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As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the United States and abroad, researchers are racing to develop a vaccine at record-breaking speeds. In a June 23 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reiterated that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine being ready by early 2023.

“The development of a vaccine for a new pathogen typically takes many years and sometimes decades,” says Dan Barouch, the director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “The attempt to develop COVID-19 vaccines in a year is truly unprecedented in the history of vaccinology.”

To date, more than 145 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are currently under development in laboratories around the world. Barouch and his colleagues are working on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with the New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson, which will begin the first of several stages of human trials later this month. A number of other vaccine candidates have already entered human testing, including ones developed by researchers at Oxford University and the biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics in Massachusetts.

Before any vaccine can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, though, its creators must demonstrate that it is both safe and actually protects people from the intended disease—and many potential vaccines fail somewhere along the way. Here’s how researchers are hoping to streamline this complex, expensive process.

“The goal for COVID-19 vaccine development is to move the vaccine programs forward as fast as possible so long as safety and scientific integrity are not compromised,” Barouch says. “What is not acceptable is any sort of cutting corners that would result in patient safety risks, because safety is the most important part of any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine, even during a pandemic”

A new vaccine candidate must first be tested in animals before undergoing three phases of clinical trials in people. These tests investigate whether the potential vaccine could have any harmful side effects, what dose is needed, what kind of immune response it causes, and how effective it is in large numbers of people. Then, after a vaccine has been licensed, researchers will continue to monitor it to see how well it performs in the general population and to make sure there aren’t any extremely rare reactions that weren’t seen until many more doses had been given, says Bruce Gellin, the president of global immunization at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, D.C.

One hypothetical concern that can arise during this process is that, if a vaccine contains ingredients that resemble molecules found in our bodies, it could trigger an autoimmune reaction, says Patricia Winokur, the executive dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. For example, the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline discontinued its FDA-approved vaccine for Lyme disease due to rare reports in the early 2000s of the vaccine supposedly triggering arthritis. To date, researchers have found no evidence that this was actually happening to people who had received the vaccine.

Today, researchers have sequenced the human genome, as well as that of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, officially known as SARS-CoV-2. “We can see whether there is anything in those proteins that is similar to anything in the human body,” Winokur says. “That helps us make pretty scientific estimates that this vaccine would be safe over the long haul.”

Additionally, the kinds of vaccine candidates that might cause this type of problem tend to include adjuvants—ingredients intended to help the vaccine provoke a more powerful immune response to the virus. While many approved vaccines include adjuvants, verifying their safety adds additional time to the development process. “But the early [COVID-19] vaccines that seem to be on the fast track do not have adjuvants, so you have removed even that concern,” Winokur says.

Scientists will also be on the lookout for the possibility that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate could, in very rare instances, create an immune response that actually worsens the severity of the disease if the person is later exposed to the real virus. Scientists worried that this may have occurred in previous animal studies of experimental vaccines against SARS (another coronavirus). “That’s the scenario that we would need to be watching very carefully in these rapid vaccine studies,” Winokur says. So far, monkeys that received vaccines developed by the Oxford team and the Beijing-based company Sinovac Biotech (which includes an inactivated version of SARS-CoV-2) have not developed exacerbated disease after being exposed to the virus.

There are many different kinds of vaccine candidates for COVID-19 under development. One strategy that may allow researchers to develop a COVID-19 vaccine particularly swiftly is using pieces of DNA or RNA that code for the spike-shaped protein on the surface of the virus. This protein helps the virus latch onto and infect human cells and seems to be the component that our immune systems react most strongly against. These bits of genetic material prompt our own cells to build copies of the spike protein, which cannot cause disease on its own but can train the immune system to recognize the real virus in the future.

Because DNA and RNA vaccines only include fragments of genetic material, they can potentially be developed and evaluated for safety more quickly than traditional vaccines for which a weakened or inactivated form of the virus must be grown. That said, researchers still have to determine how effective this new kind of vaccine will be; no vaccines based on this technology have been licensed yet.

Although COVID-19 is a new disease, researchers have also had a head start on developing vaccine candidates because of previous work on vaccines for other coronaviruses such as the ones that cause SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The vaccine candidate created by Oxford University researchers was able to move into human trials rapidly because the team had used a similar technique to develop a vaccine candidate for MERS and had already shown that it was safe in people.

