Neutron star field decay could impact what we know

first_img Explore further And the implications of field decay? Link points out that since most neutron star ages are estimated assuming that a star’s magnetic field is constant, field decay would change estimates of neutron star ages. “If field decay takes place over about a million years, as our analysis indicates, then what we thought was a 10 million year old star may only be 2 million years old. If we’re getting the ages wrong for some stars, our whole picture of neutron star evolution should be reconsidered.” Age determinations are not the only thing that could change in the face of magnetic field decay. “These large field neutron stars are different from other neutron stars,” Link says. “It could be that magnetic fields in ordinary, lower-field, neutron stars decay little or not at all, due to the way the field was established at the stars’ births. More research is needed to consider the possibilities.” “We’ve opened a new can of worms,” Link continues. “There’s a lot more to be understood about how neutron star thermal and magnetic evolution proceeds. I hope we’ve opened up new lines of discussion and new areas of research that will eventually further our understanding of neutron star cooling and composition.” You can learn more about Bennett Link’s work by visiting www.physics.montana.edu/people … ?id_PersonDetails=15 .Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Neutron star field decay could impact what we know (2007, February 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-neutron-star-field-impact.html Until now, explains Link, a professor of physics at Montana State University in Bozeman, all evidence indicated that neutron star magnetic fields last essentially forever, except in very strongly-magnetized stars — magnetars — which have magnetic fields in excess of 1014 G. Link and his colleagues, José Pons, Juan Miralles and Ulrich Geppert from the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Alacant in Alacant, Spain present the findings from their study of about 30 neutron stars in a Letter published in Physical Review Letters. Their observations, and the conclusions drawn from them can be found in “Evidence for Heating of Neutron Stars by Magnetic-Field Decay.” The major finding from the team’s work is that stars with fields in excess of about 1012 G show evidence for decay of their magnetic fields. Previously, such stars were assumed to have constant magnetic fields like stars with weaker fields. “Our work fills the gap between the lower-field stars and the magnetars,” Link says. As the energy of the field dissipates into space, the cooling of these more strongly magnetized stars is delayed. A neutron star is a super-dense stellar remnant created from a supernova explosion. More mass than is contained in the Sun is packed into an object 20 km across. One reason these objects are so interesting is because they contain matter denser than anything we can study on Earth. “You can only study the properties of dense matter to a certain point in the laboratory,” Link explains. “But if you could figure out what’s going on in a neutron star, then you could learn more about how some of the more exotic particles that you get in particle accelerator experiments, like pions, hyperons and quarks, interact.” “One way to approach this problem is to look at how neutron stars lose their residual heat as they age. What we have found could have profound impacts on our understanding of how neutron stars cool, how old they are and even what they are made of,” Link says. It appears that only about five percent of neutron stars, the most strongly magnetized, undergo significant field decay; this may be why previous studies, which considered the entire neutron star population, missed the effect. Link expects that expanding the study to more stars will support the work presented by him and his colleagues in Spain. However, he points out, “expanding the sample will have to await the next generation of x-ray observatories.” The trend of neutron star temperature (in kilo-electron volts) versus magnetic field strength for different strongly-magnetized neutron stars. The research group interprets the general increase of temperature with field strength as strong evidence that a star´s temperature is controlled by heat from the magnetic field after a certain age. The solid line shows a prediction assuming that cooling bysurface emission is balanced by heating from the magnetic field. The position of the line implies an average decay time of about one million years. The diamonds and stars represent magnetars. Red symbols indicate stars younger than about 104 years which have not yet had time to cool down onto the solid line. Vertical lines represent uncertainty ranges, vertical arrows denote upper limits, and horizontal arrows denote upper limits on the field. Credit: Bennett Linkcenter_img “[W]hat we have found could have profound impacts on what we know about how neutron stars evolve, how old they are and even what they are made of,” Bennett Link tells PhysOrg.com. 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. Russia launches space telescopelast_img read more

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Study shows Australian jack jumper ants navigate using landmarks

first_img Citation: Study shows Australian jack jumper ants navigate using landmarks (2013, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-australian-jack-jumper-ants-landmarks.html (Phys.org) —A trio of researchers from The Australian National University has found that solitary foraging jack jumper ants take mental snapshots of the terrain as they move around. This allows the ants, the team notes in their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, to find their way home using landmark identification. More information: Mapping the navigational knowledge of individually foraging ants, Myrmecia croslandi, Published 26 June 2013 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0683AbstractAnts are efficient navigators, guided by path integration and visual landmarks. Path integration is the primary strategy in landmark-poor habitats, but landmarks are readily used when available. The landmark panorama provides reliable information about heading direction, routes and specific location. Visual memories for guidance are often acquired along routes or near to significant places. Over what area can such locally acquired memories provide information for reaching a place? This question is unusually approachable in the solitary foraging Australian jack jumper ant, since individual foragers typically travel to one or two nest-specific foraging trees. We find that within 10 m from the nest, ants both with and without home vector information available from path integration return directly to the nest from all compass directions, after briefly scanning the panorama. By reconstructing panoramic views within the successful homing range, we show that in the open woodland habitat of these ants, snapshot memories acquired close to the nest provide sufficient navigational information to determine nest-directed heading direction over a surprisingly large area, including areas that animals may have not visited previously. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Sugar ants ‘know when they’re lost’ Ants are known to use various methods to find their way home after foraging, most notably path integration. This is where ants record distance traveled and in what direction as they march around and then use that information to help them find their way home. In this new effort, the researchers found that when foraging relatively close to home, jack jumper ants also note landmarks as they travel that they can use to create a mental map that leads back to their nest.In a prior study carried out by researchers at Australia’s Vision Centre, it was found that bull ants had more difficulty finding their way home in the dark than in the light of day. This suggested they use landmarks as navigation aids. Building on these findings, the researchers in this new study collected 50 jack jumper ants and moved them various distances from the nest, then watched (using differential GPS) to see if they could find their way home. The group found that at distances of 10 meters or less, the ants were able to look around them then head straight for home. In contrast, when the researchers carried the ants 100 meters from their nest, the ants were confused and attempted to use path integration to orient themselves.These findings suggested the ants were using landmarks to find their way home. To add credence to their theory, the team used cameras to study the terrain in which the ants had been released; these cameras allowed the researchers to look around from the vantage point of the ants. Doing so allowed them to very clearly see that various landmarks provided the ants sufficient information to guide their trip home. As the distance from the nest was increased, however, the team found it more and more difficult to use landmark information to create a return map.Based on their observations, the researchers conclude that the ants do indeed use landmarks as a form of navigational aid. They note also that this simple ability far outstrips the abilities of current robots, thus jack jumper ants may serve as a model for robot builders looking to improve navigational skills in their creations. © 2013 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.last_img read more

