© 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Metamaterial ‘Gecko Toe’: Optically-Controlled Adhesion to Any Surface, arXiv:1201.2801v1 [physics.optics] arxiv.org/abs/1201.2801AbstractOn the mesoscopic scale, electromagnetic forces are of fundamental importance to an enormously diverse range of systems, from optical tweezers to the adhesion of gecko toes. Here we show that a strong light-driven force may be generated when a plasmonic metamaterial is illuminated in close proximity to a dielectric or metal surface. This near-field force can exceed radiation pressure and Casimir forces to provide an optically controlled adhesion mechanism mimicking the gecko toe: at illumination intensities of just a few tens of nW/um^2 it is sufficient to overcome the Earth’s gravitational pull. The whole idea is based on the fact that light exerts a force on materials that it strikes. The research team used this force to create plasmons (oscillations of electrons) on the surface of a metamaterial – in this case, a substance made of mostly gold with optical properties that can control the way light behaves. They found that when light was shined through the metamaterial onto the interface between a metamaterial and the surface of another metal material an attractive force was created due to the oscillating electrons on the metamaterial interacting with the electrons on the second material. This result was not unexpected, the amount of force found however, was. They found that by adjusting the light source to a frequency close to the wavelength of the oscillating electrons on the surface of the metamaterial, they could produce an attractive force greater than the pull of gravity on the two materials.The model the team has built demonstrates that it should theoretically be possible to create materials that are able to stick to and release from one another by simply turning a light source on and off, at least at the quantum level. If applied research finds the model holds, new metamaterials might be made that could be used for such applications as moving nano-sized objects around with tools equipped with a light source and metamaterials.There is one still one more step in this new research, of course, and that is actually finding the force in a real life experiment and measuring it. The team said this shouldn’t be difficult and expect that it will be found within the next couple of weeks or months. Citation: British team builds model showing metamaterials could be used to create gecko toe like adhesion (2012, January 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-british-team-metamaterials-gecko-toe.html Gecko toes and their optical analogue. a, Gecko toes sticking to a smooth glass wall. b, Artistic impression of a metamaterial ﬁlm attracted by a beam of light to a dielectric surface. Image: arXiv:1201.2801v1 (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists have long been enamored by the gecko’s gravity defying ability to cling to walls and to let go at will, allowing it to walk around sideways, as have Spiderman enthusiasts. Thus far, unfortunately, efforts to duplicate such feats have gone unmet. Now however, researchers from the University of Southampton in England have built a computer simulation that shows that it might be possible to duplicate the gecko’s abilities by using special metamaterials and ordinary light. They have published the results of their studies on the preprint server arXiv. 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. ‘Darker-than-black’ metamaterial could lead to more efficient solar cells
In July, security sleuths got the ball rolling in reporting that there was a Mac Trojan, dubbed Crisis, intercepting e-mails and tracking web sites. Kaspersky Lab said that it arrives on a compromised computer through a JAR file by using social engineering techniques. Symantec said it was beyond Mac and targeting Windows users. They saw executable files for more than one operating system.For those who follow the well beaten path of tricks that malware authors use to lure victims, it all sounds too familiar. There they are again, the two words, Adobe Flash. Crisis is distributed using social engineering techniques designed to trick users into installing a Java archive file masquerading as an Adobe Flash installer. It makes itself look like the installer and proceeds to deliver a corresponding JAR file to infect the system.But there is something not at all familiar, rather, annoyingly new. “This may be the first malware that attempts to spread onto a virtual machine,” said Takashi Katsuki, a researcher with Symantec. He thinks of it as a very unwelcome leap forward. Malware threats in the past tend to terminate themselves when they find a virtual machine monitoring application, such as VMware, to avoid being analyzed. Instead, this time, the malware authors have embraced VMware. Crisis can look for a VMware virtual machine image on the compromised computer and, finding it, the malware copies itself onto the image using the VMware Player tool. The VMware Player tool allows multiple operating systems to run on the same computer. “VMware Player is the easiest way to run multiple operating systems at the same time on your PC,” according to the company’s site. “With its user-friendly interface, VMware Player makes it effortless for anyone to try out Windows 8 developer release, Windows 7, Chrome OS or the latest Linux releases, or create isolated virtual machines to safely test new software and surf the Web.”According to