Credit: Stone Aerospace 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. © 2012 Phys.Org The plan is for it to leave its power plant on the surface of the moon, with a high-powered laser travelling down miles of fibre-optic cable. “Our modest goal over the next three years is to use a 5,000-watt laser to send a cryobot through up to 250 meters of ice,” Stone said at the Atlanta assembly. If successful, Stone’s concept would resolve obstacles in the way of studying what may lie beneath Europa’s ice. A report in Wired says those obstacles include (1) solar power being unable to work below the surface (2) batteries not lasting long enough (3) too large a footprint of a device and (4) international treaty restrictions that would forbid testing of a nuclear robot.Stone has a 2013-2014 dress rehearsal planned. He intends to test a working cryobot at Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier in June next year, where it will attempt to cut through ten to fifty meters of ice. Afterward the cryobot will try to get through 200 meters in Greenland, in fall 2014.Last year, Stone announced that NASA awarded Stone Aerospace four-year, $4M funding to continue development of the Valkyrie project, to design and field-test an autonomous ice penetrating cryobot. Stone, who has a doctorate in structural engineering, is no stranger to such ambitious undertakings. Generally, Stone is known for his inventions designed to enable humans to explore remote environments. He formed Texas-based Stone Aerospace to commercialize his systems for exploration. He and a team of researchers from several universities built DepthX, a deep-diving robot that went down Mexico’s deepest watery sinkhole. He and his team also took on a mission to Antartica. He is often characterized, however, as looking toward his ultimate goal, a probe that can go through miles of ice on Europa and then explore through the sea. What intrigues scientists about Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, is that under its icy surface its expanse of water might harbor life. Robot plumbs Wisconsin lake on way to Antarctica, jovian moon Explore further Citation: Inventor preps robot to cut through ice on Europa (2012, April 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-inventor-preps-robot-ice-europa.html (Phys.org) — Robots are being developed all the time to do what we wish and to go where we can’t. This week, inventor Bill Stone told attendees at NASA’s Astrobiology Science Conference in Atlanta that he intends to get an autonomous robot ready to visit the icebound sea of Jupiter’s moon Europa, cut through the icy crust, and explore the waters below. He told the participants that his goal is to send his robot Valkyrie to Europa, where it will use lasers to cut through the ice to explore the waters below, collecting samples, in search of life. His company, Stone Aerospace, has been working on the six-foot by ten inch robotic cylinder called Valkyrie.
Journal information: Science Advances More information: Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow, Science Advances 04 Apr 2018: Vol. 4, no. 4, eaap9873 , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap9873AbstractReconstructing the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been problematic because morphological and genetic analyses have produced different scenarios. This might be caused by genomic admixture that may have taken place among some rorquals. We present the genomes of six whales, including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), to reconstruct a species tree of baleen whales and to identify phylogenetic conflicts. Evolutionary multilocus analyses of 34,192 genome fragments reveal a fast radiation of rorquals at 10.5 to 7.5 million years ago coinciding with oceanic circulation shifts. The evolutionarily enigmatic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is placed among rorquals, and the blue whale genome shows a high degree of heterozygosity. The nearly equal frequency of conflicting gene trees suggests that speciation of rorqual evolution occurred under gene flow, which is best depicted by evolutionary networks. Especially in marine environments, sympatric speciation might be common; our results raise questions about how genetic divergence can be established. Baleen whales do not have teeth—instead, they have a baleen, consisting of plates of whalebone in the mouth that strain plankton from seawater. Baleen whales include blue, gray, right humpback, rorquals and several others. Because they live in the vast ocean, it is difficult to study whales—scientists have to rely on dead carcasses and the occasional sample taken from a whale when it passes near a research vessel. This has resulted in limited knowledge regarding their biology and evolutionary history. In this new effort, the researchers focused on the history of baleen whales. They obtained six samples from baleens that had been darted and from dead animals, and subjected them to genomic sequencing to learn more about their past.The researchers soon realized that the history of baleens was far more complicated than thought—so complicated that they were averse to describing their evolution as depicting a family tree, instead preferring to call it a network. This is, they report, because of extensive interbreeding. This was surprising, they note, because of the huge differences in size between different baleens. Blue whales, the largest animal ever to exist on Earth, for example, mixed with the sei, the third largest of all whales, but which is nonetheless dwarfed by the enormous blue. The team reports that they were also able to see that the North Atlantic right whales and bowhead whales had become separate species approximately 28 million years ago. A team of researchers with members from Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, and Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and the University of Lund, in Sweden has found that genetic ties between baleen whales are far more complicated than previously thought. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of the whales using genome sequencing and what they found by doing so. Ancient whales were predators not gentle giants Finwhale. Credit: Florian Schulz The researchers note that many of the species appeared to evolve to their current state due more to personal tastes, rather than location or geography, which is more often the case with land animals. A taste for tiny creatures obviously drove the evolution of the baleen in general, they add, but differences in which prey they fancied appeared to be the driving factor in the development of shape and size differences. Explore further © 2018 Phys.org Citation: Genome sequencing shows baleen whales intermingled more than thought (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-genome-sequencing-baleen-whales-intermingled.html Bluewhale. Credit: Florian Schulz 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.
