Google hands developers keys to enliven interactive rooms

first_img Google Dart debut sparks chatter of JavaScript coup © 2012 ( — Google this week announced it is opening code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces. The Monday posting on its open-source blog site, which carries news about its open source projects, announced the release of Interactive Spaces. As such, Google has a special invitation for developers: “Make a room come alive,” using this framework for creating interactive spaces. The release is described as a new API and runtime that allows developers to build interactive applications for physical spaces. 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: Google hands developers keys to enliven interactive rooms (2012, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: Google’s blog This is an “initial source” release, according to Google, and a binary release will follow. Interactive Spaces is written in Java, and runs on any operating system that supports Java, including Linux, OSX and soon Windows. Javascript and Python are supported out of the box. Also, openFrameworks is supported. The latter is an open source C++ toolkit for “creative coding.” The openFrameworks community uses the toolkit as general-purpose glue, as they phrase it, with code written to be “massively cross compatible,” wrapping together numerous libraries such as OpenGL, GLEW, GLUT, libtess2 and cairo for graphics; rtAudio, PortAudio or FMOD and Kiss FFT for audio input, output and analysis; FreeType for fonts; and Quicktime and videoInput for video playback.As for Interactive Spaces, the way it works can be boiled down to concepts such as “producers” and “consumers.” The floor is a consumer of events that connects to cameras in the ceiling, which are producers of events. “Any number of producers and consumers can be connected to each other, making it possible to create quite complex behavior in the physical space,” according to Google’s notes.Scenarios for the “intelligent rooms” can be adapted with a few lines of code or original, detailed interfaces written from the ground up. Keith Hughes, who is with Google’s Experience Engineering Team, comments on what developers can expect with Interactive Spaces as a collection of libraries for implementing the activities to run in their interactive space. “Implementing an activity can require anything from a few lines in a simple configuration file to you creating the proper interfaces entirely from scratch. The former gets you off the ground very quickly, but limits what your activity can do, while the latter allows you the most power at the cost of more complexity,” he said.As the framework notes suggest, design possibilities are many and applications can range from creative designers putting together novel interactive installations, to the creation of live gaming environments, to educational events where interactions support a targeted learning experience. Google offers a sample scenario, asking us to imagine walking into a room where the room recognizes where we are and can respond based on our position in the space. Cameras in the ceiling do “blob tracking,” says Google, and those blobs are people walking on the floor. The floor responds to the blobs by having colored circles appear underneath the feet of someone standing on the floor and then having the circles follow that person around.“Blob-tracking” fits in the realm of computer vision work, where visual modules are aimed at detecting points or regions in the image that differ in properties such as brightness or color compared to the surrounding.Google, in discussing further plans for Intreractive Spaces, intends to add support for the Processing language, also open source, providing an environment for creating images, animations, and interactions. As such, Processing has become a familiar programming tool for those who generate art and graphical presentations.Interactive Spaces is licensed under the Apache license 2.0 and the source code for the project is available from Google Code.last_img read more

Habitual use of fire as told from cave near Haifa

first_img More information: ‘Fire at will’: The emergence of habitual fire use 350,000 years ago, Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 77, December 2014, Pages 196–203. … ii/S0047248414001778AbstractThe use of fire is central to human survival and to the processes of becoming human. The earliest evidence for hominin use of fire dates to more than a million years ago. However, only when fire use became a regular part of human behavioral adaptations could its benefits be fully realized and its evolutionary consequences fully expressed. It remains an open question when the use of fire shifted from occasional and opportunistic to habitual and planned. Understanding the time frame of this ‘technological mutation’ will help explain aspects of our anatomical evolution and encephalization over the last million years. It will also provide an important perspective on hominin dispersals out of Africa and the colonization of temperate environments, as well as the origins of social developments such as the formation of provisioned base camps. Frequencies of burnt flints from a 16-m-deep sequence of archaeological deposits at Tabun Cave, Israel, together with data from the broader Levantine archaeological record, demonstrate that regular or habitual fire use developed in the region between 350,000–320,000 years ago. While hominins may have used fire occasionally, perhaps opportunistically, for some million years, we argue here that it only became a consistent element in behavioral adaptations during the second part of the Middle Pleistocene. Citation: Habitual use of fire as told from cave near Haifa (2014, December 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. , Journal of Human Evolution Scientists have not been content with the exercise of dating when man first used fire. While the earliest evidence for hominin use of fire dates to more than a million years ago, scientists have been keen to explore an expanded timeline as to when we transitioned from occasional use to habitual, planned use of fire. A research effort by a team of scientists has turned up evidence and they have written what they understand about a time frame of a ‘technological mutation.’ That in turn can help explain our evolution and “encephalization.” © 2014 Journal information: Science Their study, ‘Fire at will’: The emergence of habitual fire use 350,000 years ago,” is published in this month’s Journal of Evolution. Their study suggests, as stated in a publication of the Archeological Institute of America, Archaeology, that human ancestors regularly began using fire some 350,000 years ago. The six authors studied flint tools recovered from Israel’s Tabun Cave. The authors are from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, and School of Anthropology, University of Arizona. They uncovered burnt flint material from a 16-m-deep sequence of archaeological deposits at Tabun Cave, near Haifa, Israel. According to a report in Science, the Tabun Cave is a site with a long sequence. In turn, said Ron Shimelmitz, archaeologist at the University of Haifa and study co-author, they were able to explore, step by step, how the use of fire changed in the cave. Shimelmitz also said in the Science report that the findings were consistent with data from several nearby sites. The authors wrote that “burnt artifacts are found not only within hearths but also scattered throughout the general area of excavations, a result of processes such as cleaning out of fireplaces, trampling and earth moving.” They said that “the frequency of burnt flints should be a suitable proxy for the frequency of fires within the cave.” Since the stone is so durable, burnt flints are not expected to suffer from the same degree of post-depositional alteration and destruction as are hearth features, heated sediments, charcoal and ash or even burnt bones, they added.Two factors, the flint discoveries along with data from a Levantine archaeological record, demonstrated that “regular or habitual fire use developed in the region between 350,000–320,000 years ago. While hominins may have used fire occasionally, perhaps opportunistically, for some million years, we argue here that it only became a consistent element in behavioral adaptations during the second part of the Middle Pleistocene.” They concluded that “Fire became a regular part of hominin behavior during the second half of the Middle Pleistocene.”The value of their research is in its contribution to reconstructing features of evolutionary history, including changes in anatomy and dispersal of hominins into temperate regions. Ilan Ben Zion, news editor at The Times of Israel, explained that examination of the strata in the cave found that, before roughly 350,000 years ago, “few of the stones showed signs of exposure to intense heat. After that point, an increasing number show signs of red or black coloration, cracking, and small round depressions typical of exposure to fire.” In their study, the authors said that, “We suggest that the changes in burning frequency at Tabun and Qesem not only signal the point in time where the use of fire became habitual, but also indicate that humans had mastered the art of kindling fire. Unfortunately there are no means currently available to directly determine how ancient fires were started, so the latter remains simply a hypothesis for the time being.” Credit: Junior Libby/public domain 300,000-year-old hearth found Explore furtherlast_img read more

