More Amazon extinctions looming unless action is taken study

first_img Citation: More Amazon extinctions looming unless action is taken: study (2012, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-amazon-extinctions-looming-action.html More information: Extinction Debt and Windows of Conservation Opportunity in the Brazilian Amazon, Science 13 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6091 pp. 228-232. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219013ABSTRACTPredicting when future species extinctions will occur is necessary for directing conservation investments but has proved difficult. We developed a new method for predicting extinctions over time, accounting for the timing and magnitude of habitat loss. We applied this to the Brazilian Amazon, predicting that local extinctions of forest-dependent vertebrate species have thus far been minimal (1% of species by 2008), with more than 80% of extinctions expected to be incurred from historical habitat loss still to come. Realistic deforestation scenarios suggest that local regions will lose an average of nine vertebrate species and have a further 16 committed to extinction by 2050. There is a window of opportunity to dilute the legacy of historical deforestation by concentrating conservation efforts in areas with greatest debt. Explore further Solimões, the section of the upper Amazon River. Image: Wikipedia. Study: Glum assessment of Amazonian forest The rainforests have been subjected to widespread deforestation over recent decades as trees have been chopped down to allow areas of farmland to expand, and to make way for roads. Among the many species threatened with extinction are the Brazilian bare-faced tamarins and white-cheeked spider monkeys.Previous mathematical models of the effects of deforestation on biodiversity have assumed the deforestation occurs as a single event. The new research extended the model to see what happens when deforestation occurs in a number of events rather than just one, which more closely models the real situation.Leader of the research team, Dr Robert M. Ewers from Imperial College London, said there is a time lapse between deforestation and extinctions because animals do not usually die directly, but are forced to live more densely in smaller areas. This leads to increased mortality through reduced breeding rates and more intense competition for food. Mathematician Daniel Reuman, also from Imperial College, explained that if deforestation occurs in one area and then in another area before the effects of chopping down trees in the first area are felt, there is an “outstanding debt.”The team used their new model to examine data on deforestation and data on individual vertebrate species affected by loss of habitat over the period 1970-2008, and they found that 80 to 90 percent of extinctions caused by existing deforestation are yet to occur, giving the rainforest a massive “extinction debt.”The team also used the model to examine a range of scenarios for the future of the rainforest over the next 40 years. These included scenarios with no change from current policies to the more optimistic scenario of a halt to deforestation by 2020. They found that for the most optimistic scenario 38 species would still be lost, but in the worst case scenario 40-50 species would become extinct in the period with an extinction debt of 100 more that would be lost later. More than 50 percent of the Amazonian rainforest in Brazil is now protected, and the rate of deforestation is declining, and rapid and widespread extinctions predicted by earlier models have proved incorrect, with species loss occurring much more slowly than predicted. The new model now shows that the effects of the deforestation that has already occurred are yet to be fully realized. Dr Ewers said the findings could be used to target conservation efforts on areas identified by the model as being regions where the extinction debt is greatest. Efforts on these areas could prevent the extinction debt from being paid.The paper was published in Science and shows how crucial the decisions made by the Brazilian government on deforestation and development will be. Pressure from agribusiness interests and others to relax protection and rapidly develop the region in order to ease the economic crisis are likely to be devastating. Around 40 percent of tropical rainforests are located in Brazil, and they are among the world’s most biodiverse regions.center_img (Phys.org) — Scientists in London are predicting that for many species it may take several generations after deforestation of the Amazonian rainforests in Brazil before they become extinct. © 2012 Phys.org 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

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Testing shows billfish demonstrate bone remodeling without osteocytes

first_imgGross morphology and ultrastructure of billfish bone. Credit: PNAS, Ayelet Atkins, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1412372111 More information: Remodeling in bone without osteocytes: Billfish challenge bone structure–function paradigms, PNAS, Ayelet Atkins, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1412372111AbstractA remarkable property of tetrapod bone is its ability to detect and remodel areas where damage has accumulated through prolonged use. This process, believed vital to the long-term health of bone, is considered to be initiated and orchestrated by osteocytes, cells within the bone matrix. It is therefore surprising that most extant fishes (neoteleosts) lack osteocytes, suggesting their bones are not constantly repaired, although many species exhibit long lives and high activity levels, factors that should induce considerable fatigue damage with time. Here, we show evidence for active and intense remodeling occurring in the anosteocytic, elongated rostral bones of billfishes (e.g., swordfish, marlins). Despite lacking osteocytes, this tissue exhibits a striking resemblance to the mature bone of large mammals, bearing structural features (overlapping secondary osteons) indicating intensive tissue repair, particularly in areas where high loads are expected. Billfish osteons are an order of magnitude smaller in diameter than mammalian osteons, however, implying that the nature of damage in this bone may be different. Whereas billfish bone material is as stiff as mammalian bone (unlike the bone of other fishes), it is able to withstand much greater strains (relative deformations) before failing. Our data show that fish bone can exhibit far more complex structure and physiology than previously known, and is apparently capable of localized repair even without the osteocytes believed essential for this process. These findings challenge the unique and primary role of osteocytes in bone remodeling, a basic tenet of bone biology, raising the possibility of an alternative mechanism driving this process. In humans, in order for bones to maintain their strength, they undergo a two-step process called remodeling. The first step involves tearing down damaged bone while the second involves adding new growth to replace material that is lost. Both parts of the process rely on cells known as osteocytes and together they leave behind telltale signs of re-growth known as osteons. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn whether the bones in billfish, such as marlin and swordfish, undergo the same process to maintain bone strength.Billfish, with their long pointy bills, are very well known and prized by deep sea fishermen. But, those long bills are actually extensions of their lower jaw, which means they are bones—rostral bones, actually. Also, because the fish use the long, sword-like rostral bones for killing prey, often after high speed pursuit, the bones undergo very high stresses, which logic would suggest, means they must have some means of maintaining that strength—in its absence the bones would break and the fish would starve to death. To find out what mechanisms are at play, the researches obtained several samples from five different species of billfish, analyzed them under a microscope and then subjected them to stress tests.The researchers found telltale signs of remodeling, i.e. the existence of osteons in the long rostral bones but no sign of osteocytes—this suggests of course that some other unknown cells are involved in the process. They note that the osteons exhibited very high density but were an order of magnitude smaller than for similar sized mammals. The rostral bones were also particularly stiff, equal to that of bones in horses, and could take a huge amount of stress before breaking. The team’s findings upend conventional thinking which has held that virtually all bone remodeling in animals involves some type of osteocytes. Researchers find physical activity in youth leads to stronger bones in old age Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencescenter_img © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —A large team of biologists with members from Israel, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. has found that billfish are able to remodel their large protruding jawbones in the absence of osteocytes. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their research and results and the implications of what they found. 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: Testing shows billfish demonstrate bone remodeling without osteocytes (2014, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-billfish-bone-remodeling-osteocytes.htmllast_img read more

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Model offers insight into how life continues to evolve

