first_img Special nanotubes could improve solar power and imaging technology Explore further Citation: Carbon nanotubes could act as an efficient music speaker (2008, November 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The team, which consists of scientists Shoushan Fan and colleagues at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and Beijing Normal University, hope that the discovery could lead to the development of cheap, flat loudspeakers. Examples of carbon nanotubes´ musical abilities can be heard here and here.To create the nanotube speaker, the researchers sent an audio frequency current through a thin sheet of carbon nanotubes, generating a sound. Unlike standard loudspeakers that generate sound by vibrations in the surrounding air molecules, the nanotube speaker doesn´t emit vibrations. The team used a laser vibrometer to detect vibrations in the sheet, but found nothing.Instead, the nanotube speaker likely works as a thermoacoustic device: when an alternating current passes through the sheet, the sheet experiences rapid temperature oscillations alternating between room temperature and 80 °C (176 °F). These temperature oscillations cause pressure oscillations in the surrounding air, producing the sound, while the nanotube sheet remains static. One advantage of this method is that, even if part of the nanotube sheet breaks, it should continue to emit sound, unlike conventional speakers.This thermoacoustic phenomenon was actually discovered in the late nineteenth century, when scientists passed a current through a thin foil to produce sound, leading to the invention of the “thermophone.” Although the principle is the same, however, the nanotube sheet acts much more efficiently than foil because it doesn´t require nearly as much applied heat to increase its temperature. Specifically, the nanotube sheet´s heat capacity is 260 times smaller than platinum foil, making nanotubes 260 times more efficient and able to produce a louder sound.The Chinese researchers envision several interesting applications for the nanotube speakers. Because the nanotube sheets can be stretched to be visually transparent and still produce sound, they might be fitted over the front of an LCD screen to replace conventional speakers. Another possibility is incorporating the nanotube speakers into textiles to create musical clothes.More information: Xiao, Lin, et al. “Flexible, Stretchable, Transparent Carbon Nanotube Thin Film Loudspeakers.” ASAP Nano Lett., ASAP Article, 10.1021/nl802750z. © 2009 ( — While carbon nanotubes are widely praised for their strength and electrical properties, no one has thoroughly investigated their acoustic properties, until now. A team of Chinese researchers has found that zapping sheets of carbon nanotubes with an electric current causes the nanotubes to emit sound. Excerpt from a video of Lin Xiao´s nanotube music speaker. The speaker produces sound when a current passes through, due to a thermoacoustic effect. Credit: Lin Xiao, et al. 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

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Research trio suggest intergenerational fertility correlations could reverse low birthrates (2014, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The models the scientists designed suggest that fertility rates are likely to rise with average family sizes increasing. Credit: comedy_nose Explore further ( —A trio of researchers at Stockholm University is suggesting that the current worldwide trend of low birth rates could reverse itself due to intergenerational fertility correlations. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how they built mathematical models that use correlations between family size and birth rates to illustrate population growth rates in the future. © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Human history has shown over thousands of years that there is a correlation between family size and birth rates—people that come from large families tend to have more kids than people who come from small families. Over the past 200 years, however, that trend has been altered—birth control and societal roles has led to radically smaller family size in most countries of the world (the lone exception being sub-Saharan Africa). If the trend continues, it could spell trouble for modern societies as older people begin to outnumber the young—it’s young people, after all, who generally do most of the work in a society. But low birth rates may change, the researchers suggest, due to natural tendencies. They’ve created mathematical models that indicate worldwide population is likely to take one of two paths.In the first scenario, if people from large families have more kids, even if there are far fewer of them, eventually, a shift will occur as each generation produces more offspring than average—at some point they would overtake the lower birthrate people, causing a growth in population.In the second scenario, societal barriers appear that override intergenerational fertility correlations—similar to those that have caused low birth rates today. If the population grew too large for the planet to support, for example, natural processes would cause lower birth rates (or higher death rates) to occur—people would ignore the size of the family they were born into and intentionally choose to have fewer kids, causing population growth rates to slow.Obviously no one knows if societies of the future will keep adding disincentives for having larger than average families–overriding intergenerational fertility correlations—but the models make it clear that if nature is allowed to take its course, it’s very likely that several generations into the future, fertility rates may climb again, presenting governments with a whole new set of problems. The researchers suggest it’s time that other researchers and governments stop ignoring such correlations, as the evidence for it is overwhelming. More information: Martin Kolk, Daniel Cownden, and Magnus Enquist.” Correlations in fertility across generations: can low fertility persist?” Proc. R. Soc. B March 22, 2014 281 1779 20132561; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2561 1471-2954AbstractCorrelations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers. We present a model of the fertility transition as a cultural process acting on new lifestyles associated with fertility. Differences in parental and social influences on the acquisition of these lifestyles result in intergenerational correlations in fertility. We show different scenarios for future population size based on models that disregard intergenerational correlations in fertility, models with fertility correlations and a single lifestyle, and models with fertility correlations and multiple lifestyles. We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time. However, present low-fertility levels may persist if the rapid introduction of new cultural lifestyles continues into the future.Press release Study on human fertility models find those based on economics the most reliablelast_img read more