Study looks at immediate health benefits of renewable energy plants

first_img Explore further Is natural gas a ‘bridge’ to a hotter future? As the researchers note, most studies that look into the benefits of converting “dirty” energy production to “clean” renewable resource based systems, focus on the benefit to the planet as a whole, i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thus slowing global warming. They suggest another approach is to look at the health benefits that would occur for the people that live in the area—air pollution, it has been estimated kills approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. each year—and a lot of that pollution comes from coal fired power plants. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if it might be possible to create models that would reflect the immediate health benefits to people that live in the vicinity of dirty plants if they were replaced with non-air polluting plants.As a start, the team chose to use dollar amounts spent on health care due to pollution as a metric, because it can be quantified. Next, they chose six geographical areas to evaluate: Cincinnati, northern Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Chicago. For each of those areas, the team looked at what the impact would be of replacing a coal fired plant with either a 50 MW solar or wind plant, or two pollution reduction schemes that would involve reducing the amount of electricity meted out to customers. Then, they looked at the impact that each of the types of projects would have on the amount of electricity generated versus savings or constraints on the local grid, and of course the difference in emission of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.Putting it all together resulted in a model that they could use to estimate the health benefits (in dollars) under each of the different scenarios. They found it was different for each region depending mostly on population density and baseline pollution levels—savings ranged from $5.7 to $210 million each year. The researchers believe their models could be used by planners to forecast potential health benefits when considering power generation options in the future. More information: Health and climate benefits of different energy-efficiency and renewable energy choices, Nature Climate Change (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2771AbstractEnergy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) can benefit public health and the climate by displacing emissions from fossil-fuelled electrical generating units (EGUs). Benefits can vary substantially by EE/RE installation type and location, due to differing electricity generation or savings by location, characteristics of the electrical grid and displaced power plants, along with population patterns. However, previous studies have not formally examined how these dimensions individually and jointly contribute to variability in benefits across locations or EE/RE types. Here, we develop and demonstrate a high-resolution model to simulate and compare the monetized public health and climate benefits of four different illustrative EE/RE installation types in six different locations within the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes of the United States. Annual benefits using central estimates for all pathways ranged from US$5.7–US$210 million (US$14–US$170 MWh−1), emphasizing the importance of site-specific information in accurately estimating public health and climate benefits of EE/RE efforts. (—A team of researchers with affiliations to several institutions in the Boston area has conducted a study to determine the immediate health benefits to different parts of the country if coal or gas fired plants were replaced with solar or wind farms. In their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team describes how they created their models and why they believe they could be used to help with planning energy systems in the future. Journal information: Nature Climate Changecenter_img Citation: Study looks at immediate health benefits of renewable energy plants (2015, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Solarkraftwerk Waldpolenz, the first Solar 40-MW CdTe PV Array installed by JUWI Group in Brandis, Germany. Credit: JUWI Group 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.last_img read more

