Month: August 2019

Microsoft India team develop secure PeertoPeer acoustic NFC systemMicrosoft India team develop secure PeertoPeer acoustic NFC system

first_img New Zoosh technology provides NFC capabilities without the chip Citation: Microsoft India team develop secure Peer-to-Peer acoustic NFC system (2013, August 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Standard NFC communications, based on RFID, allow two devices to communicate with one another without having to access a network. Despite a lot of press coverage (and hardware to support it becoming standard in a lot of phones) NFC has failed to take off—for it to succeed other vendors, such as grocery stores, would need to add hardware to their existing equipment. To get around this problem, the engineers in India have done away with the need for additional hardware choosing instead to take advantage of the acoustic abilities inherent in virtually any smartphone (including the iPhone). It works on roughly the same principle as old-school modems, which means it uses beeps, squeaks, squawks and other noises to send and receive data.Dhwani is slow by any measure with a data rate of just 2.4 Kbps. For that reason, no one is going to be using it to send pictures or video, instead, it’s meant to send data such as that used for digital wallet transactions. The development team says it’s more secure than RFID based NFC communications as well because it’s based on a Jam-Secure technique—where it sends self-jamming noise along with self-cancelation to avoid eavesdropping—anyone else listening in would hear only chaotic noise.To use the new system, two phone users download the software, run it, then place their phones together where the speaker for one is next to the microphone of the other (its range is approximately 10 centimeters). The developers claim that ambient noise won’t pose a problem for the exchange, thus paving the way for its use in virtually any environment where people use their phones.Of course for the system to work, other vendors must write apps for it to allow the two phones, or phone and other equipment to carry out proprietary transactions. Whether that will happen or not, is still unclear, but if it does, the new software could be a game-changer. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: … fault.aspx?id=192134Dhwani : Secure Peer-to-Peer Acoustic NFC, … 4/Paper325Dhwani.pdf JamSecure. Credit: Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, et al. ( —A team of researchers at Microsoft India has developed an alternative to standard NFC communications between hand-held devices—a software only system that makes use of the speaker and microphone already in use by phones and other devices. Called (Dhwani-“sound” in English) the new system can transmit small amounts of data without the need for any additional hardware. Explore further © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study shows global warming likely to alter bat echolocation abilitiesStudy shows global warming likely to alter bat echolocation abilities

first_img Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface Large moths need to hear better Bats, as most are aware, make their way through the air using echolocation—they emit sounds and listen as the sounds are bounced back to them after hitting something. This ability not only helps them avoid running into things in dark, but it’s the means by which they identify and catch prey. In this new effort, the researchers found that changes in air temperature of just a few degrees could have a profound impact on the echolocation abilities of bats around the world.Attenuation—the tendency of sound to lose volume and clarity as it moves through the air (or other materials) is impacted by a variety of factors, such as humidity, wind and of course heat—low frequency sounds are less impacted than are high frequency sounds. This means that bats that live in temperate climates such as North America or Europe (who use high frequency chirps) are likely to face more challenges than low frequency chirping bats living in the tropics, as global temperature rise.Of course nothing in nature is as simple as that, other factors have an impact on survival of species as well, and global warming is almost certain to cause environmental impacts that no one foresaw. But, what is clear from this new study is that some bats are likely to be winners, and some losers, because of where they live. Those that live in temperate climates but who use low frequencies, for example, might find the hunting getting easier. Others who are slow to adapt, on the other hand, may find the added stress of having to chirp louder, lower or more often, too much to bare leaving them with too little energy to mate.An associated finding with this study is that it highlights the fact that the more the impact of global warming is studied, the more we discover just how far and wide the impact will be felt, both on a global scale, and within simple communities, such as those occupied by bats. Citation: Study shows global warming likely to alter bat echolocation abilities (2013, December 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Global warming alters sound transmission: differential impact on the prey detection ability of echolocating bats, Published 11 December 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0961AbstractClimate change impacts the biogeography and phenology of plants and animals, yet the underlying mechanisms are little known. Here, we present a functional link between rising temperature and the prey detection ability of echolocating bats. The maximum distance for echo-based prey detection is physically determined by sound attenuation. Attenuation is more pronounced for high-frequency sound, such as echolocation, and is a nonlinear function of both call frequency and ambient temperature. Hence, the prey detection ability, and thus possibly the foraging efficiency, of echolocating bats and susceptible to rising temperatures through climate change. Using present-day climate data and projected temperature rises, we modelled this effect for the entire range of bat call frequencies and climate zones around the globe. We show that depending on call frequency, the prey detection volume of bats will either decrease or increase: species calling above a crossover frequency will lose and species emitting lower frequencies will gain prey detection volume, with crossover frequency and magnitude depending on the local climatic conditions. Within local species assemblages, this may cause a change in community composition. Global warming can thus directly affect the prey detection ability of individual bats and indirectly their interspecific interactions with competitors and prey. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2013 ( —A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany has conducted sonic studies that suggest that the echolocation abilities of bats around the world are likely to be impacted by global warming. In their study published in The Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the group explains how they found that warming temperatures are likely to impact attenuation of bat chirps in various ways.last_img read more

