Month: August 2019

Skinput turns your arm into a touchscreen w Video

first_imgAn armband projects a user interface onto the skin, enabling users to control devices with a larger touchscreen than is offered by many mobile devices. Credit: Harrison, et al. Skinput interface input armband sensors. ( — If you find yourself getting annoyed at the tiny touchscreens on today’s mobile devices, you might be interested in a “new” yet overlooked input surface: yourself. A new skin-based interface called Skinput allows users to use their own hands and arms as touchscreens by detecting the various ultralow-frequency sounds produced when tapping different parts of the skin. Currently, the acoustic detector can detect five skin locations with an accuracy of 95.5%, which corresponds to a sufficient versatility for many mobile applications. The prototype system then uses wireless technology like Bluetooth to transmit the commands to the device being controlled, such as a phone, iPod, or computer. Twenty volunteers who have tested the system have provided positive feedback on the ease of navigation. The researchers say the system also works well when the user is walking or running.As the researchers explain, the motivation for Skinput comes from the increasingly small interactive spaces on today’s pocket-sized mobile devices. They note that the human body is an appealing input device “not only because we have roughly two square meters of external surface area, but also because much of it is easily accessible by our hands (e.g., arms, upper legs, torso).” Citation: Skinput turns your arm into a touchscreen (w/ Video) (2010, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Skinput is a collaboration between Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University and Dan Morris and Desney Tan at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington. The researchers have shown that Skinput can allow users to simply tap their skin in order to control audio devices, play games, make phone calls, and navigate hierarchical browsing systems.In Skinput, a keyboard, menu, or other graphics are beamed onto a user’s palm and forearm from a pico projector embedded in an armband. An acoustic detector in the armband then determines which part of the display is activated by the user’s touch. As the researchers explain, variations in bone density, size, and mass, as well as filtering effects from soft tissues and joints, mean different skin locations are acoustically distinct. Their software matches sound frequencies to specific skin locations, allowing the system to determine which “skin button” the user pressed. Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Good vibrations: Devices aid the deaf by translating sound waves to vibrations — Chris Harrison, Desney Tan, Dan Morris. “Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface.” CHI 2010, April 10-15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA– Skinput project: More information: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Play Playing Tetris. “Furthermore, proprioception – our sense of how our body is configured in three-dimensional space – allows us to accurately interact with our bodies in an eyes-free manner,” the researchers write in a recent paper. “For example, we can readily flick each of our fingers, touch the tip of our nose, and clap our hands together without visual assistance. Few external input devices can claim this accurate, eyes-free input characteristic and provide such a large interaction area.” In April, the researchers plan to present their work at the Computer-Human Interaction meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 fullscreenlast_img read more

Google account users get extra security

first_img( — Google announced on Thursday that they are giving their Gmail users additional account security, free of charge. As of Thursday Google account users can turn on a “two-step authentication” feature that will require them to type in a special second password in addition to their normal password to access their account. Users can acquire this short-lived code either by a phone call, text message, or use of smartphone apps for Android, iPhone and Blackberry devices. This feature has been available to paid Google Apps users for the past six months, and now Google has been testing the feature internally with users who have been having problems with hackers getting into their accounts.The process for turning on this feature in your Google account is a little involved and requires approximately 15 minutes to set up. Users will be given the option to give out a backup phone number incase their phone is lost or stolen. Also Google account users who use IMAP access to their Gmail will require a special 16-character, randomly generated password instead of the normal password.So what happens if you lose your phone and backup number? Google considered this may happen and gave users a way to regain access to their account with tough-to-answer security questions.This security feature can pose a problem for anyone who travels overseas and may not be able to receive text messages while traveling. The smartphone apps for Android and the iPhone will generate password codes without a network connection.The “two-step authentication” feature is currently only available in English however Google is working on translation and should be available for smartphone apps to all Google users in their native languages in a few months. © 2010 Explore further Google says over 30 million people using Google Apps Citation: Google account users get extra security (2011, February 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Google Blog Google just made it harder for hackers to hack into Google user accounts. 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