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Research team develops acoustic topological insulator idea to allow for hiding from

first_img Citation: Research team develops acoustic topological insulator idea to allow for hiding from sonar (2015, March 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-team-acoustic-topological-insulator-idea.html , arXiv Around the bend. An acoustic topological insulator would guide sound waves around its edges, as shown in this simulation. Credit: Z. Yang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2015) Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working in Singapore has come up with what they believe is a way to apply a topologic insulator to an object to prevent sound waves from being bounced back and detected by a source. They have published their work in the journal Physical Review Letters. Have researchers discovered the sound of the stars? Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2015 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. Scientists have developed ways to coat materials with other materials to causes electric current to remain on the surface, preventing damage to sensitive parts inside—such coatings are called topological insulators and are generally based on causing less scattering and creating a band gap. In this new effort, the research team has expanded on that idea to bring a similar result for insulating objects from sound waves.To make a topological insulator work against sonar would involve creating a coating or cover that could cause sound waves to propagate around an object (instead of scattering) rather than allowing them to be bounced back to a receiver. To make that happen, the researchers envision a cover made up of a lattice of spinning metal cylinders, each of which would be surrounded by a bit of fluid which would itself be contained within an acoustically transparent shell. The same fluid would be used to fill the spaces between the cylinders, but it would not move. Because of the spinning movement inside, a vortex would be created in the fluid that surrounds the cylinders. In this setup, sound waves would not be able to move through the center of the structure due to a periodic pattern that would produce a sonic band gap—but the rotating fluid around the center would allow for causing propagation to occur in a predefined direction—the edge states, the team notes, could guide sound waves with high precision. A submarine covered with such an insulator would be invisible to sonar because sound waves sent in its direction would be routed in a direction away from where they came from, preventing them from bouncing back to the source.The work thus far by the team is purely theoretical, but they suggest there is no reason to believe it would not work in practice. The most difficult part they note, would be dealing with irregular “bumps” on a surface, which could throw off the propagation if not handled properly. More information: Topological Acoustics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 114301 – Published 20 March 2015 . dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.114301 . On Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1411.7100ABSTRACTThe manipulation of acoustic wave propagation in fluids has numerous applications, including some in everyday life. Acoustic technologies frequently develop in tandem with optics, using shared concepts such as waveguiding and metamedia. It is thus noteworthy that an entirely novel class of electromagnetic waves, known as “topological edge states,” has recently been demonstrated. These are inspired by the electronic edge states occurring in topological insulators, and possess a striking and technologically promising property: the ability to travel in a single direction along a surface without backscattering, regardless of the existence of defects or disorder. Here, we develop an analogous theory of topological fluid acoustics, and propose a scheme for realizing topological edge states in an acoustic structure containing circulating fluids. The phenomenon of disorder-free one-way sound propagation, which does not occur in ordinary acoustic devices, may have novel applications for acoustic isolators, modulators, and transducers.last_img read more

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Head wound suggests ancient Aborigine was killed by a boomerang

first_imgAustralian Aboriginal boomerangs. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 1.0 The skeleton was discovered in 2014 by an Aboriginal man living in the area—the locals subsequently named it Kaakutja, which means “older brother” in the Baakantji language. It was initially believed that the skeleton had belonged to a man that had been killed by someone with the British Native Police, a group that was responsible for killing many Aborigine people not long after Europeans arrived in Australia in the 1800s. But testing by the researchers showed that the man died in the 1200s, well before Europeans arrived with their metal weapons.Analysis of the skeleton revealed a large cut to the face that had gashed the bone running from the brow to the chin that had not healed, suggesting it was part of the reason for the man’s death. They also found that two of the man’s ribs had been broken and that part of his arm had been cut off. They also noted the skull had two healed wounds, suggesting that the man had been involved in more than one violent encounter. But it was the head wound the team found most intriguing because it looked so much like a wound typically caused by a metal weapon.To better understand what may have caused the head wound, the researchers studied paintings that had been done on rocks in the vicinity, which had been dated to around the same time as the skeleton—they noted that the paintings depicted people wielding Lil-lis, a type of knife-like wooden weapon, and boomerangs. The team noted that either type of weapon could have been used to inflict such a long wound, but suggest that the boomerang seemed more likely because there were no wounds to the forearms, which typically occur in hand-to-hand combat. A tossed boomerang would have taken an arced path toward its victim, allowing for slipping behind a shield if the victim had been holding one. (Phys.org)—A team led by Michael Westaway, an anthropologist with Australia’s Griffith University, has found evidence that suggests a skeleton found protruding from an Australian riverbank two years ago is the remains of an ancient Aborigine man who died of what might have been a strike by a boomerang. In their paper published in the Cambridge Press’s, Antiquity, the group describes the skeleton, what they found during their analysis and why they believe it might represent the victim of a boomerang attack. Journal information: Antiquity 2,000-year-old skeleton found at Mediterranean shipwreck © 2016 Phys.orgcenter_img More information: Michael Westaway et al. The death of Kaakutja: a case of peri-mortem weapon trauma in an Aboriginal man from north-western New South Wales, Australia, Antiquity (2016). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.173AbstractSkeletal remains from a burial in New South Wales exhibit evidence of fatal trauma, of a kind normally indicative of sharp metal weapons, yet the burial dates to the mid thirteenth century—600 years before European settlers reached the area. Could sharp-edged wooden weapons from traditional Aboriginal culture inflict injuries similar to those resulting from later, metal blades? Analysis indicates that the wooden weapons known as ‘Lil-lils’ and the fighting boomerangs (‘Wonna’) both have blades that could fit within the dimensions of the major trauma and are capable of having caused the fatal wounds. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Head wound suggests ancient Aborigine was killed by a boomerang (2016, September 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-wound-ancient-aborigine-boomerang.htmllast_img read more

