PSA: If you’ve ever used a Sennheiser headset with your Mac, it is wide open to attack

If you’ve ever used a Sennheiser headset or speakerphone device with your Mac (or Windows PC), the accompanying HeadSetup app has left your machine wide open to attack.

In what has been described as a ‘monumental security blunder,’ the app allows a bad actor to successfully impersonate any secure website on the Internet …

ArsTechnica explains.

To allow Sennheiser headphones and speaker phones to work seamlessly with computers, HeadSetup establishes an encrypted Websocket with a browser. It does this by installing a self-signed TLS certificate in the central place an operating system reserves for storing browser-trusted certificate authority roots. In Windows, this location is called the Trusted Root CA certificate store. On Macs, it’s known as the macOS Trust Store.

The critical HeadSetup vulnerability stems from a self-signed root certificate installed by version 7.3 of the app that kept the private cryptographic key in a format that could be easily extracted. Because the key was identical for all installations of the software, hackers could use the root certificate to generate forged TLS certificates that impersonated any HTTPS website on the Internet. Although the self-signed certificates were blatant forgeries, they will be accepted as authentic on computers that store the poorly secured certificate root. Even worse, a forgery defense known as certificate pinning would do nothing to detect the hack.

Although the app encrypted the key with a passphrase, the passphrase itself (SennheiserCC) was stored in plaintext in a configuration file.

“It took us a few minutes to extract the passphrase from the binary,” Secorvo researcher André Domnick told Ars. From then on, he effectively had control of a certificate authority that any computer that had installed the vulnerable Sennheiser app would trust until 2027, when the root certificate was set to expire. Dominick created a proof-of-concept attack that created a single certificate […] that spoofed Google, Sennheiser, and three of Sennheiser’s competitors.

Even if you later uninstalled the app, the certificate would still be trusted. All Mac users who have ever used the HeadSetup app should manually uninstall the certificate by following Sennheiser’s instructions. (The instructions leave out the first step, which is to ensure you’re in the Finder.)

If you still use the app, you can download the latest version of HeadSet, which should also delete the vulnerable certificate, but the safest option would be to do it manually as above first

[“source=forbes]

Food & Drink: Amaro’s Table brings ancient drink to life

A flight of three amari await tasting at Amaro’s Table in downtown Vancouver. Rachel Pinsky

Sara Newton, beverage director at Amaro’s Table, is an amaro whisperer. She knows you probably haven’t tried an amaro, so she has created amaro flights, paired with helpful note cards, to bring you on a buzzy journey through the world of this ancient amber digestif and darling of craft bartenders.

Amaro is the Italian word for “bitter.” But that barely explains the complex flavors created by mashing a mosaic of traditionally foraged ingredients in alcohol, sweetening it with sugar or honey, and aging it in casks or bottles. Unusual herbs like gentian, angelica, cardoon, cinchona, lemon verbena, juniper, anise, fennel, bay laurel, rue, and wormwood create curious flavors and aromas when combined with roots, flowers, bark and citrus.

In his influential book “Amaro,” Brad Thomas Parsons explains, “Generally speaking, amaro refers to the collective class of Italian-made aromatic, herbal, bittersweet liquors traditionally served as a digestif after a meal.” Unlike Italian wines, amari (the plural form of amaro) don’t have a DOC (controlled designation of origin) label, so bitter liqueurs from places outside of Italy can also be called an amaro.

At Amaro’s Table, flights consist of one-ounce pours of three different amari. Many craft cocktail bars have several varieties of this bitter; here, there are more than 30 imported and domestic amari colorfully decorating the neat oak shelves behind the cozy, bright white bar. Newton likes to have “a good representation of all the varieties.”

I tried a Bartender’s Choice flight of three different amari. This flight changes regularly.

Newton thoughtfully designs a card that lists all the amari you’re trying in the same order as they appear on the wood serving plank. This card has the name of the amaro, where it’s made and some tasting notes. The amari are set before you in order from lightest to most bitter (similar to a beer flight). There’s no correct way to drink an amaro. They can be served with soda water or a twist of citrus, on the rocks or neat. At Amaro’s Table, the flights are served neat in squat, wide glasses that allow you to gaze at a color spectrum from light caramel to burnt amber and sniff the array of aromas.

On my visit, the flight included amari from three Italian regions: Amaro Sibilla from Muccia, Black Note from Piedmont and Averna Amaro from Sicily.

