Monthly Archive: August 2019

Aqua Star USA creates a two man underwater scooter

first_img Citation: Aqua Star USA creates a two man underwater scooter (2011, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Have you ever had a Jacques Cousteau fantasy? A yearning to live your own version of 20,000 leagues under the sea? Or maybe, you just want to see the great barrier reef on something other than the Discovery Channel? Either way, unless you are an experienced swimmer with a solid set of diving skills, your dreams are out of reach. Right? More information: The AS-2 Scooter is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can last up to 2.5 hours. For more details on pricing and availability interested parties will need to contact Aqua Star USA. Explore further The AS-2 Scooter can seat two people at a time, which is an improvement over the previous model. It features an improved helmet which allows the user to have a 99% distortion free view of the ocean. This model is also both lighter and faster than its predecessor, which allows users to go farther in the same span of time, and between the air supply and the battery time is a factor.The helmets give the user up to 70 minutes of oxygen, taken from scuba tanks. Driving the AS-2 is a lot like driving an on land scooter. The only noticeable difference is the dual engines, which allows for both vertical and horizontal movement at the same time. The AS-2 is able to travel at speeds of up to 3.1mph, with a maximum depth of up to 12 meters. So, maybe you won’t be recreating 20,000 leagues under the sea, at least not yet.center_img High-tech hydrogen scooter designed to sell clean technology © 2010 Not anymore.Aqua Star USA has created a mini submarine like device, that can take you down into the depths without having to have friends at the local naval academy. The device, called the AS-2 Scooter, is basically an underwater scooter. The scooter, which is designed with boaters, diving enthusiasts, turnkey leisure operators and dive operators in mind, is the successor to the AS-1. 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

Chemists claim to have solved riddle of how life began on Earth

first_img New computational approaches speed up the exploration of the universe 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 Journal information: Nature Chemistry Scientists have debated for years the various possibilities that could have led to life evolving on Earth, and the arguments have only grown more heated in recent years as many have suggested that it did not happen here it all, instead, it was brought to us from comets or some other celestial body. Most of the recent debate has found scientists in one of three chicken-or-the-egg first camps: RNA world advocates, metabolism-first supporters and those who believe that cell membranes must have developed first. The chemists with this new effort believe they have found a way to show that all three arguments are both right and wrong—they believe they have found a way to show that everything necessary for life to evolve could have done so from just hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide and ultraviolet light and that those building blocks could have all existed at the same time—in their paper, they report that using just those three basic ingredients they were able to produce more than 50 nucleic acids—precursors to DNA and RNA molecules. They note that early meteorites carried with them ingredients that would react with nitrogen already in the atmosphere, producing a lot of hydrogen cyanide. By dissolving in water, it could have very easily come into contact with hydrogen sulfide, while being exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. And that, they claim, would have been all that was needed to get things going.The findings by the team are sure to garner a great deal of interest in the scientific community and others will no doubt be testing and commenting on their findings. If what they claim passes muster, their work will likely be remembered as one of the great achievements of our time. © 2015 Phys.orgcenter_img More information: Common origins of RNA, protein and lipid precursors in a cyanosulfidic protometabolism, Nature Chemistry (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2202AbstractA minimal cell can be thought of as comprising informational, compartment-forming and metabolic subsystems. To imagine the abiotic assembly of such an overall system, however, places great demands on hypothetical prebiotic chemistry. The perceived differences and incompatibilities between these subsystems have led to the widely held assumption that one or other subsystem must have preceded the others. Here we experimentally investigate the validity of this assumption by examining the assembly of various biomolecular building blocks from prebiotically plausible intermediates and one-carbon feedstock molecules. We show that precursors of ribonucleotides, amino acids and lipids can all be derived by the reductive homologation of ​hydrogen cyanide and some of its derivatives, and thus that all the cellular subsystems could have arisen simultaneously through common chemistry. The key reaction steps are driven by ultraviolet light, use ​hydrogen sulfide as the reductant and can be accelerated by Cu(I)–Cu(II) photoredox cycling. Citation: Chemists claim to have solved riddle of how life began on Earth (2015, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Chemistry in a post-meteoritic-impact scenario. A series of post-impact environmental events are shown along with the chemistry (boxed) proposed to occur as a consequence of these events. a, Dissolution of atmospherically produced hydrogen cyanide results in the conversion of vivianite (the anoxic corrosion product of the meteoritic inclusion schreibersite) into mixed ferrocyanide salts and phosphate salts, with counter cations being provided through neutralization and ion-exchange reactions with bedrock and other meteoritic oxides and salts. b, Partial evaporation results in the deposition of the least-soluble salts over a wide area, and further evaporation deposits the most-soluble salts in smaller, lower-lying areas. c, After complete evaporation, impact or geothermal heating results in thermal metamorphosis of the evaporite layer, and the generation of feedstock precursor salts (in bold). d, Rainfall on higher ground (left) leads to rivulets or streams that flow downhill, sequentially leaching feedstocks from the thermally metamorphosed evaporite layer. Solar irradiation drives photoredox chemistry in the streams. Convergent synthesis can result when streams with different reaction histories merge (right), as illustrated here for the potential synthesis of arabinose aminooxazoline at the confluence of two streams that contained glycolaldehyde, and leached different feedstocks before merging. Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2015) doi:10.1038/nchem.2202 (—A team of chemists working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, at Cambridge in the UK believes they have solved the mystery of how it was possible for life to begin on Earth over four billion years ago. In their paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, the team describes how they were able to map reactions that produced two and three-carbon sugars, amino acids, ribonucleotides and glycerol—the material necessary for metabolism and for creating the building blocks of proteins and ribonucleic acid molecules and also for allowing for the creation of lipids that form cell membranes.last_img read more