Nanoscale logic machines go beyond binary computing

first_imgUsing scanning tunneling spectroscopy, the researchers could measure the electron tunneling rates, and could also control these rates by controlling the voltage to the tip of the microscope along with the distance between the tip and the substrate. So the maze problem becomes a problem of finding the combination of voltages and tip distances that maximize the time an atom occupies a certain state. Due to the variability of single-electron dynamics, each atom has slightly different electron transport properties, which means some atoms have better optimal values than others. If the atoms were used as switching devices, like transistors, then this variability would be considered a drawback because it could introduce error. But here the variability becomes an advantage because it allows billions of logic devices to be compared against each other to determine which electron transport properties help keep the atom in a certain state for the longest time.The researchers expect that the results will lead to nanoscale logic devices capable of solving a wide variety of problems of increasing complexity—all by directly simulating the problems rather than reframing them as binary processes. “Nanoscale and molecular devices used as hardware for logic have potentially many advantages, from high packing density and low-power dissipation to the high number of states that can be used to encode information,” Remacle said. “However, their dynamics is ruled by probabilistic law because of the fundamental stochastic nature of thermally activated and quantum processes. The most straightforward application is then to use nanoscale devices for the implementation of probabilistic algorithms that require significant overhead in conventional deterministic hardware. For example, the mere sampling a pseudo-random number from a probability distribution requires hundreds of instructions on a modern computer while electron tunneling at truly random times is a natural process.”In the future, the researchers plan to design other types of nanologic devices, whose implementation will require positioning the components with extreme precision.”On the theoretical side, we will continue to develop different information processing paradigms tailored on the physics of nanoscale and molecular systems, with special attention to potentialities emerging from their quantum nature,” Remacle said. “This is a fundamental effort for turning into useful technologies the increased ability to control and manipulate the matter at the nanoscale. Experimentally, the biggest challenge is to achieve full control of the position of dopant atoms in the silicon matrix with atomic precision and the design of their transport characteristics.” (—Scientists have built tiny logic machines out of single atoms that operate completely differently than conventional logic devices do. Instead of relying on the binary switching paradigm like that used by transistors in today’s computers, the new nanoscale logic machines physically simulate the problems and take advantage of the inherent randomness that governs the behavior of physical systems at the nanoscale—randomness that is usually considered a drawback. © 2017 Proposed method to cause an atom to emit the same light as another atom Citation: Nanoscale logic machines go beyond binary computing (2017, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. More information: Barbara Fresch et al. “A Probabilistic Finite State Logic Machine Realized Experimentally on a Single Dopant Atom.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b05149 Journal information: Nano Letters (Left) The four states of the atom correspond to (right) the four rooms of a maze. The random nature of tunneling electrons in and out of an atom simulates the movement of people between rooms of the maze, and can optimize the solutions to certain maze problems. Credit: Fresch et al. ©2017 American Chemical Society The team of researchers, Barbara Fresch et al., from universities in Belgium, Italy, Australia, Israel, and the US, have published a paper on the new nanoscale logic machines in a recent issue of Nano Letters.”Our approach shows the possibility of a new class of tiny analog computers that can solve computationally difficult problems by simple statistical algorithms running in nanoscale solid-state physical devices,” coauthor Francoise Remacle at the University of Liege told new nanologic machines consist of individual phosphorous atoms that are precisely positioned and embedded in a silicon crystal at a density of about 200 billion atoms per square centimeter. Single electrons randomly move in and out of the atoms due to quantum tunneling. Since each atom can hold one or two of these electrons, and each electron can occupy a few different energy levels, each atom can occupy one of four possible states. Each atom is constantly transitioning between its four states according to a certain set of probabilities, corresponding to the random movement of electrons tunneling in and out of the atom and changing their energy levels. The researchers recognized that this physical picture can be used to simulate certain computational problems. As a proof-of-concept, they looked at a relatively simple example involving the flow of visitors in a maze consisting of four rooms connected by gates. The task is to find the optimal combination of rates for opening the gates in order to maximize the time that visitors spend in one particular room.Solving this type of problem using conventional computing requires a significant amount of effort, since it typically involves analyzing the dynamics of visitors in the maze to gather information before attempting to optimize the rates of the gate openings. However, using the new logic devices, it’s possible to find the solution more directly because the problem is physically embodied by the atomic “hardware” itself. For this particular problem, the topology of the maze corresponds to an atom’s states, and the movement of visitors corresponds to the tunneling of the electrons. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Vegan is nonviolence

first_imgAhimsa means not to hurt someone, working on the same a group of artists put up an exhibition recently in the Capital. Ahimsa’s multidimensional concept is inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.Through the language of brush on canvas all the artists tried to show their concern to promote greenery and vegetarianism at Gallery Sree Art. The works of artist represent non-violence towards animals and respecting the ecological balance ‘By embracing your inner herbivore you can bring positive changes in your lifestyle, the green meals bring peace and calm and a man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food,’ said the artist. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Works of artist Jyotika Chhabra were refreshing and full of enthusiasm. Her use of  bold colours and heavy textures on canvas have brought the shades of nature together for the art lovers in the city. She made an attempt to project the supernova created in the state of reverie.Artists whose works were on display were Kanchan Chander,  Ritu Kapoor Kamath, Balbir Krishan, Alka Raghuvanshi, Nupur Sakhuja Kundu, Jyotika Chhabra,  Babu Xavier, Azis TM, Birendra Pani,  Sangeeta Gupta, Shijo Jacob,  Kiishore Chakravortee,  Sunayana Malhotra and more.last_img read more

