Category: dpceplzh

  • Termite-Inspired Robots Build With Bricks

    first_imgA termite mound is a model of insect engineering. Some are meters high and consist of a complex network of tunnels. Even more impressive, millions of the bugs work together to build the mound, all without a blueprint or foreman telling them what to do. Could robots do the same?That’s a question that has now been tackled by Justin Werfel, a computer scientist at Harvard University Today, he and his colleagues introduced a computer program that figures out how autonomous robots can make specific structures, including small-scale skyscrapers and pyramids, simply by following the same set of rules. The researchers started small, tasking three compact robots, or bots, with making a one-story, three-pronged structure all on their own, a job they completed in 30 minutes.The structure “is a proof of principle, a first step,” says Laurent Keller, an evolutionary biologist who uses robots to study social behavior in insects at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and who was not involved in the work. “It would be interesting to see something [built] that is more complex.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)It’s a long-awaited first step, however. In 1995, researchers had proposed that such a feat might be possible, says Dario Floreano, a roboticist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne who was not involved in the work. “But it took almost 20 years before this could be realized—with [this] set of mobile robots.”Werfel and his colleagues envision autonomous robots building sandbag barriers to prevent flooding or doing other types of hazardous work that people either couldn’t or would prefer not to do themselves. Their approach makes possible the use of many simple robots, any of which is expendable, instead of relying on a few sophisticated ones, where the loss of one might jeopardize a project.To get robots to build specific structures, Werfel thought about how termites use a limited repertoire of behaviors to build their mounds. He developed a computer program that works backward from the desired structure, breaking its construction into a series of rules that the robots follow about which way to move and where to put down bricks. The order of the bricklaying is not specified, nor do the robots know what they’ve accomplished. Instead, the robots adjust what they are doing based on the presence of other robots and bricks already in their paths, Werfel and his colleagues report online today in Science and at the annual meeting of AAAS, Science’s publisher, in Chicago, Illinois. Like their termite models, the robots “don’t have explicit instructions to do specific things,” Werfel explains. “Each is just reacting to what it encounters.”To test whether this computer program and this decentralized approach to construction work, Harvard engineer Kirstin Petersen built liter carton-sized robots named Isis, Kali, and Nargun, equipped with four wheel-legs, called whegs, and a front-loader that could pick up and hold 21.5-square-centimeter foam bricks about 4 centimeters high. Sensors enable the bots to detect a black-and-white grid pattern on the bricks to help them navigate, and to sense the presence of the structure’s perimeter and other robots. The robots go forward, backward, turn, and climb up and down one step at a time.Petersen programmed the three robots with the rules needed to make a 10-brick trident (see video). The researchers kicked off the process by laying down three bricks in a row and putting a white arrow on the floor next to these bricks. Each robot circled the bricks until it found the arrow, which prompted it to climb onto the starting bricks, turn to pick up a brick, then move and turn so it could place its brick on the base, and later, on one of the growing prongs of the trident. Then it climbed down and circled until it once again found the arrow to repeat the cycle. The robots don’t know when the structure is done—only when there are no more places to put bricks—and they keep circling until they run out of battery or are turned off, Petersen says.The work “shows that with a simple behavior which was programmed into the robots, you can get a type of construction done,” Keller says. “From their models, they show that using similar rules, you can have more complex structures that can be built.”The trident is not very complex, but as Barbara Webb, a bioroboticist at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work, points out, “it’s always really hard to make these things work in the real world.” Indeed, Werfel says getting the bots up to speed for the job was quite the challenge, as robots tend to make small errors—they drift off course and can fall off the structure, they fail to pick up the brick, and so on—that add up and need to be corrected.Nonetheless, Floreano says, “the paper shows that robots can be used for construction without a global supervision, making the concept applicable to environments where humans cannot go.”last_img read more