first_img More information: Emanuel Gregor Worst et al. “Unbounded growth patterns of reproducing, competing polymers—similarities to biological evolution.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/18/10/103003 In these reproduction-dominant situations, the evolution of polymers of different lengths bears similarities to Darwinian evolution. As the researchers explain, it is the dynamics of the entire system that selects a particular, new species (length of polymer) in such a way that it can use the existing situation most efficiently to multiply. Each time, the system escapes from this dominance by creating a new species that uses the new situation to its benefit. “We believe that we have created a model system that exposes a dynamic mechanism reflecting essential traits of Darwinian evolution,” said coauthor Karsten Kruse at Saarland University. “In a reproduction-dominated situation, in our system, only certain types of molecular reproducers occur: those that benefit most from a given situation. However, these ‘species’ fail to dominate the situation because of the emergence of ever new other species.”In the future, the researchers plan to modify the model so that the molecules acquire functionality, making them more similar to biological species.”Although the simplicity of our system is what constitutes its quality and makes the message so clear, it is unclear how to devise a more complex system that enables new functionalities in a Darwinian setting,” Ott said. “This is something we plan to address in the future.” Explore further Citation: Model offers insight into how life continues to evolve (2016, November 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-insight-life-evolve.html (Phys.org)—One of the most puzzling things about evolution is that, even after 4 billion years, it hasn’t stopped. Instead of culminating in a single best adapted species, today the Earth contains an estimated 8.7 million different species, all of which will one day die out as a variety of new species takes their places. In the new model, different species (lengths of polymer) emerge for a time, and then “die out” as new species take their place; there is no permanent dominant species. Credit: Worst et al. ©2016 IOP Publishing The results revealed that species evolution depends on which growth mechanism dominates. In situations in which the ligation mechanism dominates, all possible polymer lengths are generated (all multiples of 20 starting with a length of 20, such as 40, 60, 80, and 100 base pairs and above). But when reproduction dominates, only certain lengths appear (specifically, lengths of 10, 20, 40, 80, or 160 base pairs), and only for limited periods of time. Each polymer length follows a pattern in which its numbers exponentially increase, then plateau, and finally decrease, allowing new lengths of polymers to emerge. Although scientists have tried to model these evolutionary dynamics in the lab, such as by using systems of molecules that change over time in some way, most of these models eventually generate a single dominant species and then come to a standstill. Scientists still don’t completely understand how evolution continues to generate new species, which is known to occur even in the absence of changing external pressures. Now in a new study, a team of physicists has developed a theoretical and experimental model of evolution that continues without end, even under constant external conditions. The model may help scientists better understand how the biosphere continues to evolve over billions of years.”We hope to understand the necessary conditions of Darwinian statistics—notably, the coexistence of species that each have a finite lifetime—that emerge with Darwinian evolution,” coauthor Albrecht Ott at Saarland University in Saarbruecken, Germany, told Phys.org. “This seems a major problem that research on the origin of life needs to deal with. Furthermore, molecular systems can help to elucidate mechanisms of speciation, notably the emergence and disappearance of niches.”The new model system consists of linear DNA polymers of different lengths, where the length of a polymer determines its “species.” The polymers can reproduce (creating polymers of the same length) or join together via the polymer-binding enzyme DNA ligase (creating longer polymers, which are new species). In their experiments, the researchers started with polymers that were 10 or 20 base pairs long. After exposing them to temperature variations that promoted reproduction and binding to various degrees, the researchers found that polymers of different lengths began to emerge. When it comes to polymer fragility, size does matter 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. © 2016 Phys.org Journal information: New Journal of Physics In the new model of evolution, polymers can form new polymers of different lengths via an enzymatic ligation process, as shown here. Credit: Worst et al. ©2016 IOP Publishinglast_img read more

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Crops in France found to thrive despite reduced use of pesticides

first_img There is no doubt that the use of pesticides to prevent insects from eating or otherwise destroying crop plants has led to huge yield gains in many places around the globe—but its heavy use has also caused negative side effects, such as runoff into the oceans causing dead spots. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn whether the large amounts of pesticides used on farms are actually necessary to sustain yields. To find out, they accessed a database that held information on 946 non-organic arable commercial farms across France. The farms were part of the Dephy network, which was created as part of the government’s Ecophyto initiative to reduce pesticide use—the farms represented a wide range of farming techniques, which included using nonstandard amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides—each of the farms submitted reports to the database administrators detailing chemical use on their farms, crop yields and other details of their operations.In studying reports generated by their analysis of the farms, the researchers found that 77 percent of the farms under study showed no conflict between using smaller amounts of pesticide and yield rates. They also found that the other 23 percent of the farms were generally associated with industrial farming, which is particularly dependent on high concentrations of pesticides to sustain yields. The researchers contend that their analysis also showed that approximately 59 percent of all farms in France could reduce their use of pesticides by approximately 42 percent without harming yields. Citation: Crops in France found to thrive despite reduced use of pesticides (2017, February 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-crops-france-pesticides.html © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members affiliated with several institutions in France has found that lowering the amount of pesticides applied to crops does not have to mean lessening expected yields. In their paper published in the journal Nature Plants, the team describes their study of hundreds of French farms where pesticide use was varied to find out how much was actually needed. Vasileios Vasileiadis with Italy’s Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology, National Research Council offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Explore further More information: Reducing pesticide use while preserving crop productivity and profitability on arable farms, Nature Plants, nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nplants.2017.8AbstractAchieving sustainable crop production while feeding an increasing world population is one of the most ambitious challenges of this century. Meeting this challenge will necessarily imply a drastic reduction of adverse environmental effects arising from agricultural activities. The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Pesticide use could be reduced through the adoption of new production strategies; however, whether substantial reductions of pesticide use are possible without impacting crop productivity and profitability is debatable. Here, we demonstrated that low pesticide use rarely decreases productivity and profitability in arable farms. We analysed the potential conflicts between pesticide use and productivity or profitability with data from 946 non-organic arable commercial farms showing contrasting levels of pesticide use and covering a wide range of production situations in France. We failed to detect any conflict between low pesticide use and both high productivity and high profitability in 77% of the farms. We estimated that total pesticide use could be reduced by 42% without any negative effects on both productivity and profitability in 59% of farms from our national network. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60% of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively. The potential for reducing pesticide use appeared higher in farms with currently high pesticide use than in farms with low pesticide use. Our results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations. This would imply profound changes in market organization and trade balance. Mechanical weeding, an alternative curative strategy to control weeds. Credit: Pascal Farcycenter_img Journal information: Nature Plants Vasileiadis notes that the study results are important, because they show that it is possible for farmers to reduce their use of pesticides right now, without any real risk of financial loss. Increasing pollinator numbers and diversity a possible way to increase crop yields Crop diversity, a strong lever to reduce the reliance on pesticides. Credit: Gilles Louviot 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

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Punjabi by Nature

first_imgPhulkari is  the popular embroidery technique of Punjab and  also a happy blend of colours and culture. Mela Phulkari aims at reviving this art and will bring in a fresh whiff of all pretty and popular things from Punjab. Like colourful pakhis (hand fans), madanis (butter churner) tilla jutis (footwear), Manja (village cots), parandis (the festive hair accessory) and textiles and embroideries.The mela will also feature the sounds of  traditional musical instruments like sarangi, nagada, dilruba and dhad as well. The show will exhibit over 150-year-old phulkaris, some of which belongs to the brand, while a few that have been borrowed from the personal collections of royal families for public viewing. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Harinder Singh, the Creative Head of 1469 said,  ‘From agriculture to the handmade, from the interiors of a Punjabi household to the bylanes of the glorious city, and from the literary to the musical traditions, all objects on display will give an insight into the rich Punjabi heritage’.‘Phulkari Mela is not a profit-making extravaganza. It’s a cause that will touch the chords of people in the city. Phulkari is a metaphor not just as a textile on which the women of Punjab embroider their dreams and their lives but a leitmotif that represents the complex web with which the crafts and culture of the land are enmeshed. The fest is free for all, after all Punjabis are known for their largesse,’ Pande shared.When: 11-24 AprilWhere: Open Pal Court, India Habitat Centrelast_img read more

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After 3 days of search Forest dept fails to trace adult leopard

first_imgDarjeeling: Drones, trap cameras, cages and three days of search operations have failed to spot Sachin, the leopard. This has given rise to doubts whether Sachin is still at the premise of Bengal Safari Park.Sachin, an adult leopard had escaped from the leopard enclosure at Bengal Safari near Siliguri on Tuesday morning. The Safari authorities said clues suggested Sachin was hiding in the adjacent herbivore enclosure since his escape. More than a 100 forest personnel along with wildlife squads; four trained elephants and vehicles have been pressed into the search operations. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAround 15 cages have been set up inside the 91-hectare herbivore enclosure and seven trap cameras have also been set up and drones flown on Thursday in search of Sachin. Vinod Kumar Yadav, Member Secretary of the West Bengal Zoo Authority on Thursday stated: “We have left no stone unturned. All resources are being utilised to the full capacity. Let us see what is the result.” However, most of the personnel of the wildlife squad are of the opinion that Sachin has gone out of the Safari Park. The minute search operation, drones and bursting of fire crackers throughout the day would definitely spotted the adult leopard, they feel. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHowever, the Park authorities are of the opinion that Sanchin is hiding in the Park. “Leopards can camouflage themselves well. They can even hide for hours in bushes,” argued Ashim Chaki, Assistant Director. Meanwhile, pug marks were seen on Thursday in the 7th Mile area adjacent to the Park. Though the marks are that of a leopard, it cannot be said for sure that it belongs to Sachin. Wildlife authorities feel that Sachin has lost the ability to hunt owing to his long tenure at Leopard Rescue Centre in South Khayerbari in Jalpaiguri. He used to be fed in the Park. Forest personnel also feel that owing to lack of food since escape, Sachin could have gone weak. On top of that not a single herbivore including deer have been attacked by Sachin. Sachin’s escape has taken a toll on the visitor footfall. Thursday saw diminishing numbers. As visitors have been prohibited to roam the park on foot, business in canteens and restaurants has been considerably affected. Meanwhile Sourav, the other male leopard is being closely watched. He has been shifted from the open space of the enclosure to the night shelter. In June 2018, two male leopards were brought to the Safari. The duo had been caught from Satali Tea Estate in Alipurduar and were kept at Leopard rescue Centre in South Khayerbari in Jalpaiguri.last_img read more

