Birds can see webinspired Ornilux glass

first_img About 300 species of birds can be found on the island at certain times of the year.In nature, the orb-weaver spider’s web reflects UV light that protects it from being destroyed by birds. The birds can see it and do not fly through. Similarly, the protective glass coating that is being used in the UK helps birds see the glass. Otherwise, they just see sky and landscape but are not aware of any glass barriers. The Ornilux glazing reflects ultraviolet light that they can see but humans cannot unless standing up close to the glass. The special protector was developed by German company Arnold Glas and the result is called Ornilux Bird Protection Glass. The glass has a patterned, UV reflective coating, a web of lines coated on to the surface of the glass. The pattern looks like scattered sticks. Standing very close to the glass at a certain angle the human eye can see the fine veins running through it and this is what the birds see if they fly near the tower. 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. Tests suggest the coating works and the special glass can cut bird strikes. The company tested the Ornilux glass at a flight tunnel at a US nature reserve. Birds were encouraged to fly to the end of the facility which was covered with two types of glass – one containing the special coating, the other without. A net was used and no birds were injured. The experiment suggested that the innovation would prevent birds flying into coated glass in 66 to 68 percent of cases. Other Ornilux users include a wildlife center in Canada, a zoo in Germany, a mountain railway building in Austria, and a school in the U.S. An Arnold Glas source said she hoped more developers and architects look for ways to be more bird-friendly with their designs.Arnold Glas plans to work up a next-generation product to add solar controlling properties to the coating to help reflect heat.An estimated 250  million birds in Europe die by flying into glazing in homes and office blocks. Among the various research bodies, estimated numbers are quite remarkable. The commonly quoted toll is estimated to be from 300 million to I billion birds that die each year from collisions with glass on buildings, ranging from skyscrapers to homes. Even if a collision temporarily stuns a bird that soon flies off, scientists say that many times these birds die later from internal bleeding or hematomas, especially on the brain. © 2012 Phys.Org ( — A special type of glass that can prevent birds from flying into it has been put to use in the UK at a lookout tower off the north-east coast of England. The special bird stopping glass was developed by a German company and is inspired by nature’s own spiders and the webs they weave—in particular, the orb-weaver spider. The lookout tower at Lindisfarne has installed the special glass to protect the hundreds of species that flock to the island. The human population witnesses a massive increase in bird population at certain times of the year. Authorities wanted to do something to avert the dangers of birds flying into glass. Bird-friendly glass looks like spider web to birds Explore further Citation: Birds can see web-inspired Ornilux glass (2012, August 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: read more

Horsetail spores found able to walk and jump w Video

first_img Citation: Horsetail spores found able to ‘walk’ and ‘jump’ (w/ Video) (2013, September 11) 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. Researchers reveal which London Underground lines are mouldiest More information: The walk and jump of Equisetum spores, Published 11 September 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1465AbstractEquisetum plants (horsetails) reproduce by producing tiny spherical spores that are typically 50 µm in diameter. The spores have four elaters, which are flexible ribbon-like appendages that are initially wrapped around the main spore body and that deploy upon drying or fold back in humid air. If elaters are believed to help dispersal, the exact mechanism for spore motion remains unclear in the literature. In this manuscript, we present observations of the ‘walks’ and ‘jumps’ of Equisetum spores, which are novel types of spore locomotion mechanisms compared to the ones of other spores. Walks are driven by humidity cycles, each cycle inducing a small step in a random direction. The dispersal range from the walk is limited, but the walk provides key steps to either exit the sporangium or to reorient and refold. Jumps occur when the spores suddenly thrust themselves after being tightly folded. They result in a very efficient dispersal: even spores jumping from the ground can catch the wind again, whereas non-jumping spores stay on the ground. The understanding of these movements, which are solely driven by humidity variations, conveys biomimetic inspiration for a new class of self-propelled objects. Prior to this new research, it was known that the spores produced by horsetail plants (their method of reproduction) moved some distance from the plant that created it. Some accounts even suggested that the spores walked along the ground after being released by the plant. Intrigued by such stories, the researchers with this new effort decided to take a closer look.To find out what was really going on with the microscopic spores, the researchers put them under a microscope and filmed (using a high-speed camera) what they found. The spores, they saw, which have a central bulb surrounded by four independent elaters, are heavily impacted by the amount of moisture in the air. During times of high humidity, the elaters curl up, much like human hair—when the air dries out, so too do the elaters, allowing the curls to relax. It was this curling and relaxing that caused the spores to move in their environment—as the elaters unfurled against the ground, it caused the entire spore to move. More intriguingly, they found that on some occasions, the elaters uncurled so fast that it caused the entire spore to be pushed up into the air. Such jumps, the researchers noted, sometimes reached heights of centimeters—more than enough to allow the spore to leap into passing air currents, carrying them to a far flung locale.The researchers also uncovered the mechanism behind the curling—the elaters are made of two different types of materials—one hard layer and one soft layer. The discrepancy between the ability of the two layers to absorb moisture causes the curling and uncurling. Explore furthercenter_img ( —A trio of researches working at University Grenoble in France has discovered that spores produced by horsetail plants are able to move around using “legs” known as elaters. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers describe the types of movement exhibited by the spores when subjected to changing humidity conditions. © 2013 This video shows the walk and jump of Equisetum spores. Because of the simplicity of the mode of transport for the horsetail spore, the research team is now looking into ways that man-made objects might be made to move in the same ways. They envision self-spreading seeder devices or tiny probes that move themselves around crops testing for moisture or fertilizer levels. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Blast_img read more

Museum workers pronounce dobsonfly found in China largest aquatic insect

first_img © 2014 The dobsonfly is noteworthy among wildlife specialists and ecologists because of its preference for very clean water—high or low pH levels drive them away, as do many pollutants. Thus, they can be used as a natural measurement tool for water cleanliness in certain areas. Explore further Citation: Museum workers pronounce dobsonfly found in China, largest aquatic insect (2014, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The dobsonfly is common (there are over 220 species of them) in China, India, Africa, South America and some other parts of Asia, but until now, no specimens as large as those recently found in China have been known. The largest specimens in the found group had a wingspan of 21 centimeters, making it large enough to cover the entire face of a human adult. Locals don’t have to worry too much about injury from the insects, however, as officials from the museum report that larger males’ mandibles are so huge in proportion to their bodies that they are relatively weak—incapable of piercing human skin. They can kick up a stink, however, as they are able to spray an offensive odor when threatened.Also, despite the fact that they look an awful lot like dragonflies, they are more closely related to fishflies. The long mandibles, though scary looking to humans, are actually used for mating—males use them to show off for females, and to hold them still during copulation. Interestingly, while their large wings (commonly twice their body length) make for great flying, they only make use of them for about a week—the rest of their time alive as adults is spent hiding under rocks or moving around on or under the water. That means that they are rarely seen as adults, which for most people is probably a good thing as the giants found in China would probably present a frightening sight. They are much better known during their long larval stage when they are used as bait by fishermen. A master of disguise: A new stick insect species from China Workers with the Insect Museum of West China, who were recently given several very large dragon-fly looking insects, with long teeth, by locals in a part of Sichuan, have declared it, a giant dobsonfly the largest known aquatic insect in the world alive today. The find displaces the previous record holder, the South American helicopter damselfly, by just two centimeters. Credit: Insect Museum of West China 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

