WPI researchers use brain imaging to enhance personal learning environments

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 31 2019A Worcester Polytechnic Institute computer science professor has received $1 million from the National Science Foundation to use computer science and neuroscience tools to study online learningCould a computer detect a person’s emotions? Could it tell when someone is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem on an online tutoring program? Could it detect deep reflection on a problem? A research team led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor Erin Solovey is working to develop a system that could extract that information by merging computer science with neuroscience. Through a collaborative $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, researchers will explore the use of sensors to measure brain activity during learning. They will then compare that information with student log data to understand important mental activities.”Personal learning environments offer a huge amount of data about a student’s learning process by recording correct and incorrect problem-solving responses,” said Solovey, “but they fail to capture critical information about what is happening during pauses between student interactions with the software.”Over the course of the three-year study, Solovey and her collaborators at Arizona State University and Lehigh University will use lightweight, noninvasive sensors to collect brain data as students use a computer tutoring program. With the student wearing a cap fitted with external sensors that measure brain waves, the team will examine whether the student is thinking deeply about the problem or if his or her mind is wandering during pauses in the learning tasks. With a better understanding of when and how learning occurs during pauses, teachers and technology developers will be able to create adaptive interventions within tutoring systems that are better personalized to the needs of the individual.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaThe study is part of NSF’s support of Understanding the Brain and the BRAIN Initiative, a coordinated research effort that seeks to accelerate the development of new neurotechnologies. Solovey’s work is one of 18 cross-disciplinary projects the NSF funded to conduct innovative research on neural and cognitive systems.”The teams will integrate multiple disciplines to look at fundamental questions about the brain in new ways,” said Shubhra Gangopadhyay, NSF program director in the Engineering Directorate. “The research will tackle problems that were previously intractable for neuroscience and cognitive science and will open up new avenues for future research. We are excited to see where these high-risk, high-reward proposals take us as a field.”The WPI-led team will examine developmental math learning in college and community college students using the ASSISTments intelligent tutoring system, a free online math homework tutoring program developed at WPI. The results, however, could apply to a variety of computer-based learning applications from elementary school math games to workplace training.”It also will allow us to explore novel human-computer interaction paradigms for utilizing sensors that provide passive, continuous, implicit, but noisy input to interactive systems,” said Solovey. “This has implications for the growing fields of brain-computer interfaces, wearable computing, physiological computing, and ubiquitous computing.”The grant directly funds three PhD students. Over the course of the project, there will be other graduate and undergraduate students working on research related to this project.Source: https://www.wpi.edu/news/new-kind-thinking-cap-wpi-researchers-are-using-brain-imaging-improve-personalized-learninglast_img read more

EUfunded project works to better understand human and parasite interactions

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 23 2019Whipworms are parasitic roundworms that live preferentially in the human cecum, the blind pouch at the beginning of the large intestine. They tunnel through epithelial cells and cause inflammation, potentially resulting in trichuriasis, an infection similar to colitis.Despite extensive research, the role of whipworm interactions with host epithelial and immune cells in triggering parasite expulsion remains unclear. This has hindered the development of anti-parasite therapies.The goal of the EU-funded GUTWORM project was to investigate and understand the interaction between whipworms and host cells. To achieve this, project researchers used T. muris, a mouse model, to replicate whipworm infection in humans.Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyThe GUTWORM project had various aims. First, the team set out to identify new parasite and host genes that could interplay and modulate immunological outcomes.It also characterized the role of host genes in whipworm infection and immunity. Here, novel and known candidate genetic mutations conferring susceptibility to colitis were targeted. GUTWORM researchers tested mice with particular mutations to evaluate the influence of these on anti-parasite immunity and expulsion.Finally, after identifying key genes regulating the immune response to whipworms, the team explored the precise mechanisms of these genes to help them understand their effect on the parasite.The GUTWORM project has generated a wealth of fundamental data on host-whipworm interactions. Ultimately, this will provide tools for future efforts to control these parasites, identifying potential new therapeutic targets for diseases that cause suffering in people living in tropical and sub-tropical regions.The resulting knowledge of the parasite-immunological interplay could also help scientists understand other intestinal inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis.Source: European Commissionlast_img read more

New diagnostic tool helps develop improved RDTs and support public health surveillance

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 31 2019PATH and Quansys Biosciences, Inc. have announced the launch of a new diagnostic tool designed to help researchers develop more sensitive and reliable malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and to support public health surveillance. The Q-Plex (TM) Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) is a quantitative immunoassay that simultaneously measures multiple malaria antigens.With almost half of the world’s population at risk for malaria and more than 200 million cases annually, the disease is a public health priority. Accurate diagnostics are critical to both disease management and public health surveillance. RDTs are a critical tool in malaria case management, particularly in remote settings, providing access to prompt diagnosis.Related StoriesUnited Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infectionsSouthern Research team aims to discover new, safer antimalarial medicinesMosquito surveillance in Madagascar reveals new insight into malaria transmissionMany current RDTs function by detecting the histidine rich protein 2 (HRP2) to identify P. falciparum malaria and the Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) antigen to diagnose P. vivax malaria and all other human malaria species. As RDTs improve in quality, there is a need to understand how these antigens behave in a malaria exposed population so that the performance of these RDTs and their potential to support malaria elimination can be fully assessed.With a single sample, the Q-Plex (TM) Human Malaria Array can measure HRP2 and pLDH at low concentrations, as well as quantify P. vivax- and P. falciparum-specific LDH epitopes to distinguish between malaria species and C-reactive protein (CRP) as an indicator of inflammation. Researchers can use the Q-Plex (TM) Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) as a reference test to evaluate RDTs in the development pipeline that detect malaria infections with low parasite concentrations and address the challenge of diagnosing P. falciparum malaria parasite strains that do not produce HRP2 and therefore are not detected by RDTs designed to identify the antigen. “It is important to equip researchers and the public health community with tools like the new Q-Plex (TM) Human Malaria Array, which has high sensitivity, requires a single sample, and may support higher throughput,” said Tala de Los Santos, PATH’s Global Program Leader, Diagnostics. “These features will assist with the development of improved diagnostics and support use for epidemiologic surveillance.”The Q-Plex (TM) Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) is available and can be ordered directly from Quansys Biosciences. Source:PATHcenter_img Quansys is excited to continue our partnership with PATH in bringing the power of multiplexing to such important world health issues. It aligns perfectly with Quansys’ goal to cure the world of communicable diseases by supporting front-line researchers with the most powerful and efficient tools possible.”Chris Lyman, Director of R&D at Quansys Bioscienceslast_img read more

