The Art of Saying "No"


Why do we have so much trouble saying “no?” I think there are several reasons. We may not want to hurt the other person’s feelings. If we say “no” the other person may think we’re unkind. Saying “no” is often a confrontational experience – something we want to avoid. And when we think of taking on another task we may panic.

Some of us have so much trouble saying “no” that we say “yes” by mistake!

I’m not talking about saying “no” to tobacco, drugs, sex, and crime, I’m talking about daily refusal skills. Let me give you an example. A friend invited me to a toy “party” (home sales) to demonstrate preschool toys. Since I wasn’t teaching any more and my daughters were grown, I declined her invitation.

The night of the “party” my friend called me on the phone. “Are you coming tonight?” she asked.

“No, I can’t make it,” I answered.

“Why?” she countered.

“Well, I’m not teaching any more, so I don’t need preschool toys,” I began. “Besides, we’re having a blizzard. It’s snowing so hard I can’t see across the street.”

“You’re not coming?” my friend persisted.

“No,” I answered firmly. “I’m not going to drive in a blizzard. I don’t need to do that to myself.”

“OK,” my friend answered. At last she understood – and accepted – my refusal.

If saying “no” is hard for adults, you can imagine how hard it is for kids. An increasing number of school systems are teaching refusal skills. Websites are also teaching them. The “Kids Shout Out” Website has these tips: “No, thanks,” (the polite refusal), saying “no” repeatedly (for emphasis), stating reasons, walking away and/or ignoring the person, changing the subject, and being assertive.

It has only two letters, but “no” is a powerful word, according to Linda D. Tillman, PhD. On her Website, Tillman says there are three ways to say “no.” One is the unassertive “no,” usually accompanied by weak excuses and rationalizations. Another is the aggressive “no,” stated with ridicule and contempt. Then there’s the assertive “no,” which Tillman characterizes as simple and direct.

A US Government Website for parents recommends the N.I.C.E. refusal plan for teens. The acronym stands for saying “no,” giving an “I statement,” changing the topic, and an exit plan. I’ve used this plan intuitively and it works. And thanks to life experience I’ve learned additional ways to say “no.”

ASK FOR TIME. According to Dr. Tillman, it’s “always OK” to ask for time and I use this strategy often. Asking for time gives you the chance to check on an organization or individual. Timing is important in life and, two months from now, you may be able to help.

QUALIFY “NO.” I volunteer for many organizations and don’t have time to volunteer for any more. But organizations keep asking me to do things. If I agreed to all of these requests I wouldn’t have a writing career. However, when I believe in an organization I may say “no” and offer to do one thing, like writing a brochure.

TRY HUMOR. A humorous statement or joke can make your “no” more acceptable. I often say, “If I take on anything else I’ll meet myself going in the other direction. Wouldn’t that be a sight!” This response usually generates laughter and stories about volunteering.

BE FIRM, BUT POLITE. Some months ago I was asked to work on a political campaign for a candidate I didn’t support. How could I refuse? I opted for being firm, but polite. “Thank you for thinking of me,” I said. “However, I see the candidate’s issues from a different viewpoint. I wish you well with the campaign.” My polite refusal was received politely.

From a grandmother’s perspective saying “no” is an art form; You have to practice it to get good at it. Saying “no” isn’t a painful experience for me, it’s a necessary experience, and I do it confidently. Because I say “no” I have time to say “yes.”


Samsung Gear S3 VS Gear S2: A Side by Side Comparison


Samsung has just disclosed its seventh smartwatch, the Gear S3 along with its two variants, Classic and Frontier. The fresher model comes with some incredible features and makes various improvements on last year’s watches. Here, we are going to compare both of these exceptional watches so you can analyse better which one to shop and which one to ignore. So, let’s get started with side by side comparison of Samsung Gear S3 and Gear S2.

Variants Comparison:

First, let’s discuss the variants of these two great smartwatches. Both Gear S3 and S2 come with two separate and unique designs. The Samsung Gear S3 variants are Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier. Overall, there is no big difference between the two forms, except its strap style and weight and Frontier with LTE built-in. Inversely, The Samsung Gear S2 alternatives were named as Gear S2 Basic and Gear S2 Classic.

