New forensic laser technique for hair analysis can reveal historical data

first_img More information: Laser ablation isotope ratio mass spectrometry for enhanced sensitivity and spatial resolution in stable isotope analysis, James J. Moran, Matt K. Newburn, M. Lizabeth Alexander, Robert L. Sams, James F. Kelly, Helen W. Kreuzer, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Article first published online: 12 APR 2011 DOI:10.1002/rcm.4985DOI: 10.1002/rcm.4985AbstractStable isotope analysis permits the tracking of physical, chemical, and biological reactions and source materials at a wide variety of spatial scales. We present a laser ablation isotope ratio mass spectrometry (LA-IRMS) method that enables δ13C measurement of solid samples at 50 µm spatial resolution. The method does not require sample pre-treatment to physically separate spatial zones. We use laser ablation of solid samples followed by quantitative combustion of the ablated particulates to convert sample carbon into CO2. Cryofocusing of the resulting CO2 coupled with modulation in the carrier flow rate permits coherent peak introduction into an isotope ratio mass spectrometer, with only 65 ng carbon required per measurement. We conclusively demonstrate that the measured CO2 is produced by combustion of laser-ablated aerosols from the sample surface. We measured δ13C for a series of solid compounds using laser ablation and traditional solid sample analysis techniques. Both techniques produced consistent isotopic results but the laser ablation method required over two orders of magnitude less sample. We demonstrated that LA-IRMS sensitivity coupled with its 50 µm spatial resolution could be used to measure δ13C values along a length of hair, making multiple sample measurements over distances corresponding to a single day’s growth. This method will be highly valuable in cases where the δ13C analysis of small samples over prescribed spatial distances is required. Suitable applications include forensic analysis of hair samples, investigations of tightly woven microbial systems, and cases of surface analysis where there is a sharp delineation between different components of a sample. © 2010 In their paper, published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, they describe a process they’ve devised whereby hair samples are pulled apart, rather than burned as a whole before being measured by a mass spectrometer. Such a process could be used to reveal personal details about someone, such as what they eaten recently; clues that might provide forensic scientists insight into the behavior of victims of foul play for example, or reveal information as the whereabouts of the accused during the time frame surrounding a crime.Because traditional laser analysis techniques tended to obliterate entire samples as they burned all of its parts together as a whole (leaving their gases to be released and measured in a spectrometer) Moran and his team chose to use a less destructive type of laser that uses only ultraviolet light (similar to the kind used for LASIK eye corrective surgery). They discovered that by doing so they could essentially break apart the individual pieces and parts of the hair as a hole was bored, which could then be burned separately and tested with the spectrometer; sort of like burning the filings left over when drilling into a piece of wood with an iron bit. Because hair grows slowly over time, it creates a timeline of sorts, with different stages representing differing days, weeks or even months The new technique allows for dozens of such holes up to be burned up and down the length of a single strand of hair, retrieving different samples that represent different points in time. Then, by studying the different stages of that timeline, analysts are able to piece together a historical picture of what someone has been eating during different times in the past.Currently the technique only looks at carbon isotopes released when hair is burned, which is how a historical diet is put together; subsequent experiments however will look at oxygen and nitrogen isotopes as well, to get a better picture of water, sulfur and other mineral intakes which could help identify other environmental circumstances prior to the sample being taken. Laser hair removal: No training required? Citation: New forensic laser technique for hair analysis can reveal historical data (2011, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Image: Wiley/Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, DOI:10.1002/rcm.4985 ( — Using a new laser technique, Jim Moran and his colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have devised a method of separating out the parts of hair samples that can reveal details about the recent history of the person to whom it belongs. 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

Investigation reveals black market in China for research paper authoring

first_img There have been reports of unscrupulous journals printing research papers without proper vetting, and other reports suggesting that there exists a black market in paper authorship. This new investigation by Science, is the first to publish direct evidence of such a black market operating in China. Hvistendahl reports on one instance where a suspected black-marketeer was contacted to inquire about having a name applied to an existing research paper. The contact quoted different prices for having a name included, depending on whether the person paying wished to be listed as the primary writer, or as merely a co-author, or even as just one of the team members. No money changed hands, as that would have been unethical for a Science reporter, but Hvistendahl reports that the paper that had been part of the earlier investigation showed up at a later date published in a reputable journal, along with different names attributed to the research effort—names of people that had all bought their way on.Hvistendahl notes that such a black market has arisen in China due to the enormous pressure Chinese researchers are feeling to publish something. In that country, it appears having one’s name attached to a research paper, matters more than actually conducting research. Hvistendahl also reports that people in China are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the “honor” of having their name printed as an author on a research paper.Hvistendahl writes that Science’s undercover investigation revealed a thriving black market in China for paper authorization, which includes “shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and compromised editors.” The undercover operation was conducted over a five month period and resulted in numerous examples of people at all levels of research in China participating in the black market in one way or another. They also found that it was possible to pay for someone to write a paper, attach a name and then submit and have it published in a reputable international journal—so long as the research it described passed a traditional vetting process.The investigative team also found doctors and others engaged in medical research that were willing to openly admit that the black market for research papers is thriving in China. All in all, the investigative team contacted 27 agencies involved in helping researchers get their work published—only five of them refused an offer to pay for adding a name to a research paper. Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards of many open-access journals Citation: Investigation reveals black market in China for research paper authoring (2013, November 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Science More information: China’s Publication Bazaar, Science 29 November 2013: Vol. 342 no. 6162 pp. 1035-1039. DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6162.1035 © 2013 ( —The journal Science has uncovered, via investigation, a thriving black market in science paper authoring—people are paying to have their names added to papers that have been written to describe research efforts. Mara Hvistendahl was the lead investigator and author of a paper published by Science, describing the operation and what was found. 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.last_img read more