Certain characteristics of the novel virus may also bode well for our chances of developing a vaccine quickly. Viruses are often less complicated than bacteria or parasites like the one that causes malaria, Winokur says. This makes it easier for scientists to figure out which parts of the virus are likely to be the components that cause the body to mount an immune response and create antibodies that will protect us from future infections. Preliminary research also hints that the body may create a robust immune response after being exposed to the novel coronavirus or its protein pieces, which could give vaccine makers a blueprint for designing an effective preventative drug.

Still, scientists have not yet determined what an immune response that would successfully protect a person from COVID-19 looks like, Winokur says. Because of this, demonstrating that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate can actually prevent infection could be a challenge. “That will be harder to evaluate in a rapidly developed vaccine,” she says.

To find out whether a vaccine candidate is effective, researchers must inoculate a large number of people and then wait and see whether fewer of them catch COVID-19 than people who received a placebo. “The more disease that is [out] there, the quicker you can assess how well a vaccine performs,” Gellin says. By its nature, a pandemic will provide many potential opportunities for participants in these trials to be exposed to the virus. “There is so much virus out there [that] you’d probably be able to determine that relatively quickly.”

There are also ways to compress the time needed to move a vaccine candidate through clinical trials. Because COVID-19 poses such a dire threat to public health, scientists are planning large clinical trials that can launch as soon as the results from smaller, earlier-stage trials for a vaccine candidate arrive, Barouch says. Normally, researchers would have to wait until these early studies had concluded before they could even begin to contemplate designing their next round of testing.

“There is no additional risk to patient safety because the larger study doesn’t start until data exists from the smaller study, but the time lag between finishing a phase I/II study and starting a phase III study could be on the order of days as opposed to years,” Barouch says.

The process of producing vaccines on a large scale can be sped up as well in response to the pandemic. “Many companies are starting to mass produce vaccines even now as we speak, before they have any indication that it’s actually effective,” Barouch says. “By willingness to take [that] financial risk, companies can accelerate the process at a speed that has never been done before.”

Even though researchers are working at breakneck speed to design and evaluate candidates for a COVID-19 vaccine, their efforts may not bear immediate fruit. “It is theoretically possible that a vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization by this winter, but that is in no way guaranteed,” Barouch says. “That will require many things all happening well the first time around, and as we know from science and medicine not everything works out the first time around.”

And even if a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available in record time, it’s unlikely there will be enough doses to meet the enormous worldwide demand for it immediately. Ultimately, we will probably need a widely-available vaccine to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. But while we wait for that vaccine to materialize, we can at least use measures like wearing masks and social distancing whenever possible to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

“With a vaccine, you want to have people protected as quickly as possible,” Gellin says. “But should they have to wait, there are still ways that they can protect themselves.”

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10 Unique Ways To Develop A Strong Personality (Tips)

Personality Development – Have you ever observed people who are the center of attraction all the time? They have that superb quality, due to which people get attracted to them. So, how do they manage to do this? Well, the answer is simple they have a personified personality. Their aura is not only learned but is the reflection of their inner self.

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Personality Development- Behavioural Tips

Do you need to change: Let’s understand when it’s time for you to change. Suppose you are talking with someone, and that person, is nodding but not interested in you or your topic! The person is looking at his watch while speaking to you. The person suddenly hops onto someone else and talks for hours with that person. There is sudden silence in the room as soon as you enter. So, come out of your cocoon and see the world unbiasedly. Soon, you will realize that you must adapt to a new environment.

Work on Inner beauty: We all work on external appearance, but when you speak, everything gets reflected, whether you are arrogant, dominating, self-centered, or not concerned. From your actions and way of behaving and say, it all gets reflected. So make sure that you work on your inner beauty or personality. Having a great look takes you just a couple of months, but to have excellent personality development, you need to work for years to develop that aura and confidence, which will make you “a complete man.”

Are “you in self-doubt: Many times, people are genuine, and they know how to carry themselves, but they lack in their confidence levels, and they cannot express themselves adequately. They have fear in them; am I speaking right or not? What will people think about me? Are they making fun of me? Such questions of self-doubt suddenly take you on the back foot. Often, these people know a lot more than the people speaking. It is because they have a fear of the audience.