first_img In order to make progress for rare diseases, David tells me, he realized that if he didn’t drive things forward than no one would. After being given his diagnosis as a medical student concentrating on oncology, David switched gears and made CD his first order of business. When he observed all the hurdles in the way of progress, he decided to get an MBA at Wharton, developing business contacts and funding sources for the network of CD researchers he was building. He created a community for patients and physicians to collaborate and share high-potential research ideas. In parallel, he began to conduct CD research at Penn and identify top experts to conduct other priority projects. More recently, the CDCN launched a registry of people with CD so they could share patient records and unpublished cases of the disease.An immediate consequence of these efforts was a redefinition of the more deadly form of CD disease—the so-called ‘multicentric’ form that involves several regions of enlarged lymph nodes as opposed to just one. The former consensus held that benign lymph node tumors secreted Interleukin-6 (IL-6), which in turn hyperactivated the immune system and caused widespread organ dysfunction. The new explanation is pretty much the opposite. In other words, an overactive immune system is what seems to cause the tumors, flu-like symptoms and organ system dysfunction in the first place. The job is therefore to first explain the cause of hyperactivation of different proinflammatory cells and proteins (including Il-6), and then identify ways to stop them.In this view, multicentric CD can be seen as a common endpoint that can be expressed by traversing different paths. In some cases it is due to infection with the HHV-8 virus. This particular pathogen happens to express its own Il-6 type protein that, despite having just 40% sequence homology with our own Il-6, still manages to cause havoc. HHV-8 causes about half of the multicentric form of CD and provides one of many important clues. Other cases, which are called “idiopathic multicentric CD”, may be due as yet unknown viral infection, purely autoimmune mechanisms, or even germ-line disturbances in innate immune regulation. One thing that could be a complication involved in the latter is the increasingly common finding of individuals possessing mosaic and chimeric germ lines. Credit: Cell (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.10.017 (—Dr. David Fajgenbaum is the founder of Castleman Disease Collaborative Network. Its goal is to organize patients with Castleman disease (CD), find an explanation for this rare and enigmatic immunological disorder that involves the immune system attacking vital organs, and beat it. As an orphan disease researcher at Penn, and a sufferer of CD himself, David’s first-person, n-of-1 approach to a medical brick wall has emerged as the new, and only viable blueprint for moving the bar forward in real time. Citation: Checkmate for Castleman disease (2016, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Immune system B cells play a role in tackling liver cancer and provide a marker for patient prognosis Explore further More information: Yang Li et al. A Functional Genomics Approach to Understand Variation in Cytokine Production in Humans, Cell (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.10.017AbstractAs part of the Human Functional Genomics Project, which aims to understand the factors that determine the variability of immune responses, we investigated genetic variants affecting cytokine production in response to ex vivo stimulation in two independent cohorts of 500 and 200 healthy individuals. We demonstrate a strong impact of genetic heritability on cytokine production capacity after challenge with bacterial, fungal, viral, and non-microbial stimuli. In addition to 17 novel genome-wide significant cytokine QTLs (cQTLs), our study provides a comprehensive picture of the genetic variants that influence six different cytokines in whole blood, blood mononuclear cells, and macrophages. Important biological pathways that contain cytokine QTLs map to pattern recognition receptors (TLR1-6-10 cluster), cytokine and complement inhibitors, and the kallikrein system. The cytokine QTLs show enrichment for monocyte-specific enhancers, are more often located in regions under positive selection, and are significantly enriched among SNPs associated with infections and immune-mediated diseases. Genetic sequencing and subsequent functional proteomics will be one valuable source of new information here. Once suspect genes are identified they can potentially be expressed in different cells to see what effects different mutants may have on function. These days, it is perhaps just as likely that advanced simulation tools based on molecular dynamics will give the first functional clues about changes in protein folding or function in the cell. David mentioned that 15 patients, himself included are now getting whole genome sequencing done. This is much more useful than the commonly done ‘exome sequencing’ which can miss many important details including polymorphism in the promoter and other regulatory regions that get spliced out before the exomes are generated. Other critical aberrants like gene duplications will generally be missed in exome sequencing as well.A recent series of papers in Cell takes a functional genomics approach to understand variation in human cytokine production. After challenging cells from hundreds of different people with various bacterial, fungal, viral, and non-microbial stimuli, researchers comprehensively identified the cytokine ‘quantitative trait loci’ that influence the major cytokines (Il-6 included) in whole blood, in blood mononuclear cells, and in macrophages. These studies also looked at other different host and environmental factors, like for example, the influence of the gut microbiome. If reformulated more directly to CD patients important information at the individual scale may be obtained. Among other things, this could include better ways to take critical measurements. For example, developing a more uniform sampling protocol that takes into account the known daily, seasonal, and other natural rhythms of the body’s many organ and systems.David is just one of many researchers at Penn, and elsewhere, who are now taking matters into their own hands. I am reminded of Scott Mackler, a former Penn researcher I consulted for some time ago. When diagnosed with ALS, Scott repurposed his labs efforts to focus on his this devastating disease. In checking now, Scott passed back in 2013 after a 15 year battle, but his legacy lives on. Today, several other home grown efforts are achieving incredible results. In one notable case, a mother with no previous medical background, and no initial funding, was able to found a company called Lysogene that in just a few years developed an FDA approved genetic therapy for the Sanfilippo disease that affected her newborn.Another instance is the case of Shirley Pepke, a genomics researcher who developed machine learning tools to tailor treatments for combating her ovarian cancer. In remission now, Shirley took what seemed like a big chance in going against her oncologist’s recommendation of standard chemotherapy to try a new (an non-FDA approved) immuntherapy drug. Although it may not be possible to fully disambiguate exactly which of the Shirleys many different treatments ‘worked’, the important thing for her is that she is in fact now in remission. This general philosophy is in stark contrast to the ‘drug trial centric’ approach where the study is the goal rather than the individual. Perhaps an even more high profile case is that of Tom Marsilje, a research at Novartis who codeveloped an anti-cancer ALK inhibitor now marketed as Zykadia. Tom needed to get into a trial to treat his own colon cancer but was triaged out of it because he happened to have a pre-existing melanoma. A somewhat fortuitous but perhaps inevitable circumstance brought Tom together with Craig Venter who was promptly able to whole genome sequence Tom’s cells. Using the data rendered they are now developing a personalized neoantigen vaccine, an immunotherapy, that may be able to stimulate his own immune cells to attack tumor.In another fortunate turn of events, the Castlemen network is pleased to be partnering with Janssen Research and Development, and Penn, to create the first global patient registry for CD. Fajgenbaum is serving as principle investigator on this new initiative to help defeat Castlemen disease once and for all. © 2016 Journal information: Cell 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