Generating multiphoton quantum states on silicon

first_img Explore further Secure information transmission over 500m fiber links based on quantum technologies In a recent study now published in Light: Science & Applications, Ming Zhang, Lan-Tian Feng and an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the departments of quantum information, quantum physics and modern optical instrumentation in China, detailed a new technique to generate photon-pairs for use in quantum devices. In the study, they used a method known as four-wave mixing to allow three electromagnetic fields to interact and produce a fourth field. The team created the quantum states in a silicon nanophotonic spiral waveguide to produce bright, tunable, stable and scalable multiphoton quantum states. The technology is comparable with the existing fiber and integrated circuit manufacturing processes to pave the way to engineer a range of new generation photonic quantum technologies for applications in quantum communication, computation and imaging. The multiphoton quantum sources detailed in the work will play a critical role to improve the existing understanding of quantum information. Characterization of biphoton polarization-entangled states. (a) and (b) are twofold coincidences as a function of the idler polarizer angle when the signal polarizer angle was kept at 0° (red) and 45° (black), respectively. The error bar was obtained from the square root of the experimental data. (c) and (d) give the real (Re) and imaginary (Im) parts of the ideal density matrix and the measured density matrix of the biphoton entangled state from frequency channels ±5, respectively. The fidelity was 0.95 ± 0.01, confirming that the generated biphoton quantum state was of high quality and very close to the ideal maximally entangled states. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Schematic configuration of the experimental system to generate and characterize the multiphoton quantum state with a silicon nanophotonic waveguide. A pulse erbium-doped fiber laser with a repetition rate of 100 MHz was used as the pump light. After a VOA and a prefilter with a bandwidth of 100 GHz, the pump light was input into a Sagnac loop to generate the polarization-encoding quantum state. A postfilter with a bandwidth of 200 GHz was used to block the pump light. A DWDM filter was used to demultiplex photon pairs into the corresponding frequency channels, and a normal architecture for polarization state tomography was used to ascertain the quality of the entangled states. VOA variable optical attenuator, HWP half waveplate, PBS polarization beam splitter, QWP quarter waveplate, PC polarization controller, SNSPD superconducting nanowire single-photon detector. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Zhang et al. constructed the experimental setup in three parts to contain the (1) pump-laser modulator, (2) the photon source and (3) the state analyzer. In the pump-laser modulator they introduced a linearly polarized pulse erbium-doped fiber laser as the pump source with a repetition frequency of 100 MHz and a pulse duration time of 90 femtoseconds (fs). The scientists coordinated the pump light to pass through a 100 GHz bandwidth pre-filter, followed by a polarization controller (PC) and an optical circulator to finally couple into the photon source. They calculated the coherence time of the pulse laser light to be 20 picoseconds (ps) after going through the 100 GHz bandwidth prefilter and the propagation loss in the silicon spiral waveguide was approximately 1 dB/cm. Compared to multiphoton quantum states proposed with previous Spontaneous Four Wave Mixing (SFWM) processes, the present work used a silicon nanowire source with near-zero broadband dispersion. The experimental setup with the silicon nanowire did not demonstrate Raman scattering noise, which therefore greatly enhanced the number of photon pairs generated. Unlike with microresonators, Zhang et al. did not need to tune the operation wavelength in the experimental setup since they used silicon spiral waveguides instead. The scientists used grating couplers to couple-in the pump light and couple-out the generated photon pairs in the setup. As part of the photon source, Zhang et al. used a configuration with a Sagnac interferometer – a popular and self-stabilized scheme to generate polarization-entangled states. The experimental Sagnac interferometer contained two half-wave plates (HWPs), two quarter wave plates (QWPs), a polarization beam splitter (PBS) and the silicon spiral waveguide approximating a length of 1 cm to form a simple structure and compact footprint (170 x 170 µm2). The scientists used the combined HWP and QWP inserted between the PBS and the chip to control optical polarization and maximize the coupling efficiency of a photon pair. In the experiment, the on-chip generated photon pairs (idler and signal photons) could be superposed together in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise) for output from the Sagnac loop. At this point, the scientists used a dense wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) filter (fiber-optic transmission technique) to separate the signal and idler photons, or demultiplex them. They were thus able to freely select the photon pairs of any combined frequency channel via frequency detuning. The scientists noted that after going through the DWDM filters, the polarization and quantum states of the photon-pairs were unchanged. More information: Ming Zhang et al. Generation of multiphoton quantum states on silicon, Light: Science & Applications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Lucia Caspani et al. Integrated sources of photon quantum states based on nonlinear optics, Light: Science & Applications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2017.100 Alán Aspuru-Guzik et al. Photonic quantum simulators, Nature Physics (2012). DOI: 10.1038/nphys2253 Yin-Hai Li et al. On-Chip Multiplexed Multiple Entanglement Sources in a Single Silicon Nanowire, Physical Review Applied (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.7.064005 In the present work, Zhang et al. generated four-photon polarization encoding quantum states using degenerated spontaneous four-wave mixing (SFWM) in a silicon spiral waveguide. The scientists first demonstrated biphoton Bell entanglement quantum states with high brightness (270 kHz) and a high coincidence to accidental ratio (CAR, approximating 230) at a low pump power (120 µW). Thereafter, using the two biphoton Bell entangled states, Zhang et al generated the four-photon quantum state (with a pump power as low as 600 µW). The scientists projected this quantum product state to form a Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHz) state (i.e. a state in quantum information theory with at least three subsystems or particles) with 50 percent probability for further use in quantum information applications. Experiment results of two-photon coincidences between different combinations of the selected five pairs of signal-idler channels. Here the pump power injected to the Sagnac loop is 120 μW. The two-photon coincidences were measured for the selected five pairs of signal-idler channels. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Schematic diagram of the experimental system to generate and characterize the multiphoton quantum states with a silicon nanophotonic waveguide. The experimental setup contains a (1) pump laser modulator, (2) the photon source and (3) the state analyzer. The scientists used the combined HWP (half-wave plates, red) and QWP (quarter-wave plates, blue) inserted between the PBS (polarization beam splitter, green) and the chip to control optical polarization and maximize the coupling efficiency of a photon pair. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Citation: Generating multiphoton quantum states on silicon (2019, May 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The scientists generated multiphoton quantum states using a single-silicon nanophotonic waveguide and detected four-photon states with a low pump power of 600 µW to achieve experimental multiphoton quantum interference verified with quantum state tomography. Zhang and Feng et al. recorded the quantum interference visibilities at a value greater than 95 percent with high fidelity. The multiphoton quantum source is fully compatible with on-chip processes of quantum manipulation and quantum detection to form large-scale quantum photonic integrated circuits (QPICs). The work has significant potential for multiphoton quantum research. Multiphoton quantum sources are critical to build several practical platforms for quantum communication, computation, simulation and metrology. Physicists have made great efforts to realize high quality, bright and scalable multiphoton quantum states in previous work, to activate powerful quantum technologies by multiplexing several biphoton sources to generate eight-photon and 10-photon entanglement. However, the efficacy of such multiplexing systems decreased with the number of entangled photons. At present, quantum photonic integrated circuits (QPCIs) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology remain promising to realize high quality photon-pair sources. Silicon has several advantages as a substrate to implement QPICs, which include third-order optical nonlinearity of the material and ultra-high refraction index contrast for applications as SOI nanophotonic waveguides. Silicon is also compatible with complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes—attractive for large-scale photonic integration. While these advantages have allowed physicists to experimentally realize biphoton quantum sources, multiphoton quantum states on silicon still remain to be generated and reported. Zhang et al. then characterized the quality of the biphoton state generated in the experiment. For this, they selected five pairs of frequency channels used in the study to generate the signal and idler photons, to test the stability of the system. They measured the two-photon coincidences between different combinations of signal and idler channels and showed that the crosstalk was negligible for most frequency channels. After calculating the maximal polarization-entangled Bell state, they confirmed the existence of entanglement and high fidelity of the biphoton state. They credited the high coincidence-to-accidental ratio (CAR) observed to the ultralow nonlinear noise in the setup; necessary to generate multiphoton entanglement for further quantum information applications. For complete characterization, the scientists connducted quantum state tomography to reconstruct the experimental state density matrix architecture by completing multiple measurements of the relevant quantum state. The results confirmed that the generated biphoton quantum states are of high quality to approach the ideal maximally entangled states. The scientists then conveniently generated multiphoton entangled states by multiplexing the biphoton states in different frequency channels. They obtained a fourfold coincidence rate and showed the observed four-photon state as the tensor product of two biphoton entangled Bell states. The four-photon interference patterns agreed with the theoretical prediction, to unfold differently from the previously observed biphoton entangled states. Based on the outcomes of a clear interference pattern and high interference visibilities, Zhang et al. verified the feasibility of the experimental technique to establish on-chip multiphoton quantum states. As before, the scientists obtained quantum state tomography of the four-photon quantum states to reconstruct the density matrix, yielding satisfactory results for further quantum information applications. In this way, the scientists experimentally demonstrated the generation of four-photon quantum states using a silicon nanophotonic spiral waveguide. Zhang et al. aim to improve the photon collection efficiency to increase the number of entangled photons in the system in the future. The multiphoton quantum state source developed in the study is compatible with contemporary fiber and chip-scale architectures for large scale production. Zhang et al. therefore propose the integration of the attractive features as a scalable and practical platform for future quantum processing applications. Characterization of four-photon polarization-encoding quantum states. (a) and (b) are fourfold coincidences as a function of the idler polarizer angles when the signal polarizer angles were kept at 0° (red) and 45° (black), respectively. The error bar was obtained from the square root of the experimental data. (c) and (d) give the real (Re) and imaginary (Im) parts of the ideal density matrix and the measured density matrix of the four-photon quantum states, respectively. The fidelity was 0.78 ± 0.02, which is completely satisfactory for further quantum information processing. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0153-y Journal information: Light: Science & Applications © 2019 Science X Network , Nature Physics 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

