John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Gesture control and a curved body may be in the iPhone’s future.Apple has been experimenting with those features for the iPhone, and they could be ready for prime time in two to three years, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing “people with knowledge in the matter.”Gesture control would allow a user to execute tasks without touching the screen.The technology could be used for more than just answering phone calls and opening apps, noted Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen.”It could be used to enlarge the user experience,” he told TechNewsWorld.”It could be folded into an umbrella of multi-modal user experiences — understanding what you want through a gesture, a touch, voice or a biometric,” Nguyen suggested. “Gesture will be a bigger play than just ignoring a phone call with a wave of your hand.” The mobile industry is looking at innovative user interfaces to breathe new life into the market, and gesture control can be a part of that, said David McQueen, a research director at ABI Research.”Many new interfaces will develop where voice, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, augmented reality and gesture experiences will all come to the fore,” he told TechNewsWorld.Gesture control can have more prosaic applications, too.”It’s good when you’re wearing gloves or your hands are dirty,” said Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst with Tirias Research.”I expect this to be a cool demo feature, but not something people will use all the time,” he told TechNewsWorld.Gesture controls don’t make anything necessarily easier, maintained Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst for IDC.”The easiest and most natural user interface is the one where you don’t have to use touch or gestures at all. That’s using your voice,” he told TechNewsWorld. “I just haven’t seen anything from the gesture side of things that says users want to do this.” Curved displays aren’t new. Samsung’s latest Galaxy models, the S9 and S9+, have them. Even the iPhone X has a slight curve at its bottom.However, it appears that Apple has been experimenting with curving the display gradually from top to bottom. Samsung curves its displays at the edges.The use of OLED displays gives phone makers the ability to bend the screens in their devices.”The ability to bend the display allows for a more flexible design for the phone,” explained Tirias’ Krewell. “I expect this will allow for a more comfortable and organic shape in the hand.”That said, the merits of curved screens don’t seem to have captured a lot of interest.”Curved screens have been tried before in smartphones and TVs, and they don’t seem to have had much resonance with consumers,” noted ABI’s McQueen.”I think it would be risky to adopt curved screens into Apple’s portfolio unless it is implemented in a way that hasn’t been seen before and is more subtle than previous attempts, which is what Apple does best,” he added. When Samsung began curving displays, it did so with an eye to altering the interface of its devices, said Gerrit Schneemann, a senior analyst with IHS Markit Technology.”At this point, the curve is just a design aesthetic,” he told TechNewsWorld. “There’s nothing enabled by it.”If Apple were to add curves to the iPhone’s figure, it would be tardy to the party, but that’s never been a problem for the company in the past.”Apple will surprise you,” Gartner’s Nguyen said. “Maybe they’ll bring it in late, but they will likely bring in something new, interesting and valuable to the consumer. I look forward to being surprised.”In a smartphone market where differentiation among flagship phones has become increasingly difficult, incremental technologies like gesture control and curved displays could help separate iPhone from the pack, observed Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.”However, the big question is, how much is the market actually willing to pay for incremental improvements that may or may not significantly impact the overall user experience?” he wondered.”Apple has adopted a high price strategy from the very inception of the iPhone,” Scherer told TechNewsWorld. “It’s unclear if these capabilities will help justify Apple’s premium in the future.” Form for Form’s Sake Risky Curves Invigorating Interfaces
Source:Universidad Politécnica de Madrid The effectiveness of these molecular scaffolds was tested in lab mice suffering from this disease and the capacity of transporting both drugs and diagnostic agents were shown. Researchers are currently working on the application of this technology to specific transport of antitumor drugs in neuroblastoma models similar to those that appear in humans.They are also studying the use of these systems for the improvement of early clinical diagnosis techniques of this disease. “It is expected that the future results will allow us to study its applications in human within two to five years”, researchers say. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 27 2019Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are involved in the development of specific molecular scaffolds which are able to deliver drugs and diagnostic agents to the neuroblastoma, an aggressive tumor in children.A multidisciplinary team from diverse research centers in Madrid, including various hospitals, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and Complutense (UCM), has developed synthetic molecules which are able to specifically attach to neuroblastoma cells.The development of a system that is able to recognize cancer cells and specifically deliver drugs to such cells will increase the efficiency of the therapy and reduce the unwanted effects. So far, mice have been used for the trials, but it is expected its application in humans within the next five years.Related StoriesDisrupting ChIP Assay Technology with New AdvancementsComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharpAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasThe neuroblastoma is a very aggressive pediatric tumor with a complex diagnosis when detected in the metastatic state. The current treatments consist of the administration of chemotherapeutic agents in order to kill cancer cells and slow the disease progression.Unfortunately, these drugs lack specificity against cancer cells and cause numerous side effects and high systemic toxicity, compromising the chances of recovery and quality of life of the patients. In order to find new solutions to improve the treatment, various research centers from Madrid in collaboration with diverse hospitals started a study that is already showing good results.To this end, researchers have synthesized a family of molecules which are able to specifically bind a protein found in the cell membrane of more than 90% of neuroblastoma cells, the norepinephrine transporter (NET). These molecules have a small central structure composed by natural amino acids that work as scaffolds specifically designed to fit in the recognition centers of the NET protein in a similar way that a key fits the lock. This way, the process of recognition is highly selective since the binding only occurs with the suitable “padlock” which is only located in the surface of neuroblastoma cells avoiding thus the healthy cells.”Alejandro Baez, a UPM researcher involved in the project
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 30 2019Pioneering research by scientists at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham published today [May 29th] in Nature brings us a step closer to developing targeted therapies for inflammatory diseases.The research team shows, for the first time, that different types of fibroblasts – the most common cells of connective tissue in animals – are organized in different layers in the joint and are responsible for two very different forms of arthritis; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.Targeted therapies could alter the behavior of fibroblasts to reduce inflammation and tissue destruction in these two diseases without the need for long-term immunosuppression or joint replacements, say the scientists.The research was supported by Wellcome Trust, Versus Arthritis, and NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, which is based at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.The research is part of the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP), a joint alliance between the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford, which aims to ensure that world-class basic science observations are accelerated into early-phase experimental therapy for patients. A-TAP is funded by the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research at the University of Oxford.Chief investigator Professor Chris Buckley, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and Director of Clinical Research at the Kennedy Institute at the University of Oxford: If we compare fibroblasts to soil, this research has shown for the first time that not all soil is the same.Just as there are different layers of soil in our gardens – top soil and subsoil – there are different