first_img Provided by A team of researchers at Indiana University has found that a type of nematode offers a positive influence on the dung beetle larval microbiome. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cristina Ledón-Rettig, Armin Moczek and Erik Ragsdale describe their study of the relationship between the nematode Diplogastrellus monhysteroide and dung beetles. Citation: Nematodes found to positively influence dung beetle larval microbiomes (2018, October 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Cristina C. Ledón-Rettig et al. Diplogastrellus nematodes are sexually transmitted mutualists that alter the bacterial and fungal communities of their beetle host, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1809606115 Horned beetle Onthophagus taurus. Credit: PNAS © 2018 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In their study, the researchers found that the nematodes take up residence in the genitals of the adult dung beetles. This allows the nematodes to be passed back and forth between adults when they copulate. It also allows the nematodes to be passed to brood balls.Brood balls are wads of herbivore dung that the female dung beetles make—they use them as incubators for their eggs. After the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the ball from the inside out. But material in plants is difficult to digest. As it turns out, the larva gets some help from nematodes.Testing of brood balls showed they were alive with nematodes. But instead of causing problems for the larva, the nematodes were causing a beneficial change to the microbiome inside of the balls. The presence of nematodes caused changes to the levels of some bacteria and fungi living in them—some types of bacteria grew in number, while fungi became scarcer. This benefited the larvae because the bacteria were the kind that break down plant fibers and the fungi were the kind that sometimes infect beetle larvae. Thus, the presence of the nematode made it easier for the larvae to eat, and less likely to be harmed by a fungal infection.To better understand the impact on the microbiome inside the brood balls, the researchers killed the nematodes inside some of them before allowing female dung beetles to deposit eggs. The researchers report that larvae growing without the nematodes developed more slowly into undersized adults.The researchers were not able to isolate the means by which the nematodes changed the microbiome, but suspect they might have been eating the bacteria that competed with the beneficial bacteria, making it easier for the beneficial bacteria to flourish. They also suggest it is possible the worms emit chemicals that have an impact on bacteria and fungus. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Microbiome study suggests marine nematodes are not picky eaterslast_img read more