Kodiak bears found to switch to eating elderberries instead of salmon as

first_img © 2017 Kodiak bears track salmon runs in Alaska , Ecosystems , Nature 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. The Kodiak Archipelago is a group of islands off the southern coast of Alaska. It is home to what are known as Kodiak bears—very large brown bears distantly related to polar bears. The bears have become famous due to pictures of them catching salmon in shallow rivers. The archipelago is also home to elderberries, which are also eaten by Kodiak bears. But the researchers with this new effort have found that the feeding habits of the bears are changing due to a warming climate.To learn more about how the bears are adapting to changing temperatures, the researchers used time-lapse cameras to capture the bears feeding on salmon, placed GPS collars on 36 of the females and then tracked them, conducted aerial surveys and studied bear droppings. The researchers discovered that the bears are increasingly faced with whether to eat salmon or elderberries because the berries are ripening earlier, causing an overlap with salmon spawning.In the past, the researchers note, salmon spawning typically occurred around the end of July each year, while elderberries typically ripened in late August. The bears would wade into shallow rivers and grab the spawning salmon and eat them (or just their eggs) on the shore. Then, a month later, the berries would ripen, and they would start eating those. But over the past few decades, there has been a change—elderberries have begun to ripen earlier, sometimes as early as late July. This means the bears are faced with a choice: continue to feast on the salmon or switch to eating the berries. The decision by the bears is obvious, the team reports—when the berries ripen early, the bears completely abandon the rivers and feast almost exclusively on the elderberries.It is not clear at this time how the switch will impact the bears, the salmon or other creatures that normally feed on fish carcasses abandoned by the bears. More information: William W. Deacy et al. Phenological synchronization disrupts trophic interactions between Kodiak brown bears and salmon, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705248114AbstractClimate change is altering the seasonal timing of life cycle events in organisms across the planet, but the magnitude of change often varies among taxa [Thackeray SJ, et al. (2016) Nature 535:241–245]. This can cause the temporal relationships among species to change, altering the strength of interaction. A large body of work has explored what happens when coevolved species shift out of sync, but virtually no studies have documented the effects of climate-induced synchronization, which could remove temporal barriers between species and create novel interactions. We explored how a predator, the Kodiak brown bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), responded to asymmetric phenological shifts between its primary trophic resources, sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) and red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa). In years with anomalously high spring air temperatures, elderberry fruited several weeks earlier and became available during the period when salmon spawned in tributary streams. Bears departed salmon spawning streams, where they typically kill 25–75% of the salmon [Quinn TP, Cunningham CJ, Wirsing AJ (2016) Oecologia 183:415–429], to forage on berries on adjacent hillsides. This prey switching behavior attenuated an iconic predator–prey interaction and likely altered the many ecological functions that result from bears foraging on salmon [Helfield JM, Naiman RJ (2006) Ecosystems 9:167–180]. We document how climate-induced shifts in resource phenology can alter food webs through a mechanism other than trophic mismatch. The current emphasis on singular consumer-resource interactions fails to capture how climate-altered phenologies reschedule resource availability and alter how energy flows through ecosystems.Press release Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Brown bear mother and cub. Credit: Lisa Hupp (photographer) Citation: Kodiak bears found to switch to eating elderberries instead of salmon as climate changes (2017, August 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that warming in Alaska has sometimes caused the Kodiak bear to switch to eating elderberries during salmon spawning periods instead of eating salmon. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their multi-pronged study of the impact that seasonal changes occurring on the Kodiak Archipelago are having on the bears that live there. , Oecologialast_img read more

Planetary nebulae reveal kinematics of Messier 87 galaxys outer halo

first_imgAstronomers have carried out a study of almost 300 hundred planetary nebulae in the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87. The new research, published September 27 on the arXiv pre-print repository, reveals essential information about the galaxy’s outer halo and its subcomponents. Citation: Planetary nebulae reveal kinematics of Messier 87 galaxy’s outer halo (2018, October 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2018 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. Located some 53.5 million light years away in the constellation Virgo, Messier 87, or M87 for short (also designated NGC 4486) is one of the most massive galaxies in the local universe. Its halo extends to a radius of about 650,000 light years. Astronomers are interested in studies of outer halos of local massive galaxies as they may contain the fossil records of the accretions events in form of kinematic substructures. In giant galaxies like M87, planetary nebulae are often used to find such structures, given that they can serve as discrete tracers of kinematic decomposition.Recently, a group of researchers led by Alessia Longobardi of Peking University in Beijing, China, has conducted a kinematics study of planetary nebulae in M87 in order to identify subcomponents of the galaxy’s outermost regions. Their sample includes 298 planetary nebulae.For the research, the astronomers used Gaussian mixture modeling for statistically separating distinct velocity components and identifying the smooth halo component, its unrelaxed substructures, and the intra-cluster planetary nebulae.”The goals of this paper are to identify the PNs [planetary nebulae] in the smooth M87 halo, using accurate velocities and following the approach of Longobardi et al. (2015a). We work with the sample of 253 PNs M87 halo PNs and the 45 intracluster (IC) PNs, for which line-of-sight velocities (LOSVs) are available with an estimated median velocity accuracy of 4.2 km/s,” the paper reads.The LOSVs of the studied planetary nebulae allowed the researchers to identify subcomponents and to measure the angular momentum content of the main M87 halo. Furthermore, the research resulted in constraining the orbital distribution of the stars at the galaxy’s outermost regions.In particular, the researchers identified several subcomponents: the intracluster planetary nebulae (ICPNs), the “crown” accretion event (in the so-called “crown” substructure), and the smooth M87 halo. The study found that the intracluster stars have a strongly non-Gaussian line-of-sight velocity distribution (LOSVD) with a peak at that velocity, and strong, asymmetric wings. Moreover, the shape of this LOSVD is consistent with that of the galaxies in the Virgo subcluster A, which suggests the ongoing build-up of the Virgo cluster.The researchers also made important conclusions regarding the smooth halo of M87. They assume that this halo steepens beyond the radius of about 195,000 light years and becomes strongly radially anisotropic. The authors of the paper added that the velocity dispersion profile is consistent with the X-ray circular velocity curve at that radius without non-thermal pressure effects. The X-ray circular velocity curve rises steeply outside about 97,500 light years, reaching 700 km/s at 652,000 light years. More information: The kinematics of the outer halo of M87 as mapped by planetary nebulae. arXiv:1809.10708 [astro-ph.GA] Spatial distribution of the 298 spectroscopically confirmed PNs in the halo of M87, color coded according to their VLOS and their size scaled according to their probability to belong to the smooth halo. The center of M87 is shown by the black circle, and the photometric major axis of the galaxy by the dashed line. Credit: Longobardi et al., 2018. Giant galaxy Messier 87 finally sized uplast_img read more

