Could Porn Be Good For Society

first_img Viewing child porn not a risk factor for future sex offenses: study More information: Milton Diamond, “Porn: Good for us?”, The Scientist. Available online. (PhysOrg.com) — The arguments against pornography are many, ranging from insistence that porn degrades women and is morally reprehensible to the assertion that pornography viewing is the cause of sex crimes. However, over the years, there have been numerous studies done on this subject. And, reports The Scientist, it appears that there are links between sex crimes and pornography. Just not the sort of links many of us might have expected. Instead of causing sex crimes, porn might actually contribute to reducing their incidence. Explore further Here is what The Scientist reports on the matter:Over the years, many scientists have investigated the link between pornography (considered legal under the First Amendment in the United States unless judged “obscene”) and sex crimes and attitudes towards women. And in every region investigated, researchers have found that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.While that is far from a ringing endorsement, it does at least seem to indicate that pornography isn’t contributing to sex crimes. While some naysayers may point out that most offenders in prison have been exposed to porn, the fact of the matter is that nearly every male — and a good number of females — is exposed to pornography at some point. It stands to reason that most offenders have viewed porn. But other studies found that being punished for porn use might contribute to someone becoming a rapist, and not the porn use itself. Indeed, continues The Scientist, a repressive religious upbringing might be more of a factor in rape than porn:Looking closer, Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant found that rapists were more likely than nonrapists in the prison population to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated nonrapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males.This sort of assertion is bound to raise a few eyebrows and even cause a little controversy. Especially when taken alongside studies that seem to indicate that porn doesn’t result in feelings of misogyny. Additionally, while there is anecdotal evidence that porn users are abusive toward their female partners, there is no evidence that pornography use is the cause of these actions. Perhaps there are other factors, such as alcoholism or violent tendencies, that are bigger influences.In any case, while such studies do not prove that porn is actively good for society, they do seem to imply that pornography isn’t actively bad for us. Image source: cambridge.gov.uk © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Could Porn Be Good For Society? (2010, March 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-porn-good-society.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

NTT researchers develop breakthrough optical memory device

first_imgDevice structure and static response. Image: Nature Photonics (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.2 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. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Ultralow-power all-optical RAM based on nanocavities, Nature Photonics (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.2AbstractOptical random-access memory (o-RAM) has been regarded as one of the most difficult challenges in terms of replacing its various functionalities in electronic circuitry with their photonic counterparts. Nevertheless, it constitutes a key device in optical routing and processing. Here, we demonstrate that photonic crystal nanocavities with an ultrasmall buried heterostructure design can solve most of the problems encountered in previous o-RAMs. By taking advantage of the strong confinement of photons and carriers and allowing heat to escape efficiently, we have realized all-optical RAMs with a power consumption of only 30 nW, which is more than 300 times lower than the previous record, and have achieved continuous operation. We have also demonstrated their feasibility in multibit integration. This paves the way for constructing a low-power large-scale o-RAM system that can handle high-bit-rate optical signals. Journal information: Nature Photonicscenter_img All computer memory is based on a material that is able to have 1s and Os written on to it and held in such a state long enough to be useful. Also necessary is an ability to erase or write over those 1s and Os so that the same memory material can be used over and over.The new memory device created by the NTT team relies on optical cavities that are created in a material that can be made to represent 1s and Os by either transmitting light, or by blocking it.To make the memory cell, the team buried a very tiny strip of indium gallium arsenide phosphide in a small piece of indium phosphide. The outer portion was then etched with holes small enough to control the flow of laser light of a certain frequency. They left a path running though the middle of the material un-etched to provide a means for light from a laser to move in and out of the cell.When laser light is shone on the material, it follows the path through the memory cell and the refraction index is changed causing a pulse of light to either pass through on not, representing either a 1 or O state. Another pulse changes it to another state and so on. To help the memory material maintain its state, a second laser provides a constant stream of background light.The memory cell was able to hold onto the state it created for a microsecond, which quadruples the old record and it also uses far less energy than conventional designs. A memory chip with four of the optical memory cells consumes just 30 millawatts of energy, whereas common use flash drives use five times that amount.But the real breakthrough here is the development of actual memory cells based on optics that are able to hold onto the data states they create long enough for them to be used by other parts of a hardware device. And while the memory cells are far too large to be of use right now, new designs based on this work might just lead to that elusive Holy Grail, an Internet backbone made entirely of optical components. Engineers at Yale develop new type of mechanical memory (PhysOrg.com) — To improve transmission speeds, the Internet has transitioned over the years from one using copper to fiber optic cabling. Unfortunately, this has caused a bottleneck to occur where the light signals meet with electronic circuitry. Researchers have been working for years on a way to make routers, and most particularly, their memory, all optic, to avoid having to convert the signals at all. Now, it appears one such group, NTT, a Japanese telecommunications company, has figured out a way to do it. They describe their work in a paper published in Nature Photonics. Citation: NTT researchers develop breakthrough optical memory device (2012, February 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-ntt-breakthrough-optical-memory-device.htmllast_img read more

Ecologists suggest it is time to rethink the modern lawn

first_img More information: Maria Ignatieva et al. An alternative urban green carpet, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6974 Credit: CC0 Public Domain A pair of urban ecologists, one from Australia, the other Sweden, suggests in a Perspective piece published in the journal Science that it might be time to rethink the idea of the modern lawn. In their paper, Maria Ignatieva and Marcus Hedblom note that the natural benefits of green lawns are far outweighed by negative environmental consequences, and because of that, new forms of groundcover need to be explored. Explore further © 2018 Phys.org Journal information: Sciencecenter_img The expanse of cut green grass that surrounds many houses and serves as a draw to parks and other outdoor places is not as green as it might look. The modern lawn requires not only a lot of water, but fertilizer. It also requires mowing, in most cases using gas-powered machines that spew carbon monoxide and other toxins into the air. Ignatieva and Hedblom note that it is true that lawns offer some positive benefits such as pulling carbon dioxide out of the air, but the negative aspects of lawn care far outweigh their benefits. They note that globally, lawns currently occupy land space equivalent to England and Spain combined. Lawns also currently require an enormous amount of water—in arid regions, lawns account for 75 percent of water consumption. They also note that weed killers and fertilizers wind up in the water table. And artificial turf, they note, is not a likely solution. It doesn’t contribute to carbon sequestering, causes problems with water runoff, and might be poisoning local water tables.Because of the obvious drawbacks, the researchers suggest that it is time for the world to rethink the idea of a lawn. They note that some communities have already begun to do so by allowing natural meadows in place of lawns. Such meadows, they note, can be made aesthetically pleasing by using grasses suited for the purpose. They also note that in some places, such as sections of Berlin, landscape has been allowed to grow wild. More realistically, they suggest research into plant types might result in the development of naturally short grasses that do not need much water to survive. In the end, they suggest that perhaps a combination of efforts might work. But for that to happen, people need to start reframing the mindset of modern groundcover. Citation: Ecologists suggest it is time to rethink the modern lawn (2018, October 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-ecologists-rethink-modern-lawn.html Grow, mow, mulch: Finding lawn’s value 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