types of fibroblasts in our joints – and each layer seems to be associated with a different type of arthritis.From a research perspective this is exciting, but the clinical implications are also very important too. For the first time, we have identified two different types of fibroblasts in the joint, which, just like the different types of soil, lead to different types of arthritis. The top soil is what goes wrong in osteoarthritis, whereas in rheumatoid arthritis it’s the subsoil that is at fault. When patients are seen in clinic and we can’t help them, it motivates us to think creatively about how we conduct our research and classify disease. We have now discovered a new way to classify, and therefore treat, arthritis based on the underlying cell, rather than just the clinical features and genes involved. Current therapies work like weed killer – they kill the weeds but the weeds come back if you don’t continue to apply the weed killer. Our research will facilitate research aimed at changing the top soil, subsoil – or both – to treat arthritis.To know we are getting closer to offering patients new solutions is very exciting and we are doing it because we are finally looking at diseases using a process-driven cell based approach through the A-TAP project.” Sources:University of BirminghamJournal reference: Croft P A, et al. (2019) Distinct fibroblast subsets drive inflammation and damage in arthritis. Nature. doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1263-7. Related StoriesRetina can restructure itself following gene therapyComprehensive cell atlas of the human liverAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancersTwo recent technical and clinical advances have helped lead to the researchers’ discovery: minimally invasive biopsies and single-cell sequencing. These two developments have allowed the research team to investigate fibroblast cells and their location in the joint as never before, ultimately identifying and describing the biology of distinct subsets of fibroblasts responsible for mediating either inflammation or cartilage/bone damage in arthritis.First author Dr Adam Croft, currently NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham and previously funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellowship, adds: “Rheumatoid arthritis is challenging to treat. It causes chronic inflammation in joints, leading to pain, swelling and, over time, damage to the joint. This is due to the body’s own immune system attacking the joints, which leads to an influx of immune cells in the lining of the joint.”Current treatments target these immune cells either directly or by trying to disrupt the signals that attract the cells to the joint. No treatments directly target fibroblasts, key effector cells in the pathology of this disease.”Thanks to advances in technology we have now, for the first time, been able to identify which fibroblasts are pathogenic in arthritis and how they contribute to disease. Importantly, we found that by getting rid of these fibroblasts from the joint we could reduce the influx of immune cells to the joint, leading to less inflammation and destruction.”These findings mean we now have a clear rationale for developing drugs that can target joint fibroblasts directly and provide more effective treatment for persistent disease.”
Digital communication between ships could help optimise shipping routes and reduce fuel consumption. Credit: B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 Electric ferries and digital communication between ships could help in the quest to decarbonise maritime transport, a sector which is often perceived as being the green option but could still do much to lower its environmental footprint. SafetySafety is also a key concern for electrically powered vessels. Batteries that operate at sea need a special level of approval, and so engineers on E-ferry have developed a special type of foam which sailors could use to tackle an electrical blaze in the event of fire. The project’s Swiss-German partner, Leclanché, is the first company to win approval for a maritime battery system.Meanwhile, potential running costs are dropping all the time because battery materials are getting cheaper—falling by 40% since the project’s launch.In fact, with lower fuel and maintenance costs, the E-ferry will run more cheaply than conventional diesel-based vessels. A ferry can run for 30 to 40 years before it reaches the end of its lifespan, and the E-ferry is expected to pay for itself far ahead of then.’I’m fairly confident that that will show not a 10-year break-even (but) maybe six- or seven-year break-even just for this one,’ Dr. Heinemann said.Christopher Saarnak from the Danish Maritime Authority says that shipping could also be made greener by better use of digital communication.Despite its use of state-of-the-art technology, the maritime industry remains stubbornly old school in much of its activity. Crew rely on paper documentation when a ship docks in a harbour, sending information—about passengers and cargo—to the authorities by courier.A digital system would allow mariners to optimise their route and send and receive messages to and from the harbour authorities.’If you enable information exchange, you would be able to tell the ship not necessarily to rush to the nearest harbour where they would have to wait,’ he said. ‘Instead, they could save fuel consumption by sailing more slowly.Saarnak coordinates a project called EfficienSea2, which is developing a range of digital tools for improved connectivity between ships at sea and from sea to shore. An information-sharing platform called the ArcticWeb allows mariners and cruise ships sailing in the Arctic Sea to communicate about navigation, icebergs and ice formations and to coordinate search and rescue—improving safety and minimising the risk of tankers or other vessels foundering and damaging the environment.Acid rainThe project is also helping ships to communicate on emissions – which extend beyond CO2. The maritime industry accounts for 13% of global sulphur oxide emissions, a gas that causes acid rain, and lung disease and respiratory illness in humans.By 2020, the International Maritime Organization will curtail sulphur-based fuels outside emission-restricted zones—a move experts describe as one of shipping’s most defining moments. The EU already curbs the emissions of ships calling at EU ports, and has created sulphur emission control areas, called SECAs, in the Baltic and North Sea.But reporting on sulphur emissions is inconsistent, reliant on national policies and randomised checks. Engineers on EfficienSea2 have developed machine-to-machine technology that can collect and relay data automatically.’What we have done is to create an automatic sulphur emission data transfer from the chimney of the ship,’ Saarnak said.’The exhaust data is transferred directly to the ship owner, but it could also be transferred directly to the authorities to prove that you’re sailing in an environmentally friendly manner.’ Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine Citation: Electric ferries and joined-up shipping to turn sea travel green (2018, April 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-electric-ferries-joined-up-shipping-sea.html The global shipping industry currently emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, but according to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, this could be slashed to almost zero by 2035 through a combination of technical, operational and policy measures.In line with such ambition, an electric ferry, set to launch this summer, will travel through Danish waters powered by electricity alone. The boat will take passengers from Aeroe island to towns on the mainland and will replace the diesel vessel currently in use.Dr. Trine Heinemann is project coordinator for E-ferry, based on Aeroe, whose municipality is one of the project’s partners. ‘We have a long tradition of being self-suppliant with sustainable energy,’ she said. ‘But then our only … connection to the mainland is passenger ferry, so I think there’s a local interest in trying to reduce emissions from that.’ Passenger ferries, though still more environmentally friendly than air travel, run on diesel and so there’s potential to cut their pollution. Hybrid vehicles—using electricity in the harbour and fossil fuels on the open sea—are becoming increasingly widespread, but fully electric ferries are scarce, Dr. Heinemann said. As with electric cars, a short battery lifespan hampered the evolution of electrically powered ferries, which could go just two nautical miles until recently. But as the lifespan of rechargeable batteries has grown, so has the potential of electric vessels.The E-ferry can travel 22 miles without needing a top-up. The boat will make seven trips a day, recharging after each journey for 15 or 20 minutes as cars are loading on and off. A long charge overnight boosts the ship’s battery power.’At the end of the day, basically we are getting close to the energy reserve level,’ Dr. Heinemann said. ‘It gets to a point where we really want to kind of fill the batteries up again. So that’s what we do during the night with slow charging so that the battery’s up to full capacity in the morning when we start sailing again.’At the moment, the electricity comes from Denmark’s national grid but Aeroe makes electricity from solar power and wind. If the ferry were able to draw on local sources of electricity it would be carbon neutral, Dr. Heinemann notes. The urgency of curbing pollution from ships, explained Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Citation: Novel Kinect system helps keep Parkinson’s patients moving (2018, May 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-kinect-parkinson-patients.html A new system which helps people with Parkinson’s disease overcome debilitating walking problems has been developed by researchers at Brunel University London. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Once FOG is detected, the system casts two laser lines on the floor, perpendicular to the direction the patient is facing. This visual cue stimulates movement in the patient and helps relieve their gait. Initially launched in 2010, the Microsoft Kinect is a motion-sensing device developed for use with a PC or Xbox. Whilst it was originally intended for gaming, the product proved popular with researchers and developers keen to find alternative uses.Although the Kinect was discontinued as a commercial product in 2017, they are still easily obtainable second-hand.”The main reason that Microsoft Kinect was used is that it doesn’t require the patients to attach any sensors to their bodies in order for the system to detect FOGs,” said Dr Amini, who completed the research as part of his PhD, under the supervision of Dr Konstantinos Banitsas. “The Kinect can unobtrusively detect and track subjects’ body movements without any attachments, which makes it an ideal device for such applications.” Hacked Kinect controller game changer for Parkinson’s Credit: Brunel University London Credit: Brunel University London Explore further Credit: Brunel University London Provided by Brunel University “We tested the system’s capabilities and detection success rate by inviting healthy participants during the prototype phase, as well as inviting real Parkinson’s disease patients to a focus group, where we demonstrated our system in action,” said Dr Amini.”The results showed the possibility of employing the system as an indoor and on-demand visual cue system for people with Parkinson’s, that does not rely on the subject’s input or introduce any additional complexities to operate.”Despite limitations regarding its outdoor use, feedback was very positive in terms of domestic usability and convenience, with people with Parkinson’s showing interest in installing and using the system at their homes.”Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2 is published in the Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. More information: Amin Amini et al. Kinect4FOG: monitoring and improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s using a novel system incorporating the Microsoft Kinect v2, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology (2018). DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2018.1467975 Built using Microsoft’s now-obsolete Kinect peripheral, the system monitors for and detects freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s patients. When an occurrence is observed a laser casts visual cues on the floor according to the patient’s location, helping them release their gait and improve their movement.It’s hoped the system, which was unveiled in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology and supported by Parkinson’s UK, can be further developed for installing in patients’ homes.”Freezing of gait is one of the most disabling symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, affecting its sufferers by impacting their gait performance and locomotion,” said Dr Amin Amini, a researcher from Brunel’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, who lead the research.”It is an episodic phenomenon that prevents the initiation or continuation of a patient’s locomotion, and it may lead to a loss of independence or frequent falls.”The system, whose prototype cost just £137 to build, excluding its controlling PC, works by monitoring a patient’s leg movements in their own home. Whilst similar systems using Kinect have been tested previously, the new system specifically monitors the angle of the patient’s knee and their head direction, offering increased accuracy and a reduction in false positives.
Provided by CORDIS Credit: Shutterstock Researchers are making use of unarmed vehicles and robots to gather information and samples from crime or disaster scenes. Their initiative will help save lives. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Sherlock Drones—automated investigators tackle toxic crime scenes Citation: Drones will help investigators tackle chemical, biological and nuclear attacks (2018, May 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-drones-tackle-chemical-biological-nuclear.html Risks that involve chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) materials are among major safety concerns. Accidental or targeted, events caused by such agents could be hazardous to humans. They could also hinder and endanger any subsequent forensic investigations. To address the challenges involved in examining such incidents, researchers from the EU-funded project ROCSAFE are developing strategies and technologies that will automate the collection of evidence related to CBRNe scenes. This is done by using remotely controlled robotic aerial vehicles (RAVs) and robotic ground vehicles (RGVs). According to a news report in Ireland’s ‘TheJournal.ie’, a research team has recently conducted a test to evaluate how first responders, emergency workers and forensic specialists would react to ‘dirty bomb’-type scenarios. Dirty bombs are weapons that combine radioactive waste materials with conventional explosives. They could contaminate an area and cause loss of life, injury, property damage, social and economic disruption, or environmental degradation.Robotic air and ground vehiclesAs explained on the ROCSAFE project website, the overall goal of the project is to fundamentally change how CBRNe events are assessed, “in order to ensure the safety of crime scene investigators by reducing the need for them to enter high-risk scenes when they have to determine the nature of threats and gather forensics.”First, RAVs – which have cameras and miniaturised sensor systems for radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological threats – will assess the scene. All images and data will be streamed to a command centre using central decision management software. The data will be analysed and displayed “on a sophisticated and intuitive interface with maps and video, showing results of analytics and giving readings geographical context. This will enable the scene commander to assess the nature of threats, develop an Action Plan and an Evidence Plan, supported as needed by the Central Decision Management.”After this process, RGVs will roll in to collect forensic material or evidence, with automatically optimised routes to avoid hazards. “Thus, ROCSAFE will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence is collected in a manner that stands up in court, without putting personnel at risk.” It adds that the RAVs and RGVs are designed to endure rain, wind, and challenging ground surfaces and obstacles.The ongoing ROCSAFE (Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment Forensic Examination) project is led by the National University of Ireland Galway and brings together various experts from the private and public sectors, including the Irish Defence Forces.Quoted in the magazine Horizon, Prof. Michael Madden from the National University of Ireland Galway and project coordinator, said: “We will send robots into harm’s way instead of humans. The goal is to improve the safety of crime scene investigators.” He added: “These are rare events. This is nobody’s everyday job.”
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday he wants to see new technology blend with old.The bill sought to prevent “surge pricing” rates getting higher than the maximum fare set by the city.Taxi companies say Uber and Lyft face fewer restrictions. Those who oppose the bill say ride-hailing app users know prices upfront and can choose whether to accept them.Caldwell directed city attorneys to draft a bill that would allow transportation companies flexibility as long as there’s disclosure about pricing.Uber says in a statement the veto protects consumer choice.Councilmembers could override the veto. Citation: Honolulu mayor vetoes bill to limit Uber, Lyft ‘surge’ fares (2018, June 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-honolulu-mayor-vetoes-bill-limit.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Uber decries ride-hailing price cap passed in Honolulu Explore further Honolulu’s mayor has vetoed a bill aimed at setting limits for what ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft can charge during peak demand.