  • Former Man U star Paul Scholes signs up for Premier Futsal

    first_imgMumbai, Jun 23 (PTI) Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes has signed a deal to play for the next three seasons of Premier Futsal, the worlds first-ever multi-national futsal league. Premier Futsal is a private and semi-professional Futsal league promoted by Xavier Britto of Indev Group. Scholes is one of those rare English footballers who played their entire professional careers at a single club. He is one of the most decorated footballers of England and is one of the most successful players in English club football. Scholes has won a total of 25 trophies, featuring 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies during his stint with the Red Devils. Scholes, part of Manchester Uniteds class of 92 ? the famous golden generation which included stars like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the Neville Brothers ? is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of modern football. He boasts a staggering 718 caps for Manchester United over an illustrious career spanning 22 years. Scholes said, “Futsal is a fascinating format that has played a pivotal role in developing the skills of some of the greatest football players. I have seen Futsal grow not just back home, but also across the world and I have played in a few of those tournaments. Premier Futsal will be a great way to introduce the sport to India and Im looking forward to meeting the fans across India who I know are some of the most passionate in the world.” Scholes becomes the second of the eight marquee players who will be a part of Premier Futsal starting July 15. Former Portuguese star Deco was announced earlier this month. Players will be allotted teams through a player draft which is slated to take place later this month. Premier Futsal co-founder Nithyashree Subban said, “We are extremely proud to announce Paul Scholes as marquee player for Premier Futsal. Since our launch, we have maintained that we are committed to bringing the top talent from across the world to India and we are clearly delivering on our promise. “Dinesh, Abhinandan and I were inspired by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modis call for innovation in the field of entrepreneurship. Through a pioneering model for introducing Futsal and a holistic approach to breed home grown talent, Premier Futsal aims to be the marquee all star futsal tournament in the world.” PTI AH AHadvertisementlast_img read more

  • Rodriguez Hits Tainted 660th

    first_imgBOSTON — No. 660 is in the book. Will $6 million get in the bank?That’s the amount in a marketing agreement that the New York Yankees may have to pay Alex Rodriguez for tying Willie Mays’ total of 660 homers, fourth most in major league history.He slugged that on May 1, a no-doubt, tie-breaking, pinch-hit liner over the Green Monster in the eighth inning that lifted the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.But Rodriguez and the Yankees appear to be on opposite sides of the $6 million issue.“I’m so in the moment right now and really grateful and appreciative to be playing baseball,” Rodriguez said. “Those things will take care of themselves”When he and the Yankees negotiated a 10-year, $275 million contract in December 2007, they also signed a separate $30 million marketing agreement.It called for $6 million each for up to five accomplishments, payable within 15 days of designation by the team. The accomplishments were contemplated to be home runs 660, 714, 755, 762 and 763.But the Yankees are considering letting the milestones pass without making a designation. They’d likely say that Rodriguez’s suspension all last season for involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal ruins the marketing possibilities for the milestones.A failure to declare a milestone and make a payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez’s behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Barring a settlement, the case would be heard by an arbitrator.Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t think that issue would be a distraction to Rodriguez. “He’s so happy to be playing, I think he’ll block it out,” Girardi said.Rodriguez wasn’t allowed to play last year. He returned primarily as a designated hitter while Chase Headley handled his former spot at third base.“I was in a cave in Miami, serving my time,” Rodriguez said. “I am very thankful to the Yankees and major league baseball for allowing me to play this game.”That’s a more conciliatory tone than he took during his failed fight to overturn his suspension when he angered the Yankees by suing, among others, the team physician for the treatment of a hip injury that resulted in surgery. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.After hitting No. 660, he praised the Yankees, major league baseball, the Red Sox and even their fans, who booed loudly when he came to the plate and as he jogged around the bases, expressionless, after his shot to left.“I usually don’t hear the difference” between boos when he plays on the road in different stadiums, Rodriguez said with a grin, “but that boo was pretty intense. It was pretty passionate.”With one out and the score tied 2-2, Rodriguez hit for Garrett Jones and looked at three straight balls from Junichi Tazawa (0-1). Then the reliever fired a 95 mph fastball right down the middle. Rodriguez didn’t miss.“I hit that one good,” he said.He slapped hands with his first- and third-base coaches as he circled the bases and with on-deck hitter Stephen Drew after crossing the plate. His teammates stayed in the dugout.But when he arrived there many of them, and Girardi, high-fived him. Some enthusiastically slapped his back.“I was hoping he would swing” at the 3-0 pitch, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said. “Everybody was excited.”Until then, Rodriguez had been 1 for 16 as a pinch hitter in his career. That hit was a single.The homer was much bigger. It made a winner of Esmil Rogers (1-1). Andrew Miller earned his ninth save.“Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 660th home run,” Mays said in a statement. “Milestones in baseball are meant to be broken and I wish him continued success throughout his career.”When told of that, Rodriguez appeared emotional and said, “I love Willie. He’s one of my heroes. I’m speechless.”And, of course, his homer won the game. “I’m very excited,” he said. “A year ago today I never thought I’d be hitting home runs and helping the Yankees win. Being in the middle of it is fun again.”_____By Howard Ulman, AP Sports WriterAP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributedTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • BWF World Championships 2018: World No.6 Srikanth crashes out in 3rd round

