Best Acupressure Points for Tension Headaches

In considering the presenting symptoms of the many people I have treated over the past ten years, I can say with certainty that headaches are among the most frequently reported health complaints. And the vast majority of headaches that I have diagnosed and treated have been tension-type headaches.

Tension-type headaches involve dull or pressure-like pain in and around your temples, forehead, scalp, or the back of your neck. Often times, the pain associated with a tension-type headache will feel like it is being created by a band of pressure that is tightening around your head.

Although emotional stress, anxiety, and depression are among the most common causes of chronic, intermittent tension-type headaches, tension headaches can also be caused by pure physical stressors, such as poor posture, sleeping with your neck in an awkward position, or any type of physical injury that has caused muscles in and around your head and neck to become tight.

Unlike migraine and cluster headaches, tension-type headaches tend to respond quickly to a few physical measures. What follows are the key recommendations that I typically share with patients who are looking to overcome chronic tension-type headaches via simple physical measures:

  1. Spend a minimum of 20 minutes each day in a session of meditation, deep relaxation, or prayer. Doing so can help to alleviate emotional stressors that may be contributing to your tension-type headaches. For meditation and relaxation sessions, I have found EarthRain to be an enormously effective tool.

  2. Be mindful of positions that your neck and head are forced to take on for extended periods throughout the day. Strive to position your neck and head in such a way that you do not feel tension in your eyes, neck, or shoulders. Reading and writing with your neck bent down and to one side are killer culprits - do what you can to minimize this posture.

  3. Upon receiving approval from your primary health care provider, consider applying manual pressure to the following acupuncture points:

    1. Gall Bladder 20 (GB-20): Located behind your head, in the first major depression that you can feel below the base of your skull, about two finger widths away from the midline of your neck.

      For those with knowledge of human anatomy: This point is at the junction of the occipital and nuchal regions, in a depression that lies between the origins of the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. It is approximately at the level of the lower margin of the external occipital protuberance.

      Application of pressure to GB-20 is meant to affect:

      • Semispinalis capitis muscle
      • Splenius capitis muscle
      • Rectus capitis posterior muscle
      • Obliquus capitis superior muscle
      • Greater occipital nerve
      • Less occipital nerve
      • Suboccipital nerve (C1)
      • Motor fibers from dorsal rami of upper cervical nerves
      • Branches of the occipital artery and tributaries of the companion vein

    2. Belly of Your Temporalis Muscle*: Located in the center of your temple region. Palpate this region with your first and middle fingers pressed closely together until you find a tender, muscular zone. If you have trouble locating this point, place your fingers against your temples and then clench down on your molars a few times - you should feel the main muscle belly of your temporalis muscles bulge in and out.

      For those with knowledge of human anatomy, pressure on the belly of the temporalis muscle is meant to affect:

      • Deep temporal nerves that branch off from the third division (mandibular) of the trigeminal nerve
      • Cutaneous branches of the greater occipital nerve
      • Deep temporal artery and companion vein

    3. Large Intestine 4 (LI-4): Located in the soft, fleshy web that sits between your thumb and forefinger.

      For those with knowledge of human anatomy, this point is meant to affect:

      • A muscular branch of the median nerve
      • The deep branch of the ulnar nerve
      • Proper palmer digital nerves from the first common palmar digital nerve
      • The superficial branch of the radial nerve
      • Tributary branches of the cephalic vein, the radial artery, and the first dorsal metacarpal artery and companion veins

    For optimal results, use your fingers and/or thumbs to massage these points on both sides of your body for a few minutes at a time, up to several times a day. When you correctly locate these points, you should feel some tenderness when you apply pressure to them. Apply enough pressure/massage to create a mild, dull, and possibly achy sensation.

    If you are not sure about the location of GB-20 and LI-4, I highly recommend that you take a look at the following book, the best of its kind:

    Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments

    I recommend this as a must-have reference book for every person who is interested in natural health remedies, as it provides excellent illustrations of all of the major acupressure points that I use to treat a wide variety of health challenges. I will continue to refer to various points that are illustrated in this book as I write more articles on how to use acupressure to address different health challenges.