Study shows jellyfish blooms can be predicted by calm trade winds

first_img More information: Dangerous jellyfish blooms are predictable, Published 14 May 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.1168AbstractThe potentially fatal Irukandji syndrome is relatively common in tropical waters throughout the world. It is caused by the sting of the Irukandji jellyfish, a family of box jellyfish that are almost impossible to detect in the water owing to their small size and transparency. Using collated medical records of stings and local weather conditions, we show that the presence of Irukandji blooms in coastal waters can be forecast on the basis of wind conditions. On the Great Barrier Reef, blooms largely coincide with relaxation of the prevailing southeasterly trade winds, with average conditions corresponding to near zero alongshore wind on the day prior to the sting. These conditions are consistent with hypotheses long held by local communities and provide a basis for designing management interventions that have the potential to eliminate the majority of stings. ( —A small team of researchers working in Australia has found a link between trade winds that blow near the Great Barrier Reef and jellyfish blooms that impact swimmers along the coast. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society: Interface, the researchers describe how they studied weather patterns over a 27 year period and compared what they found with reported jellyfish stings and found a pattern that may help prevent jellyfish stings in the future. There are a lot of jellyfish in the sea, some big, some small, some with relatively minor stings, others with stings that are not only painful but at times life threatening to humans. The Irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi – a type of box jelly) is one of the latter, it’s tiny—just about the size of the end of a human thumb—very nearly transparent when in water, and has a sting so severe that its symptoms have been given a name: Irukandji syndrome. The jellies also tend to live in groups, which means that one person can wind up with multiple stings, or multiple people can get stung in short order. On the plus side, the fact that they move in groups means that most of the time they pose little risk—it’s only when they “bloom” and move close to shore that they become a problem. Unfortunately, until now, it’s been difficult if not impossible to predict when such a bloom might occur, offering beach managers a way of protecting swimmers. In this latest effort, the researchers believe they have found a way to give swimmers up to a day’s warning. They compared weather data over the period 1985 to 2012 with reports of Irukandji syndrome and found a clear link between calm southeasterly trade winds near the Great Barrier Reef and stings on the shores nearby. They believe the calm winds impact currents, pulling they jellies near shore. They also believe that closing beaches after spotting calm easterlies would reduce the number of days that stings are reported by up to 61 percent.Only time will tell of course, but if the easterly wind connection holds true to the past, beach managers, lifeguards and swimmers themselves may find the waters off the coast of Australia a lot safer in the future. Taking the heat out of jellyfish stings © 2014 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.center_img Explore further Drifters-in-the-sea: salps bloom off the coast of New Zealand. Credit: Seacology Citation: Study shows jellyfish blooms can be predicted by calm trade winds (2014, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interfacelast_img read more

Researchers find one type of algae able to adapt to warming oceans

first_img A row of culture flasks in which algae, for example Emilinia huxleyi are cultivated in the laboratory. Credit: Dr. Kai T Lohbeck (GEOMAR) More information: Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and acidification, Nature Climate Change (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2379AbstractAlthough ocean warming and acidification are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of today’s oceans we know very little about how marine phytoplankton may respond via evolutionary change. We tested for adaptation to ocean warming in combination with ocean acidification in the globally important phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi. Temperature adaptation occurred independently of ocean acidification levels. Growth rates were up to 16% higher in populations adapted for one year to warming when assayed at their upper thermal tolerance limit. Particulate inorganic (PIC) and organic (POC) carbon production was restored to values under present-day ocean conditions, owing to adaptive evolution, and were 101% and 55% higher under combined warming and acidification, respectively, than in non-adapted controls. Cells also evolved to a smaller size while they recovered their initial PIC:POC ratio even under elevated CO2. The observed changes in coccolithophore growth, calcite and biomass production, cell size and elemental composition demonstrate the importance of evolutionary processes for phytoplankton performance in a future ocean. Journal information: Nature Climate Change 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 researchers acknowledge that their experiments were carried out in a rather sterile environment, sans predators, viruses and other dangers to their survival, thus the results are preliminary at best. But still, they do indicate that some species might survive the impending changes to the ocean, and some might even thrive, even as many, many others are likely to disappear because they aren’t able to evolve as quickly. © 2014 Flasks in their custom-built climate cabinet. Credit: Dr. Kai T Lohbeck (GEOMAR) Not all phytoplankton in the ocean need to take their vitamins Citation: Researchers find one type of algae able to adapt to warming oceans (2014, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A team of German biology researchers has found that at least one type of algae appears able to adapt to rising ocean temperatures and the accompanying increased acidification. In their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team describes how they subjected algae specimens to warmer and/or more acidic water over a year’s time and the changes in the algae that came about as a result. In general, scientists don’t expect many species to evolve to meet the challenge of a warming planet—the temperature rise is happening faster than most species could adapt to it, thus little work has been done to see which if any might be able to do so. In this new effort the team in Germany studied the tiny marine algae Emiliania huxleyi—a type of phytoplankton that grows in groups into large floating masses that serve as food to a wide variety of fish and other sea creatures. They were chosen because of their fast reproduction rate—up to 500 generations in a single year, or more than one a day, on average. This of course makes them more likely to be able to evolve to meet a rapidly changing environment.The researchers started with many samples of the algae as they now exist, keeping them in flasks in their lab. As time passed, some were transferred to flasks containing warmer and/or more acidic water. Those that survived were put into even warmer or more acidic water. This continued for a year during which time the algae evolved to survive in their rapidly changing environment—which eventually included water temperatures as high as 80°F, representing the worst-case scenario for water ocean water temperature increases over the next century or so. The team reports that the individual algae became smaller, but they also grew faster, suggesting they might form even bigger or denser real world plumes. Explore further A scanning electron micrograph of three Emiliania huxleyi cells. Credit: Dr. Kai T Lohbeck (GEOMAR)last_img read more