Hospitals medical colleges ban chicken from menu

first_imgKolkata: Following the carcass meat case that has already triggered a flutter in the state, various medical colleges and hospitals in the city have decided not to serve chicken among the patients as a precautionary measure.Most of the medical college and hospital authorities in the city have issued instructions to keep chicken out of the menu, in view of the rotten meat row. It has been learnt that top medical colleges in the city, including the multi super-speciality SSKM and the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, have decided not to serve chicken among the patients, as it might create confusion among them. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to sources, patients in the government hospitals or medical colleges get chicken once or twice a week. But for the last few days, the hospital authorities have asked the catering companies to not provide chicken to the patients, until the dead meat debacle gets sorted. Instead of chicken, the patients are getting fish or egg curry, depending on their choice.It may be mentioned here that in SSKM Hospital, patients get chicken once in a week during lunch. If any patient is willing to have vegetarian dishes, they can easily opt for them. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to a senior official of SSKM, ever since the matter came to light, there has been an impact of the incident on the patients as well. Many patients have also become unwilling to have chicken. “There is no point in serving chicken at a time when a huge amount of rotten meat has been recovered from various parts of the state and the matter is still under investigation,” he said.The other list of food items on offer remains unchanged. Like usual, the patients are getting milk, bread and banana for breakfast. On some days of the week, the patients the getting vegetable dishes, while on the other days they can opt for fish or egg. A senior official of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital said that the revised menu will continue till further order issued in this regard.last_img read more

Textile Minister launches Galleria Intima 2015

first_imgTaking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recently launched “Make in India” forward, Intimate Apparel Association of India (IAAI) organised a 2-day trade fair which focussed on intimate wear manufacturing in India. Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge) inaugurated the exhibition on Wednesday. The Joint Secretary for Textile Exports, Sunaina Tomar was also present. A white paper on ‘Make in India, Make for the World: Developing India as a quality intimate supplier for global markets’ was also simultaneously released by the Textile Minister. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This year, in the fourth edition of India’s biggest intimate apparel trade fair, Galleria Intima will be in focus in order to to transform it as the next major hub of intimate wear manufacturing. The exhibition showcased everything from fibres to laces as well as hooks and packaging. Visitors from a wide variety of sectors including brand owners, manufacturers of intimate wear, designers, export houses, large format retailers, online retailers, buying houses were part of it. More than 1000 brands from India, as well as 80 exhibitors from more than 10 countries and 15 Chinese companies participated, making Galleria Intima 4.0 an all-encompassing platform for intimate apparel. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSantosh Kumar Gangwar said, “Our honourable Prime Minister’s call of Make in India is deeply etched in the soul of the country. Our textile industry is capable of manufacturing products of high global demand. One of our USPs is the creation of beautiful traditional motifs by our highly skilled manpower. The intimate wear industry is highly capable of increasing the exports of the nation to European, Japanese and American markets. With domestic demand on the rise, it is also important for good quality products to be manufactured within the country to replace imports.”last_img read more

Unity in diversity is Indias strength Mamata

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said that unity in diversity is India’s strength, and asked people to uphold the spirit and remain united. Referring to a Sanskrit phrase found in Maha Upanishad, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, meaning, “the world is one family”, the chief minister, on International Human Solidarity Day, urged everybody to stay united and fight the divisive forces. “On International Human Solidarity Day, let us pledge to uphold the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ in truest sense. Unity in diversity is India’s strength,” Banerjee tweeted. “We must all be united and fight against the forces which seek to divide us for selfish reasons,” she added. The United Nations’ (UN) International Human Solidarity Day is annually held on December 20 to celebrate unity in diversity. It also aims to remind people on the importance of solidarity in working towards eradicating poverty.last_img read more

Shopaholics onestop destination

first_img“I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.” – Carrie Bradshaw Fashionistas in town had a lovely time recently as they could feast their eyes upon a fabulous new collection launched. There could not be more perfect timing to launch the New Spring Summer Collection at Agashe, this year marking the celebration of their one year anniversary. They launched yet another fabulous spring summer collection with select prêt designers, new and old. Sheena Agarwal the owner and curator of Agashe is an image consultant and offers her expert guidance based on the look one aims. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThey launched yet another fabulous spring summer collection with select prêt designers, new and old. Sheena Agarwal the owner and curator of Agashe is an image consultant and offers her expert guidance based on the look one aims.Agashe is an up market, multi designer Fashion and lifestyle store that offers both tradition and style infused with a breathe of modernity. The store hosts and offers over 60 of India’s luxury prêt fashion designers with varied options ranging from Rs 5,000 to 50,000. Agashe offers both Western as well as Indian garments, and accessories for fashion enthusiasts under one roof. This is the perfect spot for all avid shoppers to stop by browse and pick from the latest collections of designers like Pallavi Mohan, GARO, HUEMN, Urvashi Joneja, Duett Luxury, Fadh.K, Sumaan Natwani, and many others. Recently they unveiled their Spring Summer line (SS’17) with the fashion show as it celebrated the first year anniversary. Some of the city’s famous and stylish diva’s like Dimple Fouzdar, Sanjana Thandani, Rachna Sandhu, Lupita Saluja, Mallika Jain were part of the celebration. Shopaholics who like to keep themselves updated about the current fashion and trends would find good company in here surrounded by the latest designs in the SS’17 collection. The pret store in MG road, Gurgaon has launched about 30 new designers’ Spring Summer collection.last_img read more

