University of Tokyo Expands Second Life Type Games

first_img A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo is in the development stage of presenting an important addition to games like Second Life. The project has not released the details of the work, but Nikkei dot net and Digital World Tokyo have unearthed some fascinating details of the innovation research in progress. The virtual reality prototype allows players to walk around the game environment like explorers examining the various on screen environments. The prototype is a waist mounted camera and a companion specially designed carpet that has fixed points of reference assigned and calibrated for movement in the real world. The apparatus interprets these real world movements into the virtual world either through a headset or big screen display. While neither sources cited which lab or department at the University of Tokyo is working on this almost limitless innovation, there are some likely leaders in the area. An interview by University of Tokyo students with Professor Hirose, Michitaka in 2004 explained the future of “expanded virtual reality,” as it extends to space and time. Professor Hirose, Michitaka is head of the Intelligent Cooperative Systems lab. He explained how going back to the 1990s the virtual world was contained in a box–the computer. His work and others have extended the virtual world to include wearable computers being researched by Ms. Ueoka and virtual experience in ordinary places by Mr. Yamashita. The limitless bounds of virtual reality is the focus of Professor Hirose, Michitaka´s lab.The professor characterized the two schools of virtual reality research. The first is devoted to developing wearable head gear and mobile apparatus The other is devoted to exploring the five senses of human beings. He pointed out that beneath the two there may lay an inner connection. In previous public exhibitions the professor and his collaborators have introduced the CABIN that allowed visitors to step into the huge screens of the display. In addition, another Mayan Civilization display allowed visitors to view a virtual space of information technology and content. The professor is cognizant of the importance of reaching the public at large for promoting the future of virtual reality.In other projects, his team has endeavored to create a 21st century time machine. The Lifelog Project was initially developed to create an oral history of human actions, but has expanded to the ability to predict future actions based upon simulations that can be run through the computer. It is a small wearable device that records human interaction. The complexities of this work defy imagination, but appear to be just another day in the lab for the professor. In a quote from the interview, the professor stated that “the real world is becoming virtualized… and the world of information is free to move forward or backward.” His concern for the future is that while some view the freedom to be a dangerous, “if we free up our imagination, we can develop many interesting things from here.” For further reading on the subject, please see: … iles/002/pdf/001.pdf Citation: University of Tokyo Expands Second Life Type Games (2007, November 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Second Life Display. Credit: Digital World Tokyo A team of undisclosed researchers at the University of Tokyo have a prototype in development that will bring the public one step closer to entering the Virtual World. Explore further Researcher studies how individuals use technology to engage with their cultures 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

Could solar wind power Earth

first_img Citation: Could solar wind power Earth? (2010, October 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 IKAROS unfurls first ever solar sail in space ( — As we strive to find sources of alternative energy, a number of researchers continue to look to what we consider the ultimate in renewable energy — the sun. However, on earth creating efficient solar panels remains a challenge. While solar cells have been increasing in efficiency, and while new advances are made in solar technology on earth, there are some looking to harvest solar energy a little bit closer to the source by harvesting energy from the solar wind. The solar wind is a stream of charged particles that heads outward from the sun’s upper atmosphere. They move outward toward Earth and the rest of the planets, and provide the potential to power to the entire Earth, according to some researchers. And, even though we refer to the solar wind as “wind”, it wouldn’t provide energy in the way we see wind turbines act here on earth. Instead, energy from the solar wind would be collected by a gigantic sail deployed in space, between the sun and Earth. One proposal has been offered by scientists at Washington State University. Discovery News reports on the specs of a massive solar sail — and its potential:According to the team’s calculations, 300 meters (984 feet) of copper wire, attached to a two-meter-wide (6.6-foot-wide) receiver and a 10-meter (32.8-foot) sail, would generate enough power for 1,000 homes.A satellite with a 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) cable and a sail 8,400 kilometers (5,220 miles) across, placed at roughly the same orbit, would generate one billion billion gigawatts of power.The real challenge is how to get all that energy back to Earth in order to power the planet. One idea is to use a concentrated laser beam to send the energy back to Earth. Unfortunately, there would be millions of miles between satellite and its earthly target, making it difficult for the laser beam to reach the planet without widening and losing energy. While it is likely that the solar sail could be built and deployed with current technology, beaming the energy it harvests from the solar wind will take a little more time to figure out. Until then, we will have to be content with solar cells on Earth. More information: — Eric Bland, “Solar Or Wind Power? Why Not Both?” Discovery News (September 29, 2010). Available online: … nd-energy-power.html– Brooks L. Harrop and Dirk Schulze-Makuch, “The Solar Wind Power Satellite as an alternative to a traditional Dyson Sphere and its implications for remote detection,” International Journal of Astrobiology (2010). Available online: … Id=S1473550410000066 Image source: 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