Symantec, though, Crisis does not leverage any vulnerability in VMware’s software itself but merely takes advantage of an attribute of all virtualization software, that the virtual machine is a file or files on the disk of the host machine.The Windows version of Crisis can spread to Windows Mobile devices connected to compromised computers by installing a module on the device. Android and iOS devices are not affected.In sum, the malware can sneak into a VMware virtual machine and drop modules onto a Windows Mobile device using Remote Application Programming Interface.Its payback includes an ability to record Skype conversations, monitor instant messaging programs and track websites visited in Firefox or Safari.Kaspersky Lab’s assessment has been that this is no work of amateurs. Sergey Golovanov, in a July posting, found the modules were written professionally and, “from the code we can see that the cybercriminals developed this Trojan in order to sell it on hacker forums.”Similarly, Intego, an antivirus software company, pegged Crisis as “a very advanced and fully-functional threat,” and noted that some of the malware’s code originated with commercial spying software.Symantec said the malware has infected less than 50 machines. Hackers hitting Macs with virus: industry experts © 2012 Phys.org
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Most everyone has heard dog-directed speech, which is similar to speech patterns some use when talking to infants—the voice gets higher, the words come out slower and there is a sort of sing-song phrasing. Some of the phrases are familiar as well, such as “Who’s a good boy?” In this new effort, the researchers looked into the use of dog-directed speech seeking to learn if there might be any modulating factors in its use.The experiments consisted of asking 30 female human volunteers to look at pictures of dogs while reading a script consisting of typical dog-directed speech phrases into a microphone to make recordings. The recordings were then played to 10 puppies and 10 adult dogs at an animal shelter as the researchers watched and recorded their reactions.The researchers report that the volunteers tended to raise their voices in ways similar to people speaking to human infants regardless of the age of the dog they were looking at, though it was noted that the voices were raised slightly higher for puppies than for adult dogs. They also report that at the animal shelter, the puppies responded very clearly to the voices coming from the speakers, acting as if they wanted to play. The adult dogs, on the other hand, after a quick investigation, ignored the recordings altogether.The researchers were not able to explain why the humans spoke in dog-directed speech or why the puppies responded to it while the adult dogs did not, but suggest that humans likely respond to puppies in much the same way they respond to babies—and babies have been shown to respond more to baby-directed speech. As for why the older dogs were not interested, it might have been the case that they were simply older and wiser—they could see very clearly there was no human present speaking to them, so they chose to ignore whatever was being said. (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.S., the U.K. and France has found that puppies are more receptive to dog-directed speech than are adult dogs. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers describe experiments they conducted recording human voices and playing them back to dogs, what they found, and what it might mean for human communications. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Explore further Citation: Study shows dog-directed speech more effective on puppies than adult dogs (2017, January 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-dog-directed-speech-effective-puppies-adult.html Does your dog love you? © 2017 Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domain More information: Tobey Ben-Aderet et al. Dog-directed speech: why do we use it and do dogs pay attention to it?, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2429AbstractPet-directed speech is strikingly similar to infant-directed speech, a peculiar speaking pattern with higher pitch and slower tempo known to engage infants’ attention and promote language learning. Here, we report the first investigation of potential factors modulating the use of dog-directed speech, as well as its immediate impact on dogs’ behaviour. We recorded adult participants speaking in front of pictures of puppies, adult and old dogs, and analysed the quality of their speech. We then performed playback experiments to assess dogs’ reaction to dog-directed speech compared with normal speech. We found that human speakers used dog-directed speech with dogs of all ages and that the acoustic structure of dog-directed speech was mostly independent of dog age, except for sound pitch which was relatively higher when communicating with puppies. Playback demonstrated that, in the absence of other non-auditory cues, puppies were highly reactive to dog-directed speech, and that the pitch was a key factor modulating their behaviour, suggesting that this specific speech register has a functional value in young dogs. Conversely, older dogs did not react differentially to dog-directed speech compared with normal speech. The fact that speakers continue to use dog-directed with older dogs therefore suggests that this speech pattern may mainly be a spontaneous attempt to facilitate interactions with non-verbal listeners.