    first_imgKidambi Srikanth crashed out of BWF World Championships 2018 in Nanjing, China after a straight games loss to Malaysia’s Daren Liew in the third round on Thursday. Srikanth currently ranked sixth in the world while Liew is 33 places below him.It took Liew just 41 minutes to stave off any iota of challenge that Srikanth showed and defeated him 21-18, 21-18 to progress to the quarter-finals.Srikanth’s best performance at the World Championships is the quarter-final finish at the 2017 edition in Glasgow where he lost in straight games to South Korea’s Son Wan Ho.With Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and Son Wan Ho withdrawing from the tournament, Srikanth’s half of the draw was depleted and open for his taking. However, he never showed his menacing self in China and was always in dicey situations.In his Round of 16 match against Span’s Pablo Abian, Srikanth had won the first game 21-15 but let Abian get comfortable on the court and the Spanish, with some of the best badminton of his life, took the second game 21-12.However, it was in the third game that Srikanth regained his focus and showed up to take the match.Against Malaysia’s Liew, Srikanth never really got going and Liew took him around well to cut off his attacking abilities. Srikanth, who forged a fightback after going down 11-17 in the first game, could only battle it out to 18 as Liew then took over and won the game 21-18.Srikanth began the second game better and took a healthy lead only for Liew to storm back. However, Srikanth did get some of his strokes right and went into the break with an 11-9 lead.advertisementHowever, the Indian blew up the lead soon and Liew managed to snatch the match from Srikanth.”I had my chances but couldn’t keep the shuttle in. Too many smashes out, too many mistakes. I should have handled it much better,” Srikanth said after the match.Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal reached her eighth consecutive quarter-final with a 21-16, 21-19 win over Ratchanok Intanon. While Saina’s flat strokes and all-court play was brilliant, Intanon’s uncharacteristic errors did help her.On the other hand, mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy reached their first quarter-final of the World Championships with a stunning comeback win 20-22, 21-14, 21-6 against seventh seed Malaysian pair of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.last_img read more



  • 10 months agoNewcastle, Burnley move for Marseille forward Clinton N’Jie

    first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle, Burnley move for Marseille forward Clinton N’Jieby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarseille forward Clinton N’Jie is being linked with a return to the Premier League.The Daily Mail says Newcastle United have asked about N’Jie. The former Tottenham forward is available on loan with view to a permanent deal but also has interest from Burnley, Cardiff and Crystal Palace. The 25-year-old was set to join Sporting CP on loan last summer but the move collapsed after the clubs failed to agree terms. The Cameroon international forward enjoyed two productive seasons after joining from Spurs but he has started only four games this season. last_img read more

  • World Cup 2019: Jofra Archer and Jason Roy fined for misconduct

    first_imgWorld Cup 2019: Jofra Archer and Jason Roy fined for misconductEngland vs Pakistan: Uttering obscenities didn’t go unnoticed in the match as England’s Jofra Archer and Jason Roy were fined 15% of their match fee for misconduct during their defeat against Pakistan.advertisement Reuters NottinghamJune 4, 2019UPDATED: June 4, 2019 15:25 IST England’s Jofra Archer and Jason Roy were fined 15% from their match fees (Photo: Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSPakistan beat England by 14 runs on MondaySarfaraz Ahmed was also fined 20% of his match fee for a slow over-rate offencePakistan will face Sri Lanka on Friday while England will try to beat Bangladesh the next dayEngland’s Jofra Archer and Jason Roy were both fined 15% of their match fee for misconduct during their 14-run defeat by Pakistan in the World Cup on Monday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said.Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was also fined 20% of his match fee for a slow over-rate offence while his team mates saw their match fees reduced by 10% each after the side was ruled to be one over short of their target.”Jason Roy was found to have breached Article 2.3… which relates to using audible obscenities in an international match,” the ICC said in a statement.”The incident occurred during the 14th over of Pakistan’s innings when Roy used an audible obscenity after misfielding which was clearly heard by the umpires.”Archer, meanwhile, was sanctioned for showing “obvious dissent” after bowling a wide delivery in the 27th over in what turned out to be a forgettable match for the fast bowler.The 24-year-old fast bowler conceded 79 runs in 10 overs without picking up a wicket.Both Englishmen had one demerit point added to their disciplinary record.Four demerit points in a two-year period are converted into suspension points and two points lead to a ban for one test or two ODIs or two Twenty20 matches.Pakistan play Sri Lanka next on Friday in Bristol while England play Bangladesh in Cardiff a day later.Also Read | World Cup 2019: India hope for winning start vs struggling South AfricaAlso Read | Sachin Tendulkar rates current Indian attack as most complete of this eraAlso SeeadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow England vs PakistanFollow Jofra ArcherFollow Jason RoyFollow Sarfaraz Ahmedlast_img read more