ViviSat space vehicles will keep satellites on track

first_img Explore further New US military satellite launched into space More information: ( — A company that aims to sell satellite protective services is eagerly stating its business case to geosynchronous satellite operators that can benefit from its approach toward orbit mission extension. ViviSat intends to help these operators to add years to the revenue-producing life of a satellite. Having to mind one’s orbit assets is a concern that the company believes will draw new customers. The company’s CEO, Major General, U.S.A.F. [Ret.] Craig Weston, said that ViviSat was in negotiations with potential customers and that market conditions for such services were strong. Weston is the head of U.S. Space; he has spent a large part of his career operating communications, infra-red warning, and reconnaissance satellites. The MEV uses a space-ready docking system and integrated proximity sensors to rendezvous with the host satellite. ViviSat’s MEV does not add fuel or remove any materials on the satellite itself, however, but the company notes this is an advantage, not limitation. For customers in need of an MEV that would be less intrusive, its vehicle allows satellite operations to continue uninterrupted even with the MEV attached. “Satellites were designed to not be tampered with, and this is a passive approach, which is appealing to operators,” said Edward Horowitz, company chairman of the board. Horowitz is co founder of U.S. Space and former CEO of SES Americom.Two entities, U.S. Space and ATK Space Systems, created ViviSat, which was announced last year. U.S. Space takes care of business and mission management. ATK is the prime contractor, responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the spacecraft, launch and ground segments. (ATK manufactured reusable solid rocket motors for NASA’s space shuttles.)Geostationary satellites perform continuous monitoring of a specific region. ViviSat’s confidence in serving a market need is supported by the fact that, “If you just look at the commercial market, there are 350 to 360 satellites in geostationary orbit,” said Horowitz in, of which about 25 each year reach the end of their fuel life. He said that out of those 25, “we figure 10 are good target customers for this.” The company sees its market opportunities lie in both commercial and government spacecraft.Horowitz said, “We’re ready to sell, we’re ready to build, we’re ready to deliver.” The company has been designing a space vehicle that can adjust an older satellite’s orbit, rescue fully fueled satellites that may have launched into the wrong location, or move a satellite into a different orbit for a completely new purpose. ViviSat’s device is a Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) with the purpose of safely connecting to an orbiting satellite to provide supplemental and propulsive capabilities. 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: ViviSat space vehicles will keep satellites on track (2012, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

NanoTritium battery is good for twenty years or more

first_img Satellite battery could put Nittany Lion paw print in space City Labs requested defense contractor Lockheed Martin to test their batteries, which were confirmed to operate as specified and to be resistant to extreme temperatures (-50°C to +150°C), and extreme vibration and altitude. The power cell generates electricity using a layer of the radioactive-element tritium, mounted onto a semiconductor. The City Labs’ battery produces nanowatts of power; it is not strong enough to power a cell phone or laptop. This is a low-power battery that can run micro-electronics, anywhere that is hard, dangerous or expensive to reach. Applications include implants such as pacemakers as well as devices in industry (sensors on deep-water oil drills) and defense. This is further described as a commercially-viable “betavoltaic” power source, meaning it’s powered by a radioactive element. Whereas normal batteries are powered by chemical processes, the NanoTritium is powered by physical processes of the benign radioisotope, tritium. The makers point out that tritium is already used in exit signs and divers’ watches. Peter Cabauy and Denset Serralta founded the company in 2005; Cabauy has a PhD in applied physics. Larry Olsen, who also has a PhD in physics, later joined the business. He is known for his work in the 1970s on betavoltaic batteries. He helped to create a betavoltaic power source strong enough to power pacemakers. Olsen is the City Labs director of research. Others on the staff have similarly strong backgrounds in engineering and science. The company was awarded an Air Force contract of nearly $1 million for a higher-power, customized battery, and has been fueled by private investors as well. In a historical review paper about the betavoltaic battery, Olsen, Serralta and Cabauy noted that numerous research groups have continued attempts to commercialize a betavoltaic that is both reliable and safe. Dr. Olsen had published a betavoltaic review suggesting tritium as a safe alternative to other radioisotopes. Independently, City Labs also concluded that tritium could be an excellent candidate for use within a betavoltaic battery design. Available commercially, the device is expected to be valued in the “couple thousand dollar range” at first, Cabauy said, but in time as the company produces more the price may become less. The battery is currently available in “engineering” quantities, according to the company, up to 1,000 a year, and is assembled in the company’s lab. Explore further ( — Florida-based City Labs says it has created an adult’s thumb-sized, battery, NanoTritium, that can last 20 years or more in the most extreme conditions, such as extreme temperature and vibrations. © 2012 Phys.Orgcenter_img More information: Citation: NanoTritium battery is good for twenty years (or more) (2012, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Open source 3D printed robot extends hand to DIY fans w video

first_imgHe began with making a right hand, designed in Blender and printed on a 3-D Touch. After several iterations, he added a shoulder, head, brain, and voice command. He shared details on Thingiverse, a site where one can share digital designs. Like Langevin, the site’s team like to support others in making things.”The body parts can be printed, but you’ll have to add mechanical and electronic components such as cables, servos, and Arduinos to make the machine work,” he said. Some of his guideposts for enthusiasts, for example, are suggestions about replacing printed screw threads with linear actuators, for better accuracy and strength. “But I try to manage my wallet for this project,” he said, “and I know a lot of you are in the same kind of position. So if you’ve got a thick wallet, you can replace those parts fairly easily. I have made the space for it and added attachment holes for to be adaptive.”He said that “working as a sculptor modelmaker for Factices Ateliers, in the real physical world, this is my contribution to the OpenSource 3-D world.” More information: 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. (—Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and model maker, has a project that he would be happy to share with others with similar enthusiasm for putting their imaginations to work in 3-D printing. Since last year he has been busy with the design and painstaking engineering of a humanlike robot called InMoov. It is designed to be a robot that one can 3-D print and animate following the maker’s instructions. He told the world on his blog that he had to redesign and print a few times before he finally got InMoov the way he wanted to. “My second design was too large to stay in a human size range.”Presently, he has succeeded in making a human-like robot with head and torso and movable hands who can respond to voice commands. The robot is not cuddly, cute, or at all huggable. Physically, it may veer, for some viewers, toward an Uncanny Valley. Nonetheless, making it cute does not seem to be his point, but rather to show what 3-D printing with off-the-shelf materials can do and to help others to do the same. Citation: Open source 3-D printed robot extends hand to DIY fans (w/ video) (2013, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video) The list of electronics components includes Arduino uno x2; MG995 / HK2598 servos x12; Hitec HS805BB servos x8; -0.8mm nylon thread (fishing line); miscellaneous bolts; 3 kg natural ABS filament (various colors) and 6V 44A batteries and charger. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Macroscopic quantum phenomena discovered in ice