MV SSL Kolkata still under surveillance

first_imgKolkata: Merchant Vessel SSL Kolkata is still under surveillance on Monday to ensure that the fire does not break out once again insidethe vessel.According to a communiqué, a recce was conducted by the Indian Coast Guard after the fire was doused by the Indian Air Force on Sunday and it was found that smoke was billowing out from the vessel. Though there was no flames, the smoke continued to emanate. As a result, one ICG Dornier was pressed at around 6 pm on Sunday to carry out an assessment.Meanwhile, the Mi-17 of the Indian Air Force continues to hold position in Frazerganj in case there is a requirement to once again carry out an operation to douse flames.It may be recalled that a fire broke out inside the MV SSL Kolkata off the Sagar Island on June 14 and 22 crew members were rescued.last_img read more

How to stay fit during monsoon

first_imgSaravanan Hariram, fitness coach in HealthifyMe, an app that provides health solutions, suggests some great ways to follow a fitness regime and remain fit during the monsoon season. * You usually go for your walk or to the gym at a particular time. Stick to the same time plan for your indoor workouts also. And, dress the same way you do when you go out for a workout. Start with simple warm-up. Do exercise like spot running on the floor for a few minutes. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Purchase a few simple exercising devices like resistance bands and skipping rope. If you always wanted to buy an indoor cycle or treadmill, this is the right time. It’s a good option, as they can be used again during your next indoor monsoon workout session. * The stairs in your house are superb exercising device themselves. You can simply start doing stair climbing up and down for a few minutes. * Body weight exercises like push-ups, squats and lunges are excellent choices to improve your muscular strength. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix* Practice yoga. It also helps in reducing respiratory problems that are common during the monsoon season. * If you love to dance, dance like nobody is watching. This is a fun way to enjoy your indoor monsoon workouts. * Household chores are an excellent way to keep yourself fit. Clean out the shelves and cupboards, sweep the entire house, hand wash the clothes and do dish washing.last_img read more

SDMC attaches bank accounts seals properties of defaulters

first_imgIn a major haul against the property tax defaulters, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has attached the bank accounts and sealed properties of five-star hotels, government colleges, farmhouses, government agencies and other institutions.The SDMC informed that bank accounts of Radisson Blu Hotel in Dwarka, Jamia Hamdard University, Acharya Narendra Dev College and several others were attached and their properties might be auctioned, if the due amount was not paid within a stipulated time.  Also Read – Man arrested for making hoax call at IGI airportThe South Delhi Municipal Corporation also sealed farmhouses in Daulatpur, Kapashera, Mehrauli, Sultanpur, Nangli Sakrawati, Neelwal, Goyla Khurd, Paprawat, Mitraon, Maksundabad, Malikpur, Bijwasan, Ghitorni, Deramandi, Gadaipur, Fatepur Beri, etc.SDMC Commissioner Puneet Kumar Goel said, “The department has given them every opportunity under the Act to liquidate their dues, but due to non-compliance of the assessment orders, assessment and collection department has attached the properties of the farmhouses. One of the top defaulters is Raddison Blu Hotel, which has to pay an outstanding of Rs 4.40 crore. The department has attached all its four bank accounts. Since sufficient balance was not available in these accounts, the property of the hotel has also been attached.” Sources in the department said if the amount is not recovered soon, it would auction the hotel to recover the property tax.SDMC officials informed that several government and semi-government departments and organisations were also among the defaulter list.last_img read more

Immersing in Bhakti Sangeet

first_imgBringing back the spirit of devotional music to the capital, the annual Bhakti Sangeet Festival began in the national Capital on Friday. The three-day festival will bring together eleven singers from different genres of devotional music including Chhannulal Mishra, Anuradha Paudwal, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Harshdeep Kaur and the Warsi brothers.Presented by Sahitya Kala Parishad and Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Delhi government, the festival will treat audiences with bhajans of saints like Kabir, Meera and Soordas to sufiana kalams from Punjab and devotional music in its purest form. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting'”Be it in any form, devotional music never fails to strike a chord with people who have the quest to connect to the ultimate reality. In a way, devotional music speaks through a universal language. This is why we are easily moved by all forms of it, no matter which language we speak or which culture we adhere to,” veteran Hindustani classical singer Chhannulal Mishra said.The festival will begin with Paudwal’s performance, to be followed by Kabir bhajans by Bhuvanesh Komkali and an evening of qawwali rendition by the popular Warsi brothers – Naseer and Nazeer Ahmad. The second evening will see the soulful renditions of Radha bhajans by Kumud Diwan and Shubha Joshi performing devotional singing from the Abhang and other folk traditions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixApart from that, Nitin Sharma will render bhajans of saints Meera and Soordas. The evening will end with popular singer Harshdeep Kaur’s Punjabi Sufi songs.”The sheer variety of devotional music tradition in India is breathtaking. This festival is a unique platform to bring together people from different genres of music and unite them by their love for the devotional music,” Paudwal said. The third day of the festival will see Uday Bhawalkar performing one of the most ancient styles of Hindustani classic music and Shobha Raju’s rendition of Ram bhakti bhajans. The audience will also be treated to Chhannulal Mishra’s recitation from the Ram Charit Manas.The Bhakti Sangeet Festival will be held at Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, from April 29.last_img read more

Sketching desires

first_imgIt is ongoing in the national Capital till July 2. When passion meets creativity, desires come alive on the canvas. Nona Khanna is a creative colour therapist and a healer whose artworks give people a therapeutic experience. As gold has to undergo a purity test through fire, artist Shoma Mukherjee depicts women in the purest form, as they walk through the various stages of life. Whereas, artist Riddhima Saraf having trained under Rameshwar Broota, expresses women in a state of utopia and artist Pragati Gupta shows the street life hustle bustle of urban living.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’From daily routine of people on streets, to women and men expressing their desires, have been portrayed compellingly on canvas, by various artists depicting their innermost thoughts. One of the artists, Vijay Sawhney has taken a step further by depicting the cosmos from his imagination.When: June 25 – July 2 Where: ITC Sheraton, Saket Timings: 10:00am – 08:00pmlast_img read more

Metro fire CRS inspects Maidan station

first_imgKolkata: The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) inspected Maidan Metro station on Sunday, to investigate the incident of fire at an air-conditioned rake on Thursday. The commissioner of CRS Eastern Zone physically visited the station and a reconstruction of Thursday’s incident was done in front of him.According to sources, members of the CRS will visit the Noapara carshed where the damaged rake has been kept separately for investigation. On Thursday, several passengers had alleged that Metro authorities were nowhere when they needed help. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe investigating team also sought a report from the Metro authorities. The CRS team has focused on several points such as why the rescue team reached late, the role of the motorman during the incident, fire safety management system and others. The commission will also look into why it took almost 17 minutes to disconnect electricity from the third line. The members of CRS will also talk with the passengers who were in that rake on Thursday. On Sunday an air-conditioned Metro rake was stopped before entering the Maidan station and CRS members reconstructed the event. The commission will prepare a report on this and send it to the Union Railway Ministry. The commission will also point out the persons responsible for the whole incident and might announce punishment as well. Metro passengers were subjected to a tremendous ordeal on Thursday evening, after fire broke out inside an air-conditioned rake of a Dum Dum bound train, just before entering Maidan station at around 5 pm. A number of passengers were injured in the incident but there were no casualties.last_img read more