Researchers find a way to convert waste heat to electricity at nanoscale

first_img © 2015 Citation: Researchers find a way to convert waste heat to electricity at nano-scale (2015, April 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from As microelectronics have grown smaller, the problem of waste heat has grown bigger—not only does excess heat create problems for system components, it also represents wasted energy. If that heat could be converted to electricity and used to help run devices, it would allow them to run longer while using less battery power. In this new effort, the team working in Germany reports on experiments they conducted using quantum dots—and idea proposed four years ago by a team working at the University of Geneva—they envisioned using quantum dots to construct a three terminal device that would allow an electrical charge generated from a heat difference to pass from one terminal to another without allowing the heat to transfer as well. In their lab, they built a rectifier (a device that converts AC current to DC) based on two types of quantum dots, one made of gallium arsenide, the other aluminum gallium arsenide. One of the dots was affixed to an electric circuit, which provided alternating current in the form of voltage fluctuations—the other dot served as the receiver allowing direct current to flow out.It should be noted that the researchers have not actually converted waste heat to electricity, instead they have used voltage fluctuations from a voltage source to mimic the process, which they claim, proves the original idea could work. They were forced to take this route because the technology does not yet exist to measure the differences between the two dots accurately. The next step will be to modify the device to convert the waste heat directly to electricity and then to figure out a way to measure the results. The team appears confident their approach will work and predict such devices will soon make their way into actual products. Explore further A quantum dot energy harvester: Turning waste heat into electricity on the nanoscale Journal information: Physical Review Letterscenter_img (a) Schematic operating principle. Top: Designation of system components. Center: Asymmetric configuration with charge current flow to the right. Bottom: Asymmetric configuration with charge current flow to the left. For details see main text. (b) Electron microscopy image of the sample. The top, current carrying part of the system is shaded in blue, the bottom part, where the voltage fluctuations are supplied, in red. The respective QDs QDt and QDb are highlighted in dark blue and dark red. (c) Equivalent circuit with corresponding capacitances. The current through the upper part is measured via a picoamperemeter. The two upper side gates and their voltages Vgl and Vgr control the conductances of the left and right channel, whereas Vgb influences both channels almost equally and shifts the QD’s energy levels. Vnoise can be added to Vgb and provides the fluctuations which the device is able to rectify. Credit: Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 146805 – Published 10 April 2015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.146805 More information: Voltage Fluctuation to Current Converter with Coulomb-Coupled Quantum Dots, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 146805 – Published 10 April 2015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.146805ABSTRACTWe study the rectification of voltage fluctuations in a system consisting of two Coulomb-coupled quantum dots. The first quantum dot is connected to a reservoir where voltage fluctuations are supplied and the second one is attached to two separate leads via asymmetric and energy-dependent transport barriers. We observe a rectified output current through the second quantum dot depending quadratically on the noise amplitude supplied to the other Coulomb-coupled quantum dot. The current magnitude and direction can be switched by external gates, and maximum output currents are found in the nA region. The rectification delivers output powers in the pW region. Future devices derived from our sample may be applied for energy harvesting on the nanoscale beneficial for autonomous and energy-efficient electronic applications. 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. (—A team of researchers working at Germany’s University of Würzburg has shown that a theory developed to describe a way to convert waste heat in microelectronics to electricity can work in the real world. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they used quantum dots to create a three terminal device capable of generating electricity by harvesting waste heat.last_img read more

Scientists readying to create first image of a black hole

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. Explore further More information: Sagittarius A*. This image was taken with NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Credit: Public domain Astronomers poised to capture image of supermassive black hole © 2017 Citation: Scientists readying to create first image of a black hole (2017, February 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A team of researchers from around the world is getting ready to create what might be the first image of a black hole. The project is the result of collaboration between teams manning radio receivers around the world and a team at MIT that will assemble the data from the other teams and hopefully create an image. The project has been ongoing for approximately 20 years as project members have sought to piece together what has now become known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Each of the 12 participating radio receiving teams will use equipment that has been installed for the project to record data received at a frequency of 230GHz during April 5 through the 14th. The data will be recorded onto hard drives which will all be sent to MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts, where a team will stitch the data together using a technique called very long baseline array interferometry—in effect, creating the illusion of a single radio telescope as large as the Earth. The black hole they will all focus on is the one believed to be at the center of the Milky Way galaxy—Sagittarius A*.A black hole cannot be photographed, of course, light cannot reflect or escape from it, thus, there would be none to capture. What the team is hoping to capture is the light that surrounds the black hole at its event horizon, just before it disappears.Sagittarius A* is approximately 26,000 light-years from Earth and is believed to have a mass approximately four million times greater than the sun—it is also believed that its event horizon is approximately 12.4 million miles across. Despite its huge size, it would still be smaller than a pin prick against our night sky, hence the need for the array of radio telescopes.The researchers believe the image that will be created will be based on a ring around a black blob, but because of the Doppler effect, it should look to us like a crescent. Processing at Haystack is expected to take many months, which means we should not expect to see an image released to the press until sometime in 2018.last_img read more

European eel found to spawn across 2000 km wide region of the

first_imgEuropean eel. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 Explore further Journal information: Biology Letters A team of researchers with members from Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Germany has found evidence showing that European eel spawn across a 2000 km wide region of the North Atlantic Ocean. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group describes their study of recently hatched eel larvae in the North Atlantic Ocean, and what they found. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: European eel found to spawn across 2000 km wide region of the North Atlantic Ocean (2019, April 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Michael J. Miller et al. Spawning by the European eel across 2000 km of the Sargasso Sea, Biology Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0835 Study shows European eel migration not as uniform and simple as thought Almost a hundred years ago, scientists discovered that European eels have a unique lifestyle—one that includes spawning in the Sargasso Sea, which is approximately 5000 to 7000 kilometers from where they live as juveniles and adults in European and North African rivers. But the extent of their spawning has never been pinned down. The researchers note also that the number of European eels has been dropping dramatically since the 1970s, and nobody knows why. The current population is believed to be approximately 5 percent of what it once was. In this new effort, the researchers used multiple ships to survey large parts of the North Atlantic Ocean from approximately 70°W to 50°W—to learn more about the spawning habits of the endangered eel.The Sargasso Sea is actually an area entirely within the North Atlantic Ocean, just off the east coast of the United States—it is the only sea in the world that has no land boundaries. It became singled out as voyagers discovered it was bounded by four ocean currents that form a gyre. It was named for the Sargassum seaweed that grows in abundance there. Prior research has shown the area to be mostly free of geographical formations—its bottom is mostly flat. The area is known for its marine plants and for its deep blue hue.The researchers report that their survey efforts showed recently hatched eel larvae floating across a 2000 km-wide region of the North Atlantic Ocean—not just the Sargasso Sea. They noted also that prior researchers working as far back as 1921 had found the larvae in similar parts of the ocean. The researchers suggest that despite severe reductions in population, the European eel still spawns as far and wide as it ever did. They suggest also that their findings may contribute to a plan for preventing the eels from disappearing altogether. 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