by NPR News Merrit Kennedy 8.26.19 5:40pm A pilot who is credited with saving dozens of lives has died. United Flight 232 went into total hydraulic failure while Al Haynes was at the controls in 1989. With the help of three other pilots, he maneuvered the DC-10 to a miraculous crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa, and 184 of the 296 people on board survived.Haynes is widely seen as a hero among aviation experts, akin to Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his “miracle on the Hudson.” Haynes’ son Dan confirmed to NPR that his father had died. Haynes was in the middle of the flight from Denver to Chicago when an engine suddenly failed. Shortly after that, First Officer Bill Records said he was unable to control the aircraft, as Haynes later recounted to New York magazine.”I thought to myself, How are we going to keep this thing in the sky? You don’t train or drill for something like this, because it’s just not supposed to happen,” he said. The hydraulic system — the way that pilots steer — was down. Haynes and his colleagues were desperately trying to use the throttles and thrust as a crude way to control the aircraft. A pilot who happened to be flying as a passenger on the plane jumped in to manipulate the thrusters. The team was aiming to touch down in Sioux City. After about 45 minutes of tense maneuvering, Haynes got on the loudspeaker.”I’m not going to kid you,” he said to the passengers, as he told New York. “We’re going to make an emergency landing in Sioux City. … It’s going to be a very hard landing, harder than anything you’ve been through. Please pay close attention to the flight attendants’ briefing, and we’ll see you in Sioux City.”The plane touched down with no brakes or spoilers. The cockpit crew lowered the landing gear to try to absorb the shock of landing, Haynes told New York. When it did land, one of the plane’s wings caught the ground and sent the craft cartwheeling down the runway. “I was knocked out after we hit, and I came to in the crash site,” said Haynes. NPR’s Howard Berkes was at the scene of the crash in 1989 and described the wreckage. “There’s one particular pile of aluminum — at least, that’s what it looks like, an unruly stack of crumpled aluminum,” he said. “Well, that’s actually the cockpit of the plane. It doesn’t resemble a cockpit or anything else for that matter. And one of the amazing facts about this whole tragedy is … that three people — the cockpit crew — were found alive in that pile of junk.”Haynes told New York that he felt guilty about surviving the crash in which 112 people died. But the fact that anyone survived is viewed as miraculous. Other pilots have attempted the landing in simulations. As Berkes reported, United pilot Mike Hamilton told The Associated Press that he’s “not aware of any that replicated the success these guys had. … Most of the simulations never made it close to the ground.”In its official accident report, the NTSB said that on a fan disk, there was a “fatigue crack” stemming from a defect in a “critical area.” The disk disintegrated during the flight, which resulted in debris that impacted the plane’s flight controls. Haynes retired in 1991 after working for United Airlines for 35 years, according to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In Seattle, the museum added, he was “a volunteer umpire for Little League Baseball for over 33 years and a stadium announcer for high school football for over 25 years.”Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. John Gaps III Al Haynes, Pilot From Miraculous 1989 Crash Landing, Has…
Kolkata: Stressing the need to strengthen road safety campaigns in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today asked the transport department to ensure that every vehicle has ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ stickers pasted on its front and back sides. The state government launched the ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ drive in 2016 as part of its initiative to inculcate a “sense of safe driving and responsible road behaviour” among people. Banerjee, who inaugurated 20 state-run Volvo buses, 21 trauma-care ambulances and 13 wrecker vans here, said the transport department would involve children for the sticker campaign “as the motorists might be more receptive to their requests”. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Once the weather improves, we will rope in young boys and girls to paste the stickers on the front and the back sides of the vehicles at traffic intersections,” she said at the programme, in presence of Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and senior transport officials. The newly inaugurated Volvo buses would ply between district headquarters and Kolkata. The objective of the sticker drive is to drill the message of road safety in the minds of people, Banerjee said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “The ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ stickers, in big fonts, will have to be pasted on two ends of the vehicles to instill traffic discipline,” she asserted. Talking about the new Volvo buses- ‘Banglashree Express’ – Banerjee said these high-speed vehicles would provide “comfortable and economic travelling experience” to the public. “Twenty new buses, each worth around 1.5 crore, have joined the fleet and six more will hit the road in the near future,” she said. The high-speed buses, connecting district towns with Kolkata, are being introduced at a time when debates over high-speed trains are doing the rounds across the country, the chief minister said, in an obvious reference to the bullet train project of the NDA government. “During flood-like situations, when rail tracks are inundated, buses can be of help to stranded people. Last year, during north Bengal floods, bus services turned out to be the only means of transport,” she said. The CM also said 80 electric buses would be introduced in greater Kolkata area before Durga Puja. Referring to the wrecker vans, the CM said, “The vans can be of great help after a road mishap, especially at places like Maa flyover in central Kolkata,” she said. Adhikari, on his part, credited the chief minister for the improved transport facilities in the state. The non-stop Volvo buses were introduced today to provide “comfortable and affordable” services to middle-class people, the transport minister added.
In an attempt to sort out friction between the communities, Khoj International Artists’ Association is presenting Coriolis Effect: Currents across India and Africa’ at Khoj Studios, in the national Capital, Beginning on August 28, Coriolis Effect is an international exhibition featuring works of artists from India and Africa. The exhibition, resulting from a month-long residency, seeks to activate the social, economic and cultural relationship and historical exchange which exists between India and the continent of Africa. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bernard
Getting the right amount of sleep and exercising several times a week can significantly cut the risk of stroke, suggests a study.The researchers from the New York University found that an average sleep of seven to eight hours and vigorous leisurely activity or exercise of 30 to 60 minutes three to six times per week, are healthy behaviours that can significantly decreased adults’ stroke risk. But sleeping for a longer or shorter amount of time increased the risk people would suffer, they said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The result showed that average sleepers — those who slept seven to eight hours a night — were 25 per cent less likely to have experienced a stroke. Meanwhile long sleepers —those who got more than eight hours a night — were 146 per cent more likely to have suffered a stroke.And short sleepers, who slept less than seven hours a night, were 22 per cent more likely to report having had a stroke. Average sleep and vigorous leisurely activity three to six times per week significantly decreased stroke risk, the researchers elucidated.