Observing matterwave diffraction from a periodic array of half planes

first_img “Our experiment is based on the wave–particle duality, which is a basic concept in quantum mechanics,” Wieland Schöllkopf, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “The idea that microscopic particles such as electrons, neutrons, atoms or even molecules exhibit wave-like behavior dates back to the 1920s, when Louis de Broglie introduced the particle wavelength, which today is referred to as the ‘de Broglie wavelength.'” Since de Broglie first developed his theory, researchers have carried out numerous experiments observing diffraction and interference, two wave phenomena that cannot be explained in a particle picture. The main aim of the study carried out by Schöllkopf and his colleagues was to investigate novel matter-wave diffraction methods that allow for coherent manipulation of atomic and molecular beams. “We observed diffraction of He atoms and D2 molecules scattering off from a grating structure,” Schöllkopf explained. “The latter is formed by a periodic array of polymer film structured on a gold-coated glass substrate. A variety of grating structures, all with identical period, but differing in the width of the polymer stripes, were made at UNIST in Ulsan, Korea. These gratings were used in the diffraction apparatus at the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin, Germany.” The apparatus at the Fritz-Haber-Institut allowed the researchers to generate an intense beam of He or D2 with extremely narrow angular divergence. The generated beam is incident to the grating under grazing conditions, hence, the particles’ velocity component perpendicular to the grating surface is very small. “In previous experiments carried out at our lab, we have observed coherent reflection and diffraction from a grating structure under grazing incidence conditions,” Schöllkopf said. “This was attributed to ‘quantum reflection,’ which is a reflection mechanism different from classical reflection.” In classical reflection, as atoms or molecules approach a surface, they are affected by the atom-surface van der Waals force. This force leads to an acceleration towards the surface, with the particle ultimately bouncing off from the surface. On the other hand, in quantum reflection, the atoms or molecules already bounce back from the region in space dominated by the van der Waals force. Researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), in Korea, and Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, in Germany, have recently conducted a study investigating matter-wave diffraction from a periodic array of half planes. Their paper, published on Physical Review Letters (PRL), reports on the reflection and diffraction of He and D2 beams from square-wave gratings of a 400−μm period and strip widths ranging from 10 to 200 μm at grazing-incidence conditions. Explore further A schematic picture of half-plane array diffraction. Credit: Lee et al. More information: Ju Hyeon Lee et al. Matter-Wave Diffraction from a Periodic Array of Half Planes, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.040401Hilmar Oberst et al. Fresnel Diffraction Mirror for an Atomic Wave, Physical Review Letters (2005). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.013203 A third reflection mechanism, which differs from classical and quantum reflection, is based on the diffraction of the de Broglie waves of atoms or molecules from the edges of half planes, which are very narrow ridges on a surface. This mechanism, first observed in Japan by Prof. Shimizu and his colleagues, is now referred to as “Fresnel diffraction mirror” due to its analogy with the edge diffraction of light waves in optics. In their study, Schöllkopf and his colleagues observed fully resolved matter-wave diffraction patterns, including specular reflection and diffracted beams up to the second diffraction order. They also found that as strip width decreased, diffraction efficiencies transformed from the known regime of quantum reflection to the regime of edge diffraction. “In our experiment, we observed the transition from quantum reflection for relatively large widths of the grating stripes to the regime at small stripe widths where edge diffraction dominates,” Schöllkopf said. “Furthermore, in addition to the specular (mirror-like) reflection seen previously, we observed intense grating diffraction beams up to second order.”The experimental findings collected by the researchers confirm a previously developed single-parameter model, which is commonly used to describe a variety of phenomena, including quantum billiards, scattering of radio waves in urban areas and the reflection of matter waves from microstructures. Moreover, their observations suggest that neither classical nor quantum reflection mechanisms are essential for the reflective diffraction of matter waves from a structured solid, as this can result exclusively from half-plane edge diffraction. “Our observations allowed us to make a quantitative analysis of the reflection and diffraction efficiencies,” Bum Suk Zhao from UNIST, the principle investigator of the study, told Phys.org. “This, in turn, allowed for an experimental test of the Bogomolny-Schmit model of half-plane array diffraction. According to this model description the phenomenon is fully scalable with respect to the wavelength and the dimensions of the half-plane array. As a result, for a given incidence angle, the scattering of atomic matter waves of 1 nm de Broglie wavelength from a 4-μm-period array of parallel half planes shows identical diffraction effects as, e.g., the scattering of 1-cm-wavelength radio waves off buildings separated by 40 m.” The study conducted by Schöllkopf, Zhao and their colleagues provides a clear confirmation of the Bogomolny-Schmit model. In the future, their findings could also be used as a test bench for models of quantum reflection from microstructured surfaces that need to account for half-plane edge diffraction. In their next studies, the researchers plan to apply half-plane array diffraction to the investigation of weakly bound molecules, such as the He dimer and trimer.”Due to their extremely small binding energies, these di- and triatomic helium molecules are not amenable to many experimental tools,” Bum Suk Zhao explained. “For instance, classical scattering of He2 from a solid surface will inevitably lead to break-up. To overcome these limitations, more experimental techniques allowing for non-destructive manipulation of these species are needed. Half-plane array diffraction is a well suited method for this purpose.” ‘Meta-mirror’ reflects sound waves in any direction Journal information: Physical Review Letters “This counter-intuitive quantum effect of attractive forces, effectively resulting in recoil of the particle, can only be observed if the incident velocity in the direction perpendicular to the surface is very small,” Schöllkopf explained. “This is why, in our experiment, we can only observe quantum reflection at near grazing incidence conditions.” © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Observing matter-wave diffraction from a periodic array of half planes (2019, February 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-matter-wave-diffraction-periodic-array-planes.html A photograph of the research team taken inside a lab at Fritz-Haber-Institute, in Berlin. Credit: Lee et al. 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

