Month: August 2019

  • Why Things Become Unpopular

    first_imgA recent study has found that the fall of an item’s popularity mirrors its rise to popularity, so that items that become popular faster also die out faster, which is demonstrated by name trends. Image caption: Berger and Le Mens. ©2009 PNAS. In their study, Jonah Berger from the University of Pennsylvania and Gaël Le Mens from Stanford University and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona have investigated why things become unpopular, and have found some surprisingly counterintuitive results. Their study is published in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“While it is easy to see products, ideas, or behaviors catch on in popular culture, less in known about why such things become unpopular,” Berger told PhysOrg.com. “We show how social dynamics drive cultural change, and examine the reciprocal interplay between individual decisions and collective outcomes. Aggregate changes in popularity shape individual choice, which in turn drives aggregate popularity.”To investigate how cultural tastes change over time, Berger and Le Mens analyzed thousands of baby names from the past 100 years in France and the US. (Because there is less of an influence of technology or advertising on name choice, baby names provide a way to study how adoption depends on primarily internal factors.) The researchers found a consistent symmetry in the rise and fall of individual names; in other words, the longer it took for a name to become popular, the longer it took for the name to fade out of popularity, and thus the more staying power it had compared to names that quickly rose and fell. The effect was robust, occurring in both countries and across various time windows.To find additional support for this relationship, the researchers also interviewed expecting parents on how likely they would be to give their children certain names. Afterwards, participants rated their perception of how trendy each name was. The results showed that parents viewed names that had experienced sharper recent increases in usage as fads, and avoided these names in accordance with this concern. As the scientists explain, these findings suggest that beliefs about the evolution of popularity may be self-fulfilling. There is no mathematical necessity that forces cultural items (such as names) that sharply increase in popularity to die out faster, but people’s beliefs have the ability to create this reality, since people don’t want to be seen as following the herd. This effect is an example of how psychological processes shape culture, in addition to the more widely known reciprocal dynamic, that culture can shape thought processes. Adolescents with unpopular names more prone to committing crime (PhysOrg.com) — “Why is everybody suddenly wearing those new sandals and listening to that new band? It’s so trendy!” A recent study has investigated this sentiment in order to understand why some cultural products and styles die out faster than others. According to the results, the quicker a cultural item rockets to popularity, the quicker it dies. This pattern occurs because people believe that items that are adopted quickly will become fads, leading them to avoid these items, thus causing these items to die out. Explore furthercenter_img Besides baby names, the symmetry between popularity rise and fall can carry over to other cultural items. For example, the scientists noted that similar outcomes have been observed in the music industry, where new artists who shoot to the top of the charts right away also fall quickly, and so have lower overall sales than those who rise more slowly. While this finding seems counterintuitive, since a quick rise in popularity would seem like a good thing, it shows that a backlash to perceived fads should be taken into account. As the researchers explain, people who want to ensure the persistence and success of particular items should seek to popularize the items at a slow but steady pace. “Managers often want their products to catch on quickly, and conventional wisdom would say that products which catch on quickly should be more likely to succeed,” Berger said. “Our results, however, show that the exact opposite can occur. Fast adoption can hurt success. We think these findings extend to a broad range of areas where choices signal identity. People often join social movements, choose products, or wear styles because of what it communicates about them to others, and in these domains of life, adoption speed should influence cultural success.”More information: Jonah Berger and Gaël Le Mens. “How adoption speed affects the abandonment of cultural tastes.” PNAS, 8146-8150, May 19, 2009, vol. 106, no. 20.Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. 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: Why Things Become Unpopular (2009, June 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-06-unpopular.htmllast_img read more

  • Microsoft investigates laptop battery drain with Windows 7

    first_img(PhysOrg.com) — One of the Windows Vista problems that Windows 7 was supposed to solve was the drain on laptop battery life, but while Windows 7 has made a number of significant improvements, Microsoft is now investigating reports its new operating system reduces battery life even more dramatically when installed on some laptops. Explore further Users have reported on Microsoft’s TechNet forum reductions in battery life from two hours down to 30 minutes or less, with batteries failing to recharge fully. The battery life appears to decline over a short period, with another forum poster reporting the battery life dropped from 45 minutes to 15 or less over a couple of weeks.Some Windows 7 users claim their laptop batteries have been permanently damaged by drainage problems occurring after they installed the new operating system. Other users report the appearance of error messages suggesting they replace their laptop battery, even though it had been working well before the installation.Microsoft said it was investigating the issue in collaboration with their hardware partners. A spokesman said the problem of the error message appears to be related to the firmware (BIOS), since Windows 7 uses data derived from firmware to determine if the battery needs to be replaced. Battery problems were noted by some users during the Windows 7 beta testing period, especially by those using Netbooks, but the complaints began to pour in after the official release of Windows 7 for general consumers in October last year.Microsoft announced last Thursday it has so far sold about 60 million Windows 7 licenses, but it is unclear at present what proportion of users is affected by the battery drainage problems. Microsoft said it would update its TechNet forum as soon as the root cause has been identified, and will post information and guidance when it is available. The Microsoft TechNet forum and community is intended to support IT users of Microsoft products. Microsoft washes hands of Windows 98 More information: social.technet.microsoft.com/F … ms/en-gb/categories/center_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Microsoft investigates laptop battery drain with Windows 7 (2010, February 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-microsoft-laptop-battery-windows.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

