brand that doesn’t need any introduction, organized a blogger’s meetup as an effort to spread the importance of child nutrition, specially during an infants first 1000 days of brith.

The event took place at Pearl Continental Hotel on a pleasant Saturday evening. #First1000Days was conducted by Dr. Huma Fahim who is Medical Advisor in Nestlé Nutrition. I was amazed to know that when a child is born, it is actually 270 days old already. So the main focus of the event was children health during first 1000 days of their lives: 270 days before birth and 730 days after opening their eyes in this world. According to Dr. Fahim, these 1000 days are most critical to a child’s health. She also pointed out the importance of nutrition of a mother during pregnancy and after giving birth to a child. This bodes very well in favor of taking extra care of a woman bearing a child, something many households, specially rural ones, should know about. A mother’s diet and health overall directly impacts a child during the first 1000 days of their lives, which means a malnutrition or an over-nutrition can greatly effect the physical and mental state of the child.

Dr. Fahim also shared an astonishing and interesting statistics with us as well. According to her, malnutrition or over nutrition, have contributed to the fall of average height of an infant by 4 inches now. We also got to know that a child’s height by the second year of his life is almost half the height that child will have as an adult.

Nestlé has an expertise in nutrition and believes it has a responsibility to share that expertise. We want to promote better health through good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. Research shows that children who don’t get proper nutrition in their early years can’t fully develop their physical and cognitive potential and are at an increased risk of poor health as adults.

– Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs.

Giving a child their fair share of health is not only a responsibility of its parents and the state but it’s also our society as a whole. So let’s be good samaritans and share the word.

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#GrandeAffair, an Affair to Remember

 

Toyota, for many, are synonymous with cars. Be it is was your first car that you bought through many hardships or a wedding anniversary gift to your loved one. Toyota has been one of the largest car manufacturer in Pakistan. With its luxury line, Grande launch, Toyota invited bloggers to a day filled of awesome activities that included seeing first hand how cars are manufactured in Toyota’s massive plants.

The day started with us leaving for Toyota’s plant located in hub. The weather that day was pleasant, which is very rare in Karachi. We had enjoyed our ride very much. Upon reaching there, I was astonished to see how big the facilities were. You’d literally get lost inside one of their factories.

We were welcomed into one of the halls where there was a session about Toyota and some numbers about its sales and performance over the years, followed by some really nice advertisements of Toyota. Now, unlike many blogger events, we were promptly served with delicious lunch. After that, came the high time of the day: visit to Toyota’s manufacturing facilities.

We say the car getting manufactured from metal sheets to pieces of arts that you or I would end up driving. I felt like I was inside a documentary of National Geographic Channel called Mega Factories. We experienced the process first-hand. We weren’t allowed to take photographs so I couldn’t save the moments.

After all of that time, we were taken to test drive the newly launched Grande line of cars. The racetrack was shorter than I expected but driving those cars was really, really fun.

We’ve already come to the end of the day by that time so we went for a nice, soothing cruise. We were served with nice food during the cruise and had a lot of fun and mingling with fellow bloggers.

All and all, it was an awesome event as most brands usually don’t do all-day events. I am certainly looking forward to more events from Toyota.

How to Protect Your Android Device from Stagefright Vulnerability

how-to-remove-android-stagefright-from-your-android-devices

A day ago, a vulnerability was disclosed for Android phones performing a remote code execution over MMS. The vulnerability, named Stagefright after Android’s built-in stagefright media library, occurs when your Android device, upon receiving an MMS, starts processing it in the background, so you have seamless experience when you actually open it up. This processing is done automatically and without any user action performed. Apart from the incoming MMS notification, you may never know if your device was accessed by a malicious user or not.

Joshua Drake, the security researcher who reported the bug believes

All [Android] devices should be assumed to be vulnerable,

he added,

Only Android phones below version 2.2 are not affected.

Zimperium zLabs, the mobile security firm Drake is a VP of, notified Google of the vulnerability and according to Drake,

Google acted promptly and applied the patches to internal code branches within 48 hours.

Upon reaching a Google spokesperson, she’d responded with an email that,

The security of Android users is extremely important to us, so we’ve already responded quickly to this issue by sending the fix for all Android devices to our partners.

Although it is to be noted that security is baked deep into Android and that the OS uses a sandbox environment which runs apps, processes, and services, in their own separate areas of sort. Coupled with SELinux enforce enabled by default, apps outside the sandbox can’t have access to data of other apps, processes, and services. According to Google vulnerability report, only 0.15% malware exist in Android. For more details on how security works in Android, read a detailed post by Android Authority and first-hand information about security on Android about the platform’s Lead Security Engineer, Adrian Ludwig.