HIDCO to develop land beside Biswa Bangla Convention Centre

first_imgKOLKATA: Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will develop the land situated beside the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.The decision was taken in the board meeting of HIDCO held on Saturday.The land measuring around 7-acre was used during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) held in January. A permanent stage will be constructed along with better infrastructure that includes supply of drinking water and food stalls, proper lighting arrangements among others so that the land can be used for exhibition and other similar purposes. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated the country’s biggest convention centre in October, 2017. The Centre has an auditorium that can accommodate 3,200 people. There are banquet halls, exhibition halls, restaurants and a 112-bed accommodation. The Centre is in high demand and meetings organised by different groups are held regularly, the last being the Chinese Education fair.In the meeting, HIDCO has also taken an important decision to construct a suspended bridge connecting the Eco Island with the Eco Park. There was a proposed ridge in the master plan of the park made in 2011-12. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe iconic designer suspension bridge will be 135 m long and 3.5 m wide. It will be made of steel. Besides a boat service, the connectivity is now maintained by a two step wooden bridge. But as the number of visitors has increased at the Eco Park, the wooden bridge is used by battery powered vehicles to ferry senior citizens and goods. Recently, senior engineers of state Irrigation and Waterways department had examined the health of the wooden bridge and have recommended re-painting with bitumen the logs that are under water.Tender to select the firm will be floated soon. The bridge will be constructed keeping in mind the character of the Eco Park, the country’s biggest urban park.last_img read more

US cinema shooter escapes death penalty

first_imgThe American gunman who stormed a Batman movie premier and killed 12 cinemagoers has escaped the death penalty but will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.A Colorado jury failed to find unanimity on execution for 27-year-old former graduate student James Holmes, obliging the judge to impose a sentence of life without parole.Last month, the killer had been convicted on 12 counts of murder in the first degree and scores more charges including murder, attempted murder and explosives possession. But defense counsel argued he has a mental illness and urged jurors to show clemency, an appeal apparently heeded by at least one of the panel of nine women and three men.  Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortOn each of the 12 murder counts that could had merited the death penalty, the jury said, in a statement read to the court “we do not have a unanimous final sentencing verdict on this count and … understand the court will impose a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.” District Judge Carlos Samour thanked the jury for their service and set August 24 to 26 as the dates for Holmes’ formal sentencing. Holmes attacked the packed premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century 16 theater in Aurora on July 20, 2012, spraying bullets into the dark auditorium.Clad in body armor and with peculiar dyed-orange hair, he fired hundreds of rounds before police halted a spree that had left 12 people dead.last_img read more

TMC observes black day in WB against manhandling of its leaders

first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress today observed a ‘black day’ in various parts of West Bengal in protest against the alleged “detention and manhandling” of its leaders in Assam’s Silchar airport. The protest will continue tomorrow too, party sources said. TMC ministers, leaders and activists hit the streets in the districts and blocks across the state to protest against the alleged assault on the eight-member TMC team at the Silchar airport on Thursday when they tried to enter Assam’s Cachar district to assess the situation in the wake of the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Carrying placards and sporting black masks and badges, TMC activists shouted slogans against the BJP governments at the Centre and Assam and the final draft of the NRC, published on July 30 and touted to be The eight-member TMC delegation had comprised of six MPs, an MLA and West Bengal minister Firhad Hikim. They were stopped at the Silchar airport and put under preventive detention. They returned to the city yesterday. TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged that the members of the delegation, including women, were manhandled at the airport and accused the BJP of imposing a “super emergency” in the country. TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee had yesterday said, “What happened to our party delegation is not only shameful but also undemocratic. Our slogan will be ‘we don’t need this monstrous government anymore’.”last_img read more

For faster payment of cashless treatment healthcare units can now submit bills

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to process the payment of cashless treatment costs faster for all those empanelled under the health scheme, the state government has introduced online grant of permission and submission of bills and documents by the empanelled Health Care Organisations (HCOs) in the West Bengal Health Portal.The state Finance department has come out with a notification stating that seeking permission by HCOs, grant of permission by medical cell, preparation of day-wise bills and submission of final bills by HCOs has been made online. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the West Bengal Health for All Employees and Pensioners Scheme was introduced in August 2014.According to a senior official of the state Finance department, presently the permission is sought and responded between the empanelled HCOs and medical cell of the Finance department through dedicated emails.For reimbursement of cashless claims up to Rs 1 lakh, these HCOs are required to enter few basic details of the bills in the West Bengal Health Portal and then submit physical copies of the bills along with other relevant documents to the medical cell of the Finance department.The cell scrutinises the bills and supporting documents for the payment.If the claim is found satisfactory, payment up to Rs 1 lakh is released to HCO’s by Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) of the Finance department’s medical cell.”Now with the entire process going online, we are hopeful of faster disbursement of medical claims,” an official said.last_img read more