Scientists study the evolution of Saturns great storm of 20102011Scientists study the evolution of Saturns great storm of 20102011

first_img Image: The eye of Saturn’s storm Citation: Scientists study the evolution of Saturn’s great storm of 2010-2011 (2016, August 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: — Kunio M. Sayanagi et al. Dynamics of Saturn’s great storm of 2010–2011 from Cassini ISS and RPWS, Icarus (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.12.013— Dynamics of Saturn’s great storm of 2010-2011 from Cassini ISS and RPWS, arXiv:1607.07246 [astro-ph.EP]’s quasi-periodic planet-encircling storms are the largest convecting outbursts in the Solar System. The last eruption was in 1990. A new eruption started in December 2010 and presented the first-ever opportunity to observe such episodic storms from a spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. Here, we analyze images acquired with the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), which captured the storm’s birth, evolution and demise. In studying the end of the convective activity, we also analyze the Saturn Electrostatic Discharge (SED) signals detected by the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument. Explore further This series of images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn shows the evolution of a great storm of 2010-2011. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI Saturn experiences quasi-periodic planet-encircling storms. The latest significant, well-observed storm started on Dec. 5, 2010 and lasted until the end of 2011. Events like storms can be identified visually and through radio noise; thus, instruments onboard Cassini such as the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS), allowed scientists to obtain high-precision measurements of these violent outbursts in the planet’s atmosphere.Recently, a team of researchers led by Kunio Sayanagi of Hampton University in Virginia, analyzed the data provided by ISS and RPWS to study the storm’s birth, evolution, and demise. ISS obtained wide-angle pictures of the storm with a resolution of 60 to 120 km per pixel to study the vertical cloud structure. The instrument also allowed the team to measure cloud motions in order to reveal the atmospheric dynamics of the storm region. RPWS provided crucial information about the configuration of Saturn’s magnetic field, ionosphere, plasma, and lightning from the planet’s atmosphere.”We analyze Cassini ISS images and RPWS data to investigate the temporal evolution of the 2010-2011 planet-encircling storm. (…) Our study analyzes images acquired using the wide-angle camera’s CB2 (750 nm), MT2 (727 nm), and MT3 (889 nm) filters to study the vertical cloud structure. (…) We also present analysis of RPWS data that shows near-simultaneous coverage of the end of the convecting phase of the storm,” the scientists wrote in the paper.According to the research, the storm erupted out of a previously known feature called the String of Pearls (SoPs)—a chain of about 26 cyclones located at 33° N planetocentric latitude. Afterwards, the outburst grew and engulfed the entire latitude zone. The scientists noted that on January 11, 2011, the dimensions of the storm’s “head” were 9,200 km and up to 34,000 km in the north-south and east-west dimensions, respectively. They also emphasized that this storm spawned the largest tropospheric vortex ever seen on Saturn.”On January 11, 2011, the anticyclone was sized 11,000 km by 12,000 km in the north-south and east-west directions, respectively. (…) With the east-west diameter of 12,000 km, the new anticyclonic vortex became greater in size than any tropospheric vortex previously seen on Saturn. The rapid growth and shrinkage of the new anticyclone is in stark contrast to the steadiness of anticyclonic vortices on Jupiter,” the paper reads.The study notes major changes in the storm dynamics after June 20, 2011 when the storm’s head collided with the anticyclone after the anticyclone’s longitude trailed 360° longitude behind the core. After this collision, the storm’s convective activity displayed a major decline. However, the storm left the region between 25°N and 40°N in a highly disturbed state. According to the paper, these atmospheric events also altered the zonal mean wind profile of the storm latitudes.The researchers expect that the storm of 2010-2011 will have lasting effects on Saturn’s northern hemisphere.”The aftermath of the latest storm should have an effect that may last for up to a decade, and a continuing monitoring of Saturn from the orbiting vantage point of Cassini spacecraft should reveal further details of the dynamic event,” the scientists concluded.center_img © 2016 (—The NASA/ESA Cassini spacecraft has made plenty of groundbreaking discoveries, outstandingly improving our knowledge of Saturn and its moons, including our understanding of violent processes in the atmosphere of our solar system’s second-largest planet. Now, a new research paper published July 26 on, which details the dynamics and evolution of Saturn’s great storm of 2010-2011, marks another important study based on the data provided by Cassini’s scientific instruments. Journal information: Icarus 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