Five students injured in bus collision in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: At least five students sustained minor injuries after two buses collided Wednesday morning in the central part of the city’s Kankurgachi area, police said. Around 6.50am, the school bus of DPS Ruby Park slammed into another bus of West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) on Maniktala Main Road near Kankurgachi underpass in Phoolbagan Police Station area, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said. The injured students were rushed to nearby ESI hospital, where they received preliminary treatment, he said. “The school bus was intercepted and the students were taken to school in another vehicle. We are talking to the drivers to find out more about the incident,” the officer added.last_img read more

Celebrating the poetry of silent films

first_imgIntroducing people to the world of silent films, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi, organised a festival from September 14 – 16. Titled ‘Silent film festival’, the event was inaugurated by well-known filmmaker Shyam Benegal.During the function, Shyam Benegal also released the book ‘Poster Bolte Hain’ published by IGNCA. This book focuses on film posters and their history and is written by Iqbal Rizvi and, presumed by Gautam Chatterjee, former media controller of IGNCA. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShyam Benegal inaugurating the festival said that according to today’s cinema, these films cannot be understood, you have to read them. Suresh Sharma, the curator of the festival, while speaking about the function, said, “In our country, the concerts of silent films have been organized once or twice but this is the first time we are organizing a film festival. Through this celebration, our aim is to introduce present generation to the films that were made in that period.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA said, “IGNCA wanted to do some serious work in the field of cinema, in the same effort and this ‘Poster Bolte Hain’ published in Hindi is presented to you. When Ramabahadur Rai, president, IGNCA came to the center two-and half-a-half years ago, we had decided that 50 percent of the Center’s publication will be done in Hindi and today the book on the occasion of Hindi Diwas is a sincere effort. It’s a matter of pride for us.” Atul Tiwari, said, “Even today, the cinema can be seen in many colors, but the movie mode has been born from silent cinema”.President IGNCA, Ram Bahadur Rai said that September 14 is a historic day in the history of India’s independence, and Shyam Benegal chose the day for this program. “The beginning of Indian cinema started from Raja Harishchandra, a film produced by Dada Saheb Phalke, which was based on the search of truth. IGNCA is also moving forward on the same path. “After the inauguration of this film festival, three films of Dada Saheb Phalke including Raja Harishchandra (1913), Shri Krishna Birth (1917) and Kaliya Mardan (1919) were shown. On the second day of the ceremony, Himanshu Rai’s ‘The Light of Asia (1925)’, ‘A Throw of Dice'(1929) and Kalipada Das’ ‘Jamai Babu’ (1931) were shown. On the last day, ‘The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1903), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shearaj (1928) was shown.last_img read more

Housewife murder Police to conduct test identification parade of accused

first_imgKolkata: Test Identification parade of the three arrested persons in connection with Shibpur housewife Soni Rajak murder case will be conducted on Monday.Police are still searching for the mutilated body parts of Soni. Sleuths will reconstruct the murder scene after the accused persons are remanded to police custody. According to sources, When Soni’s husband Upendra was shown the picture of her severed head, he allegedly denied to identify it at the Shibpur police station. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSmelling a rat, police clicked a picture of Upendra and got in touch with the investigating officer of the murder case from Bally police station. Meanwhile, in multiple CCTV camera footage, it was found that three persons were carrying similar bags in a taxi and a cycle rickshaw. Immediately, local sources were asked to identify the rickshaw puller and police traced the driver of the taxi through its registration number. Within a few hours both taxi driver and rickshaw puller were identified and brought to Bally police station. Both of them were shown the pictures of the trio carrying the bags and a picture of Upendra. Seeing his picture the taxi driver and rickshaw puller identified Upendra. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateFollowing the identification, Upendra was arrested promptly. Later during interrogation he admitted the crime and stated that he killed his wife over doubt that Soni had an extramarital relationship with some other person. After dumping Soni’s body, he returned home and acted as he if he was searching for her. He even lodged a missing diary at Shibpur police station and following that he along with his mother-in-law started searching for Soni. According to sources, after the TI parade is over, the trio will be taken in to custody and would be taken to Upendra’s home in order to reconstruct the murder scene. Searches are still on to find the missing limbs of her body.last_img read more

LeBrons monster March is a message to the NBA

first_imgLeBron’s monster March is a message to the NBALeBron is having the best statistical month of his career in March, and Colin doesn’t thinks it’s a coincidence that it has come while head coach Ty Lue is away from the team and Kyrie Irving is injured in Boston.Colin believes it’s LeBron’s way of showing that he is still the single most dominant player in the league, even without a coach. And while Irving sits on the sidelines after a rough first season as “the man,” LeBron is playing at the highest level of his career in year 15. It may be passive aggressive, and some people may not like it, but it’s not a coincidence. Johnny Manziel still too risky for NFL teamsDuring his comeback attempt, Johnny Manziel has been open and honest when talking about his past struggles, but Colin thinks within some of his comments are cause for concern. Manziel recently said that he has been doing well staying on the straight and narrow, but has struggled in the past to maintain positive momentum for an extended period of time before going back to self destructive behavior.Colin thinks Manziel is still too big of a risk for an GM’s to risk their reputations on when there’s still a question if he can consistently fulfill the most basic obligations of an NFL quarterback.Also:– Where Colin was right, where Colin was wrongGuests:Steven Jackson – 14-year NBA veteran is in-studio discussing LeBron never getting injured; and why he is losing respect for the Spurs with their handling of Kawhi Leonard’s injury.Doug Gottlieb – Host of The Doug Gottlieb Show and the All Ball Podcast is in-studio explain why the Spurs are crossing the line by talking about Kawhi Leonard’s health; and how Villanova became a powerhouse.Bruce Feldman – Fox Sports College Football Insider is in-studio to talk about his interview with Johnny Manziel; if he’s actually changed; and why Josh Allen has big NFL question marks.last_img read more