The Amaro Sibilla from the mountainous Marche region of Southern Italy was invented in 1868 by Girolamo Varnelli and used as a remedy for shepherds. Honey of the Sibillini Mountains is used to sweeten this tongue-tingling, herbaceous drink. It’s aged for at least six months to allow the flavors to blend and mature. It smells like honey and raisins. When it coats the mouth and tongue, there’s a surprising tingling sensation. After the initial bewilderment wears off, the tingling and numbness is stimulating. It signals the awakening of your salivary glands in preparation for a meal.

The second amaro was Black Note out of Turin. Newton told me that this is a good beginner’s amaro. She said, “A lot of times, it’s one of the ones I introduce people to so they can learn about amari. It becomes one they are enamored with and infatuated with it. It does have so many layers to it. You have that toasted marshmallow and that orange peel and then that dandelion, gentian. The beginning of it is so herbal, but at the end, it’s so fresh.” It smelled like anise and herbs. It tasted like marshmallows — this sweetness expertly tempered by herbaceousness.

The final amaro was Averna Amaro from Sicily. It smelled like Sprite. This citrus finish comes from the essential oils of bitter lemon. It tasted sweet, subtly aromatic with notes of anise, juniper, sage, vanilla and citrus. The recipe was first made in 1868 by Benedictine monks of the San Spirito Abbey in Caltanissetta, Sicily. The monks passed on their recipe to Salvatore Averna, a benefactor of the abbey. The Averna family made this bittersweet bitter until 2014, when it was purchased by Gruppo Campari in Milano, Italy. Averna is still infused in Caltanissetta, using the traditional local ingredients.

If you prefer to just dip your toe into the amaro pool, there are several amaro cocktails on the menu that allow you to get a taste of amaro mixed with other flavors. The Amaro’s cola (Amaro CioCiaro, Topo Chico and a twist) is a pleasant doorway into the world of this fascinating drink.

As Newton advised, “Everything is overwhelming in the beginning. Start somewhere.”

[“source=forbes]

Unhealthy Lifestyle May Up The Risk Of Diabetes; Diet Tips To Stay Healthy

Unhealthy Lifestyle May Up The Risk Of Diabetes; Diet Tips To Stay Healthy

According to a study published in The BMJ, night shifts clubbed with an unhealthy lifestyle can put you at particularly high risk of type-2 diabetes. It is well established that unhealthy lifestyle behaviour like smoking, a poor diet and little exercise, and being overweight or obese increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Shift work, especially night shift work, has also been associated with a greater risk of type-2 diabetes. However, the researchers believe this to be the first study to look at the combined impact of an unhealthy lifestyle and rotating night shift work on risk of type-2 diabetes.

For this study, working rotating night shift work was defined as working at least three-night shifts per month, in addition to day and evening shifts that month. Unhealthy lifestyle was defined using four major factors: being overweight, being a smoker, doing less than 30 minutes of exercise per day, and having a poor diet.

Over 22-24 years of follow-up, 10,915 of the 1,43,410 nurses reported having a diagnosis of type-2 diabetes. For every five years of working rotating night shifts, the nurses were almost a third (31 percent) more likely to have been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.

[“source=cnbc”]

9 Things To Buy On Black Friday That Will Save You Money

Most of us are pretty irrational when it comes to our spending habits. We don’t think twice about small daily purchases — but if a price tag crosses a certain threshold, we start to feel uncomfortable about our buying decision.

This mindset is not good for your bank account. Small purchases are usually low-value and have a very short gratification period. Larger purchases, while a bigger investment, usually pay for themselves and continue to improve our lives over time.

With all of the holiday sales starting, now is a great time to start thinking harder about the things you buy.

This Black Friday I challenge you to rate purchases in terms of value and long-term return. Avoid picking up a bunch of cheap things just because they’re a “great deal” and go for items that will improve your life and save you money next year. Here are nine examples of purchases that check both boxes and are even better buys on Black Friday.

1) Restaurant Gift Cards

You probably don’t have every weekend planned out for 2019 but one thing I can guarantee you’ll do is eat at your favorite restaurant.

On Black Friday, many restaurants offer a bonus gift card when you purchase a certain denomination (you’ll see deals like buy a $100 gift card and get an extra $20). This is a great way to lower your food spend in 2019 without changing your eating habits. Just check the fine print as some “bonus” gift cards will need to be spent by a certain date.