Please note: you should never receive acupressure or acupuncture treatments while pregnant. Certain points, such as SP-6 can cause uterine contractions. Also, acupressure should never be applied to legs that have varicose veins. Applying pressure or massage to varicose veins can potentially lead to a pulmonary embolism. You should always consult with your primary health care provider before you begin applying acupressure to yourself or others.

If you find that consistent application of the suggestions provided in this article do not lead to significant improvement with your headaches, you should consult with your primary health care provider to rule out other less common causes of pain and discomfort in your head and neck regions.

* The belly of your temporalis muscle does not contain a classically defined acupuncture meridian point. It is a point that I have found through personal clinical experience to be an effective treatment site for tension-type headaches.


The Amazing Cucumber


This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their “Spotlight on the Home” series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance..

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing
the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during
final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while
you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

15 Fascinating Planets Outside Our Solar System


Exoplanets or “extrasolar planets” are planets found outside our solar system. They are designated by affixing a lowercase letter, starting from “b” towards “z” depending on order of discovery, to their parent star’s Flamsteed designation or catalogue numbers.

When PSR1257 + 12 B and PSR1257 + 12 C (they used uppercase letters for these very first ones because they did not yet use the current nomenclature), and later 51 Pegasi b, the first confirmed exoplanets were discovered in the early 1990’s, they were hailed as the most significant breakthroughs in the field of Astronomy since the Copernican Revolution and caused an uproar in the scientific community, and revived hopes of finding Earth-like planets and perhaps life outside the Solar System. Before those discoveries extrasolar planets were deemed nonexistent by most reputable astronomers and mere mention of their existence was treated as science fiction such that no self-respecting scientist took them seriously until relatively recently. Since then Exoplanetology, the study of exoplanets has evolved rapidly into a new branch of Astronomy, uncovering more than 400 such planets (30 of which in the month of October 2009 alone), but most of them were disappointingly similar to the first ones: hot bloated gas giants revolving very close to their star with orbital periods measured in days – sometimes termed “roasters,” and brown dwarves – failed stars which can be easily mistaken for the most massive planets.

The most plausible explanation for this is that the commonly used indirect methods of exoplanet detection are biased towards large, massive objects with short orbital periods which make them the easiest to identify. Every once in a while though, with the help of advanced technology and new innovative means of improving our detective capabilities and a bit of luck we get a few surprises:

Oldest Planet
PSR B1620-26 b (discovered: May 30, 1993, confirmed: July 10, 2003)

Hs-2003-19-A-Large Web

PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed “Methuselah” for biblical reasons, is the oldest exoplanet found to date at 13 billion years old, possibly the oldest ever considering the Universe itself is only a little older at 13.7 billion years old! It was found deep inside the core of what is called a “globular cluster” of stars, which are composed of the very first stars that were formed right after the Big Bang. And based on our knowledge of planet formation planets are born soon after their parent star, so if the exoplanet’s star is really old, then the planet itself must be really old as well. It was confirmed to be a planet only in 2003 which is good news for planet-hunters because if planets can be readily formed as quickly as stars just after the Big Bang then they must be as common too.

Closest to Solar System
Epsilon Eridani (Epsilon Eridani b discovered August 7, 2000)


It’s actually a system of planets, not unlike how we like to call our own solar system. The name “Epsilon Eridani” stands for the parent star, or their “sun,” and it has two probable planets orbiting it: one confirmed (Epsilon Eridani b) another yet unconfirmed (Epsilon Eridani c), making it the closest planetary system at just over 10 light years from the solar system. It even has not one but two asteroid belts, an inner one between Epsilon Eridani b and the star and an outer one between b and c, and also a dust ring beyond c’s orbit believed to be produced by extrasolar comets bumping into each other.