eBay Made Easy

first_imgDon’t dawdle.Jim “Griff” Griffith, author of The eBay Bibleand dean of eBay Education, says many new sellers feel overwhelmed at first. “A lot of new sellers spend too much time studying the site, and that’s a mistake, as you can easily get hung up on ‘paralysis by analysis,'” he says. Griff advises you to start small and slow, research the market on eBay, and then put one item up to get started. “If you do it methodically and slowly, you can list your first item in an hour or so and be up and running.”For more ideas on where to find product sources, visit our Sourcing Productsarea. Step 3: Manage the Auction ProcessThere are several types of eBay auctions. In a basic auction, you post your item with a starting price and wait for bidders to drive the price up until a closing time, which can be three, five, seven or 10 days later, when the auction ends. You are then obligated to sell to the highest bidder. 13 min read Legal and Tax Tips for eBay SellersWhen you sell on eBay, you’re subject to most all federal and state laws, taxes and rules that apply to retail businesses generally. Here are some tips to help you stay out of trouble on eBay:1. Set yourself up as a legal business.Get federal and state tax ID numbers for your business, as well as any licenses and permits your state requires for you to sell your merchandise. If you’re using a trade name, register it with your city, town or county clerk’s office as your state law requires.2. Register for your state’s sales taxes.If the winning bidder is a resident of your state, you’ll have to pay sales tax on the bid amount. Put the following statement on all eBay auction pages: “Residents of State X [your state] must add ___% sales tax to their winning bid.”3. Sell only legitimate merchandise.If a random street vendor offers you a shipment of “genuine Rolex watches,” watch out. Competing eBay sellers offering Rolex watches and Rolex itself can report you to eBay for selling illegal knockoffs, and eBay will cancel your auctions. Find out if the stuff you’re planning to buy is legitimate by visiting eBay’s Verified Rights Owner program.4. Resist the temptation to “shill.”If you (or a friend or relative) are ever tempted to bid against legitimate bidders in an attempt to drive up the price of your products (an illegal practice called “shilling”), think twice. Not only will eBay’s fraud department shut you down permanently if they catch you, but many state attorneys general are bringing criminal charges against flagrant offenders, with eBay’s cooperation. About Me:A free page that enables you to describe your business and any relevant information that would make buyers feel more comfortable buying from you. Register Now » Step 2: Find Stuff to SellThis can be the biggest challenge in setting up an eBay business. Keep these points in mind: You can also set a reserve price, which is a hidden minimum price that is the lowest amount you’re willing to accept. Buyers are not shown the reserve price, and if it is not met, you are not obligated to sell the item.If you have two or more identical items for sale, you can post them in the same auction by using a Dutch (or Multiple Item) Auction.If you don’t like auctions, eBay also has a “Buy It Now” feature that gives bidders the option to buy your item immediately for a set price. Or you can choose a fixed-price listing, which simply puts the item up for sale at a set price, with no bidding allowed.To sell on eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee to post your merchandise and a final value fee (a small percentage of the sale price) when the item sells. These fees change from time to time, so be sure to check the eBay site to make sure you can pay all the fees and still make a profit.A number of books offer advice on reducing the amount of time and effort necessary to create eBay auction pages, such as Marsha Collier’s eBay Timesaving Techniques For Dummies, Janelle Elms’ eBay Your Businessand Joseph T. Sinclair’s eBay Business the Smart Way. Entrepreneur magazine’s Startup Guide #1824, How to Start a Business on eBay, is available at can also help you streamline the auction management process. Listing programs, such as Turbo-Lister (available for free from eBay) and Zdrop, enable you to create multiple auction pages on your PC and upload them as a “batch” to eBay. Full-service auction-management programs like Auction-Helperand Zoovyhandle almost everything, from inventory management to label printing. May 1, 2005 Step 4: Provide Great Customer ServiceBuyers will ask you questions about your merchandise, and if you don’t respond promptly, they won’t bid. Top-notch service also means shipping your goods to the winning buyer within two to three days after the auction closes, or as soon as you receive payment.When an eBay auction is completed, the goods shipped and payment made, you and your buyer can comment on each other in eBay’s Feedback Forum. Buyers rely on the Feedback Forum to determine how reliable a seller is. But watch out: If buyers aren’t happy with your customer service or your merchandise, they will post negative or neutral feedback. Many buyers will not deal with a seller who has less than a specified number of positive feedback postings in the forum, or a seller who has too many negative feedback postings.Unfortunately, some customers will threaten to leave negative feedback if you don’t do what they want, even if they are being unreasonable. Most of the time, you’re best advised to meet their demands because “the customer is always right,” and because you want to avoid negative feedback on eBay at all costs.In cases where a buyer posts negative feedback that is inaccurate or unfair, eBay affords you a limited opportunity to respond to the negative posting and tell buyers your side of the story. In extreme cases, eBay’s SquareTrade service helps mediate disputes between eBay buyers and sellers. Step 5: Build a Brand on eBayOn eBay, sellers are offered a number of tools to help establish their brand identities, including: Customizing Tools:A number of features (accessible from your “My eBay” page) that enable you to make your pages stand out from others offering similar merchandise.Like any marketplace, eBay is constantly changing. “A lot of people get set in a comfort zone, especially if they have an initial rush of success,” says Griff. “If you get to the point that you really feel comfortable you know what you’re doing on eBay, I guarantee you there’s a brick flying at the side of your head at 80 miles an hour that you’re not seeing because you’re not looking in that direction.”You can expect pricing and demand on eBay to change over time. As more and more people start operating on eBay, competition will increase and prices may decline slightly. Still, keep in mind that eBay has reached only a small fraction of its potential worldwide market. And it will continue to grow even faster as internet access becomes more readily available world-wide. “EBay is the leader in internet auctions,” says Morphy. “It has such a strong hold on the market and such a huge following, you can’t beat it.” Learn how to pack and ship goods.Calculating shipping costs properly is also important. To help you with this, eBay, FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service all offer shipping calculators on their websites. Buyers really hate it if they think you’re gouging them on the shipping and handling fees. Pick the right product.Select something you’ll enjoy selling and that stands a good chance of making a profit. Avoid merchandise you know absolutely nothing about, that’s difficult to describe in a short paragraph, that won’t photograph well or that’s tricky to ship without damage. Sell related merchandise.”If you make it easy for people to buy something, they will want to buy more from you–and you have to have related merchandise in stock,” advises Cash. “So, for example, if you’re selling collectibles, you should also carry the display racks, books and other accessories those particular collectors will want to have.” Customer Service and Branding eBay Stores: A virtual storefront that puts all of your current auctions together in one place, so buyers can see everything you’re selling at a glance. You’ll pay a monthly fee based on the level of store services you want, plus additional fees for items listed and sold. Consider cost and sale price.”Buyers and sellers on eBay set the price–you don’t,” says Melissa Sands, 35, who started selling on eBay in 1999 to help her husband, a comic-book dealer, get rid of excess inventory. Today, Sands runs Sands-o-Time, an eBay store selling pottery, porcelain, glass, silver, costume jewelry and more with sales averaging $8,000 to $12,000 per month. Before you buy anything, find out what other similar items have sold for on eBay and ask yourself if there’s a good chance you will make money. This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Other eBay vendors often buy tons of stuff in bulk lots, and there’s a lot of merchandise they just don’t want to sell. Let other sellers know you’re looking to buy certain categories of merchandise and will take excess inventory off their hands. Finding Items to SellAs eBay becomes more popular, it’s getting harder to find quality products to sell without bumping into other eBay entrepreneurs. Here are some product sourcing strategies your competitors might not have thought about (yet):Estate attorneys are deluged with requests from grieving relatives to help them “clean out Mom’s place” because they either can’t bear to do it or don’t have the time. Send a letter to the estate attorneys in your area (get a list from your local bar association), and tell them you specialize in online estate sales of any size. Editor’s note: Looking for our online exclusives? You can find our eBay Business Center hereand our free downloadable PDF, “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Doing Business Online,” here.Ten years after being formed in 1995, eBay has become the world’s leading online marketplace for all sorts of goods. At any given time, 29 million items are available worldwide on eBay, with more than 3.5 million new items added every day and $1,000 worth of merchandise sold every second. The online auction site has 135 million registered users in 32 international markets, and more than 430,000 people in the United States alone make a full- or part-time living on eBay.If you think eBay is just about bobblehead dolls and Pez dispensers, think again. While $2.2 billion worth of goods in collectibles were sold on eBay in 2004, antiques and collectibles ranked only No. 6 among eBay’s sales categories. The five highest were: automobiles and auto supplies ($11.1 billion); consumer electronics ($3.5 billion); computers ($3.0 billion); clothes and accessories ($2.9 billion); and books, movies and music ($2.4 billion).Real people are making big bucks on eBay–and thousands have even reached PowerSeller status by maintaining at least $1,000 per month in sales for three consecutive months. Case in point: Angie Cash, 37, a stay-at-home mom who started selling on eBay nearly six years ago because it was “something I could do and watch the kids at the same time.” Today, her Kennesaw, Georgia, company, Cashco1000 Inc., sells thousands of home-decoration and other items each month on eBay and expects to break $500,000 in sales on eBay this year.Even owners of existing businesses have found success on eBay by using it as an adjunct to their brick-and-mortar operations. Dan Morphy, 33, runs the Adamstown Antique Gallery, a 10,000-square-foot antiques mall in Denver, Pennsylvania. After a few successful eBay auctions, he started offering the antiques vendors who rent space in his gallery the opportunity to sell five items a month on eBay, at no charge other than out-of-pocket expenses. Within two years, Morphy not only had a full gallery of dealers, but was also listing 700 pieces a month and had exceeded $2.5 million in eBay sales.If you dream of building your own eBay business, it’s easier than you think. We’ve distilled what you need to know into five basic steps. Step 1: Register Your BusinessGetting set up as an eBay seller is a simple process that takes just a few minutes. You’ll be required to provide your name, address, e-mail and phone number, as well as a credit card number and your checking account information. This information is used to confirm your identity–which protects the integrity of eBay’s operation–and to collect auction fees.Since every eBay business is a retail business, you should also register your business with federal, state and local tax authorities and consider forming a corporation or an LLC to protect you against legal liability. (For more legal issues you should know about before you start, go here.)Most eBay sellers are also encouraged to open an account with PayPal, an online payment service owned by eBay that enables buyers to pay you by credit card or by debiting their checking accounts, without you having to obtain merchant card accounts. Find Stuff to Sell Cliff Ennico, best known as co-host of PBS TV series Money Hunt, is author of Small Business Survival Guide and a faculty member of eBay University, where he teaches the legal and tax aspects of starting an eBay business. Legal and Tax Tips for eBay Sellers Make sure you have enough storage space for your merchandise.Don’t start ordering pallets of large items if your basement or garage is small, or if your front door isn’t big enough to squeeze the crates through. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Take out an ad in your local newspaper and offer to take consignments of stuff to sell on eBay for a small upfront fee plus a percentage of each winning bid. Have your lawyer prepare a one-page consignment agreement for each new seller to sign. Keep in mind there’s growing competition in this field (including nationwide franchises such as iSold It and UPS-affiliated QwikDrop), and your state may require you to get an auctioneer’s license before you legally can take consignments.last_img read more