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2) Fitness Equipment with Live Classes

Fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape. But they can get expensive. A spin class costs $20 on average, and that price can be even higher at some studios. Attending class three times per week means you’re likely spending at least $250 per month or $3,000 per year on spin class.

If attending classes in person isn’t a priority for you, then purchasing an at-home solution can help you meet both your fitness and financial goals.

Fitness equipment with live classes, like a Peloton bike, are often viewed as fancy and expensive but when you break down the costs, they are usually much cheaper. Peloton’s 0% financing options currently allow you to pay $58 per month for their equipment and $39 per month for their membership. That means your all-in cost is about $100 per month — or less than half of what you’d pay at a studio.

3) Blender

That post-workout smoothie from the shop next to your gym might be great for your health but it’s destroying your food budget. Splurge on a fancy blender instead and make your own at home to seriously cut costs.

Even a top of the line blender like a Vitamix (starting at $289.95) will pay for itself in a few months if a smoothie stop is part of your regular routine. As a bonus, owning this new appliance may also inspire you to make your own almond milk or soups and further reduce your food spend in 2019.

4) Cooking Equipment and Meal Kits

Millennials are known for our love of dining out but while fast casual restaurants and delivery services are extremely convenient, they’re often not great for our health or wallets.

Learning how to cook a few of your favorite dishes well can save you tons of money and calories. Plus it’s a pretty useful life skill to have.

A great way to get started on your cooking journey is to opt into a meal-kit delivery service like Sunbasket or Blue Apron, both of which are currently offering $60 off. Their easy-to-follow recipes and home delivery make cooking a breeze for even the most novice of chefs. And if you need basic cooking equipment to get started, there are countless Black Friday deals you can take advantage of.

5) Wardrobe Staples

The avalanche of promotional Black Friday emails from retailers have already started. Most people open those emails, spot a few things they like, and make an impulse purchase. When the item arrives, they maybe wear it once or twice and then forget about it because it wasn’t practical or something that they even really wanted.

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it. (Repeat that three times.) Instead, take advantage of low prices by buying high quality wardrobe staples that will constantly be in rotation and can handle the wear.

An easy way to determine if an item is worth buying is its cost per use. Divide the cost by the number of times you think you’ll wear the outfit in a year.

6) Coffee or Espresso Machine

If you love your morning Starbucks run, this is not for you. But if you get annoyed every time you see a $5 latte listed on your credit card statement, then investing in a top quality coffee or espresso machine can save you a ton of money.

You can replicate exactly what the barista is doing at your favorite coffee shop, but for a fraction of the cost. And since you control the inputs, you can even get your daily brew to the point where it tastes exactly how you want it to.

7) Sports Equipment

Repeatedly renting sports equipment like a paddleboard or ice skates can get expensive. If there’s a hobby you enjoy that involves equipment rental, tally up how much you’ve spent on your rentals this year. Chances are that if you rent often, it may be cheaper to buy. And owning may incentivize you to indulge in your hobby even more than you already do which should make you happier.

8) Annual Park Passes

Paying an admission fee every time you want to visit one of your favorite places can add up. Getting a discounted annual pass to your local national park or theme park means you’ll always have a fun place to go and your cost per visit will go down.

[“source=forbes]

Traditional banks can be the ‘trusted face’ of fintech and online finance firms

Image result for Traditional banks can be the ‘trusted face’ of fintech and online finance firms

Traditional banks see online payment and financial services providers as their biggest threat, but they can still be a part of the shift to digital banking because of their status as regulated institutions that have the trust of customers and authorities, according to banking software provider Temenos.

In a recent survey of 400 banking executives, Temenos said more than 53 per cent of respondents cited e-financial services like PayPal, Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay as their biggest non-traditional competition in the next two years.

But their relationships could be complementary and not necessarily purely competitive, Temenos said.

“The more organisations like Alipay move into traditional banking such as deposit-taking and lending, the more they will attract the attention of the regulator, as is beginning to happen,” said Lee Volante, director of the business solutions group for the Asia-Pacific at Temenos.

“We believe organisations like Alipay may well become the face of retail banking, but they will rely on banking organisations to do the heavy lifting as regulated institutions,” he said.

 “Traditional banks have spent many years building customer bases who trust them to safeguard their money and provide 24-7, year-round real-time services. Fintech firms, often small start-up organisations, still have to prove themselves to earn the trust of customers,” he said.

