Month: August 2019

Protecting Your Computer Part 2 Firewalls

first_imgby Philip Dunn [ Part 1 ]While rather new to computing in comparison to antivirus programs, in today’s Internet connected world firewalls are actually more important. A firewall is a barrier between your computer and the outside world – be it other computers on a network or the Internet.To communicate with other computers, your software is equipped with thousands of virtual ports. These ports or communications channels allow different programs to communicate with each other. Each program looks for a response on a specific port. For example, port 80 is used by your web browser “see” pages on the Internet. Popular chat programs often use port 1214. Some file sharing programs use port 6385. Each program is different and some are configurable as to which port they use.Understanding these ports exist is more important than knowing which one each program uses, however. Unfirewalled ports are constantly listening for attempts at communications from other computers.Hackers know this and often scan the Internet for computers with listening ports. Once found, they initiate communications and quickly – a matter of milliseconds – gain full access to your computer. This process is completely automated and hackers can scan thousands of computers in less than an hour.Once connected, they can do virtually anything you can – read files, install programs – mostly viruses and worms – and even monitor your keystrokes. Keystroke monitoring is dangerous because it allows them to capture your passwords and credit card numbers. Worms are used to infect other computers.The best defense against this is to block access to these ports. When a hacker scans a firewalled computer, he gets no useful information to carry out an attack. The ports are closed.In response to this defense, hackers have devised clever programs that you must install to get around the firewall. This leads us to the firewalls second role: blocking outgoing communications from your computer.When you install any new program that tries to access the outside world, the firewall will inform you of this activity and ask you what you want to do: allow or deny access.Programs can receive for two types of access: client – outgoing communications only and server – two-way communications. Programs that need to register themselves via Internet often ask for client permission. Chat and file sharing software need server access to work properly. 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. Google launches review after leak of audio conversations Citation: Protecting Your Computer: Part 2 – Firewalls (2006, January 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Be very careful about giving server access to any program. This access can allow the software to modify your system, see files on your hard drive and install software. If you’re not sure, deny access to the program. If the program continues to work properly, it does not need internet access. Programs that fail to work require that you adjust the firewall to allow access. Some firewalls, like Norton Internet Security, scan your computer during the install process and give the appropriate permissions automatically. If not, try to discover what privileges the program needs. Does it need to access the Internet? Is two-way communications required? Give the lowest possible permission to allow it to function – you can always adjust it later if needed.One good way to find out what a program is doing is to Google it. If it’s a virus, somebody has discovered it already.Firewalls can be chatty at times, constantly warning you of outside attacks. These messages can be turned off or ignored. Rest assured its doing its job. Most messages are generated by harmless routers and web servers.Remember that firewalls protect you from all other connected computers, not just ones on the Internet. This can cause headaches when connecting your computer to a local area network at you home or office. Good firewalls, like Zone Alarm, normally detect the new networks and ask for permission for access. If you wish to allow print and file sharing, give server permission, if not, give client permission – enough for web browsing, for example.If you are on an organized network at work, you may be protected by a proxy server with a hardware firewall and a proxy server – ask your network administrator.Don’t even think about connecting your computer to the Internet until you are sure a firewall is installed at some point between you and the Internet.Firewalls, like antivirus programs, need to be kept up to date. They normally do this in the background automatically. Still, it’s a good idea to check them and make sure they are loading at startup and updating automatically. Windows XP version 2 has a built-in firewall that, although not the best, is enough to protect you from most common attacks.Experts recommend more. Get a dedicated firewall like Zone Alarm (free at or Norton Internet Security ( – which also includes its famous antivirus program.[ Protecting your Computer: Part 3 – AntiVirus ][/Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Microsofts Manual Deskterity Enhances User Touchscreen Experience w Video