Learn from Mistakes: If you are learning anything new, you are bound to make mistakes, be prepared to say sorry and apologize genuinely. You can make a respectful corner among your friends and colleagues by saying sorry. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and move on. Do not stop until you have learned from your mistakes. This may take you years to learn, which is fine; at least you are learning and trying your best. You are a thousand times better than those who never try and are timid to confront their introverted personalities.

Evaluation (OthersOthers’ack): Keep evaluating yourself regularly. Sometimes you will get feedback from your peers like, woo, I didn’t know you negotiate so well, or You can discuss matters so well. Hey, how could you solve that problem so quickly? If such feedback comes your way, you are on the right track. And you are improving gradually. But If you are not getting feedback, then it’s time to have another mechanism for you to evaluate.

Self–Evaluation: For this, maintain notes about the personality traits you need to improve. Like public speaking, you boost confidence, a pleasant personality, helpful nature, socializing, dressing sense, and likewise. You need to find out what you need to work on first. Jot them down on paper with dates and search for the best way to learn that skill. Check for Google if you don’t have an alter ego or mentor of yours. From Google, you will get tips on what you need to do first. Take one trait for improvement at a time, excel in it, and then move ahead.

Develop your network and Socialize: Today is the age of networking, be social with people; you should often go on outings with friends, and you will have self-knowledge about things and develop the confidence to travel independently. Secondly, with your network, you know how to speak and interact, when to take credit for yourself, and when to share and help. When and how to say no without hurting, you will learn all these basic things when with people around.

Imitate: If you know of someone fantastic in team building and has a great personality, observe that person by heart, try to be that person most of the time to learn from him and how he does such things; the more time you spend in observing and learning more you understand about his positive and negative points. You need to adopt only the best qualities and not the negative ones. There is no harm in learning from your idol. Sometimes we can have two or more idols with whom we can stay and learn.

Adaptive: You can only learn when you are adaptive; if you are rigid with your thought process, then learning new things and personality development is next to impossible.

Fun Loving: Always working for targets and remaining a serious and boring kind of a person is never able to develop a fan club of his own; you need to be fun-loving and add some humor while the severe discussion is going on; this will break the monotonous routine in the room, and burst the stress balloon as well. But do it in a controlled and acceptable manner.

Time Management: It is crucial to stick to your time; this will help you prioritize things and decide what to do, when and how to say no, and where to schedule what. With time management, you will learn to know your priorities and scheduling, which reflects better team management qualities, and you will be able to lead. But first, manage yourself, and then you can manage your team well.

Courageous: Taking a stand for your decision is good quality, but you must learn how to express your thoughts and decisions. The win-win solution is the best approach; however, there are situations when you are bound to make tough decisions, the courage is to stick to those plans, but the smartness is when you can handle it smoothly when convincing all the stakeholders involved so that there is minimum dismal in the environment.

Great host: It does not matter if you host the party or not, what is essential is to show concern by asking people around like you should have some snacks, that one is good, have some water you are dancing for a long. I am going to get some food. Are you coming along?

Complement others: If you see someone looking great, it is always good to compliment them; they will love you for that. It’s nIt’snly about dress; this is valid for their impressive victory, speech, or any other quality you admire the most.

Read: A habit of reading will fetch wonders in your personality. The changes you have been trying hard for will come automatically to you. It will transform you from within and help you evoke your inner hidden strengths, from which you were unaware to date. Further reading helps you to introspect about yourself. When you have the habit of daily meditation, chances are you will evolve as a better human, leading to personality development with time and regular practice.

Behavioral Tips for Personality Development

Know your body type: It is essential to know your body type, skinny, fat, shot height, plump, or long-legged. Further, what is your face type, round, oval, flat, or with a distinguished face cut? What are your hair type, texture, and color? Your skin color and type. Is your skin allergic to cosmetics, sensitive to sun or cold? Once you know the answer to these things, you will have a better idea of what to have in your wardrobe regarding cosmetics and what you should never try.