Most Suns
91 Aquarii b (November 16, 2003)

800Px-Planet At Psi1 Aquarii

When we think of planets we are used to the idea of planets around the sun in a single star system but in fact a surprising number (about one in two) of the stars we see in the night sky are really multiple star systems; that is, a group of two or more stars orbiting around their common center of mass (they appear as single points of light because of sheer distance). In the 91 Aquarii system there are five stars, and in November 2003 it was discovered that a gas giant planet was orbiting the primary star, 91 Aquarii A, and thus the planet is alternatively named 91 Aquarii Ab to distinguish it from the other stars in the system and to make room for possible undiscovered planets around those other stars. This gas giant is special because our methods of detecting exoplanets around stars require a great deal of precision which could unfortunately be thrown off by even one other nearby star, making it one of the few planets discovered in multiple star systems.

Most Exoplanets in One System
55 Cancri (55 Cancri b discovered April 12, 2006)

55Can Cook Big

This is quite similar to the previous one in that it is a binary star system, a two-star multiple star system just like Tatooine (which by the way has become a new scientific term describing planets in multiple star systems after the hypothetical HD 188753 Ab, which could have been the first of the “Tatooine planets” was hypothesized back in 2005 but was later disproved) from Star Wars, but this time it has five medium-size “Neptune-mass” planets orbiting around the larger star 55 Cancri A, in order of distance from parent star: 55 Cancri e, b, c, f, and d (or 55 Cancri Ae, Ab, Ac, Af, and Ad to distinguish them from the other star, 55 Cancri B). This is the most number of confirmed planets orbiting one star other than the sun and hence raises the possibility of finding more planets around stars with or without known planetary systems by showing that our solar system of many planets is not unique.

Exoplanet’s Atmospheric Composition Known
HD 209458 b (November 5, 1999)

395071Main Spitzer20091020-516

Another “special” gas giant in the sense that its orbital plane aligns perfectly with our line of sight i.e. it regularly passes through the face of its parent star as seen from Earth. This “transiting” of the planet allows us to more accurately calculate its size by analyzing the amount of its parent star’s light that is blocked off as it passes and more importantly determine the composition of its atmosphere through Spectroscopy, the study of interactions between radiation and matter (in this case, the interaction between gases and vapors in the planet’s atmosphere and its sun’s starlight). Using this method they have detected the presence of sodium vapor and more recently (October 2009) some water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane in the planet’s atmosphere. It is also only the second planet revealed to possess organic compounds, with HD 189733 b being the first one on October 5, 2005.

Gas Giant in “Habitable Zone”
Gliese 876 b (June 23, 1998)

800Px-Artist's Concept Of Gliese 876 B

The habitable zone is the imaginary spherical shell surrounding a star where conditions are optimal for liquid water to exist on an Earth-sized planet orbiting within that shell. This gas giant is special because it orbits inside its sun’s habitable zone. “But so what,” you say, “how is it ‘habitable,’ we can’t live on gas giants, you know!” While it is true that we humans are as of now incapable of living on or in a gas giant, take a quick look at the gas giants in our solar system: they all have some relatively big, icy moons, and it is not impossible (albeit not certain) that Gliese 876 b could have some habitable moons (think Pandora and Polyphemus from the movie Avatar). Even if not, there is no reason not to believe that life could originate in or on gas giants, as evidenced by a paper from respected astronomers discussing the possibility of life in Jupiter’s thick atmosphere.

V391 Pegasi b (March 2007)

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This gas giant was found orbiting a white dwarf star (a type of dead star) which means that at some time in the past during the star’s red giant phase (a red giant is a large dying star preceding the white dwarf stage) the planet must have been skimming its sun’s surface or possibly even orbited inside the dying star! This bodes well for the planets in our own solar system including Earth, because our sun is believed to begin its red giant phase five billion years into the future, engulfing the orbits of the inner planets and possibly reaching the present-day orbit of Mars. But even if the Earth does survive inside the red giant sun the surface will be totally sterilized by the high temperatures in the red giant sun.