first_img Citation: Macroscopic quantum phenomena discovered in ice (2015, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Explore further The researchers’ experiments revealed a minimum in the imaginary part of the dielectric constant near 20 K (shown here). This finding suggests that there is an increase in the movement of charges below 20 K, which is thought to be due to correlated proton tunneling. Credit: Yen and Gao. ©2015 American Chemical Society Although quantum tunneling occurs due to the wave-like nature of particles at the quantum scale, and is not possible at the macroscopic level, here the scientists demonstrate that the total combined effects of quantum tunneling can be witnessed and measured at the macroscopic level. The macroscopic evidence for the quantum phenomena comes from measuring the dielectric properties of ice. As a dielectric material, ice is an electrical insulator, but in the presence of an electric field the molecules become polarized so that they align themselves with the electric field. The scientists, Fei Yen at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tian Gao at Shanghai University of Electric Power, have published a paper on the anomaly in ice in a recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Ice rulesAs the scientists explain, when water freezes, the oxygen atoms in the ice become ordered into a puckered hexagonal-like lattice. The hydrogen atoms, on the other hand, remain quite disordered. This freezing process is governed by the two “ice rules,” which state that only one hydrogen atom can reside between two oxygen atoms, while each oxygen atom can be bonded to four hydrogen atoms by bonds of two different lengths. Because of the two different bond lengths, between each pair of oxygen atoms, there are two sites available for a single hydrogen atom (which has lost its electron and simply becomes a proton). At high enough temperatures (above 136 K), the protons have enough energy to move between the two sites. However, when the temperature falls below 136 K, the protons no longer have enough energy to move between sites and randomly “freeze” in one of the sites. Tunneling protonsNow in the new study, the scientists have found that the protons actually can move between these two sites even at very cold temperatures of less than 20 K. The protons cannot move by classical means (as they don’t have enough energy), but by quantum tunneling through the classical energy barrier. Journal information: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters Long-range tunneling of quantum particles To investigate the dielectric properties of ice, the scientists made measurements on a pair of platinum plates inserted into ice inside a Teflon container, all of which was frozen in a cryostat. The researchers discovered the existence of a minimum in the imaginary part of the dielectric constant of ice at 20 K but no change in the real part. As the scientists explain, the physical meaning of this anomaly can be interpreted as an increase in the movement of charges—in other words, protons moving back and forth between sites. They also found that no anomaly occurs in heavy ice (i.e., deuterium, which contains a proton and a neutron), indicating that the discovery also exhibits an isotope effect. How do the protons do it?To better understand what may be happening at the atomic level, the researchers again turned to the ice rules. According to these rules, single protons cannot move between sites one at a time, as this interferes with the highly ordered crystal structure of ice. However, the ice rules remain preserved if all six protons within a hexagonal ring move at the same time, which suggests that the six protons engage in correlated tunneling. But correlated tunneling poses another problem. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, for several protons to tunnel simultaneously, they must all have the same wave function and occupy the same ground state. However, this arrangement directly violates the Pauli exclusion principle, which expressly states that no two identical fermions can simultaneously occupy the same quantum state.To overcome this problem, the scientists conjecture that the protons tunnel in pairs because a proton pair can act as a boson, which is allowed to collapse into its ground state because it is not subject to the exclusion principle. This proposal is similar to the underlying mechanism of superconductivity, which is caused by paired electrons forming a “Cooper pair” that also acts as a boson and condenses into its ground state. In both situations, pairing allows for multiple fermions to move together simultaneously, giving rise to macroscopic quantum phenomena that wouldn’t otherwise be allowed. Going forwardObserving macroscopic quantum phenomena is not only of fundamental interest, but the researchers predict that it may be very useful one day, as well.”With new phenomena usually comes new applications, and there is no exception in the realm of macroscopic quantum phenomena; see, for instance, what has been accomplished with superconductivity and lasers,” Yen told “As for correlated proton tunneling, perhaps a higher accuracy can be obtained on some of the fundamental constants, such as the case of the quantum hall effect, where the von Klitzing and fine structure constants have been determined to higher precision.”In the future, the scientists plan to look for the same quantum phenomenon in related systems.”We believe that correlated proton tunneling on the macroscopic scale is not strictly limited to ice and should also occur in other hydrogen-based compounds provided the temperature is low enough,” Yen said. “Currently, we are still investigating water ice, though at higher pressures, where the ices crystallize in tetragonal, monoclinic or interpenetrating cubic lattices to see if the same phenomenon is also present.” More information: Fei Yen and Tian Gao. “Dielectric Anomaly in Ice near 20 K: Evidence of Macroscopic Quantum Phenomena.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b00797 (—Scientists have discovered an anomaly in the properties of ice at very cold temperatures near 20 K, which they believe can be explained by the quantum tunneling of multiple protons simultaneously. The finding is a rare instance of quantum phenomena emerging on the macroscopic scale, and is even more unusual because it is only the second time—the first being superconductivity—that macroscopic quantum phenomena have been observed in a system that is based on fermions, which include protons, electrons, and all other matter particles. Other systems exhibiting macroscopic quantum phenomena have been based on photons, a type of boson, which mediate the forces between matter. (a) Between two oxygen atoms, a proton can reside in one of two sites due to bonding with the oxygen at two different lengths. If six protons tunnel simultaneously from one site to another, as shown in the transition from configuration (b) to (c), then the ice rules are preserved. Credit: Yen and Gao. ©2015 American Chemical Society 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

