Living

How hackable is your internet password?

Tips on improving your password; working moms have fatter kids; stutterers love The King’s Speech; how using mobile devices can be counterproductive; and Doggie Moms chronicles obsessed owners and pampered pooches.

In today’s online world, it can be hard to keep track of your many passwords. Was that a number or a symbol? Uppercase or lowercase? It can be tempting to revert to the tried-and-true “123456” or a similarly easy-to-remember word (for the most commonly used passwords, click here). This handy chart reveals why simplifying your password can be risky. Apparently it takes a skilled hacker about ten minutes to decode a six-digit, all-lowercase password. Add an uppercase letter? It can take ten hours. Add some numbers and symbols, and that hacker will need 18 days to access your account. Lesson? Mix it up – your online identity will thank you. 

A recent study conducted by researchers at three major American universities came to the troubling conclusion that working moms have fatter kids. The study of 900 school-aged children found that the offspring of working mothers had slightly higher BMIs than those with mothers who did not work. The authors did acknowledge that other factors like puberty may have skewed the results, but still advised parents to avoid processed and prepackaged foods for their children.  

The film The King’s Speech is winning numerous awards and statuettes, but it’s also receiving another and perhaps even more important stamp of approval. The film has won the widespread approval of stutterers of all ages around the world. Some 70 million people suffer from the oft-misunderstood speech impediment, and many of these people are voicing their gratitude to the film for demystifying their condition.  

Do you use your mobile device to stay constantly in touch with both work and family? A recent article in the New York Times explores how smart phones have blurred the divide between work and home, so that in many cases, we are not fully present in either areas of our lives. But is it possible to go back to being less connected, and if it was, would we even want to? Read on to find out.  

Do you love your dog like it was a tiny, hairy, human baby? Then you may be able to relate to the women of Doggie Moms, a new show about ladies that love their chihuahuas and poodles as if they were their own flesh and blood. Watching these New York divas attend dog-friendly social functions and fashion shows with their pooches in tow may be a bit much, even for hardcore dog lovers, but it’s not all superficial glitz and canine glamour: the ladies are committed to animal adoption, spay and neutering initiatives, and supporting the SPCA.