first_img © 2012 Distributed Credential Protection: Trying to beat the hackers and protect our passwords (—In what has become an annual tradition, SplashData, a company that makes productivity applications for smartphones, has released a list of passwords it claims are the most commonly used to access online applications. The list is compiled by the company using passwords that hackers have posted on various web sites to illustrate the ease with which online accounts can be cracked. SplashData refers to the top 25 passwords as the “worst passwords of the year.” Explore further The top three haven’t changed from last year: “password,” “123456” and “12345678.” SplashData indicates that many people fear forgetting their password more than they fear hackers breaching their account. Others, perhaps responding to reports of multiple recent website hacking incidents, have resorted to trying easy-to-remember (but still easy-to-hack) passwords such as “Jesus,” “mustang,” “welcome” and “ninja.” In response to the posting by SplashData, several computer security companies have posted tips to users aimed at encouraging protection of accounts with stronger passwords. Most companies persist with the tried-and-true standard of suggesting users choose passwords that mix numbers and letters, are at least eight characters long, and include punctuation characters. Experts also suggest users choose different passwords for different sites to prevent hackers from accessing all of their accounts if they happen to gain access to their single-use password. A third option is for users to choose difficult-to-remember passwords and then use a password manager application (such as SplashID Safe made by SplashData), which tracks all passwords and then enters them automatically when users log into to registered sites.SplashData encourages people—especially those who use the same password for access to online entertainment sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and those sites that hold important bank and credit card information—to take the task of choosing a password more seriously. The company also suggests that people who are currently using one of the “listed” passwords change it immediately, or risk having their account compromised. Citation: SplashData’s annual list shows people still using easy-to-guess passwords (2012, October 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_img More information: Natural gas: The fracking fallacy, Nature 516, 28–30 (04 December 2014) … king-fallacy-1.16430 Journal information: Nature Just half a decade ago geological experts with the government and in private industry were bemoaning the sad state of U.S. energy production. Gas prices were high causing the government to invest funds in renewable resources, but then, suddenly, hydraulic fracturing, now known the world over as fracking took off, offering industry and consumers a seemingly unending energy source. President Obama boasted that fracking would provide the U.S. and other countries with natural gas for a hundred years. That boast was slightly tempered when the EIA suggested that peak production would likely last up till 2040, and then taper off after that. Now, the Texas team is suggesting that even that estimate is too optimistic—they suggest the peak will likely come in 2020, and after that production will fall off dramatically.The estimates differ, Inman says, because of differing approaches used to arrive at estimates. The Texas team used finer resolution he says, which offers a more realistic view of where we stand. As an example, he notes that the EIA made estimates based on county wide production in a given area, whereas the Texas team divided areas into one square mile units. Basing estimates on counties, he says, isn’t fine enough because county size varies so much, with some as large as a thousand square kilometers. He and his team believe that the EIA also erred by overlooking human nature in the equation. Mining companies tend to look for the sweet spots, which is where production will be highest, he notes—once the sweet spots are depleted, production drops dramatically because there is less gas to be found, which means adding more costs to retrieve it.Inman also claims that several other smaller university based studies have found the EIA’s estimates to be overly optimistic as well. He notes that it’s critical that true estimates be made, as the future U.S. economy is being based on investments in natural gas—not getting it right could very well spell disaster. 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. Citation: New study suggests US fracking boom may not last as long as predicted (2014, December 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A team of researchers with the University of Texas has conducted an analysis of the fracking business in the United States and has found that the estimates made by other groups, most specifically the Energy Information Administration (EIA) regarding the amount of natural gas that can be extracted, is much too high. In a Nature News Feature, team lead Mason Inman suggests that the boom may last just half as long as predicted. Credit: EIA/Univ. Texas/Goldman Sachs/Wood Mackenzie/Navigant, via Nature, doi:10.1038/516028a Water use for fracking oil resembles use for conventional production © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_img Explore further (—A pair of researchers with the Paris School of Economics in France has conducted an analysis of competitive exam results that are used as a basis for hiring teachers in that country and has found that there exists a bias toward grading women higher in traditionally male-dominated fields. In their paper published in the journal Science, Thomas Breda and Mélina Hillion describe their study and results, and suggest that policies that target female students at an early age be modified