Work on your attire: Dress according to the environment and situation; when going to the official party, try dressing up in a one-piece dress, shining top, or blazer with elegant jewelry. Learn the make–up tips as well. Likewise, distinguish your daily official formal attire and your family function attire. You can have exercise attire, sleeping attire, and shopping clothing separately, making you look and feel confident and fresh every time.

Accessories: Accessories are a great way to add to your personality development. You need to know what suits you best. Further, you should be able to carry yourself confidently while wearing those accessories. The wrong way to select is to buy what looks on you or what you like the most on the shopping cart or shelve. Accessories include shoes, jewelry, bags, perfumes, watches, pens for boys, ties, cuff links, wallets, visiting card holders, and your laptop bag; all makeup for a great look.

Your body language: this is universally accepted that your body does 70% of talking, and people will judge you by your gestures, not your speaking. So you need to know what your body is conveying while you speak and if it sounds too offensive, aggressive, or timid when you put your point across. People will judge whether you have the confidence to express what you are saying or whether your mind and mouth are in different directions. Be watchful of your body and its signals to the listeners.

BE ORIGINAL: The next critical point to consider during personality development is to be original. It is a famous saying that an original is always worth more than a copy; hence, one should always be what he or she is rather than pretending to be what they are not. Everyone on this earth is blessed with a unique property, and that particular individual must maintain or enhance that property. An individual should never try to copy or steal personality. Also, one must always try to adopt only the good habits of others.

The pointers mentioned above are easy, yet you need to have the confidence that you can do it, and you should not be in a fake notion that they are simple, so why give them time? In both thought processes, you will fail in your ambition. Therefore, following the mantra of slow and steady wins the race.

Gear up for a battle that is your battle with yourself! All the best for your new journey, hope to see a new you.

Windows Server 2003: “Inside The Box”

More, better, faster, cheaper…These are the adjectives one expects to see manufacturers use in the descriptions of new products, including operating systems. Microsoft is no exception – or are they? “Windows Server 2003 is the fastest, most reliable, most secure Windows Server operating system ever offered by Microsoft,” trumpets the company in one of its introductory pieces. This would indicate the firm’s focus on reliability and security. Taking a closer look should show us what Microsoft means.

Before reviewing what’s in the new OS, it’s important to remember what this release is and what it is not. This release is a replacement for the Windows 2000 Server family, which includes the Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server.

However, because of its close cousin, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 is not entirely new to us. Codenamed Whistler, the new OS was intended to replace the entire Windows 2000 family of workstations and servers. While the workstation systems, in the guises of Windows XP Home and Professional, were released in 2001, the server versions were delayed, in large part due to Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Initiative (TCI), in which all development was stopped while Microsoft’s software engineers looked for security issues in their respective products.

Many of the new features in the 2003 server operating systems are already familiar to us from XP. The time gap between the releases of the workstation and server systems has been used to incorporate the robustness needed for Microsoft to be able to make its “most reliable, most secure” boast.

There are six editions of Windows Server 2003, including Web, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions for the x86 CPU, and 64-bit Enterprise and Datacenter editions for the Itanium CPU. Windows Server 2003 is the first server operating system to include the .Net Framework as an integrated part of the system. Both versions 1.0 and 1.1 are included in the x86 editions; the 64-bit .Net is not yet ready, however, and as a result is not included in the 64-bit editions at this time.

The Core of the System

The core technologies of the Windows Server 2003 family form the basis of the improved performance, reliability, and security it delivers. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) verifies code before executing it to ensure that the coee runs error free (from the OS point of view – not necessarily the user’s!). The CLR also monitors memory allocations to clean up memory leakage problems and checks security permissions to ensure that code only performs suitable functions. Thus, the CLR reduces the number of bugs and security holes opened up by programming errors and improves system reliability and performance.

Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 is much more security conscious than its predecessor. The default IIS 6.0 installation is configured in a “locked down” state, requiring that administrators open up desired features. In fact, a default installation of Windows Server 2003 doesn’t install IIS at all (except for the Web Edition).

In earlier OS versions, IIS was installed by default and had to be removed if it was not needed, such as on a database server. The default install of IIS 6.0 will only serve up static pages and has to be configured to allow dynamic content. Timeouts are also set to aggressive defaults. Authorization and authentication – the “who are you?” and “what can you do?” mechanisms – are upgraded with the inclusion of .Net Passport support in the Windows Server 2003 authorization framework, enabling the use of these services in the core IIS web server.