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Bosses blamed more for their actions

first_imgBosses, take note. You may receive considerably more blame for the negative consequences of your actions than an employee, according to a new study. Theories to date had assumed that praise and blame were determined by the extent to which an individual is able to exercise causal influence over something. “That means the reason why the boss is criticised more severely than the employee is because it was he who made the decision and, therefore, his causal influence over the situation was more significant,” said Kai Kaspar from the University of Cologne in Germany. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHowever, the study, published in the journal Philosophical Psychology, demonstrated that, unlike previously assumed, the acting person’s social status plays an important role when it comes to the distribution of praise and blame, rather than the extent to which an individual has influenced a given situation.”In real life, a boss receives considerably more blame for the negative consequences of his actions than an employee,” added Pascale Willemsen, researcher at the Ruhr-Universitatt Bochum in Germany. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn the other hand, an employee receives significantly more praise if his actions result in positive consequences than his superior, the findings showed.According to this theory, his social role as the boss is irrelevant.To test this assumption, the team conducted an online study with 209 test participants.The participants were asked to state their position on the following situation: rather than the boss, an employee makes an important decision in the company. Both employee and boss are aware that, while the decision is in the best interest of the enterprise, it will have a negative impact on the environment as a side-effect. Both explicitly state that they do not care about this side-effect.In the experiment, the boss received more criticism than the employee, even though he did not personally make the decision. “We now have ample reason to assume that the social function plays a significant role in determining how much praise or criticism we allocate to a person for any negative consequences of their actions,” the researchers explained.last_img read more

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Exergaming may slow down risk of Alzheimers

first_imgOlder adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who indulge in exergames – video games that are also a form of exercise – may experience significant improvement in complex thinking and memory skills, according to a study. Exergaming relies on technology that tracks body movement or reaction. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, showed that exergames may slow the debilitating effects of those with MCI, that is often a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Exergaming is one more thing that could be added to the arsenal of tools to fight back against this cruel disease,” said lead author Cay Anderson-Hanley from Union College in New York, US. “The results suggest that the best outcome for brain health may result when we do both: move it and use it,” Hanley added.The study included more than 100 seniors, with an average age of 78, who were divided into two groups. One group was assigned to pedal along a scenic virtual reality bike path several times a week where another group had to pedal while playing a video game. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe data were then compared against data collected from a separate group who played video games on a laptop but did not pedal, and also a group from the previous research who only rode a traditional stationary bike with no gaming component.The results showed that participants in both the group experienced significantly better executive function, which controls, in part, multi-tasking and decision making. Benefits were also observed for verbal memory and physical function.last_img read more

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VIT donates Rs 125 crore to TN CMs relief fund

first_imgVellore Institute of Technology, one of India’s premier private higher educational institutions has been in the forefront for extending help to all those sections who belong to the downtrodden and underprivileged sections. It has also mobilised resources and financial assistance to people who have been severely affected by natural calamities.Towards rescue and rehabilitation efforts of the Tamil Nadu government, and to help victims affected by Gaja Cyclone, especially in the coastal and central districts of the State, the VIT has extended a financial assistance of Rs 1.25 crore to the Chief Minister’s relief Fund. A cheque was personally handed over to the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami by Dr G Viswanathan, Founder and Chancellor of VIT, recently. The amount has been mobilised from students, parents, staff and non-teaching staff who have given a portion of their salary as a contribution from the management of VIT. Dr Sekar Viswanathan, Sankar Viswanathan and G V Selvam, Vice Presidents of VIT were also present on the occasion. It may be recalled that during the massive damage caused by the floods in Kerala a few months ago, VIT mobilised relief materials worth Rs 24 lakh. VIT also gave Rs 1 crore as relief amount with Dr Viswanathan handing over a cheque personally to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.last_img read more

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South Dinajpur district administration hands over health cards

first_imgBALURGHAT: South Dinajpur district administration started distributing health cards to the beneficiaries who are under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme on Friday.District magistrate Nikhil Nirmal said: “We have started distributing the health cards to the beneficiaries under RSBY project undertaken by the state government. Any individual under the particular scheme will get cashless benefit up to Rs 5,00,000 through the health card.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to an official source, five beneficiaries received health cards on Friday from the concerned DM in a programme at district administrative building. Around 100 cards have been prepared for beneficiaries. The department has targeted to handover approximately 1,00,000 cards within next 100 days. “The cardholders will immensely be benefitted under the health scheme. The poor and backward people who have financial compulsions and do not have the capacity to bear the costly medical expenses can take advantage through it. Soon, we will start distributing the cards at the block level. The entire process will be completed within upcoming 150 days positively,” Nirmal said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateApart from DM, additional district magistrate, Pranab Kumar Ghosh, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr Sukumar Dey and many dignitaries and officials attended the programme. Notably, the cardholders will receive pamphlet with the details of the scheme and the list of hospitals. The health scheme is for the poor. It aims to provide insurance coverage to the unorganised sector workers under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and their family members.last_img read more

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Sylvia Plaths Love Triangle which Ended in Disaster for Both Women