Design Comparison:

The design of Samsung Gear S3 is elegant, unique, and rugged but it is not suited for women due to its bigger size and wrist styling. Samsung Gear S3 Classic version appearance is almost similar to the LG Watch Urbane than the S2 Classic.

Overall, S3 comes with a dress watch style in comparison with S2, which looks more like a sports watch due to its sporty plastic curves. The rubber strap has been upgraded with a leather strap and a 22 mm pin in a metal body similar to the S2 Classic.

It is more loyal to compare the S3 Classic with the S2 Classic, which had a standard 20 mm leather band. However, the S2 Classic smartwatch delivers more visual features in comparison with the S3 Frontier. Frontier version of S3 is more sporty, according to the majority of people.

Size Comparison:

When it comes to size, the Samsung Gear S3 is one of the largest smartwatches in the market nowadays. 46mm size is way too big for the individuals with smaller wrists. While on the other hand, Gear S2 was the smaller ones.

Weight Comparison:

With additional size, Samsung Gear S3 is bulky too, almost 30% heavier than its predecessors. Frontier version is even 8% to 10% heavier than the Classic. Due to its bigger size and weight, S3 is not suited for the individuals with smaller wrists. And it will not attract women either.

Display Comparison:

The screen size of both Samsung Gear S3 variants is larger than its predecessors. S3 has 1.3-inch 360×360 pixel AMOLED Always-On display with a pixel density of 278ppi.Although the bigger screen size is convenient to read but it also increases the overall dimensions and the weight as well as decrease the pixel density of the device, which is not good at all. As the body weight increased up to 30% in the current model than the previous versions, the display size has also been increased by 15%. As far as display material is concerned, both Samsung watches use Corning Gorilla Glass. The S3 uses the SR+ composite, which is more damage resistant.

All in all, the Gear S2 technically has a brighter but smaller display. In comparison, S3 can display more on its Always-On display, which also keeps color intact instead of going to grayscale and delivers the best customisation.

Performance Comparison:

Performance wise, Gear S3 is far better than its predecessor. With the powerful processor, improved operating system, and more RAM, S3 is beating S2 in almost every department. It delivers 50% additional memory and battery comparing with its predecessor.

Battery Comparison:

Now let’s come to one of the most vital considerations of any gadget device, the battery. Samsung Gear S3 is loaded with 380mAh ambient light yet powerful battery that gives extra 24 hours than Gear S2’s 250mAH battery, and you remain connected up to 4 days. However, it may vary according to the usage of the device.

Software Comparison:

If you experience the Samsung Gear S3’s operating system then you will know that it is the same as was active on the S2 smartwatch, except now you can spin the bezel to accept or cancel calls and there are some minor visual changes. According to the manufacturer, both devices are compatible with Android and iOS.

Price Comparison:

Price is one of the most important aspects when it comes to buying these powerful and stunning smartwatches, and it would be your main concern too. Well, the basic model of Gear S2 costs 299 USD, and the S2 Classic is available at 349 USD. On the other hand, the Gear S3 opening price is 499 USD. Through a well-reputed shopping comparison engine; you can get your favourite smartwatch at the cheapest price while cutting the additional charges and taxes. These types of price check sources provide the best deals from the top retailers of any particular location.

Other Features Comparison:

Water Resistance

Both smartwatches are completely water-resistant and provide great protection against splashing, rain, and water drop with IP68 dust & waterproof rating. IP68 water resistance means you can put it under the water of up to one meter deep and for maximum 30 minutes. It is far better than Apple watch that can’t be worn in rain or while swimming.

Wireless Charging

Both models of Samsung smartwatch support wireless charging.


Unlike Gear S2, speaker and microphone are pre-installed in S3 that let you call more freely.

GPS & Connectivity

GPS is only active in the 3G variants of the Samsung Gear S2. Inversely, all the S3 models have built-in GPS. In addition, the Frontier version of S3 has built-in 3G/LTE connectivity, so you can make and receive calls as well as check other activities without even using the phone.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay has been added into the Gear series since 2016. However, the 2015 models were NFC-only, and so retailers were required to use an extra NFC scanner for accept payments. The 2016 models have both NFC and MST technology, and thus you can shop from anywhere. While doing online shopping, try to compare prices for getting the cheapest deals.