Swami on strings

first_imgThis was the first time in India that the English version of the puppet show, on Swami Vivekananda, was shown. Hon’ble Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shripad Yasso Naik inaugurated the show at Ramakrishna Mission Auditorium. Commenting on the occasion, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shripad Yasso Naik said, ‘Puppetry is a very ancient form of expression in India which has been in origin since around 3000 years. Over the years, the art form has been re-inventing itself keeping in mind the prevailing contemporary issues from the society. Swami Vivekananda revitalised Hinduism within and outside India, and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West. I’m overwhelmed to see such eloquent expression of his life through puppetry today.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Udaipur’s famed Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, designed and produced the show as a running story featuring episodes of Swami Vivekananda’s life. The audio-visual effects and an engaging script of the show held the attention of the audience throughout the show. This English version of the show will be showcased in U.S.A and Canada in  coming days.Earlier, on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, IGNCA in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi produced the puppet show in Hindi on the life of Swami Vivekananda. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Hindi puppet show, has already travelled to around 200 centres in the North, North-East and Western India. However, this is the first time that the English version of the show has been organised. Speaking about this show Member Secretary of IGNCA, Dipali Khanna, said, ‘Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century managed to spread his thoughts on spiritualism globally which over the years has inspired the many generations. Hence, it is essential that his preaching continues to reach out to the new set of followers.  IGNCA attempts to reach out to a wider set of audience to communicate his remarkable and stellar journey through this puppet show.’Vivekananda believed that a country’s future depends on its people, and his teachings focused on human development. He wanted to set in motion machinery which would bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest. Vivekananda linked morality with control of the mind, seeing truth, purity and unselfishness as traits which strengthened it.The show is a great chance for chidlren today to learn about Vivekananda in a more intertaining way instead of just reading about him from history books.last_img read more

Calcutta Boys School to introduce Humanities from 201920 academic session

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta Boys’ School (CBS) will introduce Humanities from the 2019-20 academic session. “We at CBS teach Science and Commerce in Class XI and XII. However, in recent times we are witnessing a huge demand amongst our students for pursuing Humanities after passing Class X Board examination. Hence, we have decided to introduce Humanities from the next academic year. All major subjects in humanities will be taught,” said Raja McGee, principal and secretary of The Calcutta Boys’ School. There will be 55 seats for the Humanities stream. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe school that has stepped into its 141st year inaugurated a new Commemoration Building on its main campus on SN Banerjee Road on Tuesday. The Commemoration building was inaugurated by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Union Minister of state for External Affairs MJ Akbar and Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay were present at the inaugural function.The construction work for the new block had started in 2012. The school has witnessed a major boost in infrastructure to keep in pace with the changing times that includes total revamp of fire fighting facilities and elevators for the students. The new building will have ramp and other facilities for the disabled students. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Ours is a heritage institution and the Commemoration Building has been built maintaining the heritage facia of the Main building which cradled the CBS ever since it moved to its own campus in 1893,” McGee saidThe CBS has also come up with a cafeteria and a gymnasium, nostalgically named the ‘Patty Man Café’ and the ‘Cub Den’ respectively. The school already has smart classrooms, bright and radiant science and computer laboratories equipped with the paraphernalia that modern laboratories command. It may be mentioned that Calcutta Boys’ School has 2,473 students on its main campus while there are three more branches at Beliaghata, Sonarpur and Asansol.It was Bishop Thoburn who founded the Calcutta Boys’ School. First located on Mott Lane, and then later housed in a room on Corporation Street (known as S N Banerjee Road today), the school struggled for its survival without a building of its own. It acquired a permanent residence in 1893 thanks to the generosity of Sir Robert Laidlaw, who could be regarded as the chief patron of the school.last_img read more

Four held for killing man during group clash in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were arrested on Wednesday in West Bengal’s Birbhum district for the killing of a young man, Sheikh Dildar, in a group clash between supporters of two parties, police said. They were remanded in seven-day police custody by a court.”One person had died in a clash between the two groups on Monday. We have arrested four persons from Suri police station area,” district Superintendent of Police N. Sudheer Kumar told IANS over phone. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe officer said the four accused are residents of Birbhum but did not give details on their political affiliations. The four were charged, among other offences, with murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Dildar was shot dead during a clash between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Birbhum’s Suri on Monday afternoon, which was the last day of the extended deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat elections. Both parties claimed he was their member.State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that Dildar was a member of the BJP district minority cell and was killed by Trinamool Congress supporters.On the other hand, Trinamool’s district President Annubrata Mondal said Dildar and his family were actively involved with his party for many years and blamed BJP-backed goons from Jharkhand for his death.last_img read more