After Inventing the Checkin Foursquare Pivots With Efforts to Sell its Location

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Foursquare has gone through a profound transformation since it popularized the concept of the “check-in” back in 2009.The New York-based company’s main business is now licensing its location data to other companies like American Express, Pinterest and Land Rover. When you use a geofilter in Snapchat or type a venue name into Uber, you’re using Foursquare data.What’s led so many companies to rely on Foursquare’s location technology?For starters, there are the more than 10 billion check-ins that Foursquare’s 50 million monthly users have registered to date. But the company’s real “superpower,” according to founder and chairman Dennis Crowley, is something called Pilgrim. And starting Wednesday, Foursquare is making Pilgrim available to all apps for the first time.“We live in a world today where people are building things based off of basic GPS coordinates,” Crowley told Business Insider during a recent interview. With Pilgrim, Foursquare can give other apps and marketers “specific awareness of context in space” — a “big idea” Crowley said will “take time for people to wrap their heads around.”While traditional GPS can see when a phone enters a mall, Foursquare’s Pilgrim technology is able to understand that the phone is on the second floor of said mall and inside a J Crew store for the second time. It’s by analyzing this data that Foursquare has been able to accurately predict everything from iPhone to Chipotle sales.Crowley envisions other companies using Pilgrim to send notifications like hyper-specific coupons and even create Pokémon Go-like games that “change based upon where you bring your phone.” Foursquare’s main app has been using Pilgrim for years to send custom-tailored recommendations based on where its users go in the real world.For Crowley, who first made his name by selling his location-based social network Dodgeball to Google in 2005, opening up Pilgrim is the culmination of Foursquare’s seven-year history. While the company won’t disclose actual numbers, Crowley said that “revenue is growing nicely” and that the business is in “a really healthy spot right now.”“We always thought that someone would come along and make something like the Pilgrim SDK and we would just use it,” he said. “I don’t think we imagined way back in the day that we would be the company to actually bring this to market.” March 2, 2017 This story originally appeared on Business Insider Register Now »last_img read more