From Bhikkhu Matre to Biranchi Das

first_imgRejected three times by the National School of Drama, Bajpayee is now one of the most poignant actors in Bollywood. Known for his drastically antithetical roles, he is all set to take over the cinema halls this Friday with his upcoming fling Budhia: Born to Run.Based on the real-life incident, Budhia: Born to Run is the story of a boy called Budhia Singh from Odisha.  Budhia ran from Bhubaneswar to Puri at the age of four covering 65 kilometres in seven hours and two minutes thus listing himself as the world’s youngest marathon runner in the Limca book of records in the year 2006.  Also Read – American Crime Story 3 to chronicle Clinton’s impeachmentIn a recent press conference held in the national Capital, Bajpayee talked about the various aspects that surrounded the film. On being asked what inspired him to do this film, the actor replied, “I have been following this case ever since it came into the limelight. There was something very intriguing about this story that forced me to take up this film.”Bajpayee who will be essaying the role of Budhia’s coach, Biranchi Das, also talked about the challenges that he faced in essaying the role of the slain coach, whose murder is still a mystery.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe actor  took help from footage recorded when Budhia became famous to get into the skin of Biranchi’s character. Based on his understanding of Biranchi’s character, he was of the view that Biranchi was a very brash and headstrong person who wanted to make Budhia achieve the target he had set for him. His character deeply fascinated Bajpayee. “An actor has to be extremely brave and should possess a lot of courage in order to find all the characters within himself, it is quite a horrendous task to delve into a character”, said the Aligarh actor. He also talked about the most appealing aspect of the movie that is the relationship of the boy and the coach.” It is new and something very different from what you have seen before” said Bajpayee.The 47-year-old actor also expressed his concern over the deplorable situation of Budhia who lives in a sports hostel and barely manages to run for 10 or 15 kms because of the lack of mentorship. Biranchi’s sudden death brought a halt to Budhia’s athletic career.A doting father to a five-year old, Bajpayee firmly believes that everyone should live their dreams. He talked about the immense amount of talent in different parts of India that remains unnurtured. He urged the people and the government to form an association to train and mentor those children who have talent but due to the lack of resources they are miles away from fulfilling their dreams.Budhia: Born to Run will hit the screens on August 5. The movie aims to send out a message that no talent should go unnoticed.last_img read more

Mamata as PM is not an isolated comment by BJP Somen Mitra

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra Monday said BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s comment that Mamata Banerjee has the best chance to become PM, is proof of “tacit understanding” between TMC and the BJP. “Dilip Ghosh’s statement that Mamata Banerjee has the best chance to become the first Bengali Prime Minister is not an isolated statement. It is a reflection of tacit understanding between both the parties in the state. We have been saying this for a long time but now the cat is out of the bag,” Mitra told reporters here. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Ghosh had, however, on Sunday made a U-turn and said his remark the day earlier on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s prime ministerial prospects was made in jest. Mitra termed Ghosh’s u-turn as a “lame excuse” and said that the people of the state very well understood the kind of “political setting” that exist between parties. Mitra claimed that by making the statement, Ghosh has virtually accepted that the BJP will not return to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and might extend support to Mamata Banerjee in such a scenario. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Commenting on the general strike called by various Left trade unions on January 8 and 9, Mitra said TMC’s opposition to the strike call is another example of ‘TMC-BJP fixed match’ in the state. “Why is she opposed to the strike call in the state? It is not against the state government. It is a nationwide strike call against the policies of the Modi government. This only proves that the TMC and BJP are both on the same page regarding economic policies and TMC’s call to fight against BJP is nothing but a farce,” he said. As many as 10 central trade unions have called a nationwide general strike on January 8 and 9, against the “anti-people” policies of the Centre and have placed a charter of 12 demands before the Centre. The demands include minimum wage, universal social security, workers’ status and including pay and facilities for the scheme workers, against privatisation of public and government organisations. Leaders and activists of various parties including TMC, Union Muslim League and CPI(M) Monday joined Congress and vowed to fight against the communal politics of TMC and BJP in the state.last_img read more

Kol Dock System of KoPT flags off first train of containers to

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Port Trust has taken a significant stride in simplifying the transhipment process from Kolkata to Nepal by substantially reducing the documentation process. KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar on Friday evening flagged off the first train of containers from Netaji Subhas Dock under the new system.The facility, which was first adopted at Visakhapatnam Port has been extended to Kolkata Port on request from the Nepal government. Under this system, the Indian Customs have waived the requirement for a Nepal’s importer of filing a Customs Transit Declaration (CTD) at Kolkata Customs. The entire documentation for transit of container is provided by the shipping line and Nepal’s traders are not required to exchange an interface with the Indian Customs. The import for Nepal’s traders is expected to be seamless. Earlier, a Nepal importer had to send seven original documents to get the cargo cleared from the Kolkata Port. This has been reduced to one document that is electronically transmitted. The Indian Customs seals the containers using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and containers are evacuated from the port to Nepal by rail. The GPS enabled ECTS-seals are used to track the containers throughout its journey till Nepal. “The new process greatly reduces time and the end-to-end cost for Nepali traders (roughly per container savings of $200). The volumes of Nepal imports through Kolkata are expected to see an increase after the adoption of this process,” a senior KoPT official said.last_img read more

Two fake note racketeers arrested near Sahid Minar

first_imgKolkata: Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has nabbed two Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racketeer from near Sahid Minar on Monday afternoon.They were carrying FICN worth Rs 2 lakh. According to sources, as the last phase of Lok Sabha Elections is getting closer, sleuths were keeping a strict vigil for possible FICN smuggling. Recently, huge amount of unaccounted cash was seized by the Kolkata Police. It was suspected that FICN racketeers might arrive in the city to circulate fake currency. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Tuesday morning, Special Task Force sleuths got a tip-off that some FICN racketeers had come to Kolkata. Working on the information, the Special Task Force sleuths were keeping a close watch in and around the Sahid Minar. Around 4:10 pm, two persons were seen whose activities were found to be suspicious. When sleuths asked them to stop, both the accused tried to give cops a slip. They were immediately detained. While checking their bags, sleuths found huge amount of money. Immediately, both the accused identified as Mani Govindan and Velu Mallappan of Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu were taken to Lalbazar. Later sleuths found that the currency notes found from them were fake. Later, the duo were arrested. They were carrying 100 notes of Rs 2000 denomination worth Rs 2 lakh.last_img read more