first_imgBy combining the two, Microsoft researchers are working on a whole new variety of tools for interacting with your computer. There are also plans to adapt this user interface to work on mobile devices. Citation: Microsoft’s ‘Manual Deskterity’ Enhances User Touchscreen Experience (w/ Video) (2010, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5 Pen writes, touch manipulates. © 2010 Pen plus touch equals new set of tools. ( — Microsoft’s “Manual Deskterity” combines touch and pen for a more natural user experience working with Microsoft Surface (tabletop touchscreen) and newer versions of Windows 7 tablet. Microsoft’s aims are to combine pen and multi-touch input into a more natural user experience. For example, moving papers around on your desk and jotting notes on them, and then dropping them into folders for filing. The pen input is great for certain tasks, but not others; the same holds true for touch. Microsoft’s new user interface exhibits many interesting features when combining the pen and touch interaction on the touchscreen. Take for instance, if a user wanted to copy an object, they can do so by holding it down with one hand and dragging the pen across the image to peel off a new one and place it anywhere on the desk. Microsoft’s Bill Buxton explains what the Natural User Interface is all about, in the above video. Microsoft’s researchers have arrived at the following perspective: the pen writes, touch manipulates, and the combination of both yields new tools. Microsoft’s “Manual Deskterity” adds power and a more natural user experience to the tablet PC. Pen writes, touch manipulates. Pen plus touch equals new set of tools. The above video demonstrates many user interface techniques that would have to be learned to fully utilize all the features incorporated into “Manual Deskterity”. Microsoft believes that the natural user interface will ease the learning process and prevent users from trying to remember a sequence of commands or menu operations. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Scientists watch evolution in action

first_img More information: James Stewart, et al. Journal of Morphology, DOI:10.1002/jmor.10877 © 2010 ( — The yellow-bellied three-toed skink (Saiphos equalis) is one of only three reptiles known to have different methods of reproduction in different places. In the coastal areas of New South Wales (NSW), near Sydney, Australia, the skink lays eggs, while in the northern highlands of NSW, it tends to favor giving birth to live young. Scientists say we are witnessing evolution in action, with the skink half-way in its transformation from an egg-layer to a bearer of live young. Explore further A three-toed skink. Credit: Australian Traveller The skink resembles a small snake, but with miniature legs. It reaches a length of about 18 cm, and is mostly nocturnal, feeding on insects. Biologist James Stewart, of East Tennessee State University, and colleagues in the US and Australia have been studying the skink and have found ‘intermediate’ skinks that retain their eggs internally longer than others. It appears the live-bearers evolved from these.The scientists have also discovered that as they retain their young internally for longer, the thickness of the eggshell is reduced until, for those bearing live young, the shell is merely a thick membrane. Having a thinner shell enables the mother to keep the embryo well fed while the egg is inside her body, but there is less calcium available for the embryo. Stewart and the team found that the uterus in the egg-layers secreted calcium that became incorporated into the embryo. “It’s basically the early stages of the evolution of a placenta in reptiles,” Stewart said.Giving birth to live young is an advantage in colder areas, such as the northern highlands of NSW, since the embryo develops for longer within a warm body. The negative side is that keeping the fetus in the uterus is more physically demanding on the mother. In warmer areas such as coastal regions of NSW, eggs have a better chance of surviving the climate, but the negative is a greater vulnerability to attack from predators.Live birth is known to have evolved 132 times among animals with a backbone, 98 of these in reptiles, which Stewart said suggests that while it seems a complex transition, “it’s looking like it might be much simpler in some cases than we thought.” Two other species of reptiles are known to use both types of reproduction: a European lizard and another species of skink.Stewart’s paper is published in the Journal of Morphology.• iPhone / iPad Apps• Audio Podcasts / iTunes• Android apps (new version available)• Join on Facebook!• Follow on Twitter! Lizard reveals cancer secrets Citation: Scientists watch evolution in action (2010, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