Dropbox raises price range ahead of stock debut

Despite a rough week for tech shares, Dropbox cloud data storage service is expecting strong demand for its initial stock sale, boosting its price range to $18-$20 ahead of Friday’s launch 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. Explore further Dropbox IPO aiming to raise $748 mn © 2018 AFP Dropbox now expects to price its shares between $18 and $20, according to a securities filing Wednesday, up from the $16 to $18 estimated earlier this month.At that price, the transaction could value the company at $7.85 billion. A final price will be set Thursday ahead of Friday’s stock-trading debut. Shares will trade under the “DBX” ticker.The strong expected demand shows not all tech companies have been hit by the events of this week, when big players, especially in social media, have seen their shares dive following reports that a data analysis firm hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign misused personal information of some 50 million Facebook users.Dropbox also plans a $100 million stock sale to the venture capital arm of Salesforce, according to the filing.Dropbox is one of a number of tech firms centered around the internet “cloud,” allowing users to store data for remote access by any internet-linked devices.Storing digital data from music and films to documents, presentations and images has become big business with the lifestyle shift to accessing content and services online. Citation: Dropbox raises price range ahead of stock debut (2018, March 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-dropbox-price-range-stock-debut.html Cloud data service Dropbox defied recent volatility among technology shares and raised its expected stock price range ahead of this week’s initial public offering, suggesting strong appetite among investors. read more

Drones could be used to detect dangerous butterfly landmines in postconflict regions

first_imgDrones could be used to detect dangerous “butterfly” landmines in remote regions of post-conflict countries, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York. Provided by Binghamton University Explore further More information: Timothy S. de Smet et al, Catching “butterflies” in the morning: A new methodology for rapid detection of aerially deployed plastic land mines from UAVs, The Leading Edge (2018). DOI: 10.1190/tle37050367.1 Play Drones could be used to detect dangerous ‘butterfly’ landmines in remote regions of post-conflict countries, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York. Credit: Binghamton University, State University at New York. “We believe our method holds great potential for eventual wide-spread use in post-conflict countries, as it increases detection accuracy and allows for rapid wide-area assessment without the need for an operator to come into contact, or even proximity of the minefield,” said Nikulin. “Critically, once further developed, this methodology can greatly reduce both costs and labor required for mine clearing operations across post-conflict regions.”The use of cost- and time-efficient remote sensing techniques to detect plastic MECs such as the butterfly mine from unmanned aerial vehicles has enormous potential that warrants further study, wrote the researchers.”We are actively pursuing this project further and are in the process of field testing and calibrating our methodology,” said De Smet. “Ultimately, we hope to develop a fully autonomous multi-drone system that would require minimum input from the operators.”The peer-reviewed paper, “Catching “butterflies” in the morning: A new methodology for rapid detection of aerially deployed plastic land mines from UAVs,” was published in the May 2018 issue of The Leading Edge. Citation: Drones could be used to detect dangerous ‘butterfly’ landmines in post-conflict regions (2018, June 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-drones-dangerous-butterfly-landmines-post-conflict.html Scientists fly drone over Old Trafford to research landmine clearance It is estimated that there are at least 100 million military munitions and explosives of concern devices in the world, of various size, shape and composition. Millions of these are surface plastic landmines with low-pressure triggers, such as the mass-produced Soviet PFM-1 “butterfly” landmine. Nicknamed for their small size and butterfly-like shape, these mines are extremely difficult to locate and clear due to their small size, low trigger mass and, most significantly, a design that mostly excluded metal components, making these devices virtually invisible to metal detectors. Critically, the design of the mine combined with a low triggering weight have earned it notoriety as “the toy mine,” due to a high casualty rate among small children who find these devices while playing and who are the primary victims of the PFM-1 in post-conflict nations, like Afghanistan.Researchers at Binghamton University have developed a method that allows highly accurate detection of “butterfly” landmines from low-cost commercial drones. Assistant Professor of Energy Geophysics Alex Nikulin and Director of the Geophysics and Remote Sensing Laboratory Timothy de Smet used mounted infrared cameras to remotely map the dynamic thermal conditions of the surface and recorded unique thermal signatures associated with the plastic casings of the mines. During an early-morning experiment, they found that the mines heated up at a much-greater rate than surrounding rocks, and they were able to identify the mines by their shape and apparent thermal signature. Results indicate that this methodology holds considerable potential to rapidly identify the presence of surface plastic MECs during early-morning hours, when these devices become thermal anomalies relative to surrounding geology. 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

High Court Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

first_img Explore further South Dakota court rejects law aimed at online sales taxes Consumers can expect to see sales tax charged on more online purchases—likely over the next year and potentially before the Christmas shopping season—as states and retailers react to the court’s decision, said one attorney involved in the case.The Supreme Court’s 5-4 opinion Thursday overruled a pair of decades-old decisions that states said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases, and more than 40 states had asked the high court for action. Five states don’t charge sales tax.The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a customer’s purchase to a state where the business didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect sales tax for the state. Customers were generally responsible for paying the sales tax to the state themselves if they weren’t charged it, but most didn’t realize they owed it and few paid.Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.”Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States,” he wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Kennedy wrote that the rule “limited States’ ability to seek long-term prosperity and has prevented market participants from competing on an even playing field.”The ruling is a victory for big chains with a presence in many states, since they usually collect sales tax on online purchases already. Now, rivals will be charging sales tax where they hadn’t before.Big chains have been collecting sales tax nationwide because they typically have physical stores in whatever state a purchase is being shipped to. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third-party sellers who use the site don’t have to.Until now, many sellers that have a physical presence in only a single state or a few states have been able to avoid charging sales taxes when they ship to addresses outside those states. Online sellers that haven’t been charging sales tax on goods shipped to every state range from jewelry website Blue Nile to pet products site Chewy.com to clothing retailer L.L. Bean. Citation: High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax (2018, June 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-high-court-online-shoppers-sales.html Sellers that use eBay and Etsy, which provide platforms for smaller sellers, also haven’t been collecting sales tax nationwide.Under the ruling Thursday, states can pass laws requiring out-of-state sellers to collect the state’s sales tax from customers and send it to the state. More than a dozen states have already adopted laws like that ahead of the court’s decision, according to state tax policy expert Joseph Crosby.Retail trade groups praised the ruling, saying it levels the playing field for local and online businesses. The losers, said retail analyst Neil Saunders, are online-only retailers, especially smaller ones. Those retailers may face headaches complying with various state sales tax laws, though there are software options to help. That software, too, can be an added cost. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council advocacy group said in a statement, “Small businesses and internet entrepreneurs are not well served at all by this decision.”Chief Justice John Roberts and three of his colleagues would have kept the court’s previous decisions in place.”E-commerce has grown into a significant and vibrant part of our national economy against the backdrop of established rules, including the physical-presence rule. Any alteration to those rules with the potential to disrupt the development of such a critical segment of the economy should be undertaken by Congress,” Roberts wrote in a dissent joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. The lineup of justices on each side of the case was unusual, with Roberts joining three more liberal justices and Ginsburg joining her more conservative colleagues.The case the court ruled on involved a 2016 law passed by South Dakota, which said it was losing out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax not collected by out-of-state sellers. Lawmakers in the state, which has no income tax, passed a law designed to directly challenge the physical presence rule. The law requires out-of-state sellers who do more than $100,000 of business in the state or more than 200 transactions annually with state residents to collect sales tax and send it to the state.South Dakota wanted out-of-state retailers to begin collecting the tax and sued several of them: Overstock.com, electronics retailer Newegg and home goods company Wayfair. After the Supreme Court’s decision was announced, shares in Wayfair and Overstock both fell. Shares in large chains with more stores traded higher.South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard called Thursday’s decision a “Great Day for South Dakota,” though the high court stopped short of greenlighting the state’s law. While the Supreme Court spoke approvingly of the law, it sent it back to South Dakota’s highest court to be revisited in light of the court’s decision.The Trump administration had urged the justices to side with South Dakota. On Twitter, President Donald Trump called the decision a “Big victory for fairness and for our country.” He also called it a “Great victory for consumers and retailers,” though consumers will ultimately be paying more and businesses weren’t uniformly cheering the decision.The case is South Dakota v. Wayfair, 17-494. States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states. Credit: CC0 Public Domain © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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