first_imgMost people know the story of Sylvia Plath — the famed poet who took her own life at thirty years of age, distraught by the abandonment of her husband, poet laureate Ted Hughes. But few are as well-acquainted with Assia Wevill, the scorned “other woman” in this tragic love triangle — who, like the woman she supplanted, would die at her own hand. Born in 1927, the daughter of a Jewish physician of Russian origin and a German Lutheran mother, Wevill spent her early years in Germany, until the persecution of Jews at the beginning of WWII forced her family to flee to Palestine.Years later, the striking and sophisticated Wevill was working as a copywriter at a London ad agency and happily married to her third husband, poet David Wevill. The couple, looking for a flat to settle down in, came upon the perfect place.Plath photographed in July 1961 at her Chalcot Square flat in London.The owners: poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, who were renting it out while they moved to the Devon countryside, in an attempt to get their marriage back on track, far from the turbulence of the big city.Their new home, Court Green, was certainly bucolic, but life so far from the city can be lonely. In the winter of 1962, Plath and Hughes invited several couples to Devon to stay for the weekend — among them, David and Assia Wevill.Chalcot Square, near Primrose Hill in London, Plath and Hughes’ home from 1959. Photo by Oxyman CC BY-SA 2.0It would be a turning point in both relationships. Plath, well-attuned to her husband’s wandering eye, couldn’t help but notice the chemistry between Hughes and Wevill. Her radar was dead-on.Weeks later, Hughes went to the ad agency where Wevill worked, leaving a note: “I have come to see you, despite all marriages.” Message sent. Soon the two were meeting in hotels or the back of a borrowed van.Homage to Ted Hughes by Reginald Gray (2004), Bankfield Museum, Halifax, England.Upon learning of the affair, David Wevill swallowed a handful of sleeping pills. Plath’s reaction was one of rage. (At one point, she built a bonfire in the yard, tossing her husband’s letters and manuscripts into the flames.) Plath would soon realize the mistake of her actions: Hughes fled to London, staying with a friend. The affair continued, but Hughes refused to make a choice, returning to Devon each week to spend time with his wife and children, Frieda and Nicholas. Wevill was equally torn between the two men in her life.Back in Devon, Plath and Hughes continued to fight bitterly. In December, Plath had had enough. It was her turn to move to London, finding a flat for her and the children. By February, she decided to give the marriage another chance, but it was too late. Hughes and Wevill’s affair was no longer cloaked in secrecy — and Wevill was carrying Hughes’s child, though she would have an abortion soon after Plath’s death. Hughes wanted no more children and Wevill wasn’t keen on becoming a mother.Ted Hughes. Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesOn February 11, 1963, Plath took her own life, gassing herself in her kitchen while her children slept on the floor above. Close friends, who had no idea of her husband’s whereabouts, tracked down his mistress, who ended up breaking the horrific news to Hughes. He immediately moved into the flat to tend to his children, while Wevill shuttled between the London flat and her home with David. Though Plath suffered from clinical depression, her friends blamed her rival for her death. But if Wevill shouldered any of the responsibility, she didn’t show it.That May, back in Sylvia’s flat — this time for good after a separation from her husband — Wevill turned 36. Life ran smoothly, for a while anyway. Wevill discovered, to her great surprise, that she enjoyed being a stepmother.Sylvia Plath’s Royal typewriter. Photo by smallcurio CC BY 2.0“Fantastic, the way children (not even my own) have finally surrounded me,” she wrote in her diary. “The children I like, very much. I shall like them ever better, I think, when they are a little older.”Ted, editing Plath’s poems into a book, rarely mentioned his wife’s name, but Wevill knew better. “Sylvia [is] growing in him, enormous, magnificent,” she wrote. “I am shrinking daily, both nibble at me. They eat me.”In March of 1965 at age 37, Wevill gave birth to Alexandra Tatiana Elise, nicknamed “Shura.” Two years later, they would come to live at Court Green. By then, the dynamics of her relationship with Hughes had changed.Sylvia Plath.He suffered from dark moods and the couple fought frequently. Wevill was learning how hard it is to compete with a memory. Hughes, perhaps not understanding what she was going through, would unknowingly torture her with stories of “dream-meetings” he had with Plath as he slept.Adding to Wevill’s internal turmoil: suspicions about her lover’s faithfulness. The fact that Hughes was reluctant to settle down with Wevill and their daughter didn’t help. Heartbreakingly, he refused to claim Shura as his daughter (at least publicly).Shunned by her lover’s friends and family, not to mention becoming a pariah in the eyes of Plath’s many fans, Wevill would become but a shadow of the seductress who first enticed Ted Hughes.Sylvia Plath’s grave Photo by Jennifer Boyer CC By 2.0What’s more, mirroring the woman that she supplanted, Wevill had to endure Hughes’s wandering eye. Among his infidelities: Carol Orchard, a woman twenty years his junior, who Hughes would marry in 1970.Visibly older and pounds heavier, Wevill would return to London. In March of 1969, she dragged a mattress into the kitchen of her London flat, dissolved a handful of sleeping pills in a glass of water, and shared the potion with her four-year-old daughter.Then she turned on the gas stove and crawled into bed with the child.In her will, Wevill expressed the wish to “be buried in any rural cemetery in England, the vicar of its parish not objecting to its burial.”Read another story from us: Nevermore…The Unanswered Questions Surrounding the Final Days of Edgar Allan PoeInstead, Hughes would have her remains cremated. The epitaph, chosen by Wevill, would read: “Here lies a lover of unreason and an exile.”last_img read more

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Swimming was made for Michael Phelps and Michael Phelps was made to

first_img.@ColinCowherd on Michael Phelps: “In the history of the Olympics nobody’s DNA has more perfectly fit their passion”https://t.co/8511p0TuYg— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 10, 2016 Phelps has has seen rivals in individual events come and go (yes, you too, Chad le Clos), but his overall domination of the sport has sucked all the oxygen, or at least the gold medals, out of the room for over a decade.Today in The Herd, Colin marveled at Phelps, not only because of his massive medal count, but because he is the unique example of a human being who ended up doing exactly what he was put on Earth to do.“Michael Phelps chose the perfect thing to do in life. He’s tall, he could have played basketball. He’s tall, he could have pitched in baseball. But his DNA, he’s a human fish. He’s 6’4″, Olympians say the perfect height. His arm span is extraordinarily long. Generally, a person’s arm span is equal to their height. Not with Phelps. Significantly longer, allowing more pulling power with his arms. His torso is that of a 6’8” person. Freakishly long. Enables him to have an amazing reach. He could have done a million sports. His hands, his reach, his torso, his size. He picked the perfect sport.”There will never be another Michael Phelps. There can’t be. Unless, Aquaman comes out of retirement. Advertisementcenter_img Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympic swimmer, and arguably the greatest Olympic athlete of all time. Last night, he capped off his 12-year Olympic dominance by hauling in his record setting career his 21st gold medal, and 25th overall medal.His social media meme from Rio will also endure until the Earth is eventually destroyed by the exploding sun.Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos claim it isn’t personal – but that death stare proves it is https://t.co/J6J430Bjv6 pic.twitter.com/sCtrylXGfl— The Independent (@Independent) August 10, 2016last_img read more

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VIDEO Gregg Popovich jokingly rushed a backpeddling cameraman to make it harder

first_imgGregg Popovich is a world class coach, and a world-class media troll. Before the Spurs game last night against the Grizzlies, Popovich turned the normally uneventful pre-game tracking shot of the coach walking to the locker room into a TV production nightmare for the camera man.Instead of walking at the customary stroll, Pop rushed the camera guy, forcing him to back pedal at a furious pace to keep him in the tracking shot. Playoff level troll job by coach.Gregg Popovich, hall of fame coach, and hall of fame pain in the ass.Gregg Popovich is coming for you pic.twitter.com/IYjeoXIXDt— Ananth Pandian (@Ananth_Pandian) April 21, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more

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VIDEO Last Chance U star Isaiah Wright charged in fatal stabbing death

first_img Patrick landed a scholarship at Indiana, but was declared a medical hardship after suffering injuries which ended his football career. Wright briefly enrolled at West Georgia, but left the team in 2017. Advertisement Isaiah Wright, a player featured in the popular Netflix series Last Chance U, and his brother who also attended the school, have been charged in connection with a fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old man in Tennessee.Per The Knoxville News-Sentinel report:Camion D. Patrick, 22, of Knoxville, and Isaiah S. Wright, 20, of Harriman, are each charged with one count of criminal homicide in the July 25 death of 18-year-old Caleb Thomas Radford, of Maryville, the Alcoa Police Department announced Thursday.Patrick and Wright both played at East Mississippi Community College. Wright became one of the focal points in season 2 of the series. After showing early promise, he was unable to stay on the field due to injuries, and later clashed with head coach Buddy Stephens. Patrick attended the school and won a national title in 2014, before the series began filming.last_img read more

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Ohio State has a realistic path to the playoff if they win

first_imgUCLA should have cut ties with the Ball circus LiAngelo Ball and his teammates are back on American soil after an embarrassing shoplifting incident during a team trip in China, and have been suspended indefinitely from the UCLA basketball team. Colin would have taken it a step further and used the opportunity to cut ties with the chaotic circus created by the Ball family.With the most talented son, Lonzo, having already passed through, all that’s left is package deal scholarship recipient LiAngelo, and the inevitable endless media attention and distractions from LaVar. Future commit LaMelo’s actions indicate he may skip college altogether.Steve Alford opted for a temporary suspension. Colin would have kicking LiAngelo off the team to ditch the headaches for good. Ohio State has a realistic path to the playoff if they win outOhio State has two losses on the year, but Colin thinks if they win out by beating Michigan and probable Big Ten Championship Game opponent, Wisconsin, they’ll be right in the playoff hunt when the committee makes its final selections.Right now, the Buckeyes are ranked ninth, and 3 of the 5 teams they need to lose are guaranteed to drop, based on scheduling. If Oklahoma drops a rematch to TCU, OSU is likely in. Colin thinks the fact they still have a chance to get In is a great message from the selection committee that losses don’t eliminate teams with tough schedules. Guests:Doug Gottlieb– FS1 analyst and host of The Doug Gottlieb Show is in-studio talking possible suspensions for UCLA players; why Lonzo’s shooting problems are a bigger problem than Colin will admit; and why he thinks Lonzo has been a disappointment, but not an outright bust.Joel Klatt – FS1 college Football Analyst is in-studio talking college football playoffs; his Top 4; and why Ohio State has a realistic path to the playoffs.RJ Bell – Founder Pregame.com joins the show to talk Vegas college rankings; and odds for potential late season and playoff matchups.Rich Paul – Agent for LeBron James is in-studio discussing his relationship with LeBron; how he manages overwhelming demands; and how LeBron will approach his offseason free agency decision.last_img read more

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What Googles Mobile OS Will Do for Your Next Cell Phone

