(NewsUSA) - High-rise condos may seem like a dream for those craving an urban setting or for beach-going vacationers who long for a comfortable home, sans the hassle. But living in close contact with neighbors has its own set of challenges, like floods that cover entire floors, and quite often these issues can go unnoticed until it's too late.
To this point, a high-rise leak can become an even larger problem. All it takes is for one neighbor's child to leave a faucet on to cause irreparable damage to the ceiling of the unit below. A pipe could unknowingly sprout a leak, causing damage to several apartments and leading repairmen to search for several hours before a leak can be stopped.
In condominiums, water damage can affect multiple families' health (to say nothing of their wallet) because moisture can lead to mold, which is difficult to completely remove (and can mean thousands of dollars to do so). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can cause everything from eye irritation to troubled breathing, and after extended exposure, chronic lung disease.
Water damage from a neighbor starting a flood can also ruin personal property in the form of unsightly cracks or water spots on ceilings or walls and can also ruin antique carpet or hard-to-replace items. But floods are common. Case in point? In 2003, California alone saw insurance companies pay $500 million in water damage claims.
However, condominium communities can take steps to protect entire buildings from water damage. New products can detect and stop water leaks before damage occurs. For example, the FloLogic System (www.flologic.com), which won one of Popular Science's Best of What's New awards, acts like a circuit breaker for the home plumbing system.
As an automatic water shut-off device, the FloLogic System is able to monitor a condominium's water supply from one location in the main. When the flow through the system exceeds a preset limit, the product shuts off the water and sounds an alarm at the keypad, saving not only yours, but your neighbor's as well. The alarm can also be linked to a condominium's security system for increased awareness.
For more information, visit www.flologic.com.
(NewsUSA) - When it comes to getting fit, many consider cardio exercise the best solution. But strength training is also an essential part of any comprehensive exercise routine. Strength training can boost cardio health, burn calories and fat and put you on the fasttrack for fitness success.
It's no surprise that strength training was listed as a top fitness trend for both men and women by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It's also a key step towards improving quality of daily life -- whether that's countering long hours spent at a desk job or staying active with the family.
"Everyone can benefit enormously from strength training," says celebrity trainer and Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland. "Muscle helps our bodies work optimally, providing us with functional strength and the ability to perform daily activities with ease."
Here are some easy ways to add some strength training into your exercise routine:
* Commit to a regular routine, and build from there. If you are new to strength training, consider lighter weights and fewer repetitions to get started. You can challenge yourself with larger increments and higher repetitions as you progress. "Success in strength training is all about overloading the muscle with precise weight and progressing appropriately," Holland says.
* Use equipment, or keep it simple. Equipment such as kettle bells, dumbbells and medicine balls are all great options. For example, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells (www.bowflexselecttech.com) replace 15 sets of weights with a space-saving design -- adjustable from 5 to 52.5 pounds at the turn of a dial. If you don't have easy access to weights, or want to start off simple, everyday objects, such as a frozen water bottle or cans of soup, can be used as substitutes.
* Get back to the basics with functional fitness. Functional fitness focuses on strength and bodyweight training exercises to improve balance, develop muscle and condition our bodies. Basic exercises, such as squats or sit-ups, mimic movements used in daily life. Another option to keep your body tuned to daily activities is walking. You might not be ready for a 5k walk, but a machine like the Bowflex TreadClimber (www.treadclimber.com) can help you get started by combining the motions of a treadmill, a stair climber and an elliptical.
* Fuel your strength training with protein. "Protein is essential to building lean muscle," says Holland. One easy solution is a protein shake or smoothie. For example, the new Bowflex Body (www.bowflexbody.com) nutrition line includes fitness shakes that provide a 15-gram punch of protein and essential vitamins for only 125 calories.
(NewsUSA) - When business giants Target, Home Depot and Sony got hacked, and personal information was compromised, data security, once again, became a hot topic and household word.
Sure, you know you need to do more to shield your identity, but let's face it, you can only do so much to protect yourself, and even that is reliant on other people or companies. Unfortunately, these same entities can clearly be careless.
When people aren't careful, the Internet can become a playground for criminal activity. Whether you're checking your email, banking information or doing some online shopping, you have already put yourself at risk of having your identity stolen.
Criminals have developed several ways to obtain personal data from innocent Internet users. According to the United States Department of Justice, cyber criminals can take over an individual's identity to conduct a wide range of crimes. Criminals like to make fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts because victims usually don't become aware of the criminal activity until substantial and irreversible damage has already been done.
Enter Gabriel, a set of secure communication apps derived from a U.S. Department of Defense project and created by VirnetX, an Internet security software and technology company.
Gabriel transmits information using automatic virtual private networks with military-grade encryption. Think Cryptograms.
"Gabriel has been designed and built with personal privacy and security as a foundational principle," says Dr. Robert Short, VirnetX Chief Technical Officer and Chief Scientist. "As a result, Gabriel provides uncompromising data security? users do not have to transmit data to, or store data with, any third party, including VirnetX. Users can therefore rest easy that their data is stored only on their devices."
Other benefits from using Gabriel include:
* Making free voice or video calls or sending instant messages to other Gabriel members in your network.
* Receiving spamless e-mail.
* Allowing for person-to-person messages that disappear once the session has ended.
* Sharing pictures or files with other trusted Gabriel users in your network directly from your personal device.
All of the above is done with other members of your network with the assurance that the transmissions are secured with end-to-end encryption.
Simply put, Gabriel makes your online communications invisible. Think of it this way: if the bad guys can't see you, they can't attack you.
Gabriel is free to try. For more information, please visit www.gabrielsecure.com.
(NewsUSA) - Winter has a certain amount of charm that comes with it -- from sledding and outdoor ice skating to snowmen and brightly lit trees. But when icy weather hits, and your pipes are ill-prepared, it can mean a long (and costly) spring.
Here's what happens: When temperatures drop, trapped water in pipes can freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, it can cause the pipes to rupture. When the pipes thaw, that's when homeowners might come home to a flooded basement.
Instead of waiting before it's too late, now is the time to insulate your pipes before the cold weather returns. Do it in the comfort of warm weather at your leisure so you're not rushed when the cold weather arrives.
This action step performs double duty, keeping hot water pipes warm and protecting cold water pipes from freezing, which can lead to immediate energy returns. Homeowners with existing insulation should check it before the cold weather comes to town. If either the insulation or its tape looks cracked or crumbles to the touch, it should be replaced. If the pipes have either wire or tape heaters, homeowners should contact the pipe heater's manufacturer before attempting to insulate pipes.
Old Man Winter
As a homeowner, you most likely will not be needing your hose or sprinklers this winter season. To that end, drain and store your lawn and gardening supplies before the first freeze. Even well-insulated homes reach freezing temperatures if left unheated.
Like any other industry, new technology is being developed to prevent water damage. One product, the FloLogic System, acts like a circuit breaker for the home plumbing system. The FloLogic system monitors a home's entire water flow from a single position on the water main. When the flow through the system's sensor exceeds a preset limit, the system shuts off the water and sounds an alarm at the keypad. If connected to a security system, FloLogic will notify the monitoring service. Shutting off the water prevents flooding, saving you from potentially costly repairs. Many insurers will also offer discounts to homeowners who use the FloLogic System.
If, however, a pipe is already frozen, homeowners should turn off the water, slowly thaw the pipe, then call a plumber to make necessary repairs.
For more information about the FloLogic System, and protecting your home from water damage, visit www.flologic.com or call 1-877-FloLogic.