Game on

first_imgGames have always existed in cultures and gaming has become ubiquitous with the information technology boom. Through this residency, Khoj tries to explore the idea of game and play through the lens of contemporary art practice. From games as tools of social engagement and change making to games which are studies in hardcore lucid experiences, this show explores it all.The participating artistes are Mohini Dutta, Shradha Jain, Zuleikha Chaudhary, Krishnarjun Bhattacharya and Vinit Nikumbh. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Says Pooja Sood, Director, ‘Khoj would like to incubate and be a stage for the co-inhabitation of multiple kinds of actors in this emergent community of local and independent game makers. This community defies any neat slotting and categorizing into any grouping such as art, science, technology or entertainment. This makes it an opportunity for an intersection with an art space like Khoj that celebrates the liminality of practices and seeks to expand the notions of art practice.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixZuleikha Chaudhary, a well-known theatre person has explored the theatricality and performative aspect within games and gaming through a dramatic exploration of a basketball. She says, ‘The Bhawal case was an extended Indian court case about a possible impostor who claimed to be the prince of Bhawal, who was presumed dead a decade earlier. My project layers this trial with an audition using the framework of a game to consider being yourself and being someone else and where telling the truth and faking dissolve into each other and become indistinguishable.’ Mohini Dutta is a game developer working out of NYC and she has worked on a game that bases itself within the issues of tribal displacement in the Mahan forests. Her influences are jungle sounds, tribal aesthetics and the current political situation in Mahan. Her work explores play through the lens of cultural immersion, education, and disruptive spectacle.Shradha Jain comes from a background of film and video communication and is interested in board games. She has worked on a public installation of traditional board games. Her primary interest lies in conserving and celebrating Indian cultural heritage. She has travelled extensively in Northern and Northeastern parts of the country and is currently documenting the indigenous game culture through her travel. ‘My primary interest lies in studying and reviving the rich cultural heritage of traditional board games and play culture. I am committed to documenting and representing various forms of play that form a seamless cultural tradition overcoming geographical boundaries.’Krishnarjun Bhattacharya comes from a background in film, fantasy literature and game criticism. Having published his dystopian fantasy novel, Tantrics of Old, in June 2014, he is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, in Film and Video Communication, and has done his post graduation from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in Video Editing. For this residency, he has worked on a psychological horror first person exploratory game as he likes working with stories, legends, and myths. He’s working towards a structure-less structure that allows free flow and narrative, building around long lost tales and fascinating characters. Vinit Nikumbh is an architect and is working on an App that gamifies urban planning. He also has a keen interest in cinema and urban development. When he was selected as a research fellow to work on issues of urbanism in Mumbai, he conducted a study on the issues of pedestrian access to important nodal transportation junctions in the city of Mumbai. The study culminated in a public presentation and a draft of pedestrian accessibility guidelines that could be addressed in the new development plan for the city.WHERE: Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee ExtensionWHEN: 4 September till 6 September 6, 2014, 11 am to 7 pm.last_img read more

Bhel is power plant equipment market leader with 89 share

first_imgBharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) expanded its offerings and secured 89 per cent EPC-based power projects in financial year 2014-15, thereby retaining its leadership position with a 72 per cent market share. The national power equipment manufacturer synchronised or commissioned 11,941 mw of power plant equipment — accounting for more than 10,000 mw —for the third year in a row. With this, Bhel has joined the elite club of global giants with an installed base of over 150 gw of power generating equipment Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashExpanding its offerings, Bhel secured 89 per cent of its total orders in the power sector on EPC basis, thereby retaining its market leadership position during 2014-15 with a 72 per cent market share even while operating in a difficult business environment. The company’s improved focus on project execution enabled it to garner record commissioning/ synchronisation of 11,941 mw of power plants in the domestic and international markets in 20114-15.Bhel secured orders worth Rs 30,794 crore during the just ended fiscal, an increase of 10 per cent over last year from its diversified business segments, covering both domestic and international markets. Its orders in the power sector witnessed a 22 per cent jump to Rs 24,873 crore while those in the most diversified industry segment saw a 4 per cent rise to Rs 5,201 crore in 2014-15. The company booked Rs 720 crore orders for exports and ended the fiscal with a total order book of Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsRs 1,01,159 crore.Bhel bagged the country’s first ever 800-mw EPC order from GSECL, Wanakbori, an EPC order for the country’s first ‘9FB Advanced Class Gas Turbine’ from KPCL for the Yelahanka CCPP (370 MW), the second largest single order worth Rs 7,688 crore for the 2×660-mw Ennore SEZ from TangedcoThe national company also signed an MoU with the newly formed Telangana state for 6,000 mw of power projects and received two significant EPC orders from TSGENCO Telangana for the 1×800 mw Kothagudem and 4×270 mw Manuguru. The orders secured involve challenging project schedules of 24 months for 270 mw  and 36 months for 800 mw, in order to create benchmarks in project execution. Bhel recorded a turnover of Rs 30,806 crore (provisional) and net profit of Rs 1,314 crore (provisional) during 2014-15. The profit impact is due to low volumes as a result of the retarding force of the last three years’ market shrinkage due to issues relating to coal linkages, fund constraints, land acquisition issues, clearances, etc. The focus on cost optimisation through increased localisation of super critical technologies, higher value additions; increased vendor base and design optimisation efforts aided the company in raising margins.Bhel’s emphasis on cash realisation during financial year 2014-15 resulted in its retaining a cash surplus situation. The rising trend of debtors has also been arrested. The company’s commissioning/ synchronisation of 11,941 mw included 10,230 mw in the utility segment, 1,392 mw captive/ industrial sets in the country and 319 mw in the overseas market.  Significantly, not only has Bhel surpassed the total capacity addition achieved in the 11th Plan within the first three years of the 12th Plan itself, the company has also exceeded the Ministry of Power’s target for the year by 19 per cent. A major milestone of the year was the commissioning of four overseas power plants in Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Oman. Bhel signed an MoU with HSL & MIDHANI and formed a consortium for P 75I submarines, a stepping stone towards India’s indigenous submarine-building programme.  Fiscal 2014-15 was a year in which BHEL made significant progress in further consolidating its strengths and value propositions to emerge even more competitive for tapping opportunities in the next phase of economic growth of the country.last_img read more