first_img Journal information: Light: Science & Applications , Nature Materials , Physical Review B In-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances in gold nanodisk monomers. a, b Calculated normalized absorption spectra of gold nanodisk monomers with a diameter ranging from 140 to 200 nm for s-polarized in-plane plan wave coming from the right side (dashed line) or both sides (solid line) without phase delay, or with a phase delay of π. “F” and “H” represent fundamental and high-order plasmon resonances. c–e The corresponding spatial distributions of electric-field amplitude |E|, real part Re(Ez), and imaginary part Im(Ez) for the “F” and “H” modes (square and circle signs) of the representative gold nanodisk monomer (D = 160 nm) under asymmetrical and symmetrical in-plane illumination. Under symmetrical in-plane illumination, we can observe phase delay-dependent destructive/constructive interference for the “F” and “H” modes. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: Explore further Demonstration of plasmonic switching by dark field (DF) scattering measurement of gold nanodisk monomer and dimer. a Normalized DF scattering spectra of gold nanodisk monomer with a diameter of 200 nm (SEM image) under full and quarter illumination. b The corresponding normalized simulated scattering and absorption spectra. c, d Normalized measured and simulated DF scattering spectra of gold nanodisk dimer with a diameter of 200 nm and a gap size of 30 nm (SEM image) under full and quarter illumination. The red solid curves in c are the smoothing results. The scale bar in SEM images is 200 nm. e, f Polarization diagrams of full and quarter illumination in the DF scattering measurement and simulation for gold nanodisk monomer and dimer. In both experiment and simulation, the excitation is s- or p-polarized and the collection is unpolarized. The black and red double-headed arrows represent the initial polarization and the polarization after focusing, respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: Demonstration of electrical-field distribution rule for the 200 nm gold nanodisk monomer and dimer by s-SNOM. a Schematic of the s-SNOM measurement for s–s and s–p excitation–collection configurations. The wavelength of the excitation laser is 633 nm and the incidence angle with respect to the plane of the substrate is 30°. b Calculated normalized absorption spectra of 200 nm gold nanodisk monomer and dimer at incidence angle 30° under asymmetrical (dashed line) or symmetrical (solid line) illumination without phase delay. The gap size in the dimer is 30 nm. c Atomic-force microscopic (AFM) images of gold nanodisk monomer and dimer for s–s and s–p measurements. The red arrow represents the incidence direction of the laser and the blue dashed line represents the central axis of the nanodisk. d, e Experimental and simulated spatial distributions of the amplitude |A|, phase ϕ, and real part of electric-field component Ey in s–s measurement and Ez in s–p measurement for 200 nm gold nanodisk monomer and dimer. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: In a recent study, Liyong Jiang and co-workers at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology demonstrated two methods for in-plane illumination of LSPRs as a proof-of-principle in gold nanodisks. The results of their work showed that the LSPRs could be switched into different states by adjusting the incident light to encode logical data into chains in a manner that was hitherto not possible with out-of-plane illumination. The results are now published in Light: Science & Applications. Significant efforts in the past decade were devoted to study light-matter interactions at the nanoscale in plasmonic systems. The ability to control LSPR has led to many practical applications, including pioneering examples such as:Surface-enhanced Raman ScatteringPlasmon waveguidesMolecular rulersBiosensing and bioimagingNanolasersPlasmonic holography Tunnel junctions, and Metalens. More information: Liyong Jiang et al. In-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances for plasmonic switching and encoding, Light: Science & Applications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-019-0134-1 P. B. Johnson et al. Optical Constants of the Noble Metals, Physical Review B (2002). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.6.4370 M. S. Tame et al. Quantum plasmonics, Nature Physics (2013). DOI: 10.1038/nphys2615 Jeffrey N. Anker et al. Biosensing with plasmonic nanosensors, Nature Materials (2008). DOI: 10.1038/nmat2162 Plasmonic encoding in gold nanodisk chains. a Calculated absorption spectra of gold nanodisk chains consisting of different numbers of nanodisks illuminated by the s-polarized in-plane plan wave coming from right side (dashed line) or both sides (solid line). The diameter of the nanodisk is 140 nm and the separation distance is 30 nm. The destructive and constructive plasmon resonances are represented by green and red colors, respectively. b Spatial distributions of electric-field amplitude |E| for the “F” plasmon resonances (peak position) under symmetrical illumination. c Sliced electric-field amplitude distributions along the chain’s edge (the white dashed line in b). d–g Corresponding spatial distributions of real and imaginary part of Ez when the s-polarized in-plane plan wave comes from the left side (d, f) and right side (e, g) respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: During the initial stages of development, scientists focused on controlling LSPR by designing configurations of the plasmonic nanostructures. They understood the size- and shape-dependent LSPR of single plasmonic nanoparticles and coupled plasmonic systems based on the classical Mie theory and well-established plasmonic hybridization models. Additionally, the light beam typically illuminated the sample surface from one direction in conventional optical studies of single and coupled nanoantennas. © 2019 Science X Network Jiang et al. also demonstrated plasmonic switching with dark field (DF) scattering measurements of a gold nanodisk monomer or dimer. In the experimental setup they used a confocal Raman microscopy system to measure the scattering spectra. They then used commercially available software packages to conduct numerical simulations in the study. The simulations included electrical-field distributions, absorption and scattering spectra for gold nanodisks. They simulated the complex electromagnetic parameters for gold and chromium incorporated in the experimental setup, based on previous publications.center_img To engineer the gold nanodisk samples on silicon dioxide/silica (SiO2/Si) substrates, Jiang et al. used electron-beam lithography (EBL) alongside a lift-off process. They completed the fabrication process by coating the substrate surface with a gold film and an underlying chromium (Cr) adhesion layer using electron-beam evaporation. The scientists then studied in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances in the gold nanodisks and calculated the absorption spectra of gold nanodisk monomers ranging from diameters of 140 to 200 nm; fabricated on the SiO2/Si substrate surface. In the work, they established and experimentally verified the distribution rule of electrical-field components to realize destructive and constructive plasmon resonances in an axisymmetric plasmonic nanostructure. They showed how the in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances strongly relied on the configuration and symmetry of plasmonic nanostructures, compared with out-of-plane coherent control. This feature can allow freedom in tailoring and engineering multiple plasmon resonances in other axisymmetric plasmonic structures, which include nanospheres, nanorod, nano bowtie and nanostructure polymers. Demonstration of plasmonic switching by dark field (DF) scattering measurement of gold nanodisk monomer and dimer. a Normalized DF scattering spectra of gold nanodisk monomer with a diameter of 200 nm (SEM image) under full and quarter illumination. b The corresponding normalized simulated scattering and absorption spectra. c, d Normalized measured and simulated DF scattering spectra of gold nanodisk dimer with a diameter of 200 nm and a gap size of 30 nm (SEM image) under full and quarter illumination. The red solid curves in c are the smoothing results. The scale bar in SEM images is 200 nm. e, f Polarization diagrams of full and quarter illumination in the DF scattering measurement and simulation for gold nanodisk monomer and dimer. In both experiment and simulation, the excitation is s- or p-polarized and the collection is unpolarized. The black and red double-headed arrows represent the initial polarization and the polarization after focusing, respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: Although the ability to control plasmon resonances via out-of-plane illumination has opened a new path to modulate signals, the process has shown limitations. As a result, Jiang et al. reported on in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances in typical metallic nanoantennas. The scientists provided a proof-of-principle demonstration of plasmonic switching and encoding applications for single and coupled gold nanodisks. To accomplish in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances in the lab, the scientists proposed two possible experimental setups. One was based on a fiber-waveguide interferometer, which faced challenges during experiments. In comparison, the second method included a more convenient, widely used dark-field confocal microscopy setup. In this, the condition of completely symmetric in-plane illumination could be satisfied early when the input light focused onto the center of the sample. To construct asymmetric in-plane illumination, the scientists blocked three-fourth of the area of the annular aperture. Jiang et al. showed that the setup was suited to study plasmonic nanostructures with sizes comparable to the focused spot size of the incident light beam. Citation: In-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances for plasmonic switching and encoding (2019, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Light incident on metallic nanoparticles can initiate the collective motion of electrons, causing a strong amplification of the local electromagnetic field. Such plasmonic resonances have significant roles in biosensing with ability to improve the resolution and sensitivity required to detect particles at the scale of the single molecule. The control of plasmon resonances in metadevices have potential applications in all-optical, light-with-light signal modulation and image processing. Reports have demonstrated the out-of-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances by modulating metadevices in standing waves. In optical devices, light can be transferred along the surfaces for the unprecedented control of plasmons. When oscillations in conducting electrons are coupled with light photons, localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR) can act as information carriers for nano-sized optical sensors and in computers. , Nature Physics In this way, Jiang et al. demonstrated proof-of-principle plasmonic switching and encoding in the study. They expect more potential applications based on the demonstrated ability for in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonance. For instance, scientists can use the method to study selective surface-enhanced spectra, where the photoluminescence or Raman signal of multiple molecules can be selectively enhanced. This will allow control of the on/off state of multiple plasmon resonances in a common nano-antenna. The scientists propose extending the plasmonic encoding scheme demonstrated in the study to plasmonic imaging, nano lasing and optical communication in nanocircuits. For instance, scientists can combine plasmonic nanostructure chains with different encoding characteristics to build logic gates (for Boolean logic operations) as well as design multichannel waveguides for all-optical information storage and processes. Schematic diagrams of two setups for in-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances. a Fiber-waveguide interferometer. b Dark-field (DF) confocal microscope, where quarter illumination can be satisfied by blocking 3/4 area of the annular aperture. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: To image the plasmon resonance modes in gold nanodisks the scientists used a polarization-sensitive s-SNOM technique, which can detect light at the nanometer scale regions directly beneath the tip of the atomic force microscopic (AFM) probe. The scientists used an s-s/s-p geometry scheme and engaged a dielectric (Si) tip for measurements. They illuminated the sample using laser radiation with an incident light of 300 relative to the plane of the substrate. Jiang et al. measured the amplitude and phase of the scattered signal based on the fourth harmonic of the tip-tapping frequency of the AFM tip. They used an analyzer in front of the detector to select the s- or p- polarized component of the scattered light. Researchers publish first review of plasmonic surface lattice resonanceslast_img read more