EV motor system is smallest of its kind says Mitsubishi

first_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. The smaller size of the system is intended to help auto makers turn out EVs with more passenger space and improved energy efficiency. The cylinder-shaped inverter matches the diameter of the motor, enabling it to be connected coaxially within a chassis, halving the size of the system, according to Semiconductor Today.Consumer interest generally is shifting toward EVs and hybrid EVs (HEVs) with more information and public acceptance of the need to make buying choices that can contribute to a better environment, including reduced carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, the EV future in the marketplace depends on overcoming some drawbacks including limited space for passenger comfort. EVs and hybrids namely require large spaces for their battery systems. The reduced size of the new system is promoted as an important move forward.The material used for the inverter is another talking point from Mitsubishi. Its press release notes that the power chips in the inverter are silicon carbide-based. Silicon chips have been widely used in power devices for inverter switching. Silicon carbide is seen as more suitable because of its electrical characteristics, including a breakdown electric field that is 10 times greater compared to silicon chips. This enables thinner chips, which reduces electrical resistance and lowers loss. Mitsubishi says the silicon carbide chip-based inverter results in over 50% reduction of loss compared to the company’s silicon-based inverter system. The permanent magnet motor uses a neodymium magnet.The size and configuration of stator and rotator poles were optimized. The company says that it used a magnetic design technology that brought about improved magnetic efficiency and a five percent increase in power output compared to its previous motors.The new system is in prototype stage. Once further work is completed on technologies for motor/inverter cooling, downsizing and efficiency, the motor system will be commercialized, says the company. According to reports in the Asahi Shimbun and House of Japan, the system, targeted for compact cars, will be commercialized in 2017. More information: Press release Citation: EV motor system is smallest of its kind, says Mitsubishi (2012, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Panasonic Develops A Gallium Nitride (GaN) Inverter IC for Motor Drive with High Efficiencycenter_img Explore further ( — Mitsubishi Electric has announced it has a new motor system for electric vehicles with impressive gains in reduced size and efficiency. The EV motor system is the smallest of its kind, according to the company press release, measuring just half the dimensions of Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system. The new motor system has a built-in silicon carbide inverter. Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system uses an external inverter. © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Gravitys lingua franca Unifying general relativity and quantum theory through spectral geometry