When moments become memories

first_imgTravelogue, a solo photography exhibition by debutant photographer Amira Chanana, 17, showcased her memories from round the world through her camera. The pictures served as a timestamp of her travel moments across the globe.Unlike the contemporary way, Amira’s approach to express herself through black and white photography made the exhibition unique in its own kind. When asked about her approach she said, “In this rapid, fast-paced and impatient world, colours are merely glanced upon and barely appreciated. On the other hand, black and white medium, renders emphatic emotions and has a deeper connect with the viewer.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, the directors of the Pallette Art Gallery said, “We, at the Palette Art Gallery are happy to promote a young talent like Amira Chanana, whose work speaks for itself. Photography is a medium of art we believe in and while Palette has exhibited the works of renowned artists like Raghu Rai, Dinesh Khanna, Gigi Scaria in the past, we feel that it is equally important to encourage young artists by giving them a platform to showcase their works to a discerning audience.”The quest to capture every moment at its finest and the fear of missing out on moments leads a traveller to take some magnificent pictures. Amira’s pictures, which she maintained as her chronicle of travel, not only depicted the mood of the place but also spoke about its culture and people.last_img read more

HUL sells Modern bread bakery biz to Everstone arm

first_imgFMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Tuesday said that it has sold the bread and bakery business under ‘Modern’ brand to Everstone Group’s Nimman Foods Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum. “HUL’s decision to divest is in line with its strategy to exit non-core businesses, while continuing to drive its growth agenda in the core packaged foods business,” the company said in a BSE filing.“It (transaction) includes sale and transfer of the ‘Modern’ brand and business on a going concern basis. HUL and Everstone will work together to secure the necessary approvals to complete the transaction over the next few months. HUL will continue to manage the operations until the completion of the transaction,” it said. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsHUL CEO & Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said: “Since its acquisition in 2000, HUL has strengthened the Modern business, driven consistent topline growth and significantly improved profitability. Having turned around the business and built a sustainable growth model, we believe that the sale to Everstone will unlock the full potential of the Modern brand.” The business includes products such as cakes, muffins, buns, pavs and cream rolls.last_img read more

Man dies while crossing metro track

first_imgAn unidentified man allegedly jumped in front of an approaching train at the Tilak Nagar Metro station on Saturday in a bid to reach one platform.  He died on the spot. Police have not ruled out the possibility of suicide and are investigating the matter under Section 174 of the CrPC. According to cops, the man is in his mid-forties and was crossing the Metro tracks as he wanted to go from platform number 2 to platform number 1 at the Tilak Nagar Metro station when a train crushed him. No documents were recovered from the man’s possession to establish his identity.last_img read more

Being more social this New Year may improve health

first_imgLeveraging existing relationships with friends and family may be a more effective way to improve patients’ health than increasing interactions with physicians or other clinicians, scientists say.In a new study, researchers suggest a five-step ladder to effectively engineering social engagements that promote health and to test their acceptability and effectiveness.“Spouses and friends are more likely to be around patients when they are making decisions that affect their health – like taking a walk versus watching TV, or what to order at a restaurant,” said David Asch, professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“Patients are also more likely to adopt healthy behaviours – like going to the gym – when they can go with a friend,” Asch said.“Though people are more heavily influenced by those around them every day than they are by doctors and nurses they interact with only occasionally, these cost-free interactions remain largely untapped when engineering social incentives for health,” he said.Due to these lost opportunities, and the high costs when doctors and nurses keep tabs on their patients, the researchers said it is important to engineer social engagements that enlist the social support patients already have and allow organisations to test their acceptability. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“Concerns about privacy are often the reason doctors and hospitals avoid organising social support,” Asch said.“But while privacy is very important to some patients under some circumstances, more often patients would love if their friends and family helped them manage their diabetes, and those friends and family want to help people get their health under control,” he said.“Although we don’t normally think of competition or collaboration among patients as a part of managing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart failure, or diabetes, research shows that behaviour is contagious, and programmes that take advantage of these naturally occurring relationships can be very effective,” said Roy Rosin, chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine.The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.last_img read more