  • Making liquid power

    first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Power is a game of supply and demand. Unfortunately, it is also a very time sensitive game. You not only have to make the right amount of power, but you have to make it at the right time. Power is largely a perishable commodity. It can be stored in a battery, for a limited amount of time, but eventually it will wear out. This can be an issue with human generated power, but when you deal with greener methods of power, like solar and wind, we don’t always have control over how much power is generated and when it is generated. 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: Making liquid power (2011, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-liquid-power.html Explore further More information: www.highview-power.com/wordpress/?page_id=5 © 2010 PhysOrg.com Engineer aims to regulate varying wind power Since this creates a variety of issues with power generation, and potential waste, researchers have been interested in ways to store the power in the longer term. So, how do you keep your power in storage? You make it into a liquid.Scientists at Britain’s Highview Power Storage have figured out how to convert its excess energy into liquid air. The system that does this, which has been dubbed the CryoEnergy System, is like a very big power cold storage unit. The power uses the excess energy to power large refrigeration units. These units cool the powered air down to a temperature of -196 C, which causes it to liquefy. This air liquid, which is also known as cryogen, can then be stored in an insulated tank, that has an ambient pressure of about 1 bar. When the power is needed, at high demand times, the air can be released into a sealed space. When the liquid reaches boiling temp, above -196C, the liquid will expand more than 700% and being to spin that staple of power generation, a turbine.The energy return on the process is about 50%. The CryoEnergy System has been in use at Scotland’s Slough Heat & Power plant for the past nine months.last_img read more

  • Algorithmic trading to replace humans in the stock market

    first_img Citation: Algorithmic trading to replace humans in the stock market (2011, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-algorithmic-humans-stock.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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 Foresight panel warns that this transition to algorithmic trading has its benefits and risks. They have found instances where computer trading can increase volatility in the market and cause massive damage. One example is what is known as self-reinforcing feedback loops. In this case, small changes such as data delays, loop back on themselves and create a bigger change. Normalization of deviance can also occur where risky events are seen as normal until the inevitable crash of the market occurs.Some benefits the panel sees are an improvement in liquidity, lower costs of transactions and greater market efficiency.The trend toward more and more algorithmic traders and the reduction in need for front-line traders is expected to increase. Similar to the use of physical robots in the manufacturing industry replaced human workers in places like automobile plants throughout the 20th century; the 21st century will likely bring the replacement of human workers throughout the global financial markets. The paper notes that while humans will be replaced in trading, the need for algorithm developers will be increased.The Foresight panel notes that human workers are made with hardware that is too slow and runs on limited bandwidth in comparison to their computer counterparts.The current paper from the Foresight panel is a work in progress designed to add to the growing evidence on the pros and cons of computer trading. The final report is expected to be released in the Fall season of 2012. (PhysOrg.com) — The UK Government’s Foresight panel, led by Dame Clara Furse, has released a working paper that points out that algorithmic trading, or high frequency trading, will soon replace human decision making when it comes to the stock markets. Many countries have already begun replacing humans with one third of the UK trading going to computers and three-quarters of trading in the United States being computer generated. US imposes new rules on high-speed traders Explore furtherlast_img read more