Organic catenane selfassembles in acidic water

first_img Metal-organic framework with a fixed composition despite initial concentration of components © 2015 More information: Hao Li et al. Quantitative self-assembly of a purely organic three-dimensional catenane in water, Nature Chemistry (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2392AbstractSelf-assembly by means of coordinative bond formation has opened up opportunities for the high-yield synthesis of molecules with complex topologies. However, the preparation of purely covalent molecular architectures in aqueous media has remained a challenging task. Here, we present the preparation of a three-dimensional catenane through a self-assembly process that relies on the formation of dynamic hydrazone linkages in an acidic aqueous medium. The quantitative synthesis process and the mechanically interlocked structure of the resulting catenane were established by NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography and HPLC studies. In addition, the labile hydrazone linkages of the individual [2]catenane components may be ‘locked’ by increasing the pH of the solution, yielding a relatively kinetically stable molecule. The present study thus details a simple approach to the creation and control of complex molecular architectures under reaction conditions that mimic biological milieux. (—There are many naturally-occurring supermolecular structures. Among them are catenanes. From the Latin for “chain”, a catenane is comprised of two interlocked molecules, and have been found in the mitochondrial DNA of HeLa and leukemia cells. Researchers are interested in synthetically deriving catenanes using naturally-occurring conditions in an effort to understand how they formed in natural as well as exploit their unique architecture for biological and technological uses.Catenane chemistry is typically done in organic solvents, but biological applications are predominantly in aqueous environments. Hao Li, Huacheng Zhang, Aaron D. Lammer, Ming Wang, Xiaopeng Li, Vincent M. Lynch, and Jonathan L. Sessler from Zhejiang University, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, and Shanghai University have isolated and characterized an organic catenane that was made using a one-step synthesis in an aqueous acidic solvent and in relatively high yields. Furthermore, they demonstrated that their catenane is environmentally tunable and highly stable. Their work appears in the recent edition of Nature Chemistry. Structural formulae of precursors A13+, H1 and the [2]catenane C6+. Credit: (c) 2015 Nature Chemistry (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2392 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. Li, et al. built their catenane by employing organic functional groups that were not only water soluble, but would also promote self-assembly. They combined an aldehyde compound with a hydrazine in D2O and trifluoroacetate to produce a hydrazone (-C=N-N) linkage. This synthesis was carried out over eight hours at 70oC, and evidence from HPLC-MS indicated that the resulting [2]catenane was produced in near quantitative yields.In order to verify that they made the target [2]catenane, C6+, Li, et al. used NMR, X-ray diffraction, and mass spectrometry. NMR studies of the product compared to the starting materials demonstrated the expected proton shift for an aldehyde-amino condensation reaction. Additionally, shifts in the tetraphenyl protons indicated that they are more shielded than in the starting materials, providing evidence for placement within the cavity of the catenane.Crystal studies confirmed the three-dimensional structure of C6+, as well as provided insights into which parts of the interlocked structure were likely stabilized by pi-pi interactions. Two different crystals were grown based on differing counterions, C6+ •6CF3CO2- and C6+ •6Cl-. Both are made using the same synthetic procedure except for using DCl instead of trifluoroacetate. C6+ •6Cl-produced a better crystal and was used to determine structural characteristics. This study confirmed that the structure is comprised of two interlocking cage-structures. Additionally, ESI-MS showed distinctive mass peaks for the [2]catenane.The high yield and relative stability of C6+ indicates that it is thermodynamically favored over the non-interlocked molecules, likely due to hydrophobic effects and pi-pi donor-acceptor interactions. To see how C6+ behaves in differing environments, Li, et al. added DMSO to their reaction mixture in varying ratios of water-to-DMSO. They found that as DMSO increased, the catenane dissociated into oligomers. Precipitating these oligomers and re-dissolving them in D2O and trifluoroacetate retrieved the [2]catenane. They also determined that C6+ is stable at room temperature for eight hours in neutral and weakly basic solvent.This research shows, for the first time, the synthesis and characterization of a purely organic three-dimensional catenane in aqueous media using self-assembly methods. Furthermore, the pH tunability of this catenane opens the door for biologically relevant studies in water using mechanically interlocked molecules. Journal information: Nature Chemistry Citation: Organic catenane self-assembles in acidic water (2015, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