Not just youngsters, senior citizens are turning out to be Facebook’s fastest growing community, say researchers including an Indian-origin team member, suggesting that the elderly are joining Facebook for the same reasons that prompted teenagers to join it over a decade ago.According to S Shyam Sundar, professor at Pennsylvania State University, older adults who are motivated by social bonding and curiosity tend to use Facebook as a form of social surveillance. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Surveillance is the idea that you’re checking out what people are up to. This is something that many older adults do. They want to see how their kids are doing and, especially, what their grandchildren are doing,” said Sundar.Earlier studies suggest a positive relationship between bonding and bridging social capital and Facebook use among college students. “Our study extends this finding to senior citizens,” added Eun Hwa Jung, mass communication researcher at Penn State. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe researchers found that the desire to stay connected to family and keep in touch with old friends or social bonding was the best predictor of Facebook adoption and use, followed closely by the desire to find and communicate with like-minded people or social bridging.Curiosity is another motivation for senior Facebook users, Jung added. The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, found that senior citizens were not motivated to actively participate on Facebook when family and friends prod them to use the website. “When senior citizens respond to requests to join Facebook, that tends to be a negative predictor of use,” Sundar said. “In other words, they are not intrinsically motivated to participate when someone else requests that they join,” he added.Older adults also tend to use Facebook features that their younger counterparts favour. According to the findings, seniors visited Facebook 2.46 times a day and stayed on it for a little over 35 minutes each day. “This isn’t just a fast-growing market, but also a lucrative one. Older adults have much more disposable income than teens and college students and would be more desirable for advertising,” Sundar noted. The team suggests that designers of social media sites should emphasise on simple and convenient interface tools to attract older adult users.
Does a one-night stand or romping without any commitment or emotional involvement sound interesting to you? If yes, please beware. Researchers have found that a liking for casual sex may land you in trouble.The researchers found that a person’s preference for casual sex may actually increase their risk of being harassed.Also, adolescents who have been sexually harassed are more strongly inclined to have casual sex than others, the findings showed. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe results might give the impression that it is the victim’s fault for being harassed, but the researchers said their findings were not intended to “blame the victim”.”Absolutely not! We’re trying to understand the psychological mechanisms that underlie harassment,” said Mons Bendixen, Associate Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. It might be that a preference for casual sex results in more sexual solicitations in general, including undesirable ones. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, also showed that adolescents who sexually harass others have had casual sex more often than those who do not harass others. They also fantasise more about casual sex and find it more acceptable to have sex without any commitment or emotional closeness.The study included 1,326 heterosexual girls and boys with an average age of nearly 18 years. The psychologists only looked at non-physical forms of sexual harassment.Fully 60 per cent of the girls and boys in the survey reported that they had been sexually harassed in the last year. Around 30 per cent of the girls and 45 per cent of the boys admitted that they had sexually harassed someone one or more times.
Kolkata: A sex worker of Sonagachhi was injured after being attacked by a youth.The incident had taken place on Imam Box lane on Thursday. The 28-year-old woman was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Police said the victim was in her room when the accused went inside her room on Thursday night. The accused later stabbed her with a sharp weapon and fled the spot. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe. The victim’s husband rushed her to the hospital. Her health condition is stated to be serious. According to police, a surgery was performed on the patient at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt was learnt that some locals heard the victim screaming in pain. They rushed to her room and found her lying in a pool of blood. The victim’s husband, who was around, rushed to the spot following the incident and took her to the hospital. The investigating officers are waiting for the woman to recover following which she would be interrogated. Cops are yet to ascertain the exact motive behind the attack. Some locals mentioned that there are allegations against the victim. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey told police there had been instances where the woman had snatched money from her clients. None has, however, lodged any police complaint against the woman. A detailed probe has been initiated to ascertain the exact cause of the attack. The accused has been at large since the incident took place. Police also came to know that the accused had visited the victim on earlier occasions as well. They are trying to know the whereabouts of the accused. Raids are being to nab the culprit.
NEW DELHI: With BJP’s sterling show in Bengal, it was widely speculated that it would get at least a cabinet berth in Modi’s new cabinet. However, it ended up with two ministers of state. Babul Supriyo, the singer- turned politician who fended off actress Moon Moon Sen in Asansol returns as a minister of state. Debasree Chaudhuri the BJP MP from Raiganj was also inducted as an MoS in the Modi cabinet. This is being viewed by political analysts as a royal snub to the BJP party cadre in Bengal. The BJP increased its tally in Bengal from two in 2014 to an impressive 18 seats this time around.