  • Some Polynesian islanders combined binary and decimal math

    first_img The sum of digits of prime numbers is evenly distributed Explore further Gottfried Leibniz introduced binary numbers to the western world in the 18th century, proclaiming their practical advantages and pointing out that learning binary addition and multiplication tables would be much easier than learning decimal ones. Nevertheless, while a binary system became the basis for computers, binary numbers never became part of everyday western life. We are used to a decimal system—we have 10 fingers and 10 toes, after all— and while a base 2 system may have its advantages, those long strings of 1s and 0s seem unnatural.Hundreds of years ago, the people of the island of Mangareva in French Polynesia developed a way to use binary math while eliminating the problem of every long numbers. They did this by combining a binary with a decimal system. Bender and Beller learned about this system when studying the Mangarevan language and Mangarevan historical records.The Polynesians who arrived in Mangareva over 1,000 years ago used a decimal system, as other Polynesians did. However, by A.D. 1450, the Mangarevans were using a system that combined base 10 and base 2. In the Mangarevan language, there are words for the numbers 1 through 9, as with all decimal systems. After that, the system turns into a binary one, with words for 10, 20, 40 and 80. This mixed system simplifies mental arithmetic but doesn’t make it hard to express large numbers. The researchers believe that the hybrid system played a useful role in Mangarevan culture, where people often traded large quantities of goods or offered them as tribute. The Mangarevans used their system to count objects considered highly valuable, including coconuts, fish and octopuses. Today, the Mangarevan language risks extinction. The number of speakers has decreased from about 1,600 in 1987 to 600 in 2011, despite the island’s population remaining stable. The Mangarevans have adopted the Arabic digits and the decimal counting system used by much of the world. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org) —When we think of binary math, we think of computers. A number system with only two digits makes calculations quick and easy. However, binary numbers can be very long and, therefore, unwieldy. While binary numbers might be great for machines, decimal numbers are shorter and more comfortable for people to use. A system that combines the benefits of base 2 and base 10 could be ideal. Andrea Bender and Sieghard Beller of the University of Bergen in Norway have discovered that the Mangarevans of French Polynesia used such a hybrid system at least 500 years ago. Their research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Two of Leibniz’s examples for binary notation and calculation. Credit: (c) PNAS, Published online before print December 16, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1309160110center_img Citation: Some Polynesian islanders combined binary and decimal math (2013, December 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-polynesian-islanders-combined-binary-decimal.html © 2013 Phys.org More information: Mangarevan invention of binary steps for easier calculation, PNAS, Published online before print December 16, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1309160110 AbstractWhen Leibniz demonstrated the advantages of the binary system for computations as early as 1703, he laid the foundation for computing machines. However, is a binary system also suitable for human cognition? One of two number systems traditionally used on Mangareva, a small island in French Polynesia, had three binary steps superposed onto a decimal structure. Here, we show how this system functions, how it facilitated arithmetic, and why it is unique. The Mangarevan invention of binary steps, centuries before their formal description by Leibniz, attests to the advancements possible in numeracy even in the absence of notation and thereby highlights the role of culture for the evolution of and diversity in numerical cognition. 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

  • Distinguishing between humans and computers in the game of go

    first_img © 2017 Phys.org The researchers, C. Coquidé and B. Georgeot at the University of Toulouse, and O. Giraud at the University of Paris-Saclay, have published a paper on their statistical analysis of go games played by humans and computers in a recent issue of EPL.”We think our work indicates a path towards a better characterization and understanding of the differences between human and computer decision-making processes, which could be applied in many different areas,” Giraud told Phys.org.As the researchers explain, go is a particularly good platform to investigate how computers solve complex problems due to the vast number of possible moves a player can make at any turn. On a 19×19 go board, there are 10171 possible legal positions (compared to “just” 1050 in chess). In addition, the number of possible games of go was recently estimated to be at least 1010^108. Such numbers are gigantic even for a computer, making it impossible for any program to simply use brute-force methods to analyze all possible moves and games. Instead, computers must use more sophisticated approaches. In the new study, the researchers constructed databases of 8000 games played by amateur humans; 8000 games played by the software Gnugo, which uses a deterministic approach; 8000 games played by the software Fuego, which uses a Monte Carlo approach; and 50 games played by the software AlphaGo, which has become famous in the past couple years for beating world champion human go players. The researchers then built networks for each database that capture information about the patterns of moves on the go board. One of the most interesting results is that the networks based on software—especially Gnugo—have large numbers of “communities,” which are parts of a network that are strongly linked within themselves but weakly linked to the rest of the network. As the researchers explain, the presence of these communities indicates that the software programs are creating many different types of strategies that are different from other types of strategies; that is, their strategies are varied and diverse. By comparison, the networks based on human games have fewer communities and more large hubs with lots of direct links, indicating that human strategies were more related to each other and less diverse. Explore further While enlightening, these results are not unexpected, as they correspond to some previous observations of computers playing go. For instance, in 2016 and 2017, human analysts watching AlphaGo compete against world champions were often surprised and puzzled by the strategies that the computer used. Overall, the researchers found that the statistical differences between the computer- and human-generated networks are much larger than the variability within each network, indicating that the differences are statistically significant and could potentially be used to distinguish between groups of human-played games and computer-played games. Further, the results show that it’s not necessary to analyze thousands of games, as the differences could be significant even for the relatively small 50-game database from AlphaGo.As a consequence, the researchers propose that the statistical differences could be used to design a new kind of Turing test, similar to the original test in which a person tries to tell whether they are interacting with a human or a computer by asking questions. The new version of the Turing test would involve playing go games instead of asking questions, and then performing statistical tests to identify characteristic features of human and computer players.The researchers also expect that it would be interesting to use similar statistical methods to investigate the differences in how humans and computers approach other complex problems besides go. From this data, it may be possible to gain a better understanding of how computers “think.””We would like to study in more detail the origin of the differences between the human-generated and computer-generated networks, to see how they reflect in terms of differences in strategies used in the game,” Giraud said. “We are also planning to apply these techniques to other areas where computers and humans are present, starting with other board games such as chess.” More information: C. Coquidé, B. Georgeot, and O. Giraud. “Distinguishing humans from computers in the game of go: A complex network approach.” EPL. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/119/48001 Citation: Distinguishing between humans and computers in the game of go (2017, November 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-distinguishing-humans-game.html Google’s new Go-playing AI learns fast, and even thrashed its former self (Phys.org)—By analyzing the statistical features of thousands of go games played by humans and computers, researchers have found that it’s surprisingly easy to tell whether a game is being played by a human or by a computer. The results point to fundamental differences in the ways that humans and computers solve problems and may lead to a new kind of Turing test designed to distinguish between the two. 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 information: Europhysics Letters (EPL) Computers and humans use different kinds of strategies when playing go, pointing to fundamental differences in solving problems.last_img read more

