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Hackers plot DIY Sputniks for Internet freedom

first_img More information: © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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: Hackers plot DIY Sputniks for Internet freedom (2012, January 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-hackers-plot-diy-sputniks-internet.html via BBC (PhysOrg.com) — Hackers at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, which wrapped up over the weekend, are toasting the New Year with a newly announced plan for a hacker-owned satellite communications network. The anti-censorship allies want to counter the spate of legislative and government efforts that seek to interfere with Internet freedoms.center_img Image: NASA Canadian company planning micro-satellite network The new plan calls for sending up home-made satellites into space as part of a Hackerspace Global Grid. The project includes low-cost ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.Anti-censorship activist Nick Farr, bothered by the world’s threats in blocking the free flow of information, started campaigning for contributions to the Grid earlier this year. Launching communications satellites has been attempted in the past by some amateur groups but low-budget projects have not easily managed the task of tracking the devices. According to reports, a few small satellites have gone into orbit but usually for brief periods only. Initiatives like space missions have required the big pockets of large public agencies and private companies, but Farr hopes his plan can work. Farr and colleagues envision a grid of low-cost ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites. They are working with Constellation, which is a German aerospace research initiative. The initiative interlinks student projects.The Hackerspace Global Grid plans three prototype ground stations to be in place by the first half of this year.Armin Bauer of Stuttgart is one of the enthusiasts working on the Hackerspace Global Grid and they are planning out the distributed network of these low-cost ground stations. In their plan, the stations can be bought or built by individuals. The Grid team plans to sell the devices on a nonprofit basis for about 100 euros per ground station. Bauer said that the team also hopes to give away some working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress. While Farr has called for “an uncensorable internet in space,” not everyone thinks that is possible, even with the launch of such a grid.University of Surrey professor Alan Woodward said that, even though outer space is not governed by the countries over which it floats, any country can take the law into its own hands and disable the satellites.Another downside no doubt seen by those who focus on today’s security threats is that freedom of information imperils security. Farr said the only downside would be that people might be unable to censor your Internet. “Hackers are about open information,” he said. “We believe communication is a human right.” Attempts to limit the unfettered flow of Internet information have included the proposed legislation Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. to efforts by various governments to curtail or in some cases shut down Internet access. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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DARPA looking to manage cyberwars with Plan X videogame type software

first_img © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —DARPA has been not-so-secretly working on a way to allow less technically proficient cyber troops to engage in cyber wars. The answer is apparently Plan X, a hardware and software platform solution that allows people that are not technically proficient in cyber warfare to engage using software that resembles a videogame. As part of its official announcement and call for proposals, the agency has outlined a specific type of product that it believes will give the U.S. a clear advantage in engaging in cyber warfare. 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. Cyber experts engage on DARPA’s Plan X Explore further Cyber warfare has become the new battleground between advanced nations. Headlines describing cyber attacks by people in China on facilities in the United States have become commonplace. And news that the U.S. government was behind a cyber attack against computer systems in Iran involved in processing uranium made clear that the U.S. is not just interested in defending itself against cyber attacks, but plans to carry them out against others as well.One major problem with engaging in cyber warfare, at least up until now, is the limited number of people with the technical know-how required to engage in cyber attacks or to help in defending against them. For that reason, DARPA began looking for ways to allow those with less training to watch for attacks, take action against them and to initiate attacks against others. Plan X was announced in May of 2012—its aim is to develop new technologies to better understand, plan and manage missions in cyberspace on large scale networks that are constantly changing.Wired magazine has taken an interest in Plan X, devoting a lot of resources into finding out just how it might work and what it might look like once finished. Contributing editor, Noah Shachtman reports that the system is currently being run on a Samsung SUR40 Touch Table (as demoed at DARPA headquarters last October). It was designed by Frog Design—the company that designed the Sony Walkman. Shachtman notes that the design resembles World of Warcraft in some ways—network topologies are displayed, along with icons that represent tools, or weapons. The system is meant to demonstrate “missions” for the end user to undertake. Each mission is outlined (as created by a human in charge) by the system and describes what “weapons” are available for use to accomplish goals. Once engaged, the user moves through the network either looking for ways to defend against possible attacks by others, or to reach a target to unleash an attack. The idea, he notes, is to allow the user of the system to engage with other cyber soldiers or entities without having to learn how things work at a deeper level. That, he says, will give DARPA confidence that the U.S. is fully capable of engaging successfully in cyber warfare now and in the future. Citation: DARPA looking to manage cyber-wars with Plan X – videogame type software (2013, May 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-darpa-cyber-wars-videogame-software.htmllast_img read more