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » 10 min read November 5, 2007 No Google phone exists yet, but the search giant’s announcement of an open platform for mobile-phone apps is a step in the right direction. So when will we see the so-called Android phones from members of the newly founded Open Handset Alliance? We’ll dig into those and more of the key questions surrounding Google’s phone platform in this FAQ. Be sure to check back for updates as the story evolves. (Last updated: 11/07/2007 at 8:20 a.m.)Will a Google Phone ever be made?What has been announced so far?So what is this Android?When will I be able to buy a Google-powered phone?Will other carriers such as Verizon offer Android-based phones?How will Android phones differ from today’s coolest smart phones?Why is a Google mobile platform any better than an existing mobile OS from Palm or Microsoft?Will service providers be able to lock down phones?But with this “open platform” behind the phone, I’ll be able to hack it and customize it anyway, right?What will I be able to customize on an Android phone?What kinds of applications will we see? newWill added customization mean lots of hardware spec confusion when you buy a “Google” phone? newWill I need to know how much RAM, storage, and processing power my phone has? newShould I trust an Android phone? newWill Google phones only be cheap because they’re inundated with ads? newWhat does this have to do with Google’s battle for wireless spectrum? newWill a Google Phone ever be made?Google’s chair and CEO Eric Schmidt won’t officially say. But Schmidt does say that if all goes as planned, we’ll likely see many “Google phones” from a variety of wireless carriers. He also says that once software developers create a mature Android OS, it would be a prime time for Google to release a gPhone.What has been announced so far?The release of the Android platform and the launch of the Open Handset Alliance were the two most substantive news items to come out of Monday’s press conference.So what is this Android?Android is a Linux-based mobile software platform that Google hopes will be the operating system of mobile phones in the future. It will compete with platforms such as Apple’s OS X on the iPhone, the BlackBerry OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, and the Palm OS.Google announced the Android platform along with other members of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of 34 hardware and software companies plus wireless carriers committed to creating open standards for mobile devices.The Android platform, according to OHA, is free software available under the Apache open-source license. On November 12, a software developer’s kit (SDK) will release to developers. This will be the first chance for people to see an early incarnation of the OS.When will I be able to buy a Google-powered phone?The first Android phones are expected to be available to consumers in the second half of 2008. The most likely candidates to release Google-powered phones here in the United States are the wireless carriers–Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile–that are part of OHA.HTC and Motorola, both members of OHA, will build phones for the Android platform. Forbes is reporting on an HTC-built OHA reference design code-named Dream featuring a touch screen that swivels to reveal a full keyboard. Apparently HTC is considering a commercial version of the phone and could release such a device as soon as the second half of 2008.Will other carriers such as Verizon offer Android-based phones?Don’t hold your breath for Verizon and AT&T to jump on the Android bandwagon. These carriers say they are worried that the open-software standards could expose users to software attacks or security breaches.Beyond the security issues, wireless carriers have financial considerations, too. A cell phone that allowed customers to use any mobile Web application for free could threaten the revenue of carriers that charge customers for identical applications, such as access to e-mail, games, and GPS features.How will Android phones differ from today’s coolest smart phones?Google says Android will have a browser capable of handling any type of Web content that a desktop computer’s Web browser can handle. That design opens up a treasure trove of possible browser-based services already available to PC users, including contact management, document creation, GPS direction services, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services.Many of these services could be implemented today but aren’t, largely due to the fact that wireless carriers currently offer basic browsers that restrict users to a walled garden of services.Why is a Google mobile platform any better than an existing mobile OS from Palm or Microsoft?In theory, software developers will be inspired to create mobile applications for Android, for two reasons. First, an open software architecture will allow software developers more flexibility in creating features.Second, Android will break the stranglehold that wireless carriers have on bringing new and free applications to customers. Now smaller companies will have more of an incentive to build innovative mobile applications that otherwise might not have reached consumers because the companies lacked the clout to broker deals with wireless carriers.Will service providers be able to lock down phones?According to the Android open license agreement, anyone can modify the OS to suit their needs–including locking it down. Conceivably a carrier could place restrictions on applications, such as VoIP services that took advantage of a mobile phone’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Being able to receive and initiate calls over VoIP for free on a handset could significantly impact a wireless carrier’s monthly revenue.While Google CEO Schmidt acknowledges that locking is possible, however, he said today that it would be “unlikely” for a carrier to actually do so.But with this “open platform” behind the phone, I’ll be able to hack it and customize it anyway, right?You’ve seen what has happened with the iPhone, right? With an open platform driving all Android phones, hackers should whip up something for any locked-down Android device even more easily. We’d bet that any sufficiently popular locked phones won’t remain that way for long.What will I be able to customize on an Android phone?The Open Handset Alliance platform allows for customization down to the screen you see when you open or turn on your phone. Imagine being able to customize your opening screen with personalized icons, news feeds, weather details, and voice-mail information. Think of a My Yahoo start page for your cell phone. Again, the amount of customization will depend on the carrier.What kinds of applications will we see?Some companies have expressed an intent to develop location-aware services that, for instance, automatically link users to reviews of nearby restaurants. Other services might include a photo application that matches pictures automatically with people you select from your address book. Other applications could include a more robust offering of online real-time multiplayer games.At Monday’s press conference, Google director of mobile platforms Andy Rubin promised the world when it came to applications, stressing that mobile programs would be on a par with apps that people know from the PC-based Web.Will added customization mean lots of hardware spec confusion when you buy a “Google” phone?Yes, but it won’t be anymore complicated than buying a cell phone today. Greg Sterling of Opus Research in San Francisco says with as many handsets expected to run the Android software there are bound to be low and high-end phones.Sterling says that because Android devices rely on third party mobile services and software for advanced features, low-end phones likely will not be able to take advantage of the most resource demanding applications, such as HD video playback. “This doesn’t differ a whole lot from what we have today,” Sterling says.Will I need to know how much RAM, storage, and processing power my phone has?One of the key features of the open handsets that run Google’s operating system is their ability to run applications and services from third-party providers. Just as you can’t run the most system-demanding games on a low-end PC, you won’t be able to run system-taxing mobile applications on low-end Android phones.OHA members say the goal is to maximize handset functionality while keeping system specs as low as possible. However, given that mobile phones are morphing quickly into portable multi-media devices it’s hard to imagine handsets that don’t ship with varying quality displays and storage capacity, for example.Should I trust an Android phone?The Google phones are based on an open operating system, meaning anyone can create software for it. Anyone includes hackers or people with malicious intent who can easily study the OS and create security threats – Trojans, worms, and viruses.But some like Charles Golvin, a wireless analyst at the consultant firm Forrester Research, argue open source software can actually be much less a security risk than closed operating systems like Microsoft Windows. He says the collaborative nature of open software translates into more eyes looking for problems and more hands to fix problems when they are identified.Golvin expects security to be the centerpiece to the Google devices. Companies will need to adapt their policies to deal with the new phones’ security and privacy implications, Golvin says.Will Google phones only be cheap because they’re inundated with ads?No. Google says that it doesn’t believe carriers will subsidize the initial cost or monthly service charges of the phone with advertising. However, over time Google believes this may change. How long we’ll have to wait is anyone’s guess.It’s no secret Google is entering into the mobile phone space to sell ads. But in Monday’s press conference Google said it had no intention of pushing ads on mobile users any harder than it already does with its Mobile AdSense program. Why?Golvin from Forrester points out that mobile phone users are not accustomed to seeing ads on their devices. Google knows this, Golvin says, and won’t risk irritating customers with a mobile ad blitz for cell phones.Google says a cut of the revenue from ads shown on Android handsets will be shared with the wireless carrier. Over time as mobile users become desensitized and mobile ads proliferate wireless carriers will likely reduce monthly fees, Golvin says.What does this have to do with Google’s battle for wireless spectrum?According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, they’re two different initiatives. Android will run well on phones built for any networks.Google is willing to spend $4.6 billion on an upcoming Federal Communications Commission 700MHz spectrum auction. The spectrum is prime wireless real estate for wireless carriers and Google who see it as a perfect opportunity to extend mobile broadband services nationwide.Analysts says this fits into Google’s mobile strategy of extending its reach to mobile phone and beyond. “If Google won the auction it gives them an open road to offer whatever kind of services Google wants,” Forrester’s Golvin says. It’s likely Google would lease the spectrum, if it owned it, to a wireless carrier on the conditions it place no restrictions on Google phones and devices. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Brought to you by PCWorldlast_img read more