  • Musical Instruments To Be Exempt From Restrict

    first_imgMusical Instruments To Be Exempt From Restrictions On… Jacqueline Larma by NPR News Robert Benincasa 8.27.19 6:41am An international endangered species convention meeting in Geneva is close to exempting musical instruments from trade restrictions on rosewood.The restrictions under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – commonly referred to as CITES – treaty went into effect in 2017, after strong demand for high-end rosewood furniture in China led to conservation worries and violence in areas that produce the wood.But as NPR reported in 2017, there were some unintended consequences.Rosewood is prized as a tonewood, responsible for a characteristic resonant tone in everything from guitars to cellos and clarinets. Following the 2017 restrictions, the musical instruments industry lost tens of millions of dollars in sales and traveling orchestras feared their instruments would be seized at international borders. Both sectors had to deal with a bureaucratic permit process.Instrument makers and musicians pushed for the exemption, writing in a convention brief that without it, “the world of music and culture will lose certain instruments that produce the highest quality tones, with no corresponding conservation benefit.”They got their wish Monday as a key CITES committee approved it. If finalized as expected this week, the exemption will allow finished musical instruments as well as parts and accessories containing rosewood to be transported freely around the world without permits.Trade in raw-material rosewood would remain regulated and subject to permits granted by individual countries.”Today was really the culmination of three years of productive dialog across musical instrument stakeholders, parties to the convention and also conservation groups,” said League of American Orchestras lobbyist Heather Noonan.In a written statement to NPR, Lisa Handy, director of forests campaign at the Environmental Investigation Agency, an advocacy group, called the exemption “a reluctant compromise.””We remain concerned this could set a bad precedent,” Handy wrote. “It will be even more imperative that the sourcing and manufacturing processes are well-controlled to ensure that rosewood-producing countries, which are struggling to control illegal loggers and trafficking…receive the international support they need to implement the convention.”Representatives of two top U.S. makers of acoustic guitars, Pennsylvania-based C.F. Martin and Co. and California’s Taylor Guitars, said they support the convention’s efforts to control rosewood trafficking, but stress the musical instruments industry was never the problem.Scott Paul, Director of Natural Resource Sustainability at Taylor, said the rosewood regulation was hastily drafted, causing bureaucracies around the world to issue “an obscene amount of permits.”Frank Untermyer, Supply Chain Director at Martin, said the regulations’ administrative burden on his company, as well as the impact on the global reach of music “cannot be overstated.”Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

  • Husains toys for Delhi boys

    first_imgThe art market might be reeling under slowdown blues, but that hasn’t stopped Siddhartha Tagore, director of city-based gallery Art Konsult from carrying on with the third edition of the bi-annual auction that he hosts. Tagore agrees that the market is ‘very down’. ‘We have been working on the auction for some time and about 60 per cent would make us safe,’ says an optimistic Tagore.   The Autumn Auction by Art Bull will feature more than 100 works by masters, emerging and contemporary artists and also folk and tribal art. ‘When we started, we wanted to promote some of the young and promising artists. We are featuring some of their works here,’ says the gallerist. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Going under the hammer will be works by MF Husain, FN Souza, SH Raza, KG Subramanyan, Ram Kumar, Jamini Roy, Manjit Bawa. A rare oil on canvas by Ramkinkar Baij is also up for auction.   Art enthusiasts will get the chance to pick up impressionist works by Jamini Roy, Souza’s work on silk, Manjit Bawa’s miniature and Husain works from his Horse Series. Husain’s toys — which he made during the struggling phase of his career and which are very hard to come by because most of them haven’t been preserved — are also going to be on sale. First time buyers on a budget can focus on the emerging artist category where prices will start at Rs 75,000 and go up to Rs 3 lakhs. In the contemporary section also, prices begin at Rs 75,000. prices in the Masters section will start at Rs 5 lakhs and go up to a few crores.DETAILAt: The Park Hotel, 15 Parliament Street When: 21 November Timings: 6 pm onwardslast_img read more