Putting Yourself in Their Shoes May Make You Less Open to Their

first_imgAt the beginning of the experiment, the two groups of participants reported similar initial attitudes toward universal health care. However, those who engaged in the perspective taking exercise reported less receptiveness and showed less attitude change compared with the control group. As the researchers hypothesized, personal values helped to explain this effect – participants who engaged in perspective taking reported that their worldview and morals were less aligned with their partner’s compared with those in the control group. “As political polarization in America has increased, there has been a lot of discussion about how to bring people with opposing views to the table, in order to have more productive dialogues,” says lead researcher Rhia Catapano of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. “Our findings show that self-persuasion can be an effective way to move people from entrenched views, but that perspective taking can actually undermine its effectiveness.” Althoughpolicymakers and pundits often refer to perspective taking when they talk aboutaddressing polarization, the scientific evidence for its effectiveness as aself-persuasion strategy is mixed. On the one hand, people might generate morepersuasive arguments or relate more to alternative viewpoints after takingsomeone else’s perspective. On the other hand, it’s possible that trying to seethings from the other side could make people more entrenched in their views,especially when they view alternative perspectives in a competitive light. Andthe researchers replicated these findings with another online sample of 998participants recruited from Amazon MTurk. Catapanoand colleagues hypothesized that taking the perspective of someone with anopposing opinion may backfire when that person is seen as having very differentvalues. Together,the findings shed light on the self-persuasion strategies that are most likelyto help bridge ideological divides. Intriguingly, simply generating argumentsfor the other side – the control condition in each experiment – actually seemedto increase participants’ receptiveness. For their first online experiment, the researchers recruited participants from Reddit with the aim of reaching a large sample of people interested in political issues. The 484 participants completed a survey, in which they reported demographic information and rated their support for universal health care (from 0, strongly against, to 100, strongly support). Trying to take someone else’s perspective may make you less open to their opposing views, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Coauthors on theresearch include Zakary L. Tormala of the Stanford University Graduate Schoolof Business and Derek D. Rucker of the Kellogg School of Management atNorthwestern University. center_img Halfof the participants were instructed to reflect on their partner’s intentionsand interests and visualize his life and experiences. And all of theparticipants generated an argument that their partner might give in support ofhis attitude toward universal health care. “Having people think of arguments for the opposing view but without engaging in perspective taking, was quite effective in opening people up to the opposing view,” says Catapano. “We found that encouraging.” Findingsfrom a second online experiment suggest that perspective taking enhancesparticipants’ openness to an alternative viewpoint when their values arecongruent with those of their partner. Butwhat if people felt as though they were taking the perspective of someone whoholds similar values despite having a different opinion? Theexperiments reported in this article were preregistered via the Open ScienceFramework and the stimuli, analysis code, and anonymized data for theexperiments are available online (Experiment 1; Experiment 1 replication; Experiment 2). Thisarticle has received the badges for Open Data, Open Materials, andPreregistration. “Whenpeople try to take the perspective of those on the other side, they’re actuallyquite good at it. They write arguments that people on that side might actuallycome up with, rather than dismissing the task or writing poor arguments onpurpose,” Catapano explains. “The problem is that the arguments appeal to thevalues of the person whose perspective they’re taking, rather than their ownvalues.” The participants then received information about the person they would supposedly be interacting with in the next task: a 22-year-old White male from Ohio. Importantly, the partner’s political ideology and attitude toward universal health care were always opposite those of each participant.last_img read more

Go citrus

first_imgBright coloured citrus fruits like orange, lemon and lime can make your skin glow.Bollywood beauty and makeup expert Puja Taluja reveals how these Vitamin C rich fruits, known for their antioxidant properties, work well for your skin.Lime juice: Take a lime, squeeze it and add it to a glass of warm water with honey in it. Take a spoon and mix the contents well. Drink it every morning before breakfast. Lemon: Get glowing skin by simply rubbing a peeled lemon on your skin. But, don’t do it for long and be gentle while doing so. It shouldn’t be done longer than three minutes. Then wash it off with water. Orange: After eating the fruit, do not throw the skin. It can be used on your face. Dry the peels and grind them. Use the powder with water on your skin. This works as a natural scrub.last_img read more

Hear it out

first_imgThe BBCSSO who have been majorly involved in cultural exchange and student interactions will be touring the country and the city for the first time ever. The orchestra is formed of 65 members who shall be holding a two-hour concert in which violinist Nicola Benedetti and composer James MacMillan will also be joining. Music education expert Paul Rissman will also mark his presence in two special concerts and workshops for students on 1 April.BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is on a three-city tour in March and April with concerts, educational workshops and exchange between students of India and Scotland. The visit is the centrepiece of the orchestra’s activities leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.Gavin Reid, director, BBC SSO said, ‘We are thrilled to be celebrating the Commonwealth Games with such an exciting and ambitious programme of events celebrating and sharing the wonderful musical culture of both Scotland and India.’last_img read more

Delhi court takes cognizance of complaint against Gaur

first_imgA court here on Thursday took cognizance of a complaint against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Bhavna Gaur for allegedly misrepresenting facts about her educational qualifications in her election affidavits.Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma took cognisance of a complaint filed by lawyer Samarendra Nath Verma through his counsel PS Singh against the legislator from Palam Assembly constituency.The petitioner alleged that Gaur has furnished different information about her educational qualifications in her two election affidavits filed during the Delhi Assembly elections in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, she claimed to be Class 12 pass but in the 2015 affidavit, she mentioned herself as a Delhi University graduate and holding a Bachelor of Education degree from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, the petitioner claimed.last_img read more

Why hide contracts with FB YouTube from us HC asks Centre

first_imgDelhi High Court on Wednesday asked the government why it was “hiding” the contracts it has with social media sites like Facebook and Google and not submitted them despite orders issued five months ago.“Why are you not filing them (contract)? Why are you hiding them from us? Why aren’t you placing it? What is the hesitation? Why aren’t you doing it? It’s been five months since our May 7, 2015 direction,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsOn May 7, the Centre had sought time to place before the court the “exact nature of the contracts which have been entered into by the Government/Government Departments with the social media sites on the internet”.Thereafter on July 30, the government had again sought more time. Today, the bench asked,”What do the contracts say? Because we have a lot to say on that.” In response to the court’s query, the government counsel said the Centre has “standard contracts” with the sites and they are “not tailor-made”. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’To this, the bench remarked, “that is exactly what he (petitioner) wants to say”. The court’s direction and observations came while hearing a PIL filed by former BJP leader K N Govindacharya who has raised questions on the usage of social media by government departments.The court, however, directed the Centre to ensure that the contracts it has pertaining to Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp be filed before the next date of hearing on October 28, so that the matter can be decided finally. Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for Govindacharya, told the court during the hearing that the “central government has become the biggest marketing agent for social media sites”.Gupta also contended that as per contracts the government has with these companies, it is “transferring/surrendering” all intellectual property rights of the data being uploaded on these sites. The high court on July 30 had asked the Centre to “come out” with details of contracts it has with social media sites to ascertain whether these websites have licences to the intellectual property rights of the contents uploaded.Earlier, the court had observed it appeared that when anything was uploaded on social media sites, the websites got a licence to the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the content without paying any royalty and had asked the Centre whether it was aware of this.last_img read more