to reflect the reality that young women face when considering a career in one of the sciences. New study explores gender bias in academic hiring There has been a lot of discussion in the education and employment fields over the past few years regarding the disproportionate number of males in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) positions in many countries around the world. Some have suggested that the imbalance is a problem that needs to be addressed because it limits opportunities for women. Some have also suggested that the imbalance occurs because of male based biases in hiring practices. In this new effort, the research pair sought to discover whether this holds true for educational institutions.In France, those seeking teaching positions from grade school through college must take competitive exams—the exams have two parts, written and oral. The researchers obtained exam results from 10,000 applicants covering 11 different fields—some STEM, and some not STEM. For the study, the written parts of exams were graded with names hidden to prevent gender identification. Gender identification with oral grading was, of course, identifiable by graders. The implication was that the proportional numbers of people of a given gender passing the exams would be an accurate measure of the proportion of people of a given gender that would land a job as a teacher in their chosen field.Analyzing their data, the researchers were surprised to find that the gender bias that existed was actually in favor of the female students taking tests in STEM fields—they ranked it in the 10th percentile, which suggests women would have a leg up in being hired in their chosen fields. Interestingly, they also found a small gender bias for males taking exams in traditionally female-dominated fields.The researchers conclude by suggesting that their results indicate that policies aimed at encouraging young women to enter STEM fields should focus on the girls who are still too young to have made any career plans. © 2016 Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Study of accreditation exams reveals biases actually favor women in STEM positions (2016, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Science This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_img As Butts notes, there are many examples of people harboring beliefs that fly in the face of logic—people believing that humans sprang into existence just 10,000 years ago, for example, or groups of people adamantly insisting that inoculating infants causes autism despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Such beliefs, the researchers say, can be based on other beliefs that prevent the acceptance of that which may seem obvious. Believing that we humans, for example, are too insignificant compared to the rest of the world to be able to cause something as impressive as global warming would make it very difficult to accept the idea regardless of the evidence. To make sense of such belief systems by groups of people, the researchers have extended prior work that led to the development of the Friedkin-Johnson model used to illustrate how individual people use information under complex circumstances to make decisions that can result in the formation of beliefs.The new model adds interpersonal influences where acceptance of one idea influences the acceptance of another—the result is a weighted network that allows for highlighting interdependent beliefs. Butts suggests that the new model and others that may follow could be used to identify the factors that prevent groups from accepting what others see as common knowledge and then to use that information as a means to allow them to see what is actually true. Citation: Model helps explore how changing certainty in belief of one statement can lead to changings belief in truth of others (2016, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Science A small team of researchers with members from the U.S., the Netherlands, Russia and Italy has developed a new model that illuminates how changing the degree of certainty a person holds for a given belief can lead to changes in beliefs about other things that a person believes to be true. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team outlines their model and offers some possible ways it might be used. Carter Butts with the University of California offers a Perspective piece on the model developed by the team and suggests that it could be used to model attitudes as well as beliefs in empirical propositions. Credit: Francisco Farias Jr/public domain 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.center_img Explore further Believing in free will makes you feel more like your true self More information: “Why I know but don’t believe,” Science 21 Oct 2016: Vol. 354, Issue 6310, pp. 286-287. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaj1817 N. E. Friedkin et al. Network science on belief system dynamics under logic constraints, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2624 © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_img © 2018 Journal information: Nature Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further More information: Shan Li et al. Modulating plant growth–metabolism coordination for sustainable agriculture, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0415-5AbstractEnhancing global food security by increasing the productivity of green revolution varieties of cereals risks increasing the collateral environmental damage produced by inorganic nitrogen fertilizers. Improvements in the efficiency of nitrogen use of crops are therefore essential; however, they require an in-depth understanding of the co-regulatory mechanisms that integrate growth, nitrogen assimilation and carbon fixation. Here we show that the balanced opposing activities and physical interactions of the