Lotika Vardarajans vision

first_imgLotika Varadarajan, the historian, international textile authority, inspirational teacher and an intrepid traveller, passed away last year. The IIC commemorates her in an exhibition of 50 photographs that celebrate waterways and the role of humanity. She is remembered as an iconoclast who had a love for tradition, for textiles and stood apart for being a blend of tradition and modernity in a nation that blindly apes the West. Indian Ocean studies Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDr Lotika Varadarajan has been instrumental in opening the Indian Ocean studies to anthropology and to the unwritten world of shipbuilding and sailing technology. Over the last four decades, Indian Ocean studies developed as a major field of study in social sciences as well as in the writing of global history. Yet, sailing and ship building in South Asia eluded a narrative relying mainly on the archives of the written world. Her sea-basin approach also restored the connection between Indian and the Pacific Ocean. This lifetime engagement of an exceptional scholar allows us today to consider a roadmap towards reconnecting India and its waterways. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Celebrating the seasThe fifty photographs of the exhibition from Gujrat to Bengal, and Andaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshwadweep were taken by Dr Lotika Varadarajan in the period 1979 to 2010. They provide a glimpse of the seagoing lives of Indian coastal communities from the pre-2004 tsunami era. The exhibition covers traditions, practices, and cultures of boatbuilding and navigation from littoral India and the islands that is yet to recover itself in a substantial manner. One cannot forget in the year 2005. When she gave an illustrated lecture on “Embroideries – Portugal India” to a jam-packed hall at the IIC in Delhi. Dressed in a graceful cotton Kantha sari she regaled audiences about the call of the sea and Portugal’s rich heritage. Recreating the cultural context that shaped Portuguese sensibility in visual terms was “Embroideries – Portugal India: 16th Century Synthesis to Contemporary Globalisation” that provided a peek into value added by the Portuguese to the Indian textile industry. With embroidered works being very popular with the Portuguese, they tried to tap the rich reservoir by developing items that could be used as gifts.These photographs celebrate the seas, as they present to us the call to the sea and its many stories that unwind in quiet and serene splendour. These images stand as a remembrance of her love for travels and thirst for knowledge. With the Centre for Community Knowledge at the Ambedkar University, Delhi, she had planned two conferences for 2018: On ‘Maritime Traditions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans — Inter-Connections in Pre-Colonial times’ and on the ‘interactions between Northeast India and Southeast Asia’. This suite of photographs is a tribute to her brilliance and an apt epitaph for a hard working persevering historian who believed in going down to roots. Her words wring through loud and clear: “To sacrifice craft traditions at the altar of modernity is tantamount to adding yet another dimension to the poverty of the mind.”The show runs till October 15, 2018.last_img read more

Picking pets similar to dating

first_imgChoosing the perfect canine companion can pose challenges similar to finding a spouse, scientists say. The research, published in the journal Behavior Research Methods, are based upon data from a working animal shelter and could help improve the pet adoption process. “What we show in this study is that what people say they want in a dog isn’t always in line with what they choose,” said Samantha Cohen, who led the study as a PhD student in Indiana University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”By focusing on a subset of desired traits, rather than everything a visitor says, I believe we can make animal adoption more efficient and successful,” Cohen said. “It was my responsibility to match dogs to people based on their preferences, but I often noticed that visitors would ultimately adopt some other dog than my original suggestion,” Cohen said. “This study provides a reason: Only some desired traits tend to be fulfilled above chance, which means they may have a larger impact on dog selection,” she said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe researchers categorised dogs based upon 13 traits: age, sex, colour, size, purebred status, previous training, nervousness, protectiveness, intelligence, excitability, energy level, playfulness and friendliness. They surveyed the preferences of 1,229 people who visited dogs at an animal shelter, including 145 who decided to make an adoption. A similar disconnect has been found in research on speed dating which showed that people’s stated romantic preferences tend not to match the partners they choose. Although most participants in the dog adoption study listed many traits they preferred – with “friendliness” as the most popular – they ultimately selected dogs most consistent with just a few preferences, like age and playfulness, suggesting that others, like colour or purebred status, exerted less influence on decision-making. “As multiple psychologists have shown in speed-dating experiments, physical attractiveness is very important. Most people think they’ve got a handsome or good-looking dog,” Cohen said. To improve pet adoptions, Cohen said animal shelters need to know that people tend to rely on certain traits more strongly when choosing a dog, which might make it easier to match adopters to dogs. She also suggests shelters consider interventions, such as temporary placement in a calmer environment, to help stressed or under-socialised dogs put their best paw forward, showing their typical level of desirable traits, such as friendliness.last_img read more