Teslas next big thing Could it be with Apple

first_img ©2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. If Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk thought putting an end to his plan to take the electric-car maker private would calm down all the attention Tesla had received about its future, he should think again. 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. Explore further Citation: Tesla’s next big thing: Could it be with Apple? (2018, August 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-tesla-big-apple.htmlcenter_img Tesla shares fall again on doubts about go-private deal Musk said Friday night in a post on Tesla’s website that he no longer planned to take Tesla private and that the Palo Alto-based company’s board agreed remaining public is the better option. By Monday, one of the questions on some minds was whether Tesla’s future might run right down the highway from its Fremont factory and into the Cupertino headquarters of Apple.Few companies have the financial wherewithal to buy Tesla outright. But Apple, with a market capitalization of around $1 trillion and almost $244 billion in cash, could splurge for Tesla and still have plenty of dough left to invest in developing new iPhones, iPads and Macs.With or without Apple, however, some Tesla observers and analysts want Musk to take on help by bringing in a chief operating officer—perhaps with auto-manufacturing expertise—or even a co-CEO.When Musk said earlier this month that he was looking at taking Tesla private for $420 a share, that amount would have placed Tesla’s full market cap around $71 billion.Apple has never said it is interested in buying Tesla—the company’s largest acquisition to date has been its $3 billion buy of Beats in 2014.But Gene Munster, longtime tech industry analyst and managing partner with Loup Ventures, said there are circumstances under which Apple might consider rolling the dice on acquiring Tesla, or at the very least, making a multibillion-dollar investment in the electric-car maker.Munster said he still believes Tesla will reach a sustained level of profitability in a year. However, if the company is still posting losses every quarter, the situation could change.”If we’re wrong, and Tesla fails to reach profitability in the next year, Apple gains the upper hand and becomes the most likely investor or buyer,” Munster said in a research note Monday. “Both companies share a passion for hardware design, software, (and) AI (artificial intelligence). Plus, Apple’s balance sheet makes the combination viable.”Munster said that any outright acquisition of Tesla by Apple “would likely be well below Tesla’s current $54 billion market cap,” but he wouldn’t speculate as to how much lower. If Apple didn’t want to put that much money on the line, Munster said it could invest just $10 billion into Tesla and have a major impact on the company, and the electric car market. “(Apple CEO) Tim Cook would be the steady hand, and Elon Musk would be the renewable energy visionary,” Munster said. “Apple would not be spending on the impossible, like building its own car to try to catch Tesla. Apple would be investing in making the leader even better.”But, there remains the question of whether Musk, who is as individualistic as any executive in business today, would be able to accept Apple having a significant role with Tesla. Back in 2015, Musk even went so far as to call Apple a “graveyard” for former Tesla employees.Musk made that comment two years after Doug Field, Apple’s former vice president of Mac hardware engineering, left Apple to join Tesla.However, in May, Field, who oversaw production of Tesla’s Model 3 sedan, left Tesla, and in August returned to Apple to work on the company’s self-driving car efforts.While an Apple-Tesla tie-up has some merit, the odds of it occurring are slim, Munster said.”If you try to merge two unique cultures, you usually end up with mediocrity,” Munster said. “If we as consumers want the best products, we should want Apple and Tesla to keep their cultures separate and do it their way, even if it means competing with each other in auto.”Whether Apple takes the Tesla plunge, Musk and his company for now have to concentrate on building cars, keeping drivers happy and safe, and answering to the demands of investors and Wall Street.”Staying public brings back a sense of consistency and stability to the company’s current vision and operations,” said Tim Bajarin, president of tech consultancy Creative Strategies. “Tesla car owners should expect Tesla to be more aggressive with Model 3 production and become more focused on innovation.”Even if Tesla is never acquired by Apple, it may want to take some lessons in executive management and structure from the world’s most valuable company, Bajarin said.”Musk needs a Tim Cook-level COO. Cook is the one who delivered world-class operations to Steve Jobs and Apple and was a big reason Apple came back to health after Jobs returned in 1997,” Bajarin said. “He may need a co-CEO with great operational skills to get Tesla to the next level and help expand their company and opportunities.”Cowen & Co. analyst Jeffrey Osborne said that with Musk’s “go-private fiasco” now over, Tesla needs to prove it still has its investors’ best interests in mind after more than two weeks of “roller coaster” activity that raised questions about Musk’s managerial style and stability, and scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”The key question is whether investors will continue to support a CEO who may potentially be involved in market manipulation and/or securities fraud as well as a company under SEC investigation,” Osborne said in a research note late Sunday. “We believe the company should hold an investor conference call to address the situation in the spirit of transparency.”last_img read more

As GM cuts in US Fiat Chrysler invests in Italian plants

first_img In a plan that contrasts with General Motor’s announcement this week of deep cuts in North America, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said the company would launch 13 all-new or restyled models from 2019 to 2021, while also developing hybrid and fully electric engine technology.Manley disclosed the plans to Italian unions, which have been seeking reassurances for Italy’s under-utilized plants since a new five-year strategy was announced in June.”It is a courageous plan in a difficult context, in which, for example, the U.S. automotive industry is significantly reducing its workforce,” said the secretary general of the Uilm metalworkers’ union, Rocco Palombella.The all-electric 500 will be built in Mirafiori, in Turin, while the Alfa Romeo utility vehicle will be built in Pomigliano, near Naples, along with a mild-hybrid version of the compact Panda.The company will also add production of a hybrid plug-in Jeep Renegade and a European version of the Jeep Compass to its plant in Melfi in the south of Italy.Union officials said Fiat also announced that it would delay plans to stop production of diesel engines, instead launching production of an updated diesel engine at its plan in Pratola Serra, near Naples. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Fiat Chrysler to phase out diesel in Europe by 2021 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Thursday that its plants in Italy would return to full employment with a 5 billion-euro ($5.7 billion) investment in new cars and engine technology, including a fully electric version of the 500 city car and a plug-in hybrid Alfa Romeo compact utility vehicle. Explore further Citation: As GM cuts in US, Fiat Chrysler invests in Italian plants (2018, November 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-gm-fiat-chrysler-invests-italian.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