NRS staff wishes to relocate campus cats awaits permission

first_imgKolkata: Ratna Mondal, a fourth class staffer of NRS Medical College and Hospital and an animal lover, has urged the hospital authorities for their permission to relocate as many as 150 cats found at various departments in the hospital. Mondal will soon write to the hospital superintendent in this regard. The incident comes barely two weeks after the merciless killing of 16 puppies by two nursing students of NRS.According to hospital sources, the cats inside the hospital premises often create a nuisance. There have been instances of patients and their relatives getting bitten by the cats or their food getting stolen by them. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTo find out a permanent solution to the problem, Mondal has appealed to the hospital authorities. It was learnt that in the Gynaecological ward alone there are about 15-20 cats and on an average, there are eight to 10 cats in each ward. When the patients are given food these cats come close and scare them. The cats also attack the patients while being driven away by the staffers. Around few months ago, a cat scratched an expectant mother for which she had to be vaccinated. Earlier, an NGO used to take away the cats from the hospital but it does not happen anymore. It is also stated that ligation is not performed on the cats found in the hospital. Mondal has expressed her wish to shift the cats to some other place if the authorities allow her. It would not only help the patients to get rid of this cat menace but also provide the feline species a safer life, Mondal maintained.last_img read more

Battle of the languages

first_imgThere is a steep divide in the news preferences of Hindi and English readers online and findings of a survey, announced recently, show that while nationalistic, religious and political themes attract Hindi readers, the news around entertainment and celebrities find more readers in English. At the same time, the survey also reveals that sharing on nationalistic and religious themes dominated in 2016, with 22 per cent of the total shares for the “Most Shared 5000 stories,” but dropped significantly to 14 per cent in 2017 for the same number of most shared stories. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe survey – carried out by Storynomics, a consulting firm that specializes in business of storytelling in traditional and digital media – comes after a similar survey in 2017 for the news trends in 2016. The firm analysed sharing of news articles in social media for 143 leading Indian media brands in 10 languages, including Hindi, English and Bengali, among others. The survey has been carried out on news stories that appeared between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculations for number of shares has also been carried out for the same period. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveEven as English continues to be the most popular language for news sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, its contribution to total shares decreased to 44 per cent in 2017 from 48.32 per cent in 2016. However, Hindi maintained its contribution at 34 per cent of the total shares in 2017. However, the survey also points out that Hindi news stories had a significantly higher average engagement of 1,601 shares per story, whereas English reports were at 483 average shares in 2017. Bengali continues to be the third most popular language for news sharing in social media, with 6.97 per cent of the total shares. Bengali also had the highest average share per story of 3,307 in 2017 among all languages considered for the study. Sharing in other Indian languages (excluding English, Hindi and Bengali), according to the survey, doubled and increased their contribution in total shares to 14.76 per cent in 2017. Further, the findings of the survey suggest that social media engagement for news stories by leading Indian media outlets jumped 33.3 per cent in 2017, with 376.63 crore shares on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, compared to 282.31 crore shares in 2016.last_img read more

Nurse arrested for assaulting elderly woman at Patuli

first_imgKolkata: An elderly woman was allegedly assaulted by a nurse who was engaged to look after her, on Friday at Patuli.According to sources, Sukumari Ghosh, a resident of Ghosh Para in Patuli, used to live with her son and daughter. Due to several diseases, Ghosh had gone weak. She lost her ability to walk or even sit on the bed on her own two years ago, after she suffered a stroke. As her son and daughter go out during the day for their jobs, they decided to appoint a trained nurse to look after her. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataApproximately four months ago, they appointed a nurse identified as Sanjukta Paik. Since then, both of them used to go out after the nurse came in the morning. Paik used to stay till either of the two came back. A few days ago, Ghosh’s daughter noticed some bruises on her mother’s hands and body. When she asked her how the bruises developed, she could not narrate the incidents as she could not talk properly since her stroke. However, Ghosh somehow managed to inform her daughter that Paik was not doing her duty properly. Sensing that something was suspicious, Ghosh’s daughter and son decided to install CCTV cameras at home to monitor Paik’s activity. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateOn Wednesday after returning home when Ghosh’s daughter checked the CCTV footage, she saw Paik beating her mother. She informed the matter to her brother and later they got in touch with Patuli police station and informed them of the matter. On Thursday morning, when Paik came to join her duty, Ghosh’s family members detained her and informed the police, who came and detained her. After Ghosh’s daughter lodged a complaint at Patuli police station, Paik was arrested. Sources have informed that Paik has admitted that she used to beat up Ghosh.last_img read more

Diksha An ode to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

first_imgMuch to the delight of music lovers, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts organised the second series of ‘Diksha’, based on the Guru-Shishya Parampara. Event was based on the ancient tradition of passing knowledge orally, from teachers to students. In the first series, IGNCA had celebrated Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his disciples. This time it hosted Padma Vibhushan Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and his disciples.Speaking on the occasion, Sachchidanad Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, said, “With this programme dedicated to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, we are organising the second chapter of Guru-Shishya Parampara. We will be organising such theme-based programmes at regular intervals, which will be based on great artists like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and others.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”We are grateful to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya and Vrindaban Gurukul for providing IGNCA an opportunity to organise such mesmerising programmes,” added Joshiji. On the first day, Krutika Janginmath played Raga Desh, alap Jod Jhala, Madhya durt Teen Taal and Thumri ‘Aaj Shyam Sang Holi Khelun’ in Raag Kaifi. At the end of day one, Rupak Kulkarni played Raag Bageshwari while Pandit Ram K Mishra accompanied him on Tabla. On day two, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia performed with his disciples including Rupak Kulkarni on Flute, Saskia Rao de-Haas on Cello, Siddhrtha Sarkar on Violin, Jean Christophe on Flute, Krutika Janginmath on Flute and Rashid Mustafa Thirakwa on Tabla. Before the performance, he said, “We are thankful to IGNCA for this wonderful event. It is a unique series dedicated to the Guru and his shishyas.” Second day also saw violin recital by Siddharath Sarkar. He played Raag Puriya Kalyan and Charukeshi, followed by Jean Christophe’s flute performance. 2-days Diksha: Guru Shishya Parampara’ was inaugurated by Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry Of Culture GoI, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA.last_img read more