BJP trying to buy tribal votes CM

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday afternoon accused the BJP of misguiding the tribal and scheduled caste communities in the state and trying to buy their votes by distributing cash amongst them before the elections.”They come and pay Rs 1,000 to the voters just to win elections. But nobody saw them in Jangalmahal when the area was reeling under trouble because of the Maoists,” she said while addressing a public meeting in Jhargram on the occasion of “Adivasi Dibas” (World Tribal Day) and 76th year of the Quit India movement. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Chief Minister announced setting up of a university in the district and maintained that once it comes up, the local students will not have to go elsewhere for higher studies. The proposed university is coming up on 27.04-acre land on Jhargram-Lodhasuli Road. She said two more schools with Olchiki as the medium of instruction will soon come up in Jhargram. Four more similar schools will come up — two each in Bankura and Purulia. Two hundred Olchiki teachers will be appointed to coach the students. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBanerjee also cautioned the students against the rumour-mongers who try to create trouble by dividing societies. “They always try to divide society. They divide people on the basis of caste and religion. In Purulia, they let loose the Mahatos against the tribals and the vice versa in Jhargram.”She further added: “In the last seven years, we have not let anybody disrupt peace in this region. People could not go out of their homes earlier apprehending attack by the Maoists. We have not allowed the Maoists to enter this place. A few people are bringing in Maoists from neighbouring Jharkhand to create a bloodbath in Jhargram. They (BJP) want the poor to face problems. They do not want them to get rice at Rs 2 a kg, free education, job and healthcare… If you (people) have faith in me, I will ask you not to trust anybody else other than us (TMC). Till I am alive, I will never let anybody to act against the interests of the people. You are my family. I love the Adivasis (tribals).”She also maintained that only the government run by Ma, Mati, Manus can give peace and development in Jangalmahal.Hitting out at the saffron party, she said: “I do not create any division among people. I do not create division among the Hindus and Muslims, nor among the other communities. It’s the ruling BJP at the Centre which does that. We are not with them (the BJP).”She also asked the MLAs and MPs to go to the people and sit with the administration to sort out problems. Banerjee urged the students who are involved with Police Community Development programmes to go to different areas to ensure that the people get the benefits of various schemes taken up by the state government.She also maintained: “Massive development has happened here in the past seven years. The students are getting scholarships, super-specialty hospitals have come up, people are getting rice at Rs 2 a kilogram. I head the Tribal Welfare department and more development work will be carried out in the future.”Banerjee felicitated the students who did well in the public examinations. She also inaugurated several bus routes connecting both the local areas and Jhargram with the neighbouring districts. Around 55,000 bicycles under Sabuj Sathi project will also be distributed among the students.last_img read more

Men are too busy to see doctors

first_imgAccording to the results of a new survey, the top excuse men make is that they are too busy.The survey was conducted online within the US by Harris Poll on behalf of Orlando Health -a healthcare services in Central Florida, this year among 2,042 adults aged 18 and older. “Men can spend 34 hours golfing or watching a ball game every week, or find the time to take a trip to Vegas with their buddies, but they can’t spare 90 minutes a year to get a check up? That’s inexcusable,” said Jamin Brahmbhatt, men’s health activist and co-director of the PUR (Personalized Urology & Robotics) Clinic in Clermont, Florida.last_img

Shanties gutted as fire breaks out

first_imgKolkata: A fire near Santoshpur station under Budge Budge police station gutted several shanties on Saturday night. No casualty has been reported in the incident.As many as six fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the flames. The incident led to disruption of train services in the Sealdah-Budge Budge section on late Saturday night. Some passengers who were using the local trains to reach home had to face inconvenience due to the incident. Various local trains remained stranded at different stations. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe incident triggered panic among locals. The people living in the shanties were evacuated. Some locals took part in the rescue operation to ensure none is trapped inside. An eyewitness told police the fire broke out at around 10 pm. As the area is situated close to the railway station, the railway authorities decided to stop running trains. Some residents spotted smoke billowing out the shanties and reported the matter to the police and fire brigade. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAfter being informed police reached the spot and cordoned off the entire area. The fire officials reached the spot and started the process of dousing the flames. They spotted the source of the fire. The situation was brought under control within an hour. Train services also resumed after over an hour. According to the preliminary investigation, the fire officials and police suspect the fire might have been caused from the cooking gas. A detailed probe has been initiated. The exact cause of the fire and the extent of the damage are yet to be ascertained. The shanties were, however, badly damaged in the fire. The fire officials and police collected samples from the spot to determine the cause of the fire.last_img read more

KMC conducts special drives to prevent dengue amidst rain in city

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is carrying out special drives against dengue in view of the ongoing rainfall in Kolkata.Drives are being conducted to clear up accumulated garbage as it might serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes. Senior civic officials said the waterlogging that had taken place in different parts of the city due to heavy downpour in the past few days, did not serve as potential breeding grounds as the accumulated water was cleared within a few hours. It may be mentioned here that mosquito larvae take 7 to 10 days to become adult mosquitoes. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThey said water accumulated in garbage, discarded plastic cups, used tyres and wreckage of vehicles serve as potential breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. Senior civic officials urged the residents to ensure that the overhead tanks and underground reservoirs remain properly covered and plastic cups are not strewn around. “We carry out awareness campaigns urging cooperation of the residents. The majority of them are found to be cooperating with KMC, but there are persons who do not cover the underground reservoirs and overhead tanks properly. To combat dengue, cooperation is required from people coming from all walks of life,” the officials said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on dengue control that “cleanliness drive is an integral part of any dengue prevention programme.” The civic authorities are going to launch a drive at ward 69 in South Kolkata on Friday. The ward falls under the Ballygunge Assembly constituency. Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh will be present during the drive. The KMC teams will visit institutional buildings, residential houses and housing complexes. Meanwhile, the KMC teams visited houses and other establishments in ward 79 on Wednesday. It will conduct anti-dengue drives in three phases. The first phase, which started in January, will continue till June. The second phase will start in July and continue till October. In November and December, the follow-up phase will be carried out.last_img read more