The Legendary Chief Who Almost Unified All Native Americans

first_imgJames Alexander Thom’s book, Panther in the Sky, tells the story of the night the future leader of the Shawnee Nation and creator of a multi-tribal Indian Confederation was born. At the moment of his birth a falling meteorite lit up the night as it streaked across the sky, so his father named the child Tecumseh, meaning panther in the sky, after this potent birth sign. Tecumseh was born in Southern Ohio in 1768. Some sources say his birthplace is near Old Piqua in Miami County, but others say near Chillicothe in Ross County, Ohio’s first capital.A version of Lossing’s engraving (in wood) of Shawnee chief Tecumseh with water colors on platinum print after a pencil sketch by French trader Pierre Le Dru at Vincennes, taken from life about 1808.His father, Puckeshinwa, was a minor Shawnee chief, and his mother, Methoataske, was possibly a Creek from Alabama or a Shawnee from the Pekowi division of the Shawnee Nation in Alabama.This was the time of westward expansion, and the Shawnee were already embroiled in battles with the white men trying to take their lands. The American Revolution was being fought, as well as the Northwest Indian War which occurred between 1785 and 1795.Tecumseh by Hamilton MacCarthy, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Photo by Deinocheirus CC BY-SA 3.0Tecumseh’s father was killed in Lord Dunmore’s War at the Battle of Point Pleasant. The Virginia militia led by John Murray, Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, was attempting to drive the Indians out of the area which is now the state of West Virginia, and his troops and nearly one thousand Shawnee warriors clashed in October of 1774.The New Madrid earthquake was interpreted by the Muscogee as a sign to support the Shawnee’s resistance.The Indians were quickly subdued and chased across the Ohio River as far north as Circleville, about fifteen miles north of Chillicothe.His brother, Chiksika, was killed in a raid on a fort in Tennessee. Another brother, Sauwauseekau, was killed at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, in which General Anthony Wayne defeated the Indian Confederation and took most of the lands in Ohio and parts of Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.Soon after the death of Puckeshinwa, Methoataske gave birth to triplets, with the weakest one dying soon after birth. The other two boys survived — one of whom, Lalawethika, would make a very big difference in the fate of Tecumseh.Purported portrait of Tecumseh acquired by William Clark c. 1820.In 1779, Methoataske had to follow her husband’s family as they moved to Missouri in response to an invasion of Chillicothe by the militia under Colonel John Bowman.All of her children apart from one daughter stayed in Ohio. Tecumseh was raised by his older sister, Tecumpease, and older brother, Chiksika. As a child, Tecumseh was always a leader and excelled in sports and hunting, but grew up having no doubt the white settlers were his enemy.Tecumseh illustration.As a teenager, he witnessed his first war party as he joined Chiksika in a Shawnee attempt to stop George Rogers Clark and Benjamin Logan from bringing white settlers into Ohio from Kentucky.It was a small skirmish with intense firing, causing Tecumseh to flee in fear. When he returned to the village, he was excused from any discipline but never forgot his embarrassment.Benjamin LoganEventually Tecumseh proved himself a brave and able warrior. The years after Chiksika’s death saw him and a party of warriors roaming throughout Kentucky and Tennessee, meeting with other tribes, hunting, and occasionally attacking white settlements. By the time he had returned to Ohio in November 1790, he had established a reputation as a cunning warrior and skilled diplomat.While Tecumseh was gone, his brother Lalawethika had grown into an overweight ne’er do well who was jealous of his sibling who was becoming famous among the tribes in the eastern part of North America.Death of Tecumseh, Frieze of the United States Capitol rotunda.He had no coordination or skills with Shawnee weapons or tools and accidentally put his own eye out with an arrow. He discovered the white man’s whiskey as a teenager and quickly became a full-fledged alcoholic.In 1805, Lalawethika fell into a trance so profound everyone thought he was dead. As his family began preparations for his funeral a few hours later, he suddenly woke up and told a tale of his death that included a journey to the Master of Life where he received his word and was reborn to lead the Shawnee to Paradise.At Vincennes in 1810, Tecumseh accosts William Henry Harrison when he refuses to rescind the Treaty of Fort Wayne.He renamed himself Tenskwatawa, eschewed the use of alcohol, guns, and violence and preached a return to the old ways. After reporting several more visions, Tenskwatawa gained quite a following and was called “The Prophet.” Tenskwatawa and his followers moved to the White River near Greenville, Ohio and called it Prophetstown.Tecumseh joined his brother at Prophetstown, and it soon became a central hub with some tribes coming for spiritual reasons and others to meet with Tecumseh on military matters. Tecumseh had the idea of unifying all of the Eastern tribes to fight the white man as a whole rather than being slaughtered, tribe by tribe, by the army and white civilians.Tecumseh had become a master in the art of oratory and made many speeches attempting to unify the Indians and whites so they could all live in harmony. But there were many tribes that were intent on destroying the white man.Johnson’s engagement with the savages (commanded by Tecumseh) near Moravian Town, October 5, 1812.When they ignored Tecumseh’s teachings and white men were killed, all of the Indians were blamed. Rumors were spread of impending attacks which frightened the settlers and caused itchy trigger fingers towards Indians. White men could not fathom living next to Indians that weren’t “Americanized.”In 1810, Tecumseh was summoned by William Henry Harrison to Vincennes, Ohio for a meeting. The meeting was tense, but Harrison promised to relay the Indian’s requests to the President. Tecumseh and his men knew it would make no difference.Tecumseh commemorative Shawnee Nation dollar.Tecumseh began his journeys up into Canada, New York, and into the south trying to recruit Indian tribes. However, there were Indians who had not yet been affected by the white settlers, and there was mistrust between the tribes making many reluctant to join.While Tecumseh was gone, Harrison believed it was a good opportunity to attack Prophetstown. Tenskwatawa took it upon himself to promise the inhabitants that an attack against Harrison’s forces would be completely successful.Tecumseh’s younger brother, Tenskwatawa, by George Catlin.He said the Master of Life promised the Indians would be invulnerable to bullets, and the soldiers would be frightened enough to run. While the soldiers were initially surprised, they rallied, and fighting continued for several hours.When the Battle of Vincennes was over it was somewhat of a draw according to the numbers, but Harrison claimed American victory.The Indians turned against Tenskwatawa and abandoned Prophetstown. The soldiers found the supply of food the Indians had hidden and brought it back into the town and burned everything. The defeat ruined Tecumseh’s dream of a unified Indian Confederation and Tenskwatawa was left alive only because he was Tecumseh’s brother.The War of 1812.As the War of 1812 approached, the British courted Eastern Indian tribes with promises of weapons, ammunition, and food. After Vincennes, Tecumseh was more than willing to fight on the side of the British but retained a healthy distrust of any white men.The Shawnee, and other tribes who had joined with the British, participated in many small battles and skirmishes, but because of broken promises, they decided to fight with the Americans or simply abandon the fighting.Turtle-shell Tecumseh Monument at the site of the Battle of the Thames. Photo by Adam Bishop CC BY SA 4.0In 1813, a decisive battle at the mouth of the Thames River ended the dream of the Indians who wanted to live quietly on their lands. A line of British and Indians faced Harrison’s troops and, when the fighting got heavy, the British retreated, leaving the Indians with no backup.Tecumseh led his men into battle without the British, and in the frenzy he was shot in the chest and killed. Without Tecumseh, the Indian movement fell apart.There was no shortage of men who claimed to be the one who had killed Tecumseh, and there was doubt about the body that was supposedly his. Several Indian bodies had been mutilated either by the whites or by the Indians to keep the identities secret.Tecumseh Stone, Fort Malden National Historic Site. Photo by Dwight Burdette – CC BY 3.0The Indians claimed they had taken the body of Tecumseh and buried it in a secret location, but several American soldiers claimed he was buried along with other fallen Indians by the British.While Tecumseh is not as well known as Indians such as Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Geronimo, he achieved a legendary status which is always accompanied by fanciful tales.It is doubtful that Tecumseh ever proposed marriage to the white daughter of one of his friends as is portrayed in the outdoor drama Tecumseh!. There are also reports that Tecumseh was clairvoyant and saw his own death, which is probably another tall tale.Read another story from us: He Came From the Woods: The Story of the Last “Wild” Native AmericanWhatever the truth is, there is no doubt that Tecumseh devoted his life to the cause of Native Americans living in an increasingly hostile world.last_img read more