Milwaukee Bucks wear special warm ups in honor of Craig Sager

first_imgThe world of professional basketball lost one of it’s most remarkable characters, when long-time sideline reporter Craig Sager passed away yesterday at the age of 65 from complications from Leukemia.The Milwaukee Bucks chose to pay tribute to Sager, in part, by coming out for warm ups in shooting shirts that mimicked an outrageous pattern from one of his signature flamboyant suits. These have to be the coolest warm ups ever. Craig Sager was a unique personality who was respected around the NBA by players and coaches alike. He was one of a kind. RIP. Advertisementlast_img read more

VIDEO Super chill bro went surfing for the first time during the

first_imgNew York City and most of the Northeast is buried under several feet of snow after getting tagged by the biggest blizzard of the year.While the majority of the population is staying inside until the weather passes, one super chill surf bro thought it was the perfect time to shred some tasty waves.A reporter with NYC Pix 11 interviewed the frozen Spicoli after he exited the water to find out what the hell he was thinking.Incredibly, the guy said that it was his first time ever surfing. He also asked the reporter if he could bum a ride back to his place. Mr. Hand put it best when he said, “Am I hallucinating here? Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing?”h/t Terez Owens Advertisementlast_img read more

VIDEO KDs and Steph Currys moms celebrated like fired up teammates after

first_imgKevin Durant and Steph Curry torched the Cavs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night, and after the game their mom’s hugged it out.KD’s pull up 3 in transition gave the Warriors the lead with time winding down and provided the dagger for the Cavs. It will likely go down as the signature moment of his career when it’s all said and done, permanently supplanting his ‘Mr. Unreliable’ label.No one was happier about the win than KD’s mom Wanda. In the concourse after the game, she and Sonya Curry were more fired up than KD and Steph on the floor.They got in each other’s face like it was the pregame team huddle, Wanda also threw some shade at the Cavs, saying:“They tried to give it to ’em but they wouldn’t take it!” Check out the Golden State super moms dominating the postgame:last_img read more

Whats the Right Path for Startups Entering the Internet of Things

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 5 min read March 3, 2014 The future of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) has been discussed and debated so much over the past two years that you might think that the door has already closed for entrepreneurs thinking about getting into the market. General Electric, Cisco, IBM and others, after all, have already rolled out strategies to colonize large segments of the market while nearly every venture firm has one or more well-funded IoT plays in their portfolios.And don’t forget Google, which bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion.Fortunately, that’s not the case. Simply put, there are a lot more devices than people and most of them haven’t been linked up yet. In 2003, the world population was 6.1 billion people and 500 million connected devices, according to various estimates. By 2010, we had 6.9 billion people and 12.5 billion devices. By 2020, we will have 7.6 billion people and 50 billion devices. Put another way, the number of devices will rise from .08 to 6.55 per person.But to succeed, startups are ultimately going to have to make a very crucial decision: either emulate Apple or emulate Micron.Entrepreneurs need to either focus on building a somewhat vertically integrated “product” company that sells a complete service under its own brand to consumers and businesses, or focus on being an embedded background player providing services or technology for established brands.Related: Passwords You Swallow, Sharks That Tweet and 90-MPH CheeseburgersAt first blush, following the Apple track seems like the obvious choice. Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, wielding a market cap that has exceeded the value of ExxonMobil. Public utterances of its CEO and other execs are scrutinized like the Rosetta Stone. Chip companies, screen suppliers and software makers jostle for the company’s business.Nest and FitBit have done well by going down this path. One of the key attractions of the approach is that you control the customer experience and relationship, potentially leading to increased revenue per customer and recurring subscription opportunities. The most successful companies can additionally open up their platforms to third parties. You can imagine a successful home management company creating an app store.And Micron? When was the last time the authorized biography of CEO Mark Durcan topped the New York Times bestseller list for several straight weeks? Did you remember the comments on the live webcast when they unveiled their 512 megabyte SLC NAND chip? No? Missed that one?But when you look a little closer, relative anonymity becomes more attractive. Most technology companies over the past 20 years, in fact, have lived lives of relative obscurity. Demand for flash memory, one of Micron’s main products, is exploding while the number of manufacturers has consolidated. Micron was the one of top performing technology stocks in 2013, according to Yahoo.Many early IoT markets will likely revolve around integrating networking and intelligence into products without a lot of brand pizzazz: air handlers, cold storage units, warehouse light fixtures. Agriculture — already taking off as a market — is interested in how IoT technologies can help manage irrigation systems and pumps.The technology by its very nature will be embedded and embedded products don’t benefit from glossy advertising campaigns or word-of-mouth. Deals are won or lost through product specifications, field data and a company’s ability to integrate itself into a larger customer’s operations.Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday LifeMost of the customers — large industrial conglomerates that have been around for decades — already have established relationships with manufacturers. A fast food chain isn’t going to switch oven suppliers because a new, untested entrant from Silicon Valley has come up with an internet-enabled one. They are going to wait until their trusted supplier integrates wireless. The opportunity to disrupt the supply chain is nil.Even many of the IoT companies producing services that will directly impact consumers will end up being sold like industrial products. Utilities, for instance, will likely be one of the biggest customers for smart thermostats: they will buy and install them for free as a way to control peak power. In these deals, there might be five million end-users but only one customer. Again, price, performance and technical specifications will be more important than brand or consumer cachet.The background route also plays into the strengths of startups. Developing a water dish that tells you when your dog needs a refill is easy. Developing a battery management system and networking stack for a subcutaneous insulin pump that the FCC will also allow patients to wear on airplanes is tough. Most manufacturers don’t have these capabilities in house, but most startups don’t have the channel relationships or technical understanding to build medical devices on their own. By concentrating on a horizontal, embedded technology stack, new companies can compete more effectively and expand the market and the same time.Ironically, Google’ success with Android has come because it has served as a somewhat even-handed background technology provider to handset makers. How it balances wider ambitions for the connected home with its acquisition of Nest will be closely scrutinized.Finally, there is the thorny problem of predicting demand. Are smart light bulbs going to be a hit or a flop? Will kids recoil against parental tracking devices? How many IoT products will get absorbed into smart phones? Ultimately, the consumer market, where the end-user product companies will play, will be far less predictable.Boring may not land you on the cover of Time, but in this case it’s the right move.Related: Start Preparing Your SEO for the ‘Internet of Things’ Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Online Debit Credit Fraud Will Soon Get Much Worse Heres Why