first_imgKolkata: A 31-year-old youth, Anirban Sarkar, who had attempted suicide by consuming poison along with his mother and younger brother, died in the hospital on Wednesday. The other two are fighting for their lives at the hospital and their condition is stated to be serious.The incident took place in Jadavpur. The deceased’s mother Sathi Sarkar (62) and younger brother Arijit are currently undergoing treatment at MR Bangur Hospital. According to the police, the victims, who are the residents of Ibrahim Road under Jadavpur police station, had attempted suicide probably after they failed to pay a huge bank loan that the deceased’s father had taken before his death. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said that Dipak Sarkar, Sathi’s husband, had also committed suicide after failing to repay the bank loan. After the death of the house owner, it was up to his family members to repay the loan amount. They had a family shop at Ranikuthi that was not running well, which also contributed to their frustration.According to local sources, the family members were under tremendous mental pressure as the bank employees had been frequently visiting their house. Three of the family members consumed poison on Monday night. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThey were lying unconscious inside their room till Tuesday morning, when some local residents informed the matter to the local police station as the victims did not open the door despite repeated knocks. After being informed, police reached the spot and rescued the victims by breaking open the door. The local residents told the police that goons of the bank had been frequently visiting in connection with the loan that the family had borrowed. This might have led to their depression, police suspect. All the three victims were rushed to MR Bangur Hospital, where Anirban died on Wednesday morning, with the other two battling for their lives. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident. They collected samples from the room where the three had consumed poison. Police are investigating all possible angles into the incident. The investigators will also talk to the bank officials in this regard. The relatives of the victims are also being interrogated by the police.According to police, the family had a loan of around Rs 25 lakh, which they had invested for buying the shop at Ranikunthi.last_img read more

first_imgWe read a book, we love the book. We google it,  we read every back story possible, we watch films/TV shows made on the book, we obsess day and night over it and we go over endless debates and discussions over the plot of the story, about characters, there are a hundred fantasies about the characters. The internet has given rise to the fandoms (fan-kingdoms for those who are not aware) and these are boys and girls (though age hardly matters in such things) who are a little too much in love with their favourite books or writers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There are endless groups and chat rooms, and Facebook pages and tumbler posts where the fandom meets to discuss, debate and even fight with other fandoms. There are OTPs (one true pairing) where fanboys and girls discuss which character should have ended up with whom, they ‘ship’ these pairs, they make head cannons, stories that are not part of the books in question and are figments of fan’s imagination which turn into fan fictions. . In fact, the popular book series Fifty Shades of Grey was initially a fan-fiction for the Twilight series and has now become a best seller book series. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSo in a world where fandoms have taken over the internet, JK Rowling the author of the Harry Potter  series had decided to launch a series of character backstories on her website as a Christmas gift, where she reveals to her fans the history of some of her characters. As expected it has taken the fandom by storm and being a Harry Potter fan girl myself I know the crazy appeal of it. How people have spent hours reading every bit of new knowledge about their favourite characters as Harry Potter even after years of its release is one of the most potent fandoms on the internet. But it also makes one think whether it’s time for the obsession to stop. Shouldn’t we move on and let the characters rest in our hearts instead of letting the obsession go on? And with new stories popping out every day, I wonder when shall it end at?last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Jadavpur University (JU) will soon come up with a Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management with the intention of generating awareness about various disasters and suggest measures to reduce its impact. “Our aim is to develop disaster warning systems including self-warning system and low cost disaster prediction system in the Indian context. There will be seminar and workshops where national level and international level experts from different universities and colleges across the globe will be invited who have been working in this area,” said Professor Gupinath Bhandari, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, JU. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that till date few institutions in the country have introduced courses on disaster management; however, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has approached all the institutions for institutionalisation of the Disaster Management course. The Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management has been proposed urging the university authorities to appoint a regular faculty of the varsity as its co-ordinator. The initial target group for the workshop will be government and non-government officials directly dealing with the disaster, those who cater their service to society. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”However, as disaster management has neither syllabus nor boundary, we will be welcoming all the members,” Bhandari maintained. The civil engineering department that has already organised a workshop on flood management that has seen active participation from various stakeholders is already in talks for collaborating with both the state and the Central government as well as industry for good interactive sessions. “Two private companies have already approached us for a workshop on Structural Retrofitting. Structural audit and health check-up of buildings will be the main points for discussion. We will be showcasing how the strength of a particular building can be assessed through non-destructive process and accordingly suggest measures on how to equip it to withstand such disaster,” a senior professor of civil engineering said. The university will gradually proceed towards institutional courses like Post Graduate and MPhil which are essential for manpower development in Disaster Management. Research work will be carried out for prediction of any kind of predictable and rapid onset of disasters. However, in case of predictable and slow onset disasters, research will be carried out to estimate the time available and the remedial measures for the same. The Centre has got all the necessary permission and is awaiting the nod of the University Court to become fully functional.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata police’s Special Task Force (STF) has arrested two persons for their alleged involvement in smuggling fake currency.Police have seized fake currency notes worth nearly Rs 4 lakh from their possession. It was learnt that the accused were trying to smuggle the fake currency notes to Bihar.They brought the fake notes from Malda. According to police, the accused came to the city to hand over the fake notes to a person from Bihar.Police came to know that the accused would assemble near Strand Road on Monday evening. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice men in plain clothes were on the streets to nab the culprits. When the duo reached the area, they were caught red-handed.Police are interrogating to know the names of other accused involved in the racket.Both of them are the residents of Malda. Police are also investigating if the accused are part of any international smuggling racket.The investigators are not ruling out the existence of an international racket behind this. They are trying to ascertain the route through which the fake currencies would have been smuggledout of the state.On June 26, the city police arrested a person from Chandni Chawk area and seized fake currency notes worth nearly Rs 5 lakh. Police are investigating if there is any connection between the two incidents.last_img read more

first_imgBlack Sabbath are making plans to get back out on the road one last time in 2016. The Heavy metal pioneers have announced details of their ‘final tour’, reported RollingStone magazine. Billed in the band’s press release as “the final tour from the greatest metal band of all time”, The End tour covers a number of North American cities. It kicks off in Omaha, Nebraska on January 20th 2016 and ends on February 25th at New York’s Madison Square Garden, having taken in 17 dates on the way. There will then be seven dates in Australia and New Zealand running from April 15th-30th. The tour does not include any European dates at all, not even their home town of Birmingham in Britain.last_img