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How to Buy and Sell on eBay ScamFree

first_imgFTC 15+ min read Ask eBay users about auction fraud and payment scams, and you’ll hear different stories with the same theme: While eBay can be a great marketplace, both buyers and sellers need to beware.PC World contributing editor James Martin was nearly defrauded when he tried to sell a laptopand managed to avert disaster thanks only to a cooperative post office clerk who searched for and returned the package Martin had shipped a few hours earlier. Martin is not alone. The FBI tracks online auction fraud via its Internet Crime Complaint Center, and auction scams have averaged more than half of all online fraud complaints.Infographic: Chip TaylorHowever, the actual numbers of fraud reports have gone down in the last couple of years, returning to 2003 levels. This may be due to better policing by eBay or to more awareness of fraud among the auction site’s users.And eBay has taken a number of steps to combat fraud. One of them is an antifraud toolbar for users , designed to identify attempts by phishers to obtain your eBay log-in information. Recently, eBay also partnered with Google to stamp out a major site-redirection vulnerability exploited by phishers .Other tools in eBay’s fraud-fighting arsenal include the eBay/PayPal Security Key , launched in February of last year, as well as several measures designed to safeguard member IDs and improve buyer protections introduced in April 2007 . Also, to protect member ID information, which can be used to send phishing e-mail and fake “second-chance” offers, eBay now hides the IDs of bidders in big ticket auctions. And an expanded new seller feedback system gives buyers the detailed information they need to decide on the seller’s bona fides.Finally, a sweeping overhaul announced this week should lead to a new balance of power between buyers and sellers. Among other changes, sellers may no longer leave negative feedback on buyers, eliminating the fear of retaliation that many buyers had when deciding whether to leave negative feedback of their own. This fear resulted in under-reporting of bad transactions through the feedback system. And sellers in high-risk categories like computers, or those who have less than stellar feedback, will now be required to take payments either through PayPal or a credit card. In some cases, PayPal will even withhold payments to sellers entirely until the buyer has left positive feedback or 21 days have passed without a claim.Even with all these safeguards, there are still risks to using eBay. Users put up with them because it’s the biggest game in town, with 95 percent of all online auction listings, according to Jupiter Research. Total auction sales were about $30 billion last year, a big slice of overall U.S. Internet sales of $116 billion. Local Craigslist classifieds and Amazon’s Marketplace are gaining in popularity, especially for hard-to-ship items and books, but for many broad product categories, such as antiques and collectibles, eBay is still the best or only viable outlet.So what can you do to protect yourself against auction fraud, and buy and sell safely on eBay? Read on. Ebay, Scam-FreeAvoiding eBay scams largely boils down to performing due diligence on your transaction partners and potential purchases, and being extremely careful about auction-related e-mail messages and payments.Most eBay fraud falls into one of three broad categories, all of which affect both buyers and sellers:Account hijackings: Criminals take over accounts with good feedback and use them to buy merchandise with stolen credit cards or to sell big-ticket items that are never delivered.Counterfeit, doctored, or misrepresented merchandise: Bogus products can be very hard to spot. Buyers end up paying more than an item is worth, and sellers of genuine goods can’t compete on price.Payment fraud: An endless variety of credit card, wire transfer, and bogus money-order scams cheat buyers and sellers alike out of both money and merchandise. Account HijackingThis is the biggest and most dangerous problem on eBay. Through phishing messages and bogus links in auctions, scammers get hold of your eBay password, which they can then use to take over your account and buy or sell with near impunity, leaving you holding the bag for transactions you had nothing to do with. E-Bay, Scam-Free January 1, 2008 Common and highly effective phishing scams include sending e-mail messages that mimic those you are already used to receiving from eBay’s mail system, such as questions from buyers, bid notices, and after-auction invoices. When the unsuspecting recipient clicks on a link in these messages (usually purporting to be the item page), it takes them to a phony eBay log-in page instead, where their account information is then captured. The malicious site may also be programmed to install a Trojan or keystroke tracker on the user’s computer, which can then be used to capture other passwords as well, such as to PayPal or banking sites. (Besides the image above, go to Bustathief.com for more examples of eBay phishing lures.)Scammers work fast with hijacked accounts, listing popular high-cost items like computers, iPods, and plasma TVs in one- or three-day auctions. After collecting the money, often sent to overseas accounts, they disappear, leaving the legitimate account holder to deal with irate buyers, possible police investigations, and a ruined feedback rating that may have taken years to build up.The flip side of this scam is using the pirated account to buy a load of valuable and easily fenced items with a stolen credit card. In this case, the true account holder has to deal with angry sellers who are out both their merchandise and their money.The latest twist on hijacking fraud: phishing pros are now selling kits that novice scammers can use to set up their own phishing sites and e-mail lures. The kits secretly send the collected data to the original developer. It’s sort of a phishing pyramid scheme, where the lower levels take the risks and do the work, sending the spoils back up the chain. Protect Yourself From HijackingWhile account hijacking is a rampant problem, it’s also one of the easiest eBay scams to avoid, if you take proper precautions:Never reply to e-mail purportedly from eBay or click on links within them, even when you are expecting them. Instead, log in to My eBay, where all genuine messages, auction activity, and your account information are directly accessible.Log on to My eBay on a regular basis just to check your account. Since it lists all bidding, selling, and feedback, you can see at a glance if anyone has hijacked your account. (If you think your account has been hijacked, report it to the eBay Security Center. See also “Where to Report Auction Fraud” on the last page of this article.)Never click on user-created links within auction listings, which can be phishing links that lead to phony eBay log-in pages.Safeguard your password. Don’t allow your browser to automatically enter your eBay or PayPal passwords, and don’t use the same password for both eBay and PayPal.Consider using eBay’s Toolbar;the toolbar offers alerts and protectionagainst eBay phishing sites.Use antivirus and antispyware tools to help prevent infection by password-capturing Trojans and DNS hijacking (a trick that without your knowledge redirects your browsing so that instead of going to eBay or another site, you go to malicious pages). See our Spyware & Security Info Center for recommended products. Fake and Misrepresented Items Brought to you by PCWorld Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Payment and Bidding FraudOkay, you’ve decided to buy widget A from seller B, or sell widget X to buyer Y; now how do you assure a safe and successful transaction? Unfortunately, there are just as many bidding and payment scams out there as phishing tactics. Some favorites:Shill bidding: Bidders in collusion with the seller bid items up artificially. They may also bid high to discover your maximum bid, then retract it and bid just below your top price, forcing you to pay more than you should. eBay’s practice of hiding bidder IDs on big-ticket items–while it reduces the number of e-mail messages from scammers to bidders–also makes it harder for users to investigate other bidders and protect themselves against this practice.Bid shielding: A ring of bidders drives up the price early in an auction to scare off other buyers, then retracts bids at the last minute, allowing a low bid to win the auction.Fake second-chance offers: If you lose an auction, you may get a legitimate second chance to buy the product if the high bidder backs out, or if the seller has multiple items. Scammers take advantage of this phenomenon and send bogus offers to the second-highest bidder in an auction, collecting their money and not sending the product.Switch and return: Buyers receive your genuine item, switch it with a fake, and then return it for a refund.Stolen credit cards: Any auction can be the target of a buyer with a stolen credit card, but overseas buyers of high-ticket items asking you to