IIS 6.0 itself now runs as a low-privileged network services account to help contain security vulnerabilities. Performance has not been forgotten either, with the tuning of many of the underlying service implementations and the addition of support for hardware-based cryptographic service accelerator cards to take the SSL cryptography load off the CPU.

Configuration information for IIS 6.0 is stored in a plain-text XML metabase, as opposed to the proprietary binary file used for IIS 4.0 and 5.0. This metabase can be opened in notepad to make configuration changes such as adding new virtual directories or a new web site (which could be copied from an existing site’s configuration). When the changes are saved to disk, the changes are detected, scanned for errors, and applied to the metabase. IIS does not need to be restarted for the changes to take effect.

Additionally, the old metabase file is marked with a version number and automatically saved in a history folder for use in case a rollback or restore is required. All changes made take effect without the need for any restarts. Additionally, there are two new Admin Base Object (ABO) methods that enable export or import of configuration nodes from server to server. A server independent method for backup and restore of the metabase is also available.

Page 2: Enhanced Management Services in Windows Server 2003

How To Find A Slot At Your Nearest Covid

The Government of India opened registrations for Coronavirus vaccination for the 18-45 age group earlier last week. Given the massive demand, it’s hard to find an open slot even if you’re glued to the Cowin website. Considering the situation, developers in the country have come together to create solutions that help people get an email or even Telegram alerts whenever an open slot is available nearby. In this article, we’ve picked the platforms you can use to find nearby vaccination centers and the websites for getting open slot email alerts.

Find Nearest COVID-19 Vaccination Center in India 1. CoWIN Website

2. Google Search and Maps

Another method for locating nearby Coronavirus vaccination centers in India is to use Google Search or Maps. Type ‘Covid 19 vaccine’ in Google Search and switch to the ‘Where to get it’ tab to view vaccination centers near you.

You can also search for vaccination centers through Google Maps. Just like Google Search, type ‘Covid 19 vaccine’ in the search box, and you will see nearby vaccination centers marked on the map. Do keep in mind that you need to register and book slots via CoWIN before visiting a center if you’re in the 18-45 age group.

3. MyGov WhatsApp Chatbot

WhatsApp has launched a chatbot in collaboration with the Indian government and Jio’s Haptik to help users find the nearest vaccination center. You can send ‘Hi’ or ‘Namaste’ to 9013151515 or use this direct link to access the chatbot. However, during my testing, it took over 10 minutes to respond, presumably due to overload.

When it responds, send ‘1’ to find information related to Covid vaccination centers. In response to the next message, send ‘1’ again and wait for the reply. Then, you need to input your PIN code to see the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centers along with the available slots and age limit. If the chatbot takes time to respond, check step 1 and use the CoWIN website instead.

4. Facebook COVID-19 Vaccine Finder Tool

Facebook recently added a COVID-19 vaccine finder tool to its mobile app in India. Using this, you can find the nearest vaccination center without leaving the Facebook app on iOS or Android. In a vernacular push, Facebook is making this tool available in 17 languages in the country. You can find this feature under Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center.

5. Find Slot (for Coronavirus Vaccine in India)

Visit Find Slot to Book a COVID-19 Vaccination Slot in India

Get Email Alerts for COVID-19 Vaccines 1. GetJab Website

GetJab is a useful resource for getting email alerts with open COVID-19 vaccination slots in India. Developed by Freshworks product manager Shyam Sunder with his friends, Getjab will send you email alerts whenever new slots open for the 18-45 age group. All you have to do is enter your name, pick your district, and type your email address. You can optionally choose to add your phone number, presumably for SMS alerts.

Visit GetJab

2. Vaccine Tracker on Google Sheets

Get Telegram Alerts for COVID-19 Vaccine Slots in India

Developer Berty Thomas has created a website to help people in the 18-45 age group find open vaccination slots in India. Also, Thomas has set up Telegram channels for district-specific slot alerts. You can find the appropriate Telegram channel for your city from this Twitter thread or the Under 45 website’s home page.