  • State of mind

    first_imgOxford Bookstore Connaught Place hosted the eighth edition of Zubaan, series of critical conversations, How Juvenile is Juvenile, on 25 August. The panelists included Joachim Theis (Chief Child Protection, UNICEF India), Achal Bhagat (psychiatrist and psychotherapist), Suneeta Dhar (Director, JAGORI), Atiya Bose (Director, Policy and Advocacy, AANGAN Trust). The discussion was moderated by Enakshi Ganguly Thukral (Co-founder and Co-director, HAQ Centre for Child Rights). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The session focussed on certain question like – Who is a juvenile and who is not? Can age be the only defining factor to determine an issue that has such wide ranging implications and ramifications? How does one look at the juvenile justice act that is currently under discussion? How will it impact consensual sex? Will it bring greater number of people under the ambit of the criminal law? How do we look upon the issue of ‘maturity’ and ‘criminality’ in a young person? Is not the idea of a ‘heinous offender’ of 16 years a reflection of a society determined to punish rather than reform? Can we ensure safety of women and society by punishing juvenile offenders like adults? Zubaan is an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi. It was set up as an imprint of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for women, and carries forward Kali’s tradition of publishing world quality books to high editorial and production standards. It works in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, as well as in fiction, general non-fiction, and books for children.last_img read more

  • Beautifully meshed

    first_imgThe show titled Tactile and Intangible Melodies by Robin Passi that started off on 21 August at Alliance Francaise De in the Capital displays works made up of mirrors and wire mesh. The pieces displayed were along the path between sculpture and relief, art and design and the art object and art installation. Passi used mirrors of different sizes to catch reflections of different parts of the environment which creates new relations between space and form. Using mirrors and wire-mesh, he used its flow which pulls together the myriad of reflecting mirrors into a mythical stream of light. So in a sense elements of the tactile and tangible world and evokes intangible myths were been used. But like all myths there has to the some reality for their intangible messages to latch onto, to be believable. His metal orbs with mirrors in them, which, when hung from trees remind one of how bird-lovers carry their caged song-birds to hang from their branches to hear their melodies. These mirror-encrusted globes evoke birdsong in the visual form of reflections. The works reflected the artiste’s search for meaning from the raw material of day-to-day life, and in doing so he gave us hope for a future filled with creativity, variety and sensitivity.last_img read more

  • Extraction of clean coal Poland to help with insight

    first_imgKolkata: Poland has shown immense interest to provide technical knowhow to the Bengal government in extraction of clean coal. State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay along with Additional Chief Secretary Sunil Gupta visited Poland recently to explore the possibilities of cooperation in the power sector and held a meeting with Krzysztof Tchórzewski who is the Minister of Energy in Poland. A senior official in the state Power department on conditions of anonymity said the meeting was fruitful with exchange of opinion regarding the functioning of the power sector in both the countries. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”They are known for their technological expertise in the mining and power sectors. We are planning to use this technology to extract clean coal which may eventually be used for generating power. If we find that their technology is cost-effective, we are ready to embrace the same,” the official said adding that the developments of the meeting will be shared with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee next week.According to the official, the minister had urged his Polish counterpart for cooperation in the solar sector in which the Bengal government is progressing by leaps and bounds. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Apart from talking elaborately on the functioning of the power sector, the minister also exhibited various projects initiated by the power department,” the official added.However, it is learnt that Poland is keen to invest in the coal segment to begin with. Bengal is rich in coal reserves and is developing the country’s largest coal mine in Birbhum district with the Centre already allotting the development rights for the Deocha-Pachami coal block to the state under the government route. The state has plans to invest Rs 12,000 crore to develop the block, which would create one lakh jobs and usher in rapid economic development in the area. The block is expected to produce coal worth Rs 2.10 lakh crore and attract total investments worth Rs 22,000 crore. Both the governments’ power sector have formed committees to examine the possibilities of cooperation. The state Power department had signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) with the Poland government at the Bengal Global Business Summit held in January this year to build cooperation on issues like clean coal technology, coal mining, technology transfer etc.Adam Burakowski, Ambassador of Poland in India, had held a meeting with Chattopadhyay and state Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra in this subject in April. Poland has also proposed to offer scholarships to the youth from Bengal who want to gain knowledge of mining engineering in their country.last_img read more

  • Man with 500 kg ganja held

    first_imgKolkata: One person was arrested after over 500 kg of ganja was recovered from him during a search operation in the Kolkata railway station premises, police said Saturday. The Kolkata Police STF also seized from 10 lakh from the person during the operation conducted late Friday night. The arrested person was found sleeping behind in the driver’s cabin of a truck, they said. Policemen recovered 581.334 kg of ganja and Rs 10 lakh in cash from the person, a resident of Burdwan district.last_img