Drives to curb dengue threat ahead of summer launched

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) launched its first phase of anti-dengue drives in the city ahead of the summer season on Saturday. About thousand people took part in the central rally, which was taken out from the KMC headquarters on S N Banerjee Road, to create awareness about the disease. Another couple of thousands took part in various rallies organised by 144 ward councillors as part of the first phase of the city’s battle against dengue. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe central rally, which was attended by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh, the state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, special municipal commissioners Tapas Chowdhury and Shahzad Shibli, administrative officials of various departments, also had film actors, including Deb and Mimi, and former Indian Olympian Gurbux Singh and poet Chandril Bhattacharya. Deb and Mimi urged local residents not to allow water-logging in front of their homes and emphasised on preventive measures to control the disease. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPeople were accompanied by a musical band, Chhau dancers and a group of musicians with dhol kartaal, who performed on various folk tunes of Bengal. Some of them held placards with thought-provoking messages aimed to create awareness about the disease donning costumes of Doraemon, Motu Patlu and Mickey Mouse. Lauding the initiative by the deputy mayor for organising such drives and bringing down the number of dengue cases last year, Hakim said the chances of dengue and malaria breakouts seemed bleak this year. But it is better to take precautionary measures, he said. Citing a recent incident, in which a few KMC workers were attacked by members of a household during a dengue drive, Hakim said: “Do not assault or attack civic workers who visit your home for inspection. I request your cooperation in this regard.” The second phase of the drive is scheduled to commence from July and continue till October.last_img read more

Latenight use of gadgets leaves kids sleepdeprived

first_imgNew York: Most parents believe that an excessive late night use of gadgets has significantly hampered the sleep patterns of their teenaged children, leading to poor academic performance, researchers warn. According to them, 56 per cent of parents fall in this category. In the study, published by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, 43 per cent of parents said their teenage children are struggling to fall asleep or wake up. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf’The poll suggests that sleep problems are common among teenagers and parents believe late-night use of electronics are a main contributor,’ said Sarah Clark, poll co-director at M.P.H. For the study, the researchers included responses from 1,018 parents with at least one child who are aged between 13 –18 years of age. Teenagers’ hectic schedules and homework load – as well as anxiety about school performance and peer relationships – are also seen by parents as contributing to sleep problems. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSome parents also reported that their child experienced occasional sleep problems (one to two nights per week) while 18 percent believe their teenage kids struggle with sleep three or more nights per week. In addition, 10 per cent of parents believe their teenage kids’ sleep problems are associated with their health conditions or medication. Other reasons of sleep disturbances included irregular sleep patterns due to homework or activities which accounted for 43 per cent, worries about school (31 per cent) and concerns about social life (23 per cent), the study noted. The parents have encouraged their children to try different strategies at home to help them cope up with sleep problems, including limiting caffeine in the evening (54 per cent), turning off electronics and cell phones at bedtime (53 per cent), having a snack before bed (44 per cent) and natural or herbal remedies, such as melatonin (36 per cent). Twenty-eight per cent of parents said their kids have also tried some type of medication to address sleep problems. “Parents whose teen continue to have frequent sleep problems, despite following recommendations for healthy sleep hygiene, may want to talk to a health care provider, for the well being of their kid,” said Clark.last_img read more

Massive StoneCutting Tools Shed New Light into the Building of Stonehenge

first_imgThere are roughly 175 miles between Pembrokeshire in Wales and the Salisbury Plain in England. The first represents the location of neolithic quarries from which stone was extracted some 5,000 years ago. The second is the famous Stonehenge ― a prehistoric shrine whose origins remain a subject of heated debate between scholars. The relation between the two places ― besides the distance ― has long been a subject of extensive research. While the ancient world was no stranger to monolithic structures which would be difficult to construct even by today’s standards, the difference between Stonehenge and other structures lies in a choice to neglect local stones and, shall we say, rather “import” them from a great distance.Long shadows from the early morning sun at StonehengeWith a number of questions still open, scientists on the Stonehenge case announced in February 2019, that they just might be one step closer to solving the mystery.A discovery by an archaeology team led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson of University College London’s Institute of Archaeology of massive stone-cutting tools found in Pembrokeshire has shed new light on this complex debate.Archaeologists claim to have found the prehistoric tools used to quarry the original standing stones that date from the earliest phases of Stonehenge, just after the religious site adopted its monumental stone features.View of the western half of the Preseli Hills taken from 1/2 mile north of Crymych on A478. Photo by Tony Holkham CC BY 3.0The tools were found on the northern slopes of the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, southwestern Wales, where two former quarries were located.Experts who had used chemical analysis to track the bluestone from Stonehenge to Pembrokeshire claim that there are at least three more locations that were used to quarry stones for the sacred site in Salisbury Plain.View from Carn Menyn eastwards towards Foel Drygarn (centre-left) and Y Frenni (centre-right) in the distance. Photo by Tony Holkham CC BY SA 3.0The discovery includes several hammerstones used for inserting and forcing in the wedges, which would, in return, cause for the large parts of the stone to detach from the rock. The wedges were made from sandstone, and 15 of them have been discovered during this particular excavation.Related Video: Hunger Stone Warnings – Haunting past messages revealed on stones from droughtApart from the tools, traces of V-shaped slots were also discovered in two columns of what was once the Pembrokeshire quarry. The slots seem to have been fitted, but for some unknown reason, never used. It was as if the ancient stonemasons had left it there as evidence of their methods and work.StonehengeRegarding the discovery, as well as the implications it presents, Pearson gave a statement for the British archaeological journal Antiquity soon after they went public with the excavation results:Every other Neolithic monument in Europe was built of megaliths brought from no more than 10 miles away. We’re now looking to find out just what was so special about the Preseli Hills 5,000 years ago, and whether there were any important stone circles here, built before the bluestones were moved to Stonehenge.A standing stone in the Preseli Hills mountain range, Pembrokeshire, Wales. This stone is one of the bluestones from this area which were used to construct the inner circle of Stonehenge.Theories are currently being spawned on how and why were these prehistoric men so keen on crossing such a distance while transporting stones that weighed up to 4 tons each.As for transport, there are two dominant options. First of them ― and perhaps the most logical ― was that the stones were carried on rafts, or catamaran-like boats along the coast, and then transported via the Avon river to within 20 miles of Stonehenge’s location.The prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in England. Focus is on the grass.The second theory is presumed to be dominantly by land. The idea of transporting 79 huge pieces of stone across the country by land must have been a very strong demonstration of might ― one that could have symbolically consolidated a power struggle between rival tribes and clans that inhabited Britain in the third millennium B.C.In such case, they would probably be carried by stretchers, sleds or rollers facing an unforgiving terrain, besides the long distance. The use of rivers would be fairly limited in this case, therefore demanding tons of manpower to be employed constantly.These two options offer a solution on how the bluestones of Stonehenge were transported. However, “why” is an entirely different issue.Rare and beautifully executed Engraved illustration of Druids Worshiping at Stonehenge, England in Ancient Times Engraving from The Popular Pictorial Bible,By analyzing the bones excavated in the vicinity of the site, the scientists have determined that a number of them originated from the very area where the stones can be traced. Therefore, it is possible that the community that built Stonehenge had migrated from southwestern Wales, and possibly even brought the stones that hold such great cultural influence with them.Photography of Stonehenge at the sunsetSome scientists argue that perhaps the first stones that form the foundation of the Salisbury Plain might have served earlier as part of a similar structure, somewhere around Pembrokeshire.Read another story from us: Conservationists Aren’t Happy About New Spielberg Production Near StonehengeThis would mean that there was an original, proto-Stonehenge in Wales, before the one in England. If true, this theory could easily shake many notions regarding the origins, the culture and the ritual role of Stonehenge. However, evidence for such groundbreaking claims is yet to be found.last_img read more