First “Super-Earth”
µ Arae c (August 25, 2004)


Up to now we have been talking of a few noteworthy gas giants in a universe of hot bloated gas giants, but this planet, the first “super-Earth,” or large rocky exoplanet discovered, brought researchers much closer to finding Earth-like planets outside the solar system. A “super-Earth” is defined as an exoplanet with a mass between that of the Earth and the giant planets in the solar system. They are generally considered to be rocky because for an object the size of the earth its weak gravitational force tends to attract more of the densest most massive materials (e.g. rocks and metals) but little of the lightest materials like gases, which could then be easily blown off by astronomical phenomena like radiation from its sun, atmospheric escape, or large asteroid impacts. As this rocky protoplanet grows to approach Jupiter-mass, however, its strengthening gravitational attraction allows it not only to pull more objects to its surface but also hold on to the lighter gases, setting off a vicious spiral which eventually leads to it becoming another gas giant. It demonstrated how advancements in technology achieved through cooperation in the intensive development and constant innovation of new techniques can pay off and lead to bigger things (or rather smaller things, as our refined techniques have detected exoplanets with smaller masses since then).

Just paying the bills...

Possible “Hot Neptune”
Gliese 436 b (August 31, 2004)


It was discovered soon after the first super-earth, with their masses and diameters roughly equivalent. Initial calculations, however, suggested a density greater than those of gas giants but not quite as dense as rocky super-Earths, and led scientists to believe it was made primarily of the next most abundant compound in the universe: water (which in turn is composed of some of the most abundant elements in the universe: Hydrogen and Oxygen). But given the planet’s high surface gravity due to its high mass and small radius, and the fact that it orbits close to its star, any water comprising the planet is thought to be exotic forms of “hot ice” or water compressed into a hot, solid state by enormous pressures, like how carbon atoms are compressed into diamonds by pressures beneath the Earth’s surface.

Lava-coated Super-Earth
COROT-7b (February 3, 2009)


This recent addition to the fast growing list of extrasolar planets thrilled scientists when they determined its diameter to be only about 1.7 times that of Earth with a density and inferred composition similar to that of Earth. It was among the smallest exoplanets at the time of its discovery and the most Earth-like, if not for a literal sea of molten rock and metal covering its entire surface due to its orbit’s extreme proximity to its sun! It is also one of the few super-Earths with an atmosphere, but only a really thin and tenuous one with trace amounts of water vapor and various metals in gaseous form because of extreme conditions on its surface.

First Planets to be Photographed
Fomalhaut b and HR 8799 b, c, d (November 13, 2008)

289903Main Fomalhaut Concept 540X356

Direct exoplanet observation has been compared to watching a gnat flying across the face of a searchlight on a foggy day from miles away (source: National Geographic). Fomalhaut b and HR 8799 b, c, d are the first exoplanets directly imaged in optical wavelengths (that is, in colloquial terms, photographed) using huge Earth-based telescopes at W.M. Keck and Gemini Observatories in Hawaii along with the Hubble Space Telescope. Truly an impressive feat, yes, but not quite as impressive as the next one.

Farthest planet from parent to be imaged
GJ 758 b (November 2009)

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It’s roughly the same distance from its star as Neptune is from the sun, so it only receives and reflects a tiny fraction of its sun’s light, like Neptune. But if you thought observing Neptune from the Earth is hard enough, try photographing an object as dim as Neptune, only from 50 light years (about 500 trillion kilometres or 300 trillion miles) away in another star system! That’s exactly what the Hubble space telescope did in November 2009. What’s really interesting about this and the previous item is that these telescopes are scheduled to be replaced by a new generation of more powerful telescopes, some of them dedicated solely to planet-hunting (notably the Terrestrial Planet Finder or TPF to be launched in 2015 with a stated mission of – you guessed it – finding terrestrial planets). So if the old general purpose and soon-to-be-obsolete Hubble telescope can accomplish that, who knows what more we could find with the newer, specialized telescopes!