  • Port of Oakland Clears Logjam

    first_imgzoom A vessel backlog restricting containerized trade at the Port of Oakland since January has been cleared, the port said on Thursday adding that there are no vessels in San Francisco Bay or outside the Golden Gate awaiting berths.Port officials said that it’s the strongest evidence yet that a West Coast cargo slowdown is on the wane here. As recently as last month, up to 20 vessels a day were lined up waiting to dock.“When a ship comes to Oakland, it goes straight to berth and we go straight to work loading and unloading,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “No more delays: that’s the message we’re sending to our customers and the shipping lines that carry their cargo.”Ports from Seattle to San Diego have coped with a backlog of ships and cargo since late 2014. That was the consequence of a nine-month impasse in negotiating a new waterfront labor contract. Oakland has been recovering from the cargo buildup since a tentative contract settlement was reached Feb. 20.Port officials said most ships are in-and-out of Oakland within two days. That’s a significant improvement from recent months when vessel calls could last 4-to-5 days. Cargo owners are receiving containerized imports shortly after the boxes are discharged from vessels, the Port said. Until recently, customers could wait weeks for shipments.Though the Port has caught up with the cargo backlog, it warned that temporary buildups could recur. The reason: Up to 10 ships remain anchored at severely congested Southern California ports awaiting berths. As that logjam breaks, the vessels will likely arrive off-schedule and in bunches at Oakland, their next stop, the port further added.Furthermore, the port reported heavy truck traffic this week at some terminal entrances as drivers attempted to pick up cargo. The port said the backup was expected following closures at several terminals Tuesday for Cesar Chavez Day, honoring the late labor activist.last_img read more

  • Oakville teen charged with several break and enters

    Halton Regional Police have charged a 16-year-old Oakville teen with four counts of break and enter.The incidents happened during the nighttime hours of December 11-12. The youth is also facing ten counts of fail to comply recognizance.Police say the teen has been previously arrested and charged for similar crimes. Halton police are reminding residents to be vigilante and secure all doors and windows at night or when out of the house. They also suggest setting existing alarm systems and set exterior motion lights to turn on overnight. read more

  • TSX ends higher as oil rises above US60 a barrel New York

    TORONTO – The Toronto stock market ended higher on Thursday as oil prices bounded above the US$60-per-barrel mark.The S&P/TSX composite index was 130.78 points higher at 15,203.61, driven by the energy sector, while the loonie was down 0.04 of a U.S. cent at 81.95 cents.Crude oil prices have been climbing since the U.S. Energy Information Administration released the latest inventory figures on Wednesday showing a decline of 2.7 million barrels.The July contract for crude oil made its biggest single-day rally in a month on Thursday, rising $1.74 to US$60.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.“Everyone seems to be focused on the short-term inventory numbers, but the bigger picture is total U.S. oil production,” said Himalaya Jain, a portfolio manager at Scotia McLeod.The inventory data showed U.S. oil production dropped by 112,000 barrels for the week ending May 15, which was significantly more than usual.“It’s evidence that the big decline in drilling activity over the past six months is finally starting to show,” Jain said.On the TSX, the energy sector was the biggest gainer of the day, rising 2.2 per cent.Financials were also ahead, moving up 0.7 per cent, before the start of Canadian bank earnings season next Wednesday. The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) is the first bank scheduled to report.Gold stocks were lower as June gold fell $4.60 to end at US$1,204.10 an ounce.Canadian e-commerce software maker Shopify Inc. (TSX:SH) soared out of the gate, with its shares rising 97 per cent on its first day of trading. The Ottawa-based e-commerce company’s IPO at US$17 per share raised US$131 million, more than the company expected.Shares of the company closed at C$31.25 on the TSX.In New York, markets traded in a narrow range in the face of mixed economic news in advance of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend.The Dow Jones industrial average was relatively flat, rising 0.34 of point, to 18,285.74, while the Nasdaq rose 19.05 points to 5,090.79 and the S&P 500 advanced 4.97 points to 2,130.82, above its record high close of 2,129.20 on Monday.In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said more Americans sought unemployment aid last week, although the number of applications remained at a historically low level consistent with a healthy job market. Weekly applications increased 10,000 to 274,000, while the four-week average, a less volatile figure, fell to a 15-year low of 266,250.Meanwhile, the Conference Board said its index of leading indicators rose 0.7 per cent last month in its biggest advance since a one per cent increase last July, a sign the American economy is beginning to accelerate from a sharp winter slowdown.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said oil only rose $1.71. by David Friend and Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press Posted May 21, 2015 7:01 am MDT Last Updated May 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TSX ends higher as oil rises above US$60 a barrel, New York makes small gains read more