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh’s vehicle was attacked by miscreants in Bankura district on Wednesday, police said on Thursday, adding that an FIR in the case has been lodged. Ghosh’s car was allegedly attacked by miscreants when he was returning to his hotel in Khatra after having dinner at a party worker’s house in Jaldoba. Though the leader was unharmed in the attack, some party workers accompanying him were allegedly beaten up and sustained injuries. The back screen of Ghosh’s car was damaged by stone pelting, a BJP leader said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “An FIR has been lodged in the case on the basis of the complaints received from Ghosh and local BJP unit leader Mrinmoy Mahato. Police is talking to the locals and eyewitnesses to trace the accused,” an officer from Khatra police station said. In his complaint, Mahato said six known locals and a few unidentified miscreants allegedly tried to heckle Ghosh and vandalised his car at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday when they were leaving from a party worker’s house. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “They also attacked me and some of the fellow party workers with iron rods and threw stones and bricks at us when we tried to protect Ghosh. I was severely injured in the incident,” he said. Meanwhile, the car of another Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Samik Bhattacharya, a former MLA, was also attacked by miscreants on Wednesday afternoon while he was on his way to attend a meeting in Nadia district’s Chakdah. BJP National General Secretary P. Murlidhar Rao on Thursday strongly condemned the incident and accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of orchestrating the attacks and also accused state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of not taking any action against the offenders. “Our party President from Bengal was attacked by goons of Trinamool Congress yesterday (Wednesday). Another leader Shamik Bhattacharya’s vehicle was vandalised by state ruling party workers in Chakdah on the same day. BJYM Tripura President Tinku Roy was also attacked by Trinamool workers in that state. Three such incidents in one day… One must understand the gravity of the situation,” Rao, also the in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Yuba Morcha (BJYM) said here. “The Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo never condemned such incidents and never took action against the offenders. It is not just the BJP but there have been constant attacks on other opposition parties in Bengal,” he alleged.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Amidst slogans of “Atalji Zindabad”, the West Bengal BJP unit today took out the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” with the ashes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Union minister Smriti Irani, who was here to join the rally and offer floral tributes, said she was overwhelmed at the turnout of people, mostly women, along the roads, to pay respects to the former prime minister. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other state leaders of the party took out the rally which covered various parts of central and south Kolkata as it headed towards Gangasagar, where the ashes will be immersed. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The procession is likely to reach Gangasagar by this evening, a party leader said. The ‘asthi kalash’ was brought to Kolkata by the state BJP president yesterday evening. Gangasagar is an island off the coast of Bengal where the Ganga river meets the Bay of Bengal. A part of the content from the main ‘kalash’ (urn) has been distributed in four other urns. The main urn will be immersed at Gangasagar and the four others will be taken to north Bengal, Farakka, Bankura and Nabadwip, Jaiprakash Majumdar, vice-president of West Bengal BJP unit told PTI. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “The people of these areas too want to pay their respects to Vajpayee-ji so it will be taken there and immersed in rivers there,” Majumdar told PTI. That the people came out in large numbers for the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” today only goes on to show how much Vajpayee-ji was loved and reverred, said Irani, who was part of the rally till Diamond Harbour. Expressing gratitude on behalf of BJP, Irani said “tributes were paid to the former PM just the way we pay our respects to the elders in our family.” She exhorted the people to spread the ideals of the BJP patriarch in West Bengal. The BJP central leadership has decided to take out ‘Asthi Kalash Yatras’ in all districts and immerse the ashes in rivers across the country. Processions will start from the state capitals and pass through all blocks, party leaders said.last_img read more

first_imgWhat makes people rate a restaurant positively? More than food, it is the weather that matters, say researchers. A study suggests that customers left more negative remarks on comment cards on days when it was raining than on days when it was dry. “Restaurant managers may see more than the usual bad reviews on certain days, and it may have nothing to do with the service or the quality of the food,” said co-author of the study Milos Bujisic, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Restaurants can’t control the weather, but it may affect how customers review them,” he added. For the study, published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, the researchers examined the comment cards left at 32 Florida restaurants. The researchers rated the comments on a five-point scale from 1 (very negative) to 5 (very positive). They also examined weather data from the National Climatic Data Center for each restaurant’s location on the days the comment cards were left. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey examined 14 different weather variables, but only three were related to customer comments – rain, temperature and barometric pressure. Higher temperatures – which in Florida can often mean it is uncomfortably hot –were linked to more negative comments. Higher barometric pressure was also connected to negative comments in Florida, which is also probably different from much of the country, the researchers said, because rising pressure is often associated with fair weather. In an another experiment, 158 people from around the country who visited a restaurant within the last 24 hours were asked to rate and describe the weather conditions right before their restaurant visit. The results showed that people who described the weather as more pleasant also rated their mood more positively. Better moods – and not the weather itself – were related to more positive word-of-mouth.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Many South Bengal districts including the city received scattered rainfall throughout the day, bringing the mercury down by a few notches.Entire South Bengal has received a considerable amount of rainfall in the past two days, but the amount is far below what is required to compensate the deficiency of rainfall in the current month, felt the weather experts on Monday. The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore predicted that light to moderate rainfall will continue to lash various South Bengal districts in the next 24 hours, while the coastal districts like South 24-Parganas and East Midnapore are expected to receive moderate to heavy rainfall due to a low pressure trough created over Bay of Bengal. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe city’s sky remained mostly cloudy on Monday, with scattered rainfall in some parts. The weather office prediction says that there is no major rainfall alert in North Bengal in the next few days. According to a weather official, there may be heavy rainfall in West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia in the next 24 hours as well. The weather officials are apprehending that there may be considerable rainfall in the South Bengal districts in the beginning of next month. It may be mentioned here there has been a deficiency in rainfall in June and also in July so far. The deficiency in rainfall has majorly hit a large number of farmers in various districts, many of whom are staring at huge loss. The paddy cultivation in East Burdwan, Birbhum, Nadia, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas have been affected due to a scarcity in rainfall, since the advent of monsoon in the state.last_img read more