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Skull fragments with carved long deliberate lines found at Gobekli Tepe

first_img Explore further Frontal bone fragment of skull 3 with carvings (1) and cut marks (2,3). Credit: Julia Gresky, Juliane Haelm, DAI. Schematic drawings of Göbekli Tepe skulls. Gray, preserved elements; red, modifications. Credit: Julia Gresky, Juliane Haelm, DAI. Aerial view of Göbekli Tepe. Credit: German Archaeological Institute (DAI) Skull fragments with cut marks. Credit: German Archaeological Institute Schematic drawings of Göbekli Tepe skulls. Gray, preserved elements; red, modifications. Credit: Julia Gresky, Juliane Haelm, DAI. A pillar from Building D at Göbekli Tepe seen from the southeast. Credit: German Archaeological Institute (DAI) Journal information: Science Advances Citation: Skull fragments with carved long, deliberate lines found at Gobekli Tepe (2017, June 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-skull-fragments-deliberate-lines-gobekli.html Aerial view of Göbekli Tepe. Credit: German Archaeological Institute (DAI) © 2017 Phys.org Anthropomorphic depictions from Göbekli Tepe. (A) Intentionally decapitated human statue (height, 60 cm). Credit: Nico Becker, Göbekli Tepe Archive, DAI. (B) The gift bearer holds in his hands a human head (height, 26 cm). (C) Pillar 43 (building D) with low relief of an ithyphallic headless individual, one arm raised (bottom right). Credit: Dieter Johannes and Klaus Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe Archive, DAI Göbekli Tepe is the name given to an ancient temple in what is now southern Turkey—it was built approximately 11,000 years ago, during the Stone Age. Workers have been at the site for the past 20 years removing the soil covering the tall pieces of T-shaped limestone, some of which rise up to 18 feet from the ground. Thus far, researchers at the site report that it does not appear that the temple was used as living quarters, but was instead a temple where the locals gathered to perform rituals. One such ritual appears to have involved using human skulls—hundreds of them, broken into pieces, litter the areas between the limestone columns. These findings have caused researchers to label the site as evidence of one of the earliest skull cults. In this new effort, the researchers report that some of the skull pieces have been found to have lines cut into them.The team determined that the skull fragments they found with the unique marks on them belonged to just three individuals—each had deep straight-line grooves carved into the bone and one of them also had a hole drilled through its top. The grooves were found to measure between 0.2 and 4 millimeters deep and were clearly made by a person using stone tools, rather than by another animal or other natural process. Also, it was determined that the grooves were made after the person had died—there was no bone growth suggesting natural repair. Also, it appeared likely that the grooves had been made shortly after the person had died, while the bone was still relatively elastic. Details of artificial skull modifications. A, C, D: carvings, B: drilled perforation. Credit:Julia Gresky, DAI (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the German Archaeological Institute has found long, deliberate marks carved into ancient skulls found at the Göbekli Tepe dig site. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes the skull fragments they have been studying and offer some possible explanations for the markings they found. More information: Modified human crania from Göbekli Tepe provide evidence for a new form of Neolithic skull cult Science Advances  28 Jun 2017: Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700564, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700564AbstractArchaeological excavations at Göbekli Tepe, a transitional Neolithic site in southeast Turkey, have revealed the earliest megalithic ritual architecture with characteristic T-shaped pillars. Although human burials are still absent from the site, a number of fragmented human bones have been recovered from fill deposits of buildings and from adjacent areas. We focus on three partially preserved human skulls, all of which carry artificial modifications of a type so far unknown from contemporaneous sites and the ethnographic record. As such, modified skull fragments from Göbekli Tepe could indicate a new, previously undocumented variation of skull cult in the Early Neolithic of Anatolia and the Levant. Because it is not clear why the grooves appeared only on three skulls, the researchers were left to generate theories—they believe one of the likeliest possibilities is that the grooves were made to hold cords in place while the skull was hoisted onto a pole using the drilled hole—possibly as a way to scare off enemies. Ancient stone pillars offer clues of comet strike that changed human history 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

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Shed the flab but in style

first_imgThe idea for this book was conceived in her mind several years ago when she first started her practice as a ‘wellness specialist’. ‘Three out of five of my clients were from the corporate arena and it saddened me to see intelligent minds being bogged down by excess weight and medical concerns, failing to reach their full potential,’ said Jain.At times we all feel stressed, exhausted and a sudden dip in energy levels, but all of these symptoms are the effects of odd work timings and unhealthy eating habits. Also, it increases chances of acquiring heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and breathing problems. Jain’s book offers simple solutions to combat stress and anxiety like, sleeping it off, ditching drastic meals, quitting smoking among others. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Being a working woman, I fully understand the pitfalls of the workplace. The book will help the reader to be back on the road to good health and improved productivity with tips like eating meals at regular time, carrying a healthy snack, listening to relaxing music or going for a walk to bust stress,’ she added.Now, how can we forget about the sleepless nights we spend fretting about the work deadline, household chores or simply not being able to catch a wink. Many people suffer from disturbed sleep due to job stress, shift timings at work or jet lag. This makes them high-strung and edgy and affects their day-to-day routines and functions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAccording to Jain the remedies are simple. ‘A warm bath, a milky drink, the right temperature in your room, a light massage … are perfect ingredients for a good night’s sleep.’For that looking good part, there’s only one answer, exercise. Jain said, ‘Exercise, besides being a great stress buster, also expends surplus energy and also induce sleep. People should not indulge in sedentary lifestyles but should be indulged in some kind of physical work out.’For the one’s who can not control themselves when there is food in front of them she simply advice’s ‘If your weight gain is driving you to stay off every kind of indulgence, stop. Allow yourself a tiny treat once in a while,’ she said.‘Don’t go for that whole bar of chocolate; settle for a square or two. It will make you happier without taking you away from your weight loss target,’ Jain quips.last_img read more