Final Words:

With the bigger display, bigger RAM, and bigger battery, Samsung Gear S3 has already given Gear S2 a tough time but it doesn’t mean that S3 is replacing the Gear S2. Both models have their own ups and downs. And so picking up a one between these two is not an easy decision to make. Although S3 is built with some amazing new features, but it is also a bit bulky and due to the bigger size it’s not well suited for the individuals with smaller wrists. At first look, it looks like that the S3 is made only for men. On the other hand, S2 has a perfect size and includes all the major features of a well-equipped smartwatch. But it doesn’t offer LTE. So it is worth spending some time to compare features and prices of both these watches and choose a one according to your preferences.


How To Prevent A LOIC DDOS Attack


DDoS attacks are launched online with “toolkits” specifically designed to cause such attacks. One of the most well-known toolkits, an early version, was named after the Ion cannon, a fictional weapon in a video game franchise known as Command & conquer, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) is an open source network stress testing and DDOS attack application that is used by client machines to voluntarily join botnets.

A distributed denial of service attack refers to a flood of data traffic that a server receives when multiple systems send in data with an aim of flooding its bandwidth or resources. In most cases, this data flood is intended at disrupting the receiving of legitimate traffic by the server, ‘denying service’ to clients sending requests to the server. To an end user, when a DDOS attack seems like a service request delay, where new connections are no longer accepted.

LOIC has been responsible for several DDOS attacks on major websites such as PayPal, MasterCard and Visa, usually carried out by hacking groups such as Anonymous. The LOIC application is available in two versions: the first being the binary version or the original LOIC tool that was initially developed to stress test networks and the web based LOIC or JS LOIC.

The LOIC application, first developed by Praetox Technologies, sends a large sequence of HTTP, UDP or TCP requests to the Target server. LOIC is easy to use even by users who lack basic hacking skills. All that is required is the URL of the target. To control the LOIC remotely, some hackers connect the client launching the attack to an Internet Relay Chart using the IRC protocol.

Using this protocol, the user machine becomes part of a botnet. Botnets are networks of compromised computer systems that are controlled by a malware or virus and that send a flood of traffic to a target system when prompted.

The LOIC DDOS uses three types of attacks against the target machine. These include HTTP, UDP and TCP. These implement the same mechanism of attack which is to open multiple connections to the target machine and send a continuous sequence of messages to the target machine. The LOIC tool continues sending traffic to the targeted server, until the server is overloaded. As soon as the server cannot respond to the requests of legitimate users, it effectively shuts down.

The JS LOIC released in December of 2010 is a web based tool that runs on JavaScript enabled web browsers, hence the acronym JS. The LOIC sends an ID and message with a lot of connection requests for each ID and message. LOIC DDOS attack tools make it easy to find the attacker, and as a result is not commonly used by ordinary clients. On the other hand, hackers with some skills can use an IRC network to launch the attack within a Team making it hard to identify the real persons behind the attack.

The LOIC DDOS attack tool has been downloaded millions of times because it is simple to use and easy to identify. Network administrators can use a robust firewall to prevent or minimize the attack. Server administrators can then look at the logs to identify the IP sending the traffic and block the IP from the server. Well written firewall rules can form a great filter from LOIC DDOS preventing the attacks from being fully effective.

Some experts claim that filtering UDP and ICMP traffic can also effectively address LOIC attacks. To be effective at the firewall level, rules must be implemented earlier in the network link for instance at the ISP site operator, where the server connects to the backbone via a broadband line.

It is also important to check the broadband line to ensure it does not have limitations. If the packets are delivered through a narrow bandwidth then clogging on this line will still occur before any traffic can get to the firewall and get filtered.

LOIC DDOS attacks can be mitigated using two basic approaches, heuristic or signature control. Signature control uses predetermined patterns to filter matching incoming traffic patterns and eliminate the attack. Although effective for repeat attacks, it becomes an issue when new patterns of attacks are launched, and will continue to be a problem until signatures are updated.

On the other hand heuristic DDOS attack control systems make ‘educated guesses’ of impending attacks and acts to eliminate or minimize their effects.