first_imgIn 1971 movie star Bruce Lee invited his friend, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to Hong Kong. Lee was shooting a film titled The Game Of Death and wanted to cast Abdul-Jabbar for the role of the main villain, Mantis. Mantis was the “5th Floor Guardian” and Lee’s final opponent on the top platform of his game of death vision, one that showcased his martial arts style of Jeet Kune Do. The style was a fusion of the contemplative and the kinetic, drawing on various martial arts disciplines. Its name in English would be translated as “The Way of the Intercepting Fist”. Lee himself explained Jeet Kune Do as “the art of fighting without fighting.”Quoted in an ESPN article from 2017, Abdul-Jabbar described Jeet Kune Do as “a jambalaya of martial arts, adding and discarding moves that were less effective. No wasted movements.”Photo of Bruce Lee from the film Fists of Fury.The Game Of Death was never finished, at least in the form Lee intended. He died in 1973, reportedly from cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain. Those five days Lee and Abdul-Jabbar spent battling each other on camera were the culmination of a powerful relationship between the two men, one which began in 1967.Back then Lee was a mentor and the young New Yorker who walked into his studio looking to learn about martial arts was called Lew Alcindor. The height difference between the men was noticeable — Lee was 5’8″ and his new student a staggering 7’2″.Jabbar’s famous sky hook. A move he in part credited to lessons he learned with Lee.It didn’t make any difference. Alcindor found the experience transformative. Four years later his training was over and he’d adopted a new name, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to mark his conversion to Islam from Catholicism.Abdul-Jabbar found in Islam a way of escaping the racial abuse he had received in his day to day life. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar translates as “noble, powerful servant.” And he was willing to give himself over to Lee, whose teachings he found inspiring.Alcindor performs ceremonial net cutting at Freedom Hall in Louisville in 1969 after a 20-point win over Purdue and Rick Mount in unprecedented third-straight national title en route to seven consecutive national championships for UCLA.According to ESPN, Abdul-Jabbar believed Lee “taught people how to prepare and deal with an issue that might arise and succeed, whether that’s in life or in sport.” In addition to the strong influence of his UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, the young player had all the tools required to make his life into something special.10 Facts About Bruce Lee You May Never Have HeardFrom the end of the 1960s to his final game in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar blazed a trail. The NBA website states “no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons.” Magic Johnson described him as “ the most beautiful athlete in sports.”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends the Yahoo News/ABCNews Pre-White House Correspondents’ dinner reception pre-party at Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. Photo by Yahoo CC BY 2.0This wouldn’t have happened in the way it did without Bruce Lee’s involvement. Just as Lee was groundbreaking in the field of onscreen representation and combat with Jeet Kune Do, so Abdul-Jabbar had his own presence and signature technique.The “skyhook” is essentially an upgrade for the established hook shot. He was able to score from greater distances than his peers, hence the name change. As he described it to ESPN, “Bruce was an innovator and caused martial arts to move forward. … The skyhook is the embodiment of an efficient shot that requires minimal movement but sudden speed.”Bruce Lee and his trainer Yip Man.When Lee died, the enthusiasm for martial arts waned in his former student. That didn’t mean he was going to slow down. With his teacher’s philosophy in mind, he went on to become a prominent voice in American sports as a writer and activist.Most recently he’s been writing novels about Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft and continuing the adventures started by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, something he probably didn’t see coming as a slam-dunking 22-year-old.Bruce Lee is buried next to his son Brandon at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle.Perhaps the most fitting tribute to their friendship and mutual respect is The Game Of Death. The movie exists in a reworked form, completed by Lee’s Enter The Dragon director Robert Clouse in 1978. It doesn’t stick to the original plot, however different and more faithful productions have emerged in recent years.Read another story from us: ‘The Crow’ Actor Michael Massee fatally shot the son of Bruce Lee on the set of the CrowLee’s legacy is reflected in Abdul-Jabbar’s achievements as much as they are in his films and techniques. The pair shared an experience that to this day inspires generations of athletes.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

first_imgFragments of Garfield-shaped novelty telephones have been washing up along the coast of the Finistère region of Brittany, in northwestern France, for the last 35 years, The Guardian reported. The appearance of the battered pieces of plastic had become a daily experience. “Sometimes it was just the grinning face or the eyes” writes the Guardian. “Other times, a headless orange fat torso complete with curly wire, dialpad and plug.”The orange phones had become the bane of litter-decrying environmentalists and a symbol of our careless, throwaway society, but where they came from was a mystery. Now that mystery has finally been solved by volunteers from the local beach cleaning association Ar Viltansoù.Remote beach on the Brittany coast in FranceThis ruggedly beautiful stretch of coastline has been shaped over the centuries by the Iroise Sea — part of the Atlantic Ocean and one of Europe’s most dangerous stretches of water, known for it’s strong currents and violent storms. Volunteers from the environmental group — who tirelessly pick up litter that washes up along the coast of Brittany — could not be sure of the source of “les téléphones Garfield,” though many had long suspected they came from a lost shipping container reportedly swept off a cargo ship in 1983.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsTheir suspicions were confirmed when local farmer Rene Morvan led volunteers from Ar Viltansoù to a sea cave.Claire Simonin-Le Meur, president of the environmental group, told Euronews: “At the cave opening there was a Garfield lodged in the roof, so we knew we weren’t mistaken and this was where they were.” The cartoon cat grinning down at them was in much better shape than those which washed up on the beaches.An abandoned dirty Garfield collected from a beach litter-pickMorvan approached regional newspaper FranceInfo in response to their plastic pollution campaign, AlertePollution, with a curious tale from his youth. He recalled going with his brother to see what the huge storm of 1983 had left behind. “At the time, there was a lot of things that came to us from the sea,” he said.What they found was bright orange novelty telephones scattered all over the beach. Curious, the two brothers decided to investigate. “You had to know the area well. We found a container aground in a fissure. It was open,” Morvan told FranceInfo. “Many of the things were gone, but there was a stock of phones.”And sure enough, the phones were found among the remnants of a rusting container in an isolated cave, accessible at low tide but completely submerged by the turbulent waters at high tide.Fabien Boileau, the director of the Natural Sea Park of Iroise, also spoke with journalists from Euronews after visiting the cave, where he said that the mystery was only partly solved.“We have no idea what happened at the time, where it came from, what ship it was or if one or several containers fell in the sea,” Boileau said.A 2010 USA postage stamp with an illustration of the title character of the comic strip Garfield, along with Odie the beagleThe vintage telephones were popular in the 1980s and are around 30cm (12 inches) long, with popping eyes that opened and closed. With a considerable chunk of the rusting container buried underneath rocks, making it impossible to retrieve, environmental activists have warned that the container’s discovery will not prevent the phones from polluting the beaches since they will take an unimaginable amount of time to degrade.“I cannot imagine that these phones could ever be totally destroyed, given their state of conservation after more than 30 years in the water,” Simonin-Le Meur told journalists.While the container helps solve a part of this 35-year old mystery behind the Garfield phones, environmental activists do not believe that it’s the only source of plastic pollution. For one thing, it was mostly empty; for another, the phones keep washing up onshore.Read another story from us: This 1950s Plane is About to Become a Vintage Cocktail Lounge At JFKIn 2018 alone, according to the beach cleaning group, more than 200 pieces of these phones were found. They believe that more than one shipping container filled with orange phones was lost on the night of that storm in 1983.last_img read more