rice GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR 4 (GRF4) transcription factor and the growth inhibitor DELLA confer homeostatic co-regulation of growth and the metabolism of carbon and nitrogen. GRF4 promotes and integrates nitrogen assimilation, carbon fixation and growth, whereas DELLA inhibits these processes. As a consequence, the accumulation of DELLA that is characteristic of green revolution varieties confers not only yield-enhancing dwarfism, but also reduces the efficiency of nitrogen use. However, the nitrogen-use efficiency of green revolution varieties and grain yield are increased by tipping the GRF4–DELLA balance towards increased GRF4 abundance. Modulation of plant growth and metabolic co-regulation thus enables novel breeding strategies for future sustainable food security and a new green revolution. The green revolution was characterized by big increases in crop production in developing countries—it came about due to the increased use of pesticides, fertilizers and changes in crop varieties used. One of the changes to the crops came about as rice and wheat plants were bred to grow less tall to prevent damage from wind and rain. While this resulted in improved yields, it also resulted in the use of more nitrogen-based fertilizers, which are environmentally harmful. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if it might be possible to re-engineer green-revolution crop varieties in such a way as to restrict height and therefore retain high productivity, while also using nitrogen more efficiently.Prior research had shown that proteins in the DELLA family reduced plant growth. Crop breeding in the 1960s led to varieties of rice and wheat with genetic mutations that allowed the proteins to build up in the plants, thus stunting their growth. Unfortunately, DELLA proteins have also been found to be the cause of inefficient nitrogen use in the same plants—as a result, farmers used more of it to increase yields. To overcome this problem, the researchers crossbred varieties of rice to learn more, and found that the transcription factor OsGRF4 was associated with nitrogen uptake. Using that information, they engineered some varieties of rice to express OsGRF4 at higher levels, which, when tested, showed higher uptake of nitrogen. The team then planted the varieties they had engineered and found that they required less nitrogen to produce the same yields—and they were just as stunted. They therefore claim that it is possible to grow green-revolution crops that require less nitrogen.center_img A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences in China and the University of Oxford in the U.K. has found a way to grow green revolution crops using less nitrogen with no reduction in yield. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their research efforts and the results they found when planting newly developed plant varieties. Fanmiao Wang and Makoto Matsuoka with Nagoya University offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Matchmaking for sweet potato? It’s complicated Citation: A way to get green revolution crops to be productive without needing so much nitrogen (2018, August 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_imgTrivedi will be performing at the Closeup First Move Party in New Delhi on August 19 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.“I love performing live because when you are doing it, you see the crowd in front of you, singing the song with you in tandem. When the whole crowd goes crazy behind what you’re doing, that feeling is unmatchable. “It’s a very euphoric moment. It is one of the most amazing moment for any artist on this planet,” Trivedi told a media person. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Trivedi, who is known to churn out hit dance numbers like London Thumakda, Gal Mitthi Mitthi Bol, Emotional Attyachar as well as soft songs like Iktara, Sawaar Loo and Manjha, said his performance will include all the favourite songs.“It’s all about having fun, so I will be performing the numbers which people have loved. The songs which are both, my favourites as well as audience’s favourite.“It will be a good mix as it is a party to get away from all your inhibitions and go out there and have a blast,” he said.Trivedi is next composing for Shahid Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer Shaandaar.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Saturday held a meeting with various stakeholders to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the Durga Puja. Top officials from various power production and distribution agencies like Coal India, CESC, IPCL and DVC attended the meeting.”All of them have assured us that there would be no interruption of power supply during the festive days. It is projected that the demand would go up to 8,850 megawatt (MW) on the day of Shashthi which will probably be the highest. The demand will be on the higher side from the day of Tritiya till Ekadashi. All necessary steps will be taken for smooth power distribution,” Chattopadhyay assured. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe further said that assuming that the requirement may go up further by 700 MW, the department is keeping a reserve of it to meet the demand.It has been decided that out of 8,850 MW, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) will supply 6660 MW, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) will provide 1,860 MW, India Power Corporation Limited (IPCL) 70 MW and Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL) will ensure 260 MW.Officials from Coal India and the Railways who attended the meeting also assured of coal supply for the power units.Referring to queries about power cuts in certain areas of the state, the minister said maintenance work is going on in different parts of the state resulting in short spell power cuts in certain areas. He also assured that the problem will soon be sorted out.last_img read more