Staying active, eating healthy and keeping blood pressure in check may not only boost heart health but also significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, a study claims. The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, found that lifestyle and health factors that are good for heart can also prevent diabetes. “This research adds to our collective understanding about how physicians can help their patients prevent a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer and now diabetes,” said Craig Kent from the Ohio State University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe team assessed diabetes among 7,758 participants and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 as a guide for measuring heart health among the group. The Life’s Simple 7 health factors and lifestyle behaviours that are associated with cardiovascular health are physical activity, diet, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and tobacco use. Overall, the study participants who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of the seven factors had a 70 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”What’s interesting is when we compared people who had normal blood glucose and those who already had impaired blood glucose,” said Joshua J Joseph, an assistant professor at the Ohio State University. “Those in normal levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes. Those who were already diabetic or prediabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes,” said Joseph. The research proves using prevention strategies from the beginning is key to helping Americans avoid diabetes.
Darjeeling: The Bidhan Market Byabsahi Samity (BMBS,) Siliguri has dismantled the first floor of the “illegal” structure in Bidhan Market.This comes on the heels of the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) issuing a notice on July 15 ordering the dismantling of the structure within 72 hours. Talking to media persons in Siliguri on Wednesday, Minister Deb stated that the traders have dismantled the first floor. “They have given a written undertaking that this structure is temporary and they will remove it as soon as the SJDA starts construction. Among them there are many shops that have trade license and are paying electricity bills. Some of the traders have been running shops here for more than 30 years. The SJDA in the next two months will draw up designs, plans and complete the tender process for building 20 kiosk styled shops in place of this illegal construction, where the deserving traders will be rehabilitated in these kiosks,” said the minister. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe said a Rs 50 crore project for the modernisation of the Bidhan Market area had been passed on 12-09-2011 under the Siliguri urbanization plans. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had chaired the meeting then. A meeting was held in Siliguri on Wednesday attended by the district administration, police, fire brigade, electricity department, SJDA authorities and other concerned departments. “I have stated that while issuing trade license, electricity connections there has to be strict checking of documents. Whether the building is legal? Whether ownership is legal? After this only trade license, electricity connection, water connections should be given,” added Deb. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe minister stated that illegal constructions had started to mushroom. “We will not allow any illegal constructions. The public have to be made aware. The public need to come out and protest against all illegal constructions. Incidentally, Deb during a visit to the Bidhan Market on Saturday found out that a two- storied concrete structure was being built in the area where 7 shops had been gutted in a fire in June. Instead of rebuilding 7 shops that had been gutted, the two-storied structure was being built to accommodate 22 shops in the ground floor and an open hall like structure on the first floor. Dubbing it as an “illegal” structure being built by a section of traders on SJDA land the minister had threatened to demolish it. The BMBS had then staged a demonstration and blocked the busy Bidhan road.
Notre Dame is a good job, not a great job. A good job. The only people who think it’s great are Notre Dame fan boys. If the Irish give up on Brian Kelly, USC should show up with a brinks truck full of cash and not take no for an answer. Clay Helton has to go. It’s painfully obvious he’s way over his head.Andrew Luck can’t do it alone. He’s getting hit before he can even take a three step drop. If you took him off the Colts, they’d be the worst team in the league. Their owners a nutjob, their rosters below average, just like LeBron’s Cavs teams.Young quarterback play in the NFL is better than ever, the common tie is the If you have a young quarterback, get an offensive minded head coach. Defensive coaches are bad for development.And even though Dak Prescott has been outstanding, he and the Cowboys are about to come back to earth thanks to a brutal schedule, and won’t win more than one game for the next month.Presidential debate tonight. Colin won’t be watching a second of Monday Night Football.Guests:Howie Long – NFL Hall of Famer and Fox NFL Sunday co-host is in studio to talk about how Sam Bradford has transformed the Vikings, why he could be this generation’s Sam Bradford, what he sees in Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott, and what it’s like traveling with Terry Bradshaw.T.J. Houshmandzadeh – Former NFL Pro Bowler with the Bengals is in-studio talking about his trash talking style when he played, why it always gets personal, who were the most underrated wide receiver and cornerbacks from when he played.Ian Rapopport – NFL Network Insider joins the show for his weekly appearance to update the latest league buzz after Week 3, injury update on Russell Wilson’s knee injury, and whether USC could pry Chip Kelly away from the 49ers with a blank check.