Jet shares nosedive after flights grounded lenders hopeful

first_imgMumbai-based Jet Airways is on the edge of bankruptcy and has failed to secure emergency funding from banks, forcing it to suspend all operations late Wednesday Citation: Jet shares nosedive after flights grounded, lenders ‘hopeful’ (2019, April 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-jet-nosedive-flights-grounded-lenders.html © 2019 AFP India’s stricken Jet Airways suspends all operations Explore furthercenter_img 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. Jet Airways shares plunged more than 32 percent on Thursday, hours after the Indian carrier’s final flight landed following a decision to ground its entire fleet. The Mumbai-based carrier is on the edge of bankruptcy and has failed to secure emergency funding from banks, forcing it to suspend all operations late Wednesday.Jet’s stock fell more than 32 percent to 162.15 rupees on the Bombay Stock Exchange Thursday. It was worth more than four times that a year ago.The lenders that control the airline said Thursday they were focusing on finding a buyer for Jet, which was until recently India’s second-biggest carrier by market share.”Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner,” they said in a statement.The State Bank of India-led consortium is looking to sell a controlling stake in Jet and has shortlisted four potential buyers, including Etihad Airways, which already owns 24 percent.The four have until May 10 to submit formal bids.But until then, the carrier’s remaining fleet is grounded, with a final flight from Amritsar to Mumbai landing in the early hours of Thursday.Several hundred staff gathered outside the airline’s headquarters in Mumbai Thursday, chanting “We want justice” and “Please save Jet Airways”.”What’s the management doing and why isn’t the government doing anything to save our jobs?” said Sarvesh, an employee of Jet’s ground staff who did not want to give his surname.”Many here have been working for Jet for over 20 years. Our families are going to suffer,” he added.Modi blowZoya Khan, a 23-year-old flight attendant, said she was “extremely concerned” about her future.”This is my first job,” she told AFP. “We just want the management and the government to figure out a solution.”A collapse of Jet, and the loss of more than 20,000 jobs, would deal a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pro-business reputation as he seeks a second term in ongoing national elections.The chairman of state-carrier Air India, which has been bailed out by the government several times, said Jet’s temporary closure was a setback for India’s aviation sector.”We have in the past witnessed many airlines shutting shop and it is time to appreciate that the razor thin margins which airlines are forced to operate with in a competitive environment results in a scenario that encourages unsustainability,” Ashwani Lohani said in a Facebook post.Jet, which has debts of more than $1 billion, has been in a tailspin for months. It has defaulted on loans and failed to pay many staff since the start of the year.The carrier cancelled hundreds of flights in recent weeks, stranding thousands of passengers. It was operating just five planes before Wednesday’s grounding, down from 120 last year.Bad investments, competition from several low-cost carriers, high oil prices and a weak rupee contributed to Jet’s financial demise, experts say.Its plight has been compared to that of Kingfisher Airlines, which ceased operations in 2012 before later going bust, causing thousands of job losses and huge financial costs to lenders.last_img read more

Beyond Queens stompstompclap Concerts and computer science converge in new research

first_img Music captivates listeners and synchronizes their brainwaves Citation: Beyond Queen’s stomp-stomp-clap: Concerts and computer science converge in new research (2019, June 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-queen-stomp-stomp-clap-concerts-science-converge.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. Sang Won Lee, an assistant professor of computer science in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, and his collaborators tested some theories about not only engaging large audiences, but sustaining that engagement in a live music performance.While Lee isn’t part of a world-renowned, stadium-filling legendary rock band, his team uncovered something that Queen guitarist Brian May and the late Freddie Mercury didn’t have that helped audience engagement: live social media.Lee will present his findings at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 12th Creativity and Cognition Conference in San Diego, California on June 26, 2019. He collaborated with Walter Lasecki and Danai Koutra, both assistant professors of computer science and engineering, and undergraduate sound engineering student Aaron Willette, all from the University of Michigan.In addition to presenting his research findings as a formal paper, he will also perform a concert to demonstrate his smartphone participatory app and create a real-time composition for smartphones using an interactive musical piece for large-scale audience involvement called Crowd in C. The sounds of the composition will be generated solely from the audience.”This research is important in learning what resonates with larger audiences and prompts people to not only participate in a group, but remain engaged and create an artistic artifact,” said Lee. “Artifacts let the audience see the fruits of their labor as a group and give them something to invest in as far as remaining engaged.”For Lee’s performance the audience will log in to an app that will present them with a pattern of dots. By moving the dots, audience members will be able to manipulate the sounds that will be collectively played over a sound system and create their own compositions in the key of C. Lee will have the real-time ability to change the chord of the instrument to make the sounds lower or higher or to play a simple melody.In developing his composition for smartphones, Lee had three challenges. The first challenge was how to engage a large audience using an instrument that was simple enough for novices. The second challenge was keeping the audience engaged with their new music makers. The last challenge was to perform a piece of music with the crowd interacting with the app. Lee patterned the social media engagement tools for Crowd in C after such dating apps as Tinder. Users can listen to individual compositions during the performance and hit a like button in the shape of a heart. Additionally, if two users like each other’s musical profiles, they are greeted with an “it’s a match” message and magic fairy wand sounds. Computer science Assistant Professor Sang Won Lee discovered that crowds at live music events are more engaged and for longer periods of time when they use live social media to create an artifact of the experience. Credit: Amy Loefflercenter_img Explore further Provided by Virginia Tech The iconic “stomp-stomp-clap” of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was born out of the challenge that rock stars and professors alike know all too well: How to get large numbers of people engaged in participating during a live performance like a concert—or a lecture—and channel that energy for a sustained time period. Lee tested the Crowd in C app last December at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, and found that 87 audience members remained engaged at a constant rate for 540 seconds, or nine minutes.On average, audience members sent or received hearts 8.21 times. Sending hearts was driven by a small portion of people, the top 20 percent of participants sent 62.2 percent of all hearts.While a small number of participants were responsible for sending and receiving a majority of the hearts, various individual approaches of engagement emerged over the course of Lee’s performance. While some audience members were socially active, others focused on more musical interaction and contributed to the artifact.”We saw that social interaction helped audience members stay engaged longer with the app and the performance, so this could be a tool that professors or anyone else who has to captivate large audiences at conferences could use in the future,” Lee said.He finds it promising that the computer-mediated participatory platform was flexible enough to accommodate various types of participation: some members were influencers, some were lurkers, and some were music geeks.”Using computer science in nontraditional ways is a wonderful gateway to connect with the public and make technology relatable to people who may not interact or realize they are interacting with computer science on a regular basis,” said Steve Harrison, an associate professor of practice in the Department of Computer Science and the School of Visual Arts, as well as director of the human-centered design program.Harrison has had dual roles as associate chair and co-chair of the Creativity and Cognition and Designing Interactive Systems conferences this year.”We are experimenting with the joint format to bring together two related computer science research communities,” he said. “The conferences will host a shared art exhibition and one full day of conference programming to support dialogue between the two overlapping communities.”Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science has a large presence at both conferences this year. In addition to Harrison, Assistant Professor Kurt Luther is serving as papers co-chair of Creativity and Cognition; Professor Deborah Tatar is serving as technical program co-chair for the Designing Interactive Systems conference; and graduate student Aakash Gautam is serving as co-chair for student volunteers.Whether it’s a raucous concert or a compelling lecture, Lee’s research indicates the rules of audience engagement may have gone beyond stomping and clapping and headed into the realm of computer-mediated technology that can help performers of all kinds, whether they are in the classroom or the concert hall.last_img read more