  • This device can read the pages of a book without opening it

    by Michael Casey, The Associated Press Posted Sep 13, 2016 11:16 am MDT Last Updated Sep 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 photo, Barmak Heshmat poses outside his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Researchers at MIT have come up with a technology that can read the pages of a book without opening the cover, a development that could help museums better analyze antique books and ancient texts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) This device can read the pages of a book without opening it Leave it to the great minds at MIT and Georgia Tech to figure out a way to read the pages of a book without actually opening it.A team of researchers from the two institutions pulled it off with a system they developed that looks like a cross between a camera and a microscope.They said it could someday be used by museums to scan the contents of old books too fragile to handle or to examine paintings to confirm their authenticity or understand the artist’s creative process.Writing in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications, the scientists explained how they used terahertz waves — a type of radiation situated on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared light — to read a stack of papers with a single letter handwritten on each page.The device, called a terahertz spectrometer, managed to clearly read only nine pages, though it could see writing on up to 20.“We were very excited because we didn’t think we would be able to see as deep as we did,” said Barmak Heshmat, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab.While the device is still a long way from actually scanning an entire book, Heshmat said the team is already talking with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York about using it to inspect some of its artworks and antique volumes. The museum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.He said it could also be used in industry — for example, to see whether there are cracks or other defects beneath the paint on an aircraft part.Heshmat said that for now, broader uses would be limited by the cost of the device, which runs about $100,000.The device works by directing ultrashort bursts of terahertz radiation at stacks of paper. Some of it is absorbed by the paper, and the remainder is reflected back. The signals that bounce back are then analyzed with algorithms that can discern individual letters.In the study, the stack of paper had no cover, but Heshmat said he is confident the system could see through one.Heshmat said the system works much better than X-rays, which are currently used to scan documents and paintings but entail harmful levels of radiation.With X-rays, “you won’t be able to read the pages unless the ink is written by some metal like silver or gold,” he said. “But with our system, because it uses a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum, it can identify many other chemicals, so it can contrast between the blank paper and the part that has ink.”He said the project was inspired by the work 10 years ago of a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that showed you could look through a closed envelope with terahertz waves. With the new system, he said, “you can actually look deeper into multiple pages.”Researchers not involved in the project said the technology has great potential.“I think it is almost inevitable that terahertz imaging will be an important technology in numerous future applications and that sophisticated signal processing will be an important component for extracting information from the images,” Brown University engineering professor Daniel Mittleman said in an email.He said the researchers achieved “something the field has discussed for years but never demonstrated as nicely as in this work.” read more

  • Saints TreQuan Smith returns Tyron Smith out for Cowboys

    ARLINGTON, Texas — New Orleans Saints receiver Tre’Quan Smith is active against Dallas on Thursday night after missing a game with a toe injury, and Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith will miss his second straight game with a neck issue.Brandon Marshall is inactive for the Saints for the third straight week since he signed as a free agent after a season-ending injury to former Dallas receiver Dez Bryant. The Saints added Bryant, but he tore an Achilles tendon before playing a game for New Orleans.Tyron Smith was active before Dallas’ Thanksgiving game against Washington, but didn’t play because he had discomfort in his neck while warming up. Smith said he sustained the neck injury the previous game against Atlanta. Cameron Fleming will start in his place.___More AP NFL: and Associated Press read more

  • Anger blooms in London as community battles over ownership of street flowers

    A flower row has erupted on the streets of Brixton after a community grower accused their neighbours of stealing blooms planted by a community group.It began with a note pinned to a tree in the street, reading: “Please do not pick my flowers. Thanks”.A neighbour replied with a note of their own: “In an area massively affected by gentrification, it’s sad to see people claiming ownership of even the flowers.”Other locals chipped in, leaving their own post-it notes. One added that flowers on pavements are “owned by all the community, not just those whose house they happen to fall in front of”.Another wrote: “ARE YOU SERIOUS? This is not about ownership or gentrification, this is about someone trying to make the street a nicer place for EVERYONE by planting flowers and people stealing them and stamping on them!” People on my street are having an almighty row over who owns some flowers. There have been no raised voices, just handwritten notes placed inside plastic wallets and pinned to a post.— Rachel Thompson (@RVT9) May 26, 2019 Three plants taken overnight. Brixton Hill – come on – these plants are for us ALL to enjoy @FatNatChat— Linda Redford (@LinRedford) April 2, 2019 The passive-aggressive letters were posted online by journalist Rachel Thompson, who lives in the area.She said: “People on my street are having an almighty row over who owns some flowers. There have been no raised voices, just handwritten notes placed inside plastic wallets and pinned to a post.”The problem appears to be affecting the scheme across Brixton. Local gardener Linder Redford has been planting brightly coloured blooms on roads near her house and has reported that they have been stolen.She said: “Come on people of Brixton Hill – you’re better than this. 12 plants taken overnight”The community project responded on Twitter, advising her that if she lay manure down under the tree, that may deter plant thieves. The original note poster responded, explaining that the lupins and geraniums were planted as part of a local scheme called Our Streets, in which members of the local community in south London “adopt” a tree to water and plant flowers under.They added that the flowers have now been dug up and “moved elsewhere”.The neighbour who first replied seemed intent on having the last word, and penned: “Helpful to know that the flowers were part of a community project. However, if that was the case, it was very misleading to refer to them as ‘my’ flowers.  “What a shame that you have taken it upon yourself to dig up the community flowers.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

