Is the computer code featured on TV shows and films the real thing or just a made-up string of nonsense? MovieCode is a website that aims to find out.The image above is a screenshot taken from the 2001 film “Swordfish”, where John Travolta hires Hugh Jackman (one of the world’s greatest hackers) to write a computer program to steal money from the US government. Of course then, like many ‘high-tech’ plots, the film features shots of code being typed out on a simulated computer screen.This type of code in popular media got British programmer John Graham-Cumming thinking about the realism of the computer code we see in TV and film. Is it based on real-life programming languages or is it all a bunch of made up text? From that, MovieCode was born.On the site, readers submit shots of code from television/film and Graham-Cumming, or others, will deduce the programming language and what the code actually means (if anything).Even as a non-programmer, I find the experiment fun. It’s certainly got me reminiscing about some of the featured shows/films from years past…and how attention to detail is important in EVERY aspect of a film project.Check out MovieCode on Tumblr – and submit screenshots of your own favorite TV shows and films!From Iron Man’s Boot Up Sequence:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the demise of archbishop of Shillong, saying he will be remembered for his passion towards Meghalaya’s progress.Dominic Jala (68), the archbishop of Shillong, Meghalaya died in a car accident in California, US, according to news reports.“Anguished by the passing away of Most Rev Dominic Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong. He will be remembered for his impeccable service to society and passion towards Meghalaya’s progress,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Mr. Modi.
LATEST STORIES MOST READ Ravena lauds Standhardinger’s efforts in Gilas cadets’ opener win LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding PH bags 2nd Gold as triathletes Nikko Huelgas (right) and John Chicano (left finish at 1-2 at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. – marianne bermudezKUALA LUMPUR — Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano dominated the men’s triathlon here in the Southeast Asian Games Monday as the Philippines picked up its second gold of at Putrajaya Water Sports Complex here.READ: PH bets also snatch gold, silver in women’s triathlonADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Huelgas, who along with Chicano has been training around the region for the last two months, clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds to win his second straight SEA Games gold medal.READ: Favorites to win, PH triathletes reminded not to be complacentFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutChicaco checked in four minutes later to make it a 1-2 finish for the Filipinos. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games View comments SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension
Consider another use case employing proximity sensing. A vehicle detection system needs to monitor when another vehicle approaches within two meters and signal the driver on the dashboard or navigation panel. This functionality can be implement using inductive sensing. A hardware board containing a coil around the dash board can be designed around the four corners and center of the headlight areas (see Figure 2). Data from the inductive coils is collected by an inductive sensing controller such as the PSoC 4700S from Cypress. The controller would then analyze the data to determine the presence or absence of other cars in a four-meter vicinity around the vehicle.Figure 2: Using inductive sensing to determine vehicle proximity in an automotive application. (Source: Cypress Semiconductor) Capacitive sensing could also be used for vehicle proximity sensing. However, capacitive sensing is more sensitive to noise due to changes in the environment like rain and snow. Inductive sensing is rugged, environment-independent, and easy to design and develop from an engineering point of view. In addition, little tuning is required to achieve the desired closed loop for a particular application. Implementing Inductive Sensing In general, designing an inductive sensor is fairly straightforward (see Figure 3). A typical inductive sensor requires one or more inductive coils, as determined by the requirements of the application. The sensor needs to be interfaced to the controller using suitable drivers or controllers to be understood by the microcontroller. This interface can be implemented using external components. However, to reduce system design and manufacturing complexity, some inductive controllers integrate driver and converter circuitry to convert inductive sensor data into raw counts which can then be processed using suitable algorithms.Figure 3: Inductive Sensor Block Diagram (Source: Cypress Semiconductor) Figure 4 shows the design flow for a typical inductive sensing application. First, assess how sensitive the system needs to be. Sensitivity determines the coil size and its number of turns are decided. The application also impacts the shape of the coil. For example, a slider interface requires a series of squares or an elongated rectangle. The next step is to calculate the tank capacitor and the inductance based on the number of turns, spacing, width, and diameter.click for larger image Figure 4. Design flow for a typical inductive sensing application. (Source: Cypress Semiconductor) In comparison, capacitive sensing requires measurement of the theoretical capacitance with the required dielectric constant. Then, during the layout, the designer must follow take strict layout guidelines like ground shielding, making sure sensor traces have equal length for a constant Cp, and so on. For more details, Capacitive Sensing Design Guide.Once these parameters are decided, the next step is to begin the mechanical design, specifically the overlay, also known as the metal target. An overlay comprises two materials whose specifications need to be decided: the metal target and the adhesive. The metal target material determines the amount of deflection and response. We recommend using an aluminum overlay for inductive sensing application over here because of its better deflection and response. For button applications, a higher Newton force on the overlay causes deflection throughout the overlay, leading to undesirable false triggering throughout the coils. For this use case, the user should only be able to press the buttons just enough to generate feedback. Pressing the overlay harder can even deform the overlay.Once all these things are intact, the board is designed and fabricated. The advantage of using a design environment, such as PSoC Creator IDE, is that it can help developers accelerate design of a user-friendly inductive sensing tuner graphical user interface.Both capacitive and inductive sensing enable developers to build intuitive, touch-based user interfaces to make their products more intuitive and easier to use. Because of its versatility, capacitive sensing has become the technology of choice in a great many applications. However, for applications where water tolerance is required, inductive sensing provides a robust and cost-effective alternative.Ronak Desai is a system engineering manager at Cypress. He is responsible for the development of development kits and hardware design. He has 18+ years of experience in the embedded industry, including the design and development of embedded products and set-top box applications. He has worked extensively using embedded hardware and software platforms and has experience with microcontrollers, embedded applications, set-top boxes, RF, and CATV. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Design Methods Continue Reading Previous Lauterbach announces TRACE32 support of Jailhouse hypervisorNext AI experts address key questions about AI fairness Touch sensing has become the user interface of choice across a wide range of embedded systems. First implemented using resistive sensing technology, touch sensing had to overcome many challenges, including low sensitivity, false triggering, and short operating life. This created an opportunity for touch sensing using capacitive sensing.Capacitive sensing has proven to be robust in many environmental use cases. However, as with any technology, capacitive sensing comes with its own challenges. As these challenges tend to application-specific, inductive sensing technology has risen to fill in the gaps.In this article, we will be discussing capacitive sensing for embedded applications and how it can be used in various applications. We will then explore the use of inductive sensing in embedded products and why inductive sensing is preferred over capacitive sensing in some use cases. Finally, we will compare the advantages of inductive sensing over capacitive sensing in these applications.Capacitive Sensing Capacitive sensing has been used primarily in two different forms: self-capacitance and mutual-capacitance. In self-capacitance mode, the net capacitance due to a finger touch and board capacitance (including PCB traces and PCB materials like FR4, which has more capacitance compared to Flex one) is additive. Self-capacitance mode is useful in general touch application like buttons for touch-and-respond applications. In contrast, mutual capacitance is well suited for applications involving more complex sensing such as gestures, multi-touch, and sliders.Mutual capacitance sensing utilizes two different lines: TX (Transmitter) and RX (Receiver). TX sends a PWM signal with respect to GND the digital system supply, VDDD . RX detects the amount of charge received on the RX electrode.One of the drawbacks of capacitive sensing is that it cannot operate underwater. It also requires relatively strict design guidelines to be followed for error-free operation. Capacitive sensing performance is also impacted by nearby LEDs and power lines on PCBs. Implementing auto-tuning with variation in trace capacitance, variation in capacitive sensing buttons, and different slider sizes and shapes also require different designs. Implementing capacitive sensing with thicker glass material (display glass) and meeting capacitive sensor sensitivity with these types of materials are additional implementation challenges in Industrial applications.Inductive Sensing Inductive sensing enables touch technology in applications involving metal-over-touch use cases such as in automotive, industrial, and many embedded and IoT applications. Inductive sensing is based on the principle of electromagnetic coupling, between a coil and the target. When a metal target comes closer to the coil, its magnetic field is obstructed and it passes through the metal target before coupling to its origin. This phenomenon causes some energy to get transferred to the metal target in the form of an eddy current that causes a circular magnetic field. This eddy current induces a reverse magnetic field, in turn leading to a reduction in inductance. A capacitor is added in parallel to the coil to create an LC tank circuit. As the inductance drops, the frequency shifts upward, changing the amplitude throughout.With the removal of a dielectric from the sensor, compared to a capacitive sensor, inductive sensing is able to operate reliably in the presence of water. Thus, inductive sensing brings touch sensing to a wide range of applications that involve liquids such as underwater equipment, flow meters, RPM detection, medical instruments, and many others. Inductive sensing also supports biomedical applications. In general, inductive sensing enables replacement of mechanical switches and proximity sensing of metal objects. For example, in automotive applications, inductive sensing can be used to replace mechanical handles as well as detect car proximity. Some of these examples will be discussed in detail below.Currently, the primary design challenge for implementing inductive sensing is designing coils with 100% production yield where inductive trace spacing is very narrow, such as using 4 mils spacing. There is also the consideration of meeting inductive values with variations in PCB laminate materials.Use Cases for Inductive Sensing and Capacitive Sensing Capacitive sensing is undeniably useful in a great many applications. However, for certain use cases, inductive sensing offers greater reliability. Consider the use case of a Bluetooth speaker that needs to be water resistant and is intended for use in up to two feet of water for half an hour. This use case requires more than just that the product is functional underwater. It also requires that the user can adjust the speaker in these circumstances. Such operation needs to be simple, consistent, and reliable, even in the presence of water.With capacitive sensing, such operation is partially possible using mutual capacitive sensing employing complex shielding techniques. However, the device would offer a less than ideal use experience. For example, there would be inconsistent responsiveness from the touch interface and it would operate differently than it does when it is used out of water due to changes in the dielectric introduced by the presence of water.For this application, metal-over-touch using inductive sensing would provide a consistent and reliable user performance (see Figure 1). Alternatively, a mechanical button and/or dial could be used. However, a mechanical interface is costly compared to a coil printed on a PCB and connected to a few passive components. Additionally, a mechanical button can break or fail, providing a much shorter useable lifespan than an inductive button would.Figure 1: The architecture of a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker using inductive sensing. (Source: Cypress Semiconductor) Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Malmo midfielder Brorsson: We’ll give Chelsea a hard, tough matchby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMalmo FF midfielder Franz Brorsson has mixed emotions drawing Chelsea in their Europa League tie.The two teams will meet in the round of 32.Brorsson stated: “It was the toughest possible. Interesting in terms of sport. What a challenge. I would love to see an easier opponent. I immediately thought, ‘a really big team’. There are many friends who will ask about tickets.”On their chances, Brorsson added: “It’s hard to put numbers on it. We are a giant, great underdog. There is no arguing on the matter. There are probably not many who think we’ll do this, but we’re going to give Chelsea a hard, tough match.