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I hate producing films Abhishek Bachchan

first_imgActor Abhishek Bachchan, who tasted success as a producer with the National Award winning film Paa, says he’s not a huge fan of producing movies. However, he’s okay with the job as long as he isn’t acting in the project as well.‘I hate producing films. It’s just that I got lucky (with Paa). But I hate it,’ Abhishek, who played a reel father to his real father Amitabh Bachchan in the 2009 movie, said.‘During Paa, I had a very difficult time because the producer in me came in the way of the actor in me. I would be more comfortable in producing a film without me acting in it. If I have to produce a film in which I am acting, that would need a lot of preparation and organisation from my part,’ he added. Also Read – A fresh blend of fameAbhishek’s next as a producer is Shamitabh, which again stars his megastar father. ‘Shamitabh is more enjoyable because I am just the producer in that. Production is a very difficult job and it’s a very thankless job,’ said the 38-year-old.Being directed by R. Balakrishnan aka R. Balki, the movie also stars Dhanush and Akshara Haasan.Paa was also directed by R. Balki, and Abhishek says the doors of his home production AB Corp will always remain open for the acclaimed filmmaker. ‘He means a lot to me as a director, and helped me restart my production house with Paa. He made me into a producer by making ‘Paa’,’ he said. Also Read – Martin Freeman confirms ‘Black Panther’ returnProduction apart, Abhishek is all excited about his big screen appearance in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year, which releases 24 Oct – just a day after Diwali. Abhishek Bachchan, who has donned a ‘tapori’ look for his role as Nandu Bhide in Happy New Year, says the character had to be created from scratch as he bears no resemblance to the actor’s real self.Talking about his character in the film, he said: ‘I play Nandu Bhide from Sangam Chawl in Mumbai. He enjoys his drink a bit too much and that makes him very entertaining and very outrageous, but a lot of fun.‘Nandu is completely opposite of what I am in real life. There was nothing I could use of myself in Nandu. He is somebody that director Farah Khan and I have literally created from scratch.last_img read more

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Disciples and the Guru

first_imgSamyukta, a special duet by two senior disciples of (Padmashri) Geeta Chandran : Sharanya Chandran and R. Amritha Shruti Radhakrishnan, have conceptualised a tribute in dance to their teacher Geeta Chandran’s  40 Years of Dance. The event marking 40 Years of the spectacular dancing career of Geeta Chandran will be held on 19 November Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, in the capital.Samyukta literally means ‘united’ or ‘together’;  and in the performance they have conceptualised and choreographed, both dancers explore the concept of Samyukta through a unique, eclectic approach – keeping the Bharatanatyam Nritta or grammar as the base, and building on it to explore new movements through a reactive approach – in an attempt to create beauty and an original notion of symmetry, by reacting to the rhythm and music. This performance sees them exploring the build-up of movement vis-a vis music and space – reaching a high point, which is immediately followed by quieter/ more introspective movements, which again work their way up before they begin to explore the quiet yet again. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Daughter and disciple of Chandran, Sharanya has been learning Bharatanatyam since age four, both from her mother and Guru K N Dakshinamurthi. She presented her formal solo debut performance, the Arangetram, in New Delhi in November 2001, at age 13. It is her endeavour and passion to learn, invent and conceptualise new additions to the classical dance repertoire. Sharanya is also a development and policy expert. Amritha has been learning dance since over 16 years, having presented her formal solo performance, the Arangetram, in New Delhi in December 2010. She received the Scholarship for Young Artists by the Minister Of Culture, in 2013. A member of the Natyavriksha Dance Company, Amritha has extensively traveled, both in India and abroad accompanying her Guru for several SPIC MACAY lecture – demonstrations at various splaces.In her 40th year, Geeta Chandran  carries out yet again her most eloquent and powerful role as custodian and role model for younger aspirants, and with her disciples, establishes the completion of an evolving circle.last_img read more

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Merry go round for the cake

first_imgIt’s not yet Christmas, but the intoxicating aroma of the Annual Cake Mixing Ceremony at the Cafe Uno lawns of Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi brought alive the rich tradition and unveiled the spirit of the festive season. Spreading the cheer along with the Chefs, the ceremony invited the participation of all media friends, corporate guests, in-house guests along with the Area Manager and General Manager Farhat Jamal, amidst tradition and fanfare dressed in typical Chefs attire of hats and aprons. Guests and colleagues together rolled up their sleeves and put their hands in the mixing pots to make the perfect Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Christmas cake. An interesting array of fruits including raisins, glazed red cherries, orange peel, tutti frutti, black currants, dates, figs, dried apricots, figs, prunes and nuts like walnuts, cashew, almond flakes and pistachio, besides spices such as ground cardamom, cinnamon and cloves were poured into a huge boat shaped cauldron. The mixing reached a spirited level when endless bottles of  liquors such as whisky, white and dark rum, vodka, gin, wine, beer and syrups like golden syrup, molasses, honey and vanilla essence were added. After the traditional cake mixing ceremony, the mixture was put into airtight bags and left to mature till around Christmas, when it will be blended with the cake batter and baked. After this traditional ceremony, the guests were invited for a pre Christmas toast at the Cafe Uno lawns.last_img read more

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CM asks to crack down on students collecting money for admissions

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to take stern actions against those involved in collecting money for giving admission in colleges.Kolkata Police on late Friday night arrested two persons involved in the racket. Extra police force will be deployed outside colleges where admissions are going on. Outsiders will not be allowed inside the college premises and only merit should be the criterion for admission. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedChief minister Banerjee has urged students to report to police against those who will ask for money.It may be mentioned that in the core committee meeting held at Netaji Indoor stadium recently, Mamata Banerjee had categorically said that no money should be taken from students on the pretext of providing admissions in colleges and stern actions would be taken against those involved in the matter.It was learnt that Chief Minister became furious after reports of students asking for money from freshers to get them admitted in different colleges surfaced in the media. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt is alleged that a student was asked to pay Rs 65,000 for a seat in Geography in a private college. Another student was asked to pay Rs 16,000 for a seat in English. Even in state-run colleges, freshers are often asked to pay money to get admission. Banerjee had repeatedly warned the student leaders in the core committee meeting about their role and that they should be helping students, rather than extorting money and if any such case is reported, then it will be dealt with seriously. Partha Chatterjee, state Education minister reiterated on Saturday that no one involved in the extortion racket will be spared. He has urged students not to give any extra money and report the matter to the police and the principal of the college against those asking for money. Copies of the complaint may be sent to the Chief Minister’s office (CMO). He said the state government is determined to break the racket and warned stern actions against those involved.For quite a some time, there have been reports of money extortion by students leaders from the freshers assuring them seats in colleges at the undergraduate level. Both Mamata Banerjee and Partha Chatterjee have warned the union leaders to stop this malpractice.Banerjee, who was an active Chatra Parishad leader, said it is the duty of the student leaders to help juniors in studies and improve the academic environment in colleges. But their requests have fallen flat. Partha Chatterjee said the Education department is determined to put an end to this malpractice and the state government will go all out to arrest those involved in the racket.last_img read more