  • Paul Merton discovers his flair for performance comes from his busking greatgreatgrandmother

    He found out that his father’s great-grandmother, Caroline Plunkett, was a talented singer who was arrested aged just 14 for her role in the bizarre assault. The Have I Got News For You star delved into his past on BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? Plunkett, who was illiterate but learned songs off by heart, was hauled before a judge along with four other buskers at the Old Bailey in 1867, accused of using the instrument to knock the couple to the ground. Paul Merton has discovered his flair for performance comes from his busking great-great-grandmother, who was jailed for attacking two people with a banjo. Despite her pleas that she “never touched” them, she was convicted and jailed… read more

  • Great potential to grow Wa gold Ghana fullyfunded to development by Ibaera

    first_imgWest African gold explorer and developer Azumah Resources Ltd advises that a comprehensive technical and costs review underway at its Wa gold project in Ghana is indicating a higher plant throughput is achievable, whilst capital and operating costs can be materially lowered. This review, inclusive of an Ore Reserve update and revised financial metrics, will be completed by the end of 2018. A fully updated feasibility study is on-track for delivery in Q3 2019.Total Ore Reserves for the project currently stand at 624,000 oz grading 2.14g/t Au. Based on the technical and costs improvements being achieved, the successful drilling campaigns conducted during 2018 and expectations for planned drilling campaigns in 2019, the project’s partners are hopeful of reporting a series of material step-ups in Ore Reserves and delivering a project that will be strongly positioned for development.A re-estimation of Mineral Resources at existing deposits plus maiden estimates for several new prospects drilled during this year will be reported shortly. The review work and update to Azumah’s 2015 feasibility study is being managed and is fully-funded by Joint Venture partner and Project Manager, Ibaera Capital.Commenting on the recent work, Azumah Managing Director Stephen Stone said: “There is renewed momentum around the Wa project as a result of the joint venture with Ibaera Capital and its highly-motivated technical team.“We have a clear path and are fully funded to a development decision in Q3 2019, with a tight schedule for key deliverables.“With capital and operating costs already heading in the right direction, our main focus is to increase Ore Reserves. With many new and established targets to test during the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, we are optimistic in that regard. Drilling will recommence shortly after the annual break for seasonal rains.“The Ghana Government is extremely keen to see the first gold mine established in the Upper West region and is actively supporting the project on several fronts”.Three main deposits have been discovered and extensively drilled at Kunche and Bepkong, adjacent to the Black Volta River and Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso, and at Julie ~80 km to the east. Several satellite deposits, including Aduane and Collette, have also been delineated.To date, the company has delineated a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 2.1 Moz of gold grading 1.5g/t Au, including 1.4 Moz Measured and Indicated grading 1.7g/t Au, with these evenly distributed between Kunche-Bepkong and Wa East (Julie deposit). Within this a JORC 2012 Ore Reserve of 624,000 oz Au (9.1 Mt at 2.14g/t Au) has been defined.Extensive metallurgical test work has confirmed a high average overall gold recovery of ~92% for the combined Kunche, Bepkong and Julie deposits.Mineral Resources have been progressively grown through a focused, systematic approach to exploration of the company’s 2,400 km2 licence holdings, which encompass large tracts of prospective Birimian terrain, the rocks that host the majority of West Africa’s gold mines. Much of this is covered in soil, alluvium or laterite so most discoveries have been ‘blind’. Azumah anticipates Mineral Resources will grow substantially as it continues to test its large pipeline of target areas and specific prospects.Azumah’s exploration strategy is primarily driven by its need to boost Mineral Resources to increase the existing Ore Reserve base from 624,000 oz towards 1.0 Moz. This would more solidly underpin a development decision and improve funding capability.At Wa, Azumah has one of the largest footprints in one of the world’s most fertile gold regions:+150 km strike of prospective Birimian greenstones – host to most of West Africa’s +5 Moz depositsWidespread gold anomalismProlific target generation and testingGeological breakthroughs i.e. Kunche inferred ‘feeder zone’: 44 m at 5.37g/t Au from 99 m (including 20 m at 10.27g/t Au)Enormous opportunity to grow resources and reserves.Azumah has two 15-year Mining Leases over its key deposits (Ghana government holds a 10% free carried interest in their ‘rights and obligations’ and is also entitled to a 5% gross gold royalty).No technical, social or environmental impediments to development have been identified, no communities need to be relocated and rehoused and there is strong support from key stakeholders for the project. It benefits from excellent regional infrastructure including grid power to site, good quality bituminised and non-bituminised roads, easy access to water, a 2 km sealed airstrip at the regional centre of Wa and good general communications.last_img read more