Advertisement Some of the best MMA content doesn’t come from the UFC, but the lesser known fighting leagues around the world. This weekend, at South Korea’s highly anticipated Road FC 52 event, Brazilian fighter Michel Peirera went off on an opponent with moves that looked like something you’d see on Monday Night Raw.Peireira attacked the tomato can he was fighting with a standing backflip into a stomp, and then nearly missed with an off-the-cage back flip “moonsault” that would have made Jimmy “The Supa Fly” Snooka proud.This guy may not be UFC quality, but he shouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call from Vince McMahon.Michel Pereira is a nutcase, and we should love him for it. #ROADFC052 pic.twitter.com/HMc89WmRgn— Mike Skytte (@MikeLovesTacosX) February 24, 2019
4 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters International Business Machines Corp is considering adopting the underlying technology behind bitcoin, known as the “blockchain,” to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies, according to a person familiar with the matter.The objective is to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using this technology without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs, the person said. The transactions would be in an open ledger of a specific country’s currency such as the dollar or euro, said the source, who declined to be identified because of a lack of authorization to discuss the project in public.The blockchain – a ledger, or list, of all of a digital currency’s transactions – is viewed as bitcoin’s main technological innovation, allowing users to make payments anonymously, instantly, and without government regulation.Rather than stored on a separate server and controlled by an individual, company, or bank, the ledger is open and accessible to all participants in the bitcoin network.The proposed digital currency system would work in a similar way.”When somebody wants to transact in the system, instead of you trying to acquire a bitcoin, you simply say, here are some U.S. dollars,” the source said. “It’s sort of a bitcoin but without the bitcoin.”IBM is one of a number of tech companies looking to expand the use of the blockchain technology beyond bitcoin, the digital currency launched six years ago that has spurred a following among investors and tech enthusiasts.The company has been in informal discussions about a blockchain-tied cash system with a number of central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the source said. If central banks approve the concept, IBM will build the secure and scalable infrastructure for the project.IBM media relations office did not respond to Reuters emails about this story and the Fed declined to comment.However, there are signs that central banks are already thinking about the innovations that could arise through digital currency systems. The Bank of England, in a report in September 2014, described the blockchain’s open ledger as a “significant innovation” that could transform the financial system more generally.Instead of having ledgers maintained by banks that act as a record of an individual’s transactions, this kind of open ledger would be viewable by everyone using the system, and would use an agreed-upon process for entering transactions into the system.The project is still in the early stages and constantly evolving, the source said. It is also unclear how concerns about money-laundering and criminal activities that have hamstrung bitcoin.Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.”These coins will be part of the money supply,” the source said. “It’s the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain.”According to the plans, the digital currency could be linked to a person’s bank account, possibly using a wallet software that would integrate that account with the proposed digital currency ledger.”We are at a tipping point right now. It’s making a lot more sense for some type of digital cash in the system, that not only saves our government money, but also is a lot more convenient and secure for individuals to use,” the source said.(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gaffen and Tomasz Janowski) March 13, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. February 26, 2018 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Imagine this: You want to pull out a certain file from your computer, such as last quarter’s profit and loss statement. However, instead of seeing this file, you see a message on your computer that says, “Computer compromise detected. To see the file, you must pay $500 to purchase software to decrypt the file.”Oh-oh . . . What you’re seeing is a form of malware called ransomware — and as we so often hear on the news, ransomware attacks happen more than you think. Ransomware informationSo how did you get this ransomware? Hackers distribute this type of malware in a number of ways, the most common way being through email.Related: 4 Ways Ransomware Companies Behave Like Legitimate BusinessesThe first thing I ask people who suspect ransomware is whether they have recently clicked an email link. Even if one of those links looks legitimate, like that says, “Upgrade your browser software by clicking here,” the effects can be devastating to your network and computer. Other methods hackers use include posing as law enforcement officials or as representatives of tech companies or government agencies. They also may prompt you to activate new software for data “protection.”So, what do you do?Now that you know what ransomware is and does, you should focus on how to prevent it from infecting your computers and what to do if you actually get a ransomware infection.First, never click on or pay anything when you see a ransomware notification or banner. Instead, wipe your drive clean and then restore your data. This is assuming you have your drive backed up. If not, you’re going to lose a lot of valuable information.Ransomware preventionThough an attack like this can be devastating, it is possible to prevent an infection from occurring in the first place. Do this by following these tips:Be suspicious. Consider making the firm decision to never open any attachment or click on any link from an email, even from a person you know.Utilize a browser extension that shows which websites may be malicious.Use both a firewall and security software.Back up your data regularly, and shoot for doing this every day. Seek out services that will back up your data for up to 90 days and save several versions of your files. This will help your company to recover your files before ransomware sets in.Related: Passwords Are Slowly Becoming a Thing of the PastRansomware usually attacks small businesses, and these sophisticated threats come from overseas. If your company becomes a victim of this type of attack, follow these tips:Tell the criminal you plan on paying the fee, but you need time to get the money together.Gather all of the correspondence.You can contact the police, but they may not do anything. Instead, contact your web-hosting provider.If you experience an extensive loss, consider contacting representatives at your nearest FBI branch, though they may do nothing, either.Handling computer virusesA computer virus is a file that copies itself, and then spreads to