The Ancient Tribe that Still has a Cult Centered Around a WWII

first_imgThe islands of Melanesia hold some of the oldest-known human societies that have preserved their way of living for thousands of years. However, despite the fact that the international community generally agrees that their culture should be preserved at all costs, influences over the past centuries have left a permanent mark.Of all the visible influences that were bound to happen after every contact, perhaps the weirdest one is the development of so-called “cargo cults.”John Frum gathering area Photo by Flickr user Charmaine Tham CC BY 2.0Cargo Cults emerged in this subregion of Oceania in the Southern Pacific after initial contact of natives with British and French explorers and colonizers in the 19th century, after which some tribesmen started worshiping foreign items that were brought to their island.The word “cargo” simply summarized all these items, as they were referred to as such by the Westerners.Objects such as rifles, clothes, compasses, or everyday tools took the central position within emerging cults which fetishized these foreign inventions, giving them magical and otherworldly powers.Ceremonial cross of John Frum cargo cult, Tanna, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), 1967. Photo by Tim Ross CC BY SA 3.0Very few of the cargo cults have survived to this day, although one of the most persistent ones, the John Frum Cult, continues to bewilder visitors tourists who happen to land on the island of Tanna in the Vanuatu archipelago.The John Frum cult is believed to have started in the late 1930s, just prior to the beginning of Second World War. Some believe that it appeared as the early 1910s but due to the general lack of written sources it seems impossible to determine its true origins.Vanuatu native.By one version of the story, inhabitants of Tanna met a stranger dressed in an American military uniform. This man who called himself John Frum foretold that the natives need to return to their traditional religion and reject the Christian missionaries, who were at the time building churches on the island and converting the tribesmen.In return he promised that the Westerners will leave the island, abandoning their houses, food, clothes, tools, and weapons.This was great news for Vanuatuan society, which was founded on gift exchange. Gifts ensured political influence, power, and prestige. When the Europeans arrived, the indigenous tribes were perplexed with what appeared to be an abundance of goods and felt inferior to the settlers.Ceremonial cross of John Frum cargo cult, Tanna, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), 1967. Photo by Flickr user Charmaine Tham CC BY 2.0According to the legend, Frum set out a number of rules, among which were the rejection of money as a means of exchange, and Western education. In return they would be rewarded with wealth, houses, technology and food, as well as immunity to all illness and even immortality. In some versions, there is also a notion that the natives’ skin would turn white, in the process of completely replacing the settlers.The origin of the last name “Frum” is usually seen as a variation of the word “from,” implying that John was a foreigner. These generic names stuck with other cargo cults as well, such as the Tom Navy cult, making it even harder to determine the identities the people who started them. In fact, most accounts refer to them not as humans, but as spirits who provided the people with a vision of the future.Young Melanesian men with ‘USA’ painted in red on their bodies stage a military parade with fake guns. They believe that they are a kind of elite force within the American army. Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty ImagesAdopting the Messianic concept of Christianity along with their own indigenous myths and customs, the residents of Tanno island developed what was clearly a millennial cult. Their belief was that the Apocalypse would bring them salvation, placing them in the position of the Europeans and providing them with great technological and scientific advances, which they believed was summoned by magic.It was if as though they saw the settlers as visitors from another planet, bringing them untold miracles and sorcery.When WWII started in the Pacific, the long-awaited Apocalypse was in effect. In other places across the Melanesian world, millennial cult members started building docks, improvised airstrips, and accommodation for the bearers of gifts.The origin of the John Frum Movement is linked to the presence of US troops during World War II, while others believe it began as an anti-colonial and anti-missionary movement during the 1930s. Photo by BEN BOHANE/AFP/Getty ImagesAll of a sudden numerous modern inventions such as radios, telephones, refrigerators, and trucks flooded the tiny islands across the Pacific, forever changing the dynamics of life for the native tribes.Airstrips were transforming the untouched landscape, while the islanders stood in awe. For them, it was just as John Frum predicted.While the English and French often mistreated the natives in the early years of colonization, the Americans mostly approached them with respect and curiosity. Also, African-Americans served alongside white soldiers in the U.S. Army, which attracted the Melanesians, who are themselves of a darker tone of skin.G.I.s from the 25th Infantry Division in the jungle of Vella Lavella during Operation Cartwheel (September 13, 1943).The natives across Melanesia referred to Roosevelt as “Rusfel,” the friendly king of the Americans, who will bring about the fulfillment of their prophecies.In a way, that’s exactly what happened. When the war ended in 1945, the Vanuatu Islands lost their strategic importance and the soldiers returned home. Just as suddenly as they appeared, they were gone.Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933.They left behind them numerous surplus goods, useless during peacetime, but priceless to the people of Vanuatu.Related Video: 15 fascinating facts about WW2 you might not know about:However, this “cargo” was soon depleted, in response to which the followers of John Frum built what resembled an airstrip, in hopes of attracting American aircraft to return.As of 1957, the religious movement formed what was called the “Tanna Army” ― a non-violent organization that cherishes military regalia and uses it to stage parades as part of the cult’s rituals.Read another story from us: Natives of a Small Pacific Island Worship Prince Philip as a Sacred DeityThe John Frum cult remains active to this day, functioning with its own political party. They remain convinced that their Messiah will eventually return and shower them with gifts. Let’s just hope it won’t happen as a side-effect of another worldwide conflict.last_img read more

VIDEO Greek basketball championship ends in chaos with explosions and flares on

first_imgLAMENTABLE: Lluvia de bengalas y petardos de los aficionados del Olympiacos en la final de la Liga griega de basket. pic.twitter.com/Gv4AQcdqMc— José Manuel Amorós (@JoseMAmoros) June 11, 2017 Advertisement Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena will be crazy tonight, but it can’t touch what happened during the championship of the Greek Basketball League playoffs between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos yesterday.With only a couple of minutes left in the game, and Panathinaikos leading comfortably, chaos erupted as firecrackers began exploding in the stands and Olympiacos fans fired flares onto the court.How does the joke go? I went to a Greek basketball game and a soccer riot broke out.Remarkably, the teams attempted to play through the explosions before being removed from the court. After a delay and the evacuation of all the fans, the two teams finished up the in front of an empty arena. Panathinaikos won the game and the title 66-51. I’m guessing they didn’t stick around to pop champagne in the locker room. Madness, pandemonium and insanity. Actually, this is just the norm for a road victory that ends an Olympiacos-Panathinaikos series. pic.twitter.com/izuPrxQrvA— Andrew Bernucca (@krosoveri) June 11, 2017last_img read more