Planetary collision
HD 172555 (August 2009)

Infrared detectors on Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope detected large amounts of vaporised rock, along with fragments of hardened lava, known as tektites, which are usually formed by meteorite impacts. The existence of such a large amount of these kinds of material that would be enough to obscure a star’s light points to a huge impact – a planetary collision – in order to produce that much debris.

Its discovery shows that catastrophic planet-scale collisions are not very uncommon in the universe, and supports the widely accepted theory that the Earth’s moon was created by a similar event in the distant past. Furthermore, computer simulations have predicted the remote possibility of future collisions in our solar system 3 billion years into the future, far from the 2 years that pseudo-scientist nuts want you to believe.

Super-Earth Closest to Solar System
GJ 1214 b (December 16, 2009)


This one is very much like COROT-7b but it is closer to Earth at 42 light years and hence can be more comprehensively studied. Like COROT-7b its surface is much hotter than Earth’s, but much milder than that of COROT-7b which could allow for a thicker and denser atmosphere, if one exists.

Most Earth-like Exoplanet Yet
Gliese 581 d (April 24, 2007)

070424 Gliese581C 02

At 7 to 14 times the mass of Earth this planet is considered to be a super-Earth but remarkable in that its orbit is inside the habitable zone, and has a solid surface allowing for any water present on its surface to form liquid oceans and even landmasses characteristic of Earth’s surface, although with a much higher surface gravity. So striking is its resemblance to Earth that it has inspired some people to send greetings intended for possible intelligent life forms that could have developed similarly to us.

Exoplanet Naming Society


Can you imagine talking about exoplanets at a party and going about how awesome PSR1257 + 12 B, PSR1257 + 12 C, PSR B1620-26 b, HD 209458 b, µ Arae c, COROT-7b, GJ 758 b, GJ 1214 b, and HD 172555 are? That’s what’s led to the creation of the Exoplanet Naming Society a little over a year ago, which aims to replace the current designations of exoplanets with mythological names for easy reference, like the planets in our solar system. Now you can participate in this exciting new age of discovery by assigning obscure unpronounceable names to distant balls of rock and gas for future grade school children to memorize.

11 Things You Didn't Know You Could Watch on Webcam

11 Things You Didn't Know You Could Watch on Webcam

It's a fact that everyone loves the PuppyCam, except for those few people with an abnormal hatred of puppies. (And, frankly, we don't speak to those people.)

But PuppyCam isn't the only cam out there to take precious time away from your job and loved ones. Oh no, there's plenty more weird stuff to stare at, from leprechauns to the inside of some dude's fridge.

1. Grass
Remember how fascinated you used to be when you'd step outside in the springtime and be surrounded by grass all growing and whatnot? And you'd just stand there and stare for hours on end?

That thrill has been recaptured over at Watching Grass Grow where you can, you know, watch grass grow. Keep reading for bizarre and mundane webcam subjects.

2. Leprechauns
Because the Irish have been fed up with fairy folk for ages, they've set up a security net to catch the little buggers and their pots of gold.

If you feel inclined to help out, check out the leprechaun cam and drop the owners a message should you catch sight of something. Just watch out if it turns out to be a leprechaun like in the movie, because odds are he'll make a really bad joke, then kill you.
3. Statue of Liberty
Sure, it's one of the biggest landmarks in all of the U.S. and a great tourist attraction. But if you can't make it to NYC and still want to make sure that giant, green French Lady is standing where we left her, you can check in on cam.

As a bonus, if she's ever not there, there's probably a wicked reward if you let someone know.
4. Roaches
Speaking of cuddly, the University of South Carolina is more than happy to give you a glimpse into the fascinatingly awful world of hissing cockroaches.

When you log in, you may be convinced it's simply a still image but rest assured, if you constantly refresh, you see those creepy little buggers darting all over the place.
5. Peeling Paint
For the more discerning viewers who find the excitement of roaches and leprechauns too intense, there's the peeling-paint cam.