VIDEO 6yearold ankle breaker puts opponents on skates like Barry Sanders

first_imgHere’s some footage of the Blaze in full pads and in a more formal flag league. He still dominates even though the pads and helmet weigh more than he does. Barry Sanders embarrassed more tacklers than any running back in NFL history, and now there’s a nasty 6-year old ankle breaker that’s tearing up youth football with Sanders like dominance.A highlight video of Rudolph “Blaze” Ingram embarrassing entire teams of unlucky kids who have the unenviable task of trying to pull his flag is going viral and it’s as entertaining as any training camp video you’ll see this week.He’s apparently the fastest 6-year-old in the nation and he’s an absolute nightmare to tackle. You want cutbacks? No problem. Change of direction? The Blaze has got you. Watch this kid rack up bodies.last_img read more

ATT Scraps Plans for InFlight HighSpeed Internet Service

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 1 min read November 11, 2014 Enroll Now for Free AT&T Inc has scrapped its plans to launch high-speed Internet service on commercial flights in order to focus on international expansion and video offerings, the company said in a statement on Monday.On Friday, the carrier announced a $1.7 billion acquisition of Mexican operator Iusacell, AT&T’s second major acquisition this year following a $48.5 billion bid for satellite operator DirecTV.”After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the in-flight connectivity industry. We are focusing our capital on transformative investments, such as international and video,” said Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T.In April, AT&T and Honeywell International Inc had announced a partnership to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation in the U.S.The product would have competed with in-flight internet services provider Gogo Inc., whose shares soared 10 percent on the news. (Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Alan Crosby) This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

Panasonics Multilingual Megaphone Translates as You Speak

first_imgNovember 18, 2016 Enroll Now for Free As Japanese tourism grows, businesses struggle to bridge the language divide between international visitors and locals. Panasonic, however, may have a solution: a multilingual loudspeaker.The Megahonyaku — an amalgamation of “megaphone” (megahon) and “translation” (hon’yaku) — automatically translates Japanese into English, Chinese and Korean.  Simply speak into the microphone; the machine listens and analyzes sentence structure, and transcribes the words. Using the integrated touch screen, pressing the respective dialect button outputs your sentence in one of the three available languages.Aimed at corporate customers including train stations and airports, the amplifier could prove very useful in crowded locations and tourist destinations where information is dispensed to groups who may all speak different languages.The Megahonyaku, The Japan Times reports, comes pre-installed with 300 common sentences in Japanese, including “The train has been delayed” and “Watch your step.” Additional phrases will be available via Web-based updates.Making your voice heard in a congested, noisy terminal isn’t always an easy task — even with a portable PA system. But the Megahonyaku’s speech recognition system is unaffected by background noise, the Times said, and is “almost certain” to recognize preset sentences if not spoken verbatim.Panasonic did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.The megaphone is expected for launch Dec. 20, on sale for less than ¥20,000 ($183) per month on a three-year contract, which includes future updates and maintenance.Panasonic is also developing a number of other audio solutions, with an eye on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which promises throngs of international travelers spilling into the capital city. This story originally appeared on PCMag 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

How To Get Your Staff On Board With Your New App

first_img Listen Now This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. September 6, 2017 6 min read You’re app is live! How exciting! But how do you make sure it’s a success? A key factor in your app marketing is your staff’s buy-in. If the staff knows and understands the value of the app, they will be able to relay this information to the customer. The more excited and knowledgeable your employees are about this new piece of technology, the better your app will perform. So, it’s time to train your staff on your business’ new app.Step #1: Overcome sceptical employeesYour new app will boost sales, increase productivity and improve operations. Regardless of these strong benefits, getting every employee on board can still be a challenge. Employees might be skeptical to adopt any new technology, as they are happy with the status quo. According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, 63 percent managers said that the pace of technological change in their workplace is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools.”The solution to dealing with skeptical employees is allowing them to understand why the app is an improvement from what they had before. The job of a small business owner or manager is to help people cross that bridge, and get them comfortable with the new technology. If your employees see how it will make their jobs easier and better, they will embrace the change.This is where you state your case, putting forth a compelling “vision for what the technology is and what it’s going to do.” You need to demonstrate that the app offers economic and rational benefits for the business. And even more important is to help them understand what’s in it for them.For example:Higher productivity: Your job will become more efficient, as you will spend less time taking phone orders.Higher revenue: With more orders coming in, you will be making more tips.Happier customers: With the new loyalty program, you will have more positive interactions with customers.Direct feedback loop: Customers will be able to share what you did great and where you could improve.As a small business owner, think of the ways in which you were persuaded to invest in a mobile app. What convinced you that this was the right decision? What benefits are you expecting to see from its implementation? Your employees are probably going to need the same amount of convincing you needed before you started the app project.Step #2: Prepare customized staff trainingIt is important to take into account individual differences like interest and familiarity with digital technology. Some of your employees won’t be able to live without their digital devices, while others might have difficulty using their smartphone. Your training efforts should reflect these differences. Think of your employees who struggle the most with adapting to technology.There are many different training approaches you can use, but your app training will be most efficient if you take a hands-on approach. A face-to-face training is going to be the most impactful and useful method, as you can personally teach your staff the ins and outs of the new app and allow them to ask any questions they have. We suggest calling a meeting with the entire team and start with a presentation on the new app and its functions.Part of this training should also consist of setting specific and measurable goals. These training goals should outline what each employee will be able to accomplish with the new app. You can set a quota for new app downloads, for example. Maybe you want at least 20 downloads per week, and the staff needs to work together to reach this. Keep these goals in mind when training starts to ensure that each employee knows how to reach the objective.However, simply standing in front of the group and showing them the new technology on a screen is not enough. After the training session, give them a chance to test it out. Have everyone download the app to their own phone and experiment with it. Besides understanding the app’s value, they should also be knowledgeable about how each feature works.Step #3: Make it funOnce your business has fully implemented the mobile app, share the positive impact it is having with your staff. Have you seen a steady increase in loyal members? Have orders or reservations increased? Has your business received new positive reviews? Highlighting these quick wins ensure continued support for the app.You can make these quick wins even more fun by rewarding employees who have effectively incorporated the app in their daily work duties. You can get creative with this! For example, you can organize a contest where the winner is the employee who got the most customers to download the app. Their prize could be a compensation, a special perk, a recognition or anything else that would get them motivated. You could hang up a running tally of the employees’ scores in the break room to spark some fun and friendly competition. Experiment with gamification to create a buzz around the mobile app amongst your staff.Step #4: Provide feedbackFeedback is one of the most important parts of implementing new technology in a business. Open up the communication channels, so your staff feels comfortable sharing both the positives and negatives of the new app. Ask them how they think the loyalty program is working. Ask them how the mobile ordering workflow is treating them. Ask them how the app has improved their daily tasks. Take their feedback seriously, as your employees are the ones using the app every single day. For instance, if they mention that customers aren’t participating in the loyalty program because the rewards don’t get them excited, it’s time to switch it up. When there are issues, you will be able to tackle them before they spread to your customer base. In turn, you can also give your employees constructive feedback on how they are doing with the app.ConclusionThe only way your new mobile app is going to exceed expectations is if your staff is 100 percent on board. They hold the power to make the app a huge success. It is your job as a small business owner to get them as excited about the new app as you are. Customers will pick up on this positivity and be more likely to give the app a try.  Problem Solvers with Jason Feiferlast_img read more