Visit Under 45 Website

Locate COVID-19 Vaccination Centers Near You

Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant

I find some aspects of language much more difficult than others. Abstract words are much harder for me to understand, and I have a picture in my head for each that helps me make sense of the meaning. For example, the word complexity makes me think of a braid or plait of hair — the many different strands woven together into a complete whole. When I read or hear that something is complex, I imagine it as having lots of different parts that need tying together to arrive at an answer.

Similarly, the word triumph creates a picture in my mind of a large golden trophy, such as the ones won in big sporting events. If I hear about a politician’s “election triumph,” I imagine the politician holding a trophy over his head, like the winning team manager at an FA cup final. For the word fragile, I think of glass; I picture a “fragile peace” as a glass dove. The image I see helps me understand that the peace might be shattered at any moment.

Certain sentence structures can be particularly hard for me to analyze, such as, “He is not inexperienced in such things,” where the two negatives (not and in-) cancel each other out. It is much better if people just say, “He is experienced in such things.”

Another example is when a sentence begins, “Don’t you . . .?” as in, “Don’t you think we should go now?” or “Don’t you want ice cream?” Then I become very confused, and my head starts to hurt, because the questioner is not being clear about whether he means “Do you want an ice cream?” or “Is it correct that you don’t want an ice cream?” and it’s possible to answer both questions with a “Yes,” and I don’t like it when the same word can mean two completely different things.

As a child, I found idiomatic language particularly confusing. Describing someone as being “under the weather” was very strange to me because, I thought, “Isn’t everyone under the weather?” Another common saying that puzzled me was when my parents might excuse the grumpy behavior of one of my brothers by saying, “He must have got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.” “Why didn’t he get out of the right side of the bed?” I asked.

In recent years, scientists have become more and more interested in studying the kind of synesthetic experiences in language that I have, in order to find out more about the phenomenon and its origins. Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran, of California’s Center for Brain Studies, in San Diego, has researched synesthesia for more than a decade and believes there may be a link between the neurological basis for synesthetic experiences and the linguistic creativity of poets and writers. According to one study, the condition is seven times as common in creative people as in the general population.

In particular, Ramachandran points to the facility with which creative writers think up and use metaphors — a form of language where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated things — and compares this to the linking of seemingly unrelated entities such as colors and words, or shapes and numbers, in synesthesia.

Some scientists believe that high-level concepts (including numbers and language) are anchored in specific regions of the brain and that synesthesia might be caused by excess communication between these different regions. Such crossed wiring could lead to both synesthesia and to a propensity toward the making of links between seemingly unrelated ideas.

William Shakespeare, for example, was a frequent user of metaphors, many of which are synesthetic, involving a link to the senses. For example, in Hamlet, Shakespeare has the character Francisco say that it is “bitter cold” — combining the sensation of coldness with the taste of bitterness. In another play, The Tempest, Shakespeare goes beyond metaphors involving only the senses and links concrete experiences with more abstract ideas. His expression “This music crept by me upon the waters” connects the abstract term music with a creeping action. The reader is able to imagine music — something normally very difficult to create a mental picture of — as a moving animal.

But it isn’t just very creative people who make these connections. Everyone does; we all rely on synesthesia to a greater or lesser degree. In their book Metaphors We Live By, language scientist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson argue that metaphors are not arbitrary constructions but follow particular patterns, which in turn structure thought. They give as examples expressions that indicate the links: happy = up and sad = down: “I’m feeling up”; “My spirits rose.” “I’m feeling down”; “He’s really low.” Or more = up, and less = down: “My income rose last year.” “The number of errors is very low.”

Lakoff and Johnson suggest that many of these patterns emerge from our everyday physical experiences; for example, the link sad = down may be related to the way that posture droops when a person is feeling sad. Similarly, the link more = up may come from the fact that when you add an object or substance to a container or pile, the level goes up.

Other language scientists have noted that some of the structural features of many words not normally associated with any function, such as initial phoneme groups, have a noticeable effect on the reader/listener. For example, for sl- there is slack, slouch, sludge, slime, slosh, sloppy, slug, slut, slang, sly, slow, sloth, sleepy, slipshod, slovenly, slum, slobber, slur, slog — where all these words have negative connotations, and some are particularly pejorative.