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Aqua aerobics New rage among fitness enthusiasts

first_imgWith increasing interest in health and fitness to counter the effects of a modern stress-filled lifestyle, various fusion and experimental fitness methods like aqua aerobics, with its “therapeutic” effects, have become a “growing trend”, say experts.Mumbai-based fitness trainer Deepali Jain, considered as being among the first to introduce the concept of aqua aerobics in India, says that the concept, which includes exercises like cardio, pilates and kickboxing, is a useful training method for obese people or the ones suffering from arthritis. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Explaining the idea behind aqua aerobics, Jain said: “You weigh only 10 per cent of your body weight in water. So when a person who weighs 100 kg, or who has arthritis in the joints, or cannot do any exercises on the land due to gravitational pull, enters the water, the load is lifted off the joints and he is able to exercise without pain.”“Water is therapeutic and it removes the pain completely. Inside the water, everything becomes pain-free and you can exercise for an hour,” added Jain, who holds her training sessions at a south Mumbai club called Body Rhythm. She says doing aqua aerobics every second day will help in stalling the progress of arthritis. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The moment you stop, you stop rusting. Elderly people face problems with walking, getting up, sitting. They are scared to get knee replacement. Doctors send their patients with prescriptions and I work on that regime,” she said.Diabetics too have something to gain out of this training method. “It’s excellent for diabetics because there are specific exercises to regulate insulin in your body. It is excellent for heart patients, the sugar level comes down to normal, and it is also an anti-depressant. It’s therapeutic,” said Jain. The exercise session is also made interesting with use of exclusive water-specific equipment. “Inside water there are weight-bearing exercises. Dumb-bells specifically made for aqua. Bar-bells, ankle bells…we have specially made kick-boxing gloves too.”At Jain’s classes, “everybody is bonding: husband-wife, father-son, mother-in-law-daughter-in-law. “It’s a lot of fun”. The trend of aqua aerobics with all its health benefits may be rising in India, but Brazilian fitness trainer Cristiana Pipoli, who is currently living here and training at Jaypee Vasant Continental, Vasant Vihar, says her classes consist of 80 per cent foreigners and only 20 per cent Indians.“Aqua aerobics arrived 25 years ago, but it became popular in India only five to six years ago. In India, the swimming pool is outside and people don’t feel comfortable in swimming suits,” said Pipoli.She however, added that for the last two years, there has been an increased interest in aqua aerobics among Indians —whether they’re 18 or 80! “I started getting more Indians in the last two years. Once they come, they are hooked. It’s a different concept for them,” she said, adding that “in general, India is waking up for exercise for the last two years.”And how could the trend be encouraged in the country? “Somebody needs to open an indoor swimming pool. It’s just a culture thing. What makes aqua aerobics truly interesting is its diversity. “It is not just plain aerobics; one can incorporate several other techniques such as resistance training, Zumba, running, kickboxing, spinning and many other,” said Neeraj Mehta, international fitness expert and nutritionist, GFFI (Growth for Fitness Instructors) Fitness Academy.“It is extremely effective in increasing the range of motion as well,” he added. It also doesn’t pinch your pocket as a session may cost you anything between Rs 400 and Rs 600.last_img read more

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Merging the real and virtual

first_imgTo enthrall the audience with its contemporary topics and themes, the repertory company of National School of Drama recently presented a play titled- ‘Aadha Chand’ in the national Capital. The play that was scheduled from April 7 had different shows at different timings along with additional shows on Saturday and Sunday.Written and directed by Tripurari Sharma, the play talks about the inequality and loneliness that prevails in our society, irrespective of connectivity. The easiest thing to do today is to call and it could also be the most complicated as we can be anywhere and be connected to anywhere.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The director says: “We are all woven into this pattern of connectivity, but does it make us all equal. Does it make us friends? Can we be at par as global citizens? Trade and business have always been synonymous with widening of routes. This window has opened opportunities. It has also unshackled boundaries. We confront different layers of reality.”The past two decades have seen a rise in the spread of call centres around us, providing employment to many people, especially the young. These are the nerve centres connected to the world. The voice is the connecting thread, but the voice that speaks through the phone belongs to a person. Yet can this person claim her or his voice? This play tries to bring forth some of the experiences that arise from this contradiction-being here and also everywhere. The home and the workplace are almost opposites. The professional makes unprecedented demands on the personal and almost subjugates it. Identities are altered, voices manufactured, an individual at times is only a product or a mere wrapping. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe play is not about a call centre. This space metaphorises the real and the virtual, trapped by market and enmeshed by the knots of gender, power and control. When so much changes, can a person remain true to his/her inner core? These are big questions and this play is only a modest attempt to grapple with some of them through episodes strung loosely together in this half moon phase of our development. Actually, it may not be a play at all as the scenes try to essay or share some bits and pieces of daily happenings.last_img read more

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Companys money transferred by fraudulent means

first_imgKOLKATA: More than Rs 7 lakh was fraudulently transferred from a private company’s account in Salt Lake Sector V. It was suspected that some miscreants might have hacked the e-mail account of a senior official of the company and initiated the payment through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) process. After the fraud came to light, a complaint has been lodged with Electronics Complex Police Station on Monday. Sources informed that the company used to send e-mails with instruction of payments to the bank where their account was and the end of the day, the bank used to send a confirmation e-mail to the company stating the payment details. On November 2, the officials from the company noticed that a payment was made to one Akash Arora’s account which was not instructed by the bank. When the company officials checked the e-mail it was found that a mail was sent to the bank that the company was unaware of. In the e-mail, the bank was asked to pay Rs 7.5 lakh to the said person using RTGS process. On Monday, a representative from the company lodged a complaint at Electronics Complex Police Station. Based on the written complaint, police initiated a case on charge of cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery and using a forged document or electronic record. Till Tuesday, no arrests have been made.last_img read more