Indias synonymy with tea

first_imgIndia has been dancing to the beat of “Cha-Cha-Cha” with every cup of tea consumed and every soul comforted by the taste of brewed magic, be it regular or masala. History suggests tea-drinking commenced around 750 BC, but the origin of tea in India, in terms of commercialisation, goes back to the pre-Independence years, when the British initiated tea cultivation and consumption in the country to challenge the Chinese monopoly in the tea industry. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhat began as a business goal soon became a household habit, with almost everyone orchestrating their days to the tune of their tea-cups. After Assam and Darjeeling proved to be successful spots for cultivation, mountainous areas like Kumaon, Dehradun and the Nilgiris were inspired to also do so. The impactful response made India initiate trade and exports to other countries, hence spreading the magic of Indian tea across the globe. The import-export business began to put India on the map for being synonymous with tea and if one has to gauge its resonance, even today, the first beverage that foreigners drink when they come to our country isn’t their regular beer or whisky, it is tea. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThat itself speaks a lot about the synonymy of India with chai. Early advertising of tea positioned it as an accompaniment for snacks, be it for the family or for guests. In an attempt to bridge a consumer need and turn it into a profitable venture, tea stalls started popping up around offices for those who couldn’t go home to have their daily dose of chai. High-tea sessions gained momentum, wherein people would gather at each other’s homes and socialise with cups of tea and biscuits or cakes. In fact, it still a tradition in a lot of Indian societies. A basic cup of tea has undergone major changes across the years. From regular and masala, to elaichi, ginger, lemon and more – one thing has, however, remained the same: People like to play around and get innovative with their steaming cups of invigorating chai. Today, tea consumption is at its highest with newer variants being introduced for the health-conscious generation. Green Tea, Herbal Tea and Chamomile Tea are three of the most consumed beverages by Indians because of the magic that they do for one’s immune system. Right from weight control to being rich in antioxidants, the benefits are endless, which makes tea extremely appealing to the current mindset of consumers. It is quite interesting to note how trends dictate the evolution of any industry, for that matter. Looking at the current course of the tea industry, with innovation being the key criteria, there are quite a few interesting trends to look out for in 2019: 4Veggie Tea Mixes: Given the rise of vegetarianism and veganism across the globe, a lot of people want their teas to have vegetables in the composition, some of which include onions, tomatoes, potatoes and more. 4Power Teas: Although several teas provide energy naturally, power teas combining vitamins and herbs is a new trend to look out for, considering the “quick-fix” patterns of people due to the fast pace of life. 4Probiotic Teas: Probiotic teas are those which go through microbial fermentation, which is said to work wonders for one’s immune system as well as improve digestion and help with weight management. 4Natural Colors and Hues: With advent of ‘Instagram-worthy’ pictures, natural colors will play an important part in terms of tea representation for consumers. On International Tea Day, it’s interesting to note how tea has changed over the years, with further innovations to come.last_img read more

The Eight Wives of Tsar Ivan the Terrible None of Whom Met

first_imgTsar Ivan the Terrible, a man who greatly increased Russia’s power and prestige, was known for being vindictive, cruel, and paranoid.  He was the first Russian monarch who adopted Tsar of All Russia as his title. He came on the throne at the age of 16, in 1547, and his nearly four-decades-long reign was marked by efforts to expand the territories of Russia. Though there were losses, due to the lost Livonian War (1558-1583) and the inception of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569) — which cut Russia’s connection to the Baltic Sea — Ivan’s Russia extended south of Moscow towards the Caspian Sea, and on the east to the vastness of Serbia.Ivan’s family life was, however, filled with more losses than gains. He became a father eight times, but his fatherhood did not go well. Many of his children he lost as infants, and one of them was even killed by his own hand — an episode depicted in a famous painting by Ilya Repin: Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan.Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan, painting by Ilya Repin, 1885.Things were sometimes tense and unpleasant also with the spouses. Poisoning, drowning, being sent to a nunnery, or exiled — these were some of the things prescribed to happen had you been one of Ivan the Terrible’s eight Tsarinas.Of the eight women Ivan married, only the first three were recognized his legitimate wives by the church, only the first wife did he truly love, and at least two of the seven “replacements” might be a fabricated story.Anastasia Romanova on the Monument “Millennium of Russia” in Veliky Novgorod. Photo by Дар Ветер, CC BY-SA 3.0Ivan’s first wife was Anastasia Romanovna, with whom he entered a union shortly after being crowned. They remained together until Anastasia’s death 13 years later, in the summer of 1560. By this point, the Tsar and Tsarina had six children, of whom four died at a very young age.Word has it that Ivan chose Anastasia Romanovna out of 1,500 potential brides who were brought to him by nobles from all corners of Russia. His flighty and volatile nature was soothed and calmed in the presence of Tsarina Anastasia. Her death evoked some of Ivan’s first blasts of paranoia.He threw blame at the Russian boyars, suggesting that they poisoned his wife. He supposedly assumed the nobles were trying to poison him, but his wife became the accidental victim.Historical Mixed Media Figure of Anastasia Romanova produced by artist/historian George S. Stuart and photographed by Peter d’Aprix. Peter d’Aprix CC BY-SA 3.0Ivan’s dislike of the Boyars eventually grew to boiling point after the death of the tsarina, and he ordered the torture and executions of a number of people. Acts like this are how he earned the nickname Terrible.Modern research has suggested that Anastasia could indeed have been a victim of mercury poisoning. Traces of the element was found in high concentration in the tsarina’s hair.Forensic facial reconstruction of Ivan IV by Mikhail Gerasimov. Photo by Shakko – CC BY-SA 3.0It is uncertain if Ivan truly loved the wives that followed. His second wife was Maria Temryukovna, the daughter of a Muslim prince. Russian lore tells us that on her deathbed, Anastasia told Ivan to not wed a pagan, which Maria Temryukovna would have been considered. However, the tsar was lured by Maria’s extraordinary beauty.Tsarina Maria did not bring much joy to the Russian royal home. She was disliked and was not respected because of her character. She failed to be a good stepmother to Ivan’s two surviving sons, and never truly fitted into the royal household. During their eight years of marriage, Maria bore Ivan one son who died just a few months after birth.Maria Temryukovna’s seal ring.Temryukovna’s death in 1569 is again a suspected case of poisoning. Some say Ivan conducted the wrongdoing himself. However, as if this was the reprised epilogue of his first marriage, the tsar again used a long list of people to torture and execute, only now for the death of his second wife.8 Words you will NEVER hear the Royal Family sayNext followed a two-year-long quest to find Ivan’s third wife — which would be the last marriage to be blessed by the church. The quest led to 19-year-old Marfa Vasilevna Sobakina, a girl raised in a merchant family. But her time as tsarina was rather shorter than the quest to find her. A few days after the wedding, Marfa Vasilevna Sobakina, fell sick. Ivan entered a new cycle of paranoia. Some assume she was poisoned by a fertility potion.Marfa Sobakina, forensic facial reconstruction by S. A. Nikitin. Photo by Sergey Nikitin CC BY-SA 3.0Within a year, the suffering Russian tsar proceeded to marry his fourth spouse, in 1572. Her name was Anna Alexeievna Koltovskaya. As it turned out, Ivan’s fourth tsarina was infertile and so she was sent to a nunnery. Now the path was clear for Ivan’s fifth wife: Anna Vasilchikova.Details are scarce about Vasilchikova, but knowing Ivan, there must have been some sort of issue since this wife too was consigned to a monastery. The marriage ended in 1576.Tsarina Anna Koltovskaya (nun Daria)’s grave.While Ivan’s former spouse Anna Alexeievna Koltovskaya reached longevity in the nunnery — one of only two of Ivan the Terrible’s wives to outlive him — Anna Vasilchikova faced death shortly after was escorted out of the royal home. There is speculation she was killed under the orders of Ivan.And then comes Vasilisa Melentyeva, the sixth and legendary wife of Ivan the Terrible. Melentyeva might be an invented story dating from the 19th century. The tale goes that his sixth wife arrived as a widow to the royal home in 1579. She became the new companion of Ivan, but she also found a love interest in another man, Prince Devletev.Tsar Ivan IV admires his sixth wife Vasilisa Melentyeva, painting by Grigory Sedov, 1875.Ivan found out that his wife was cheating on him, and had her sent to…the nunnery, of course. But before that, she allegedly witnessed the painful execution that was ordered on her lover. Some versions of the story say Vasilisa Melentyeva might have actually been one of Ivan’s concubines.Vasilisa Melentyeva, portrait by Nikolai Nevrev in 1886.Maria Dolgorukaya is the name of Ivan’s seventh wife, but she also might be fictional. Ivan allegedly married Dolgorukaya, a far-flung descendant of Yuri Dolgorukiy, the prince credited with founding the city of Moscow, in 1580. She was caught in an act of infidelity and punished with drowning.And somehow, Ivan’s last wife, Maria Nagaya survived. The tsar died in 1584, three years into their union which resulted with the birth of their son, Dmitry. After the tsar’s death, Maria Nagaya was banished from the palace. Her son Dmitry was assassinated in 1591.Ivan IV’s death by K.Makovsky (1888The former tsarina was sent to a monastery after that. She would die 24 years after the death of Tsar Ivan, in 1608. Just enough time for her to get involved in another royal drama: She recognized at least one of the four “Fake Dmitry’s” who tried to claim the throne as an impostor.Read another story from us: A Russian museum patron’s vodka-fueled attack of a painting highlights the controversy over Ivan the Terrible’s role in his son’s demiseFinally, there is at least one woman who wisely spared herself from the troubles guaranteed for anyone becoming the wife of Ivan the Terrible. It is said that the Russian tsar proposed to Queen Elizabeth I, but the famous tenant of the English throne declined. We can only imagine the course of history had such a union taken place.last_img read more