HSC16aay is a Type IIn supernova study suggests

first_imgThe g, r, and i composite HSC images before (left) and after (right) the explosion of HSC16aayt. Credit: Moriya et al., 2019. HSC16aay was first identified by the Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) transient survey as part of Subaru Strategic Program (SSP) during observations conducted between November 2016 and April 2017. Subsequent observations of this transient have shown that its light curve evolved very slowly and that the apparent nearest galaxy on the sky had a photometric redshift of 1.45. Taking into account these two facts, the researchers believe that HSC16aay may be a high-redshift supeluminous supernova (SN).In order to verify this assumption, a group of astronomers led by Takashi J. Moriya of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has performed follow-up observations of HSC16aay using the HSC instrument and the Gemini South telescope in Chile. The results provided more evidence suggesting the supernova nature of this source.”Spectra of HSC16aayt show a strong narrow emission line and we classify it as a Type IIn supernova,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.This conclusion of Moriya’s team is due to the fact that Type IIn supernovae are a subclass of hydrogen-rich SNe showing narrow emission lines in their spectra. Astronomers assume that these narrow lines originate from the interaction between ejecta from supernovae and dense circumstellar media (CSM) formed by the progenitors before their explosion.In particular, when it comes to the properties of HSC16aay’s light curve, the researchers found the peak optical magnitude at likely around −19.9 mag, which is common for Type IIn supernovae. The transient shows a very slow photometric evolution with a rise time of over 100 days, and the optical magnitude change in 400 days remains within 0.6 mag. The redshift of HSC16aay was measured to be approximately 0.68.In general, the astronomers noted that overall properties of HSC16aayt (which received supernova designation SN 2016jiu) are similar to those of the other Type IIn supernova known as SN 2008iy, but HSC16aayt was found to be more luminous.Furthermore, the location of HSC16aayt was calculated at about 16,300 light years away from its host galaxy center. According to the authors of the study, such a relatively large distance may indicate that the object is an isolated Type IIn SN, however, other explanation cannot be excluded.”HSC16aayt might be another example of isolated Type IIn supernovae, although the possible existence of underlying star-forming activity of the host galaxy at the supernova location is not excluded,” the astronomers concluded.They added that at the moment it is difficult to determine the shape and orientation of the host galaxy. Therefore, the star-forming activity scenario remains plausible if these properties are uncertain. More information: Takashi J. Moriya et al. Slowly evolving interacting transient rising for more than 100 days arXiv:1907.01633v1 [astro-ph.HE]: HSC16aayt Citation: HSC16aay is a Type IIn supernova, study suggests (2019, July 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from New research presented by an international team of astronomers suggests that a recently detected transient, designated HSC16aay, is a Type IIn supernova. A research paper reporting the discovery and detailing the finding, was published July 2 on the arXiv pre-print server. © 2019 Science X Network Study reveals properties of a Type Ib supernova in NGC 4080 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

Find Delhis monuments at click of a button

first_imgSeeing his son download apps on his mobile phone, this Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officer had a brainwave – to create an app for Delhi’s monuments, both well-known and obscure, so that tourists could keep this information ‘handy’ as a ‘self guide’. The 3.92 MB app ‘ASI Delhi Circle’ has been available since April but has somehow not been promoted by the ASI.‘Those days are gone when people would carry their laptops or guide books to look for a place. When your phone has convenient applications to make your search easy, I thought we (ASI) too should have something like this to offer,’ the circle’s superintending archaeologist Vasant Kumar Swarnkar said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘This app is made for tourists and the best way to describe it is as a self guide,’ he added.This fascination for convenient technology led Swarnkar to his friend, Vijay Bharadwaj, whose expertise lies in software development. After several brainstorming sessions and understanding what a tourist would be looking for, the ‘ASI Delhi Circle’ app was created.‘The idea was to expose tourists to other monuments that are not so popular but have traces of our history,’ said Swarnkar.The app can be downloaded for free on smart phones.There are four sections in it: monuments; gallery; plan your itinerary; and information about ASI.Within the monument section, there are two sub-divisions: popular and all, Swarnkar said.‘There are around 158 ASI-listed monuments in the city and they come under the ‘all’ section, whereas monuments like Qutab Minar make it in the popular section,’ he said.last_img read more

WC 2015 India overpower UAE for third win in a row

first_imgAfter the bowlers led by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (4/25) bundled out UAE for a paltry 102 in only 31.3 overs, the batsmen made short work of the target knocking off the required runs in only 18.5 overs in a completely lop-sided Pool B contest.India thus maintained their grip on the top spot in the league table with three wins from as many matches which took their points tally to six. With three matches against West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland left, Dhoni and his boys, are well on course of topping the group. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIShikhar Dhawan (14) started off well with three sweetly-timed boundaries before Rohan Mustafa at gully pulled off a one-handed stunner to send him back. The pacer was Mohammed Naveed.Rohit Sharma hit a fluent unbeaten 57 off 55 deliveries with the help of 10 fours and a six to notch up a significant score before the West Indies game.While runs against UAE may not be the best indicator of anyone?s current form, but some of Rohit?s silken strokes would certainly keep the Caribbean bowlers worried before the duel on March 6. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindTwo strokes that stand out were cover drives off rival captain Mohammed Tauqir?s off-spin. The first was hit through extra cover and the long-off fielder failed to stop it. The second off the very next delivery was hit finer and the result was same. Even when Rohit played the pull shot, it seemed as if he was indulging in touchplay rather use sheer muscle.Virat Kohli (33 not out) had a calm day in office.Despite that he added 75 runs for the unbroken second wicket with Rohit in 12.2 overs.The winning boundary was hit by Rohit and the celebrations were predictably muted as the win against UAE was taken for granted.last_img read more

RPF arrests four with sharp weapons

first_imgKolkata: Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Eastern Railway arrested a gang of four criminals along with sharp weapons near the track of Barddhaman Down Yard on July 21. They targetted passengers for dacoity/snatching. The miscreants were handed over to the local police.The RPF rescued eight minor boys loitering around railway platforms accompanied by elders at various stations including Howrah, Jasidih, Bariyarpur, Barrackpore and Barakar during last one week. The guardians were connected and the boys were handed over after proper verification. Besides, the RPF Post of Bhagalpur station recovered 40 of partly manufactured Pistols in an unclaimed bag from a general coach of Malda-Jamalpur Intercity Express at Bhagalpur station on July 22. The RPF also recovered 900 pouches of country liquor during a special drive at Jasidih station on July 22. One man and three women were arrested in this connection.last_img read more

Relish yummy pie

first_imgYear ending holiday week is here and one has the time to make and experiment while cooking. Here is a recipie of Rum soaked mix fruit mince Pie from The Imperial. Rum soaked mix fruit Mince PIEIngredients225gms of cold butter, diced350gms plain flour100gms castor sugar280gms rum soaked mix dry nuts1 small eggIcing sugar to dust.Salt a pinchMethod1. To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g castor sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas. Line mall tart moulds, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each shell. Spoon 280g of rum soaked dry fruits into the pies.3. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal 4. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.last_img read more