Normally based on trial and error, these methods provide approximation solutions where speed is required to prevent DDOS attacks. Heuristic signatures can therefore provide a real-time approach to the problem. Other proprietary technologies may include a human-computer interaction by providing a user interface, allowing the system administrator to get alerts when heuristic signatures are detected.


A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard – Book Review


Title and Author: A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard- Book Review

Synopsis of Content:

In February 1899 publisher, author and “New Thought” philosopher Elbert Hubbard wrote a very short little story about an event in the Spanish American War. That short story, which when first published in Hubbard’s magazine, Philistine, did not even have a title.

The short inspirational story is about Lt. Andrew Summers Rowan. He was called upon by President McKinley to deliver a special message to General Garcia. Garcia was a key player in the Cuban insurrection forces that the United States allied with during the war. As the war began it was critical for the President to get a message to Garcia to explore an alliance with him in the conflict. Garcia was hold up in the remote jungle in Cuba. No one had direct access to him. There was no way to get mail to him or send a telegraph. No one in the US government actually knew where he was located, or whether he moved regularly.

The President gave Rowan a message in a waterproof bag and directed him to deliver it to Garcia. Rowan asked no questions and made no objections. He left immediately on his mission. Four days later he landed by night on the Cuban coast. He disappeared into the jungle on foot with no assistance, no more information and no way to communicate with the outside world. Three weeks later he came out of the jungle on the other side of the island having delivered the message as ordered.

Hubbard uses this remarkable story to demonstrate the very high value of a man who takes on an assignment, asks no questions, asks for no help, makes no argument that he is not the person for the job, and just does it. He finds Garcia on his own, delivers the message and returns to report success. No objections and no excuses are made.

Such resourcefulness and determination is rare in people. In the essay he goes on to give other examples in everyday business where people given a simpler task make excuses or riddle their boss with questions or expect someone else to do the job for them. He contrasts here the tremendous accomplishment of Rowan with the weak way so many people react when sent on a mission, be it small or large. He discusses how valuable a man like Rowan is – a man (and today it would of course include a woman) who when given a task gets down to it right away and completes it. Such a person is unique and invaluable. Such a person rarely finds himself unemployed. People like this are in high demand everywhere and at every time.

Within a short time publishers were bombarding Hubbard for copies of the story. The NY Central Railroad ordered a hundred thousand copies. Eventually they published over three and a half million copies. The director of the Russian railway liked the story so much he had it translated into Russian and given to every employee of the railroad.

The story traveled from Russia to Germany, then to France, Spain, Turkey, Hindustan and China – in all these places it was published and sold by the thousands.

During the Russo-Japanese war the Russian government provided a copy to every Russian soldier. When the Japanese found it they translated into Japanese and gave it to every Japanese soldier. Ultimately over 40 million copies of this little story were printed and distributed.

During the first quarter of the 20th century this little story became one of the most inspirational stories published in the world. It was written in one hour and takes less than a half hour to read. Yet it provides a profound instruction on how to become an invaluable employee and an inspiration to anyone who seeks to achieve great things.


Just as it did in 1899 A Message to Garcia is both a tremendous instructional manual on how one can become an invaluable servant of others and an inspirational piece. Everyone can benefit from spending a few minutes to read it.

Readability/Writing Quality:

The story is short and well written.

Notes on Author:

Elbert Hubbard was born in Illinois and with only a grade school education he became a successful self-made man. He was a voracious reader who continually improved his own skills and knowledge. He created the Roycroft Shop, a publishing house. He wrote 182 biographies of successful people. He published two magazines, The Philistine and The Fra. Hubbard and his wife died on the way to England in 1915 while sailing on the Lusitania which was sunk by a German torpedo.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. When given a task to perform do not object, delay or seek help. Rather, demonstrate how reliable you are by performing the task competently and speedily so that you will be seen as a reliable person.

2. Do not make excuses. Get the job done and done right. It will pay you back a hundred fold.

3. No one is highly rewarded for mediocre or “satisfactory” work. We are rewarded for doing more than we are asked to do, doing it more competently than one might expect and doing it fully. If you want to succeed in business and in life you must stand out as someone who will do more than the average person.

Publication Information:

A Message to Garcia is in the public domain. The pamphlet version I read is published by Executive Books in 2002.