Abhishek leads protest rally in Purulia intellectuals join outcry

first_imgKolkata: Abhishek Banerjee, All India Trinamool Youth Congress president and party’s MP, led a rally in Purulia on Sunday protesting against the killing of five Bengalis at Tinsukia district in Assam.It may be mentioned that Banerjee held a rally on Friday in Kolkata protesting against the same. From there, he had demanded an inquiry by the Supreme Court into the Assam massacre. In Kolkata, he had addressed a rally at Hazra Road intersection. The Trinamool Congress organised protest marches all across the state protesting against the incident and on Saturday, Banerjee led a protest rally in Bankura district. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter leading the mammoth rally at Bankura, he went to Purulia where he led another huge procession protesting against the same incident. He was carrying a black flag and slammed the BJP for such gruesome incidents in which people are getting killed for hailing from a particular community. Banerjee addressed the rally and urged people to raise their voices against such incidents of violence. Meanwhile, intellectuals from the state protested against the killing of the five Bengalis in Assam. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to them, exclusion of 40 lakh people in the final draft of the Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) created an unstable situation and such incidents are an outcome of the same. Intellectuals including Subodh Sarkar, Suvaprasanna, Abhirup Sarkar and others held a meeting in front of the Academy of Fine Arts. Poet Subodh Sarkar said: “Five Bengalis have been shot dead in Assam and no reason behind it has surfaced yet. It had been a tradition that Assamese and Bengalis stayed together. Then who are these people trying to create fissures between them? We know who are they and I would like to tell them that they are playing with fire and they have to stop doing the same immediately.” Sarkar also added: “This is inhuman. We cannot believe that a human being can do such a thing. There was a good relation between Assamese and Bengalis. But the trouble began since the NRC issue cropped up and now it is going to an extreme level.” Painter Suvaprasanna condemned the attack on the poor people and asserted that Bengal would stood by them in such hour. Singer Pratul Mukhopadhyay, film personality Dipankar Dey were among others present at the protest.last_img read more

CM accepts Sovans resignation from both mayoral and ministerial posts

first_imgKolkata: Sovan Chatterjee, state minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Housing tendered his resignation on Tuesday evening. He will submit his resignation from the post of Mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Wednesday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accepted his resignation letter and sent it to Governor K N Tripathi.Before leaving Nabanna, the state administrative headquarters, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that Chatterjee had sent his resignation earlier also but she had not accepted any of them. She added that Firhad Hakim, the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, will look after Fire and Emergency Services and Housing — the departments Chatterjee used to take care of. Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed will look after the administrative work in the KMC until a new Mayor is sworn in. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere was a marked deterioration in the relationship of Mamata Banerjee with Sovan Chatterjee for the past one year after the latter could not concentrate on official business. During this period, Banerjee had urged him several times to concentrate on his official assignments which, however, fell flat. The matter came to head on Tuesday morning when Chatterjee, who is the state Housing minister, faltered while replying to a question in the Assembly over the number of houses constructed under Gitanjali project. He said that the department has received recommendations for construction of 25 lakh houses under the said housing project between 2011-12 and September 2018. The Chief Minister who was present on the floor of the House stood up and informed the MLAs that 25 lakh houses have been constructed under Gitanjali and other schemes while the number of sanctioned houses under these schemes was 40 lakhs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMamata Banerjee had the best of relations with Sovan Chatterjee and she used to call him by his pet name “Kanan”. Before the Trinamool Congress came to power, he had accompanied Banerjee in all important party meetings and was considered to be the “most obedient boy.” After Banerjee became the Chief Minister for the second time in 2016, Chatterjee was asked to look after three departments. He was also the president of the Trinamool Congress’ South 24-Parganas unit. But in the past one year, Chatterjee started bunking office and despite Banerjee’s repeated requests asking him to concentrate on his work, there was no change. Finally, Banerjee made Suvendu Adhikari the minister for Environment department replacing Sovan. Subhasis Chakraborty, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP, was made the president of the party’s South 24-Parganas unit. Chatterjee became the Councillor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 1985 when the new civic board with Member, Mayor-in-Council system was introduced. He was the youngest Councillor and a firebrand leader from Behala. From 1985 till 2000 he took the leading role in the KMC to highlight the failure of the Left Front board to look after the city properly. He became a Mayor in council member in 2000 and looked after the Water Supply department. He became Mayor in 2010 and 2015. He was elected from Behala East Assembly seat in 2011 and 2016 respectively.last_img read more

Fire breaks out at shoe store none hurt

first_imgKolkata: A fire broke out at a shoe store in the Hatibagan area on Thursday night triggering tension among locals.Around five fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flames. The store caught fire at around 11 pm on Thursday. The locals spotted smoke billowing out the shoe shop situated on the ground floor of a building at Hatibagan More. The matter was immediately reported to the fire brigade. Senior police officers rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area and traffic movement was restricted. The fire fighters initially faced difficulties to reach the source of the fire due to the thick black smoke covering the area. They later managed to enter the store and detected the source of the fire. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe fire personnel restricted the fire from spreading to other adjacent buildings. They also ensured that other shops in the building do not get affected by the fire. The fire personnel brought the situation under control at around 12.30 am. According to the preliminary investigation, the fire officials and police suspect that an electrical short circuit might have caused the fire. The store was badly damaged in the incident. The fire officials are investigating if the building had fire fighting mechanism in place. The exact cause of the fire and the extent of the damage are yet to be ascertained. The local shop owners are being interrogated in this connection so far. A probe has been initiated in this regard. In another incident, a fire broke out at a heap of garbage on Armenian street at around 4 pm on Friday. One fire tender swung into action and brought the situation under control at around 4.30 pm. Locals panicked as the area is congested and there is always a chance of the fire spreading to the adjacent buildings. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.last_img read more