The idea that certain types of sounds “fit” particular objects better than others goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks. An obvious illustration of this is onomatopoeia. (The term refers to a type of word that sounds like the thing it is describing: fizz, whack, bang, and so on.) In a test carried out by researchers in the 1960s, artificial words were constructed using particular letters and combinations of letters thought to link to positive or negative feelings.

After hearing the invented words, the subjects were asked to match English words for pleasant or unpleasant emotions with one or the other of two invented words. The appropriate matches were made significantly more often than would be expected by chance.

Excerpted from Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, by Daniel Tammet. Copyright 2006 by Daniel Tammet. Reprinted by permission from Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster.

The WordPress Security Guide To Keep Your Site Safe

Security threats are not unique to WordPress.

Every platform, whether it’s private or open source, is under attack 24/7.

Fortunately, the WordPress community provides many solutions to make the job easier.

The following are a few key steps to take to protect a WordPress site from security threats.

How To Protect A WordPress Site

There are eight fundamental actions that all WordPress publishers should consider in order to mitigate malicious activities and vulnerabilities.

Following these best practices will help ensure that a WordPress site is ready to meet the onslaught of hackers that are probing websites every day:

Use HTTPS.

Don’t use the word “admin” as your admin username.

Enforce the use of strong passwords.

Update plugins and themes.

Website backup plan.

Minimize the use of plugins.

Two-factor authentication.

Install a WordPress Firewall and Vulnerability Scanner.

Let’s go over each of these in a little more detail.

1. Add HTTPS/SSL

By now, most sites are using HTTPS. But if your site is not using HTTPS, check with your web host about adding a free SSL certificate.

If the site is upgrading from an insecure to a secure state, then the Really Simple SSL plugin (used by over 5 million websites) is worth looking into, as it truly does simplify the conversion to HTTPS by handling redirects and other related tasks.

These days, installing an SSL certificate is an easy task.

After converting to HTTPS, it’s a good idea to check that no pages request HTTP links or content.

Checking for mixed content is a must.

Mixed content is when insecure website assets (scripts, images, videos, etc.) are linked to from HTTPS pages.

Crawl your site with Missing Padlock to quickly identify instances of mixed content, and then fix the errors by linking to HTTPS assets.

2. Use A Secure Admin User Name

An overwhelming number of security attacks against the WordPress login screen are done with the user name “Admin”.

There are two main kinds of attacks that try to crack the login password:

Brute force.

Dictionary attack.

The brute force attack is when the automated hacking software tries guessing the admin password using different combinations of words, letters, and numbers.

A dictionary attack is when the hacking software uses common passwords to try to guess the admin login.

In many cases, the admin user name these software use is “Admin”.

Not using the word “Admin” as a username is a simple step that will help secure a WordPress site.

To take that one step further, you can create a firewall rule with the Wordfence security plugin to automatically block any human or bot that tries to log in with the user name Admin.

3. Enforce Strong Passwords

Don’t allow anyone, especially users with admin-level privileges, to create a password that isn’t strong.

Even users with low website privileges, like the subscriber level, can become an attack vector. So, it’s important to enforce strong passwords to everyone who can log into the WordPress site.

The popular iThemes Security WordPress plugin, with over 1 million users, offers login password strength enforcement, as well as two-factor authentication.

A password security policy that enforces strong passwords can also be enabled using the Wordfence WordPress security plugin.

4. Update Plugins And Themes

Some updates to plugins, themes, and the core WordPress installation itself are to fix (patch) vulnerabilities.

Failure to update the software can lead to the site becoming vulnerable.

Most updates work fine. On rare occasions, an update might change something in the software that begins clashing with another plugin or theme, causing the site to crash.

If that happens, it’s easy to roll back the site to a previous state if the site has been backed up.

The best way to update plugins and themes is to stage the site and check if the site functions as it should with the updated software.

But if you’re not staging the site, the second option is to back up the site and then update it.

Test the site to make sure everything works. If the site malfunctions, then roll it back with the backup.

The third option is to set all the plugins to auto-update so that you don’t even have to think about it. If something breaks, roll it back to its previous state.

5. Backup Your WordPress Website

Backing up a website on a daily basis is critical.

There are many things that can go wrong, and a backup will save the day when something catastrophic happens to the site.

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin, with over 3 million users, is a popular and trusted solution.