first_imgJerseys and signs in remembrance of the late Nebraska punter Sam Foltz could be spotted throughout Memorial stadium as Nebraska kicked off the season against Fresno State Saturday night. Foltz was tragically killed in a car accident while returning home from a kicking camp this offseason. His death shocked teammates and fans who had come to know and love him.The Huskers also paid an emotional on-field tribute to Foltz on their first punt of the season. They lined up in a punt formation without a punter, in symbolic reference to the loss of Foltz.  Nebraska took a delay of game penalty, which was declined by Fresno State in a class move. Chills.Nebraska won the game 43-10, but most won’t remember the final score. College football is an obsession for many, but moments like this put it in perspective.Rest in peace, Sam Foltz. Hats off to Nebraska and Fresno State.ICYMI: How perfect was @HuskerFBNation‘s #SF27 tribute?— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) September 4, 2016last_img read more

first_imgSocial media was buzzing on Friday when new Browns GM  John Dorsey agreed to a series of deals, in principle, including acquiring Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor, Miami wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and Green Bay corner Damarious Randall.The flurry of deals came as a surprise to many, and had some media immediately declaring the Browns as playoff contenders. Some further speculated they increased the likelihood Cleveland could take Saquon Barkley with the #1 pick.Like most things on social media, Colin felt most people overreacted to the potential impact of the moves.The reality is the Browns just went 0-16, and adding Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry isn’t even close to enough to turn Cleveland around in the short term. Showing a pulse in the offseason is a good sign, but nothing is going to change until they get their long term answer at quarterback. They still need to take Sam Darnold with the first pick to start to change things for good.“Cleveland was bad. They’re still bad.”@ColinCowherd isn’t impressed by the Browns offseason moves— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 12, 2018last_img read more

first_img One of the most common responses I get from small-business owners when I talk to them about data security goes something like this: “Who would want to steal anything from us? It’s not like we’re the NSA.”The hard truth is that any business is a target for bad guys. Just like any home can get robbed, any car can get stolen, and any eBay account can get hacked. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in. You are vulnerable.Especially now. Because every business is connected to a network in some way, it means that one bad apple can test the security of thousands of businesses–all with the push of a button.And these breaches can be costly. Ponemon Institute is an independent research group that has been studying the cost of data breaches for nearly a decade. It factors in everything from lost business (or customer churn) to public relations efforts to notification letters. The institute found that the average cost per each record lost is $202, a number that has been climbing steadily over the last few years. Multiply that number by however many records you have and you’ll start to get some idea of why you should take data security seriously.So what can you do about it? The Federal Trade Commission has a terrific guide that details the steps small businesses should take to protect sensitive information. Below I’ve listed the high-level steps the commission recommends, but don’t forget that these rules apply to both physical and digital records and that threats come from both outside and inside your organization. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global April 30, 2010 3 min read Brought to you by Business on Main Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Take stock. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to know what information you’re keeping, how far back it goes, and which records qualify as sensitive. Knowing all of this is not just good for security purposes, it’s also good business. Scale down. The less information you have around, the less vulnerable you are to theft. Only collect those pieces of data that you really need to make your business more efficient. Don’t put your customers (and your business) at risk by storing credit card numbers you don’t need. And never make customers use their Social Security number as an identifier unless absolutely necessary. Lock it. The information you’re keeping around must be kept secure. That means physical records must be locked in boxes and in secure locations. And digital records must have sufficient safeguards. All PC hard drives should be password-protected. That means that before the computer even boots up it prompts you for a password (this is different than your login screen). Screensavers should come up in no more than 20 minutes, requiring a password to log back on. And servers that house records must have robust security measures and, in some cases, encryption. Pitch it. Most businesses hold onto thousands of unnecessary, outdated or otherwise useless records. Tax records and supporting documentation should be held onto for seven years, on average. But other things, like paycheck stubs, bills, investment records and such, should be kept no longer than a year. Get a shredder and use it. Plan ahead. Prepare for the worst. You need an action plan for how you will investigate a breach, notify customers and remediate any security vulnerabilities. Register Now » Security is often an afterthought for a small business, but it’s simply not enough to hope these things don’t happen to you. Getting out ahead of these kinds of issues is critical. And building security into technology systems before you start using them is always a good idea.last_img read more

first_img Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Amid intensifying privacy concerns regarding Glass, Google’s computerized eyewear, the tech giant is looking to calm any fears related to at least one of those issues: facial recognition. Over the weekend, the company posted a statement to Glass’s Google+ page saying it will not permit Glass apps that utilize facial recognition technology until privacy issues are adequately addressed. “We’ve been listening closely to you, and many have expressed both interest and concern around the possibilities of facial recognition in Glass,” Google’s statement reads. “As Google has said for several years, we won’t add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place. With that in mind, we won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time.”The post comes about two weeks after members of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Google chief executive Larry Page asking that the company address several issues related to Glass and privacy. One of the top concerns addressed in the letter was the possibility that Glass could eventually be paired with facial recognition technology to allow wearers to access personal information about people or other objects they are viewing with the device.Google has also updated its Google Glass developer policies to state that the device’s camera or microphone should not be used to “cross-reference and immediately present personal information identifying anyone other than the user, including use cases such as facial recognition and voice print.” Any apps that do will not be approved, it says. According to the Congressional committee’s letter, Google has until June 14 to respond to its questions regarding privacy and Glass.Related: Congress to Google: Glass Privacy Issues Must Be Taken Seriously Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. June 3, 2013center_img 2 min read Listen Nowlast_img read more