Woman accused of cheating IT employee with promise of marriage

first_imgKolkata: An Information Technology (IT) employee was allegedly cheated by a theatre personality with the promise of marriage. It was also alleged that the woman had filed a false case against him previously. He filed an appeal before the Alipore Court on Wednesday, which was allowed. The date of hearing will be announced on Thursday.According to Avishek Talukdar, he had given direction in several films and despite being an IT employee, has a keen interest in films. While working on the films he came in touch with a theatre personality and actor during 2012. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseDuring their friendship, they got involved in a relationship despite the fact that the accused actor was married and had a son. Her husband is an employee of an insurance company and posted in Lucknow. Talukdar alleged that she had promised him that she would divorce her husband after he gets divorced. Then they would marry. Keeping faith in her, Talukdar divorced his wife during 2016 which was mutual. He also alleged that during their relationship they even led a conjugal life. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”She kept on saying that she will marry me after her son gets old enough. I helped her a lot. She had keen interest in painting and writing poems. I had invested a lot of money to publish a book containing poems and for her painting exhibition,” said Talukdar. In 2017, Talukdar noticed some behavioural change in her. The accused allegedly started creating distance between them and behaved rudely. Talukdar alleged that when she along with her husband was going to Lucknow on the day of Bijaya Dashami in 2018, he had called her up. It has been alleged that she instigated him to come to Lucknow. When Talukdar reached Lucknow, she allegedly behaved rudely and told him to leave. During November last year, she lodged a complaint against Talukdar with Netaji Nagar police station for alleged stalking, acts intended to insult the modesty of a woman and criminal intimidation. “I was shocked after I came to know about the complaint. However, I was not arrested but went into depression. Even till now I am undergoing psychiatric treatment. Her husband knew all about our relationship as he had sent a message stating that he knew everything and told me to get out of their life,” Talukdar added.last_img read more

State govt to interlink Artificial Intelligence application within 3 depts for humancentric

first_imgKolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the dissemination of human-centric data by forming a linkage between three government departments that provide direct services to the common people.”We feel that it is necessary to have a framework through which departments under the state government can be interlinked so that we can share human-centric data. A high-level meeting on how AI applications can be used in various areas related to agriculture, transportation and health was held on Monday. IIT Kharagpur will guide us and research scholars from the premier institute will be in constant touch with us so that we can establish a human-centric database combining the three departments. We are hopeful that this will create new avenues in various areas,” a senior official of Information Technology & Electronics (IT&E) department said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataWebel Informatics Limited (WIL), the Education & Training arm of West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WBEIDC) will take the lead in this endeavour. “We will begin with three state departments — Transport, Health and Agriculture and after getting the desired results we will proceed further,” the official said. The high-level meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary IT&E Debashis Sen along with key officials of Transport, Health and Agriculture department and IIT Kharagpur Director Dr Partha Pratim Chakrabarti. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateA private company — PRM Fincon at Rajarhat is working on knowledge of actual case developments of AI in Bengal. The company uses AI to analyse the risk profile of companies and thus advise investors to invest wisely. “They are working on video analytics and their laboratory level prototype is already able to use AI to analyse CCTV feeds to flag if vehicles were crossing lanes and if a two-wheeler rider is wearing a helmet or not and whether it is a soft cap or a proper hard helmet. This would be a great case to improve road safety in accordance with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign. We have asked Prithwiraj Mukherjee, CEO of the company, to explore the possibilities of developing it further and use it in curbing accidents in New Town,” the official added. IIT Kharagpur’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence that was set up in April 2018 has been applying its research in AI for solving industrial, scientific and social problems such as retail, industry 4.0 and manufacturing.last_img read more

Trending jewellery styles you can hit this wedding season

first_imgWith the wedding season in full swing, more and more would be brides are breaking away from conventional norms and choosing to dress up their bridal selves as an extension of their own personality. However, selecting the jewellery for the big day can be a daunting task. Experts list the top jewellery styles that are hitting this wedding season: -Polki spinal choker necklace: The choker necklace is here to stay. The versatility of the choker with both indo- western as well as with traditional bridal Indian outfits makes it the most popular choice of jewellery. For the minimal lovers, a polki choker necklace with Spinel stones can also be worn as a statement on its own. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf-Dual finger ring: The Multi-finger ring is ruling the jewellery trends this year and it looks great when paired with any outfit. From cocktail gowns to lehengas this is a must have for the bride in her trousseau. -Bracelets: With changing trends, people choose to wear bracelets instead of bangles in one hand and a watch in another. This classic look goes well with suits, lehenga or any indo-western outfit. -Traditional multi-layer necklace: Gold temple jewellery has always been in trend for centuries. It’s just that we see unique and modified designs every year as per jewellery trends. Many bridals still opt to look traditional at their wedding. Multi-Layer gold necklace with red outfit is the ideal perception to think about the traditional bride. -Jhumka earrings: Jhumkas are that one must accessory that every girl wants to have in their jewellery collection. There are several types of jhumkas that have come into the market like jhumkas- hoops, half jhumkas, casual trinkle for more variety to get the best look.last_img read more