first_img( —Mathematics is, in essence, an artificial language for precisely articulating theories about the physical world. Unlike natural language, however, translating different classes of mathematics can be difficult at best. Such is the case encountered in the attempt to unify general relativity and quantum theory, since they are expressed in differential geometry and functional analysis, respectively. That being said, spectral geometry – a field in mathematics which concerns relationships between geometric structures of manifolds and spectra of canonically defined differential operators – may resolve this long-standing quandary by allowing spacetime to be treated as simultaneously continuous and discrete, essentially relating the frequency-based ringing of the fabric of spacetime to its manifold-based shape. Recently, scientists at California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Waterloo, and University of Queensland normalized and segmented spectral geometry into small, finite-dimensional steps. They then demonstrated their approach of calculating the shapes of two-dimensional objects from their vibrational spectra as being viable in two, and possibly more, dimensions. 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 , New Journal of Physics Snapshots of the algorithm starting with a sphere and finding the cube from its spectrum alone. Courtesy and acknowledgement Achim Kempf. Copyright 2013 by The American Physical Society. Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2013 All rights reserved. Shape from sound: New methods to probe the universe Prof. Achim Kempf discussed the research he, David Aasen, Tejal Bhamre conducted. “Before the new results,” Kempf tells, “it was thought that spectral geometry is too nonlinear – and therefore simply too hard to use – for the purpose of unifying general relativity and quantum theory. In the new paper, however, we showed that spectral geometry can be tamed and made into a very useful practical method, namely by suitably cutting it into small linear, and therefore manageable, pieces.”Kempf notes that in special cases, spectral geometry has certain ambiguities: mathematically, such as special curved shapes in high dimensions that have the same spectrum – that is, they would sound the same of we could detect higher dimensions. “The worry has been that if there were too many such ambiguities also in our three-dimensional world, this could make spectral geometric impractical as a tool in physics,” Kempf explains. “In the new paper we showed that, fortunately, the small linearized steps that we take are almost always ambiguity-free – and for two dimensional shapes in three dimensions, we didn’t find ambiguities at all. Relatedly, it would be very interesting to extend spectral geometry from a description of space at each time to a unified description of both space and time. This still needs to be developed further.”That being said, Kempf points out that their idea – addressing spectral geometry’s difficulty and ambiguities by regularizing and segmenting spectral geometry into finite-dimensional steps – works very well. “The computation time can be a little long,” he notes, but we think that we will be able to significantly speed up the calculations. We’d like to be able to run them, for example, on a smartphone.”A single key insight enabled the researchers addressed these challenges in two ways. Essentially, as far as the mathematics is concerned, the problem was to find a method that would allow one to calculate the shape of an object from the sound that it makes when vibrating. “To this end, the key insight was that this spectral geometric problem, in spite of being highly nonlinear, can actually be tamed with our strategy, which has two components,” Kempf explains. “First, make the nonlinear calculations manageable by cutting them into small doable steps.” In practice, he notes that the computer does this by starting with some random shape, such as the shape of a sphere. Then, while it keeps comparing the sound of the sphere to the sound of the object that it needs to identify, the computer will change the shape of the sphere until it reaches the shape of the object that it had to identify. More information: Shape from Sound: Toward New Tools for Quantum Gravity. Physical Review Letters 110, 121301 (2013), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.121301Related: 1Generalized uncertainty principles and localization of a particle in discrete space. Physical Review D 86, 085017 (2012), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.085017Spacetime could be simultaneously continuous and discrete, in the same way that information can be. New Journal of Physics 12 115001 (2010), doi:10.1088/1367-2630/12/11/115001 “The second step is to regularize – that is, don’t try to get all of the shape’s details at once,” Kempf says. “Instead, calculate the rough shape from just part of the sound spectrum.” By then incrementally using more of the sound spectrum, this approach allows them to specify the shape with increasing accuracy. “The beauty of our new spectral geometry is that it allows us to describe the shape of a vase, or eventually the shape of the fabric of spacetime, through so-called invariants – that is, by quantities that do not depend on any choice of coordinate system,” Kempf adds. “This is important because if we’re to develop a theory that unifies quantum theory and general relativity, key quantities fundamentally cannot depend on man-made choices, such as which coordinate system one wants to use.”Kempf then summarized the relation of their approach, which offers a gauge-independent identification of the metric’s degrees of freedom in terms of invariants that should be ready to quantize, with several other mathematical attempts to unify general relativity and quantum theory.Loop quantum gravity and string theory: “The new spectral geometric methods are deeply related to generalized Heisenberg uncertainty principles – and in fact, the new work grew out of studies of such principles, which have been shown to be related to loop quantum gravity as well as to string theory by myself and in collaboration with Martin Bojowald1.”Causal sets: “Perhaps, but it’s not clear if there’s a connection.”Garrett Lisi’s E8 proposal: “Probably no connection.”Noncommutative geometry: “Alain Connes’ program of noncommutative geometry shows that curved spaces can be described by a spectral triple, which includes the spectrum of the Dirac operator. It’s not clear if the spectrum of the Dirac operator alone is sufficient to calculate the shape of a curved space. The new spectral geometric methods that we present here can be used to explore this interesting question further, and in fact we’re working on this.”Supergravity: “Our new results apply to gravity and do not require supersymmetry. This is good because there’s still no solid evidence that supersymmetry exists in nature.”Twistor models: “No connection known.”Moving forward, says Kempf, the scientists are working on generalizing the new methods to shapes that are curved in both space and time, since that will then be useful for addressing some of the key questions of cosmology – including the question of how it all began.” More specifically, Kempf adds that while quantum fluctuations are today almost immeasurably small, it’s thought that spacetime itself arose from a kind of quantum jump. “Our results bring us a step closer to being able to explicitly calculate the quantum ringing of spacetime, which could then tell us more about the origin of our universe.”In terms of other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Kempf points out that experimentalists still have a long way to go to measure quantum gravity effects directly. “However,” he adds, “our new methods can also be used to program a computer to calculate the shape of objects from their sound. Moreover,” he concludes, “we’re planning to improve our algorithm to make it much faster. This could open up engineering applications, for example, by allowing machines to quickly identify shapes from a simple spectral fingerprint.” Citation: Gravity’s lingua franca: Unifying general relativity and quantum theory through spectral geometry (2013, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from , Physical Review Dlast_img read more

We Gossip About 52 Minutes A Day That May Not Be As

first_imgAnd a new study finds that people spend about 52 minutes per day, on average, talking to someone about someone else who is not present. Almost everyone gossips. But here’s the surprise: Despite the assumption that most gossip is trash talk, the study finds that the vast majority of gossip is nonjudgmental chitchat.center_img “We actually found that the overwhelming majority of gossip was neutral,” says study author Megan Robbins, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, who studies how people’s social interactions are related to their health and well-being. “About three-quarters of the conversation we heard in our sampled conversations wasneither positive nor negative,” Robbins says. Read the whole story: NPRlast_img