Winning organizations make bold moves the Niners hiring John Lynch is just

first_imgThe 49’ers shocked the football world yesterday when they announced the hiring of Fox Sports NFL analyst John Lynch as their new GM. Colin loves John Lynch personally, but the move by San Francisco certainly qualifies as shocking.There’s a difference between bold and bizarre. Traditionally successful teams like New England, or Golden State in the NBA, make bold moves, poorly run franchises like the Niners, Browns and Bills make bizarre ones. San Francisco hiring John Lynch as their general manger definitely qualifies as bizarre.“There is a big gap between bold and bizarre. Giving a guy a 6-year GM contract who has never been a general manager. I think this goes beyond bold. I think it’s bizarre.”Colin isn’t a fan of teams that use catchy marketing slogans during unexpected Super Bowl runs. NFL teams with catchy nicknames may make it to the big game, but rarely win it. Last year, the Panthers rode the slogan “Keep Pounding” all the way to the Super Bowl, where they got pounded by the Broncos.Today, however, he took some time to speculate what a Patriots t-shirt – or hooded sweatshirt – slogan might look like if they did have one. The extremely boring slogans include “Do Your Job”, “First In the Building”, and “Know Your Role.” Awful.  Leave the slogans to the one-and-done teams, the Patriots only use one: “Super Bowl Champions.”Recent rumors speculate that the Broncos may be interested in acquiring Tony Romo if he’s released, and becomes a free agent. Colin thinks that given their relationship, Jerry Jones will be inclined to grant Romo’s release, but he doesn’t think Denver is the best fit. He thinks the Cardinals are a better landing spot, and reports out of Arizona say Carson Palmer is contemplating retirement. Wherever he ends up, the Tony Romo sweepstakes is going to be the sexiest story of the NFL offseason.“I maintain that Arizona, to me, feels like the best fit for Tony Romo. A lot of people like Denver, I don’t.”Guests:Sam Farmer – Senior NFL Reporter for the L.A. Times is on set to explain why Goodell handing the trophy to Tom Brady will be anti-climactic; Goodell’s current standing among NFL owners; his reaction to the hiring of John Lynch as the Niners GM; and which Super Bowl team was his favorite to cover.Greg Jennings – Former Pro Bowl wide receiver and FS1 NFL Analyst is on set to discuss his Super Bowl experience; how the Super Bowl is different from any other game; how he handled his free time before the Super Bowl; and what advice Packers head coach Mike McCarthy gave him that helped calm his nerves.Lance Zierlein – NFL Draft Analyst at is in set to discuss how he evaluates quarterbacks; his draft scouting reports on Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers; why North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky has similar arm talent to Aaron Rodgers; and his scouting report on Deshaun Watson.Cris Carter – FS1 NFL Analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer explains why he wouldn’t trade being in the HOF for a Super Bowl ring; his take on the John Lynch hiring in San Francisco; why he couldn’t be a GM right now; and why he doesn’t think a minority candidate with Lynch’s lack of experience would ever be hired to the same position.last_img read more