Bengali actor alleges assault by appcab driver in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: A Bengali actor was allegedly assaulted by the driver of an app-based cab on EM Bypass, police said on Thursday. Swastika Dutta, a popular name in Bengali serials, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the driver cancelled the ride midway and misbehaved with her, when she refused to get down from the vehicle. The incident took place in front of a restaurant near VIP Bazar area around 8.30 am, she said. Police arrested the man on Wednesday on the basis of a complaint lodged by Dutta at Tiljala police station. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “The complainant has alleged that the driver misbehaved with her and tried to outrage her modesty,” a senior police officer said. In her post, Dutta claimed that after cancelling the trip, the driver took the car to his locality and abused her. “This guy… after picking me up from my location suddenly in the middle of the road cancelled the trip and asked me to get down from the car. When I refused, he suddenly turned the car to an opposite direction and took me to his locality and started abusing me. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “He got down from the car, opened the door and literally pulled me out… when I lost my temper and started asking for help, he threatened me and called other boys,” she wrote in the Facebook post. Further investigation is underway, police said. Last month, former Miss India Universe Ushoshi Sengupta had complained of being harassed, while she was returning home from work in an app-based cab in the city. A few days later, an international woman boxer was allegedly verbally abused and physically assaulted by a man when she was going to office in a two-wheeler.last_img read more

Wife paramour set husband on fire

first_imgKolkata: A woman allegedly killed her husband with her paramour’s help at Arambag in Hooghly on Sunday.According to sources, on Monday morning, local residents found a foul smell was emitting from the house of Lakshmi Pramanik (36) at Daharkunda in Arambag. When checked the house they saw his wife Moyna was sleeping in the other room of the house with her two children. When her neighbours woke her up and inquired about the foul smell, she said some rat might have died in the house. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBut some of her neighbours had doubts on her and they inquired where was Lakshmi. Due to pressure created by the neighbours, Moyna opened the door of the room where Lakshmi slept on Sunday night. As soon as the door opened the smell became stronger. When some neighbours went inside and they saw Lakshmi’s burnt body. When they asked Moyna if she knew anything about the the incident, she denied. Smelling a rat neighbouirs informed the police. After the police recovered the body and sent it for autopsy, they started questioning Moyna. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring the investigation cops found some ambiguity in her statement. Also, from local residents police came to know that approximately a week ago Moyna suddenly disappeared and returned after a few days. Suspecting something fishy, sleuths grilled Moyna and she broke down and admitted that she murdered Lakshmi to continue with her extramarital affair with a person identified as Jhantu Dolui of the same area. She called Dolui on Sunday night after Lakshmi slept. Later, they tied him to the bed and stuffed a piece of cloth in his mouth and set him on fire. After knowing the details, police detained Dolui as well. He also confessed to the crime both of them were arrested on Monday afternoon. They will be produced before the Arambag Court on Tuesday with an appeal for police custody.last_img read more

Umps blew it on fan interference call in AstrosRed Sox Game 4

first_imgUmps blew it in on fan interference call in Astros/Red Sox Game 4Astros fans were livid when Umpire Joe West ruled an apparent Jose Altuve 1st inning home run an out due to fan interference. The replay shows the call was suspect at best and Colin thinks Joe West blew it. He believes on the biggest stages in sports, umpires and refs should step back and not make themselves the center of attention by injecting themselves in the outcome.Baseball already has a big enough issue with lack of movement and action, there’s no reason to take that action away when the stars are giving fans memorable moments. Also:– Carmelo doesn’t fit with the Rockets– Josh Rosen watch on TNF– The Top 5 Lakers not named LeBron– Colin’s LeBron and Lakers predictionsGuests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Analyst, Greg Cosell – NFL Films Senior Producer, Nick Swisher – Fox MLB Analyst and World Series Champ, and T. J. Houshmandzadeh – Former Bengals All-Pro Wide Receiver.last_img read more

Why Amazons VoiceActivated Speaker Echo Isnt Worth Your Time or Money

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global June 23, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min readcenter_img Echo, the voice-activated speaker that Amazon announced last November, is officially going on sale today to the masses. A limited number of the devices became available earlier this year by invitation only. I was one of the lucky few who have been using Echo over the last several months. If you ask me, at $180, it’s not worth the money. And the “Perfect 10,” 5-star ratings that appeared on Amazon this week? Well, I call bullshit.For those of you who haven’t heard of Echo, it’s a cylindrical speaker device that not only plays music but allows you to speak to it. Connected to the Internet via a Bluetooth connection, all you have to do is say the name “Alexa” out loud to wake up the device. You can ask Echo, or Alexa, to do any number of things and she will respond. Here is Amazon’s goofy promo video for Echo:Related: This Gadget Makes Your Entire Kitchen ‘Smart’If you are an Amazon Prime member and you regularly use the service to shop for everyday stuff, you can ask Alexa to add items like ice cream or toilet paper to your shopping list. If you’re a person who relies heavily on to-do lists to keep track of your days, you can ask Alexa to add tasks to your personal to-do list. You can use Alexa to check events on your Google calendar. Want to hear the news? It can give you a rundown on the day’s big events, courtesy of NPR.Some tasks work very well on the Echo. Other things, not so much.As a Prime member, I purchased Echo for $99. My fiancee has two young boys so I thought, of course Echo would be fantastic. In addition to their homework, Echo would surely be the perfect tool to answer all of their crazy questions. All you have to do is say “Alexa” and ask a question. And Alexa is supposed to say the answer. Simple right? Well, not so simple for Alexa, apparently. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve asked Alexa questions to which she responds, “Sorry, I didn’t understand the question I heard.” Over and over and over and over again. It misses more questions than it gets right — by a wide margin. It is so ridiculously frustrating and disappointing.Related: Your Next Family Member May Be … A RobotTo the device’s credit, Amazon says it continually learns a user’s speech patterns and preferences. Therefore the problem isn’t that Alexa can’t understand what we’re saying. It’s that it relies on Microsoft’s Bing search engine to find answers to all of our questions. After trying again and again to ask Alexa a simple question for which she can’t understand or doesn’t have an answer, I finally open my phone and ask Google voice search. The result? My phone either tells me the exact answer I was looking for or serves up Google’s usual, helpful search results.Thanks for nothing, Alexa. Our dreams of the household virtual assistant of the future have been dashed.I suppose it’s worth noting that Amazon recently updated Alexa’s software so that it can be used to control Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue smart-home devices. That would be really cool, but if you don’t have those particular devices then you’re out of luck. In my house, my Piper home security system manages our smart switches, etc., anyway. To Amazon, Echo is a means for customers to more easily spend money via their Amazon Prime services. For customers who are also people who aren’t constantly ordering from Amazon, Echo should be a helpful voice-activated search engine and assistant. Unfortunately it fails at that, in my experience.After our first month or so testing Echo, my fiancée would occasionally ask Alexa about the weather. I’d only ask her for sports scores (which technically I already have on my wrist thanks to my smartwatch). Now that I think about it, Alexa is sitting on a table in our living room, completely unplugged.As the Echo goes on sale today for nearly $200, I can’t recommend to anyone that it’s worth money or the frustration.Related: OMG Yes: A Smart Mattress Cover That Can Brew Your Morning Coffee Register Now »last_img read more