Fingerprint spectroscopy within a millisecond

first_img Hand-held scanner for detecting hazardous substances and explosives Researchers of Fraunhofer IAF will present their demonstrator of the measuring system at this year’s LASER World of PHOTONICS. Credit: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF To guarantee high quality pharmaceuticals, manufacturers need not only to control the purity and concentration of their own products, but also those of their suppliers. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF have developed a measuring system capable of identifying a wide variety of chemical and pharmaceutical substances remotely and in real time. It is perfect for the use in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industry. 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. Especially for pharmaceutical and food productions a continuous control of ingredients is indispensable. Usually, this would be done by a sampling and a laboratory analysis via chromatography or spectrometers. However, such a process is time-consuming and allows only for spot checks. At Fraunhofer IAF, researchers have developed a measuring system capable of a quality control in real time. It identifies even smallest amounts of substances based on their molecular composition.Real-time measurements with quantum cascade lasersThe core of the system is an extremely fast tunable quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating in the mid-infrared range. Based on backscattering spectroscopy, the laser system not only allows to identify smallest amounts of chemical substances in real time, but also to continuously control chemical reaction processes. “Our measuring system allows for a remote identification of a wide variety of chemical and pharmaceutical substances. Time-consuming measurement procedures in laboratories can be replaced by real-time measurements during ongoing production processes,” explains Dr. Marko Härtelt, researcher at Fraunhofer IAF. Explore further More information: Researchers of Fraunhofer IAF will present their demonstrator for fingerprint spectroscopy of pharmaceutical and other chemical substances as well as their QCL modules at the Laser World of PHOTONICS from 24-27 June 2019 in Munich (hall A2, booth 431).www.iaf.fraunhofer.de/en/media … WorlofPhotonics.htmlcenter_img Extremely variable scan speed Quantum cascade lasers developed by Fraunhofer IAF are characterized by their extremely variable scan speed, their compact size as well as their being widely tunable. The researchers have developed a QCL that can be tuned to work at high scan frequencies or in a quasi-static mode over a wide wavelength range. This is achieved through the combination of quantum cascade lasers in an external resonator with different MOEMS based lattice scanners that work as wave selective elements. “The fastest spectrally tunable resonant MOEMS scanners allow for the scanning of one thousand complete IR ranges per second. The high scanning speed is essential for applications in which the conditions change rapidly, such as the surveillance of chemical reaction processes or moving objects,” says Härtelt.QCL based measuring systems are well suited for quality control at a variety of industrial sectors, thanks to their ability to identify various chemical substances remotely and in real time. Used in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industry the measuring systems provide information about the authenticity and purity of substances at any given time during the production process. Furthermore, the quantum cascade lasers can be used in medical diagnostics or in the security sector to test hazardous substances. Additionally, the compact design allows for the development of mobile, and even hand-held, measuring systems. The core of the system is an extremely fast tunable quantum cascade laser with emission wavelengths in the mid-infrared range and high scan frequencies of up to 1 kHz. Credit: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF Together with his colleagues, he has been working on the development of QCLs for infrared spectroscopy for several years now. With the help of researchers of Fraunhofer IPMS, he has developed a compact and robust laser source with which the whole wavelength range of the QCL emitter can be scanned within a millisecond. The basis for this “fingerprint” method is the mid-infrared range (4-12 μm). “Many chemical compounds have a unique absorption behavior in this wavelength range, which is as unique as a human fingerprint,” comments Härtelt. The wavelength range enables a clear identification of the nature and composition of molecular compounds. Citation: Fingerprint spectroscopy within a millisecond (2019, June 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-fingerprint-spectroscopy-millisecond.html Provided by Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAFlast_img read more

UK parliaments Big Ben bell marks 160 years with silence as restoration

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament marks 160 years on Thursday since its “Big Ben” bell first chimed, but the familiar bongs will not ring out to celebrate the occasion as the famous clock-tower is half way through a major restoration project. That work has seen the 96-metre-tall Elizabeth Tower, one of the most photographed buildings in Britain, enveloped in scaffolding as the four clock dials are reglazed, ironwork repainted and intricately carved stonework cleaned and repaired. It is the most extensive conservation programme ever carried out on the tower and has also involved removing the whole of its cast iron roof, made up of 3,433 pieces, for repairs. The 13.7-tonne Big Ben bell will remain in place throughout the restoration works, which began in 2017 and are due to be completed in 2021, but has been largely silenced, sounding only for important events such as New Year’s Eve celebrations. The Victorian clock mechanism has been removed to be serviced and to ensure it is not damaged by dust and dirt generated during the works, with an electric motor installed to drive the clock’s 4.2 metre-long hands while it is gone. “This is a complex programme, with hundreds of experts around the country working on different elements of the project … we have reached this stage with many major components restored and ready to go back in situ,” said Senior Project Leader Charlotte Claughton. Specialist tradesmen clad in high-vis vests and hard hats working with panoramic views across the London skyline have completed the clock’s north dial, with 324 individual new pieces of mouth-blown and hand-cut glass installed into the frame. PRESERVING A LANDMARK A time capsule was discovered in the tower’s roof, parliament said, hidden there by the team who carried out work to repair bomb damage in the 1950s. It contained the names of all the workers on that project as well as an old coin, a copy of a newspaper and a letter which referred to a previous time capsule left during renovation works in the 1920s. Slideshow (13 Images)“Discovering the time capsule was a great moment … It gave us a real sense of history and provided a tangible connection to those that have worked to preserve this beautiful landmark before us,” said Adam Watrobski, the project’s principal architect. The team have in turn placed a new time capsule at the top of the tower, containing a list of the people working on restoration, messages from schoolchildren and a copy of an order paper setting out parliamentary business for that day. The Palace of Westminster on the bank of the River Thames, home to parliament and Big Ben, is a world heritage site and major tourist attraction. A 4 billion pound ($5 billion) restoration programme of the entire building, which suffers from crumbling stonework, leaking roofs and failing plumbing, is due to begin in the mid-2020s and will see lawmakers moved out into a temporary building nearby. Editing by Stephen AddisonOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