How to Build a Mobile App for Your Business

first_img Register Now » This story appears in the October 2011 issue of . Subscribe » October 13, 2011 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read Mobile applications are no longer an option for small businesses–they’re a necessity. Digital research firm comScore reports that nearly 40 percent of American mobile subscribers accessed downloaded apps in June. And, according to a consumer survey conducted earlier this year by MTV Networks, 91 percent of respondents said apps expose them to new things; 77 percent compared apps to personal assistants; and 83 percent of daily mobile app users reported believing they’re “addicted” to apps.Related: The Best Mobile Apps for BusinessThe fundamental appeal of branded, business-centric mobile applications is clear: Whatever your company does online can also be done on smartphones, which adds portability, location targeting and other cutting-edge technological enhancements to the mix. The potential of mobile apps extends far beyond marketing. Sure, companies can leverage applications to promote their products and services, reaching on-the-go consumers looking for compelling places to shop or grab lunch. But mobile apps can also support online purchase transactions, customer loyalty programs, turn-by-turn directions and social media interactions.Even so, more than three years after Apple first opened its App Store and two years after Google responded with its Android Market, the majority of branded apps available for download promote large, Fortune 500 businesses–not the local restaurants and retailers who stand to benefit most. Chalk that up to cost considerations: Contract app development projects alone can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000, exceeding the budget of the average startup entrepreneur. And that doesn’t even take into account ongoing maintenance and software upgrades.”If you can type in an e-mail address, you can create a mobile app.”– Michael Schneider,Mobile RoadieEnter Mobile Roadie. The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based firm offers an automated turnkey platform that gives its clients the ability to build and manage their own customizable iPhone and Android apps in a matter of minutes. Just upload the desired content and information, and Mobile Roadie handles the rest, including the app store submission process. Best of all, Mobile Roadie pricing begins at $499 for initial setup and $29 per month for ongoing support.Related: Why Mobile-Friendly Websites Are Critical to Your Strategy”If you can type in an e-mail address, you can create a mobile app,” says Mobile Roadie CEO Michael Schneider. “Every brand and business has its superfans–the people who are most loyal to that brand, and who go out of their way to promote it. Mobile apps enable them to promote your brand, share your content on Facebook and Twitter and be a more loyal patron and consumer.”All fledgling businesses should factor mobile apps into their plans from the outset. Creating an app using the Mobile Roadie platform is the easy part. Knowing what you want the app to do–and which consumer segments you wish to reach–can pose a bigger challenge.Here are five lessons all smartphone savants must learn:1. Know what message you want to send. “Before you start working on your app, make sure you know what you’re selling, what you’re about and the look and feel you want, like your logo colors and font,” Schneider says. “You also need to know what content you want to put in. You can integrate your app with your blog or your YouTube channel, but that only works if you have existing content.”2. Understand your audience. “Mobile applications are where people are going to interact with their favorite brands, but you have to know what your customers are interested in,” Schneider says. “Apps allow for new kinds of user experiences and a different community feel than the web, which results in real engagement and commerce opportunities. Fans and users spend more money in apps compared to websites, and they come back more. But you have to drive loyalty, whether that’s by pushing messages or having visual content.”3. Clarify what you want your app to achieve. “Whether or not an app is successful depends on the goal,” Schneider says. “Is it the total number of downloads, or how often people are coming back? How responsive are customers when offers are pushed out? How viral is your content? Or is it how many people are opting in and giving you their e-mail address?”4. Forget about BlackBerry, Win-dows Phone and Palm. As of June, Android controlled 40.1 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, and Apple’s iOS captured 26.6 percent market share. Both are growing each month. Their rivals are fading fast. “iPhone and Android are all that matters. Everything else is irrelevant,” Schneider says. “Entrepreneurs don’t have to think it’s one or the other. With Mobile Roadie, you can do the work once and launch your app on iPhone and Android. It’s not cost-prohibitive, so there’s no reason not to do both.”5. Fasten your seat belt. “Small businesses can really take advantage of the perception that apps are only for large companies,” Schneider says. “Home Depot has an app, but people don’t expect Joe’s Hardware to have an app. It’s an impressive thing for any business to have, like a website was 20 years ago. It sets your company apart, and it puts you on the same playing field as the big boys.” Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

As Wearables Get Hot These 6 Industries Are Poised to Capitalize

first_imgOctober 21, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Just as smartphones have forever altered our daily lives, the revolutionizing impact of connected gadgets made for us to don on our bods will ripple well beyond our wrists, waists and faces, according to a report out today from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).The gist of the 50-page The Wearable Future report: Wearables will be “the next big thing,” with some 130 million wearable devices expected to ship by 2018 — and the wearables industry on the whole forecast to gross nearly $6 billion, also by 2018. This, of course, offers a “competitive opportunity” that companies should have a game plan for by now.“Businesses must evolve their existing mobile-first strategy to now include the wearable revolution and deliver perceived value to the consumer in an experiential manner,” says Deborah Bothun, PwC’s U.S. entertainment, media and communications leader.Related: Microsoft Finally Makes a Move in the Smartwatch SectorIf your business is in one of the following six industries PwC says is best poised to take advantage of the wearables trend, it’s time to up your game:1. Entertainment Companies that fall in this broad category are likely in the best position to benefit from the burgeoning wearables movement, PwC reports. “Basically, where there’s a screen, there’s an opportunity,” the report posits.Of PwC’s 1,000 survey participants — which included consumers, wearable technology influencers and business executives — 73 percent expect wearable technology to make media and entertainment experiences “more immersive and fun.” They’re not looking to wearables “to create new genres of communication and entertainment–but rather to improve those already in existence,” according to the report.Related: Can the Apple Watch Win the Wrist?Of those polled, millennials were the most open to trying branded wearables offered by media and entertainment companies. No surprise there.2. Social mediaPwC found that consumers want even more on-the-go access to their favorite social networks via wearables. This is especially true of always-on millennials, who were three times as likely as the general population, PwC says, to name real-time social-media updates as a key benefit of wearables.3. GamingNinety-seven percent of American children ages 12 to 17 play an average of at least one hour of video games per day — games that wearables could render more visually and physically engaging. Of the consumers ages 18 to 24 that PwC polled, 64 percent say they would be “motivated by” wearable-integrated gaming.Related: Welcome to the Weird World of Mixed-Reality GamingIn other words, the future of gaming will not be televised. It will be worn. Think literally on-your-face, 3-D virtual reality gaming via Oculus Rift and you’re there.4. AdvertisingMore wearable screens equal more places for marketers to — you guessed it — advertise. After all, wearables are portable “blank canvases for highly targeted message placements, especially in the form of content with greater relevancy and context to the user.”Advertisers are already pouncing on wearables, devising new, clever ways to deliver personalized marketing messages directly to people who don Google Glass, smartwatches, virtual reality headsets and you name it. If you can wear it and stare at it, the advertisers will come.Related: Apparently You Can Become Addicted to Google Glass5. HealthcareA fast-growing crop of wearables already help health-conscious people monitor everything from calories consumed and burned to steps taken to sleep and more. Now, forward-thinking companies in the $2.8 trillion U.S. health-care industry are exploring ways to drive engagement and, yes, derive profits from the data all those wearables in the wild capture. It was just a matter of time.PwC highlights Walgreens as emerging leader in this new, yet already hotly competitive space. The company is funnelling wearable-sourced data from more than one million customers (using Fitbit, iHealth and Jawbone trackers) in exchange for points that can be used like cash in its stores and on its website. The big idea: Make healthy choices, give us your data and we’ll give you rewards. So far, it’s working.Related: 5 Ways Tech Is Forever Changing Fitness FranchisesExpect a slew of additional health- and wellness-focused companies to follow suit. In the years ahead, PwC sees many offering a variety of wearable-related incentive programs, and consumers being largely receptive to them.6. RetailWearables will soon play a central role in our everyday retail experiences. Unfortunately they’ll likely also be as haunted by privacy and data breach threats and concerns as all other things digital these days.Related: Seeing the Future of Wearables in the WorkplaceIn PwC’s research, millennials expressed more interest in wearable-enhanced retail interactions than others surveyed. Busy parents want in, too, with 76 percent saying they’d like to use wearable tech for more “pleasant, efficient” shopping experiences — from pre-store and in-store product and deal research and comparison, all the way to the checkout.While still only in its nascent stages, the wearables market is expected to explode. Many say wearables will forever change the way we live, work and do business. To remain competitive, your company might have to adopt a competitive wearables-integrated edge. Are you ready?Related: Why the Gap Between Fashion and Tech Still Exists Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img 5 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Apples Legal Standoff With the FBI Makes Privacy Fanaticism a Marketing Tool