SXSW 2017 Sure Youve Got a Brand Strategy but Whats Your Chat

first_img 6 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » It seemed so appropriate to visit Austin, alive last week with SXSW chatter, to explore the cutting edge of voice technology.Related: Microsoft Unveils Sarcastic Millennial Chat Bot Powered By Artificial IntelligenceAmong the plethora of panels, shows and workshops, I was out to understand the business opportunities and challenges that come with using chat interfaces.”Conversational,” “voice” and “chat” interfaces are catch-all terms used to refer to the next stage of human-technology interaction. Although tapping and swiping became the “new normal” means of interaction with mobile apps and devices, businesses are now shifting their services to a messaging format as a means of engaging users in a more natural way.To identify businesses already making waves with this approach, check out the range of brand “skills” which have been added to Amazon’s Alexa since that product’s launch. There is now even a lawyer chatbot on Facebook Chat, providing advice on parking tickets and asylum claims.The big opportunity for businesses to win with this technology lies with how well it succeeds in making their customer interactions more personable and intuitive. Thus, seamless and enjoyable interactions are likely to keep customers coming back to the brands that do this technology well.But, as with most new tech, the “how” is more complex than the “why.”Currently, you can create conversational interfaces in two ways. The first way is to piggyback on to existing tech (by adding your services to Alexa’s ever-growing skillset). The second is to add voice interfaces to your own platform (as with Santander’s voice banking feature). For either option, success depends on more than a simple plug-and-play approach.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessTwenty years ago, any business leader worth his or her salt had nailed down a brand strategy. But today, that kind of focus has shifted; today, it must be devoted to chat strategy: meaning, how to use conversational interfaces to add value to your business.So what is the right approach? And what issues should businesses tackle to make it a reality? Here are my three key considerations:Security and privacy: Know where you stand.Voice recognition and facial recognition are emerging as powerful, easy-to- use solutions for personal or sensitive services. HSBC, Barclays and First Direct are offering voice recognition to some of their customers already. MasterCard rolled out its facial recognition tech last year.But there are risks, as the current debate over the use of biometric data has shown. This was reflected at SXSW, with a debate between Christopher Piehota, ‎director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, and privacy activist Cory Doctorow. Their session highlighted fundamental issues around the collection, storage and use of personal data. When bespoke services need more data from their users, how safe is that data? Who has access? And why?We have yet to see government legislation on biometric data storage. But in a privacy-sensitive climate, the rule of thumb is to be sparing in the data you collect, and thorough with its encryption.To walk in their shoes, tap new talent. Successful communication in any arena depends on empathy. Reading your audience members’ needs and motivations, then tailoring your interactions with them, is instinctive for us as humans. But that process represents the next benchmark for conversational interfaces.Making automated responses more human, more nuanced and more useful for users will shape the next wave of chatbots and voice assistants. But there is still a way to go before we get to “true” conversation. Author and futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted in his SXSW talk that that advance won’t happen until 2029.Sophie Kleber, executive director of product and innovation at Huge, recommended that designers and writers work on conversational interfaces and focus on psychology. They need to become more familiar with what goes on for people “behind” the surface dialogue, she said.But judging whether a dash of humor there would be welcomed or met with a stony silence can be a tricky call even for humans — can it be programmed? Part of Kleber’s solution to this dilemma, she said, entails understanding when a service has “permission” to connect with users.The solution requires our human resources capabilities to merge with those of machines. In practice, that means tapping the talents of comedians, theater directors and poets alongside those of designers and programmers.Technologist John Maeda (head of computational design and inclusion at Automatic) underlined this need when he presented the third annual Design In Tech report at SXSW. He called on designers to “love their copywriters and content strategists,” in order to take full advantage of language as an interface.Delight in diversity.Using creative talent to humanize automated interfaces is important. But if those new faces all look, think or behave alike, the result might still fall short. This was the crux of Maeda’s other key point: We need to reflect our audience in our workforce.That makes complete business sense. After all, your investment into voice interfaces will pay off only if it benefits your users. The problem is that as the user-base for conversational interfaces grows, it’s less likely to match a typical design team.Related: At Last, Customer Service Agents That Customers Can’t Drive Crazy.So, draw on diverse backgrounds to ensure that you’re not simply adopting new technology for its own sake, but as a tool to meet the needs of your customers. That was some of the wisdom I got at this year’s SXSW. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals March 20, 2017last_img read more