Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pete Sampras versus Roger Federer

Current No. 1 Federer emerged with a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) victory Monday night in an exhibition that featured a little bit of everything—some laughter, some stellar shots, uneven play and compelling tennis.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Instant Messaging Softwares and Applications

Web This polished Web app aggregates your AOL, Gmail, ICQ, Jabber, Windows, and Yahoo! buddy lists into a single, Web-based instant-messaging and chat-room experience. Meebo is building in extras, such as games you can play with IM buddies, as well as video and audio chat you'd find with your regular IM client software.

Windows | Linux Open source tackles instant messaging in this client, which supports more IM networks than you've ever heard of.

WindowsAccess all your IM accounts (AIM, ICQ, Windows Messenger, Yahoo!, and more) from a single interface that also logs all your conversations, if you desire.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2270811,00.asp

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Best Free Software

Adobe Reader
Windows | MacOS | Linux | Mobile This simplest of Adobe's PDF programs lets you do just about anything PDF-related (besides create new ones), including online collaboration. It includes a host of features to aid users with disabilities.

Windows | MacOS | Linux | Web One of the most widely used pieces of free software ever, AOL Instant Messenger offers a ton of capabilities.
Read our full review of AIM 6.5.

Windows | MacOS | Linux Whether you're recording or editing, Audacity is all about audio in practically any format.

Windows | MacOS | Linux This PC Mag Editors' Choice Web browser has been on top of the heap since version 1.5 came out in late 2005. Read our full review of Firefox 2.0.

Windows | MacOS | Linux The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) does most of what Photoshop does; the Gimpshop project (plasticbugs.com) even makes it look like Photoshop. Read our full review of The GIMP 2.0.

Windows | MacOSWhen you're attached to the top media player in the land (iPod), success is a given. iTunes continues to build sales and refine its organization of songs, video, games, podcasts, and more. Read our full review of Apple iTunes 7.6.

Windows | MacOS | Linux You can spend a lot for Microsoft Office or nothing for this suite with full-function word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentations, even an equations editor. Read our full review of OpenOffice.org 2.3.

Windows | MacOS | Linux You'll pay to call regular phones, but if you sign up all your friends, Skype provides easy (and even international) calls and video-conferencing for nothing. Read our full review of Skype 3.0.

Windows | MacOS | Linux Mozilla's no-cost e-mail alternative is extensible, fast, and easy to master. And a wealth of free add-ons means there's not much this program won't do, from calendars to encryption. Read our full review of Thunderbird 2.

Linux This Linux-based OS comes with many of these Hall of Fame products (Firefox, OpenOffice.org) preinstalled.

Windows After a decade of playing music, the "skinnable" WinAmp has several versions, including one with full CD ripping and burning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

5 Medical Tests That May Keep You Well

CRP, or C-reactive Protein

This is a simple blood test that measures the amount of inflammation in your body. In many ways, CRP is the best "crystal ball" of health ever devised in a single blood test. Elevated CRP levels have been shown to precede and predict heart attack, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, aneurysms, sudden cardiac death, abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation and even macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

CRP is a protein made by our immune system that fuels the fire of inflammation in our bodies. The higher your CRP level, the more at risk you are to develop problems. Optimal levels - less than 0.7 milligrams per liter - predict good health.

It's important to understand that CRP doesn't diagnose any particular conditions - it's not specific. It just identifies whether you're at risk for illness. It's best to check your CRP during your routine annual physical, when you feel fine. If you're sick with something, your CRP probably will be elevated.

The good news is that CRP levels can be lowered by exercise, modest weight loss, taking a multivitamin, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and certain medications such as aspirin and statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs).

Vitamin D Level

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones because it's needed for calcium absorption. But new research also is identifying an important role for vitamin D in the immune system and in the prevention of cancer, including breast and prostate.

Studies show that more than half of American women don't get enough vitamin D. It's known as the "sunshine vitamin," because your skin makes it when you’re out in the sun. That's why people who lack daily sun exposure or who use sunblock when outdoors may be deficient in the vitamin. It's almost impossible to get adequate amounts from foods, despite fortification of dairy and some soy foods. All multivitamins contain vitamin D, but for most people even that is not sufficient. You may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Most people should get between 1000 and 1500 IU of vitamin D3 daily. (D3 is the natural form of vitamin D. It’s more easily absorbed and stays in the body longer.) The best way to know if you’re getting enough vitamin D is to get a blood test.

H. pylori Test

About 20% of Americans may unknowingly be infected with the bacteria responsible for stomach cancer, heartburn, ulcers and even eye disorders. The discovery of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) infection as the primary cause of stomach ulcers worldwide earned Australian researchers Robin Warren and Barry Marshall the Nobel Prize in medicine for 2005. The bacteria also have been found to cause stomach cancer.

H. pylori is a chronic, potentially lifelong infection of the stomach. It can cause stomach pain, heartburn or indigestion, but it's often silent, causing no symptoms. Infection typically occurs when a person eats contaminated food and ingests the bacteria. The infection can be cured with a combination of antibiotics and antacids.

A blood-antibody test can show if you've ever been infected, and a stool test or breath test can identify if you currently have an active infection. Fortunately, successful treatment of H. pylori eliminates the increased risk of stomach cancer, ulcers and related disorders.

Aspirin Check

Aspirin has been shown to be a powerful preventive measure for people at risk for heart attack and stroke as well as for colon cancer, and it's estimated that as many as 50 million Americans take aspirin daily to prevent a heart attack. What's not clear is the optimal dose of aspirin for prevention. Most people are taking a baby aspirin (81 milligrams), but research has shown that 10% to 20% of people are resistant to aspirin and require higher dosages in order to benefit from its protective effects.

An aspirin check is a test that determines the effectiveness of the daily aspirin for an individual. This is important for people who are taking aspirin therapeutically for cardiovascular disease as well as those at increased risk for heart disease who are taking aspirin for prevention. The test can be ordered by your doctor but also is available directly from an online lab.

Insulin Level

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by an excess of insulin production in response to eating. The glucose tolerance test has long been the standard way to identify someone with diabetes. Until recently, glucose tolerance tests measured only blood sugar, or glucose levels, which are raised when a person has diabetes. But measuring your body's insulin-production levels improves the test by being able to identify your risk of diabetes long before symptoms emerge.

Typically, to do the test, your blood is drawn twice - first after fasting, then again two hours later after a glucose drink. Your insulin levels are recorded. If the results indicate that you're at a higher risk for diabetes, the good news is that you also have time to take action. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a lifestyle that includes daily exercise, weight control and a low-glycemic diet that reduces the intake of sugar, refined grains and starches.

Source: http://health.yahoo.com/young-healthyhabits/5-medical-tests-that-may-keep-you-well/parademagazine--101.html