  • Mark Bouris on housing finance

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram We’ve had enough of the bad news all year and I suggest that we start changing the mindset for 2011.To do this we need two things: we need some good news and we need a plan.First, the good news. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just reported that housing finance – mortgages, basically – increased slightly between September and October. The rise was only 2.2 per cent but it’s enough to suggest that Australians are once again committing themselves to the housing market, which is one of the basic measures of Australian economic confidence and household wellbeing.Also, finance commitments for owner-occupied housing increased 2.8 per cent and the finance of new dwelling increased 9.4 per cent.We don’t need to dance in the streets about this, but when you see the trend line – and how far and how steeply housing finance plummeted over the past two years – it’s actually a good sign.It’s good because not only does it mean that there’s confidence in households in general, but here’s a sense of certainty about employment and income.When Australians are prepared to go into long term debt again, it means hey believe in the future.It’s good news also for the banks: while many banking systems around the world are stagnant or diffident or simply trying to shut-out households from the mortgage market, the Australian system at least looks as though it wants to be back in the game.It’s a good sign because it means that banks, credit unions, building societies and non-banks lenders are all assessing property as a good bet and the economy as sustaining high employment.Add to that the fact that property prices in the major cities have at least held their ground over the past 12 months and we may have something to laugh about in 2011.But you must a have a plan.I think a good approach is to use the holidays as a time when you stop fretting about all the details and instead let your mind deal with some of the bigger ideas. For instance, if the banks are lending mortgages then property could be part of your plan in 2011.Maybe you have an idea about shares, or about refinancing your house and doing renovations?But have a plan.Most important, remember that economic news reminds us that what we call the economy is actually all of us making decisions about buying, selling and saving.How you want to be represented in this economy is up to you. you can drift along, being scared off by the headlines and the pessimists. Or you can look for the positive signs and make a go of it.It all starts with a plan.Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on with any queries you may have or check for your nearest branch.last_img read more

  • Postal association to take legal action against US Postal Service in pay

    first_imgThe National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) has filed a lawsuit against the US Postal Service for failing to align the pay of supervisors, managers and professional employees with federal law.The postal association filed legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday 26 July 2019 on behalf of approximately 49,000 managers, supervisors, postmasters and professional and administrative staff employed by the US Postal Service, who are paid under the organisation’s Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS). The lawsuit was approved by the NAPS executive board.The dispute regards the US Postal Service rejecting the majority of the recommendations made by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which reviewed the organisation’s 2016 to 2019 pay package in 2018, at the request of NAPS.Under federal law, EAS remuneration has to be comparable to the private sector and must show an adequate differential in pay between supervisors and the clerks and carriers they manage.The review, according to NAPS, reported that EAS compensation was not comparable to private sector compensation, and that the pay-for-performance system was flawed. It also stated that the Supervisory Differential Adjustment is unreasonably calculated and inadequate.NAPS is seeking retroactive pay to compensate employees covered by the EAS, backdated to 1 October 2015 in alignment with the start date of the 2016 to 2019 pay package. It also aims to amend EAS pay policies to ensure that these correspond with federal law.The lawsuit further strives to overturn the US Postal Service’s refusal to acknowledge employees’ rights to be represented by NAPS.Brian Wagner, president at NAPS, said: “The [US Postal Service’s] pay system for its managers and supervisors is broken and inconsistent with the expectations of the law. Given continued resistance to the fair administration of the law, we have no choice but to seek the relief to which all supervisors, managers and postmasters are entitled.”A spokesperson at the US Postal Service said: “[The] Postal Service engaged in extensive consultations with NAPS and adopted a number of their recommendations. Moreover, we remain committed to our employees and supervisors, but within the context of our current business reality and financial condition.“We will respond to the allegation of the complaint in the appropriate forum, but separately remain committed to our philosophy of working collaboratively with our management associations on a number of important issues that affect their constituents.”last_img read more