In the US, e-commerce giant Amazon’s growing financial services business is increasingly attracting the attention of regulators, according to a recent Bloomberg report, while consultancy Bain & Co has predicted that Amazon could rival the nation’s big banks in as little as five years.

In China meanwhile, where use of Alipay, WeChat Pay and other e-finance services is surging – mobile payments reached 81 trillion yuan (US$12.8 trillion) in the first 10 months of 2017 – links are already forming between online payment firms and traditional banks.

Earlier this week, Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and the operator of the Alipay service, signed an agreement to help state-run China Everbright Bank with its digital transformation.

Other analysts said that China has a head start on Hong Kong in terms of the adoption of e-payments and fintech systems.

“China’s banking industry is still developing and this is why internet giants were able to gain considerable market share in e-commerce and payments because they were faster to offer convenient alternatives to traditional bank payments,” said Priscilla Ng, head of digital at Citibank Hong Kong.

“In contrast, Hong Kong has a mature banking industry and consumers are already used to doing things a certain way, so it will take a bit of time for them to accept new concepts – but we are getting there.”

Still the spectre of stronger regulation in China and concerns over security could potentially slow the growth of fintech, Volante said.

He noted that the mainland Chinese government has imposed new regulations setting daily limits on transactions via QR codes, which make up a third of all digital payments in China.

It will also require banks and online payment services to clear payments through a centralised national system from June 30, allowing for closer state scrutiny of transactions.

source:-scmp

Entry period open for Fashion Fallies show

Fashion Fallies is returning for fall of 2018. Organizers of the wearable art and performance event that wooed crowds last fall are busy planning this year’s event, which will take place once again at Haliburton School of Art + Design on Friday, Nov. 9. The Arts Council ~ Haliburton Highlands event has recently rleased their call for entry.

Fashion design experience is not required. Any and all mediums are welcome, including paper, wire, plastic, recycled materials, yarn, leaves, etc. Accessories, jewelry, single pieces or complete ensembles are all welcome.

“We have already heard that some people have already begun creating pieces,” says Amy Brohm, Fashion Fallies planning committee member. “People are really excited about this event and we have a number of new things planned for 2018.”

An information session and slideshow will be taking place on Wednesday, June 6 between 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Common Room of the Haliburton County Public Library for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the event and how they can submit a piece.

In addition, The Fashion Fallies committee in conjunction with Visible Voices studio is hosting a workshop called Head Over Heels for Fashion Fallies. This $10 workshop or pay-what-you-can is happening on Saturday, June 16 between 1 and 4 p.m. at Visible Voices Open Arts Studio on Industrial Drive. Head Over Heels will provide an opportunity to make fun and whimsical headpieces and get people inspired about creating for Fashion Fallies. All materials will be provided.

Source:-haliburtonecho

Save Your Wardrobe Fashion App Promises Double Whammy Of More Streamlined & Sustainable Living

Ever since Japanese ‘organizing consultant’ Marie Kondo’s consistently best-selling 2011 opus The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up de-cluttering has become an international obsession, part of a pseudo-spiritual quest for more meaningful living. And with good reason; according to the UK arm of US weight loss business Weight Watchers there is currently at least £10.5bn of unworn items in Britain’s wardrobes. While part of that figure comes from too-wishful thinking (the extra pounds never shifted, the clothes that never fit) there’s also the more significant story of too much stuff presenting a simple lack of visibility, clouding our judgement regarding what we need or want to buy next. The result is a vastly unsatisfying cycle of irrelevant things and increasingly flabby shopper-brand relationships.

Reclaiming the peace of mind that comes with neither wasting precious resources or your own cold hard cash is what London-based Save Your Wardrobe Co-Founder Hasna Kourda, an economics and corporate strategy graduate and a former luxury fashion sales assistant, is banking on: “When I worked in retail I saw a massive loss of trust between consumers and brands because people constantly felt they were being given the hard sell, not serviced according to what they really wanted or needed. Part of the aim of this concept, which fundamentally remedies the fact most people don’t even know what’s in their own wardrobe, is to re-build loyalty and create relevancy, which will raise sales figures if not numbers of ‘things’ sold.”