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global February 25, 2016 6 min read Tim Cook’s new marketing strategy is to make Apple to privacy rights what the NRA is to gun rights.The NRA’s decades of advocacy protected the Second Amendment right of Syed Rizwan Farook to legitimately purchase the arsenal he and his wife used to kill 14 and wound 22 in San Bernardino. Apple’s new job is keeping the people investigating the case and looking for hints of future attacks from reading what’s in Farook’s sacrosanct iPhone 5C.Cook’s absolutism on the right to iPhone privacy means he and Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, face similar messaging challenges. LaPierre must rationalize the legal sale of military grade weaponry and munitions to everyone, including the occasional terrorist and person hearing voices. Cook now must explain why protecting Apple customers from getting their credit card accounts hacked requires smartphones give absolute anonymity to conspirators, even when they are dead, and the legal owner of the phone, Farook’s employer, has given permission for its search.The two CEOs meet the challenge adroitly with wildly inflamed language about rights and the slippery slope to losing those rights. In the NRA worldview, owning as many guns and as much ammunition as your credit limit affords is protected by the Second Amendment. Anything less is a fatal compromise of our Constitutional rights with dire consequences for all our freedom.Related: Why Apple Is Going to War Over the FBI’s ‘Backdoor’ OrderIn the Apple worldview, if law enforcement can persuade a judge there is probable cause for a search warrant for the contents of an iPhone possessed by somebody like Farook, the ability to open the phone is the “software equivalent of cancer.’’ Apple sees helping the cops with a search warrant for a criminal suspect’s iPhone as the moral equivalent of assisting with waterboarding. It only requires three, maybe four deep breathes to realize it is the moral equivalent of a landlord giving detectives the key to the suspect’s apartment.Maybe Cook went to Burning Man and didn’t drink enough water because his corporate-self aggrandizement is delusional. To understand what is going on here, the single most useful reading anybody can do is the federal court order requiring Apple to assist the FBI with a search warrant for Farook’s iPhone.The order is exquisitely granular in only mandating Apple help investigators get inside Farook’s phone, as Apple did in previous criminal investigations involving earlier versions of iPhones. Apple argues, in essence, that since that ability no longer exists, whatever it reinvented to accomplish that could become universally available and then nobody is safe.Meanwhile, Apple encourages you to put all your data on iCloud where it is sort of like a child playing unsupervised in the park. Probably safe, but you never know.Related: Bill Gates Says Apple Should Cooperate With the FBIApple’s hyperbolic Message to Our Customers came within one word of the truth when it stated, “They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.’’ In the first place, cops with a warrant don’t need a backdoor — they are authorized to break down the front door — but in any case Apple would have landed much closer to the truth if they’d written “They have asked us to build a backdoor to this iPhone.’’The message to Apple customers bizarrely warns “Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk.’’Let’s ponder that for a second. The two people the FBI is investigating aren’t hackers — they are terrorists who opened fire with AR-15s on cowering innocents. Now Apple contends they must thwart the search warrant for Farook’s iPhone because, in the long run, that avoids putting our personal safety to risk?Much of the coverage of Apple’s legal position paints Cook as a brave defender of civil liberties, which reveals much about the cocoon of the Silicon Valley C-suite and the wildly distorted measures of what qualifies as a threat and what stands as heroism to people who live their lives inside their smartphones.Cook is no hero, and not just because of his insufferable self-righteousness and consummate solipsism. The judge who issued the order to Apple helpfully allowed that “to the extent Apple believes that compliance with this Order would be unreasonably burdensome, it may make application to this Court for relief within five business days.’’A federal judge allowed Apple to file an appeal, and it did. Cook is not particularly brave in the sense of risking anything. He is just an executive with a genius for marketing and branding who is shrewdly using his unlimited budget for lawyers to excite the true believers. By contrast, Edward Snowden lives in exile and faces prison in his homeland for exposing real government excesses in the aftermath of 9/11.Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, CEOs of Facebook and Twitter respectively, have been directly threatened by ISIS over blocked accounts terrorists used to recruit to potential suicide bombers in much the same way child molesters hunt emotionally vulnerable kids. Apple and Cook are likelier to have ISIS name an oasis in the caliphate after them.Related: Entrepreneur Readers Chime in on Apple’s Refusal to Unlock Shooter’s iPhoneApple has vowed to take their case as far in the courts as they can, including the Supreme Court, which might have nine sitting judges. Maybe not. There have been no vows about Cook going to jail defying any court orders when Apple loses and is ordered to give, or build, the key investigators need to serve a legitimate search warrant.The NRA has succeeded in securing a constitutionally protected weapons market where terrorists and homicidal maniacs can shop indistinguishable from sane citizens. Neither the courts nor the Congress is going to allow Apple or anybody else to manufacture the smartphone equivalent of an assault rifle where our enemies can invisibly conspire against civilization. The only praise Tim Cook and Apple deserve is for starting the legal fight that will make that clear.center_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more