Book Excerpt Archaeology From Space

first_img In Photos: Ireland’s Newgrange Passage Tomb and Henge 7 Amazing Places to Visit with Google Street View Archaeologist Sarah Parcak studies lost cities of the ancient world. But unlike the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones — and generations of real-world archaeologists — Parcak peers at temples, pyramids and other remnants of the distant past from great heights, scanning the ground with satellite technology orbiting at altitudes thousands of miles above Earth. A pioneer in this relatively new field of so-called space archaeology, Parcak shares some of her biggest discoveries in a new memoir, “Archaeology From Space.” Her book outlines how aerial views have transformed her field, revealing hundreds of sites that were previously unknown. The lives of people from millennia ago still have much to teach us, and new methods for studying the past — particularly civilizations that succumbed to a changing climate — can uncover important lessons for humanity’s future. Below is an excerpt of “Archaeology From Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past,” published by Henry Holt and Company on July 9, 2019. Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65868-archaeology-from-space-excerpt.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The Scope of Space Archaeology The human story—the story of us—is evolving at breakneck speed thanks to new technologies. Armed with new data sets, we can spin fresh tales that bring us closer to getting more right than wrong about our ancestors and ourselves. What we can find with new technologies such as satellite imagery is simply astounding. It is helping us rewrite history. We’ve gone from mapping a few dozen ancient sites in one summer-long archaeological season to mapping hundreds, if not thousands, of sites in weeks. With advances in computing and artificial intelligence, we are on the verge of achieving those same results in a few hours. In case you want to be an archaeologist and are worried that we space archaeologists will find everything first, fear not. Knowing the location of an ancient site is only the first step. We still have to survey sites on the ground, a process known as ground-truthing, and then undertake years of excavation to get a better understanding of what is there. And wow, do we have a lot of work to do. To give you a sense of just how much, and how quickly this field is advancing, I saved writing this introduction until last, to make sure to include any hot-off-the-press discoveries made with satellite technologies. With the chapters done and edited, I thought I could get away with a bit of downtime between big announcements. Dream on, Parcak. In a recent Nature publication, a team led by archaeologist Jonas Gregorio de Souza announced 81 previously unknown pre-Columbian sites in the Amazon basin area of Brazil, using satellite imagery and ground surveys. Based on their findings, they estimated 1,300 other sites dating to between 1250 and 1500 AD in just 7 percent of the Amazon basin, with potentially more than 18,000 others in total. More than a million people may have lived in areas that today seem largely inhospitable. Their findings included ceremonial centers, large platform mounds, ringed villages, and fortified settlements in north-central Brazil’s upper Tapajós Basin, where few archaeologists had ventured.3 To me, what is extraordinary about this discovery is just how much archaeologists and others had taken for granted about what might, or might not, be there in the rainforest. Satellite data allowed the archaeological team to search large areas in a matter of months, when the job would have taken decades on the ground. All this, from a subfield that barely existed 20 years ago. Although the world is learning more, there’s still a way to go in popular understanding. In a recent travel insurance application for my work abroad, I was quoted an insanely high price for one year of coverage, over $50,000. When I inquired why, the team admitted they thought I traveled into space to look down from the actual satellites for ruins. I’m still laughing. As I write this, I am downloading brand-new satellite imagery of Giza, in Egypt, the site of the last standing wonder of the ancient world. Who knows if I’ll find anything previously undiscovered there. The main thing I have learned is to expect the unexpected. New sites and features appear where you hadn’t previously thought to look, or, in cases like Giza, have the potential to overturn long-held assumptions about major sites and time periods. In the following chapters, you’ll read about projects that did just that. Mapping sites from space is fun, but getting to explore them is what takes me back in time, often thousands of years, to eras when people believed in different gods, spoke languages now extinct, and lived in places assumed never to have been inhabited—but they were all Homo sapiens sapiens. Just like us. As such, archaeology has the potential to inspire in us great wonder, bringing us together. Today, given the conflicts and unrest around the world, this is very much needed. Some people don’t get the chance to experience that sense of awe in person at ancient sites, but I hope the stories shared here will give a sense not only of this, but of how much we assume about past peoples, and how wrong we have sometimes been, given our access to such fragmented information. There aren’t any papers published yet on whether remote sensing can complete the puzzle of what it means to be human and how to avoid the pitfalls of great civilizations that came before us. All I can say is that there is extraordinary wisdom to be learned from previous cultures. It’s shaped me profoundly and allows me to place current events in the long arc of perspective. For more than 300,000 years, our ancestors have migrated across Planet Earth, surviving and, in some cases, thriving—being creative, bold, innovative, and, of course, destructive. This story of space archaeology, its contributions to research, and the tales it helps us tell, only introduces the possibilities of the science. The scale of these new stories, however, should amaze and inspire us. In our history on Earth, humans have habitually pushed deeper into the unknown; as we now begin to focus on exploring Mars, and farther afield, we can imagine 100,000 years from today, when there will be literal space archaeologists traveling from planet to planet, exploring the remnants of our early settlement efforts in other galaxies. The origins of their field will be many light-years away, but the questions will remain close to those we ask today, about people who came before us. The answers matter far less than those questions. Perhaps it’s a start to understanding what makes us human: our ability to ask how, where, when, why, and who, and creating the tools we need to bring the answers to life, on Earth, looking down from outer space. Image Gallery: How Technology Reveals Hidden Art Treasures Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndolast_img read more

Did We Mishear Neil Armstrongs Famous First Words on the Moon

first_imgOn July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched in suspense as Neil Armstrong descended a ladder towards the surface of the Moon. As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Or at least that’s how the media reported his words.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65950-neil-armstrong-first-words-on-moon.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  But Armstrong insisted that he actually said, “That’s one small step for a man.” In fact, in the official transcript of the Moon landing mission, NASA transcribes the quote as “that’s one small step for (a) man.” As a linguist, I’m fascinated by mistakes between what people say and what people hear. In fact, I recently conducted a study on ambiguous speech, using Armstrong’s famous quote to try to figure out why and how we successfully understand speech most of the time, but also make the occasional mistake. Our extraordinary speech-processing abilities Despite confusion over Armstrong’s words, speakers and listeners have a remarkable ability to agree on what is said and what is heard. When we talk, we formulate a thought, retrieve words from memory and move our mouths to produce sound. We do this quickly, producing, in English, around five syllables every second. The process for listeners is equally complex and speedy. We hear sounds, which we separate into speech and non-speech information, combine the speech sounds into words, and determine the meanings of these words. Again, this happens nearly instantaneously, and errors rarely occur. These processes are even more extraordinary when you think more closely about the properties of speech. Unlike writing, speech doesn’t have spaces between words. When people speak, there are typically very few pauses within a sentence. Yet listeners have little trouble determining word boundaries in real time. This is because there are little cues — like pitch and rhythm — that indicate when one word stops and the next begins. But problems in speech perception can arise when those kinds of cues are missing, especially when pitch and rhythm are used for non-linguistic purposes, like in music. This is one reason why misheard song lyrics — called “mondegreens” — are common. When singing or rapping, a lot of the speech cues we usually use are shifted to accommodate the song’s beat, which can end up jamming our default perception process. But it’s not just lyrics that are misheard. This can happen in everyday speech, and some have wondered if this is what happened in the case of Neil Armstrong. Studying Armstrong’s mixed signals Over the years, researchers have tried to comb the audio files of Armstrong’s famous words, with mixed results. Some have suggested that Armstrong definitely produced the infamous “a,” while others maintain that it’s unlikely or too difficult to tell. But the original sound file was recorded 50 years ago, and the quality is pretty poor. So can we ever really know whether Neil Armstrong uttered that little “a”? Perhaps not. But in a recent study, my colleagues and I tried to get to the bottom of this. First, we explored how similar the speech signals are when a speaker intends to say “for” or “for a.” That is, could a production of “for” be consistent with the sound waves, or acoustics, of “for a,” and vice-versa? So we examined nearly 200 productions of “for” and 200 productions of “for a.” We found that the acoustics of the productions of each of these tokens were nearly identical. In other words, the sound waves produced by “He bought it for a school” and “He bought one for school” are strikingly similar. But this doesn’t tell us what Armstrong actually said on that July day in 1969. So we wanted to see if listeners sometimes miss little words like “a” in contexts like Armstrong’s phrase. We wondered whether “a” was always perceived by listeners, even when it was clearly produced. And we found that, in several studies, listeners often misheard short words, like “a.” This is especially true when the speaking rate was as slow as Armstrong’s. In addition, we were able to manipulate whether or not people heard these short words just by altering the rate of speech. So perhaps this was a perfect storm of conditions for listeners to misperceive the intended meaning of this famous quote. The case of the missing “a” is one example of the challenges in producing and understanding speech. Nonetheless, we typically perceive and produce speech quickly, easily and without conscious effort. A better understanding of this process can be especially useful when trying to help people with speech or hearing impairments. And it allows researchers to better understand how these skills are learned by adults trying to acquire a new language, which can, in turn, help language learners develop more efficient strategies. Fifty years ago, humanity was changed when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon. But he probably didn’t realize that his famous first words could also help us better understand how humans communicate. [Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter to get insight each day] Melissa Michaud Baese-Berk, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoBeach Raider24 Photos Of Shelter Dogs The Moment They Realize They’re Being AdoptedBeach RaiderUndolast_img read more