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Go back to the e-newsletter >Pan Pacific Perth will transform into a gourmet paradise over the festive season.Christmas Day Lunch and Dinner at Pan Pacific PerthDiners can indulge in a buffet lunch in Origins, Montereys or one of Pan Pacific Perth’s opulent ballrooms and savour traditional favourites including honey glazed ham, roast turkey, fresh seafood and home-made desserts. Unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks are also included. With live entertainment and Santa around to spread the joy, this will be a festive celebration to remember.Available on Friday 25 December from 12pm until 3pm. Prices are $149.00 per adult (18 years and over), $75.00 per teenager (13 to 17 years old inclusive), $49.00 per child (five to 12 years old inclusive) and children under five years old are complimentary.Christmas Dinner is a time to relax and indulge in a traditional buffet dinner in Montereys, including unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks. Diners can treat themselves with whole roast turkey with pork, chestnut and cranberry stuffing or smoked paprika and maple glazed leg of ham with cinnamon apple compote or go for something light like a salad of mulled wine figs with goats cheese, rocket, walnut and port vinaigrette. End on a sweet note with festive deserts including Christmas pudding with orange custard, fruit mince and macadamia tart with raspberry cream, eggnog cheesecake with honeycomb or Christmas cherry glaze rocky road.Available on Friday 25 December with sittings from 6pm to 8pm and 8:30pm to 10:30pm. Prices are $115.00 per adult (16 years and over) $57.50 per child (nine to 15 years) and children under eight years old are complimentary.New Years Eve at Pan Pacific PerthGuests can kick off New Year’s Eve celebrations in style with family and friends at Montereys, enjoying a mouth-watering selection of cuisine including traditional roasts, ocean fresh seafood, salads, antipasto and delicious desserts along with unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks.Available on Thursday 31 December with two sittings from 6pm to 8pm and 8:30pm to 10:30pm. Prices are $99.00 per adult (16 years and over) $40.00 per child (nine to 15 years) and children under eight years old dine complimentary.Golden BallroomFor a more formal affair, guests can celebrate the New Year amidst the lavish surrounds of the Golden Ballroom, enjoying a decadent three-course set menu crafted by Executive Chef, Paul Gaspa, along with live entertainment. Glasses will never be empty for a toast with unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks included. Available 31 December from 6pm to late. Prices are $150.00 per adult (16 years and over) $49.00 per child (nine to 15 years) and children under eight years old dine complimentary.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Eleven Sports has launched a new live sports channel on video game-focused social streaming platform Twitch.Eleven Prime will offer Twitch users traditional sports like basketball, baseball, football and hockey, as well as coverage sports with “underserved fan bases” such as darts and drone racing.The channel will be available on Twitch in the US, with select events to be made available to Twitch’s full global audience of some 15 million daily users.“The launch of Eleven Prime on Twitch – one of the most unique engagement platforms in the world – is another landmark moment for Eleven Sports in our advancement as an innovative sports provider focused on bringing the action to our fans everywhere,” said Anthony Bailey, SVP managing director for Eleven Sports in the US.“This partnership expands our presence in the US and through our collaborative approach with Twitch, we are challenging the status quo on how sports are delivered, discovered, and packaged. We are focused on reaching audiences everywhere and ensuring that fans can interact socially around our content.”Twitch’s director of business development, Jane Weedon, said: “Sports on Twitch is a very nascent, yet well-received category by our community. Eleven Sports is tapping into the current appeal by offering up one of the first channels on Twitch dedicated to broadcasting sports content 24/7.”
My car dealer is driving me crazy with phone calls!Last year I went out of my way to get a good deal on a car, heading to one of those mega-dealerships in a state more populated than my own Vermont. Ever since then, I’ve been getting cheery phone calls from my dealer inviting me for service visits, requesting that I answer surveys, even wishing me a happy birthday. It’s nonstop, and it is starting to drive me bonkers.If it were human beings calling me, I’d simply remind them, perhaps in my most colorful language, that I live 635 miles from where I bought my car and am unlikely to come in for an oil change or a 1,726-point inspection. But it’s not a human – it’s a computer. Working from its sales database, this robotic dialing system calls all of the dealer’s customers in an attempt to drum up repeat business and service visits. To me, it’s just plain annoying. With no options presented to stop the intrusive calls (which have a tendency to interrupt my work day), I’ve taken to just never answering calls from that area code (that my parents share the same area code is simply a bonus).Sure, there are laws to prevent these spammy phone calls – like the Do Not Call registry – but enforcing them is a challenge beyond our law enforcement’s capabilities. Calls can originate from anywhere – buried in big call-routing networks, from overseas, or just from your local computer with a couple of modems purchased at Best Buy.With such ease of deployment, I am not the only one dealing with a “robocall” nuisance. From presidential candidates to lawn-care companies, it seems everyone these days is using auto-callers to try to break through the marketing noise and reach customers directly. With simple cloud-based programs like IfByPhone (and countless competitors) enabling you to write a script, upload it to the web, and start dialing, it’s no wonder the practice is proliferating rapidly. For many the problem has gone from annoying to costly, as it is a favorite hunting ground for scammers.Besieged with complaints about the rapidly growing practice, the Federal Trade Commission last fall decided to take up the mantle and ask the Internet community to help them develop new techniques for putting the kibosh on robocalling. They even offered up $50,000 in prizes for the best submissions.Last week I got the good news. Problem solved. The challenge was over, and winners had been announced. The FTC had spent countless hours – and tax dollars – reviewing the potential solutions, and selected three winners.The only problem with the winners: none of the solutions will eliminate unwanted robocalls.Complaints about the quality of the challenge have been rampant since it premiered in October 2012: lack of clear documentation on the technical challenges; failure to involve any of the nation’s telephone companies in the process; and most troubling, a lack of transparency in judging. Despite being a public contest run by a public agency, none of the entrants is available for the public to view. The judging process is opaque, and nothing will be announced but those winners.So, if I cannot download the papers, how do I know they won’t work? Admittedly, the seeds of real solutions may be hidden in the details of the papers. But based on the abstracts and comments made available to the public, along with supporting websites that document some of the proposed solutions in decent depth, one can understand the basics of each approach.And the problem is that they all turn to the world of spam emails and “phishing” sites for their solutions.You can stop email spam. In fact, I don’t think I’ve gotten a piece of email I haven’t explicitly opted into in my corporate junk mail box. You can stop it for two simple reasons:There is no such thing as emergency email. It’s an asynchronous communication medium. Your boss might expect you to answer it in milliseconds, but otherwise the contract between parties is that you get it when you next get to your inbox. There is no incentive for the company delivering your email to let you be spammed. To ISPs like Comcast, spam messages are little more than an annoyance to customers and a potential liability. Even to the free, advertising-supported email providers like Google and Yahoo, spam is a business hardship. If you get too much of it, you stop using their service. You stop using their service, and they sell fewer ads to surround that email. For those who’ve given up on ads and just give away email as a loss leader, too much spam means you come to dislike the company and it loses your business elsewhere.Telephone spam is a much harder problem to solve.First, there is a much lower tolerance for false positives. No one wants to find out that a reverse-911 call about a meteor hurtling their way or the call telling them they’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes went into a spam box to be reviewed later. Phone calls are an attempt at synchronous communication, and sometimes that attempt is meant to interrupt whatever else is happening. In the modern world – at least in the circles I travel – the phone call has gotten rarer (supplanted by email, Facebook, IM/text, etc.), but at the same time when it is used legitimately, it is generally higher priority than all alternatives. Phone calls are important, and blocking the wrong ones could have serious consequences – doubly bad since many of the proposed solutions don’t even put them into a lower-priority queue for later review.At the same time that we don’t want to accidentally block calls that are legitimate, we have much less data with which to make decisions about illegitimate calls. There is no “spam” button on the phone to report offenders after a call is received. Until such a thing arrives, there are only heuristics to rely on – things like the volume of calls coming from a particular line and the duration of those calls – and those guesses are bound to be wrong at times. Compounding the problem are the widely known issues with Caller ID spoofing, which allows those who want to remain hidden to mask their identity from the receiving exchanges and appear to be someone else. Traditional phone calls carry little information with them other than that caller ID signal – none of the detailed information about sender and receiver embedded in email messages is there to rely on. It’s a legacy of the 100-year-old analog design of the telephone networks, and any solution designed to get past those limitations will require in-depth cooperation of the telephone companies.But, most tellingly, the companies whose customers receive these spam phone calls are the same ones who most profit from delivering them. In the Internet’s Wild West world, the burden of delivering email to clients has been taken on by far more than just Internet service providers. Academic institutions were among the first email server operators. Businesses run their own systems. Other businesses make money providing email service alone. Some individuals even run their own mail systems. And, of course, Internet service providers offer email as well in most cases – though their numbers are far outweighed by the other providers. Each carries the weight of delivering their email, and is directly affected by the productivity and happiness of its end users. But only a small portion of them are also making money helping spammers send email out. Thus, email hosts are generally adversarial, and require detailed information from each other to be willing to pass messages. This information is used to help make decisions about delivery and clue users to the identity of senders. It’s not perfect, but innovation in the space has put a serious dent in spam email, as the companies which take delivery of all this email have the interests of their customers high on the list.Incentives drive behavior, and in the world of telephony – especially with the increasing commoditization of the phone call for consumer (unlimited minutes, unlimited features, free long distance…) – providers are highly incentivized to take as many of those premium business phone calls as they can. It’s the hard-dialing salespeople and politicians who pay the big bucks for voice time, and they are customers of the same companies. Thus, the adversarial nature of the email delivery system, which breeds competition and innovation, is supplanted with the still relatively oligopolic telephony structure, where one group decides how both the spammers and spamees are treated. And, with international tolling one of the few remaining high-margin parts of the commoditized voice services sector, it’s clear to see why even the scammers – many of whom are located internationally – aren’t much of priority to shut down. It’s so for much the same reason that the ratio of junk to real mail in your postal box is probably much higher than in your email inbox: because it’s in the postal service’s best interest to deliver as much junk as will be tolerated.However, with the increasing proliferation of VoIP services that connect to the plain old telephone system – like Skype and Google Voice – there is some hope to be found in companies primarily driven by consumer happiness, with the ability and incentive to innovate on the individual’s behalf.For the FTC’s winning solution – Nomorobo – to work effectively, it must be able to definitively determine the calling party’s status. To do so, it relies on a mix of call frequency throttling (using Caller ID numbers as the identifying information, to make sure it works across various telephone networks which exchange little other detail). However, there are numerous fatal flaws in the proposed design that make it untenable in the real world:The human verification solution proposed is easily circumvented. In this proposal, when a large volume of phone calls from a single ID is detected, the call is pushed first to an automated attendant that asks the caller to verify they are not a robot. The problem is that the “CAPTCHA,” as these tests are called, is so simple – entering a number – that a program could be devised in a matter of minutes to answer it automatically.Every interactive voice response platform worth its salt can easily recognize spoken numbers and dial touch-tones. Stepping up to math problems and most other ideas would have no effect on computers, yet make it harder for legitimate calls to get through. Any system simple enough to work over audio only and be accessible to the average person is easily cracked by computer. Unlike vision, where human beings still have a discernible edge over computers (one that anyone who has struggled with those harder and harder to read computer-screen CAPTCHAs knows is rapidly being eroded), there is no such exploitable advantage in audio.The system also relies on the flawed Caller ID system as the identifier. As stated before, the system is easily spoofed – it was designed to allow businesses to have multiple lines identified as a single switchboard number to keep things like customer service centers orderly in the age of human operators. In essence it was designed to be fooled. And that has made it very easy for rogue operators to co-opt false identities when desired.Any system that relies on Caller ID as its main identifier will punish the legitimate companies following the rules, while doing little to stop the illegal users. Even worse, rogue dialers will simply rotate through false identities at will and cause resulting havoc for the legitimate owners of those numbers that end up blocked.It is the owner of that block list that is the most problematic aspect of the winning solution. Let it be no surprise to see a regulator choose as its winner one of the proposals that aims to place that very regulator as traffic cop at the center of every call to phones seeking protection… and which would require massive capital expenditure and labor to build and maintain a system of managing millions of phone calls a day, appropriated to the department’s budget indefinitely.In order for the proposed setup to work, a powerful regulator sits at the heart of it, logging every phone call to numbers that seek its protection. Then, it applies rules to those phones, which decide which calls are legitimate and which are not. Repeat offenders are then blocked from making additional calls. In the case of false identification (thanks to our Caller ID problems), legitimate people or businesses are likely to find themselves shut out of the telephone system and dependent on contacting a government agency to get operational once again. And you can be sure there would be some high hoops to jump through lest they accidentally re-enable a spammer.The solution just substitutes another set of headaches for citizens, at considerable cost to them as well. One way around that is that the system could be maintained by any number of private operators instead. This would limit the damage any one regulator could cause to a business, and put those running block lists in a position of answering legitimately to the courts. Many technical challenges would still face the system, but the central flaw would be averted.If this is a feature consumers desire, as the challenge implies, then those who want the service would happily pay for it – and those who don’t mind a few annoying calls would not be forced into helping foot the bill. Winners all around (except for the bureaucrats, of course).I do not mean to pick on the author of the winning submission – I am sure “Aaron F.” was very well-meaning. And he has obviously put some serious time and effort into presenting his idea well. In fact, the presentation is slick enough and the writing good enough that if he came looking for a job or internship with me, I’d definitely be interested. Nor do I begrudge him a well-earned cash prize – like the tax breaks, if the government puts it in the rules, taking it is fair game. So, congrats to him.Rather, the lesson that can be learned from this is one that well-intentioned bureaucrats everywhere should learn: You cannot regulate a complex system without major repercussions. And doing so without deep technical understanding of the system is even more dangerous.If the FTC really wants to stop robocalling, it might instead consider opening up the telephone networks to more competition and thus more innovation, and enforcing simple rules with the aim of transparency and cooperation – the kind of openness that would enable consumers to easily report violating calls so existing anti-abuse laws can be enforced, or that would enable any company to register as a virtual call handler and offer an innovative solution to the market.But I fear we won’t get that. Instead, we’ll likely get a “solution” to the spreading robocalling problem that does more to hurt legitimate business than to stop crooks… as well as yet more dogs chasing their tails: government contests spending taxpayer dollars to award the authors of proposals that advocate the government takes on more regulation and expense.More regulation and more government insertion into private activities is not a recipe for anything good. Thankfully, there are excellent private companies out there dreaming up innovative solutions to life’s biggest problems. From cleaner water to cures for cancer and diabetes to a better way to enjoy games and videos on the go, you’ll find the best of the private sector’s most ambitious young technology companies in Casey Extraordinary Technology. Find out how Alex Daley’s team has beat the market every year since we began publishing, and how you can get a look at the full portfolio of technology stocks absolutely risk free.Bits & BytesPC Shipments Post Steepest Decline Ever (IDC)According to research firm IDC, worldwide PC shipments saw “the steepest decline ever in a single quarter” in the first quarter of this year, down 13.9% from the same quarter of last year to 76.3 million units. The decline was attributed to tablets and smartphones diverting consumer spending, as well as lackluster mini notebook shipments, which have taken a chunk out of the low-end market, and a failed Windows 8 launch.For some context, IDC previously reported that the fourth quarter of 2012 marked the first time in more than five years that the PC market had seen a year-on-year decline during the holiday season. During Q4 2012, a total of 89.8 million PCs were shipped worldwide, which reflected a decline of 6.4% from the same period in 2011. [Ed. Note: PCs include desktops, laptops, mini notebooks, and workstations, but do not include handhelds or tablets, even those with detachable keyboards.]Faster Data Transmission Without Adding More Equipment (MIT Technology Review)By using a novel approach to modulating light and new algorithms to speed up the processing of data carried in that light signal, researchers at AT&T have devised a way to increase the distance that large amounts of data can travel through a fiber-optic connection. The technique should allow 400-gigabit-per-second signals to travel for a distance of 12,000 kilometers – four times the previous distance possible – and it promises faster ocean-crossing transmission without adding more equipment.Sonic Lasso Catches Cells (University of Bristol)Researchers at the University of Bristol’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and University of Dundee’s Institute for Medical Science and Technology have demonstrated a “sonic lasso” that can grip microscopic objects, such as cells, and move them around to allow their careful positioning. Possible applications of the new technology include assembling human tissue from a collection of cells and assembling nanomaterials.
Over the past year, companies have been rolling out electric scooters by the thousands in cities across the country — from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., to Lubbock, Texas. People download the app, find a nearby scooter and then just unlock and ride. But as these shared scooters have spread, so have concerns about safety.Portland, Oregon, is in the middle of a four-month e-scooter pilot program. You see these scooters everywhere — parked on sidewalks (they don’t require docking stations, which most shared bikes do), taking fast corners and zipping through traffic. But something you don’t see much of: helmets.On a recent weekend, a 32-year-old woman who didn’t want to give her name because she’s breaking the city’s helmet rule is riding for the first time with some of her friends. None of them are wearing helmets, which both the city and the scooter company require — with good reason.”One of our friends almost just got run over. The brake lights on theirs don’t work,” she says.Part of the draw of these scooters is their flexibility — most riders we talked to hopped on a scooter on the spur of the moment. And, given the fact that most people would not want to share helmets with strangers (nor could integrity and safety be ensured if they did,) they don’t come with helmets attached. So people end up riding without any safety gear.Yes, this is against the rules, but many people just don’t want to carry around helmets. Data from bicycles suggest that people participating in share programs have lower rates of accidents than those using their own vehicle. And many transportation advocates point to the fact that helmet requirements deter bike usage.Still, helmets provide protection. Riding a scooter is very different from riding a bike. They accelerate without you pedaling, have a different center of balance and take some getting used to — for both riders and the cars driving around them.And people on e-scooters are starting to show up in emergency rooms with injuries. “We’ve seen things from broken bones to punctured lungs to shattered pelvis,” says Catherine Juillard, a trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco.While many cities are collecting transportation injury data, San Francisco is taking a comprehensive, science-based approach through its Vision Zero SF Injury Prevention Research (VZIPR) Collaborative. Juillard is a member.The collaborative aims to standardize data collection and work with the city to get a fuller picture of exactly what these injuries reveal. Are they happening at particular intersections, are people fracturing skulls or spraining ankles, or are some types of scooters more dangerous than others? And based on that, they’ll figure out the next steps. Other cities are watching closely.”Technology and disruption — when they enter the sector of transportation, [they’re] also entering the sector of public health. So it becomes a different ballgame, and we need to make sure that we’re doing it safely,” Juillard says.California has welcomed e-scooters — even changing the law so adult riders don’t have to wear helmets. Whereas other places, like Seattle, are so concerned about injures that they’re not allowing e-scooters at all.As a trauma surgeon, Juillard has seen the dangers. But she also sees the potential — because San Francisco is a city dealing with a lot of car traffic. And so is Portland.”We’re going to have many more thousands of jobs, many more thousands of residents — we’re not going to be building many more thousands of streets,” says John Brady, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.To continue to have a city that works — that moves — Portland wants to welcome innovation. Knowing you can just hop on a scooter for a few bucks might encourage more people to leave their cars at home. But Portland wants to make sure these innovations meet all of the city’s transportation goals: moving people efficiently, cutting emissions, and making each trip as safe as possible.”If at the same time we’re seeing a rise in injuries, but we also see that people are getting out of their car and potentially helping to relieve congestion, is that a trade-off from a public agency standpoint that we think is a good one? I don’t know. And we don’t know yet,” Brady says.Portland, of course, does not want a rise in injuries — they’re handing out free helmets and conducting a public education campaign. Brady says the city has given out about 500 helmets (the city currently has 2,000 scooters on the street.) And the scooter companies are working on distributing free helmets across the country — both directly on the streets in the cities they serve, and through mail-in programs. Bird scooter company reports distributing more than 50,000 helmets, and Lime (which also offers dockless bikes) reports having distributed tens of thousands of helmets.But you only have to look at the scooters zipping by in the street to see that this is a big change in how people move around in a city. Cars and scooters are still learning how to be around each other, and not many people are wearing helmets. Cities and physicians will get a better sense of scooter dangers as the data come in over the next few months.In the meantime, scoot safely. Or you could always walk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Add to Queue Is the Gig Economy Killing the 9-to-5 Job? No, But It’s Giving It a Run for Its Money. Image credit: REB Images | Getty Images Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand –shares Boomers, in particular, are benefiting in retirement (or semi-retirement) as Uber drivers, knowledge workers and dog-walkers. Prime Time TV and Radio Show Host, Author, Speaker 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Jeffrey Hayzlett Next Article March 16, 2018 Gig Economy VIP Contributor The gig economy has been on the rise for a number of years, and that fact can be attributed to a two overriding factors: millennials seeking more freedom and baby boomers looking to supplement their incomes.Related: 10 of the Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2018The gig economy’s success can also be traced to the effects of the 2007-2008 economic recession.Those of us who are entrepreneurs, meanwhile, automatically join this economy the moment we leave corporate America. We give up a steady paycheck, job security and stability and corporate perks to launch our ventures, which almost always involve high risk.And we’re not alone in that regard.Who is represented in the “gig economy”?According to a 2016 report from Upwork and the Freelancers Union, 55 million people (or 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce) are choosing freelance gigs. In 2017, there was a slight uptick in freelancing gigs, to 57.3 million (or 36 percent of the workforce).In addition, more workers these days are receptive to exchanging security for freedom: Research by ManpowerGroup surveyed over 9,000 global workers, and 87 percent of those surveyed said they would be open to jumping into the gig economy for their next position. That’s good for all of us, because the gig workforce is adding $715 billion annually to the economy through freelance work. What does the “gig economy” constitute?The gig economy is defined as an “environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” In the last two decades, there’s been a steady increase in workers joining this segment, either by chance or choice. And though nearly ten years has elapsed since the recession, the gig economy shows no signs of slowing down.Related: 10 of the Highest Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2018In recent years, various population shifts have helped account for this: First, millennials have become the largest generation that’s fully employed, and more than a third of them are independent workers. And, baby boomers, meanwhile, are joining the gig economy’s ranks in droves as a way to supplement their incomes — and keep their retirement savings intact. A study by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement found that middle-income boomers who expect to eventually rely on Social Security for their primary source of retirement income rose from 30 percent in 2007 to 38 percent today.Yet, those seniors would be wise to delay social security as long as they can — because the more they delay, the more their benefits rise. And, in this regard, the gig economy is a big help (at least until age 70, when benefits stop rising). Boomers are apparently aware of this fact, evidenced by recent data which shows that one-third of future retirees surveyed expected to have employment income, which would make up at least a quarter of their income. An interesting fact here is that the gig economy has actually encouraged older women (ages 51-70), who are often underrepresented in entrepreneurship, to stay active during retirement, according to Hyperwallet.So, what industries are good for baby boomers and retirees to enter? Here are four that retirees seem to be flocking to.Airbnb and UberThe shared economy made a splash a few years back with the intent of turning people’s underutilized resources like a spare bedroom or a car into a more profitable venue. While this entrepreneurial idea wasn’t exactly surprising, the population segment most engaged here was — and is: retirees taking advantage of these platforms to supplement their income.In 2015, AARP partnered with Uber through its Life Reimagined program to create job opportunities for seniors as drivers. Uber had empty positions available, and boomers continued to retire — a win-win for both sides. Today, many retirees drive between 20 and 30 hours a week and are considered ideal drivers because they usually own their own cars and have fewer crashes.In the hospitality area, Airbnb has reported that women over 60 are its most successful hosts; and seniors (hosts 60 or older) are the fastest-growing community of providers. In fact, 64 percent of tAirbnb’s senior hosts are women. The hospitality company identified this group, typically, as “empty nesters” earning an average of just under $6,000 a year.Pet careIt’s no secret that pets provide companionship and are beneficial in helping reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase social interactions. Another means to that end is exercise; so, with the gig economy, the opportunity arose to combine the two.As a result, companies like DogVacay, which match dog owners with dog walkers, arose; and most of those signing up to provide pet care were people over 50.Dog-sitting was another need — because people travel and don’t want to consign their beloved animals to a kennel or a less-than-enthusiastic family member. That’s how sites like Rover appeared, aiming to connect dog sitters, dog lovers and walkers all over the country — and produce extra income for the contractors, often boomers, signing up.Professional servicesWe all know of someone in his or her 50s and 60s who has been laid off or forced into early retirement. What to do now? Use those industry-honed skills, of course. And often that means the “knowledge” part of the gig economy — a marketplace where people sell their professional or creative skills.Platforms like Fiverr match freelancers with businesses that have specific project needs in areas like graphic design, marketing, coding or translation services. A survey by Mavenlink of U.S. executive4s found that 47 percent of companies are looking to hire contractors to fill management or senior executive roles, including many in the C-suite. The survey also revealed that two of the most desired qualities in contractors were specialized degrees and decades of experience.HealthcareIn recent years, the healthcare industry has jumped into the fray and begun hiring temp employees, or locum tenens, which has become a lucrative option for many. Hospitals and medical facilities face a shortage of professionals — an estimated 900,000 unfilled positions — and need to hire doctors, specialists and clinicians.The medical professional demand is high due to an aging population, and the trend is not letting up. By 2050, the population over 65 is expected to hit 87.6 million.One response is travel nursing services. With 50 percent of hospitals using these professionals, the demands for them is now at a 20-year high. Fifty percent of hospitals use this service to handle seasonal staffing shortages, with the average assignment lasting approximately 13 weeks.Related: Top 5 Ways Freelancers Can Stay Competitive in the Gig EconomyOverall, the gig economy may not be killing the 9-to-5, but it’s certainly making it work hard for its money. The result may be that retirement is not as scary for as many people. Indeed, more seniors are taking the plunge into the gig economy, because being in control of your destiny is an attractive option once those steady paychecks come to an end. Enroll Now for $5
Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List American culture is saturated with popular shows, movies, music and sporting events — but only a handful manage to really permeate mainstream consciousness. And though there are many ways to make money in the $771 billion dollar entertainment industry, cultural phenomena like HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Super Bowl, and Hamilton — wildly divergent though they are — offer lessons for entrepreneurs who aspire to replicate, or surpass, their success.Related: Your Next Great Innovation for Your Business Might Come From Another IndustryGame of Thrones, the Super Bowl and more.Even if you’ve never seen a single episode of the series, you likely know millions of people watched the recent finale of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Episodes throughout this season averaged a staggering 30 million viewers. And the finale was, in no uncertain terms, an event everyone seemed to be talking about, both on and off social media and in countless print and online publications. The show has earned HBO $2.973 billion in quarterly revenue as of Q2 2017. Expect viewership and revenue to continue to rise with the highly anticipated final season to air this spring.With diverse viewership and sky-high ratings, Game of Thrones has succeeded in achieving this ubiquitous status — but even this acclaimed series still pales in comparison to the single largest cultural event in America: the Super Bowl. In just a few hours, the Super Bowl reaches roughly four times the audience Game of Thrones attracted every episode. Nielsen pegs the total number of Super Bowl LI viewers at roughly 113 million, and no other cultural event comes close. The event dominates the media cycle in a manner usually reserved for natural disasters and presidential elections. Year after year, the Super Bowl makes the NFL more than 13 billion dollars.Broad appeal or subculture status?It’s no question why entrepreneurs want to emulate the success of cultural events like Game of Thrones and the Super Bowl — only a question of how. High-performing cultural events aren’t always national crazes with widespread media coverage. This past year’s highest grossing concert series was Ed Sheeran, which made more than $420 million. And the WWE professional wrestling league enjoys a fanatical following and continues to reap the benefits. Their most recent quarterly report claims they made $188 million in revenue.Similarly, Broadway musical Hamilton made about $1.5 billion over the course of its historic run. Sure, it’s a critically acclaimed play that’s received accolades and generous media coverage, but the musical only appeals to a very small segment of the population– and even fewer people have actually seen the show, as those who’ve tried to win the Hamilton ticket lottery understand. What these successes prove is that you don’t have to be broadly appealing to be successful. You just have to appeal to the right audience, one that’s willing and able to elevate your media to cultural event status.Related: 6 Ways to Become an Influencer Behind the CameraBridging the gap and getting to the next big thing.So, what would it take for an entrepreneur to bridge the gap between Game of Thrones, the Super Bowl, Hamilton and other mega-successful cultural events? It’s hard to say what a media property like this might look like: it would have to both entice millions of viewers and sell tickets to fill stadiums, asking fans to show up and tune in. It will have to appeal broadly and be niche at the same time. And it won’t be easy. In this oversaturated cultural moment, entrepreneurs may have to invent a new sport or take advantage of a new medium, like virtual reality. Here’s what entrepreneurs aiming for the next big sensation should keep in mind:Your product will make or break you, so there’s no way around investing in creative talent. The next all-encompassing entertainment event will be built on talent, so start by finding the best storytellers, actors and athletes — all of whom have much more in common than you might think. They, and you, will need an organization that empowers them to perform, selling out stadiums and attracting viewers far and wide. Skimping on talent is a surefire recipe for failure. Look no further than the failures of UPN and the WB for a cautionary tale. These networks were willing to invest in a new network, but not in shows that people actually wanted to watch. Gawker reported that they lost their parent company, Paramount, more than $500 million each before they folded in 2006.Building infrastructure is crucial, and it’s worth every penny in the long run. MetLife Stadium cost $1.6 billion to build, but it will prove to be worth every penny for its owners (and the NFL). Similarly, HBO invested in the massive infrastructure it needed to film Game of Thrones without outsourcing. The WWE even shelled out for its own television network — and it paid off. And infrastructure isn’t just stadiums and film crews. The most impactful cultural events cultivate enormous, engaged social media followings, like the 27.6 million users who tweeted during Super Bowl LI using hashtag #SB52. Related: 3 Outside-the-Box Strategies to Keep Your Talent Development Plan RelevantSo, what can entrepreneurs learn from cultural phenomena like Game of Thrones, the Super Bowl and Hamilton? First, that creating entertainment events like these is no easy feat — but it is possible. Identifying a niche audience, expanding your idea to appeal more broadly, and investing in creative talent and infrastructure will all be necessary to make the next big thing an even bigger hit. Guest Writer –shares Founder and CEO of Complete SET Agency News and Trends Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Step one is investing in creative talent. 5 min read February 10, 2019 Tanner Simkins Entrepreneurial Lessons From ‘Game of Thrones’ and the Super Bowl The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article Image credit: HBO Apply Now »
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 20 2019A new type of treatment for osteoarthritis, currently in canine clinical trials, shows promise for eventual use in humans.The treatment, developed by Cornell University biomedical engineers, is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring joint lubricant that binds to the surface of cartilage in joints and acts as a cushion during high-impact activities, such as running. When the production of that specific lubricant goes down, it creates higher contact between the surfaces of the joint and, over time, it leads to osteoarthritis.”David Putnam, a professor in the College of Engineering with appointments in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering and the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Related StoriesGlucosamine supplements could benefit the heartUGR scientists design new hydrogel that aids in cartilage regenerationScientists move a step closer to developing targeted therapies for inflammatory diseasesThe study focuses on a naturally occurring joint lubricant called lubricin, the production of which declines following traumatic injuries to a joint, such as a ligament tear in a knee.The knee is lubricated in two ways – hydrodynamic mode and boundary mode.Hydrodynamic mode lubrication occurs when the joint is moving fast and there isn’t a strong force pushing down on it. In this mode, joints are lubricated by compounds like hyaluronic acid (HA) that are thick and gooey, like car oil. There are numerous HA products on the market, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, for treating hydrodynamic mode lubrication disorders.But HA is ineffective when strong forces are pushing down on the joint, such as those that occur during running or jumping. In these instances, thick gooey HA squirts out from between the cartilage surfaces, and boundary mode lubrication is necessary. Under these forces, lubricin binds to the surface of the cartilage. It contains sugars that hold on to water, to cushion hard forces on the knee.In the paper, the researchers describe a synthetic polymer they developed that mimics the function of lubricin and is much easier to produce. “We are in clinical trials, with dogs that have osteoarthritis, with our collaborators at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine,” Putnam said.”Once we finalize the efficacy study in dogs, we will be in a very good position to market the material for veterinary osteoarthritis treatment,” Putnam said. From there, the human market for a lubricin substitute should follow, just as HA has been made available for human use, mainly in knees. Source:Cornell UniversityJournal reference:Putnam, D. et al. (2019) Boundary mode lubrication of articular cartilage with a biomimetic diblock copolymer. PNAS. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1900716116.
September 09, 2018 CAI 2018 provides an excellent platform for the industry to interact with builders, architects and construction equipment manufacturers.This is a exhibition of indigenous design and construction. CAI brings together information on modern technologies and materials in the field of the construction, architecture and interior designing.Carefully assessed and thoughtfully put together, the event also provides a platform for exhibiting products and services to professionals and individuals planning to add new designs and features to their work/living spaces.Top quality exhibits and insightful demonstrations uncover thousands of smart, stylish and cost-effective ways to design, build or renovate.CAI Expo 2018 is organised by The Hindu BusinessLine in association with i ads & events group.Since debuting in 2013, CAI has grown, attracting newer and wider range of brands from across industry segments. As a B2B event, CAI is an ideal platform for all businesses in construction, architecture and interior segments. The event offers networking opportunities for every segment. real estate (industry) COMMENTS SHARE COMMENT CAI Expo from Friday will showcase latest in construction and interior design Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL The construction industry plays a vital role in the economy, creating investment and job opportunities across various sectors. This sector is responsible for propelling India’s overall development and the government’s focus in this sector has paved the way for policies that help create world class infrastructure in India.CAI Expo 2018 is a platform that brings together players from construction, architecture and interiors sectors.As a popular annual event, CAI (Construction Architecture & Interior) Expo has carved a niche for itself in this space. It enables participants showcase their creations, discover innovative products and services, and exchange of ideas in the business of construction, architecture and interior design.The sixth edition of CAI Expo 2018, which kickstarted in Hyderabad, moves on to Chennai, Coimbatore and Goa.State-of-art productsFor the visitors, the event will showcase the latest products and technologies available in the market and provide them with an opportunity to interact with industry professionals and learn about the latest developments.From office blocks to highrise construction, from residential buildings to embassies, a wide range of infrastructure and construction projects across India is in the pipeline.