first_imgAmong most famous epics in Indian mythology, Mahabharat has always caught people’s attention like no other.The mythological story revolves around brothers who fight with each other for the throne, fame, and ideological values; the epic addresses innumerable philosophical battles a human being fights, often with themselves, as they try to understand their purpose in life. Perhaps, this is why when the Mahabharat came on television in India for the first time, people couldn’t help but keep watching it. Puneet Issar, who played Duryodhan, the oldest Kaurava in the 1988 television series, has now written and directed a play about the epic tale from Duryodhan and Karna’s perspective. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile the story is generally told from the Pandavas perspective, who are perceived as the protagonists of the tale, Issar this time has decided to dwell on the moral and philosophical experience of Duryodhan and Karna as they waged their war against the Pandavas. Issar said, “History is always written by the victor. But they (Kauravas) were vanquished and they too have their side of the story.” The actor/director said that his play is about understanding the psychology of the character. “Duryodhan was not the villain in the story. He was the anti-hero for sure, but if you look at Mahabharat as a classical tragedy, Duryodhan was the protagonist from his perspective.” Adding that the beauty of Mahabharat lies in the fact that the story always played around with grey areas, Issar said, “Maybe he (Duryodhan) was more black than white, rather dark grey; but he too had shades of positive light.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe play focuses on softer moments of the eldest Kaurava brother, such as his love for his parents; his devotion towards Karna as a friend, which broke an important barrier of inter-caste friendship in that era. “I always felt all the unknown aspects of his life – the human side of Duryodhana, like his immortal bond of friendship with Karan should be portrayed and shown to the audience,” Issar said. Interestingly, Issar has directed his son Siddhant as a 16-year-old Duryodhan, showcasing the legendary warrior in the early stages of his life; while he, himself will be stepping into the shoes of a mature, older Duryodhan, once again, this time on stage. “It was very challenging. People have very high expectations from the character. Stepping into my shoes is not easy. But the way Siddhant has prepared and worked on the character is incredible. He is outstanding as young Duryodhan – what I did 30 years ago. He has surpassed me by miles,” Issar said. He added that Siddhant, through his scenes, tries to depict inner psychology of Duryodhan – the thought process, emotions, vices, views and situations that transformed him into the ‘super-villain’ that he was. However, Issar remains mindful of not glorifying some of the horrible things that Duryodhan so easily condones. He said that the play does not even try to justify these things. “We will address the good and the bad. We are just trying to bring out their perspective,” he said. The play, which will stage at the Kamani Auditorium in the Capital on July 27 and 28, is being promoted by India’s leading entertainment destination BookMyShow.last_img read more

first_imgWhen you’re looking for a real-life model for Jesus Christ, you’d be hard pushed to think of a less appropriate stand-in for the Prince of Peace than Cesare Borgia. One of the most notorious members of Renaissance Italy’s most notorious dynasties, the cruel Cesare was thought to be the inspiration for Niccolo Machiavelli’s satirical handbook for would-be tyrants, The Prince.Jesus in artThanks to his father – who became Pope Alexander VI in 1471 – Cesare was made a bishop at the age of 15 and a cardinal at the age of 18. At this point in history the Pope directly ruled over a kingdom that dominated central Italy from its capital of Rome.Cesare BorgiaThough a rising star in the church, Cesare fancied himself a military man. There was one problem though, his father had chosen that career for his older brother, Giovanni. Pope Alexander had appointed his pride and joy Captain General of the Church — the supreme commander of the Papal States’ armed forces.Sacred Heart JesusCoincidentally, in 1497, Captain General Giovanni Borgia was found floating lifelessly in the River Tiber. Cesare left the church, inheriting his brother’s role, titles and wealth, plus the title Duke of Valentinois as a gift from the Pope’s staunch ally King Louis XII of France.Giovanni BorgiaThe family weren’t exactly short of enemies in Italy, but some suspect Cesare was behind his brother’s end, perhaps even drawing the blade himself. Further Borgia family drama comes from the fact that both Cesare and Giovanni shared a mistress — Sancha of Aragon, the wife of a third brother, Gioffre Borgia. A notorious womanizer, Cesare fathered 11 known illegitimate children.Profile portrait of Cesare Borgia in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, c. 1500–10As papal warlord, Cesare rampaged across the neighboring Italian states, while at home anyone who stood in his way, including family and friends, was done away with. When his army rebelled against him, Cesare played peacemaker. He agreed to an amnesty and then in bad faith ordered all the ringleaders to be “taken care of”.A Glass of Wine with Caesar Borgia (1893) by John Collier. From left: Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, and a young man holding an empty glass.This very strange idea that one of the modern images of Jesus is based on Cesare originally comes from a claim made by the renowned novelist Alexandre Dumas and picked up and expanded upon by biblical theorists. The argument goes that Jesus was originally depicted as appearing non-European because he was Jewish, which did not sit well with the Borgia pope at the time. So in order to create a more “European-looking” Jesus Pope Alexander VI commissioned new paintings of Jesus using his illegitimate son Cesare as their model.He then allegedly “ordered the destruction of all art depicting a Semitic Jesus,” thereby popularizing one of the main enduring images of Jesus we have today. So the theory goes.It’s certainly true that images of Cesare Borgia from the period are uncannily similar to the images of Christ painted around the same time. Cesare even gazes serenely off canvas in his most famous depiction.His friendship with Leonardo da Vinci may have also helped popularize a particular depiction of Jesus that echoed Cesare’s appearance. (Inevitably, given Cesare’s reputation, they were also rumoured to have been lovers).Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, c.1500.A similar theory which has long been floating around posits that Jesus, as a Jewish man, was previously depicted as a Middle Eastern figure until the outbreak of the Crusades made it politically unpalatable to have him resemble the “enemy.”One problem with this is is the timeline doesn’t make sense. The Crusades in the Middle East took place between 1096 and 1291, whereas Cesare lived between 1475 and 1507.The first headquarters of the Knights Templar, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Crusaders called it the Temple of Solomon. Photo by Andrew Shiva CC BY-SA 4.0Another problem is that it ignores the evidence. Jesus began to appear as a figure with a beard and long hair in the 5th century, and his skin tones varied across this period, largely to reflect whichever culture had created the image.Jesus cleansing a leper, medieval mosaic from the Monreale CathedralBut if you want to compare a painting of Cesare Borgia to a painting of Jesus Christ, look at the icon of Christ Pantocrator at St Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai.Like Cesare, Christ Pantocrator has long brown hair, a brown beard, and a noble face with defined features, a strong jawline and cheekbones. It looks every inch like the “generic” depiction of Jesus doesn’t it?Christ Pantocrator was painted on a wooden board in the 6th century, 800 years before Cesare was born.Read another story from us: 3 Men who Believed they were Jesus were Forced to Live Together – It Ended BadlyThe theories are interesting to study, but, as many Biblical theories and hypothesis about the true image of Christ, they are short on concrete evidence.last_img read more

first_imgHere’s a first look:What it is: BlackBerry Management Center lets you manage your business’s BlackBerry devices from anywhere using an online Web application. You can manage a number of things through the service like setting up email, contacts and calendars for each of your company phones. If a phone gets lost, you can lock it and display a message telling whoever finds the phone how it can be returned. Worst case scenario: you can use BlackBerry Management Center to wipe the data from a lost or stolen phone, including its microSD card. You can also restore the settings and content from a lost or broken phone onto a new phone.What you might like: Managing user phones from the Web application is as easy as promised, although you’re going to have to do some legwork to sync company devices with your BlackBerry Management Center account. The hard part mostly boils down to retrieving several ID numbers attached to your various BlackBerry devices as well as making sure apps like BlackBerry Protect and email are properly configured on each device. Once that’s done, using the service is pretty much a matter of navigating a few simple menus that display your options for each smartphone.Another useful feature: Employees who use their personal Blackberry devices in your business can add them to the service. In that case, users can determine how much control BlackBerry Management Center has over their device.What you might not like: The mobile work crowd is diverse. And if they’re not all using BlackBerrys, they’re not all controlled by this product. Which absolutely limits how much order the Management Center will bring to the mobile chaos in your shop.What to do: If your shop has a bring-your-own-gadget-to-work culture, Management Center is not for you. It simply does not support a broad enough array of devices to make it worth the hassle. But if your business has even a couple of BlackBerry devices in the mix, this service could provide some peace of mind.How do you keep track of your company’s smartphones? Let us know in the comments section. min read August 22, 2011 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »center_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals If smartphones are a small-business boon, they’re also a potential liability.Not only do businesses who offer them to employees have to keep track of who is using what device, they’re also loaded with information you don’t want “just anyone” to have access to. (If you’ve ever had to replace a lost or stolen company smartphone, you know what a hassle it can be.)The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone giant Research in Motion recently debuted its new BlackBerry Management Center — basically a do-it-yourself tool for managing three to 100 BlackBerry devices. It’s free, which makes it an appealing choice for companies that can’t afford expensive IT services to handle their growing arsenal of smartphones.It’s also one more reason RIM hopes businesses will continue to use its products. Google’s recent blockbuster buy-out of Motorola Mobility means these business oriented technologies are more important to the struggling smartphone maker than ever before. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more