Dash Square launches first Ashley Furniture Homestore in HyderabadDash Square launches first

first_imgfurnishings and furniture industry COMMENT Furniture retail chain, Dash Square, has launched the first Ashley Furniture Homestore in India at Hyderabad. Known for its iconic furniture, the US-based Ashley Furniture has a long tradition of craftsmanship and offers five lifestyles – Urbanology, Vintage Casual, New Traditions, Grand Elegance and Contemporary Living.The showroom features complete lifestyle vignettes, down to the final detail of lighting, rugs and wall art. The product categories include bedroom, dining room, upholstery, leather, tables, home office, youth bedroom, recliners, mattresses and accessories.Amruth Sampige, Managing Partner, Dash Square, said, “Ashley is one of the most celebrated names in fine furniture today. Since inception, the international brands at Dash Square have been carefully chosen not just for their badges, but also for their heritage of quality, craftsmanship, and innovation.”With 22 points of sales across five cities and more than 1,00,000 sq ft of retail space, the Dash Square Group offers the best in furniture and design and hosts brands such as Ashley, Natuzzi, Kuka, Domicil and HTL, to name a few. Dash Square currently has showrooms in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Mysore. Telangana SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 14, 2018 lifestyle (general)center_img SHARE Hyderabad Published on retailing COMMENTSlast_img read more

Drug retailers worried by growth of epharmaciesDrug retailers worried by growth of

first_imgpharmaceutical retailing RELATED LEAD STORYE-store concept gives retail pharma the shivers SHARE August 22, 2018 COMMENTS Published oncenter_img Tech, financial stocks lift Wall Street Drug retailers have once again raised objection to the rampant proliferation of online pharmacies and demanded legal measures to curb the ‘unchecked growth’ of e-pharmacies, which has hurt the business from stores by about 10 per cent in revenues in last one year.Through the proposed rules allow online sale of medicines only through licenced and registered e-pharmacies, heavy discounts on medicines being offered by the overseas-funded e-pharmacies is seen creating an unfair competition for store-owners. “The government has fixed a trade margin of 16 per cent for chemists whereas it allows relaxation for FDI from players such as Walmart, Amazon, 1mg, Pharmaeasy among others. With deep financial pockets, these players can afford to offer heavy discounts and take away the customers of chemists. Unchecked proliferation of these giants threatens survival of 8.5 lakh chemists across India including 26,000 in Gujarat,” said Aplesh Patel, President of the Federation of Gujarat State Chemists & Drugists Association – an affiliate to All India Organisation of Chemists & Drugists.ShutdownThe pharmacists in Ahmedabad have called a partial shutdown on Friday, August 24 till 4 pm as a mark of protest against the onslaught of online players besides pending demand on GST refund for expired/leakage drugs. As per the current GST rules, the goods return claims are to be made within 180 days, whereas in the case of medicines the average period of expiry is about three years. Hence, according to chemists, the provisions of CGST Act under section 34(2) is not sufficient for pharma trade. Also, as per different Acts for pharma retailing, it is mandatory to reverse logistics of drugs and formulations in the event of expiry, damage or leak or spurious quality.Small chemistsMoreover, under the Drug & Cosmetics Act & Rules, a dealer can’t issue sales invoice in respect of time expired medicines. “It is, therefore, necessary to make special provisions for reversal of purchases and tax credits beyond the period mentioned in the existing CGST Act,” said Patel. “This is putting unnecessary financial burden on the small chemists. Our demand to the Government is that the expiry return or near expiry goods should be treated as a return of goods and not as supply, hence, it be allowed to be returned without GST,” he added.Several representations have been made in this regard before the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) – Gujarat as well as State Commercial Tax Department.Also, Patel informed that the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) is planning for a nationwide strike next month over the same issues. e-commerce and e-business SHARE SHARE EMAIL Seek Government intervention to control discounts by online players COMMENTlast_img read more

Political and administrative skill required to counter social evils says VicePresident NaiduPolitical

first_imgcrime, law and justice SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 27, 2018 ‘Does the new law stop all the crimes?’ COMMENTS COMMENTcenter_img SHARE Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu PTI Published on Political will and administrative skill are more important to eliminate social evils and these should be coupled with any new legal initiative undertaken, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said today adding merely enacting a new law does not stop a crime or change the system. Delivering his key note speech during the 48th foundation day celebrations of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) here, Naidu also lauded the central government’s decision to demonetise two large currencies (Rs 1,000 and Rs 500). “We have a weakness and fancy for a new law. Anything happens (there is a demand to bring) new law…but does the new law stop all the crimes?,” he asked. Senior and top brass of the central police forces and home ministry were present on the occasion. “I had said in the past that a mere new bill does not suffice. What is required is political will, administrative skill and then go for the kill of the social evil. Making any number of laws is not going to change the system. They are required, I am not denying that,” he said. He was referring to the recent changes and introduction of new laws to check crimes against women and for anti-corruption. The Prime Minister, Naidu said, is trying his best to fight corruption through new legal initiatives. On demonetisation, he said this was done with a “good intention” and all the monies hidden in “bedrooms, bathrooms and under the pillow has now reached the banks and has come into the system”. He hoped the Income Tax Department and the RBI would “quickly” do their investigations in this context and put in the public domain their findings. The Vice-President also hailed the Jan Dhan scheme to provide bank account to all and said some even “ridiculed as to why it is needed as there is no money”. Those who opened it realised its importance when demonetisation of the two large currencies was announced, he said. “Then the criticism of the (currency) note ban started. That is a right in democracy for citizens but people said all money reached the bank so what? That was the aim. The money that was in bedroom, bathroom and under the pillow, has reached the bank and come into the system,” he said.Now, what is white and black in now the job of the RBI and the Income Tax Department to find, Naidu said. On issues pertaining to the police, he said transparency and accountability are corner stones for effective policing. He asked the police forces across the country to pro-actively put in public domain the figures of crime reportage and detection.The vice-president also cautioned against the new emerging threats and security challenges by way of cyber warfare, which he said needed to be tackled by using the “power of knowledge.” On economic reforms, he said, as the country moved towards greater privatisation and has allowed 100 per cent FDI (in some areas), many foreign companies were coming in and operating and there was need to be “extra careful”. “We have to work together and evolve joint strategies,” he said.During his address, the Vice-President also expressed concern over moral values in the society and said this needed to be addressed. last_img read more