Finally Bitcoin Is Coming to Merchants Who Use PayPals Braintree

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Ending weeks of fervent speculation, PayPal has made it official: its mobile payment processing unit Braintree will soon start accepting Bitcoin payments.As expected, the subsidiary, which PayPal scooped up for $800 million in cash last September, has joined forces with Coinbase to integrate “One Touch” Bitcoin payments in the coming months. The exact date the first cryptocash payments through Braintree will begin rolling isn’t yet available.Braintree CEO Bill Ready announced the big Bitcoin news yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.Related: 5 Reasons Merchants Should Start Accepting Bitcoin Now“This is PayPal making a move to embrace Bitcoin,” Ready said during his talk at the popular tech industry event. Braintree quickly followed Ready’s reveal with a blog post offering more on the news.Coming soon to a checkout near you – a seamless Bitcoin experience w. Braintree + @coinbase! Join merchant beta: coinbase@getbraintree.com.— Braintree (@braintree) September 8, 2014“At PayPal, we’re excited by Braintree’s announcement to add bitcoin to the payment methods they support on their innovative mobile payments platform,” a PayPal spokesperson told Entrepreneur.com this morning.Chicago-based Braintree is the latest high-profile company to partner with Coinbase. The San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange and wallet service processes Bitcoin payments for some 36,000 merchants, including Overstock.com, OkCupid, 1-800-Flowers and DISH Network.Related: PayPal Unit Reportedly in Talks to Accept BitcoinMany of Braintree’s partners are equally recognizable big-name firms. They include several hot tech startups like Airbnb, Basecamp, Dropbox, Hotel Tonight, LivingSocial, OpenTable, TaskRabbit and Uber, all of which could soon see their customers paying in Bitcoin thanks to Braintree.PayPal’s flirtation with Bitcoin integration has been percolating for months, with eBay CEO John Donahoe dropping hints at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last May that it was getting more serious about the world’s first digital currency.Yesterday, ahead of Braintree’s announcements, the eBay-owned company directly heralded its support for Bitcoin in a minute-long teaser video titled “PayPal Voices.” The minute-long clip, posted on PayPal’s official YouTube page, set the greater Bitcoin community ablaze on social media yesterday with speculation that perhaps PayPal is finally making a move to embrace Bitcoin in and of itself, outside of its Braintree subsidiary.Related: PayPal Is Cracking Down on Bitcoin Sellers“Our phone is our wallet,” a rapid-fire stream of actors, aka “the voices of the people economy,” chimed in unison, 10 seconds into the hectic, fast forward-style vignette. “We can spend bitcoin with a tap, without a pocket.”Related: Blockchain Returns to the Apple App Store After Bitcoin BanNo need for rumors. PayPal told Entrepreneur.com that it is indeed toying with ways to integrate Bitcoin. Exactly how remains to be seen. The company’s still weighing its options. Maybe the Braintree-Coinbase alliance is PayPal’s version of a trial run. We’ll see.Our One Touch #tech and #Bitcoin integration enables a more seamless and secure payment experience: http://t.co/iLORJ3gPGd. #paypalit— PayPal (@PayPal) September 8, 2014“We do believe that bitcoin will play an important role in payments in the future and we’re actively considering ways to work with it within PayPal,” the spokesperson said, “but for now we have nothing to announce.”Related: How Bitcoin Is Fueling a New Payments Battlefield 3 min readcenter_img Register Now » September 9, 2014last_img read more

Struggling Sony Reveals Its Answer to Google Glass

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read September 24, 2014 Last week, Sony released a software development kit for its smartglass – called SmartEyeGlass – and announced that a developer’s version of the wearable will be available in March 2015.In a blog post, Sony hinted at ways its smartglasses could be used, including a cooking app that displays recipe directions directly on the lenses, a pedestrian navigation app that directs users to nearby locations and a facial recognition app.While Sony claims its smartglass features a “slim light wear design,” the prototype — which includes a CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, Gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, and microphone — is bulky. So bulky, in fact, that it makes the awkward-looking Google Glass appear sleek in comparison. As Michael Andronico  wrote for Tom’s Guide, after trying on the device, “it seems a few iterations away from something you’d want to wear on the street.”Related: Will Sony Get Its Groove Back?As Sony’s smartphone business continues to falter – last week the Japanese electronics giant announced it is expecting an annual net loss of 230 billion yen ($2.15 billion), nearly five times its forecast in July of 50 billion yen, due to losses from its embattled smartphone division – the company has invested in wearables, including a smartwatch and an activity wristband.”Sometime there will be a post-smartphone business, a new area of mobile communication business, and if that day comes we have to utilize our assets…we have to create the foundations of the smart business and evolution of that going forward,” Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said.The slated launch for a Sony smartglass appears to be part of this strategy. No word on pricing yet. Currently, Google Glass retails for $1,500.Related: Would You Spend $1,500 on Google Glass? Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Artificial Blood Transfusions Could Be a Reality By 2017

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 25, 2015 2 min read To offset the declining number of blood donors, the National Health Service has heavily invested in the production of lab-grown blood. (The U.K.’s health system found a 40 percent decrease in new blood donors in England and North Wales last year compared to a decade ago.)In a news release published today, the NHS predicts that the first artificial blood transfusions will take place a mere two years from now, in 2017. Made from stem cells taken from adult and umbilical cord blood, the lab-grown alternative will be tested in early phase clinical trials, in which 20 healthy volunteers receive five to 10 milliliters of the stuff. Their results will then be compared to a control group’s that receives normal blood donations.Related: Next Up in Health Tech: DNA HackingThe aim is to “compare manufactured cells with donated blood,” Dr .Nick Watkins, assistant director at the NHS Blood and Transplant unit, said in a statement. “The intention is not to replace blood donation but provide specialist treatment for specific patient groups.”For patients with complex blood types or blood conditions, such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, finding donors for regular transfusions can be difficult.  The NHS, in partnership with a host of brands and retailers, started a campaign to remove the letters A, O and B from the names of British chains such as Waterstones and Odeon Cinemas to raise awareness of the constant need for new donors of all blood types. The hope is that by manufacturing blood in a lab, scientists can solve this supply-demand problem even if the number of new blood donors continues to decline.Related: As Wearables Get Hot, These 6 Industries Are Poised to Capitalize Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more