  • IWAI clears deck for Hilsa passage

    first_imgKolkata: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) has made a special arrangement to regulate the operation of the navigational lock at Farakka to allow the passage of Hilsa fish movement. After the construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa, which once reached up to Prayagraj, was restricted up to Farakka only.”Under the JMVP, a fish pass has been envisaged for its free movement at Farakka navigation lock. Hilsa has a significant cultural importance in Bengal, besides being the national fish of Bangladesh. This has been done in consultation with ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Central Water Commission and Farraka Barrage Project Authority,” a senior official of IWAI said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe official said based on research and breeding season of Hilsa, the operation of navigational lock will be regulated to facilitate the movement of fish from Hoogly-Bhagirathi river system to the upstream in river Ganga and vice-versa.The time of opening the gates at the lock will be based on the nature and time of movement of Hilsa, period of migration and breeding of species. It may be mentioned that fish pass or fish way is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate natural fish migration. Most fish ways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming into the waters on the other side. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The Hilsa migration will lead to increase in its production in the region. Simultaneously, this will increase the river biodiversity and aid in the economy of local fishermen,” a senior official of the state Fisheries department said. The new arrangement of navigation lock at Farakka, which will enable breeding of Hilsa fish in river Ganga and help preserve the river ecosystem was unveiled by Union minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari at a programme at Prayagraj on Friday. The minister also inaugurated the second phase of River Information System (RIS) on National Waterway-1 (410km on Farakka-Patna stretch), that will enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information. Under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, a new state-of-the-art navigational lock on National Waterways -1 is being constructed at Farakka at a cost of Rs 361.35 crore and the work is expected to be complete by June 2019. IWAI is implementing the JMVP for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 on the Haldia – Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System with the technical and financial support of the World Bank at a cost of Rs 5369 crore.last_img read more

  • HIDCO joins hands with German company to tackle air pollution

    first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride towards clean and green New Town , West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Authority (HIDCO) is coming up with a pilot project with an advanced mechanism of dust removing air pollution.The project, which will be implemented after the Lok Sabha elections, will have a 8 ft high 3-cube stationary tower that will take away fine dust from air by the cubes. Senior officials of HIDCO on Monday held a meeting with representatives from a noted German company with proven expertise in this sphere. Pradeep Randhawa, vice president and managing director of the company, was present in the meeting. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The special filters, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and rain sensors make this a state of the art technology,” said an official. The filter technology known as Fine Dust Eater comes with a number of solutions. The newly developed filter cube is designed for use at urban hotspots. It filters fine dust and nitrogen dioxide out of the air, thus reducing the risk to human health. As per plans, the technology will be installed near the Bus Stand Island adjacent to Cafe Ekante food kiosk, where already a uniquely designed Wi Fi Tower-cum-seating area is also installed. It may be mentioned that New Town Kolkata Development Authority ( NKDA) has introduced the system of segregating garbage at source from March 1. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe residents are disposing garbage in two separate bins meant for dry waste and wet waste. The wet waste is being collected regularly and NKDA has proposed to start composting with wet waste. The body has already set up a plant and the compost is being used as manure for production of organic vegetables. NKDA will be planting more trees this year during the monsoon. A list of dust absorbing plants as suggested by experts has been submitted to the state Forest department for its final nod. NKDA is also removing smoke belching hot mix plants in a few places in New Town and is undertaking massive awareness on clean and green New Town. Waste water which is being used for roadside plants and state-of-the-art vehicles for cleaning roads are among a few steps initiated for a clean and green New Town.last_img read more

  • Blame on BJP for attack on TMC polling agents son

    first_imgBalurghat: The son of a TMC polling agent was allegedly beaten up by some BJP activists after the polling ended in Banshihari on Tuesday.The incident took place in Dilkanthi under Mahabari gram panchayat. Nabin Kabiraj (21), the son of Trinamool polling agent Narayan Kabiraj, was seriously injured in assault incident. He was rushed to local Rashidpur health centre from where he was shifted to Gangarampur sub-divisional hospital as his condition deteriorated. A police complaint was lodged but no one has been arrested so far. The local Trinamool polling agent, Narayan Kabiraj, had been appointed in booth no 197-198 for party candidate Arpita Ghosh. During voting BJP activists asked him to stay away from the booth but he didn’t listen to them. After the polling ended Nabin was on his way back home when he was attacked by two BJP activists Bablu Singh and Paglu Mahato. It is alleged that they had beaten him mercilessly and left him on the road. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLocal residents rushed him to a nearby health centre. His father was also being informed by them. A police complaint was lodged against Singh and Mahato. “It is my fault that I work as a TMC polling agent. My son was attacked by BJP workers. Mangal Mahato, who wanted to save my son from them was also attacked and thrashed. Local residents rescued both of them,” said Narayan Kabiraj. “We have received complaint. The investigation is on. If anyone is found guilty, he will not be spared,” said a police officer.last_img read more