Why Companies Are Taking It Upon Themselves to Help Workers Learn New

first_imgJune 13, 2018 Listen Now 8 min read In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace.When Codecademy co-founder and CEO Zach Sims was gearing up to launch his online coding class platform back in 2011, he kept hearing reports of how the workforce was not equipped with high-demand technical skills. The majority of companies, he recalls learning from one study, wished their employees had more skills training before they started on the job. He set out to build a tool that would help close the gap.Back then, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the unemployment rate hovered around 9 percent. Today, it’s a mere 3.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies are competing for talent highly skilled talent, but internal training programs are still few and far between.“Companies are having trouble keeping up,” says Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning platform Coursera, of the rapid rate of technological acceleration worldwide today. “Even large companies that have a dedicated learning and development function don’t have the resources and expertise to teach all of those new skills to people spread around the world.” For small companies, such resources are obviously even more limited.According to a Bank of America report, small-business owners listed training and developing existing staff as the number-one priority for using loan capital in 2015. But as Deloitte found in a 2017 survey, more than half of companies do not have learning programs focused on building skills for the future. But the tide could be changing.In May, Walmart announced that it would begin offering to cover U.S. workers’ college expenses — tuition, fees and books — leaving the recipient of the program responsible for only $1 per day toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business or supply chain management from one of three universities.“Walmart is just the beginning of the education and upscaling that’s going to be happening in the workplace, sponsored by employers who are realizing they’re not going to be able to hire and fire their way out of this problem,” Maggioncalda says. “It has now become mission-critical, existential.”Discrepancies between worker qualifications and company needs persist, despite the emergence of programs like these. Online learning platforms are increasingly vying to be part of the solution — not only to help bolster the talent supply, but also to build brand awareness.Take a class for work“What we found early on was that the people using the product weren’t just individual students, but they were also employees at companies,” Sims says of Codeademy’s user base. Workers were presenting completion certificates to their employers to verify that they’d learned new skills, or getting reimbursed by their companies for their enrollment fees.Related: This AI Tool Helps Companies Eliminate Hiring Bias in the Name of ProductivityToday, Sims says that Codecademy’s target market is still individual consumers who want to learn to code, but that the appetite from the enterprise side has resulted in Codecademy creating some customized materials for companies. It does this by stringing together existing Codecademy courses into a curriculum or, for instance, by inputting a company’s data into courses so that learners can recognize how to apply their new skills.Coursera, on the other hand, launched in 2012 and initially focused on partnering with universities to offer their courses online. But like Codecademy, Coursera noticed enterprise adoption. Users were registering for accounts on Coursera with their work email addresses. Before long, companies approached Coursera with interest in offering its catalog to their employees.In 2016, Coursera launched Coursera for Business, and over the past year, this arm of the online learning company has grown twentyfold. It counts about 1,000 companies as customers, most of which are have less than 1,000 employees, but 30 of which are among the Fortune 500, a Coursera spokesperson tells Entrepreneur.The most popular courses among these customers are deep learning, machine learning, data science and digital marketing. Many programs are available piecemeal, as “modules” of a larger degree offered from Coursera’s university partners — a faster and more flexible option than going back to school, which will be increasingly crucial as technology accelerates and workers require retraining throughout their 40-year (or longer) careers.Since Coursera for Business launched, Maggioncalda has made a couple of conclusions about how companies can most effectively harness digital learning tools to train their workers.What’s in it for me?“The ones who seem to do the best are the ones who know, ‘What types of competencies do I need to teach certain functions in my company?’” Maggioncalda says. Rather than just trying to foster a culture of learning by making online courses available “cafeteria style” as a company perk, he says, businesses that target specific skills for specific employees have the most to gain. “People are pretty busy, and they don’t necessarily have time or want to learn general things,” he notes.When employers point employees toward specific courses, it motivates those who might not know where to start, Maggioncalda says, or who want to develop skills with their long-term careers in mind, beyond their current company. Employees have to recognize what’s in it for them and have a reward-based incentive — not a negative incentive, i.e. either take the course or lose your job. Companies also have to make sure employees have sufficient time set aside to complete the learning program, he adds.But why would a company invest in helping a worker learn a skill, given the risk that they could leave and take it to a competitor?“You have to think about the alternative,” Maggioncalda says. “So, I’m going to keep my people really uninformed and laggards, so that they don’t go to work for somebody else, but guess what? Now you have a not very qualified employee base.”If you need it, help build it.Coursera and Codecademy both also partner with companies to offer skills that those partners see lacking in the marketplace. Earlier this year, Google and Coursera partnered on a professional IT certificate, available to anyone regardless of whether they have a college background, which teaches basic information technology skills students can apply at any company — not just Google.Then, there are what are called content partnerships on online course platforms. To cite another Google example, Coursera hosts Google Cloud developer training materials. Employees at any company that uses Google Cloud infrastructure need Google Cloud developer skills. If Google doesn’t facilitate training for these workers, who will?Related: Google Is Offering Free Career-Prep Courses to Help You Get a JobThis trend extends beyond online course platforms, of course. Even cryptocurrencies are getting in on the action. Dash, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company behind the digital currency of the same name, recently partnered with Arizona State University to offer a graduate course (starting in the fall), as well as research fellowships. Both are focused on blockchain development, the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies. Hundreds of prospective students applied for scholarships to the new program, and Dash awarded 20 for this first year.“We spend, on average, six months onboarding new employees to understand blockchain,” says Dash CEO Ryan Taylor. “Having even a cursory understanding of it will allow to get new hires up to speed more quickly.” But he notes that other companies moving into the blockchain space will benefit from this talent pipeline, echoing Maggioncalda’s argument that the rising tide lifts all boats, and explaining that the partnership puts Dash top of mind with students who would otherwise gravitate toward household names.“I think of it as a mindshare play,” Taylor says of the partnership’s role in recruitment. He explains that talent acquisition is just one component of whether his company will succeed or fail, especially because Dash doesn’t have a lot of direct competitors. Even if it did, companies collaborating to create shared talent pools isn’t a novel concept, he points out.The course will provide a background in the legal ramifications and regulatory limitations for blockchain, business models for funding blockchain projects and more, Taylor says. Anyone working on implementing the technology will need that foundation in addition to grasping the basics of the technology itself.“The world’s changing so fast, mostly from globalization and technology,” Maggioncalda says. “The ways that businesses work, the types of jobs that are out there and the types of skills needed for those jobs is accelerating at an increased rate.”center_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feiferlast_img read more