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Labourers body found at underconstruction apartment

first_imgKolkata: The body of a thika labourer was found hanging inside an under-construction apartment on Raja Rammohan Roy Road in Behala on Monday morning. Police has recovered the body and sent it for post mortem. Prima facie probe has revealed this could be a suicide case.The deceased identified as Subal Kumar Bera (25) is a resident of Nandigram in East Midnapore district. “We have registered a case of unnatural death at the Behala police station. His family members have already been informed. We have to question them to find out whether the victim was suffering from depression,” an investigating officer of Behala police station said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOther labourers at the construction site spotted the body on the third floor of the under-construction apartment and informed the police around 10 am. A police team rushed to the spot and found the body was hanging from the ceiling. The body was sent for post mortem at Vidyasagar Hospital. “It appears to be a case of suicide. The post mortem report will reveal the actual cause of death,” said a police officer. The labourers working at the construction site have been questioned but they could not provide the police with any investigative leads. “He had been working here for quite sometime. He was a quiet person. He hardly shared anything about his family with others,” said a labourer. The apartment whose construction is being taken up by a leading real estate company has to occupants at present.last_img read more

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Tribal affair ministry to felicitate Mary Kom

first_imgMary Kom, the pride of India recently won her 6th Women’s World Boxing Championship gold, breaking all previous records. To celebrate her achievement and dedication, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED will be honouring her and her family at a function scheduled to be organised at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi, on November 30, 4:30 pm. The felicitation ceremony will coincide with closing of ‘Aadi Mahotsav’– a celebration of the spirit of tribal culture Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMary Kom is also the brand ambassador for the TRIBES India’s Panchatantra range of products handcrafted by tribal master-craftsmen from across the Country. “Punch” Tantra range is a magnificent collection inspired by Mary Kom and her heroics. The facilitation ceremony will be presided over by Jual Oram, Minister for Tribal Affairs, in the august presence of Ministers of State for Tribal Affairs, Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabor and Sudarshan Bhagat as well as more than 1000 tribal artisans from more than 20 States, showcasing various art, crafts, and cuisines. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe tribal craftsmen and women have been showcasing exquisite handicraft and handloom items including Baag, Maheswari, Chaderi, Banarasi, Sambalpuri sarees and much more, to the delight of Delhiites. This has proved beneficial for tribal artisans, who have done the business of Rs 16 crores during the 15-day long event, which includes orders from various organisations including TRIFED. As per the theme of the festival, Delhites truly enjoyed the celebration of the spirit of tribal culture, cuisine, and commerce. A special feature of the festival was Tribal Indian cuisine, recreated and presented in delectable forms to suit urban tastes by special tribal chefs. An attractive stage was raised at the venue to showcase tribal music and dance every evening from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. In line with the national aspiration to go cashless, the tribal merchandise stall accepted payment through credit/debit cards.last_img read more

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10 Stories From the Web to Know About This Week Nov 15

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Startups help typhoon-ravaged Filipinos, meet a 23-year-old YouTube media mogul, the Apple of grocery stores sprouts in San Francisco, Nest’s Tony Fadell on his life’s work, the key to leadership, Dropbox sets its sights on businesses, startup lessons from the NASCAR…This week’s notable news and tantalizing tidbits for entrepreneurs:1. Startups head to the Philippines: In recent years, many startups have focused on making a global impact. Here is a look at some of the innovative products and services “jumping to the cause” in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. (Forbes)2. A 23-year-old media mogul: Jamal Edwards got a video camera as a Christmas gift when he was 15. Today, he is 23 and worth more than $10 million — a fortune he made as the founder of SBTV, a broadcasting company that makes videos for YouTube. (BBC)3. The Apple of grocery stores: The Local Mission Market, founded by Yoran Milgrom and Jake Des Voignes in San Francisco, has a clear mission: “Help change people’s relationship to what and how they eat.” What they came up with has turned the grocery shopping on its head. (Wired)4. Nest founder on his life’s work: Tony Fadell, the founder and CEO of Nest and former Apple exec, on promoting sustainability, business ideas and what he would like to accomplish in his lifetime. (Fortune)5. The key to leadership: Jeff Haden accidentally stumbled upon the key to leadership in a desperate “throwaway question” asked to an unengaged audience. Without further ado: “No one cares how much you know until they first know how much you care about them.” (LinkedIn Today)6. Dropbox for business: Dropbox, the popular online file-storage company and Silicon Valley sweetheart, has more than 200 million users and more files uploaded per day than tweets on Twitter. It just unveiled it’s next target demographic: businesses. (Businessweek)7. Startup lessons from NASCAR: Damien Patton, Banjo CEO, former NASCAR pit mechanic and Desert Storm veteran, talks about working under pressure and pivoting your business. (Fast Company)8. SnapChat turns down $3 billion: In a move that must have some entrepreneurs scratching their heads, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down a buyout offer from Facebook for $3 billion. (Mashable)Related: Is Snapchat’s Co-Founder Completely Crazy for Turning Down $3 Billion From Facebook? 9. Build a killer startup, or whatever: Riding on the coattails of popular games like The Sims, SecondLife and Drug Wars, Hipster CEO is a bizarre evolution to the genre. The game allows you to create and run your own startup, managing everything from business space and employee happiness, to procuring grant money. (Pando Daily)10. How not to go public: The textbook rental company, Chegg Inc. (CHGG.N), saw shares “slump” 20 percent in its public debut this Wednesday. The company priced its IPO higher than expected at $12.50 per share, a $1 billion valuation. After a day of heavy trading, the market took them down a peg or two, placing Chegg’s value at $863 million. (Reuters)  Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read November 15, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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Overcoming the Challenges of Data Analytics