first_img I’m not much of a Nostradamus, but one thing I can predict with near certainty is that this time next year we are likely to find ourselves witnessing an all-time high in the rate of online credit and debit card fraud. Ironically, that surge in online theft will be the result of efforts to make the offline use of credit and debit cards more secure.By Oct. 1 of next year, retail establishments are supposed to be able to accept new credit and debit cards that have a chip embedded and require the use of a PIN when making purchases at the checkout counter. The point is to make the cards smarter so that financial institutions can better detect fraudulent usage. Requiring a PIN clearly adds a layer of identification and protection that can deter such fraud.How do we know that this effort to increase security at the point of sale is going to actually drive online fraud? We already saw it happen in Europe.Related: Preventing Another Target AttackIn 2002, European financial institutions starting rolling out these very same cards and point-of-sale terminals. We call this technology EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa). Financial institutions intend to make EMV a global standard for authenticating credit and debit card transactions using integrated chip technology.This technology has now been partially or fully deployed in about 14 countries and regions, including most Asian Pacific nations, all of Europe, most of Latin America and the Caribbean. Every country and region in which EMV has been deployed has seen a corresponding surge in online fraud.Four years after beginning the deployment of cards and new point-of-sale terminals, about 99 percent of businesses and consumers were utilizing EMV. No doubt the cards were effective at cutting offline abuse. Before EMV, Europe saw fraud losses in stores of about 13 basis points of net sales. After EMV, the offline fraud rate plummeted to just 3.5 basis points, according to Douglas King in the study, “Chip-and-Pin: Success and Challenges in Reducing Fraud.”However, the online world was a fraud nightmare. Online credit and debit card fraud rates more than doubled from the pre-EMV days. In 2004, Europe had an online credit and debit card fraud rate of 25 percent. By 2010, the rate had soared to 64 percent. Further, the European Central Bank’s February 2014 report on card fraud found that card-not-present (CNP) payments, i.e. payments via the internet, post or phone, were the source of 60 percent of total fraud incidents across Europe in 2012. With about $1.1 billion in fraud losses in 2012, CNP fraud showed the highest growth rate, up 21.2 percent from 2011, and analysts project this growth rate will continue to increase in 2013 and 2014.Related: Better Late Than Never? Target Accelerating Program to Detect Credit-Card Fraud.Making credit and debit cards smarter made the crooks smarter. They stopped using cards with EMV technology in brick-and-mortar stores. Even the thieves knew that using one of the new EMV cards in a store was quickly going to get the card shut down.So they doubled their efforts at stealing online, where the chips in cards did no good when all that was required were card numbers. Additionally, the bad guys shifted more of their nefarious online activity to foreign countries where it’s even harder to tell a legitimate card user from a thief.When EMV technology was established, the crooks also started targeting debit cards over credit. Most debit cards use the magnetic stripe and therefore behave like credit cards without the chip and pin, making it easier for fraudsters to exploit both offline using the swipe and online using the debit card number.Some will probably ask why online retailers don’t just require a PIN for all purchases as in-store clerks do with EMV. We may see more of that kind of adoption here in the U.S. than we’ve seen in other countries that saw this surge in online fraud, even as offline fraud declined. However, putting any barrier to check out in the ecommerce world means a lot of full shopping carts that never make it to purchase.We’re all just going to have to be a lot more vigilant about how and when our cards are used. My financial institution now emails me every time one of my cards is charged. I can even set limits so I only get notified for charges more than $25.But something tells me I’m going to be sitting in my living room in California when I get an email notifying me I just bought a couch in Russia. Let’s just hope I’m no Nostradamus.Related: Disturbing Crime Trends Facing Retailers (Infographic) Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. April 18, 2014last_img read more