Sharing a better idea

first_imgSangeet Natak Akademi took a new initiative Sanchayan to share its collection with the connoisseurs of performing arts through the screening of video recordings from its archives regularly. Over the last six decades, it has built a large archive of audio-tapes, photographs, films and video-tapes on performing arts.Ang Tarang: Mayurbhanj Chhau, a 17 minute duration recording was screened  yesterday (25 April). It was directed by Jiwan Pani. Chhau traces its origin to indigenous forms of dance and martial practices. The natural beauty of Chhau inspired the communities inhabiting the region to live in harmony with nature. Stylised gaits called Chalis and Topkas resemble movements of animals and birds. The daily chores of village housewives were imitated as movements called Uflis or Upalayas. These, together with the martial techniques, comprising of the basic stances of Chowk and Dharan, constitute the fundamental vocabulary of Chhau.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is traditionally performed and taught by the male members of the community. The training is by a Guru in an open arena called Akhada. The dance is also a family tradition. The transmission of knowledge pertaining to its various aspects of dance, music and mask-making is done orally. Though vocal music is not used in Chhau performances, the melodies are based on songs from the folk tradition of the Jhumur devotional songs of the Kirtan, traditional songs from Orissa and classical Hindustani ragas.last_img read more

Mythology redux

first_imgWitness  Ottamthullal, a dance-drama form of Kerala by artiste Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan and his troupe at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) on 30 October. The troupe will perform Kalyanasougandhikam – a story from Mahabharata. IGNCA is organising this dance performance in collaboration with SPICMACAY. Furthermore, IGNCA and SPICMACAY will be hosting Ottamthullal performances at various schools in Delhi.Ottamthullal is a performing art from Kerala. The art form was created during the 18th century by legendary Malayalam poet Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar. Ottamthullal, over the centuries, has a single actor, donning a green make-up and wearing colourful costumes and reciting the thullal lyrics, all the while acting and dancing himself.Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan is a well known artist of Ottamthullal. Apart from performing Ottanthullal, he also performs Sheethankan Thullal, Parayan Thullal in both national and international stages.  Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan has been awarded several times , for his contributions to Thullal.WHERE :  IGNCA AuditoriumWHEN : 30 OctoberTIMING :  6.00 pmlast_img read more

Monthly progress reports of projects made mandatory

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to ensure timely completion of all projects, submission of monthly “progress reports” of ongoing projects to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and Chief Secretary has been made mandatory. The report has to be submitted “in the new format” as advised by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Sources said the direction came during discussions on different projects in the central level administrative review meeting that was held on Tuesday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt is learnt that the Chief Minister has directed the top brass of all departments to ensure that the “progress report” of each and every project has to be filed every month. Banerjee has also prepared a format according to which the departments need to file the report, sources said adding that it has to be done in a particular tabular form.The report will contain details of the financial and physical progress of a project. The departments also have to mention in the report about problems that have surfaced while executing the project. There could also be special remarks related to a project in the report, if needed. At the same time, there could also be a mention if there is any other development like revised estimates involving the project and the like. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBased on the report, necessary discussions will be carried out with the concerned department if needed which will help in faster and smoother execution of the projects.Sources added that the system of submitting monthly progress report was already in place. But now submission of the same has been made mandatory and in the new format. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several steps and ensured fast execution of work. With the Chief Minister holding administrative review meetings in every district and a central-level meeting in Kolkata to take stock of the progress of the projects and schemes of her department, a massive development of the state in all sectors has been ensured.last_img read more

18yearold cyclist dies after being hit by truck

first_imgKolkata: Tension ran high in Bhubaneswari Bazar area of Moipath Coastal police station in South 24-Parganas after a 18-year-old youth was killed after being knocked down by a truck.The victim, Santosh Shyasmal (18), was cycling when a speeding truck hit him. An irate mob went on rampage ransacking a portion of the truck. The mob managed to get hold of the truck driver and the helper and beat them up. The truck driver was tied to a tree and tortured till the police officers reached the spot and rescued the duo. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLocals also staged a demonstration in front of the police officers, who tried to calm down the mob.An altercation broke out between the police and locals, who demanded stern action against the truck driver. A huge contingent of police later reached the spot to bring the situation under control. Locals claimed that the truck was running at a high speed due to which the accident occurred.It was learnt that the victim was going to a local market on his bicycle when the truck knocked him down. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPAccording to eye witnesses, the victim was cycling along the road when the incident occurred. The truck driver applied sudden emergency brake but failed to control the vehicle as it was at a high speed.After being hit by the vehicle, the victim fell on the road and was crushed by the rear wheels of the truck.The victim died on the spot. The truck driver and helper tried to flee the spot immediately after the accident. Locals, however, managed to get hold of the duo.last_img read more