ship via overnight service are almost surely scammers. They may be using a stolen credit card or a hijacked PayPal account. Refund-the-difference scams: Buyers send you a larger check or money order than the amount of your item, and ask you to refund the difference. The odds are about 100 percent that the check is counterfeit and you will be out both your merchandise and the money you refunded.Wire-transfer black hole: The seller requires payment via wire transfer, often to an address overseas. The odds of you actually seeing your merchandise after sending a wire transfer are slim. And eBay has eliminated its former purchase protection policy. Only PayPal still offers any form of buyer protection.Triangulation: This combination of stolen credit card use and account hijacking scams is perhaps the most insidious of all, with three victims. A scammer takes over victim A’s eBay account. He then sells victim B an expensive item and collects payment. He orders the item from a site like Amazon with a credit card stolen from victim C and has the merchandise delivered to victim B. The scammer is long gone with the money before eBay, Amazon and the credit card company start coming after victims.center_img Protect Yourself From Payment and Bidding Fraud Protect Yourself From Payment and Bidding FraudAgain, vet the seller carefully.Read all negative or neutral feedback comments. Consider the length of time the seller has been in business on eBay, and how long he or she has been selling items like the one you are interested in buying.Never bid until the last second.Use auction sniping services like AuctionStealer.com to place your maximum bid in the last seconds of the auction. This will prevent you from being the victim of shill bidding or bid retractions designed to make you reveal your maximum bid. You’ll also likely pay less, while relieving yourself of the burden of watching the auction.Accept second-chance offers only through My eBay.Legitimate second-chance offers come through the eBay mail system, and will be displayed on My eBay as special Buy-It-Now auctions for you only.As a seller, don’t allow returns.Unless you are making your living selling on eBay and can develop safeguards, allowing returns can set you up for trouble. Make this clear clear up front in your auction listings.Wait a day or two before sending your merchandiseto see if PayPal reverses the buyer’s payment or eBay cancels the auction, as happened to PC World’s James Martin.Always usea credit card through PayPal. Never use bank debit cards. Credit card protections are much stronger and easier to fall back on than PayPal’s. A simple phone call to your credit card company is a lot easier than jumping through PayPal’s hoops, which can be difficult to get through. (And the best you can hope for is $2000 protection under very specific conditions).Avoid sending checks.If the seller does not accept payment through PayPal, think twice about bidding. For small items from vendors with good and recent feedback, it’s probably fine to send a check or money order. Do not send checks or money orders for big-ticket items or if you have any doubt at all about the seller. And never pay by Western Union or other nonbank wire transfer–eBay does not permit sellers to ask for this, but scammers still do it.Wait for the buyer’s check to clear.It’s okay to accept checks and money orders for goods you are selling, but only do this if you are prepared to wait a full two weeks before shipping, and be sure to make this policy clear in your listing.Send only to verified addresses.PayPal’s address confirmation system is a good way to ensure you are sending to the owner of the account, rather than to a hijacker.Leave feedback only after you are satisfied.If you’re a buyer, never leave feedback until the transaction is completed to your satisfaction. Once you have left feedback, you lose leverage with the seller. If you’re a seller, note that eBay has just changed its feedback policies so that you cannot leave negative feedback on a buyer. To resolve problems with payment, you’ll need to file a complaint with PayPal, or a nonpaying bidder notice with eBay. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Fake and Misrepresented ItemsGetting what you paid for can sometimes be a challenge on eBay, thanks to sellers of counterfeit, doctored, and evasively described items. Fake Apple iPods, counterfeit batteries, and phony SanDisk CompactFlashor SD cards are regularly up for sale on eBay. The bogus iPods will be obvious the minute you open and turn them on, but you may not recognize memory cards and batteries as knockoffs until they garble your photos or set your laptop on fire. (Image credit: eBay seller aussieram.)Other significant problems include used hardware–which could have defects or missing pieces–that is as sold as new, and sales of software that may be counterfeit, already registered, or a different or older version than buyers expect.If you see Windows Vista Ultimate or Adobe Creative Studio 3 going for $50, it’s probably not the real thing. But not all fakes are sold at low prices, many are listed in the same price range as genuine products, with photos of authentic items taken from manufacturer sites, making it almost impossible to tell something is counterfeit until you receive it.Gray-market goods like digital cameras and camcorders are genuine but don’t come with U.S. warranties. Another frequent deception is low-cost academic or OEM versions of software being misrepresented as full retail editions. You may discover the difference only when it comes time to upgrade, and you find that the serial number for your application is not eligible for an upgrade.Any area that is a target for street counterfeits is also a big business on eBay. Designer handbags and accessories, watches, jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, DVDs, and auto parts are just some of the areas to be wary of. Tiffany sued eBay in 2005 alleging that more than 70 percent of certain jewelry items sold as “Tiffany” were actually counterfeit.Other items may just be stolen. One eBay seller unloaded $78,000 worth of hot Harley-Davidson parts before getting caught earlier this year. He had been employed in a Harley-Davidson parts warehouse.In the antiques and collectibles category, beware of reproductions and repaired or doctored items. Pottery chips and cracks can be repaired in a way that makes them invisible to the untrained eye, furniture and metalware may be refinished, and old stamps washed or given new perforations. A reproduction or repaired item may look fine on the surface, but it won’t be worth anywhere near as much as an undoctored original when you try to sell it, as any viewer of PBS’s Antiques Roadshow will tell you.Even normal sellers typically write incomplete descriptions. For example, if you’re looking for a used laptop, the description might not state whether the manual and recovery discs are included or whether the LCD screen has any dead pixels. Be sure to ask such questions or your purchase may not live up to your expectations.Protect Yourself From FakesVet the seller carefully. Read feedback comments to look for complaints of fake or misrepresented items. Beware of 1- or 3-day auctions, sellers or items that are overseas, and sellers suddenly unloading a lot of goods of a sort they have not sold in the past. Do not rely on labels like Power Seller or Square Trade. While most such sellers are honest, some scammers also have these designations. The logos provide information you can use in your overall evaluation of the seller, but they are not guarantees.Know the products you’re seeking. If you are not an expert in Tiffany lamps or costume jewelry, spotting the reproductions can be impossible. The more you know about what you are bidding on, the more likely you are to wind up with a good deal. Google is your research friend.Ask questions. Don’t bid until you know the answers. Assume nothing. Implications are just that, not guarantees. Ask for detailed photos, condition reports, return policies and shipping costs. And read every word in the listing. You are in control until the auction has ended.Always use a credit card to pay so you can ask for a chargeback on fake items (more on this in the next section).Consider using an online shopping comparison engine instead of eBay. While scammers advertise on shopping engines as well, you can get some peace of mind by shopping with a large company you know and trust. And shipping prices, an often-inflated cost on eBay, may be lower through Web retailers. Where to Report Auction FraudIf you are scammed on eBay, report it to both eBay and outside agencies–see the links listed below. The more that fraud is reported, the more likely it is that something will be done about it. The IC3 and USPS may refer your complaint to law enforcement. The other agencies compile statistics that help in making laws and setting enforcement policies.IC3 PayPal Security Center USPS(if shipped or paid for via U.S. mail)National Consumers LeagueBetter Business BureaueBay Security Center Payment and Bidding Fraud Register Now »last_img read more