Is it as exhilarating as watching the grass grow? Why not open two windows and compare?
6. Wedding chapel
Romance isn't dead, and neither are poor decision-making skills, as proven by this webcam pointed directly at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas.

Now you can share a special moment with strangers who probably need video evidence to remember the wedding even happened.
7. Some dude's house
If you're more into the voyeur aspect of webcams but don't want to commit to paying $2.50 a minute for something sexy and exciting, then this might be what you're looking for.

It's some dude's house. In the kitchen, in the dining room, in the living room, out back, whatever works for you.
8. Tattoo cam
For those who like "Miami Ink" but are put off by the hot women and glitzy atmosphere, Joe's Body Art will give you the same basic experience, only with a stationary camera and presumably none of the ridiculous drama.
9. Snowmen
Do snowmen do anything mysterious when no one is watching? This camera answers that question for you, and if you can't be bothered to look then we'll answer for you.

No. They mostly just sit there, being inanimate and all.
10. Bubbles
Mixing the thrill of a backyard with the thrill of bubbles is the bubble cam. Press the button and watch bubbles fly in front of the camera.

Admittedly, if you were just doing this live with no camera, you'd either be a 6-year-old or severely disturbed, but toss technology into the mix and suddenly it's fascinating.
11. Fridge cam
In the same vein as the paint peeling and grass growing is the fridge cam. It shows you what's in the fridge somewhere in Japan.

A photo archive also indicates this is pretty much just a still image but whatever, is it any worse than roaches? Tags: puppycam - webcam

Income tax slabs revised

No tax for income upto 1.6 lakh.

For income between 1.6 lakh - 5 lakh tax liability 10%. (old slab was Rs 1.6 to 3 lakh)

For income between 5 lakh - 8 lakh 20%. old slab was Rs 3-5 lakh)

For income above 8 lakh 30% (old slab was Rs 5 lakh +)

Additional investment of 20K in infra bonds over and above Rs 1 lakh in 80C.

Competition redefined!

Who sells the largest number of cameras in India?

Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. Answer is none of the
above. The winner is Nokia whose main line of business in India is not
cameras but cell phones.

Reason being cameras bundled with cellphones are outselling stand alone
cameras. Now, what prevents the cellphone from replacing the camera
outright? Nothing at all. One can only hope the Sonys and Canons are
taking note.

Try this. Who is the biggest in music business in India? You think it is
HMV Sa-Re-Ga-Ma? Sorry. The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes
(that play for 30 seconds) Airtel makes more than what music companies
make by selling music albums (that run for hours).

Incidentally Airtel is not in music business. It is the mobile service
provider with the largest subscriber base in India. That sort of
competitor is difficult to detect, even more difficult to beat (by the
time you have identified him he has already gone past you). But if you
imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy you
can't be farther from truth.

Nokia confessed that they all but missed the smartphone bus. They admit
that Apple's Iphone and Google's Android can make life difficult in
future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If
these illustrations mean anything, there is a bigger game unfolding. It is
not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails?

The "Mahabharat" (the great Indian epic battle) is about "what is
tomorrow's personal digital device"? Will it be a souped up mobile or a
palmtop with a telephone? All these are little wars that add up to that
big battle. Hiding behind all these wars is a gem of a question - "who is
my competitor?"

Once in a while, to intrigue my students I toss a question at them. It
says "What Apple did to Sony, Sony did to Kodak, explain?" The smart ones
get the answer almost immediately. Sony defined its market as audio (music
from the walkman). They never expected an IT company like Apple to
encroach into their audio domain. Come to think of it, is it really
surprising? Apple as a computer maker has both audio and video
capabilities. So what made Sony think he won't compete on pure audio?
"Elementary Watson". So also Kodak defined its business as film cameras,
Sony defines its businesses as "digital."

In digital camera the two markets perfectly meshed. Kodak was torn between
going digital and sacrificing money on camera film or staying with films
and getting left behind in digital technology. Left undecided it lost in
both. It had to. It did not ask the question "who is my competitor for
tomorrow?" The same was true for IBM whose mainframe revenue prevented it
from seeing the PC. The same was true of Bill Gates who declared "internet
is a fad!" and then turned around to bundle the browser with windows to
bury Netscape. The point is not who is today's competitor. Today's
competitor is obvious. Tomorrow's is not.