other devices. These threats often look like safe programs, but in reality, they are quite malicious. Symptoms of a computer virus include apps or programs that spontaneously open or close, and a computer that runs slowly.In addition, you may hear that others are receiving emails from you that you never sent.How to protect your company from virusesFortunately, you can protect your business from viruses in several ways:Don’t open any attachment, program or link found in an email unless it is something you are expecting. This includes messages from people you know. Hackers often send viruses by accessing a person’s address book.Don’t use a public wifi connection unless you also use a VPN, or virtual private network — or encryption software.Keep security software up to date, and pair it with a firewall.Use the most recent versions of your operating system and browser.Use administrative rights on your computer to prevent unauthorized installations.Train your staff on network and computer security. Make sure they also protect their personal devices.Back up your data on the network. If all else fails and everything is destroyed, you will have this backup to fall back on. Use two methods, such as a cloud and on-site system, to be safe.Related: Hackers Can Use Subtitles to Infect Your DevicesThough these tips are presented for businesses, you can apply them to home networks and computers, too. Anyone who uses a computer should understand how this malicious software works, and know how cyber thieves work. Only then should a network be trusted. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 7 min read Enroll Now for Free It typically takes careful planning and execution to be successful when adopting any new technology. Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are no different. The problem is that some of us typically get too enamored with the technology. We often fail to take into account the realities that our respective companies face.Hopping on to the IoT bandwagon without planning is a recipe for disaster. A study by Cisco revealed that only 26 percent of surveyed companies were successful with their IoT initiatives. Whether it is updating firmware, security vulnerabilities or simply not taking user experience into account, it is critical for companies to avoid common stupid mistakes when adopting IoT.Here are seven common pitfalls you should avoid now that IoT devices have infiltrated your office.1. Don’t be cheap.The market is now flooded with cheap IoT devices. On the upside, these low-cost devices lower the barriers to adoption. On the downside, they can also be security risks. These devices typically have few security features and minimal active support. These leave them vulnerable to malware and expose infrastructures to cyberattacks in case potential exploits are found in their software, which means that companies need to implement additional solutions in order to maintain control.“In IoT initiatives, organizations often don’t have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware being utilized by smart connected devices,” notes Ruggero Contu, a research director at Gartner. “We expect to see demand for tools and services aimed at improving discovery and asset management, software and hardware security assessment, and penetration testing.”These solutions can be costly, mind you, which is why Gartner predicts spending on IoT security to reach $3.1 billion in the next three years. Make sure you invest in devices that have essential security features such as user authentication, data protection, and upgradable firmware. Get devices from companies that have active support and development for their products. Take time to identify vendors that could provide you with longer-term support that cover the lifespan of the devices.Related: 25 Innovative IoT Companies and Products You Need to Know2. Overlooking alignment with business goals.You have to know why you’re starting an IoT project. What business goals do you intend to meet? Do you intend to reduce costs, gather more data, or automate processes? Knowing this would make it easier for you to match appropriate IoT solutions for what you seek to improve.Having a goal in mind also lets you avoid the trap of novelty. Are you installing Nest thermostats because it’s the cool thing to do or are you really keen on reducing energy costs? Just because everyone else is installing these devices doesn’t mean that you should also rush to do the same.Try to determine how these devices enhance your ability to deliver value to your internal and external customers. Your strategy should also consider extracting as much value from the effort. For example, the data from IoT devices should fuel business intelligence efforts.3. Overlooking the ongoing need for maintenance.Each device you integrate with your network is an additional endpoint that needs to be managed and secured. By adopting IoT at your company, you’re likely to see a spike in the number of devices connected to your network.“As our ownership of smart technology expands, there will become a moment in time when you will no longer have the instant knowledge of the devices in your home or office which could be used to expose critical vulnerabilities, breach your network or steal your identity,” notes Robert Brown, Cloud Management Suite’s director of services.Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are now the standard for many organizations. These typically increase staff productivity by ensuring that they are connected and productive wherever they are. However, you must anticipate the addition of these devices to your infrastructure and consider them in your strategy.Evaluate how well-equipped your IT team is to manage additional devices. Invest in the proper tools and technologies that would help them be more efficient in maintaining your infrastructure.Related: 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Facing Small Businesses Right Now4. Ignoring security warnings.Many IoT devices claim to be user-friendly but sometimes this simplicity contributes to vulnerabilities. Many devices are left exposed to attacks just because users haven’t bothered properly configuring them.Check if you’ve done basic security checks like changing the default access to administration panels of devices. Most malware bots target devices that are left using default usernames and passwords. Are your devices running on the most up-to-date firmware and software? Patches must also be regularly deployed to ensure that recently-addressed vulnerabilities and bugs are fixed.Staff members’ own devices are also potential security weak points. Make sure you have measures and protocols that ensure that your data and network are secure especially when accessed through these devices.5. No contingencies.IoT devices rely on connectivity to function. But what happens when the Wi-Fi or the internet goes out? If you rely on being online all the time, then you’re inviting trouble. Check if your devices have the options to function offline and temporarily store data locally before resyncing to the cloud at a later time. This way, you will still be able to function without any loss of productivity and data even if you lose internet.