The app, which is free to users (brands will pay for the data/insights it delivers) is rooted in the building of an entire virtual wardrobe. This happens in two ways to encompass both new and existing items. Firstly, using advanced computer vision tech users can photograph their existing clothing which the system will then categorize, in most cases even establishing the brand. Secondly, users can allow (ostensibly via Google GOOGL +0.21%permissions) their digital receipts to be automatically read. Assuming the brand in question is affiliated to SYW via an AP the system will recognize the SKU, allowing it to register every detail including size, color, and date of purchase. A 30-day cooling period will adjust the data should items be returned.

Alex Holyoake / Unsplash

Computer vision tech will recognize and categorize items (Credit: Alex Holyoake).

In order to avoid the system becoming nothing more than a backwards-looking personal fashion filter bubble -rendering it much harder to offer suggestions or predict new influences – SYW is currently working with vast fashion shopping network ShopStyle’s database of brands so users can also browse a vast number of brands to create product wish-lists. Later, it will also tap into users’ social media activity to flesh out their profiles still further.

The system will also be connected to users’ calendars, so it knows, for example, when they’re due to go on holiday, and to where, or when they have a job interview coming up and will send them product recommendations. Users have a dashboard showing both their curated selections of clothing for various occasions (“playlists of outfits”) as well as their full digitized wardrobe, generating an enormous sense of control.

For brands investing in the concept as a tool to help them plan, produce, market and/or buy more accurately, the critical factor is that it will provide a window onto tastes and preferences, grouping users into clusters and micro segments – essentially people exhibiting similar desires, behaviors or attitudes. Because it straddles multiple brands it’s a more realistic reflection of real life; the non-brand-monogamous consumer at play .

A second layer, devised to take the intelligence offered to the next level, is the introduction of a suite of core services – dry cleaning, repairs, re-sales and alteration – that Kourda believes will spotlight how users feel about their clothing. It will, she suggests, present a kind of longer-than-usual narrative for products, understanding them not as single purchases but an ongoing story that reflects the attitudes of their owners. “This is where online fashion retail has become slightly unstuck,” says Kourda. “It doesn’t present the full picture of searching, buying and aftercare over time and nor does it tap into the notion of buying mindfully.”

Furthering the notion of a more mindful mode of operating in general, drawing on her own experiences of luxury selling, Kourda believes the app’s success will lie in “assisting not annoying people with relentless alerts. It’s about understanding the key moments. For that reason, we won’t be pestering people by sending notifications [that appear outside the app, on users’ home-screens]. We believe that getting the timing right is what will create a ‘sticky’ system’.” No ads, nor sponsored content affirm a commitment to useful engagement over mercenary marketing.

As with any algorithm/machine learning based system the more parties involved and the more data is accrued the more pertinent the suggestions. “There is an opportunity here for real relevancy, rather than creating product and then working out how to sell it to people,” says Kourda. “We want people [customers and brands] not to think of store as cash machines chasing money but places for amplified experiences and connections. Customers want to feel ‘seen’, they actively expect it.”

source:-forbes.

Louis Vuitton’s cruise show: sculptural silhouettes and iconoclasm

A model presents a creation by designer Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton

The white gravel hill path that winds around Joan Miró’s sculptures in the grounds of the Fondation Maeght, near Antibes in the south of France, was not just the catwalk for Louis Vuitton’s cruise fashion show, but the inspiration as well.

“I thought about what a woman would wear in this environment,” said designer Nicolas Ghesquière. His answer? Thigh-high trainer-boots, their latex stockings attached to sporty double-soled sneakers, worn with acidic silk dresses to flutter in the pine-scented breeze.

The clothes were extraordinarily beautiful. (The shoes were just extraordinary.) This was Ghesquière who, last week, renewed his contract at Louis Vuitton after five years, doing the intensely chic futurism that he does best.

After a ready-to-wear collection in Paris fashion week 10 weeks ago notable for being within the guardrails of bourgeois – Madame Macron-friendly, some noted – this cruise collection saw a return to Ghesquière’s signature look. (Think left-bank sculptress crossed with Luke Skywalker.)

A Giacometti sculpture and a model on the runway at the Louis Vuitton 2019 Cruise collection
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 A Giacometti sculpture and a model on the runway at the Louis Vuitton 2019 cruise collection Photograph: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Iconoclastic modernism linked these clothes to the art around them. Proportions snagged the eye in the same way as the Miró and Giacometti pieces that dotted the lawns: the inverted-triangle proportion of a broad-shouldered jacket, the angles of a dress snipped at one ribcage. Modernism was always his point of view, said Ghesquière after the show. Of the sculptural silhouettes, he said: “You always fight with gravity when you design clothes. You want the clothes to be light, to be suspended, to move with the body of the woman.”