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals June 6, 2014 Besides being one of the primary metrics used for selling advertising space on websites, analytics can be powerful in determining the type of content consumers are looking for and help businesses better tailor their online experiences for customers.However, with analytics programs able to turn any interaction with a website into a number, it’s important to keep in mind that most of those numbers cannot make a website better. Instead, it is the job of every site to determine which metrics are most valuable to them, then decide how and to what extent to use those numbers to determine future content direction and best practices. In news-speak, this would be called taking an editorial approach to the data.   Discovering valuable insights within the analytics noiseWhen used correctly, analytics can reveal insights about content and websites that are otherwise invisible. But analytics can often create a cacophony of noise with no obvious message, turning a tool that is intended to clarify user experience into a confusing mess of numbers.Related: 9 Online Ad Campaign Stats You Must TrackMarketers report their problems with analytics often surround basic questions: who, what, when (and for how long), where and why are people viewing their content?Each one of these problems raises another set of questions: Which is the best metric to use to answer this question? Does a metric exist to measure this? What do I do with this information once I’ve acquired it?  “Friends don’t let friends measure pageviews”The simplest metric to measure is a pageview count, but just because it is easy to log does not mean it is valuable. Too many publishers put too much emphasis on the importance of clicks, mistaking a user’s action for a positive impression. Valuing clicks, which are only truly useful for ad-driven sites, can give a mistaken impression about a user’s experience and often results in publishers delivering content that user don’t really want.“Are a lot of pageviews per visit are good thing (“the visitor loved our site so much!”), a bad thing (“our site is so bad it takes 23 pages to find what you’re looking for!”) or a horrible thing (“After a 23-page hunt, the visitor gave up!”)? Measuring only pageviews, how would you ever know?” writes Avinash Kaushik on Think with Google.Perhaps the only way to rationalize the continued obsession with pageviews is that this information is easily obtainable, easily quantifiable and easily understandable to those who don’t work regularly with analytics.But even seemingly simple and established metrics like “time on page” or “bounce rate” have their limitations.  Related: This Software Company Can Boost Your Retention RateSo how do you measure true engagement?Viral content site Upworthy, which does not use banner ads, wrote it was changing its primary metrics for gauging content from pageviews to “total attention on site” and “total attention per piece,” which it defines as more precise than the more common “time on page” metric.“We built attention minutes to look at a wide range of signals —  everything from video player signals about whether a video is currently playing to a user’s mouse movements to which browser tab is currently open — to determine whether the user is still engaged,” Upworthy posted on their blog.“The result is a fine-grained and unforgiving metric that tells us whether people are really engaged with our content or whether they’ve moved on to the next thing.”  Measuring the reach of visual contentThe picture becomes even more blurred when visual content and social sharing come into the picture. While sites can easily track who is sharing their posts on social media (a sure sign the audience is engaging with it in some manner), images can easily be dislodged from their original context, reposted and shared beyond the reach of traditional analytics programs. It’s therefore difficult to truly understand the full reach of any visual content on the Internet.Despite these challenges, marketers and analytics experts continue to come up with new metrics and new ways to contextualize data in order to glean new insights.What challenges have you faced when using analytics on your site? Related: Get Comfortable With Big Data in 3 Steps Register Now » This story originally appeared on Visual.ly 4 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

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This New Tool Can Make It Easier to Retain Control of Your

first_img 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. We can’t all live in the magical land of Inbox Zero, where we’ve read every email and responded immediately and where unicorns deliver packages of candy upon request, but a new feature from SaneBox might bring us a bit closer.SaneBox, an email management tool that works in coordination with your existing email interface, now allows users to see a folder containing sent emails that haven’t yet received replies. Called SaneNoReplies, the folder holds emails that haven’t received responses for up to four weeks, making it easier to determine which missives need a followup. The feature is accessible from any device.Related: Gmail Rolls Out ‘Block’ Sender FeatureThe small change might be more helpful than you think. Workers in the U.S. spend more than a quarter of their workweek dealing with e-mails, according to a McKinsey study. Despite that large chunk of time, Sanebox reports that only an estimated 6 percent of emails people send get a response. It’s not surprising, then, that important messages can get lost in the shuffle and that cutting down on email overload would be a massive boon to productivity.Boston-based SaneBox, which was founded in 2010, offers plans at $7 a month, or $4.92 a month for annual plans. The service examines your interaction with your email (i.e. – which emails you open, which you respond to, how quickly you respond, how far back your relationship with the sender goes, etc.) and then determines which emails take priority. Everything else is filtered into a folder called SaneLater.The company says it only looks at the header data and never stores or looks at the body of your emails.Related: Email: 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Time and Start Increasing Productivity   Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals September 24, 2015 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

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All the Ways in Which Your Smartphone Can Track You and How