  • Clayton Kershaw MadBums the Dodgers into the NLCS to face the Cubs

    first_imgAfter Chris Helsey’s two run pinch-hit home run pulled Washington within a run, at 4-3 with no outs in the bottom of the 7th, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts went with his closer Kenley Jansen, who preserved the 1-run lead through the 7th and 8th.But, after back-to-back one out walks in the 9th, and playoff assassin Daniel Murphy coming to the plate, Roberts smashed the emergency glass and hit the red button for Kershaw to secure the final two outs.Kershaw induced Murphy to pop out, and then proceeded to strike out pinch hitter Wilmer Difo to end the game and clinch the Dodgers’ birth in the NLCS, where they will face the Cubs. Advertisement The save was Kershaw’s first relief appearance since 2009, and his first save since 2006, when he was in Vero Beach in the Florida Gulf Coast League. His catcher on that occasion….Dodgers closer, and then minor league catcher, Kenley Jansen. Mind blown.center_img Clayton Kershaw channeled his inner Madison Baumgarner to secure the final 2 outs of the 9th inning of the Dodgers 4-3 series clinching Game 5 win over the Nationals in D.C. last night. The Dodgers will now face the Cubs in a made-for-TV NLCS.Kershaw’s 2-out save came only two days after he pitched 6 innings and allowed 5 runs in the Dodgers Game 4 win. He entered the game with the Dodgers clinging to a one run lead with two runners on base, on the road.The Dodgers were shut down by Nat’s starter Max Scherzer through the early innings, and held a 1-0 lead through 6.Joc Pederson’s solo bomb to lead off the 7th tied the game for the Dodgers, ended Scherzer’s night, and ignited a 4-run inning for L.A.last_img read more

  • Raiders fans should be excited for the move to Vegas

    first_imgRaiders fans should be excited about the move to VegasOakland Raiders fans are mourning the loss of their team this morning, but Colin says not to worry. First, the Raiders have already moved from Oakland to L.A. and back, so it’s not like they haven’t moved before.Fans of the Raiders are fans of the Silver and Black, not Oakland, and they should be excited to finally have a city that will be an equal partner and offer a variety of benefits that Oakland never provided.  The Raiders history is in Oakland, their future is in Vegas.“This team’s gonna make a lot more money and be able to over-spend. I know there’s a salary cap, but you can still guarantee a lot of money that doesn’t count toward your salary cap. That’s all you should care about.”Even given their struggles, no on eis stopping the Cavs in the EastThe Cavs and LeBron James are struggling down the stretch, and just dropped to second place in the East after an ugly 29-point loss to the Spurs last night. The headlines this morning are proclaiming that the Cavs are in trouble, but Colin disagrees.Today, he said that regardless of Cleveland’s struggles, they’ll still breeze through the Eastern Conference playoffs into the Finals, even if they end up as the two seed. LeBron already won a title as a two-seed with the Heat in 2012 with the Heat.“He’s won a championship as a two-seed. It doesn’t matter.”If Tom Brady is playing for 7 more years, it’s time for Jimmy Garoppolo to get outPatriots owner Robert Kraft recently said that Tom Brady told him he wants to play for 6 or 7 more years. If this is the case, Colin thinks it’s time for Jimmy Garoppolo to get out of New England.Colin thinks that sometimes it makes sense to wait in the wings as the heir apparent, but sometimes if you wait to long, you never get the shot. If Brady is going to be around for the next half decade, it’s time for Jimmy G to figure out a way to get out out of town.“Jimmy Garoppolo has become the New England Patriots’ 2-iron. He’s in the bag, but they never use it.”Guests:Cris Carter – FS1 NFL Analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer is in-studio to discuss what the Patriots will do with Garoppolo; why Vegas could be an attractive free agent destination; and if Tony Romo can damage his brand with a bad season.Bill Romanowski – 16-year NFL veteran and former Raider, discusses the Raiders move to Vegas; why he thinks Mark Davis did all he could to keep the team in Oakland; and if he thinks Tom Brady can play until he’s 45 or older.Lionel Hollins – Former Grizzlies head coach is in-studio to discuss how much playoff seeding matters; what life was like in the NBA when he was a player compared to now; his thoughts on players taking healthy scratches; why management is to blame, as well as the players; andlast_img read more