Windows 10 Updater Disabler

first_imgWindows 10 Updater Disabler by Martin Brinkmann on December 01, 2016 in Windows – Last Update: July 05, 2017 – 49 commentsWindows 10 Updater Disabler is a new program for Microsoft’s operating system that turns updates on or off reliably.Windows 10 offers less UI control over the updating behavior of the operating system than previous versions of Windows.If you check the settings application for instance, you only get options to defer feature updates if you run Pro or Enterprise, but no longer an option to switch the updating process to manual, or to deactivate Windows Update.If you want control over the update process, you have to look elsewhere for these settings. One reliable way of disabling updates is to disable the Windows Update service.This requires that you open the Services manager, locate the service and change its startup parameter and status.You would then have to enable the service again whenever you want the operating system to check for updates.Windows 10 Updater DisablerWindows 10 Updater Disabler is a program for Windows that installs a service that blocks Windows Update from installing updates on the computer.The service does not make use of Registry options to block Windows Update, as they may be modified by updates eventually (e.g. reset).It runs checks for Windows Update’s status regularly and terminates it when found to be running.Instead, it uses an undocumented system call to check the current state of Windows Update and tries to terminate it immediately.The service disables all scheduled tasks that are related to Windows Update on top of that when installed on the system.InstallationTo install the Service, do the following:Download the Updater Disabler archive from the WinAero website, and extract it once downloaded.Open an elevated command prompt. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys, and hit the Enter-key.The title of the command prompt window begins with Administrator if it is elevated.Navigate to the folder you have extracted the Updates Disabler program to (use cd folder name for that, e.g. cd c:\users\martin\downloads\updaterdisablerRun the command updaterdisabler.exe -install.If things worked out fine, you should get the following echoes on the command line:UpdateDisabler is installed.Service Start pending …Service started successfully.You can verify this in the Services configuration interface as well.You should see the Update Disabler Service listed in the interface when you open the Services management console. It should have the status of running, and the startup type of automatic.If you try an update check after installing the service, you will get an error message which confirms that Windows Update is disabled: We couldn’t install some updates because the PC was turned off.UninstallationUninstallation works pretty much like installation, only that you need to run the program with a different parameter.You do need to open an elevated command prompt window again and navigate to the UpdaterDisabler directory.Run the command updaterdisabler.exe -removeThe program echoes steps of the process that indicate that the service is stopped and then removed.To verify that this is indeed the case, check Services. The service should not be listed there anymore. Also, you will notice that update checks are working again just like they did before.Closing WordsUpdater Disabler requires more testing on many more devices. It did work well during tests, but it is highly suggested you back up important data before you run the software.Anyway, the program offers another option to block Windows Update from doing its job. If you prefer to wait days, weeks or months before you install released updates, this is an reliable option to achieve that.You can download the program from WinAero, but it has been published originally on the My Digital Life forum.SummaryArticle NameWindows 10 Updater DisablerDescriptionWindows 10 Updater Disabler is a new program for Microsoft’s operating system that turns updates on or off reliably.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Windows 7 Microsoft waves an early goodbye

first_imgWindows 7: Microsoft waves an early goodbye by Martin Brinkmann on January 15, 2017 in Windows – Last Update: January 18, 2017 – 84 commentsMicrosoft’s Windows 7 operating system is still the world’s most widely used OS, but that does not stop Microsoft from waving an early goodbye to the operating system.The company informed customers on the German Microsoft press site that support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020: about three years from today.This means, according to Microsoft, that devices won’t receive security updates or technical support anymore if they still run Windows 7 by that time.If you are a regular here on Ghacks, or on other tech sites, you know that support will run out. You know about the Windows lifecycle, and that Windows 7 won’t be supported forever by Microsoft.Microsoft waving goodbye to Windows 7Microsoft’s press release paints a grim picture, highlighting that Windows 7 is the cause for high operating costs, that Windows 7 is susceptible for malware attacks causing a reduction in work time, and the cause for an increase in support requests.In addition, manufacturers have begun to stop providing drivers for Windows 7 for hardware they release; Windows 7 won’t support the newest chips by AMD, Intel or Qualcomm on top of all that.Microsoft’s solution for all of this is the company’s newest operating system Windows 10. It states that it was never easier to switch from an older version of Windows to Windows 10. Windows 10 furthermore would offer better and exclusive security features and non-security features such as biometric authentication or the personal assistant Cortana.My TakeMicrosoft gets some of the facts right. Windows 7 support will run out in 2020, there is no doubt about that.It is also okay to inform customers about the end of support for a much used operating system, even three years in advance. Home users may not have any issues changing an operating system from one week to the next, but companies may need months or even years in advanced to prepare for that.But the press release is not entirely fair when it comes to Windows 7. I cannot really confirm for instance that companies have stopped distributing drivers for Windows 7 with their hardware components.While that may be the case for a small selection of components, it seems highly unlikely that companies would stop producing drivers for the most used operating system out there at this point in time.If there is one company that did that, it is Microsoft itself as company executives made the decision not to long ago to support newer chips by AMD or Intel only on Windows 10 and not on older versions of the Windows operating system. That decision was made deliberately by Microsoft.Windows 10 offers better out of the box security than Windows 7, but it should be clear that security can always be better, and that third-party software, and making good use of common sense, may improve it significantly.Closing WordsIt is clear that the time that Windows 7 has left is running out. Three years is a long time however, and the prospect of migrating to an operating system that gets new feature upgrades twice a year may not be to the liking of companies who prefer as little change as possible when it comes to operating systems.Sure, there is the long term servicing branch of the Enterprise edition of Windows 10, but it is reserved to the Enterprise edition. Small businesses, and medium sized businesses who use Pro versions of Windows 10 face the tough challenge of having to upgrade their devices to these new feature upgrade versions of Windows 10 regularly.There is also the privacy issue. Microsoft promises to improve privacy options with the release of the Creators Update, out April 2017.The company burned lots of bridges however, not only because of increased telemetry collecting in Windows 10, but also because of the aggressive pushing of the free Windows 10 upgrade to customer systems.Now You: Windows 7, Windows 10, or another operating system? What will your devices run?SummaryArticle NameWindows 7: Microsoft waves an early goodbyeDescriptionMicrosoft’s Windows 7 operating system is still the world’s most widely used OS, but that does not stop Microsoft from waving an early goodbye to the operating system.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