An atom interferometer that works without super cold temperaturesAn atom interferometer that works without super cold temperatures

first_img More information: G. W. Biedermann et al. Atom Interferometry in a Warm Vapor, Physical Review Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.163601 . On Arxiv: demonstrate matter-wave interference in a warm vapor of rubidium atoms. Established approaches to light-pulse atom interferometry rely on laser cooling to concentrate a large ensemble of atoms into a velocity class resonant with the atom optical light pulse. In our experiment, we show that clear interference signals may be obtained without laser cooling. This effect relies on the Doppler selectivity of the atom interferometer resonance. This interferometer may be configured to measure accelerations, and we demonstrate that multiple interferometers may be operated simultaneously by addressing multiple velocity classes. © 2017 (—A team of researchers at Sandia Labs in the U.S. has developed a type of atom interferometer that does not require super-cooled temperatures. In their paper published the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes the approach they used to overcome the main hurdles to warm interferometry and the ways in which their new device can be used. Carlos Garrido Alzar with Sorbonne Université offers a commentary piece on the work done by team in the same journal issue and offers a descriptive analogy of the device they created. Citation: An atom interferometer that works without super cold temperatures (2017, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Vapor interferometer concept–not to scale. Credit: arXiv:1610.02451 [physics.atom-ph] There are two kinds of interferometers—optical and atom. Both are precise measuring devices that operate by measuring interference fringes that are produced when a beam is cut in half and both halves are allowed to proceed for a short distance before being recombined—thus recording the information generated due to interference, such as from gravity. To date, atom interferometers have required very cold temperatures to operate—the cold slows the range of velocities of a collection of atoms to increase the signal that occurs at the machines’ output. It also helps to keep the atoms under study close to one another, which improves precision. Atom interferometers do their measuring by using laser beams to split the beam under study. In this new effort, the researchers have come up with a new kind of atom interferometer that works without the need for very cold temperatures.As the researchers note, the development of the new interferometer required overcoming two main obstacles—the first was to greatly reduce spin flipping due to collisions with the chamber walls. The team got around this by developing a special coating for the chamber that dramatically reduces such flipping. The second problem involved developing a way to align the weak laser that detects interference fringes and the strong laser used as the interferometer. They solved this problem by using two counter-propagating probe beams to measure signal differences. The result was an atom interferometer that was not as sensitive as those that require extreme cold, but one that can acquire data faster, can be ported more easily, and is able to measure a wider range of accelerations.Garrido Alzar describes the difference between the cold and warm approach as the difference between a device that operates much like as laser versus one that works using light from a regular white light bulb. Journal information: Physical Review Letters , arXiv 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. Image: Commercially available atom interferometerlast_img read more