Even though Google applied the patches to the Android Open Source Project, we all know how terrible OEMs are about distributing updates to their users. I’m not going to assume this vulnerability is going to change anything with OS updates on OEM devices hence a solution unless you decide to toss out your current phone and go Nexus.

How to protect from the vulnerability?

I’m going to demo how to do that on Google Hangout, the default SMS application on many Android devices and Messenger, another famous SMS application by Google.

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Android One in Pakistan – Hands on with QMobile A1

Android One is a line of consumer electronic devices running Android operating system. Unlike other Android-based smartphones, Google manages the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices whereas the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are responsible for manufacturing them.

Cherry on top is the near-stock Android experience the smartphones running Android One get. With minimum (or no) bloatware and OEM modification to the OS, you get to use Android the way it is meant to be used.

With Android One we set the bar to be a great software experience and a great device. We really want to bring in a whole new set of people who have never tried a smartphone before.

Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Products, Google.

Android One was introduced in Google I/O 2014 with smartphones starting to ship from September 2014. Now there are dozens of manufacturers in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries. A couple of days ago, Google, with collaboration of QMobile, launched the first Android One phone in Pakistan, QMobile A1.

I’ve been a fan of stock Android myself and thus I own a Nexus phone, tablet(s), and a player. When I heard about Android One heading to Pakistan, I decided to jump the wagon and buy a QMobile phone to try out the software in lower specs device. Now, I’ve only used the phone for around 8 hours and these are my initial thoughts.

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Google will announce Android “M” in this year’s I/O

As per Google’s tradition, the latest version to Android will be announced during Google I/O 2015. While this information hasn’t been confirmed by Google (well, duh!) but AndroidPolice managed to get a screengrab of a session detailed agenda mentioning ‘Android “M”‘. That part is undoubtedly removed from Google I/O’s website adding more to the story.

Screen grab of the agenda of a talk at Google I/O 2015, mentioning Android M. It was later removed from the website.

Screengrab of the agenda of a talk at Google I/O 2015, mentioning Android M. It was later removed from the website.

Google’s not new at teasing its fans. Remember how Nexus 5 was unveiled?

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Windows 10 Will Run Android and iOS Apps

Windows 10 will run ios and android apps

Have you been a proud owner of Nokia Lumia? Do you love its apparent build quality, design aesthetics, and killer camera? You very well be but all of these bells and whistles don’t seem to matter when your friends with an Android device or iPhone can flaunt an awesome game or a useful application that just isn’t available on Windows Store yet. If you think that way, you’re not alone. App selection is a major problem faced by manufacturers wanting to enter the mobile world. Though, Android has arguably taken over the world of mobile OS with over 80% of market share, iOS still holds its ground in the global market. Both of these ecosystems have a combined market share of over 93%. That doesn’t leave much for other players in this game, including Microsoft.

Infographic: Smartphone Duopoly Pushes Competition to the Fringes | Statista

Source: Statistica

For Windows Mobile, it goes something like this:
Windows Phone app selection problem

This is why Microsoft was largely unable to get more developers on board for its platform. Sure, you’d find almost all top-tier apps on Windows Mobile, but below that level, it’s a different story altogether. Many apps either don’t have a presence on Windows Mobile or they don’t update it as much as their Android and iOS counterparts.

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The button that made the Internet bonkers

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We all know the sheer amount of people on the Internet online at a given time. That number is enormous. So enormous that even a tiny little clock couldn’t complete 60 seconds without someone pressing a tiny button, resetting it back. It has been going on like this since 1st of April when some people over at Reddit decide to come up with this idea and named it The Button.

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The concept was simple: they wanted to see how long would the clock keep on resetting. And to add a little bit of fun to this, each Redditor that has created an account before April 1, would have only one chance to press the button. And when they do, Reddit saves the remaining time on the button’s clock and assign it as a flair to their account on The Button subreddit. Cherry on top is the flair has become a sort of a representation of your class on Reddit. Say, you were impatient and pressed the button as soon as you could, you’d be awarded a blue flair which is the indication of you being the third-grade citizen of that subreddit. Consequently, the further you wait, the elitist flair you’d get. How long have people waited you ask? Well, at the time of writing of this post, the least amount of seconds left on image

the clock were 31 which resulted in a prestigious yellow flair. And there has only been 17 of such instances. There has been many speculations about orange and red flairs as the time approaches towards zero but nobody has ever seen those around.

So, do you have what it takes to get a yellow flair? Maybe an orange one or a red one perhaps?

Basit Saeed

Passionately a software developer, Basit Saeed considers himself a person who believes in software and social media being the change agents of 21st century. He is a techy, a gadgets freak, and loves playing with code whenever he can. He tweets at @basit_saeed.