Your Next Cute Robot May Be Korean

first_img Listen Now 8 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Pibo and Cubroid are friends. In a country where three giant conglomerates (LG, Samsung and Hyundai) suck up most of the engineering talent, these two pint-sized little robots could be the future of Korean hardware innovation.Pibo is a 3-D-printed, Raspberry Pi-based “family companion” that can use the internet to answer questions about your world. Cubroid is a bunch of robotic blocks that help kids learn how to program using physical objects. The two are part of a small club of companies in Korea’s new startup scene, which is dominated by software and services.In a presentation, consultant Nathan Millard of G3 Partners says there’s been a massive upswing in the number of Korean startups in the past five years, with more than 20 accelerators, a vibrant investment scene and major government support. When I visited the startups behind Pibo and Cubroid, I found a new Digital Media City (DMC) by the old World Cup stadium featuring towers stuffed with dozens of small startup companies.Pibo, at right, is the third generation of Circulus’s robotsThe biggest challenge, it seems, is global breakout. Of the 46 startups that DMC’s Yu Bae Park told me he helps manage, only about 10 percent are currently looking at markets outside Korea. Millard points out that “of Korea’s recent standout successes … none have found success beyond Korea.”Korean tech firms other than the big three have tended to develop primarily for their own market — Korea has its own analogues of Google (Naver), Facebook/WhatsApp (Kakao) and various other services — and they don’t tend to think or speak globally. That’s changing, too, though. The Pibo and Cubroid guys, while unpolished and thoroughly engineer-driven, have their eyes set on the global market, and even on the U.S.One thing about being in a small scene is that everyone knows each other. Cubroid’s Mark Shin showed me a Javascript book written by Pibo’s Jonggun Park and said he wanted to use Pibo’s big-data AI system in the future. That’s the kind of cross-pollination a startup scene could use to succeed.Big data, small robotPibo is clearly one of DMC’s darlings. It’s made by Circulus, which is led by Jonggun Park, a former Samsung engineer who was working on IoT and big data projects when he became convinced that the way to push Korea forward was to teach everyone to code.”I think that if everyone could make their own programs in Korea, then our country will be stronger,” he said.Coding eventually became robots because, well, “most guys love robots.” Coding robots thus became Pibo: an open-source, Raspberry Pi-based, 3-D-printed home robot with its own cloud-based system, where you can code it through a block language, use JavaScript or download features that other people have written.”We will provide our own functions for families, but everyone can add their own ideas for programming, share their ideas and download other peoples’ ideas too,” Park said.Pibo’s demo reel shows the little bot being a home and family companion. Pibo plays soothing music, asks about your emotions and takes notes to relay to other family members. It has personality. The coolest thing about Pibo isn’t the hardware. It’s the AI platform. Remember, Park started out as an AI engineer.Pibo’s platform scrapes Google and the Korean services Naver and Kakao, and mixes in news sources such as The New York Times and BBC News, trying to fit queries to web data the way Google Assistant does. The company also plans to integrate the Alexa API and let Pibo use Alexa skills. So when I asked Pibo what she thinks of Donald Trump, she gave a consensus based on the contents of Korean blogs. (They don’t much like him.)Google Home and Alexa are trying to do this as well, of course, but the extra twist for Pibo is that she’s mobile. She’s not very mobile — she’s slow, and only has about two hours of battery life when she’s on the move. But she can amble around a table using her camera to do video calls with various people sitting there, for instance.Pibo’s heart is a Raspberry Pi 2. Park said they’d like to use a Pi 3 or Pi 4, but the 2 is the right price to keep the robot under $500. “I want an intelligent robot for everyone, so we focused our price,” he said.The idea here is to let everyone do the level of DIYing they want. Are you hardcore? Circulus has uploaded the whole thing to Thingiverse, a repository of 3-D printing codes. Just want a cuddly home companion? It’ll cost under $500 when it goes on Kickstarter in September.Totally cubularYou know those guys who can sort of do everything? Mark Jaekwang Shin (below, right) is one of those guys. He’s a lawyer. He programs. He has an MBA. But right now he’s living off some money his brother-in-law lent him and funding from various Korean seed funds and prizes, in a cluttered little office at the top of a slightly run-down building halfway to the Seoul airport, miles from the DMC startup hub.Shin has three daughters, ages 11, 8 and 5, and he wants them all to code. So he came up with a set of configurable Lego-like blocks that can be programmed either with a smartphone app (because it’s impossible to get the kids off their phones, he says), or with the popular educational language MIT Scratch.”The future of education is very interesting to me,” he said. “I wanted to get [my 11-year-old] to code, using something like a robot.” (Me too.)The Scratch connection is what drew me to Cubroid, because my daughter is into Scratch. It’s not just a language, it’s also an unusually positive, reinforcing and safe online community for kids: Club Penguin for li’l coders.Cubroid’s office is a mess of boxes of little Lego-like cubes, naked circuit boards and one set of shelves with every other educational robot they could think of, for inspiration.The Cubroid blocks, two years in the making, snap together just like Lego. A prototype first generation used magnets, but a snap-together toy is safer, Shin said.There are 10 different cubes: a knob; proximity, light and touch sensors; two motors; an LED light grid; a buzzer, a “master” cube and dummy spacer cubes. Each functional block has its own little battery, which charges via MicroUSB. They’re color-coded by function: green and red for functions, blue for the master cube and orange for spacers. The master cube communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth or a PC via USB, and then communicates with sub-cubes using a proprietary wireless protocol Cubroid developed. You can also plug the master cube into a PC using micro-USB.Shin and his two staffers quickly put together a wobbly little robot with an LED smiley face which tried to clomp across the floor, and another giant kaiju-like thing that ended up being so heavy, he needed to replace the motor blocks with a newer version that had more torque.The idea here is to balance simplicity and extensibility. Lego Mindstorms lets you build and program with Scratch, but it’s very fiddly. Other robots like Dash and Dot, Anki Cosmo and Ozobot are easier to use, but are fixed hardware. Cubroid is extensible, but extremely easy to put together.On a white board, they’ve scribbled ideas for the next round of cubes: a camera, an MP3 player, an OLED screen. Shin said they’re developing an Amazon Alexa-compatible block and a face-recognition block, and they’re talking to the Pibo folks about connecting to Pibo’s cloud-based system.”In the future, like LittleBits, there could be different kits,” he said.Cubroid’s next step is to go to the big-league Kickstarter for manufacturing cash, probably sometime this fall. I’m normally super skeptical about Kickstarter, but I know this isn’t vaporware and these guys are for real. They just can, right now, only afford to make lots of 300 at a time.”When the Kickstarter money comes, we can make more,” he said. And they don’t seem to be having manufacturing problems. Both Pibo and Cubroid show the advantage of starting a new hardware company in a country that actually, you know, builds hardware. There’s a certain U.S. Kickstarter narrative that I call “Heart of Darkness,” involving U.S. hardware companies that basically get eaten by a predatory China supply chain.Shin’s building his robots in Korea. He’s Korean. He speaks Korean. This could work. I hope it does. Then we in the U.S. might be hearing more about Korean tech than just LG, Samsung and Hyundai. This story originally appeared on PCMag March 23, 2017 Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.last_img read more