Giving fashion a young turnGiving fashion a young turn

first_imgFashion Design Council of India’s (FDCI) quest for picking out new talents shows no signs to ebb. This time, the fashion body tied up with Cotton Council International for a contest to pick out young designers. They got together in the Capital recently to announce the names of five young designers who will progress to the final round of ‘Let’s Design Contest’. Vimal Abinash, Sanya Mukesh Jain, Gurman Singh Chawla, Padmaraj Keshri and Harjosh Singh Gioraya will progress to final round from Delhi regional eliminations. Their works have been selected from over 2,00 entries. They will join seven more young talents from Kolkata and Mumbai.On the judging panel were young designers Samant Chauhan and Nitin Bal Chauhan who judged the entries and selected the regional winners who all had to craft their designs using cotton. The 12 candidates from around India will be invited to Delhi, where they will face a series of design challenges. The winners will receive Rs 1 million and the chance to present their collection at the Fashion Week.last_img read more

Sense and sensualitySense and sensuality

first_imgA sultry evening in Delhi was proof. Shiro at Samrat Hotel opened its doors for intellectuals, book lovers and friends as the black and red interiors played host to Sreemoye Piu Kundu’s book Sita’s Curse (Hachette, Rs 350) launch in the Capital. Apsara Reddy, actor Adil Hussain and  Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal (of the Vagina Monologues fame) along with Kundu opened the evening with discussions about sex, sexuality and desire before they read parts of the novel and engaged in some very riveting conversations with the packed house. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sita’s Curse tells the story of Meera who, after the death of her twin brother and a rather unhappy marriage, manages to find desire her way. What ties you down to the novel is the vivid imagery and the stunning words Kundu uses to express Meera’s wants. Wants and needs are a world apart and in the domain of desire, the former rules supreme. Kundu revealed that she crafted Meera along the lines of this beautiful, sensuous woman she used to see in a chawl in Mumbai, everyday, on her way to office. Mumbai floods hit and Kundu never saw Meera again, but Meera’s sad melancholic eyes plagued her and eventually came Sita’s Curse. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe panelists discussed at length that in India, desire and women were divorced concepts and how more often than not, a woman loses her sexuality once she is married. A married woman ends up prioritising her husband, in-laws, kids and her house over herself and somewhere a beautiful woman just vanishes into nothing. Sita’s Curse is a rescue from that. Kundu, without a doubt, is the first of the gutsy breed of writers I spoke of in the beginning. Her language of desire started with Faraway Music and has gained a more sensual font in Sita’s Curse. Published by Hachette this book is now in its second print run and roaring ahead. The country does not have much erotic English literature to talk of and most books, if they exist and written in rather distasteful prose – we could well call Sita’s Curse a first for many other reasons including the genre it carves out for itself. The enthusiastic audience agreed whole heartedly with the discussions about women setting their minds on the path to find desire and accept that all of them deserve to be desired. A Meera in all of us. Pick up the book, you won’t regret it.last_img read more

Ponting backs Pietersens bullying claimsPonting backs Pietersens bullying claims

first_imgPietersen, in one of several controversial claims in his recently-published autobiography, accused England’s senior bowlers and wicketkeeper Matt Prior of aggressively demanding apologies from team-mates not in their clique for any mistakes they made while fielding.Retired off-spinner Graeme Swann, one of the bowlers singled out by Pietersen, said Wednesday there was ‘absolutely no bullying’ but Ponting, Australia’s captain from 2004-11 supported the claims of England’s all-time leading run-scorer. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for Jadeja‘We saw them doing it, (James) Anderson was always the same, and Swann,’ Ponting told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.‘The pointing of fingers and you’d hear a few expletives if there was a misfield or a dropped catch. ‘The guys who were doing it were the so-called leaders. That’s where the captain has got to come in, not wait and let little things turn into big things. That’s what it sounds like has happened in this England team.’Ponting was not involved in the two most recent Test series between the arch-rivals — England’s 2013 success and Australia’s 2013/14 5-0 whitewash triumph on home spoil after which Pietersen was effectively sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).last_img read more