In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways in India?
Singapore airlines? Better still, Indian airlines? Maybe, but there are
better answers. There are competitors that can hurt all these airlines and
others not mentioned. The answer is videoconferencing and telepresence
services of HP and Cisco. Travel dropped due to recession. Senior IT
executives in India and abroad were compelled by their head quarters to
use videoconferencing to shrink travel budget. So much so, that the mad
scramble for American visas from Indian techies was nowhere in sight in
2008. (India has a quota of something like 65,000 visas to the U.S. They
were going a-begging. Blame it on recession!). So far so good. But to
think that the airlines will be back in business post recession is
something I would not bet on. In short term yes. In long term a resounding
no. Remember, if there is one place where Newton's law of gravity is
applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware. Between 1977 and
1991 the prices of the now dead VCR (parent of Blue-Ray disc player)
crashed to one-third of its original level in India. PC's price dropped
from hundreds of thousands of rupees to tens of thousands. If this trend
repeats then telepresence prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of
airlines then. As it is not many are making money. Then it will surely be

India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly
different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The
filmi gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and the other Khans
who followed suit). That was, when cricket was fundamentally test cricket
or at best 50 over cricket. Then came IPL and the two markets collapsed
into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs. Suddenly an IPL match was
reduced to the length of a 3 hour movie. Cricket became film's competitor.
On the eve of IPL matches movie halls ran empty. Desperate multiplex
owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls
to hang on to the audience. If IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket,
as it is likely to be, films have to sequence their releases so as not
clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned both are what
in India are called 3 hour "tamasha" (entertainment). Cricket season might
push films out of the market.

Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When
did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain
pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above
is "I don't remember!" For some time there was a mild substitute for the
typewriter called electronic typewriter that had limited memory. Then came
the computer and mowed them all. Today most technologically challenged
guys like me use the computer as an upgraded typewriter. Typewriters per
se are nowhere to be seen.

One last illustration. 20 years back what were Indians using to wake them
up in the morning? The answer is "alarm clock." The alarm clock was a
monster made of mechanical springs. It had to be physically keyed every
day to keep it running. It made so much noise by way of alarm, that it
woke you up and the rest of the colony. Then came quartz clocks which were
sleeker. They were much more gentle though still quaintly called "alarms."
What do we use today for waking up in the morning? Cellphone! An entire
industry of clocks disappeared without warning thanks to cell phones. Big
watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush
your competitor is hiding!

On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing
machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged
a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone much to the mirth of Silicon
Valley). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary!
The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal
called competition. He said "Have breakfast ...or.... be breakfast"! That
sums it up rather neatly.

-Dr. Y. L. R. Moorthi is a professor at the Indian Institute of Management
Bangalore. He is an M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and
a post graduate in management from IIM, Bangalore

10 common issues you can fix with a registry hack

1: Disable AutoPlay

I always find it a bit annoying to insert a TechNet CD and have Windows open Internet Explorer and display a bunch of information I don’t care about. I would rather just be able to navigate through the disc’s file system and go directly to what I need. Fortunately, it’s easy to create a registry setting that disables AutoPlay:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  2. Create a DWORD named NoDriveTypeAutoRun.
  3. Set the value to 000000FF.

2: Increase the maximum number of simultaneous downloads

As a technical writer, I’m constantly downloading files. Sometimes I need to download a lot of files, and Windows’ limit on the number of files that can be downloaded simultaneously gets in the way. If you’re in the same boat, you can tweak the registry so that Windows will let you download 10 files at a time:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.
  2. Create a new DWORD named MaxConnectionsPerServer and assign it a value of 0000000a.
  3. Create a new DWORD named MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and assign it a value of 0000000a.