  • Belichick wouldnt have a dynasty without Brady

    first_imgGuests:Nick Wright – Host of First Thing’s First joins the show to discuss Brady/Belichick divorce talk, and defends Mike Tomlin against critics.DeAngelo Hall – FS1 NFL Analyst is in-studio discussing the difficulty of facing Tom Brady, and why playing younger QB’s isn’t as easy as people think.Joel Klatt – FS1 CFB Analyst is in-studio on Chip Kelly getting crushed by his QB’s dad; why Kelly will need time to turn around the Bruins; and why USC needs to swing for the fences if they fire Clay Helton.Plaxico Burress – Former NFL Wide Receiver joins the show to discuss the circus in Pittsburgh; if they should sign Le’Veon Bell. The Steeler circus is on Mike TomlinThe Steelers have long been one of the most stable franchises in the NFL, but the team has become a circus with Antonio Brown discussing being traded on Twitter, and the team struggling in the first two weeks of the season with an 0-1-1 record. Last season, Ben Roethlisberger publicly questioned Tomlin in the media over the team’s lack of discipline.Colin thinks Mike Tomlin is a good coach, but his loose, player friendly culture is the root cause of the growing dysfunction.Also:– Buy, Sell or Hold Belichick wouldn’t have a dynasty without BradyIn the new biography Belichick by Ian O’Connor, a source claims that Belichick could have won Super Bowls with other talented quarterbacks, but Colin strongly disagrees.He thinks the claim, which has been made by others in the past, is disrespectful to Brady and his talent. The truth is Belichick has helped Brady, but Brady has been as crucial, or more, to making Belichick becoming the greatest coach of all time. Without Brady, Belichick never had anywhere close to the same success in Cleveland, or with Drew Bledsoe in New England. Brady has also routinely turned nobodies into productive wide receivers, which has allowed the Pats salary cap flexibility elsewhere.Just like Gregg Popovich hasn’t won at the same level without Tim Duncan, Belichick wouldn’t be as successful without Brady.last_img read more

  • 3 Ways to Boost Productivity with Your Smartphone

    first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global It can be easy to waste time on a smartphone — texting friends, playing your favorite games or watching last night’s episode of Mad Men.But with the right tools and apps, you can use your phone to save time and be more productive at work. Here’s a look at three ways your smartphone can help you stay focused on growing your business.1. Managing tasks. Several mobile-friendly services can keep you attuned to what needs doing. The most useful ones can be accessed via the web on your computer, as well as a smartphone app.One example is Toodledo. I rely on this service to track everything I need to accomplish, sorting tasks into folders, such as by client names or general categories such as banking. Toodledo also lets you set priorities, due dates, reminders and more.The free version of Toodledo can be handy, but the pro version ($19.95 a year) adds especially useful functions for business users. For instance, the pro version lets you break tasks into sub-tasks — which can make the overall list less overwhelming and let you share tasks with others for delegation or collaboration. It also provides a secure internet connection, which can be important if you’re including sensitive info such as account numbers or client info in the notes for some tasks.Related: 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Smartphone for Your BusinessToodledo offers apps for the iPhone and iPad, but not for Android. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party Android task management apps that sync with Toodledo. Many of these are free, but one of the best and easiest to use, Pocket Informant, costs $4.99 and also syncs with Gmail’s tasks feature.One of the most popular mobile-friendly task management services is Remember the Milk. This free web-based service is a simple task list intended mainly for individuals. It offers apps for Android, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry. It also allows you to set task priorities and add tasks by e-mail, but you can’t create folders.There’s also OmniFocus, Mac-only task management software that’s based on David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology. At $80, it includes a complicated task review system that might be overkill for many smaller operations. There also are OmniFocus apps for the iPhone ($20) and iPad ($40).2. Scanning business cards and receipts.Collecting little pieces of paper can be the bane of an entrepreneur’s existence. I, for example, am good about jotting quick notes on business cards or receipts to help me recall why I saved them. But when I get home, I tend to put off entering that data into my computer or pulling out my scanner to process business expense receipts.Steve Robbins, executive coach and host of the “Get It Done Guy” podcast, recommends two apps for processing those annoying slips of paper. ScanBizCards, a free app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, lets you scan both sides of a business card on the spot — no need to type contact info into your mobile device. It uses optical character recognition to enter that data into the app’s address book, which you can export to your main address book. For $12 a year, the web sync option lets you manage all your stored cards via a web interface.Related: Must-Have Mobile Apps for Business TravelersRobbins also recommends JotNot Scanner, an iPhone app that lets you scan documents, optimize the file size for particular types of documents such as receipts, and organize scans into a password-protected document that you can email to, say, your bookkeeper. There’s a free version, and a pro version that costs $1.99.3. Limiting email responses.While receiving email on your smartphone is usually convenient, typing on a smartphone can be tedious, time-consuming and, thanks to auto correct, notoriously error-prone. Instead, try reading email on your phone and flagging messages that you wish to respond to, but whenever possible, waiting until you’re on a computer to write responses, Robbins says.If you must answer an email immediately from your phone, consider making a quick phone call instead. Or master the art of writing extremely brief answers to pressing matters. You can add a line to your phone’s email signature file that says: “Sent from my phone, so please excuse the brevity. I’ll send a longer response later if warranted.”A helpful resource on how to prevent email from sapping your productivity — whether on the phone or a computer — is the TED Email Charter, which provides an extensive list of tips and suggestions.Related: 3 Steps to Changing Mobile Service Carriers Register Now » June 19, 2012 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more