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The Fondation Maeght, founded by art dealers Aimé and Marguerite Maeght as a temple to the work they loved, is “a love story between a family, artists and architecture,” said Ghesquiere.

The 1964 opening-night party remains the stuff of art-world legend: Ella Fitzgerald sang jazz and Alberto Giacometti, who designed benches and door handles for the building and huge pieces in the courtyard, looked on while smoking a pipe.

Léa Seydoux and Emma Stone in the front row for the Cruise collection
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 Léa Seydoux and Emma Stone in the front row for the cruise collection Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Fifty-four years later, Louis Vuitton’s party for 600 guests brought some of that glamour back. As well as actors Emma Stone, Léa Seydoux, Ruth Negga and Sienna Miller for the front row, the house flew in a shaman, hired for an undisclosed fee, to keep the rain away.

Bruised-blue skies held off for the duration, with torrential rain beginning half an hour later as models, now changed into jeans but still bearing the fire symbols painted on to their brows by makeup artist Pat McGrath (“to symbolise a community of women”) danced under the trees.

Ghesquière’s success at Louis Vuitton has been to boost sales while also raising the tone. Cruise fashion shows, in which fashion superbrands lay on jaw-dropping spectacles to impress their glamour upon a global audience, can seem crude in tone.

Ghesquière deftly elevates his cruise shows by choosing a modern architectural masterpiece for each venue. In this way, Louis Vuitton’s bombastic extravaganzas are pitched, instead, as a cultured world tour.

Nicolas Ghesquière and Doona Bae at the Fondation Maeght
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 Nicolas Ghesquière and Doona Bae at the Fondation Maeght Photograph: Swan Gallet/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

The Fondation Maeght, whose distinctive half-pipe roof has been variously likened to a skate ramp and to the horns of a bull, followed venues which have included Bob Hope’s spaceship-styled home in Palm Springs, the Mac Niterói gallery in Rio de Janeiro, and the mountaintop Miho Museum near Kyoto.

With this collection, Ghesquière said, he tried to balance classicism with excitement. “We all dream of making timeless clothes, of having timeless style, but in fashion you also want to be in the moment. You have to react to now.”

The Miami-esque colours were his response to the Fondation Maeght’s 1960s colour card. Cat-shaped clutch bags were a collaboration with the British fashion editor Grace Coddington, whose eccentric style was an inspiration for the season.

source:-theguardian

Fashion vs. function: Jamie Stelter on why flats are a medical must

Flats

People always ask me about my shoes. Most people want to know where I got them, but some wonder why I would ever go on air without wearing heels.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2003.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis,” explained Dr. Harry Fischer, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “It’s usually joints that are tender and swollen and painful, red. It’s usually certain characteristic joints, often small joints of hands and feet.”

I’ve been working with rheumatologist Harry Fischer at Mount Sinai Beth Israel for about 10 years. In that time, I’ve had fusion surgeries in my neck and foot.

But, it was a total ankle replacement that permanently took away some of the flexion in my foot.

That means no high heels.

That’s why you’ll always see me in flats or sneakers.

“Comfortable shoes are the most important thing and I think sneakers are very comfortable. Sneakers with a good arch support, you know sometimes shoes that are wide enough and comfortable enough with enough support,” said Dr. Fischer.

It’s taken years of tinkering with medications and diet and exercise regimens to be where I am now — healthy, strong and walking without pain.

But, not everyone has artificial joints or chronic disease. Maybe you just have achy knees. Thanks to brands like Margaux, finding the right shoes is easy.

“The beauty of this brand is that they’re custom made for you and will fit to your specifications to a T,” said Erica Russo, fashion director at Bloomingdale’s.

Russo recently showed us around “The Heart of Shoe York” — the new floor at the Bloomingdale’s flagship store on Lexington Avenue and 59th Street where flat shoes come in every shape, size and color.

“Fashion is having a love affair with flats. There are just so many options from the mules, to the loafers, to the sneakers, there really is something for everyone,” Russo said.

So whether you have a medical issue or you just want to be comfortable.

“Flats are not going away. They’re just going to continue to evolve and get more special,” Russo added.

source:-.ny1.

Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones review: The epitome of effective active noise cancellation

Sony WH-1000XM3

We said last year that Sony had put Bose “on notice” when it comes to active noise-cancelling headphones. Our review of Sony’s WH-1000XM2 reported that Sony not only delivered incredible audio quality, but that the company offered some high-tech features Bose couldn’t match.

This year, Sony fully eclipses Bose with its third-generation noise-cancelling cans: The WH-1000XM3. These headphones are superior to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in almost every way. Sony retained all the features that we liked in the previous iteration, including adaptive sound control, gesture recognition, and great audio reproduction (at least when powered), and made significant improvements to its active noise-cancellation technology. Sony’s new headphones are also more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions.

Sony WH-1000XM3Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The Bose QC35 II (left) are top of mind when it comes to active noise-cancelling headphones, but Sony’s WH-1000XM3 are better in every category that matters.

The great features Sony retained

First up is the gesture control pad located on the right-hand cup. After a brief learning curve, I grew accustomed to controlling my music and podcasts with simple swipes.

Swiping up and down with your fingertip raises and lowers volume, while back-to-front and front-to-back strokes move up and down your playlist respectively. Holding your finger down for a few seconds activates Google Assistant on Android devices, or Siri for iOS hardware. This worked flawlessly, though I do wish the virtual assistant appeared more quickly after being summoned. Perhaps Sony can add a preference setting to its app.

Sony WH-1000XM3Dan Masaoka/IDG
The surface area is large enough to accomodate imprecise gestures

Sony’s Adaptive Sound Control is something special. When this mode is selected, the headphones monitor your level of activity and automatically choose the appropriate noise-cancelling profile. You can also customize these profiles using Sony’s excellent Headphone Connect app.

Sony WH-1000XM3Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
Inside the Adaptive Sound Control section of Sony’s app.

If I’ve been sitting still for a bit, for example, the Staying profile will kick in with a short notification chime. This one uses the headphone’s onboard microphones to monitor ambient sound, so those noises can be cancelled out, while allowing the sound of human voices to come through. You get a personalized mix of your music and the sound of the outside world, with 20 levels of noise cancellation available. The Bose QC35 II offer just three stages of cancellation, so there’s no way to fine-tune the mix of music and ambient sound.

When I listen to music while walking home after work, I want to hear the environment around me, so I don’t get run over by a cranky San Francisco driver. I quickly learned that I couldn’t do that with Bose QC35 II. No matter which settings I applied, I couldn’t hear enough of what was going on. Sony’s headphones not only delivered a great listening experience—even at low volume—but I was always able to maintain situational awareness.

Sony WH-1000XM3Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The Sony WH-1000XM3’s fit nice and neat in their travel case.

In conditions where it’s inconvenient to launch Sony’s app, you can control the headphones’ active noise cancellation using the NC/Ambient button on the left-hand ear cup. This limits you, however, to three values: Fully engaged (the strongest level of active noise cancellation), fully open (the least amount of active noise cancellation, with the mics piping ambient noise into the ear cups), or active noise cancellation turned off (in which case, the headphones behave as conventional Bluetooth headphones).

Sony WH-1000XM3Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
Sony’s WH-1000XM3 have a 3.5mm analog input, an on/off button, and an noise-cancellation/ambient sound toggle on the left-hand ear cup. There’s a USB-C charging port on the right-hand cup.

Audio performance hasn’t changed much compared to last year’s model, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a head-to-head comparison with the Bose QC35 II, I found Sony’s WH-1000XM3 to be slightly more musical. Sony’s headphones maintain a more accurate frequency response across the full spectrum, where Bose seems to favor a scooped EQ that emphasizes bass and high frequencies at the expense of the mid-range. Sony’s cans never muddied the mid-range even while playing bass-heavy tracks at high volume levels, although I did notice some very minor distortion in the upper frequency range when I really cranked the volume.

Major strides in wearability

Sony’s WH-1000XM3 are much more comfortable than its previous generation headphones. I noted this during my briefing last month; it’s one of the biggest improvements over last year’s model.

Sony WH-1000XM3Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
The WH-1000XM3’s (right) are larger than the Bose QC35 II, but that allows for more space and padding around the ears.

Sony added extra padding to the bottom of the headband to distribute the weight on the top of your head more evenly. The ear cups are also wider and deeper, which reduces the pressure placed on the sides of your head and allows you to wear them for longer listening sessions without feeling fatigued. As such, wearability is another clear win against Bose’s product. Sony knocked it out of the park on this count.

Sony WH-1000XM3

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