Princeton researchers, in collaboration with Analog Devices Inc., have fabricated a chip that markedly boosts the performance and efficiency of neural networks—computer algorithms modeled on the workings of the human brain. Researchers move closer to completely optical artificial neural network In a series of tests, the Princeton chip performed tens to hundreds of times better than other advanced, neural-network chips.The researchers believe that with further development, the chip could help advance image recognition and numerous other neural-network applications, including artificial intelligence systems in autonomous vehicles and robots.”This kind of improved performance could let mobile devices do intensive tasks, like recognizing their owner’s face, without taking up too much time or eating into the device’s battery life,” said the paper’s lead author Hossein Valavi, a graduate student in the lab of co-author Naveen Verma, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Princeton.Other authors of the study, which published in IEEE Symposium on VLSI Circuits, in June, are Peter Ramadge, the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering and director of the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning, and Eric Nestler of Analog Devices Inc, a Massachusetts-based semiconductor company.Artificial neural networks are complexes of interconnected units—akin to neurons in the human brain—that can be trained to make valuable decisions from data given in many different, possibly naturally-occurring, but structurally-complex forms. A key component of neural-network systems is accelerator chips, which boost computational performance, to enable large and powerful neural networks. But the accelerator chips themselves can suffer from bottlenecking due to the heavy dataflows coursing through their components.The researchers took a fresh approach to eliminating much of this snarling traffic. The accelerator chip they fabricated works with the technique, called in-memory computing, which substantially reduces the energy and time used to fetch information by performing computations on data in place where it is stored, rather than moving it to a different location.The technique can also make chips susceptible to signal-to-noise problems, because it crams lots of information into signals. The result is increased efficiency – but it also means the information processed can be corrupted by all sorts of practical error sources such as fluctuations in voltages and currents. “Computation signal-to-noise-ratio has been the main barrier for achieving all the benefits in-memory computing can offer,” said Valavi.The researchers addressed this performance problem by opting for a type of computing that uses capacitors, rather than transistors, to perform computation. Capacitors, which are devices that store electrical charge, offer several advantages. They can be manufactured with an extremely high degree of precision in modern micro-chip technologies, which is important in circuit design, and they are not affected greatly by changes in voltage or temperature. Capacitors also take up relatively little space – Princeton’s in-memory computing chip places them on top of the memory cells, so they don’t take up space beyond the cells. This further reduces the chip’s data communication costs by placing capacitors inside memory components. This setup slims down the amount of area the electrical signals conveying data must cross, thereby delivering high processing speeds and lower energy. “We end up with very precise circuits and these capacitors don’t take up any extra area on the chip,” said Verma.The Princeton team put their system through its paces on several standard benchmark tests. These included identifying numbers scrawled by human hands, a task complicated by our tremendous range of handwriting styles, from punctilious to kindergarten-sloppy. A similar task involved parsing street-view house numbers, which likewise vary wildly in shape, form, picture clarity, orientation, and so on. In a third test, the chip-augmented neural network went about recognizing everyday objects such as cats, dogs, birds, cars, airplanes, ships, and so on.The researchers tested their design against others currently available. In one, they measured the number of computational operations the chip could perform in one second. In real-life, this kind of throughput evaluation equates to how long someone has to wait before a piece of hardware, such as a cell phone, spits out a final answer. The Princeton chip performed 9.4 trillion binary operations per second.The test results are encouraging but the researchers said the chip will need further work before it can be incorporated into electronic devices. Its architecture will need to be made programmable and compatible with other bits of hardware, including central processing units, the control centers of computers. After that, the software infrastructure must be built out so artificial intelligence designers can create new apps that leverage the chip’s potentially breakthrough performance.Naresh Shanbhag, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who was not involved in the Princeton study, believes this potential is eminently realizable. “The technical challenges [the chip] faces in a commercial setting are eminently surmountable via standard engineering best practices,” Shanbhag said.Shanbhag further commented on the chip’s applications. “This work opens up new application domains for artificial intelligence systems,” he said, specifying “energy- and latency-constrained computing platforms, such as autonomous vehicles and robots, as well as various sensor-rich Internet-of-Things devices.”The researchers look forward to taking the in-memory computing chip to a higher level of technological readiness.”The next step is to take this very high efficiency and high computational throughput and make it accessible to a broad range of applications,” said Verma. “The chip’s major drawback is that it uses a very disruptive architecture. That needs to be reconciled with the massive amount of infrastructure and design methodology we have and use today, in practice.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Professors Naveen Verma and Peter Ramadge, and Hossein Valavi, a graduate student, have fabricated a chip that markedly boosts the performance and efficiency of neural networks—computer algorithms modeled on the workings of the human brain. Photos by Frank Wojciechowski. Credit: Princeton University Citation: Chip ramps up artificial intelligence systems’ performance (2018, September 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-chip-ramps-artificial-intelligence.html Provided by Princeton University More information: A Mixed-Signal Binarized Convolutional-Neural-Network Accelerator Integrating Dense Weight Storage and Multiplication for Reduced Data Movement. www.princeton.edu/~nverma/Verm … tlerVerma_VLSI18.pdf Explore further
When it came to our online lives, 2018 was revealing in its dysfunction. Tech leaders call for greater social media regulation The just-expired year’s parade of scandals at Facebook alone was relentless —Cambridge Analytica, its inflation of video-viewing stats that have been credited with convincing legacy media companies to “pivot to video” and away from print, data breaches, playing fast and loose with users’ data and of course its role in enabling Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company also stands accused by a United Nations agency of contributing to a genocide in Myanmar by failing to effectively police hate speech on its platform. Others have noted how radio played a similar role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.Facebook is only the most obviously awful of the social-media platforms that have become so central to our social, economic and political lives. All of the major (for-profit, American) social media platforms have been tainted by scandals, from Instagram’s link to Russia’s 2016 U.S. presidential operation to YouTube’s algorithmic propensity to serve up neo-Nazi propaganda and Twitter’s ongoing failure to police white supremacists on its platform. Provided by The Conversation These and other socially destabilizing behaviours have brought us to the point where even U.S. tech companies, strident libertarians, have resigned themselves to the fact that greater government regulation is inevitable. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in November 2018 that “the free market is not working” in regards to regulating tech companies’ use of personal data, and that government regulation is “inevitable.”The form that this government regulation may take will be a critical debate in 2019. A new year offers a fresh start for thinking about how best to regulate social media companies’ use of personal data. Calls to regulate social media companies are now coming from scholars and politicians. In December 2018, Canada’s federal Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics proposed tough new rules on political advertisements on social media. But what should these rules look like and what should they address?As researchers studying internet governance and the regulation of personal data, we identify two elements are at the heart of the social media problem. First, if, as commonly argued, social media platforms are our contemporary town squares, they are being operated as for-profit enterprises dependent on the accumulation and monetization of personal data, a practice that Harvard Business School Professor Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism. Second, although these social media companies operate worldwide, they are based in the United States and operate through American rules and norms. The exceptions of course are China-based social media giants like WeChat and Weibo.Regulation strategiesThe coming year is likely to see many debates on possible regulatory strategies. We offer several ideas to help shape those debates.First, it’s necessary to prohibit the data-intensive, micro-targeted advertising-dependent business model that is at the heart of the problem. In line with what the Public Policy Forum has recommended, reforms in this area should eliminate incentives for the collection and hoarding of data for purposes unrelated to delivering services.As the search engine DuckDuckGo demonstrates, advertising-based business models need not rely upon selling detailed data profiles of customers. DuckDuckGo relies upon advertising keywords based on users’ search queries but, unlike Google, it does not collect data on its users. Second, it’s vital that countries craft rules that are appropriate to their particular domestic social, legal and political contexts. A common criticism is that this is a form of state censorship. But all speech is subject to some form of regulation, such as the prohibition of hate speech. Domestically crafted legislation recognizes that Canada and Germany regulate hate speech more strictly than the United States. Globally operating tech giants tend to resist being subject to different countries’ laws, arguing that global standards are best suited to govern the internet, but these standards often reflect U.S.