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals December 11, 2018 A friend and I had the strangest discussion: He had been at a jewelry shop, looking for something for his wife. And, never one to browse among such shops’ glittery merchandise, he had hoped to make a quick stop, pick up the best option his wallet could agree with and head out.Related: How to Get Google to Quit Tracking YouIn fact, this friend couldn’t care less about jewelry and to the best of his knowledge, he told me, he had never searched for anything glittery online.Yet, just as he reached home, he started getting bombarded with ads — featuring jewelry! Not only were the ads of jewelry, but they were actually the same type of ring he had been inquiring about; they came from Facebook, news sites and blogs.Wherever he went, there were the ads again (more or less) promoting that same kind of ring. So, was his phone eavesdropping on his jewelry jaunt? Observers abound in their theories as to how this phenomenon might be possible. Others say it’s just paranoia fueled by sheer happenstance.But, how many times have you had the same experience? YouTube is filled with videos on how smartphones apparently track their users even when those phones have been turned off. So, what gives? And just how is our data being collected and used? Is there really evidence to suggest that you might be giving your phone and the apps within it more information than you know?How phones collect and use dataIn fact, our phones collect a lot of data in the name of providing a better user experience. A plethora of sensors are used, including:Compass: Also known as Magnetometer, your phone’s compass can track your location relative to the Earth’s magnetic field.GPS: The Global Positioning System uses signals from various satellites to establish the user’s location. Many phones can accept signals, as well, from different services, including Russia’s GLONASS, Europe’s Galileo and China’s BeiDou. Gyroscope: This device determines how a phone is positioned in three-dimensional space.Accelerometer: This sensor reports how fast your phone is moving in a linear pattern.Related: Here Are 6 Weird Ways You’re Being Tracked in the Real WorldHere’s a complete list of the sensors that your phone has. The four listed above are how your smartphone primarily collects location information.Depending on the type of phone you have, its OS (operating system) will use the information collected from these sensors in different ways. Both types of phones allow you to manage location. With an Android, location services can be toggled on and off from the main drop-down menu. In iOS devices, location can be turned on/off from privacy > location services.However, this is far from everything that may happen to you regarding your data. Often, a smartphone will busily send location data even though the user has turned it off. As it turns out, your location data is probably still being collected by Google, which is obviously a grave concern. Google has been caught trying to track users even though they thought they had turned off their location services.Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your privacy is protected at all times. While it’s desirable to understand how privacy in the smartphone world works and to cultivate smart habits, sometimes we are strapped for time and can’t be bothered with observing every nuance. If this sounds like you, here are the apps that can defend your privacy from prying eyes …DuckDuckGo private browser: Browsing the internet is just about the scariest thing, say privacy enthusiasts. Websites keep a log of your activity, and the search engine you use does the same. What’s more, if you are operating on a nonsecure network, then good luck to you. DuckDuckGo is a browser that carefully works to ensure your privacy.Not only does the browser not store any information locally, but the app goes out of its way to delete data that other sites might be holding about you. Furthermore, it can even block out ad networks trying to track you and will compel sites to use encrypted networks wherever possible.Privacy Badger: For power users, Privacy Badger presents an awesome way to monitor what apps are snooping on you. As of now, the app is available only for Firefox on Android; however, it’s worth it.By now, you’ve probably heard that the websites you visit are tracking you. This is usually done via social buttons on web pages. Privacy Badger can identify buttons that are snooping on you, and stop them in their tracks. Furthermore, it will also replace these buttons with its own, safer versions.Privacy Badger also brings a rather cool cookie management system to the table, with which it can smartly disable the undesirable sites tracking you, while leaving the desirable ones operational. The app presents any privacy dangers you may be facing, in color coded sliders. Green means the site’s not tracking/has been disabled; yellow means third-party tracking is necessary for user experience; and red means content on a site has been disabled.Disconnect: Disconnect is best thought of as a jack-of-all-trades privacy app, which offers every feature you could ask for under one header. In fact, Google went so far as to remove Disconnect from Playstore without giving an adequate explanation (cue the X-Files theme). The app has a powerful malvertising and tracker listener that can tell you exactly what scripts are attempting to access your data, and block them. The information is presented in an easy-to-read table.The app also comes with a VPN that can encrypt your data online. But apps like NordVPN or ExpressVPN offer better features and generally speaking are more powerful.CoverMe: Billed as a private texting, calling and vault app, CoverMe offers comprehensive features to help you keep all your data and communications securely encrypted. CoverMe’s private vault uses AES-128, AES-256 and RSA encryption to ensure all data remains secure.Sending any messages or calling someone through CoverMe is covered by its encryption technology, as well. Messages can be instructed to self-destruct once they’re read or following a specified time period. While this feature is no doubt impressive, CoverMe does not guarantee whether a message will go boom, as that depends a lot on the email client and security features the receiver is using.While the apps mentioned above will no doubt help you keep your privacy intact, learning as much as you can about privacy rules and the policies of the technologies you use is still your best defense against being caught off guard.Related: Blockchain Is How We Can Protect Our Privacy in a World of Ubiquitous SurveillanceAll too often, we accept privacy policies without giving them a second thought, only to realize later that we have willingly signed away our freedom. Smartphones do come with features that can help you turn off tracking completely if you want to. You just have to dig a little deeper. Register Now »last_img read more

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MarioNET attack lets hackers control your browser even after you leave the

first_imgMarioNET attack lets hackers control your browser, even after you leave the attack page by Martin Brinkmann on February 26, 2019 in Internet, Security – Last Update: March 01, 2019 – 31 commentsThe rise of web technologies opened up new possibilities on the Internet. Browsers have become more powerful as new APIs landed and support for certain features was introduced.A new attack, called MarioNET by the researchers that discovered it, highlights that APIs may also be abused if no proper safeguards are in place (which is the case right now).The attack relies on existing HTML5 APIs that all modern web browsers support. It does not require the installation of software or user interaction, and persists even after the user leaves the web page the attack originated on.The attacker may abuse the resources of the computer for all kinds of activities including DDOS attacks, crypto-mining operations, or password cracking.Update: You find a critical voice that argues against the scenario described in the research paper here. The main point of criticism is that the attack method relies on a feature called PeriodicSync and that it is not part of any specification at this point. EndMarioNET uses Service Workers, scripts that run separate from visited web pages and in the background, in the attack. The main idea behind Service Workers is to move certain computations to a separate thread so that it is not blocking or slowing down the app or web page the user interacts with.The lifecycle of Service Workers is completely independent from the page they were created on. Service Workers don’t have access to the DOM (Document Object Model) of the web page and parent page variables and functions.The use of Service Workers isolates the system from the originating website, gives persistent control to the attacker, and makes it difficult for users to detect what is going on.In particular, our system fulfills three important objectives:(i) isolation from the visited website, allowing fine-grained control of the utilized resources; (ii) persistence, by continuing its operation uninterruptedly on the background even after closing the parent tab; and (iii) evasiveness, avoiding detection by browser extensions that try to monitor the webpage’s activity or outgoing communication.MarioNET registers a service worker when a user visits a webpage attacks can originate on. Possibilities to spread the attack include creating malicious websites, hacking sites, or using advertisements.Browsers provide little information to users about Service Workers; in fact, browsers don’t highlight the creation of new service workers on sites to users. There is no alert, no prompt, and not even an option to display a prompt to ask for user permission when service workers are created.The only request that reveals the existence of the service worker is the initial GET request at the time of the user’s first website visit, when the service worker gets initially registered. Although during that GET request a monitoring extension can observe the contents of the service worker, it will still not observe any suspicious code—the code that will carry out the malicious tasks is delivered to the Servant only after its first communication with the Puppeteer, and this  communication is hidden from browser extensionsWhat makes MarioNET particularly troubling is that it continues to run in the background after the user closes the website the attack originated on. The control ends when the web browser is closed; the researchers found a way to overcome this as well, but it requires user interaction as it uses the Web Push API to do so.ProtectionMost modern browsers include options to display existing Service Workers. Firefox users may load about:serviceworkers or about:debugging#workers and Chrome users may load chrome://serviceworker-internals/ to do so.You may unregister any Service Worker using functionality provided on these pages. Firefox users may disable Service Workers altogether furthermore.Note that this may impact functionality on sites that use it for legitimate purposes. You need to set the preference dom.serviceWorkers.enabled to false on about:config.Some browser extensions, e.g. Service Worker Detector for Chrome and Firefox, notify users when a web page registers a Service Worker.Now You: Should browser developers implement additional safeguards? (via ZDNet)SummaryArticle NameMarioNET attack lets hackers control your browser, even after you leave the attack pageDescriptionSecurity researchers created a new web-based attack that uses existing HTML5 APIs to run code on user systems even after users exit attack pages.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

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