I use it on all of my websites and can recommend it with confidence.

It has saved me on the occasion of a website redesign that didn’t go so well, allowing me to easily restore the site to a previous version.

Another popular solution is called WP Rollback.

WP Rollback has over 200,000 installations, and the people who create the software are trusted and expert WordPress developers.

It works well with themes and plugins that are downloaded from WordPress.org.

6. Minimize The Use Of Plugins

Every plugin that is installed increases the chance that one of them will expose the site to a vulnerability.

Aside from security reasons, using too many plugins can impact site performance, as well as increase the chance that the code between two or more plugins will have a conflict and crash the site.

Plan ahead which plugins you want to use to accomplish what you need.

Some plugins can do multiple tasks, eliminating the need to install a standalone plugin to accomplish that one thing.

7. Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is so-called because it takes two forms of identification to log into a WordPress site with this feature turned on.

The first factor is the username and password.

The second factor is a second form of authentication, usually with an app like Authy or Google Authenticator that’s on the user’s cell phone.

So, even if a hacker gains access to the username and password, they won’t be able to log in without the second authentication.

There are many WordPress plugins to choose from to add this feature, including:

WP 2FA

WP 2FA is a popular choice for adding two-factor authentication.

It supports multiple two-factor authentication methods, including Google Authenticator, Authy, email link, email OTP, and push notification.

There are additional methods such as voice and WhatsApp authentication available with the Pro version.

Wordfence Login Security

Wordfence is a trustworthy brand. its standalone two-factor authentication plugin supports Authenticator, Authy, 1Password, and FreeOTP.

Additionally, security plugins like Wordfence and iThemes Security also have options for turning on two-factor authentication.

8. Install A WordPress Security Plugin

There are two kinds of WordPress security plugins:

Security hardening and scanning.

Firewall.

Here are some tools I would recommend.

Sucuri Security

Sucuri is a trusted choice for a security plugin. It is owned by GoDaddy.

Sucuri scans a site for malware and offers options for hardening the site against exploits.

Choosing Sucuri is easy because it complements a firewall plugin, such as Wordfence.

The paid version also includes a firewall.

Jetpack Protect

Jetpack Protect is created by Automattic, the company behind chúng tôi Akismet, WPScan, and WooCommerce, among others.

Jetpack Protect performs a daily malware scan of the WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

This free plugin is relatively new – it was spun off into a standalone plugin in 2023.

Wordfence Security – Firewall, Malware Scan, And Login Security

Wordfence is a popular choice for WordPress security. There are over 4 million active installations.

Wordfence acts as a firewall to protect a website against hacking attacks and can ban automated hacking bots and actual hackers in real time if the activity fits the pattern of a hacker.

Users can configure the Wordfence firewall with rules that can immediately block hackers.

Wordfence also helps to harden a site against hacking by providing two-factor authentication and disabling PHP execution in folders where PHP should not run.

Another benefit of Wordfence is that the plugin sends email reminders when a plugin needs an update.

The paid version of Wordfence receives firewall rules to protect against the newest exploits as soon as Wordfence knows about them.

iThemes Security

iThemes Security is an all-in-one plugin that scans and hardens a website as well as blocks bad bots as a firewall. There are over a million active installations.

iThemes handles many security-related activities, which makes it a popular choice for those who prefer one plugin to do it all.

Take Additional WordPress Security Steps

These are the additional steps for creating a strong security posture.

Check Your PHP Version

PHP is the software that WordPress runs on.

Outdated PHP versions can expose a site to security vulnerabilities.

Ensure the PHP version used has not reached end-of-life status (EOL).

Scan For Online Vulnerability

Here are three online tools that scan for vulnerabilities, or tell if a site has been hacked:

Sucuri Malware and Security Checker: Scans a website to check for vulnerabilities.

Google Safe Browsing Site Status: Shows if Google has encountered a vulnerability on a website.

JavaScript Vulnerability Scanner: Tests if a site is using vulnerable JavaScript.

The Future Of WordPress Security

Hackers are attacking all sites, regardless of what content management system (CMS) is used.

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, which makes it a popular target of hackers.

All WordPress website owners should consider taking the time to make sure that measures are in place to keep their WordPress sites fully secure.

More resources: 

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