-style rules and norms that may conflict with local values.Third, and most provocatively, it’s time to consider non-commercial ownership of social-media entities—including non-profit or some form of public ownership. This has been recommended by several U.S. and UK scholars, as well as one of us, to replace the fundamentally flawed for-profit companies that dominate these spaces. Government-managed digital infrastructureAlong the same lines, some scholars are also calling for dominant tech platforms to be regulated as public utilities given their power in operating private informational infrastructure. If social media platforms are the new town squares that are essential to facilitating public dialogue, then such spaces are too important to be left to foreign, profit-focused enterprises that are unaccountable to Canadians. Instead of paying for social media with our data, such platforms could be supported through user fees or taxes, or be operated as a Crown corporation.While this may seem radical, remember other important elements of infrastructure —telecoms, railways and energy companies —have historically been publicly owned. Others, like banks, are very strictly regulated. If we’ve learned anything from 2018, it’s that industry self-regulation is a recipe for ongoing disasters.We recognize that many are uncomfortable with the idea of the government imposing strict regulation or ownership rules on social media. This isn’t a call for an authoritarian internet, but rather, an acknowledgement that someone will be making the rules. If our choice is between government and business —and it is —only government can credibly provide the accountability and responsiveness to protect the public and safeguard democratic integrity. Explore further Regulation is inevitable Credit: CC0 Public Domain This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Citation: It’s time for a new way to regulate social media platforms (2019, January 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-social-media-platforms.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Credit: eans/Shutterstock Provided by The Conversation While the look and feel of our cars has changed in the past 100 years, the way we drive them hasn’t. But fundamental change is coming. In the next decade, not only will the way they’re powered and wired have shifted dramatically, but we won’t be the ones driving them anymore.Some cars already have basic automation features, but the automotive experiments currently being undertaken by the likes of Uber and Google make up a minuscule proportion of the vehicles on our roads. By 2030, the standard car will evolve from merely assisting the driver to taking full control of all aspects of driving in most driving conditions. This widespread automation, together with the electrification and increased connectivity of both the car and society, are set to shake up the car industry in a big way, affecting everything from the way cars look and feel, to how we spend our time inside them, and how they get us from A to B.A very different driving experienceThe first major difference we might notice between today’s cars and those of 2030 are their names. Just as Apple and Samsung have taken over a mobile phone market that Nokia and Blackberry once dominated, Tesla, Apple, Dyson, and Google could become the most recognised automotive brands of the future. Citation: Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century (2019, May 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-cars-decade-century.html This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Dan Lewis, Staffordshire University; Claude C. Chibelushi, Staffordshire University, and Debi Roberts, Staffordshire University Tesla eyes ‘robotaxis’ by 2020 with new self-driving technology (Update) Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. They’ll likely look a lot different too. From the outside, the large air intakes and front grills that cool our combustion engines will no longer be needed, while wing mirrors will be replaced with cameras and sensors. Windows could be larger to allow liberated passengers to enjoy the view, or near non-existent to provide privacy. The Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC demonstrates these radical new looks with a modular vehicle that can switch bodies to either move cargo or people. Cars’ interiors will be much more flexible, some allowing customisation of colour, light, privacy, and layout at the touch of a button. Volvo’s recent 360c concept car envisages a multi-functional space that can transform into a lounge, an office and even a bedroom. Sun visors will become a thing of the past, with smart glass allowing us to control the amount of entering daylight at the touch of a button. The Mercedes F015 concept car’s doors even have extra screens that can function as windows or entertainment systems. Many cars will be fitted with augmented-reality systems, which will superimpose computer-generated visualisations onto the windscreen or other suitable display areas, to ease the passenger’s nerves from relinquishing the wheel by showing what the car is about to do.Drivers will be able to communicate with their cars through speech or gesture commands. In high-end models, we may even see some early versions of brain-computer interfaces, which would associate patterns of brain activity with commands to control the car or entertain occupants. Similar technology has already been used to control prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. Connective technologyThe ever-growing internet of things will become central to how our integrated cars move us around and communicate with the outside world. Sensors designed to recognise and communicate with upgraded road signs, markings, networks of cameras, pedestrians, and other vehicles will allow cars to synchronise their movement, minimising fuel consumption and improving traffic flow. Cars will also be able to help authorities maintain road infrastructure, for example with tyre sensors that notify them of deteriorating road conditions.When humans choose to take the wheel, technology will warn drivers about impending collisions with other road users, and attempt to avoid them. Improvements in thermal sensor technology are likely to enable cars to see far beyond the illumination range of car headlights. If sufficiently standardised and legislated for, these technologies should substantially reduce the number of road accidents – albeit probably after an initial spike.While rural drivers will probably still own their cars, cities may move away from car ownership to the use of on-demand vehicles that take the Uber model to the next level. In Moscow, 9m of these journeys are already made daily, more than 30 times higher than at the start of 2018. Fuels of the futureMultiple countries and cities have announced upcoming bans on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, many by 2030. Older vehicles will still be on the road, so petrol stations are unlikely to disappear by this date. However, car makers are already focusing more and more on vehicles that will support the fuels of the future.Precisely what that future will look like is unclear. Uncertainty over whether currently popular hybrid cars will be included in vehicle bans may discourage businesses and consumers from investing too much in this path. Fully electric vehicles only make up 2% of the global market right now, but as their price drops below that of petrol cars by the mid 2020s, their market share will surely balloon.By how much depends on to what degree their as yet limited range and charging time can be improved, and how much governments invest in currently patchy electric charging networks. We expect fully electric vehicles to at least be a viable choice for a wide range of drivers by 2030 – but unforeseen groundbreaking technological developments could easily change the future of vehicle fuel. For example, scientists are working hard to solve the production and storage difficulties that currently limit the potential of clean, fast-fuelling and long-range hydrogen-powered vehicles.The year 2030 might not seem too far away, but a decade is a long time for technology to change. In 2008, the first iPhone had only just been released, and climate change was a background issue for governments and media. Now, technology and environmental discourse are changing at an unprecedented rate. So don’t be surprised if you look back at the cars of today in a decade’s time and wonder how we ever got by.