  • Black bear that attacked workers near Pogo Mine was behaving like a

    first_imgThe adult male black bear on June 19 attacked two workers conducting field work near the Pogo Mine, located in a remote spot in the upper Goodpaster River valley about 38 miles northeast of Delta Junction. (CBC/Google Maps)Experts with the state Department of Fish and Game say the black bear that attacked two workers last month near the Pogo Mine was hungry and showing predator-like behavior.Listen now“It was a healthy adult male that hadn’t eaten in some time,” Doreen Parker McNeill said. She’s a Fairbanks Fish and Game coordinator. “It was not defending a kill. And the nature of the attack appears to have been predatory.”McNeill said it’s rare for bears to exhibit that kind of behavior. She says the attack on two Pogo Mine contractors who were conducting field work at a remote site about five miles from the main camp on June 19 is only the fourth such report of such behavior among 208 bear attacks reported between 1980 and 2014.“It’s not very common for predatory attacks to happen,” McNeill said, “but they do happen.”One of the workers, 27-year-old Erin Johnson, of Anchorage, died of injuries she sustained in the attack. The other, 39-year-old Ellen Trainor, of Fairbanks, was treated and released from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital on the evening of the 19th. The bear was shot dead by an employee of the mine, located about 38 miles northeast of Delta Junction.The attack was the second in as many days. On June 18, a 16-year-old competing in a race on an Anchorage-area trail was killed by a black bear as the runner made his way back after the race had ended.last_img read more

  • Updated Lt Gov Mallott resigns citing inappropriate comments

    first_imgValerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson is sworn as lieutenant governor during a ceremony with Director of Rural and Native Affairs Barbara Blake and Gov. Bill Walker in Anchorage on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (Photo courtesy Alaska Governor’s Office)Download audioByron Mallott resigned suddenly Tuesday as lieutenant governor, citing “inappropriate comments” he recently made.State Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson was sworn in to replace Mallott during a private ceremony in Gov. Bill Walker’s Anchorage office Tuesday afternoon. The administration held an emergency cabinet meeting.Mallott also resigned from the campaign for a new term on a ticket with Gov. Bill Walker. It’s too late to remove Mallott’s name from the ballot, but the campaign said Davidson would also serve as lieutenant governor if Walker is re-elected. Walker has been close to Mallott and he has spoken frequently about their collaboration.“It is with profound disappointment and sadness that I accepted the resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott,” Walker said. “Byron recently made some inappropriate comments that do not reflect the stellar level of behavior required in his role as lieutenant governor.”Walker would not take questions at a press conference Tuesday. His office has not said what Mallott said or to whom. A Walker spokeswoman said the governor’s office’s “utmost concern is protection of the victim’s privacy.”Listen nowBut Walker emphasized the seriousness of the matter.“As leaders, we really need to hold ourselves with the highest standards, and … that was not the case,” Walker said.Walker did speak to members of the press later outside a fundraiser for the Alaska Native Justice Center. There, Walker declined to specify the nature of the comments, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize the victim’s wish to avoid being identified. “It was just an inappropriate overture, comment, that in no way minimize it, it was inappropriate, he realized it was inappropriate,” Walker said. “And once he realized the impact of what he had said he felt it was appropriate for him to resign.”Walker said he learned of the comments Monday afternoon, and after discussions, Mallott tendered his resignation on Tuesday. When Walker was asked if he had considered suspending his re-election campaign, he was unequivocal. “No, I didn’t … all I said was I’d much rather focus on what we do while we’re here than how long we’re going to be here,” he said. The lieutenant governor oversees elections and has few other official duties. But Mallott has been unusually visible in the role.He was the Democratic nominee for governor four years ago, before he merged his campaign with Walker’s.In his resignation letter, Mallott said his resignation was “compelled by inappropriate comments I made that placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability.” He did not say who he was referring to.Mallott wrote in the letter that he takes full responsibility for this action and apologizes to the person he said he hurt. Mallott told Walker in the letter that he recognizes that his actions have compromised Walker’s ability to lead the state. “For that I also express my remorse and sorrow,” he wrote. Mallott, 75, is from Yakutat. He became mayor of the city when he was 22. He is a clan leader of the Tlingit Raven Kwaash Kee Kwaan clan. He was president of the Alaska Federation of Natives and the First Alaskans Institute, and chair and executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.Davidson has led the Department of Health and Social Services since the beginning of Walker’s administration. She grew up in Bethel and Aniak.“Alaskans deserve the highest standard of conduct by their elected officials,” she said. “And while I am deeply saddened, by the resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, I’m also profoundly disappointed in his conduct. Respect for women and respect for all Alaskans is our responsibility and I stand ready to serve as your lieutenant governor.”Walker appointed Dr. Jay Butler as the new commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services. Butler is a host of the Alaska Public Media program “Line One: Your Health Connection.”Republican candidate for governor Mike Dunleavy said in a statement that his campaign “remains focused on restoring trust in state government.” Democratic candidate Mark Begich couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.This is a developing news story. Check back for updates.Zachariah Hughes in Anchorage and Jeremy Hsieh in Juneau contributed to this story.last_img read more