Kummanam Rajasekharan files nomination papersKummanam Rajasekharan files nomination papers

first_imgCOMMENTS national elections Kerala Published on The BJP candidate for the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat Kummanam Rajasekharan, 66, filed income tax returns for the first time this year after declaring his income as Governor of Mizoram. This was revealed in the affidavit filed along with the nomination papers here on Friday. Rajasekharan has ₹512 on hand and deposits of ₹1,05,212 with two branches of the erstwhile State Bank of Travancore. He quit the Governorship (May 2018 to March 2019) and was picked to contest against sitting Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.Rajasekharan owns ancestral property worth ₹10 lakh. Out of the ₹31,83,871 received as salary as Governor, Rajasekharan donated the entire proceeds, save the amount declared in bank deposits, to voluntary organisations. He has been named in two cases involving unauthorised public gatherings registered at the Cantonment Police Station here. On Friday, he filed a single set of papers, countersigned by Goshala Vishnu Vasudevan, a former high priest of the Sabarimala temple. The chief trustee of the Harivarasanam Charitable Trust, Balamaniamma, paid the security deposit of ₹25,000 for Rajasekharan. The papers were filed at noon before K Vasuki, Thiruvananthapuram Collector and District Election Officer. Earlier, Rajasekharan was escorted by hundreds of two-wheeler riders to the Collectorate. BJP State unit President PS Sreedharan Pillai, among others, were present. Thiruvananthapuram Kummanam Rajasekharan submits his nomination papers to District Collector KVasuki in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday   –  C_RATHEESH KUMARcenter_img March 29, 2019 COMMENT BJP SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

CWC to meet today to discuss leadership plans to salvage partyCWC to

first_imgMay 24, 2019 Rahul likely to continue helming Congress despite backlash against poll drubbing The Congress Working Committee, scheduled to meet on Saturday, will reject party President Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign as expected, but some in his immediate circle are likely to be replaced with more experienced people with a solid ‘Congress’ background. The Congress will shift its focus to States such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, where it is in power. The party has sensed threats to the Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh governments not just from the BJP, but also from power feuds within.When asked about the possibility of Rahul’s resignation, a Congress insider said: “People don’t blame Brahma for their problems. If we start blaming Rahul Gandhi for everything that happened, there is no end to it. We will analyse the work done by each and everyone at the decision-making level and will take a decision then,” he added.The party managers feel that any step discounting the prominence of the Gandhi family in the party will be counter-productive. So the party is not giving much attention to suggestions even from “well-wishers” that Rahul must step down.Historian Ram Chandra Guha had said on Twitter that it is astonishing that Rahul has not yet resigned from his post. “His party performed very poorly, he lost his own pocket borough. Both self-respect and political pragmatism demand that the Congress elect a new leader. But perhaps the Congress has neither,” he said.Resignations announcedMeanwhile, a host of Congress leaders have offered their resignations. Uttar Pradesh unit chief Raj Babbar, Odisha unit chief Niranjan Patnaik and senior leader from Odisha Bhakta Charan Das have announced their resignations owing moral responsibility. The CWC meeting will discuss the resignations of State leaders, too.“The results are depressing for the Uttar Pradesh Congress. I find myself guilty of not discharging my responsibility in a proper manner,” Babbar tweeted.“I will meet the leadership and apprise it of my views. Congratulations to the winners for winning the confidence of the people,” he said.Patnaik also said that he has sent his resignation letter to Rahul. “While the Congress faced defeat in the State, I too lost at the hustings. The party needs to take concrete steps to set the organisation in proper shape by getting rid of opportunists and attracting youth into its fold,” the leader said.Apart from Rahul, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the party’s star campaigner and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other senior leaders will attend the meeting. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Congres President Rahul Gandhi   –  Bloomberg Published on SHAREcenter_img COMMENT COMMENTS 0 Indian National Congresslast_img read more

Nothing tangible came out of loan

first_imgKUALA LUMPUR: A witness told the High Court that nothing tangible came out of the RM4bil loaned by Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd. Former KWAP chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said he did not know what was done by SRC International with the billion-ringgit loan. He was answering a question during a re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim at the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is accused of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds.During cross-examination earlier, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had raised the issues of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) Exhibition’s accommodation project and UEM’s North-South Expressway project that received the then prime minister’s attention. The projects were hurried, and the working papers were only completed after the projects had started. AdChoices广告DPP Suhaimi asked the witness about the two projects, to which Dr Wan Abdul Aziz said both projects existed. DPP Suhaimi: For SRC Inter­national, the money had been disbursed. Until now, do we see what has been done with the money loaned?Dr Wan Abdul Aziz: No. Meanwhile, another witness testified that Bank Negara seized seven electronic devices, including a BlackBerry, from three AmBank officers in Jalan Raja Chulan in 2015.Bank Negara analyst Suzairizman Shuib, 40, said four thumb drives of four and eight gigabytes and a hard disk were also seized from AmBank relationship managers Joanna Yu, Krystle Yap and Daniel Lee.The witness was in an examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul.Suzairizman said he seized the items on July 6, 2015 after he received an order from his department director Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar during a briefing session.Two days later on July 8, 2015, the witness said he received an application from Bank Negara investigating officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin for him to run an analysis on Yu’s BlackBerry.Suzairizman then extracted data from the phone’s memory card and SIM card which included photos and videos. “I ‘burned’ (copied) the information I had before handing a report on it to Ahmad Farhan.“I also handed the handphone to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for further action,” he added.DPP Ashrof: Some time in April and May this year, did you receive any information from Ahmad Farhan regarding the case?Suzairizman: Yes, I did. He said Bank Negara had a court order for me to retrieve the information from a BlackBerry Messenger. DPP Ashrof: Did Ahmad Farhan explain about the information they sought on the phone?Suzairizman: Yes, he showed me names.DPP Ashrof: You remember those names?Suzairizman: I do. Joanna, Krystle, Daniel and Jho Low.The hearing continues before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on Monday. Tags / Keywords: Related News SRC International {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Nation 10 Jul 2019 Witness: Najib wanted KWAP loan expedited before govt guarantee letter issued Nation 09 Jul 2019 Witness says Najib signed memo transferring SRC International ownership to MOF Inc on car bonnet Related News Nation 17 Apr 2019 Jho Low’s name brought up for first time in Najib triallast_img read more