“Despite all the advancements in technology, database, hardware, and software downtime are an expected aspect of doing business,” notes Matt Woodward, who serves as VP Digital Transformation at Rand Group. “The only way to mitigate the risk is to prepare and have the right technology in place to monitor, restore and restart.”In addition, you may also want to implement redundancies, backups and failover measures. Cloud backup solutions help not only to prevent data loss but for businesses to recover and become operational quickly in the event of downtime. Downtime is costly to any enterprise. If you’re not prepared to invest in these measures at the moment, then reconsider embarking on IoT altogether.Related: This Cloud-Based Data Service Makes the IoT Less WTF6. Forcing technology on people.Success of IoT projects also relies on how well staff can use the technology to achieve results. However, new technologies sometimes get forced on them. It’s important to have people of all levels buy into the effort.Educate your staff about how these new devices and measures will make them more productive. They must also be involved, or at least consulted, so that you’d be able to create an engaging working environment that truly delivers value for everyone.Users must also be educated on how to use the technology. Among the key reasons why technology adoption efforts fail is when users don’t know how to fully maximize these technologies. If your company has a permissive BYOD policy, staff members should be oriented in best practices for keeping their own devices secure.7. Failing to establish metrics.Performance of any project must be tracked for results. Many tend to complicate matters by considering too many factors when measuring how well their projects fare. Usually it is enough to use simple metrics that focus on the business goals you are aiming for.Metrics could focus on uptime (devices deployed vs. devices operational), deployment speed (how quickly were you able to deploy), cost vs. savings (in the case of energy management), productivity (faster movement of products from warehouse to shipping), and revenue (additional sales).It’s best to focus on small wins. Being too ambitious with your IoT projects could ultimately affect your effort’s chances of delivering value to your company. IoT initiatives often call for significant investments, so it is unwise to burn through your budget keeping your employees tied up just to include IoT devices and initiatives across business processes.Keep in mind that you will be spending resources on something that is as rapidly changing as technology. Being conservative while you test the waters can be a good thing. Consider delivering small wins first before going all-in with the technology. You can always build up on initial successes and integrate more of IoT into your organization. November 29, 2018 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited1 of 9Tests graphics and gaming performance using the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark. Higher number is better.HP 14 Laptop (DF0023CL)Acer Aspire E 15 (Core i3 – 2018)Acer Spin 3ASUS VivoBook Flip 14Category Average (as of 06/30/19) 70127 63817 USB Ports 51586 CPU 3DMark Ice Storm UnlimitedBattery Life (Test Ver 2.0)Color AccuracyColor GamutDirt 3: Complete EditionDisplay Brightness (Nits)Geekbench 4.1Geekbench 4.3Hard Drive Speed Windows 10 Home 3 Hard Drive Type Ports (excluding USB) Hard Drive Size Weight Intel UHD 620 Specifications Size SSD Advertisement Touchpad Size 128GB SSD 34667.29 0 14000 28000 42000 56000 70000 84000 Review 14 Optical Drive Secondary Hard Drive Speed Secondary Hard Drive Size Display Size Ports (excluding USB) Graphics Card Wi-Fi Hard Drive Speed Ports (excluding USB) 1920×1080 Mobile Broadband Ports (excluding USB) Ports (excluding USB) Video Memory HDMI 1.4 39950 Wi-Fi Model Operating System Native Resolution Headphone/Mic Ports (excluding USB) Secondary Hard Drive Type 3.1 pounds One-year limited warranty RAM Intel Core i3-8130U Warranty/Support SD card slot RAM Upgradable to security lock slot Highest Available Resolution Ports (excluding USB) 1920 x 1080 4.3 x 2.0-inch USB Type-C 4GB Not all budget laptops are complete nightmares; you just have to dig a little deeper to find the quality ones, like the HP 14 Laptop (DF0023CL). For $399, the HP 14 Laptop offers a solid 8th-Gen Core i3 processor comboed with a clicky keyboard and a decent 1080p display. You’ll have to deal with a relatively short battery life and a middling graphics card, but overall, the HP 14 Laptop is a solid budget laptop for the price.article continued below Price and Configuration Options The HP 14 Laptop that I tested costs $399 and comes outfitted with an Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and an Intel UHD 620 GPU. Amazon sells another version that runs for $379 ($331 on sale) and drops you to an Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor and an Intel GMA 3150 GPU. Design This machine doesn’t have any personality on the outside, as its plastic hood is painted a generic silver, accompanied by a glossy HP logo stamped in the center. If the logo weren’t there, this laptop would be indistinguishable from the competition. However, the interior of the HP 14 Laptop has some semblance of style. The silver hinge complements the black, faux-aluminum deck. This machine features a backlit-keyboard with stylish font on its keys as well as a speaker vent just above the keyboard. To top it all off, the panel sports slim bezels. MORE: Best and Worst Laptop Brands The HP 14 Laptop is the lightest machine among the competition, weighing 3.1 pounds, and it’s also nearly the slimmest, measuring 12.8 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches. The Acer Spin 3 (3.8 pounds, 13.2 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches) and the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (3.2 pounds, 12.9 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches) are pretty light and thin in their own regard. But the 15-inch Acer Aspire E 15 (5 pounds, 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches) is a thick boy. Ports The HP 14 Laptop has a decent number of ports, located all around the machine. On the left side, you’ll find a security lock slot, one USB Type-C port and an SD card slot, while the right side features the power jack, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI 1.4 port, two USB 3.1 ports and a headphone jack. Display While the HP 14 Laptop’s 14-inch display isn’t very bright or colorful, its glossy screen and leveled-out contrast make the viewing experience better than what your average budget laptop provides. Not to mention, it boasts a 1920 x 1080 resolution. In the trailer for Taken 3 — I mean, Angel Has Fallen — I could see every strand of hair in Nick Nolte’s white beard. The orangish explosions set in the grassy field were dull, and the panel itself was so dim that I couldn’t see the surroundings in the forest. However, the screen didn’t look washed out, meaning it captured whites quite well. While the HP 14 Laptop’s 14-inch display isn’t very bright or colorful, its glossy screen and leveled-out contrast make the viewing experience much better than what your average budget laptop provides. The HP 14 Laptop’s panel covered 62% of the sRGB color gamut, matching the Aspire E 15’s score and falling behind the budget laptop