Citation: EA’s Origin had security flaws that could have put up to 300M at risk for identity theft (2019, June 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-ea-flaws-300m-identity-theft.html Xbox Live could soon be coming to iOS, Android and the Nintendo Switch (c)2019 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Video game publisher Electronic Arts has tightened some openings cybersleuths found in its Origin online network that could have exposed more than 300 million video game players to identity theft and account losses. EA’s Origin platform lets PC gamers buy and play games such as Madden NFL, FIFA, Battlefield and The Sims on the network, as well as chat and play online with others. Origin also connects with Facebook, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and the Nintendo Network.Most recently, EA has seen success with “Apex Legends,” as a challenger to “Fortnite,” the leader among the growing battle royal genre, which pits large numbers of players against one another to be the last ones standing.A “chain of vulnerabilities” in the Origin gaming software, identified by cybersecurity firms Check Point Research of San Carlos, California, and CyberInt Technologies of Tel Aviv, Israel, could have allowed hackers to hijack players’ sessions and eventually take over their accounts and potentially gain access to credit card information and other personal information.The cybersecurity firms developed fixes the game publisher deployed to close the vulnerabilities, the companies announced Wednesday. “Protecting our players is our priority,” said Adrian Stone, senior director for game and platform security at Electronic Arts, said in a statement included in the announcement. “As a result of the report from CyberInt and Check Point, we engaged our product security response process to remediate the reported issues.”This year, Check Point notified Epic Games, publisher of the popular online game “Fortnite,” about similar potential weaknesses in its systems, too. In both cases, unused online destinations within the systems offered an entry point for exploitation.Origin’s vulnerabilities could have been exploited without getting a user’s login information. Hackers could have used “abandoned subdomains and EA Games’ use of authentication tokens” used as part of the system’s sign-on process.Only a fraction of EA’s 300 million registered users are active regularly on Origin, but the PC service’s connectivity to social media and other online gaming networks could have put millions more at risk, the security expert says.”Along with the vulnerabilities we recently found in the platforms used by Epic Games for ‘Fortnite,’ this shows how susceptible online and cloud applications are to attacks and breaches,” said Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of products vulnerability research. “These platforms are being increasingly targeted by hackers because of huge amounts of sensitive customer data they hold.”How to protect your infoGamers should use two-factor authentication for online networks and only use official game websites when downloading or buying games, the security firms advise. “Gaming goods are traded in official and unofficial marketplaces in the darknet, which makes attacks against gaming studios very lucrative,” said Itay Yanovski, CyberInt co-founder and senior vice president for strategy. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Next Assam rains: 90% of Kaziranga National Park submerged, anti-poaching camps affectedThe Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Other animals such as tigers, elephants, sloth bears, monkeys and musk deer are also found in the forest.advertisement Press Trust of India MumbaiJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 18:36 IST 90 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state was still submerged. (File Photo/ANI)HIGHLIGHTSOver 150 anti-poaching camps in the Kaziranga National Park have been affected due to Assam floodsThe Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinocerosesThe authorities are working round-the-clock to check poachingWith over 150 anti-poaching camps in the Kaziranga National Park affected by the Assam floods, the authorities are working round-the-clock to check poaching at the UNESCO World Heritage site, officials said.The staff and security personnel are performing their duties using mechanised and country boats to deal with any kind of eventualities, they said.Ninety per cent of the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state was still submerged, a statement from the Assam Ministry of Forest and Environment said.Besides forest guards, a State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) team was engaged alongside Assam Police personnel in vulnerable spots of the park, Divisional Forest Officer, Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Rohini Ballab Saikia saidThe press communique said 155 of the 199 anti-poaching camps at the KNP are affected by floodwaters.The Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Other animals such as tigers, elephants, sloth bears, monkeys and musk deer are also found in the forest.Some of the animals have taken shelter in highlands within the park and many are migrating to the southern highlands of Karbi Anglong, crossing National Highway 37, the statement said.Though 90 per cent of the KNP is submerged, the water level inside the park and the adjoining NH-37 has receded to some extent, restoring the movement of heavy vehicles on the highway on Tuesday.However, passenger buses were not being allowed to drive through the park, Saikia said.Till now, six accidents have been reported on the national highway, causing the death of five Hog Deer and a Sambar, the communique said.Five other animals in the park are reported to have succumbed to injuries “for various reasons due to flood”, it said.”Teams for rescue operation of distressed animal, as per necessity, are kept in readiness. The Special Rhino Protection Force is also deployed in vulnerable locations of the park,” the communique said.Meanwhile, on the directions of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Naba Kumar Doley has rushed to the park to oversee measures being taken to ensure the safety of wild animals, it said.Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force A M Singh visited several areas of the park to take stock of the situation.Another Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Ranjana Gupta, is camping in the park to supervise the operations.Flood and rescue operation management is being monitored by the chief minister and the forest minister, the release said. Both of them are in constant touch with the park authority for real-time analysis and support, it added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday spoken to Chief Minister Sonowal to take stock of the flood situation, including the condition of the KNP, and assured all possible help and support.ALSO READ | Floods kill over 100 in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, lakhs displacedALSO WATCH | In Depth: Decoding the link between floods and droughtsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharma
Strange Love: 10 Animals with Truly Weird Courtship Rituals Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65945-tiny-worms-emit-loud-noise.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35 Tiny, feisty worms that live off the coast of Japan fight by headbutting each other — and they aren’t quiet about it. During these feuds, the worms emit one of the loudest sounds in the ocean, according to a new study. The source of the underwater hullabaloo is a nearly transparent segmented worm called the Leocratides kimuraorum, which lives inside sponges 279 to 554 feet (85 to 169 meters) deep off the coast of Japan. [The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries]Advertisement These wigglies are just a tad more than an inch (29 millimeters) long and have lengthy tentacles and a big mouth (literally). These seemingly quiet creatures revealed their true nature under the spotlight in the lab. A group of researchers used an instrument called a hydrophone to record 15 pops that were emitted from three kimuraorums as they were fighting. In a marine feud researchers dub “mouth-fighting,” the worms approached each other headfirst with their mouths open. During such encounters, the worms’ pharynx muscles expand rapidly, creating a cavitation bubble that collapses and produces a loud “pop” while the worms launch into each other. The researchers found that these pops can reach 157 decibels in the water (which is a different measurement than decibels in the air). From right next to the water tank, the pops sounded like humans snapping their fingers, lead author Goto Ryutaro, an assitant professor at Kyoto University told Live Science. “Though they probably sound louder if you hear them in the water.” The worms are as loud as snapping shrimps, which are one of the biggest noisemakers in the ocean, the authors wrote. What’s more, they found that these worms did not make any noise when simply disturbed, they only did so when they were fighting. They “may use mouth-fighting to defend territory or living chambers from other worms,” the authors wrote July 8 in the journal Current Biology. “A loud pop may be a byproduct of the rapid mouth attack, but it may also aid intraspecific communication.” A loud noise could somehow determine the victor of the fight or even reveal the whereabouts of nearby worms, they wrote. 13 Extremely Weird Animal Feet The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries Originally published on Live Science.