Kolkata: Researchers from IIT Kharagpur and Oxford University have entered into a collaboration to develop a better understanding of the filtration process of water and cope with global water challenge. While the collaboration is addressing arsenic contamination of water for drinking and other types of human use, the research has been extended to filtration of other water pollutants as well, an IIT KGP statement said today.Pointing out that the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta is a global hotspot for arsenic groundwater contamination, the statement said, chemical leaching within fertile farmland soils, as a result of overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, is also widespread in the country. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsResearchers at the IIT KGP, led by Prof Sirshendu De of the chemical engineering department, recently developed an ultra-low cost, novel technology by chemically activating naturally available laterite that acts as an adsorbent to filter arsenic.”Based on our research at IIT KGP, filtered water can now be produced at just 2 paisa per litre, thus making it ideal for a country like India,” Prof De said. This part of developing ultra-low cost novel technology had been done by the IIT KGP team only. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedA team of mathematicians from Oxford University, led by Dr Ian Griffiths, then worked on the mathematical modelling techniques which helped extending the life of the filter and the design of scaled-up filters.”Inter-disciplinary approaches are becoming increasingly important to make progress in present-day challenges and this project is a clear example of such a case,” Prof Griffiths said.The collaborative developed technology has already been accepted by the Department of Science & Technology, Union Government, PHE department government of West Bengal and the West Bengal Arsenic Task force.The collaborative project has been funded by the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF-UK), University of Oxford.
Kolkata: The e-mail id of Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das has been hacked. The V-C, who is a resident of FE Block in Salt Lake, has lodged a complaint with Bidhannagar Cyber Crime Police station on Wednesday. A senior police officer of Bidhannagar Cyber Crime police station has informed that according to Das’s complaint, someone has created a profile on Hotmail with the same name as him, while his actual account is on Yahoo. The hacker has been sending frivolous e-mails, seeking personal and professional help on Das’s part, from some persons who are in the mail list of the V-C. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsWhen contacted, Das said, “I have a number of respected and renowned persons in my e-mail contact list. I had received calls from some of them on Tuesday night, who enquired whether I am sick and then asked whether I have sought any sort of financial help from them. I informed them immediately that I have sent no such mail and told them not to respond to such requests of financial help. I was relieved that no one had transferred any money and had called me first,” Das maintained.He expressed his apprehension that the hacker might have access to some very confidential e-mails that he has to deal with, being the head of a university. “The police have been very cooperative. They have taken all necessary steps in this regard and I am hopeful that they will soon nab the offender,” he said.
Kolkata: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized a huge quantity of methaqualone, a narcotic substance that costs around Rs 2.35 crore in the international market.Two persons were arrested in this connection and they were produced before Barasat Court. Acting on a tip-off, DRI officers conducted a raid and arrested two persons from near the International Departure gate of Kolkata Airport.The consignment was sent from Chennai. A metal box was parceled from Chennai. It reached Howrah Station on Chennai Mail and was collected by a person from the station. The same person passed the consignment to his counterpart, who was supposed to take it to Kuala Lumpur. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe officers searched the box and found some garments in it. Later, they realised that the sides of the box were thicker than usual and found that eight packets containing 4.7 kg of methaqualone were concealed along the width of the box.In another development, the DRI officers have arrested one person from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in North Bengal, when he was carrying gold that was brought from Myanmar. Firoz Seikh, who was arrested, is a resident of North 24-Parganas. Gold weighing around 2 kg was found from him, worth around Rs 63.27 lakh.The gold bars were smuggled from Myanmar through Moreh in Manipur, investigation revealed. One more person was arrested in Manipur on similar charges.It may be mentioned that in the 2017-18 fiscal, DRI has seized around 430 kg of gold and gold jewellery from the East and North-East regions, which is worth more than Rs 110 crore.