3: Change the name of the registered user

When you install Windows, you’re prompted to enter a username and a company name. But since it’s fairly common for companies to merge, you may want to change the name of the company Windows is registered to by using this hack:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.
  2. Change the values that are assigned to the RegisteredOwner and RegisteredOrganization keys to reflect the new ownership information.

4: Prevent the Recycle Bin from being deleted

If you’ve ever right-clicked on the Windows Recycle Bin, you know there’s a Delete option, which can be used to get rid of it. If you want to prevent the Recycle Bin from accidental deletion, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKCR\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.
  2. Create a new registry key called Shell.
  3. Create a new registry key named Delete and put it beneath the Shell key. The path should look like this: HKCR\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\Shell\Delete.
  4. Modify the Default key and assign it a value of Recycle Bin.

5: Eliminate cached logons

Windows is designed to allow users to log on using cached logins if no domain controller is available to authenticate the request. If you want to make sure that a login request is always authenticated by a domain controller, you could change the number of cached logons that are allowed from 10 to 0 (or you could increase the number of cached logins allowed to 50). To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\winlogon.
  2. Create a new REG_SZ setting named CachedLogonsCount.
  3. Assign this new setting a value that reflects how many concurrent cached logins you want to allow.

6: Encrypt and decrypt from a shortcut menu

Normally, when you want to encrypt or decrypt a file in XP Pro or Vista, you just right-click on the file or folder and choose the Properties command from the shortcut menu. When the properties sheet appears, click the Advanced button on the General tab and then use either the Encrypt or the Decrypt option.

If all that seems like a lot of work, you can add those options to the shortcut menu you see when you right-click on a file:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
  2. Create a new DWORD called EncryptionContextMenu and assign it a value of 1.

7: Delay Windows Activation

Typically, when an organization deploys Vista, it will create a master image, run SYSPREP, and deploy the image. The problem is that it might be a while between the time that SYSPREP is run and when Vista is actually deployed.

Microsoft will allow you to extend the activation period by 30 days, but you can do that only three times. You can, however, use a registry hack to get around this limitation:

  1. Navigate through the registry to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL.
  2. Change the value associated with the SkipRearm key to 1.
  3. Open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command: slmgr -rearm.

8: Relocate your offline files

When you use Vista’s Offline Files feature, the offline file cache is automatically placed on your C: drive. But my laptop has two hard drives in it, and I wanted to configure Vista to place my offline files onto my secondary hard drive. I accomplished the task by following these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel and click on the Network And Internet link, followed by the Offline Files link. Windows will display the Offline Files properties sheet.
  2. Disable offline files if they are currently enabled.
  3. Click OK and reboot the machine.
  4. When the computer reboots, open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\CSC.
  5. Create a new string value named Parameters.
  6. Assign this value to the Parameters key:

where e: is the drive letter you want to use.

  1. Exit the Registry Editor and reboot the computer.
  2. When the machine reboots, enable offline files.
  3. Reboot the computer one last time. Now, you can start making folders available offline.

9: Disable User Account Control

One of the things about Vista that seems to irritate a lot of people is the User Account Control feature. In essence, an administrator is treated as a standard user. Administrators who attempt to perform an administrative action receive a prompt asking whether they initiated the action. I think that this prompt is a valuable safeguard against malware, but since a lot of people don’t like it, here’s how to use the registry editor to suppress the prompt:

  1. Navigate through the registry editor to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  2. Change the value of the ConcentPromptBehaviorAdmin key to 00000000.

10: Don’t display the last user who logged in

Windows Vista is designed so that when you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to log in, it will display the name of the user who logged in most recently. This can be a bit of a problem if multiple users share a common PC. They may forget to check to see who was logged in previously and key in their own password in association with another user’s login name. If they try this enough times, they could lock the other user out. You can get around this problem by using a simple registry tweak to tell Windows not to display the name of the user who was logged in previously:

  1. Navigate through the Registry Editor to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  2. Set the DontDisplayLastName key to a value of 1.

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says


This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.