Some of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean — such as the Bikini and Enewetak atolls — are still more radioactive than Chernobyl and Fukushima, even though more than 60 years have passed since the United States tested radioactive weapons on those islands, a new study finds. When testing the soil for plutonium-239 and -240, the researchers found that some of the islands had levels that were between 10 and 1,000 times higher than those on Fukushima (where an earthquake and tsunami led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors) and about 10 times higher than levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The researchers took only a limited number of soil samples, meaning a more comprehensive survey is needed, they said. Regardless, they were surprised that neither national governments nor international organizations had “any further guidance on permissible plutonium levels in the soil,” even though levels in the Marshall Islands were high, the researchers wrote in the study. [Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65949-marshall-islands-more-radioactivity-chernobyl.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35 Testing bombs After dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, effectively ending World War II, the United States decided to test more radioactive weapons. Some of these tests happened in the Marshall Islands, a chain of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines that was then a district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and was run by the U.S. on behalf of the United Nations. The first two bombs, called Able and Baker, were tested on Bikini Atoll in 1946 and kicked off a 12-year period of nuclear testing on the Bikini and Enewetak atolls, during which the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons. The first-ever hydrogen bomb test, with the code name Ivy Mike, was tested on Enewetak in 1951. The U.S. conducted its largest hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll — the 1954 Castle Bravo bomb, which was more than 1,000 times more powerful than Little Boy, the uranium weapon that decimated Hiroshima. In addition to contaminating the Bikini and Enewetak atolls, nuclear fallout from the tests also rained down on and sickened people living on Rongelap and Utirik atolls (also part of the Marshall Islands), the researchers said. In 2016, a team of researchers from Columbia University in New York published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on the background gamma radiation in three of the northern Marshall atolls: Enewetak, Bikini and Rongelap. The researchers found that radiation levels on Bikini were higher than previously reported, so they decided to do more in-depth studies on radioactivity in the islands. (Nuclear weapons are one source that releases gamma-rays, which are like energetic X-rays.) More fallout Now, that same team has written three new studies, published online yesterday (July 15) in the journal PNAS, on four of the atolls in the northern Marshall islands: Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utirik. External gamma radiation levels were significantly elevated on Bikini Atoll, on Enjebi Island in Enewetak Atoll and on Naen Island in Rongelap Atoll, compared with an island in the southern Marshall Islands that the scientists used as a control, the researchers found. The levels on Bikini and Naen islands were so high, they surpassed the maximum exposure limit that the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands agreed to in the 1990s, the researchers said. (On a side note, bikini swimsuits weren’t named after the island because of its tropicality, but because the French designer wanted the two-piece swimsuit to be “explosive,” just like the bomb tested there, said one of the study’s senior scientists, Ivana Nikolic-Hughes, director of the K1 Project at the Center for Nuclear Studies and a senior lecturer of chemistry at Columbia University.) [Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 22 Declassified Military & CIA Secrets] The researchers also found that the islands of Runit and Enjebi in Enewetak Atoll, as well as on Bikini and Naen islands, had high concentrations of certain radioactive isotopes in the soil. (An isotope is an element with a different number of neutrons in its nucleus.) These four islands had radioactive plutonium levels that were higher than those found in Fukushima and Chernobyl, the researchers found. “What was surprising was just how high the external gamma radiation was for Naen, which is the outer island for Rongelap Atoll,” Nikolic-Hughes told Live Science. “It was populated during the Bravo test … [the people there] were then moved, moved back and moved again. It’s quite a dreadful history of what happened to Rongelapese people.” In their second study, the researchers worked with professional divers, who collected 130 soil samples from the Castle Bravo Crater at Bikini Atoll. The level of some of the isotopes — plutonium-239 and -240, americium-241 and bismuth-207 — was an order of magnitude higher than levels found on other Marshall Islands, the researchers found. The researchers tested coconuts and pandanus fruit (shown here) for radioactivity on 11 of the islands. Credit: Shutterstock These findings are important because “measuring the radioactive contamination of the crater sediment is a first step in assessing the overall impact of nuclear weapons testing on the ocean ecosystems,” the researchers wrote in the study. In the third study, the researchers tested more than 200 fruits — mostly coconuts and pandanus — on 11 of the islands from four different atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Cesium-137 levels didn’t look good for a sizeable chunk of the fruits on Bikini and Rongelap atolls, which had radioactivity levels higher than those deemed safe by several countries and international organizations, the researchers found. More work is needed to educate people living on the Marshall Islands about these dangers. Moreover, these findings and future research can shed light on whether it’s safe for the Marshallese people to resettle or harvest food on some of these islands, the researchers said. In Photos: World’s 10 Most Polluted Places 10 Times HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Got the Science Wrong In Photos: Fukushima Butterflies Plagued With Defects Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndo
The 10 Noblest Nobel Prize Winners of All Time Beyond Tesla: History’s Most Overlooked Scientists The Top 10 Revolutionary Computers If it weren’t for the legendary World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, the outcome for the Allied forces might have looked very different. The mathematician and computer scientist has been widely credited with hastening the end of the war, thanks to his work decoding German naval messages. But only seven years after the end the war, Turing, who was gay, was convicted of “gross indecency” for his relationship with a 19-year-old man. Turing wasn’t formally pardoned until 2014. Now, 65 years after Turing’s death, the Bank of England is recognizing the trailblazer’s contributions to science and technology by featuring his face on the brand-new design of their 50-pound note. “It was nothing short of a tragedy how a country he had served with such distinction treated him after the war, persecuting him for his homosexuality,” said Demis Hassabis, a British artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, at the unveiling ceremony in Manchester. “That’s why it’s wonderful to see Turing on the note, as a powerful symbol of the long overdue recognition he deserves.” Not only did Turing’s contributions to math and computer science aid the Allied war effort, they also laid the foundations for modern computers. In his 1936 paper titled “On Computable Numbers,” Turing invented the concept of algorithms, sets of instructions that dictate how computers operate, BBC reported. He was also one of the earliest computer scientists to begin thinking about AI. His ‘Turing test’ is still used to determine whether a machine is “intelligent” or not. “As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking,” Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said in a statement. “Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.” The new banknote won’t just feature Turing’s face. It will also include a ticker tape of binary code that spells out his birthday (June 23, 1912), a depiction of the machine he used to help break the German Enigma code, and his signature. Turing wasn’t the only scientist considered for this new note. In total, 989 scientists were nominated. The short list included Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Hawking and Adam Lovelace, among others. Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoCNETMeet the US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraftCNETUndo
Skywatcher and satellite tracker Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands recently caught a rare glimpse of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane. Vandebergh said he’d been hunting for the robotic spacecraft for months and finally managed to track it down in May. But it took a bit longer to get photos of the vehicle. “When I tried to observe it again [in] mid-June, it didn’t meet the predicted time and path,” Vandebergh explained. “It turned out to have maneuvered to another orbit. Thanks to the amateur satellite observers’ network, it was rapidly found in orbit again, and I was able to take some images on June 30 and July 2.”Advertisement The X-37B’s recent passes were almost overhead, Vandebergh added. Related: The X-37B Space Plane: 6 Surprising Facts Beyond expectations The X-37B, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), looks like a miniature version of NASA’s retired space shuttle. “It is really a small object, even at only 300 kilometers [186 miles] altitude, so don’t expect the detail level of ground-based images of the real space shuttle,” Vandebergh said. Taking this into consideration, the newly captured imagery far exceeded Vandebergh’s expectations. “We can recognize a bit of the nose, payload bay and tail of this mini-shuttle, with even a sign of some smaller detail,” he said. Vandebergh captured the photos using a 10-inch F/4,8 aperture Newtonian telescope with an Astrolumina ALccd 5L-11 mono CMOS camera. Tracking was fully manual through a 6×30 finderscope, he said. Classified duties The X-37B has winged past 666 days of flight on this latest mission, which is called OTV-5 because it’s the fifth flight for the program. OTV-5 began on Sept. 7, 2017, with a launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. X-37B missions are carried out under the auspices of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, and mission control for OTV flights is handled by the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. This squadron oversees operations of the X-37B and is tagged as the Air Force Space Command’s premier organization for space-based demonstrations, pathfinders and experiment testing, gathering information on objects high above Earth and carrying out other intelligence-gathering duties. And that may be a signal as to what the robotic craft is doing — both looking down at Earth and upward. Related: US Air Force’s Secretive X-37B Space Plane (Infographic) Flight-duration record Each X-37B mission has set a new flight-duration record for the program: Most X-37B payloads are classified, and the Air Force releases few details about the spacecraft’s orbit and activities. The only OTV-5 payload that Air Force officials have revealed is the Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader, or ASETS-II. Developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), this cargo is testing experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipes for long-duration stints in the space environment. According to AFRL, the payload’s three primary science objectives are to measure initial on-orbit thermal performance, to measure long duration thermal performance, and to assess any lifetime degradation. Tarmac touchdown Exactly when OTV-5 will end is unknown. The last X-37B mission touched down at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility — a first for the program. All prior missions had ended with a tarmac touchdown at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Several website postings say that the sixth mission, OTV-6, is planned for this year on a United Launch Alliance Atlas-5(501) rocket. Launch would be from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41. Reusable vehicles The classified X-37B program “fleet” consists of two known reusable vehicles, both of which were built by Boeing. The X-37B vehicles were built at several Boeing locations in Southern California, including Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and El Segundo. The program transitioned to the U.S. Air Force in 2004 after earlier funded research efforts by Boeing, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The military space plane is 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.6 feet (2.9 m) tall, with a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.6 m). The X-37B’s payload bay, which measures 7 feet (2.1 m) by 4 feet (1.2 m), can be outfitted with a robotic arm. The spacecraft has a launch weight of 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms) and is powered on orbit by gallium-arsenide solar cells with lithium-ion batteries. Prior to OTV-5’s launch, Randy Walden, the director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said there were many firsts on this mission, making it a milestone for the program. “It is our goal to continue advancing the X-37B OTV so it can more fully support the growing space community,” he said at the time. The Air Force also noted that OTV-5 was launched into, and will be landed from, a higher-inclination orbit than prior missions to further expand the X-37B’s orbital envelope. Gotcha! US Air Force’s Secretive X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Satellite Tracker Gallery: Declassified US Spy Satellite Photos & Designs Leonard David is author of the recently released book, “Moon Rush: The New Space Race” published by National Geographic in May 2019. A longtime writer for Space.com, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSoGoodlyThey Were Named The Most Beautiful Twins In The World, Wait Till You See Them TodaySoGoodlyUndoBeverly Hills MDTop Plastic Surgeon: “You Can Fill In Wrinkles At Home” (Here’s How)Beverly Hills MDUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoDermalMedixDoctor’s New Discovery Makes Foot Calluses “Vanish”DermalMedixUndo Secretive Space Plane: Meet the X-37B | VideoThe unmanned X-37B space plane built by Boeing’s Phantom Works division is undergoing orbital flight tests for the U.S. Air Force.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Fomalhaut Stars Huge Ring of Dusty Debris Captured by ALMA | Video00:54 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65884-x-37b-space-plane-skywatcher-photo.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist00:54Fomalhaut Stars Huge Ring of Dusty Debris Captured by ALMA | Video00:43OTD in Space – July 16: Apollo 11 Launches to the Moon02:22Space.com Builds: Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V Rocket13:13Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Talks Launch on 50th Anniversary06:26How To Find Jupiter and Other Skywatching Objects in July 2016 | Video02:22Skywatching Planets and the Harvest Moon In September 2014 | Video关闭 In Photos: SpaceX Launches X-37B Space Plane, Lands Falcon 9 Rocket
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant an urgent hearing on the petition filed by the Centre and Assam government seeking an extension of the July 31 deadline for the completion of the National Register for Citizens (NRC). “We will see. We will examine the petition,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose observed. The matter was mentioned before the court by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who submitted that it will not be possible to complete the NRC by July 31. The Supreme Court is monitoring the NRC exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in Assam, which has been facing an influx of people from Bangladesh for decades. The NRC containing the names of Indian citizens was prepared in 1951. When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications. The final list of the NRC is set to be published on July 31 this year. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for you