5 questions Mark Zuckerberg should answer at Facebooks congressional hearings

first_imgMark Zuckerberg is going to testify, but the question remains as to whether or not he’ll really say anything of substance.The CEO is in Washington D.C. this week to assure lawmakers and the concerned citizens of Facebook Nation that he knows he needs to do better, that he is going to make it all OK, and that — above all — he is listening. That being said, his prepared testimony is a bunch of recycled pablum masquerading as contrition and doesn’t suggest a good start. He can, and should, do better. Thankfully, we’re here to extend a helping hand. In his submitted remarks, which are set to be delivered to the Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday (not to be confused with his Tuesday testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation), Zuckerberg mainly recaps what we already know about the unfolding national nightmare that is Facebook’s history of privacy abuses and missteps, and helpfully puts a little PR spit-shine on Facebook’s burgeoning fatberg of a business model clogging the sewers of our offal-soaked democracy. But his testimony need not be a self-serving show of self-flagellation. Instead, if he is truly interested in having a positive impact on the world, he could start by answering the hard questions. Hard questions like these:1) What is this “community” you keep talking about?A community of one.Image: Alex Wong/GettyHey Mark, you repeatedly refer to the transnational surveillance architecture you’ve built as a “community” — you mentioned it three times in your prepared remarks alone — but simply repeating something over and over again won’t make it true.  Clearly, deep in thought.Image: Alex Wong/GettyBy Jack Morse2018-04-10 00:14:34 UTC Can people really be considered a single community if their only shared attribute is being exploited by the same corporate behemoth? We think not. It might serve you well to tease out your thinking on this one. 2) Were you asleep at the wheel, or did you just not care?Going to his happy place.Image: Alex Wong/GettyThanks mainly to the work of journalists and elected officials, we know that all has not been right in Facebookville for some time now. However, the proverbial shit only really started to hit the fan after journalists blew up your spot about a raft of issues ranging from so-called fake news, to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, to Cambridge Analytica.Why are we only just finding out about this well after the fact? If your “top priority has always been [your] social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together,” and “[advertisers] and developers will never take priority over that,” why did it take your very public outing to start talking reforms that might impact your bottom line?If you want us to buy into your apology tour, you really need to answer this question. 3) Why do you still have a job?But seriously.Image: Alex Wong/GettyLook, we get it, you are the majority shareholder and have a seat on the board. No one is going to fire you. But that doesn’t answer why you should still be left in charge. When you’ve messed up time and time again, at some point saying sorry isn’t enough. You need to convince the world that you are the right person for this job, and that you can right this incredibly powerful and complex ship — even after steering it headfirst into an iceberg, time and time again. 4) Can you please fuck right off?Like, immediately?Image: Alex Wong/GettyOK so asking this probably isn’t the best use of lawmakers’ time, but man it would feel good. 5) So what’s next?Checking the exits.Image: Win McNamee/GettyThings at Facebook clearly can’t continue on as they have. Something fundamental has to change. By announcing that 3rd-party apps’ access to users’ data would be restricted if they haven’t first been vetted by Facebook, you have clearly begun slowly walking back the free-for-all philosophy of data sharing that ruled Facebook for years. But what will come in its place? How do you change the DNA of a thing without burning it to the ground first? How can you fix a problem when that problem is your company’s very business model?If history is to be our guide, we shouldn’t expect much in the way of reform. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask for it, however, and it definitely doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve answers.  [embedded content]center_img As far as I can tell, nobody who interviewed Zuckerberg asked him “What the heck do you mean: ‘Facebook community’? This makes no sense.”— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) April 8, 2018last_img read more

Iowa legislature introduces transgender bathroom bill

first_imgeTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The Iowa House of Representatives introduced a transgender bathroom bill on Wednesday (31 January).House File 2164 rewrites portions of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. It allows schools and other public accommodations to limit access to facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex. LGBT Witch-hunt: North Carolina no longer welcomes transgender travelers and residentsTrans wrestler Mack Beggs has this message about the Texas bathroom billUS Department of Education will no longer act on trans bathroom complaintsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : Another Republican, Steven Holt, says he completely gets ‘people living their lives as they see fit’.His issue stems from being a parent. ‘But as a parent, you tell me that I should be OK with my daughters being forced to use restroom facilities with someone that is biologically a male?’ he questioned. ‘I don’t accept that.’Unsurprisingly, LGBTI groups and individuals don’t agree.‘The gender identity protection in the Civil Rights Act has been included for more than a decade,’ said trans lawmaker Aime Wichtendahl.‘Has there been a problem of people harassing women in the bathrooms since then? No. This is simply a tactic of the extreme right,’ she continued. ‘Who will use any excuse they can to harass and intimidate us out of public life.’Others cited the common statistic that most perpetrators of sexual assault know their victims.Déjà vuBathroom bills have been a problem for the United States’ transgender community for several years now.The first major one was North Carolina’s, which finally came to a head in October.Texas came next. However, its bill did not move forward after the House took no action on it.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…center_img ‘This section does not require an educational institution to allow access to toilet facilities, locker rooms, or living facilities designated for use by persons of one sex to a person of the other sex and does not allow the commission to pursue administrative or legal action against an educational institution that does not provide those rooms or facilities,’ the bill reads.In 2007, legislators amended the state’s Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.However, this new amendment says that preventing access to certain facilities based on biological sex, while ignoring their gender identity, does not constitute as discrimination.People also can’t pursue legal action against a school if they do not provide inclusive facilities.Republicans want to ‘protect’ women and girlsRepublicans sponsoring the bill argue it protects people, specifically women and girls.‘What the bill just says is that schools and businesses are allowed to take action to protect women and girls by preserving access (to toilet facilities and locker rooms) based on biological sex,’ Sandy Salmon told the Des Moines Register. GAYSTARNEWS-last_img read more

Straight people are less attracted to trans people no matter how good

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- A study by researchers at Indiana University found that straight people are less attracted to trans people — regardless of how good looking that person is. The study319 cisgender and heterosexual college students participated in the study, published in the Journal ofSocial Psychological and Personality Science. The purpose of the study was to find evidence of transphobia on dating apps.‘Anecdotal evidence suggests that some transgender people find that others seem less sexually or romantically attracted to them once they learn of their transgender status, so we decided to study that issue rigorously,’ study author Eliot Smith said.Each of the 319 students saw 48 fake online dating profiles, with the gender identity randomly assigned. The participants then rated the attractiveness of each profile.‘The gender identity labels had a strong, pervasive effect on ratings of attraction. Nonbinary and especially transgender targets were perceived as less attractive than cisgender targets. The effect was particularly strong for male perceivers, and for women with traditional gender attitudes,’ the study’s abstract reads.‘Sexual and romantic attraction are not driven solely by sexed appearance; information about gender identity and transgender status also influences these assessments. These results have important implications for theoretical models of sexual orientation and for the dating lives of transgender people.’ Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  : The results‘Cisgender, heterosexual college students report being less sexually attracted to others (represented by photos) who are labeled as transgender or nonbinary, compared to cisgender,’ Smith said.‘This difference is not due to differences in physical appearance because we randomly presented gender identity labels with the same set of photos. The effect appears to represent a type of prejudice against individuals with non-cisgender identities.’According to the study, straight cisgender women were as likely to say they’d befriend a trans or nonbinary person as a cis person. However, the straight cisgender men were less likely to want to be friends with trans and nonbinary people.Reflecting‘As a social psychologist, I have long been interested in person perception. This topic (perception of people and how it may change depending on their gender and transgender identity) is timely, as many social network and dating websites are now allowing users to select from a wide variety of identity labels beyond just “male” and “female,”’ Smith explained.Moving forward, Smith would like to conduct similar studies.‘It would be of great interest to study attractiveness ratings made by transgender or non-heterosexual individuals,’ he told LGBTQ Nation.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .center_img Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) This study simulated online dating profiles to find evidence of transphobialast_img read more