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Researchers find blind fish use novel type of navigational aid

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Researchers find blind fish use novel type of navigational aid (2014, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-fish-aid.html Scientists have known for many years that fish have sensors on their flanks that allow them to feel what is going on in the water in which they are immersed. Now it appears that tetras living in a cave in Mexico have added to the sensory information they receive by causing changes to water pressure around them.The tetras are still the same species as the brightly colored fish found in aquariums across the globe, but because they’ve lived in absolute darkness for so long, they’ve lost both their coloring and their eyes. They don’t need either in their caves, as they live by eating bat droppings that fall into the water. But they also do something that has never been observed in any fish—they open and close their mouths, sucking in water which is pushed out the gills, and use the changes in water pressure created to help them recognize objects around them.Suspecting that something different was going on with the sucking motion the fish made, the researchers captured several samples and brought them back to their lab for study. There they put the fish in a tank with no food, but which did have five objects in it that the fish had to get around. After the fish became acclimated, the researchers moved the objects and then watched as the fish went to work. They noted that the fish suddenly began performing their sucking motion three and a half times more often. They followed up that experiment with another where they filmed the fish with a high-speed camera to help them count mouth action. They found that the fish very seldom sucked at the water when swimming at a distance from objects, or the wall. But when they came closer than 7 centimeters, the sucking frequency suddenly picked up, and when they moved to within just 1 centimeter, the sucking frequency occurred twice as often. It picked up again when moving even closer—up to six times as often.The researchers suggest that the novel type of navigational aid likely occurs in other fish as well, just none that are known right now. Explore further Journal information: Journal of Experimental Biology Researchers capture video of freshwater fish grabbing birds out of the aircenter_img © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel has discovered a previously unknown navigational aid used by a species of blind fish. In their paper published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the team describes how they discovered that a blind species of tetra uses mouth suction of water to create a pressure wave that it then uses to sense objects in the water around it. Mexican tetra in blind cave fish form. Credit: JohnstonDJ/Wikipedia More information: Mexican blind cavefish use mouth suction to detect obstacles, Journal of Experimental Biology, First posted online March 27, 2014. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.098384AbstractFishes commonly use their lateral line system to detect moving bodies such as prey and predators. A remarkable case is the Mexican blind cavefish Astyanax fasciatus who evolved the ability to detect non-moving obstacles. The swimming body of A. fasciatus generates fluid disturbances, whose alteration by an obstacle can be sensed by the fish’s lateral line system. It is generally accepted that these alterations can provide information on the distance to the obstacle. We observed that A. fasciatus swimming in an unfamiliar environment open and close their mouths at high frequency (0.7-4.5 Hz), in order to generate suction flows. We hypothesized that repeated mouth suction generate a hydrodynamic velocity field, whose alterations by an obstacle induce pressure gradients in the neuromasts of the lateral line, and corresponding strong lateral line stimuli. We observed that the frequency and rates of mouth opening events varied with the fish’s distance to obstacles, a hallmark of pulse-based navigation mechanisms such as echolocation. We formulated a mathematical model of this hitherto unrecognized mechanism of obstacle detection and parameterized it experimentally. This model suggests that suction flows induce lateral line stimuli that are weakly dependent on the fish’s speed, and may be an order of magnitude stronger than the correspondent stimuli induced by the fish’s gliding body. We illustrate that A. fasciatus can navigate non-visually using a combination of two deeply ancestral and highly conserved mechanisms of ray-finned fishes: the mechanism of sensing water motion by the lateral line system and the mechanism of generating water motion by mouth suction.last_img read more

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When puppets come to pull the strings in capital

first_imgAmongst the many sources of entertainment available, the historical art of puppetry has not lost its ground yet. Definitely a good news, and so to mark its success the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust will organise Ishara International Puppet Festival for its lovers.This year the festival will celebrate its 11th anniversary with a wide and exciting range of performances from across the world. The lineup is more vibrant and creative than ever before. The festival has modern and traditional forms, ranging from rod, string and shadow puppets, to mixed performances with dance, theatre, music and more. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Since its inception in 2001, the Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival has brought to India over 90 international puppetry companies and promoted numerous indigenous productions. Alongside Indian talent, countries that have participated include USA, Brazil, Belgium, Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Ireland, Iran.Produced by Teamwork productions, Ishara has provided evocative and memorable entertainment and education for Indian audiences and attracts puppeteers and enthusiasts from all over the world. The festival will focus on both traditional and contemporary work from India and abroad and is seen as an established platform to further multimedia arts in India.DETAILAt: India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, Epicentre, Gurgaon, Club Patio, GurgaonWhen: 8- 16 AprilTimings: 7.30 pm onwardslast_img read more

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Naman for only opening Test Patel

first_imgWicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha has been named in the squad for India’s Test tour of Australia for just one match and he will return home after the opening game at Brisbane, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said on Monday.‘What we have announced on Monday was basically not a 19-member squad, it was 18. For the first Test, Naman Ojha has been added as a replacement of MS Dhoni in case there is a need for a second wicketkeeper. As soon as the first Test is over and Dhoni joins the team, Naman Ojha will come back,’ Patel told reporters after the selection committee meeting. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaDhoni has been rested from the first Test beginning December 4 to give him more time to recover fully from his right thumb injury. ‘Dhoni is suffering from a thumb injury. He is on the right track. It has been further decided to rest him for one more Test, so that everything is fine. It was suggested by his physicist and doctors and after that this decision was taken. It is a right thumb injury,’ Patel said.Talking about the team selected for the last two matches of the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka, Patel said some fringe players were included to try them out in view of next year’s World Cup.last_img read more

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Stop using 111 for customer services Trai to Vodafone

first_imgSector regulator Trai on Monday directed Vodafone to stop using ‘111’ for offering customer care services, as it violates the national numbering plan, and submit a compliance report by March 10. In a direction to Vodafone, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said that Department of Telecom had issued the national numbering plan 2003 wherein the number 111 to 115 have not been allocated for any type of services and have been kept as ‘spare’. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashHowever, the authority said it observed from the advertisement on the website of Vodafone that customers were being urged to call ‘111’ to get internet settings on their handset for pre-paid data offers, postpaid 3G data packs, self help for data services, Blackberry internet offers and to find out the balance. “Now therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it… the Authority hereby directs Vodafone India to discontinue use of level ‘111’ and submit compliance report latest by March 10,” Trai said. No comments were received from Vodafone regarding the matter. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsThe Authority had issued a show cause notice on February 2 to Vodafone for violation of the national numbering plan. In reply to the notice on February 18, Vodafone had stated that ‘111’ number had been in use by them for the last 18-20 years and that they were in genuine belief that there was no restriction in its use as the number was already under valid use prior to 2003 as a common customer care number across all the circles.Vodafone had added that they have been transparently filing their annual compliance with the Authority in regards to the use of this level for their customer help services since 2007.However, after examining the reply of Vodafone, Trai is of the view that “by using level ‘111’ without the permission of the licensor, the service provider has contravened the national numbering plan and filing annual compliance report to the regulations of the Authority cannot be treated as authorisation to use level ‘111’.last_img read more

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Cultural resurrection the Parsi way

first_img“To showcase civilisation and culture of the Parsis, the government will support, in 2015-16, an exhibition, The Everlasting Flame,” Jaitley said while presenting the union budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha here. He also said that the allocation for the ministry of minority affairs was being protected. “The budget estimate for the year 2015-16 is Rs.3,738 crore.”Also acknowledging the need to improve facilities at the Unesco World Heritage Sites in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday proposed to initiate the restoration process of eight sites including Leh Palace and churches and convents of Old Goa among others. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Facilities like landscaping restoration, signage and interpretation centres, parking, access for differently-abled, amenities for visitors, including securities and toilets, illumination and plans for benefiting communities around them would be restored,” he said, presenting the union budget in parliament.Jaitley proposed to provide resources to start work heritage sites like Hampi(Karnataka), Kumbalgarh and hill forts of Rajasthan, Rani ki Vav, Patan (Gujarat), Varanasi temple town (Uttar Pradesh), Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) and Qutub Shahi tombs(Hyderabad). There are 32 world heritage properties in India, of which 25 are cultural properties and seven are natural properties.last_img read more

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Centre cold to Bengals crying for need for more med seats

first_imgKolkata: Bengal government is not being able to handle the crisis of doctors at the state-run hospitals, due to the lackadaisical attitude of the Centre in sanctioning more medical seats.The state government may soon urge the Centre to give the clearance for new medical seats, as otherwise the perennial shortage of doctors can not be resolved. It may also write to the Medical Council of India (MCI) in this regard.It is a common picture not only in the state but across the country. Bengal has been suffering from a dearth of doctors in the state-run hospitals for quite some time. The Mamata Banerjee-led government has taken various measures to provide better healthcare facilities in the state. The number of medical seats has increased considerably since the new government came to power. But the crisis is not going to go away unless the Centre is proactive enough. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee on Friday said in the Assembly that the crisis of doctors in Bengal could not be overcome because of the Centre’s and MCI’s faulty policies.The state government has set up 42 Superspecialty hospitals across the state, but the crisis of doctors has not been addressed properly due to the Centre’s apathy in giving clearance for new medical seats. The existing medical seats numbering around 2,600 are not enough to fill up the vacant posts of doctors. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOut of these, around 2,050 seats are in government medical colleges, while 550 are in private ones.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also in charge of the Health department, has been constantly striving to find a permanent solution for the shortage of doctors. Around 500 additional medical seats will be increased, once the proposed 5 new medical colleges come up in various parts of the state. The construction of these colleges may be completed by the end of the next year, a senior official said. According to a senior Health department official, there are around 10,440 sanctioned posts of doctors in government-run hospitals, out of which around 6,600 posts have been filled up, whereas there is a shortfall of 3,840.The Centre had announced an ambitious plan to ensure one doctor for every one thousand people throughout the country by the end of 2031, for which the country requires more than 80,000 medical seats per year.But this may suffer a major jolt as the number of doctors passing out every year across the country is too low to meet the huge requirement of physicians.Despite repeated pleas from various states including Bengal, no major step was taken by the Centre in this regard. The Medical Council of India (MCI’s) highest regulating body had been reluctant in giving permission to open new medical colleges in various states, especially in the areas where there are no medical colleges.Despite the crisis, the MCI recommends the Centre not to give permission to admit candidates in certain number of medical seats, after inspecting various medical colleges including state-run ones.last_img read more

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BJP seeks permission to fly drone at Amit Shahs Kolkata rally

first_imgKolkata: The state unit of the BJP has appealed to the Kolkata Police to grant permission to fly a drone for mass surveillance during party president Amit Shah’s rally in the city on August 11. The saffron party, which has become wary after a tent collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Midnapore rally in June, also appealed to the police to allow the use of walkie-talkies during Saturday’s rally. Over 90 people were injured on June 16 after a section of a tent caved in during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at a public rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “We have applied for permission from the Kolkata Police for using one drone during Amit Shahji’s rally on Saturday. Drones will help us in keeping an eye on the proceedings in and around the rally area. This is merely for security reasons,” West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI today. The party is trying to take precautionary measures to avoid another untoward event, he said. “We have also sought permission for walkie-talkies for the Saturday rally as it would help in keeping a tab on the ground situation,” Ghosh added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed A senior officer of Kolkata Police, however, said nothing has been decided on the issue. “We are yet to make a decision on the request made by the BJP. A detailed report, stating the reasons, is required before granting permission for drone use,” the officer said. The Kolkata Police will provide foolproof security arrangements during Saturday’s rally, keeping in mind Shah’s stature as a political leader, he stated. There will be two daises at the rally venue on Mayo road, in the heart of the city, the officer said, taking a cue from the rally arrangement plans submitted by the BJP to the Kolkata Police. “One will be for Shah and senior leaders of the party while the second one will be for other functionaries. We are taking all forms of security measures for it,” he stressed. The BJP had earlier alleged that the administration denied it permission to hold a rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in central Kolkata. Amid speculations, Shah, too, had said he does not need the Bengal government’s permission to come to Kolkata and dared the state administration to arrest him. Refuting the allegation, Kolkata Police clarified that it did not receive any application for any rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue. “Some unwarranted speculation on social media about denial of permission to a political party on 11 August has come to our notice. It is to clarify that on request permission for meeting has already been granted,” it had said in a tweet.last_img read more

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When Goddess Durga brings an extra chapatti with her

first_imgArtisans living in cluster of ‘jhuggis’ on roadside wait for devotees to pick up their Durga idols and help them earn their bread and butter.“At least these days we have work and food to eat. Once the festive season is over, we only keep limited idols. There are hardly any customers after that. We have to often live by rag-picking,” says Dariha, an artisan who lives in a makeshift home on the road from the city bus stand to Maharana Pratap Chowk.Dariha says her family’s name is registered as residents of Sukhrali here, yet they are forced to move from one area to another, which damages their belongings. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Another artisan, Mohan Lal Solanki says earlier policemen often used to ask them to move their ‘jhuggi’ but now policemen ‘pester’ them a little less. Chanda, also an artisan says but even if policemen ask them to move, they never touch their belongings or behave harshly as “people fear God and avoid tampering with idols.” As Dariha kneads the flour to make chapattis, her eyes gleams to see an autorickshaw halt near her hut. Pooja Singh, who hails from Rae Bareli in UP, had come with her father to buy an idol for Durga Puja at their society in Mohammadpur. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixRecalling Durga Puja celebrations in her hometown, Singh says that the village head used to make grand arrangements for the festival and ever since she moved to Gurgaon a year back, her family decided to recreate that festivity here as well. While Pooja says she was excited to take the Goddess home, Dariha thanked God for earning Rs 1,400 after six months of crafting the idols.Chanda, whose hut is a metre away from Dariha’s, says, “We originally belong to Pali in Rajasthan but have stayed in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and now in Gurgaon. Likewise all our family members have stayed in various cities and crafted idols of god and goddesses.” Chanda says till the time her family is able to earn bread and butter by carving idols, they will continue their stay in that city. “To keep ourselves alive we have to eat at least something. Where ever we are able to get work, we go to that place. Once we are unable to fill our stomachs anymore, we move to another place,” says Chanda. However, unlike Dariha, Chanda works at temples or for special pujas once the festive season ends. “Sometimes priests call us to temples to restructure their existing idols or we get orders for fresh idols as well. Some people organize special pujas in which different idols are sent at their homes for seven days. So then also we earn well. And in case nothing works, we move out of the city,” says Chanda. Talking about the prices of the idols, Mohan Lal Solanki says that it starts from Rs 400 and goes up to Rs 12,000, depending on the size.Some people demand idols of almost eight to ten feet tall. For this they have to give orders two months in advance and it costs around Rs 20,000, says Solanki. These artisans get their raw materials from different places in Delhi and carve their idols out of plaster of Paris. Dariha says that after Durga Puja, devotees either keep these idols under a Peepal tree or immerse it into water.“I have heard that plaster of Paris is not good to immerse but we are helpless with our economic condition. Instead devotees should try to bring out alternative eco-friendly ways to immerse idols,” she says.last_img read more

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