average (79%). To be fair, the Spin 3 (70%) and VivoBook Flip (69%) didn’t make the average either. MORE: HP Envy 13t Review: Top-Notch Keyboard, Long Battery Life At 199 nits of brightness, the HP 14 Laptop’s display isn’t too far off of the category average (205 nits), but the Aspire E 15 (227 nits), Spin 3 (226 nits) and VivoBook Flip (221 nits) all did much better. Keyboard and Touchpad The HP 14 Laptop’s keyboard is surprisingly clicky and pleasant to type on; it even has backlighting, which is rare for a budget laptop. The font on the keys is reminiscent of HP’s premium Spectre x360 line. I nailed 72 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, climbing over my current average of 70 wpm. The keys averaged 1.4 millimeters of key travel, falling just outside of our preferred 1.5- to 2.0-mm range, and they required a solid 63 grams of force to actuate. The HP 14 Laptop’s keyboard is surprisingly clicky and pleasant to type on; it even has backlighting, which is rare for a budget laptop. The 4.3 x 2.0-inch touchpad could’ve been a little softer, and the discrete buttons were way too stiff and shallow. Thankfully, this system has Windows Precision drivers installed, so Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing felt smooth. Performance and Graphics Armed with an Intel Core i3-8130U processor and 4GB of RAM, the HP 14 Laptop managed to juggle 20 Google Chrome tabs and two 1080p YouTube videos with only a slight slowdown when loading images. On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, the HP 14 Laptop scored 6,901, whizzing past the average budget laptop (5,189) as well as the VivoBook Flip’s Core m3-7Y30 CPU (5,696). Packed with the same CPU as the HP 14 Laptop, the Aspire E 15 and Spin 3 had much better averages of 7,871 and 8,543, respectively. HP’s 128GB SSD took 1 minute to copy 4.97GB of data, which translates to 85 megabytes per second, and while that may seem slow, it actually crushes the competition. The category average was only 53 MBps, but the VivoBook Flip’s 64GB eMMC (29 MBps) and the 1TB HDD in the Aspire E 15 (34 MBps) and the Spin 3 (29 MBps) couldn’t even match that. MORE: Best HP Laptops The HP 14 Laptop’s Intel UHD 620 GPU scored 39,950 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark, surpassing the average budget laptop (34,667). However, the HP 14 Laptop fell behind the VivoBook Flip’s Intel HD 615 (51,586) as well as the Intel UHD 620 GPU in the Aspire E 15 (63,817) and the Spin 3 (70,127). In real-world testing, the HP 14 Laptop averaged 25 frames per second on the Dirt 3 benchmark, stopping short of the 28-fps category average, not to mention the 30-fps playable threshold. Dirt 3 is playable on the Aspire E 15 (56 fps), the Spin 3 (38 fps) and the VivoBook Flip (31 fps). Battery Life The HP 14 Laptop’s battery life isn’t horrible, but it could be a lot better. When I continuously surfed the web on the laptop over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the battery lasted 6 hours and 12 minutes, which is over an hour shorter than the budget laptop average (7:27). The Spin 3 (6 hours) wasn’t much better, but the VivoBook Flip (7:23) was within range and the Aspire E 15 managed to survive a stellar 8:48. Webcam Armed with a 720p shooter, the HP 14 Laptop misses the mark. The skin on my face looked incredibly blotchy. My black-and-blue flannel appeared mostly black in the image, as it was so dark. But despite how gloomy the picture was, the ceiling was still blown out due to the lighting. Heat This machine stayed pretty cool under pressure. After the HP 14 Laptop streamed a 15-minute 1080p video, the underside measured 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well within our 95-degree comfort zone. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 81 and 78 degrees, respectively. Bottom Line The HP 14 Laptop (DF0023CL) is a great budget system, offering solid overall performance, a comfortable keyboard and even a 1080p display. The only downsides are its meh graphics power and its below-average battery life. If you opt for the Acer Aspire E 15 ($329), you can get all-day battery life, a more powerful graphics card and a brighter screen with more real estate, all for a cheaper price. However, the HP 14 Laptop is a solid all-around budget laptop, especially given the performance and size you get for the price. 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The most important Firefox command line options by Martin Brinkmann on October 08, 2017 in Firefox – 17 commentsThe Firefox web browser supports a number of command line options that it can be run with to customize startup of the web browser.You may have come upon some of them in the past, for instance the command -P “profile name” to start the browser with the specified profile, or -private to start a new private browsing session.The following guide lists important command line options for Firefox. It is not a complete list of all available options, as many are used only for specific purposes that have little to no value to users of the browser.You find the complete listing of command line options on the Firefox Developer website. Note that many of the command line options work in other Mozilla-based products, even third-party programs, as well.Important Firefox command line optionsProfile specific options-CreateProfile profile name — This creates a new user profile, but won’t start it right away.-CreateProfile “profile name profile dir” — Same as above, but will specify a custom profile directory on top of that.-ProfileManager, or -P — Opens the built-in profile manager.-P “profile name” — Starts Firefox with the specified profile. Profile manager is opened if the specified profile does not exist. Works only if no other instance of Firefox is running.-no-remote — Add this to the -P commands to create a new instance of the browser. This lets you run multiple profiles at the same time.Browser specific options-headless — Start Firefox in headless mode. Requires Firefox 55 on Linux, Firefox 56 on Windows and Mac OS X.-new-tab URL — loads the specified URL in a new tab in Firefox.-new-window URL — loads the specified URL in a new Firefox window.-private — Launches Firefox in private browsing mode. Can be used to run Firefox in private browsing mode all the time.-private-window — Open a private window.-private-window URL — Open the URL in a new private window. If a private browsing window is open already, open the URL in that window instead.-search term — Run the search using the default Firefox search engine.-url URL — Load the URL in a new tab or window. Can be run without -url, and multiple URLs separated by space can be opened using the command.Other options-safe-mode — Starts Firefox in Safe Mode. You may also hold down the Shift-key while opening Firefox to start the browser in Safe Mode.-devtools — Start Firefox with Developer Tools loaded and open.-inspector URL — Inspect the specified address in the DOM Inspector.-jsconsole — Start Firefox with the Browser Console.-tray — Start Firefox minimized.SummaryArticle NameThe most important Firefox command line optionsDescriptionThe Firefox web browser supports a number of command line options that it can be run with to customize startup of the web browser.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement