August 31

Apple applied for a patent to collect the location history of iPhone

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Apple has recently published a patent application, which indicates the company may have plans to collect the location history of iPhone users. Right now, it is not clear if this is related to the recent discovery that iPhones and iPads are able to store historical location information. 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Apple applied for a patent to collect the location history of iPhone users in 2009 (2011, May 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-apple-patent-history-iphone-users.html The research shows that both iPhones and iPads regularly collect location information and then store the data in an unencrypted file on the devices. This data storage was exposed by researchers from O’Reilly. Currently, Apple has not made comment on the reason behind the storage of this information on the device, but they have said that this is not a security flaw. The discovery has aroused the concern of lawmakers, who question why the data is being collected without the end users permission.The patent application, which was filed by an Apple engineer named Ronald Huang in 2009, was published in March of 2011. It implied that Apple has several ideas for ways to use this type of data in the future. The patent, which is titled “location histories for location aware devices”, may be used in conjunction with GPS, cellular carrier networks and Wi-Fi access points. That data could then be used for mapping location data for users. The patent application shows off various methods that would allow users to set preferences for collecting data, and therefore manage the size of the location information database. This would allow users to blank out certain locations or times of day when the phone should not collect location data. At this point, we are unsure how much control users will have over the tracking. No word yet on when this patent may show up in future versions of the iPhone. Q-and-A: Smartphone location trackinglast_img read more

August 31

Chemist develops process that allows iron to serve as platinum catalyst

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. (Phys.org)—Paul Chirik, a chemistry professor at Princeton University has, according to a profile in the New York Times, developed a process that allows ordinary iron to be used as a substitute catalyst in certain reactions that up till now have required platinum. © 2012 Phys.org New catalyst to significantly reduce use of precious metals Citation: Chemist develops process that allows iron to serve as platinum catalyst (2012, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-chemist-iron-platinum-catalyst.html More information: www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/sci … g-like-platinum.htmlwww.princeton.edu/chemistry/fa … lty/profiles/chirik/ Platinum is very expensive, roughly $22,000 a pound and is used as a catalyst to make many popular products such as the denim in jeans and beer. The reason it’s expensive is because it is relatively rare and most of it is mined in just two countries, Russia and South Africa. For this reason, chemists have been looking at ways to use other materials as a catalyst to reduce the reliance on rare metals.Catalysts are materials that are added to other chemicals to lower the activation level of a reaction. The activation level is the amount of energy held in chemicals needed to overcome a barrier known as the activation energy. Because of its special properties, platinum, along with other noble metals such as palladium and rhodium, has been found to be an excellent catalyst in many modern day manufacturing processes, but as more is needed, the price rises, causing the need for alternatives to be found. Iron in comparison to platinum, is very cheap, going for about 50 cents a pound. But it’s not a very good catalyst, at least not in its natural form. To make it a better catalyst, Dr. Chirik has found a way to modify its outer structure to cause other chemicals to react with it as if it were platinum. His process involves wrapping iron molecules with an organic molecule known as a ligand. Doing so alters the number of electrons that become available for forming bonds and allows for more rigid structure development.This new research could have a major impact on manufacturing processes, allowing for the creation of a wide variety of products that rely on expensive rare metals, at much lower prices. There are still some obstacles in the way, however, such as figuring out how to prevent the modified iron from rusting. Native Platinum nugget, locality Kondyor mine, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. Credit: Wikipedia. Explore furtherlast_img read more

August 31

New dating of Neanderthal remains from Vindija Cave finds them older than

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has conducted a new test of Neanderthal remains found at Vindija Cave in Croatia and found them to be older than previous studies indicated. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their dating technique and the possible implications of their findings. Neanderthal bone found at Vindija Cave, Croatia. Credit: Thomas Higham Vindija Cave in Croatia, which was occupied by Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago. Credit: Ivor Karavanic Explore further © 2017 Phys.org 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 Citation: New dating of Neanderthal remains from Vindija Cave finds them older than thought (2017, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-dating-neanderthal-vindija-cave-older.html More information: “Direct dating of Neanderthal remains from the site of Vindija Cave and implications for the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition,” by Thibaut Deviese et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1709235114AbstractPrevious dating of the Vi-207 and Vi-208 Neanderthal remains from Vindija Cave (Croatia) led to the suggestion that Neanderthals survived there as recently as 28,000–29,000 B.P. Subsequent dating yielded older dates, interpreted as ages of at least ∼32,500 B.P. We have redated these same specimens using an approach based on the extraction of the amino acid hydroxyproline, using preparative highperformance liquid chromatography (Prep-HPLC). This method is more efficient in eliminating modern contamination in the bone collagen. The revised dates are older than 40,000 B.P., suggesting the Vindija Neanderthals did not live more recently than others across Europe, and probably predate the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Eastern Europe. We applied zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (ZooMS) to find additional hominin remains. We identified one bone that is Neanderthal, based on its mitochondrial DNA, and dated it directly to 46,200 ± 1,500 B.P. We also attempted to date six early Upper Paleolithic bone points from stratigraphic units G1, Fd/d+G1 and Fd/d, Fd. One bone artifact gave a date of 29,500 ± 400 B.P., while the remainder yielded no collagen. We additionally dated animal bone samples from units G1 and G1–G3. These dates suggest a co-occurrence of early Upper Paleolithic osseous artifacts, particularly split-based points, alongside the remains of Neanderthals is a result of postdepositional mixing, rather than an association between the two groups, although more work is required to show this definitively. The Neanderthal remains were originally found in the cave approximately 40 years ago and have been tested for age several times. They have also been the subject of much speculation, as it was thought that the remains represented the last of the Neanderthals in that part of Europe and that they existed for a short period of time in close proximity to modern humans. Initial testing suggested the remains were approximately 28,000 to 29,000 years old. More recent tests have put them at 32,000 to 34,000 years old. Both time frames coincide with the arrival of modern humans into the area, keeping alive the theory that the two groups mixed, both physically and socially. But now, using what is being described as a more accurate technique, the group with this new effort has found that the remains are older than thought.The new technique, called ZooMS involves radiocarbon dating hydroxyproline—an amino acid taken from collagen samples found in bone remains. The team also purified the collagen to remove contaminants. The researchers report that the new technique indicates that the remains—all four samples—were approximately 40,000 years old. This new finding puts the Neanderthal in the cave well before the arrival of modern humans, thus, there could not have been mixing of the two. New evidence suggests ancient jewelry at Grotte du Renne cave made by Neanderthals The researchers also studied other artifacts from the cave, including other animal bones, and found that the artifacts were a mixed bag, representing a timeline of thousands of years. The animal bones, they found, were from bears. This has led the team to conclude that the reason more modern artifacts were found with older artifacts is because of bears mixing them up.The researchers conclude by claiming their study has shown that the Neanderthals at the Vindija cave did not overlap in time with modern humans, and thus were not the final holdout that many have suggested.last_img read more

August 31

Mt Etna found to be sliding downhill towards the sea

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain 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. More information: John B. Murray et al. Gravitational sliding of the Mt. Etna massif along a sloping basement, Bulletin of Volcanology (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s00445-018-1209-1AbstractGeological field evidence and laboratory modelling indicate that volcanoes constructed on slopes slide downhill. If this happens on an active volcano, then the movement will distort deformation data and thus potentially compromise interpretation. Our recent GPS measurements demonstrate that the entire edifice of Mt. Etna is sliding to the ESE, the overall direction of slope of its complex, rough sedimentary basement. We report methods of discriminating the sliding vector from other deformation processes and of measuring its velocity, which averaged 14 mm year−1 during four intervals between 2001 and 2012. Though sliding of one sector of a volcano due to flank instability is widespread and well-known, this is the first time basement sliding of an entire active volcano has been directly observed. This is important because the geological record shows that such sliding volcanoes are prone to devastating sector collapse on the downslope side, and whole volcano migration should be taken into account when assessing future collapse hazard. It is also important in eruption forecasting, as the sliding vector needs to be allowed for when interpreting deformation events that take place above the sliding basement within the superstructure of the active volcano, as might occur with dyke intrusion or inflation/deflation episodes. A small team of researchers from the U.K and France has found evidence indicating that Sicily’s Mt. Etna is sliding very slowly downhill toward the sea. In their paper published in Bulletin of Volcanology, the group describes their 11-year study of the volcano and the evidence they found for its movement. Volcanologist suggests Mt. Etna behaves more like a giant hot spring than a volcano Mt. Etna is, of course, Europe’s most active volcano. It is situated on the eastern part of the island of Sicily and has erupted approximately 200 times since 1500 BC—the date of the oldest recorded eruption. It was last seen erupting last year. The volcano has been the subject of study for lead investigator John Murry for nearly a half-century. As part of his research, he has worked with teams that contributed to installing very precise GPS devices at sites around and on the mountain. Data from those devices allowed the current team to note that the mountain has been moving. Over the past 11 years, they report, the mountain moved an average of 14 mm per year. It is moving because it is situated on a base of loose sediment on a slope of approximately one to three degrees. Furthermore, it is moving in an east-south-east direction towards the town of Giarre, though it will take some time to get there—the town is approximately 15 km distant from the mountain.Such movement by a volcano is known in the field as basement sliding. The team reports that their observations of Mt. Etna’s sliding are the first ever for an entire active volcano. They report also that the movement they noted is not an imminent threat to people in the vicinity, but they do suggest it should be taken into account in the future. Prior research by other teams has shown that volcanos that move can suffer massive failure as the part of the mountain in front eventually gives way under pressure. More importantly, monitoring of the mountain for tell-tale signs of an imminent eruption need account for the movement of the mountain to offer reasonably accurate estimates of volcanic activity. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Mt. Etna found to be sliding downhill towards the sea (2018, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-mt-etna-downhill-sea.htmllast_img read more

August 31

Researchers violate Bells inequality with remotely connected superconducting qubits

first_imgThe efficient generation of entanglement between remote quantum nodes is a crucial step in securing quantum communications. In past research, entanglement has often been achieved using a number of different probabilistic schemes. Recently, some studies have also offered demonstrations of deterministic remote entanglement using approaches based on superconducting qubits. Nonetheless, the deterministic violation of Bell’s inequality (a strong measure of quantum correlation) in a superconducting quantum communication architecture has so far never been demonstrated. A team of researchers based at the University of Chicago has recently demonstrated a violation of Bell’s inequality using remotely connected superconducting qubits. Their paper, published in Nature Physics, introduces a simple and yet robust architecture for achieving this benchmark result in a superconducting system. “There is a lot of interest and activity in developing experimental systems where quantum mechanics can be used for information processing (e.g. communication, computation, etc.) and sensing,” Andrew Cleland, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “The heart of a quantum information system is a qubit, and uniqueness comes from the quantum states you can store in it, as well as the more complex quantum states you can store using multiple qubits. We were interested in exploring the transmission of quantum information and quantum states—the fundamentals for quantum communication.”Quantum states, as well as the information that is stored within them, are incredibly delicate, far more than classical states and classically stored information. Although theoretically, there are ways to correct errors in a quantum state, one can typically fix only small errors; hence, the communication of a quantum state needs to be done with very high precision. The high fidelity transmission of a quantum state has so far been achieved using a limited number of methods. “We wanted to see if we could use some of the best qubits that are available, superconducting qubits, and the best tools for coupling superconducting qubits to communication (transmission) lines, to show we could transmit quantum states with very high precision (i.e. fidelity),” Cleland said. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Researchers violate Bell’s inequality with remotely connected superconducting qubits (2019, May 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-violate-bell-inequality-remotely-superconducting.html In quantum physics, the ‘gold standard’ for testing a certain class of quantum states is Bell’s inequality. Essentially, a specific set of measurements of a property of a quantum state (usually written as “S”) can exceed a classically limited value of two only if the quantum state is prepared, communicated and measured with high levels of precision. “Errors made in preparing, transmitting or measuring the quantum state will tend to make the state more classical, and make it harder to exceed the classical limit of two,” Cleland explained. “Exceeding this limit is called a violation of a Bell inequality, and is a proof of ‘quantum-ness’. This was the measure we set out to achieve, by measuring S for a quantum state using a very precise generation, transmission, and capture of quantum information between two qubits. Happily, we were able to do this.”In their experiment, Cleland and his colleagues used two superconducting qubits connected to one another via an approximately 1-meter-long transmission line. The quantum information was transmitted along this line using microwaves (similar to radio signals), with a frequency similar to that cell phones use to communicate. “Very importantly, we also had electrically controlled ‘couplers’ between each qubit and the line,” Cleland said. “These couplers are very important, because they allow us to control the coupling of the qubits to the line very rapidly, using classical electrical signals.”These electrically controlled couplers are a key component of the researchers’ experiment, as they allowed them to ‘shape’ the coupling in time very precisely. These couplers ensured that the microwaves carrying the quantum information were transmitted between the two qubits in precisely the right way. This ultimately made sure that the quantum information was sent and received with minimal errors.”Our experiment shows that very precise quantum information can be sent along a communication path that is quite long, in our case nearly one meter in length,” Cleland explained. “The method we used would work with any length line. This demonstrates that the theoretical methods that had been worked out for this nearly error-free transmission are correct, and holds great promise for future quantum communication systems.”The study carried out by Cleland and his colleagues introduced a simple but effective method to achieve a violation in Bell’s inequality using remote superconducting qubits. However, as the qubits used in their experiment communicate with microwaves, their method only works at very low temperatures. To communicate quantum information through air, the researchers would need to develop new techniques that can attain similar results using infrared or visible light.”We are now planning on doing more complex versions of this experiment, using more qubits and more transmission lines, to test out more advanced theories for quantum communication and quantum error correction,” Cleland said. “We are also developing methods to try to do the same thing with infrared light, so the signals can be sent through an optical fiber, or through space.” Explore further Scientists connect quantum bits with sound over record distances Credit: Youpeng Zhong (2019). Journal information: Nature Physics More information: Y. P. Zhong et al. Violating Bell’s inequality with remotely connected superconducting qubits, Nature Physics (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-019-0507-7 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

August 31

Want to Close the Pay Gap Pay Transparency Will Help

first_imgFor example, in 2017, the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit and investigation against Google. Their regional director Janette Wipper told the Guardian, “discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry.” The suit claimed that Google refused to disclose data on employee salary history, as required by equal opportunity laws. “From a worker’s perspective, without accurate information about peer compensation, they may not know when they’re being underpaid,” said Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, an economist at U.C.L.A. who ran a study in 2013 that found workers are more productive when salary is transparent. Without knowing what other workers’ salaries look like, “it naturally becomes harder to make the case that one is suffering a form of pay discrimination,” Dr. Huet-Vaughn said. Transparency isn’t just about business bottom line, however. Researchers say transparency is important because keeping salaries secret reinforces discrimination. Here’s what we know about salary transparency: Workers are more motivated when salaries are transparent. They work harder, they’re more productive, and they’re better at collaborating with colleagues. Across the board, pay transparency seems to be a good thing. Which brings us to the wage gap. Rather than a deliberate, methodical attempt to sabotage women’s earnings, often the wage gap takes on more subtle, but no less detrimental forms. For example, women are viewed as less likable when they negotiate. They’re also less likely than men to get what they want when they ask for a raise, according to Harvard Business Review. Read the whole story: The New York Timeslast_img read more

August 31

Melodious tribute

first_imgIndia Habitat Center as a part of their monthly program calendar has organised the first Dhrupad Sandhya, a musical evening, in collaboration with Pandit Siyaram Tiwari Memorial Sangeet Trust. A Dhrupad Sabha also commenced on August 23, 2014 to pay tribute to the legendary Dhrupad singer Padma Shree Late Pandit Siyaram Tiwari of Darbhanga Gharana.The event will stage three young Indian classical musicians committed to the ancient and pure Dhrupad style. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On this occasion, Sumeet Anand Pandey, disciple of Pt Abhay Narayan Mallick will present his first solo Dhrupad recital. Pandey belongs to the Darbhanga Gharana of Dhrupad music which owes its allegiance to the legendary Tansen. He will start the ocassion with a recital of traditional Mangalacharan followed by elaborate Dhrupad style alap sketching the entire structure of the raag appropriately, embellished with Gamak and Meend. Pandey will be accompanied by Kulbhushan Goswami on Sarangi and Kumar Shubhashish Pathak on Pakhawaj. President of Pandit Siyaram Tiwari Memorial Sangeet Trust, Anand Mohan Pandey announced the date for the second Dhrupad Sabha in March 2015 in Patna.last_img read more

August 31

Pakistan wants normal ties with India Sharif

first_img“India is an important neighbour for us and we would like to have normal relations with the country on the basis of mutual respect and sovereign equality,” Sharif told Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit during a meeting with him at PM’s House.Basit briefed him on the status of the Pakistan-India relations, according to an official statement.The Prime Minister reiterated that Pakistan wants good neighbourly relations with all countries of the region, it said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe Prime Minister said it is important that two countries resolve all their outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir in order to have viable peace in the region.India cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan after Basit held talks with Kashmiri separatists just before the parleys in Islamabad August last year.Since then both countries have maintained that they are willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue provided the other side takes the initiative.last_img read more

August 31

Celebrating Indian classical music

first_imgGeeta Chandran is synonymous with the Indian classical dance – Bharatanatyam. She is a renowned artiste who has synthesised the knowledge she received from her Gurus to imprint Bharatanatyam with her personal vision of the dance. In her dance presentations, she skillfully weaves abstract notions of joy, beauty, values, aspirations, myth and spirituality.Chandran will perform solo Bharatanatyam  at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre on April 8 as a part of  NGO Yogdan’s Sur Sringar event. Pandit Madhup Mudgal will present Hindustani classical vocal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Chandran will be accompanied on Nattuvangam by Guru S Shankar; vocals  by Sudha Raghuraman; on Mridangam by MV Chander Shekar and on flute by G Raghuraman.A polymath artiste, Geeta Chandran is celebrated not only for her deep and composite understanding of the art of Bharatanatyam, but also for her Carnatic music (she is a trained and accomplished vocalist).She is the founder-president of  Natya-Vriksha and artistic director of the Natya Vriksha Dance Company, known for the high aesthetic quality of its group presentations that showcase Geeta’s metier as a choreographer.She guides reputed national cultural institutions and prestigious universities as their Board member. So mark your calender and head over to witness this classical treat.When: April 8Where: Stein Auditorium, IHClast_img read more

August 31

Darjeeling Dooars tourist ready this festive season Goutam Deb

first_imgDarjeeling: The Tourism department is all set to ensure a pleasant experience for the tourists visiting the Hills and Dooars during the forthcoming festive season.Tourism minister Goutam Deb held a meeting with the district administration in Siliguri on Tuesday. “We want the tourists to return home with happy memories. We will ensure that they have a pleasant experience while they are here,” stated minister Deb.The minister will also be holding talks with tour operators, hoteliers and transporters. “We will tell them not to overcharge the tourists,” stated Deb. Incidentally, in the past, there have been complaints against tourist vehicles and hotels overcharging during peak tourist seasons. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere will be a police control room monitoring round the clock. A number of help desks will be set up at major transit points in the region. “We will open help desks at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, Bagdogra Airport and Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in Siliguri. Along with this help desks will be set up at Malbazar in Dooars,” added the Tourism minister. Soon, the minister will hold talks with the top brass of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling. “We have plans to set up similar help desks in Darjeeling and Kalimpong,” stated Deb. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Tourism minister will also hold a similar meeting with the district administration, Jalpaiguri. With Siliguri emerging as the most important transit point for tourists visiting the Hills and Dooars, the minister stressed on presenting a clean and green Siliguri to the tourists.”We have information that all hotels and home-stays are booked till capacity during the puja tourist season. We will have to ensure that we present a clean Siliguri. We have to ensure that garbage is not dumped on roadsides. The Siliguri Municipal Corporation has to undertake a special drive to present a clean and green Siliguri to the tourists,” suggested Deb. He stated that toilets have to be constructed. The minister also stressed on the need to remove illegal hoardings. “There should be no hoardings in the zones declared as No Hoarding Zones. The Municipal Corporation has to ensure this,” added the Minister.Incidentally, Darjeeling was in the grip of an agitation in 2017. The agitation also included a 104-day long bandh. With the political unrest tourists had stayed away. This had adversely affected the economy of the region with tourism being the economic mainstay of this region.Finally with peace and normalcy returning to the Hills, Darjeeling and Dooars had experienced a tourism boom during the summer season. This trend is expected to continue during the puja season as well.last_img read more