Kolkata: The Bandhu Kolkata initiative organisedjointly by the state Women & Child Development & Social Welfare department and Kolkata Police, will be effective during Durga Puja from the day of Sasthi till the morning of Dashami.”During the Pujas, a huge number of people from the districts come to the city to soak in the festive spirit. There are cases of children getting estranged from their parents amidst the crowd. At the same time, girls, young women and the elderly become the soft target of miscreants. This Bandhu Kolkata initiative is aimed at curbing such practices,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere will be eight well-decorated child-friendly vans, one each in the eight divisions of Kolkata Police, which will rush to a pandal in case of a person or a child getting estranged from their family in the crowd.The Puja committees will have facilities of announcement and as soon as there is report of any problem, the quick response teams,especially those that work for rescue and restoration of missing children, distressed women or elderly persons, will be on alert. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We will set up three outlets at Rajballavpara near Jagat Mukherjee Park, Sealdah and Mudiali, where essential articles like medical first-aid boxes, water bottles, dry food, soft toys, sanitary napkins and wheelchairs will be available,” said Shashi Panja, Minister of State for Women & Child Development & Social Welfare department.A number of NGOs that are stakeholders of the department, have extended their support for better service to the community.A person needs to remember the emergency numbers: 100,1098, 1091 and 9002999999 (available from Sasthi to Dashami morning) to access facilities of the Bandhu Kolkata app.A number of homes for women and children will also be ready to extend services during the Pujas.
Kolkata: A three-year-old girl was allegedly sexually harassed by her neighbour at Bakultala in South 24-Parganas. Later, police arrested the accused Noor Alam Mollah. The child has been admitted to Neempith Rural Hospital. According to the sources, on Sunday afternoon, the child was playing with her elder sister in front of their house in Tilipukur village. Her mother went somewhere and her father was sleeping inside the house. For a while, the victim’s sister went inside the house and when she came back, she found her sister to be missing. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe informed her father and both of them went to search her. After a few hours of searching, neighbours noticed that the girl was coming out from Mollah’s house crying. On asking, she said Mollah sexually harassed her when she went to check if her mother was coming back. The child was immediately taken to a local hospital and police was informed. Later, Bakultala police station arrested Mollah on charges of rape.
Showing compassion to others can help reduce depression and increase life satisfaction, say scientists who found that the most disagreeable individuals benefit the greatest.The most disagreeable individuals, who are also the least likely to be kind, can benefit most from behaving more compassionately, a York University study has found.More than 640 people who were mildly depressed took part in the study which tracked the results of online compassion training. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfResearchers from York University in Canada asked the participants, who were on average in their mid-30s, to take part in one of three online compassion intervention exercises including a control condition.They were asked to complete their exercise and report back via an online platform every other day for three weeks.Two months later, disagreeable participants who performed acts of kindness in close relationships showed the greatest reductions in depression and greatest increases in life satisfaction. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”As a result of their hostility and lack of cooperation, disagreeable types risk getting rejected or ostracised. There is a lot of conflict in their relationships, and they suffer the consequences, said Myriam Mongrain, a professor at York.We found that providing concrete suggestions to those individuals, giving them ways in which they could express empathic concern in their close relationships was tremendously helpful,” said Mongrain.Highly disagreeable people often lack empathy, even in their close relationships, said Mongrain. “Implementing these new behaviours might have left them feeling affirmed and liked in their close social circle. This might have been the anti-depressant ingredient in this group,” she said.The findings are particularly noteworthy given that the interventions were administered online and only required 10-15 minutes every other day. In other words, it was easy to implement, could be administered worldwide and had profound effects for some individuals.In another exercise condition, participants were asked to spend up to 10 minutes meditating on nurturing phrases such as “May you be happy” or “May you be safe.” This exercise was of benefit to participants as a whole. However, when examining interactions effects with the disagreeable personality variable, the researchers found that it was the kindness exercise that was most helpful for this subgroup.Researchers say the results could have immediate practical applications for social scientists, policymakers, psychology researchers, and health practitioners.The widespread application of compassion interventions could contribute to a more humane and kinder society, particularly when targeted at those proneto hostility.