Could AI Developments Get Out of Hand Have They Already

first_img 6 min read November 17, 2017 Artificial intelligence developments are occurring in countless industries and at an increasingly rapid rate. But are these developments occurring without the proper safeguards?There’s no way to know for sure at this point, but it’s clear that this concern is in the air. In late October, a lifelike, AI-based, female robot named Sophia mocked the idea by telling her interviewer that he had been “reading too much Elon Musk.” Of course, Sophia herself expressed a desire to “destroy humans” not long ago.Related: Elon Musk Says Competing for the Best AI Could Lead to World War IIIAside from far-fetched concerns over “Terminator” movie scenarios, there’s plenty for AI developers to be concerned about, from security and safety to just doing the job well enough that companies feel justified in — ideally, delighted by — switching to new systems. All that requires care and the right approach.Getting AI right the first time.K.R. Sanjiv, chief technology officer of Wipro Limited, understands this struggle. Wipro is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. Sanjiv works on the front lines of the AI revolution and thus appreciates the need for honing the effectiveness and reliability of AI projects in development.“In creating an AI system,” he said, “my team worked to determine what the ‘right’ ecosystem for AI looks like. For our system to continuously become smarter, we knew an ecosystem made up of technology, data, industry-specific knowledge, research and security would be necessary.”Software companies would do well to follow Sanjiv’s lead. An AI system is a multicomponent one, and it will only be as strong as its weakest piece. Even a first-rate AI system would be useless if it contained a glaring security flaw. Sanjiv added, “Without each of these key ingredients, even a human wouldn’t be able to execute what we ask of AI, meaning the ecosystem plays a vital role in such an initiative’s success.”Related: 3 Ways AI Is Upending the B2B Sales ExperienceSafeguarding your company’s AI future.It’s inevitable: The world’s collective future will increasingly involve AI. Putting the right ecosystem in place will ensure companies are prepared to meet this future head-on. In order to prepare now, here are four practices to incorporate to safely accelerate your company’s forward AI trajectory.1. Avoid overconfidence.In 2015, Wired ran an eye-opening piece showing how AI systems for visual recognition can be fooled with what should be “no-brainer” test images. The tested systems — described as “leading image-recognizing neural networks” — failed miserably, misidentifying formless abstract shapes as baseballs and African Gray Parrots. Even worse, the systems had 99 percent confidence in the accuracy of their identifications.Such misplaced confidence is mildly problematic when it underpins a system providing nightlife recommendations or apparel suggestions based on local weather conditions. But what if an AI system is confidently wrong about a customer’s financial records, military operations (even making moral decisions in combat) or emergency management?For these reasons, the first step always ought to be to retain a healthy skepticism regarding the capabilities of one’s AI systems.2. Test systems effectively.The right attitude is a start, but alone it is not enough. To ensure effectiveness and safety, AI systems need to be rigorously tested under the right conditions.Testing must be done before an AI system is deployed in a real-world application to head off potential unforeseen problems before they do any damage. For example, researchers at RAND simulated the design of different types of fertilizers intended to reduce atmospheric carbon and fed an AI system the characteristics of different fertilizers as learning input.At first, the system seemed on target, but once the AI was allowed to consider delayed-release agents that are often used in fertilizers, it bypassed EPA safeguards for protecting the environment. Because all this was known to the researchers conducting the simulation, they were able to prevent the implementation of policy recommendations that could have had disastrous environmental results. Such testing should apply to any high-stakes domain, such as transportation, policing, military operations, medical device and drug development, childcare and many others.3. Build in accountability.Of course, testing can never offer perfectly accurate modeling of the real world. As Bas Steunebrink, a researcher at the Swiss AI lab IDSIA, told “We cannot accurately describe the environment in all its complexity; we cannot foresee what environments the agent will find itself in in the future.”So even after simulation trials clear an AI project for deployment in the real world, vigilance — and mechanisms for response if something goes wrong — is critical. Project leaders and companies must maintain clear and explicit accountability standards for their AI systems.Good auditing is a best practice here, as is encryption with the most up-to-date security practices. Imagine the PR catastrophe that could result from the hacking of a system that has control over the personal information of millions of clients.Related: 4 Surprising Ways AI Is Changing How We Work With Words (and What That Means for Marketers)4. Take a page from Tony Robbins.Any good businessperson knows that to stay competitive, you never stop driving to get better. It turns out that life for a competitive AI system is no different.Steunebrink’s research is dedicated to instilling this principle in the AI world through what he calls “recursive self-improvement,” in which AI systems are empowered to monitor their own performance and adjust themselves accordingly to produce enhanced future results. This happens over time and with increasing experience in the problem domain.When 9-year-old kids do this on the violin or piano, we call it practicing. AI systems fitted with recursive self-improvement capabilities are not much different — but the results can be startling. AI systems iterate through problem sets far faster than any human ever could, and unlike kids, they don’t get tired or stop practicing to catch their favorite TV show.Steunebrink’s approach, which he calls EXPAI (experience-based artificial intelligence), aims to create AI systems that take baby steps but then make the micro-adjustments necessary, based on performance feedback, to tune themselves so that future actions are more accurate. It’s a potentially powerful approach that companies should keep in mind.The AI future is already here, but instead of fretting about the sorts of doomsday scenarios that are yielding press coverage for Elon Musk, smart companies are looking to use sensible principles to create robust opportunities for AI deployment in their markets.It’s an exciting time. Fortunately, by following the practices outlined above and working with companies that build integrity into their AI approach, big strides will come quickly, bringing with them products and services that will enthrall customers and improve 21st-century life for everyone. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

2019 MacBook Pro Unveiled 9th Gen Intel CPUs New Butterfly Keyboard

first_img Henry T. Casey, Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he’s the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters. Author Bio Henry T. Casey, oncenter_img Apple’s upgrading the MacBook Pro’s specs — and its keyboards too.While those looking for more performance will be happy to hear that these new laptops feature 9th Gen Intel CPUs (and new faster 8-core 8th Gen chips), the biggest news is the 4th Gen Apple Butterfly key switch, which is the first Apple is releasing while acknowledging reliability concerns.MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air and Pro look pretty similar, but our testing proved they differ in crucial ways.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Which Cheap Tablet Is Best? Amazon Fire 7 vs Walmart Onn02:45关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0003:4603:46 So, for those who have been waiting for positive news about Apple’s keyboards, and for those looking for MacBooks as fast as their PC counterparts, we’ve got all the details you need to know. 2019 MacBook Pro price and release dateStarting pricing will stay the same, with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starting at $1,799, and the 15-inch model starting at $2,399. These laptops will go on sale at and Apple stores today (May 21).2019 MacBook Pro specsThe MacBook Pro can finally be ordered with 9th Gen Intel chips and 8-core CPUs, two major options for the coders, movie editors and engineers that need all of the speed.The most power, of course, is coming to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which will get both 6- and 8-core chips, which Apple rates for Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5.0 GHz. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar gets 8th Gen Core i5 and i7 quad-core CPUs, and Turbo Boost up to 4.7 GHz. For those tracking at home, those are 300 MHz increases in Turbo speed.How will that compare to previous years? Apple specs the new MacBook Pros as twice as fast than the quad-core MacBook Pros out on the market, with 40 percent more speed than its current 6-core MacBook Pros.Wondering about that 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar? For the second cycle in a row, it’s going without an update, though it will be included.4th generation Butterfly keyboard switchesTypists, and everyone who expects their mighty MacBook to be reliable, are probably intrigued by Apple’s announcement of a new, 4th generation, Butterfly keyboard mechanism.Apple’s not using that name themselves, but the new switches feature a redesigned version of the switch with a change to the materials in the mechanism. This move is meant to address both the stuck key — when keys just don’t work — and repeating key — when you click e and get ‘ee’, or get two spaces for each Space Bar click — issues.Apple’s also announcing a change in policy for its Keyboard Service Program. Formerly, the program was limited to just MacBooks released between 2015 and 2017, but now every MacBook with a ‘Butterfly’ switch keyboard will be covered under the plan.As previously rumored, Apple is looking to significantly shorten repair wait times, which often gave users a 5-day window for repairs. Apple didn’t say how short the new repair windows will be, but reports suggest that Apple wants Geniuses to turn laptops around by the next day.If your unit is repaired, you’ll also get the new keyboard that comes with the 2019 MacBook Pro, and not the same keyboard that came with your MacBook.Image Credit: Laptop Mag by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GameIf you’re over 40 – this game is a must!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoForbes.com12 House Renovation Mistakes, In PicturesForbes.comUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoTODAYPolice Identify Girl Licking Ice Cream Tub In Viral VideoTODAYUndoMy Food and FamilyHealthy, Homemade Drunken Thai Noodles In Just 20 MinutesMy Food and FamilyUndoAdvertisementlast_img read more