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10 Early Black Friday Deals You Can Get Now

first_imgNovember 15, 2016 Entrepreneur has affiliate partnership with TechBargains so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.Black Friday is a week away and the deals start now. The team at TechBargains is starting to see Black Friday worthy deal and early release Black Friday deals go live today. Contrary to popular belief not all the best deals are found on Black Friday. Many are found during the week prior as stores start to ramp up their sales and try to get sales early. Here are a few of the top deals you can get now in TVs, computers, tablets, vacuums and more.55″ Samsung 4K Curved LED Smart HDTV + $175 Dell Gift Card for $699.99 (Orig $899.99)This is one of the best deals we’ve seen on a 2016 Curved 4K Samsung. With the included gift card you are effectively only paying $525 for a TV with the three latest innovations in TV technology: sharp 4k resolution, an immersive curved display and vibrant HDR colors. We’ve seen some of the other Black Friday deals and for a name brand TV with current generation tech this is the best deal we’ve seen. You can use that gift card to buy computers at Dell or any number of electronics sell such as the New PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One S.Dell XPS 8900 Intel Core i7 Quad-Core Desktop with Windows Pro $656.99 (Orig $729.99)Use 10% off Code: SAVE10%XPS. This is a Black Friday worthy deal on Dell’s most popular XPS desktop. It is a favorite for home offices, workstations and gamers alike. It has a rare blend of power, sleek design and can be upgraded to suit your needs. At $650 it’s a great price for a powerful higher end i7 processor and it includes the more expensive Pro version of Windows. The older Windows 7 is pre-installed which is great for small businesses. For home users, there is an included license for Windows 10 Pro so you can upgrade and make use of the latest innovations from Windows.Amazon Fire HD6 6″ 8GB WiFi Tablet for $49.99 (Orig $99.99)Use coupon code: FIREHD6. This is the Black Friday tablet deal to beat. At $50 you won’t get a better tablet than this well-reviewed HD Fire 6. It has a powerful quad-core processor, a sharp 252ppi screen and if you have Prime it’s an excellent option to watch videos offline when you travel. In fact at $50, it’s a no brainer travel tablet because of its price point and its durable design. A $50 tablet is great for many things: a digital photo frame, a tablet for the kids, or even as an eBook reader. It has specialized filters for comfortable night time reading and specialized blue color filters on the screen to help you sleep at night.Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Intel Core i7-7500u 1080p 15.6″ Laptop w/ AMD Radeon R7 GPU for $629 (Orig $849)Use Code: EARLYBIRD220. If you were waiting on a laptop with the latest Intel processor, then this is currently the best deal we’ve found. This has a sharp high resolution full HD display with a touch screen so you can make the most of the latest Windows 10 Pro’s operating system. It also has a new infrared camera so you can login to your computer with just a facescan. This is the latest in next generation laptops and if you you’ve already tossed your tablet then you will still need a laptop to get real work done.iRobot Roomba 650 Series Robot Vacuum for $274 (Orig $375)During Black Friday everyone is looking to get a Dyson. The team at TechBargains recommends a Roomba becuase having a robot vacuum for you if way better than any fancy vacuum you buy. This model is the lowest price we’ve seen by $25 and over $100 off the retail price. You can schedule it to clean up to 7x a week and it will automatically adjust to all floor types: carpet, tile hardwood and more. Get up to $300 Back with this Card: 10% Cash Back at Amazon ($200 Max) + Bonus $100 when you spend $1,000Get ready for Black Friday by signing up for a new credit card that offers you 10% Cashback at Amazon (Up to $200 max). Plus you earn a bonus $100 after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. That’s up to $300 cashback on a new card. Best of all no annual fee!Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circular Cooker with Bluetooth Control for $129 (Orig $169.99)For the perfect holiday dinners consider a sous vide cooker. You can cook a turkey, prime rib, chicken, fish and anything else you want to the perfect doneness without ever overcooking it. This version has bluetooth control so you can set it, then monitor or adjust settings from your phone. This is one of funnest gadgets for serious food nerds and Anova is one of the most popular home sous vide machines.Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa Voice and Home Automation Control (Refurb w/ 1-year Amazon Warranty) for $119.99 (Orig $179.99)The Amazon Echo was one of the most popular items during last year’s Black Friday and it’s back this year for an even lower price of $120. This model is Amazon certified refurbished and carries a 1-year warranty same as a new one. It has been tested and certified to work and look like new. The Echo is awesome for streaming music in your home. The built-in Alexa voice assistant will play songs, set reminders or alarms, order you an Uber, and even control any home automation you have set-up. The Amazon Echo is the home gadget of the future and word on the street is if you use Alexa to buy stuff off Amazon they will offer you exclusive deals to make it worth your while. Swiss Gear Cobalt Laptop Backpack + $25 Dell Gift Card for $49.99 (Orig $59.99)Swiss Gear makes high quality and well reviewed laptop backpacks that are rarely discounted. The Swiss Gear Cobalt is no exception and with the $25 Dell gift card you are getting one of the best deals we’ve found. Compared to the $25 effective price you are paying you won’t find a backpack as durable or well designed in that price range.Stanley Fatmax 700-Amp Peak Portable Jump Starter with Built-in Air Compressor for $39.98 (Orig $80)This is worth the money if you even end up using this once. It can save you the time of waiting for someone to give you a jump and it has a built-in USB charger should you need to charge up your phone. Lastly, it has a built-in air compressor so you can keep your tires topped off and skip feeding quarters into the air machine at the gas station.Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.Have a deal you want to promote? Contact us here. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min readlast_img read more

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Google CoFounder Take Chances Pursue Your Dreams and Silence the Voices

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global When Sergey Brin co-founded Google as a Stanford Ph.D. student, he never imagined that the company would become so wide-ranging and successful.He certainly never imagined that he’d be onstage at the World Economic Forum, where founder Klaus Schwab would tell him that “the prime minister of quite an important country” recently called Alphabet (Google’s parent company) one of the four powers left in the world.Despite Alphabet’s global dominance, Brin modestly attributes much of his success to luck. He said he was in Silicon Valley, where multiple technological revolutions (semiconductor, internet, mobile) have occurred and where a culture of both experimentation and social responsibility prevails.Related: How Google Has Changed the World“If I told you all of the dumb things I did, we’d have to have a much longer session,” Brin said. “And the successes, they often are chance.”This serendipitous perspective also defines Brin’s view of humanity and business in the future, as he explained in a talk at the World Economic Forum earlier today. Brin began with a caveat about his ability to predict the next technological frontier.“You maybe should doubt my answers a little bit,” he told the audience. Brin then shared an anecdote: A few years ago, he underestimated and largely disregarded Google’s research into artificial intelligence, believing that the concept of “neural nets” had been proven infeasible back in the 1990s. Today, Google Brain, the company’s AI research division, touches nearly all of the company’s projects.Brin encourages experimentation and innovation, just as one of his professors did when he wanted to leave Stanford to launch Google. But his career has taught him that the future is impossible to predict. He is cautious in his forecasts.“The evolution of technology might be inherently chaotic,” he said. “We have a set of values and desires today that are probably pretty different than before the Industrial Revolution, and different still than before the Agrarian Revolution. And we might continue to evolve.”Brin noted that values and desires have shifted as jobs and work have changed, thanks to automation. Automation has given humans more time to think, reflect and pursue work that gives them a sense of purpose. As automation becomes more prevalent, Brin said jobs should retain this role. People should have the means to educate themselves for reasons other than to fulfill an economic need.“I guess I would hope that — as some of the maybe more mundane tasks are alleviated through technology — people find more and more creative and meaningful ways to spend their time,” he said. “People find profound meaning in their day-to-day jobs, and I think that’s an important thing for us to preserve.”He explained that today’s technology provides unprecedented opportunities for young people to pursue their interests — but also a unique new challenge.“There are a lot of affordances that are such conveniences today that make it easy. But there’s also a global stage that makes it hard,” Brin said. “I would encourage young folks to take chances and pursue their dreams and try to silence out the voices that say, ‘Actually, there are 1,000 startups trying to do self-riding bicycles.’”Related: Richard Branson: There Needs to Be ‘Perpetual Revolution’ Within Your BusinessFinally, Brin shared his own values as humanity hurtles toward an uncertain future. He emphasized that the objective of business must shift to meaningful, socially driven goals beyond moneymaking — just as he believes that, despite automation, individuals must continue to have the means to pursue jobs that fulfill their passions.“You can’t just think narrowly, ‘Oh, this is your business, you’re just going to maximize earnings, it doesn’t matter what’s going on around you,” Brin said. “If you look at the laws and regulations and SEC rules, technically you’re meant to be purely profit seeking, and that’s not really a reasonable position to take.” Register Now »center_img January 19, 2017 4 min readlast_img read more

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5 Ways Drones Are Changing the World

first_imgFebruary 11, 2018 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Those who dream of getting an Amazon package, a prescription drug, or even a beer delivered to their doorsteps via drone might have their wishes fulfilled sooner than expected.The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program has jump-started the development of the drone industry in the United States, aiming to “enhance the safety of the American public, increase the efficiency and productivity of American industry and create tens of thousands of new American jobs.”Aerial enterprises such as drone delivery and aerial imagery are poised to take off. The potential economic benefit of integrated unmanned airborne systems will generate an estimated $82 billion and create up to 100,000 jobs by 2025, while aerial imaging is expected to generate $3.3 billion by 2023.Related: Watch Incredible Footage of a Drone Crashing Into Seattle’s Space NeedleDriving that growth are new and expanding application areas. Aerial technology is transforming industries of all types by optimizing processes, cutting costs, and reaching both figurative and literal places that were once unattainable. Here are five industries that are being disrupted by this new, lifesaving technology.Disaster relief and humanitarian aid.Just days after Hurricane Harvey, location content companies captured the devastation left by the natural disaster to aid in emergency response and rescue, flood management, and FEMA fund allocation. In times of emergency, image captures can be used to navigate first responders and 911 emergency services as well as analyze road conditions. FEMA and disaster relief agencies can also allocate money based on examinations of the extent of devastation in an area.Earlier this year, Otherlab, an engineering research and development lab based in San Francisco, created the APSARA glider, an advanced, biodegradable cardboard airplane capable of carrying more than two pounds of supplies like blood and vaccines to those in need.The biodegradable drone can support canisters, medically sensitive liquids, batteries and other life-saving items and disperse them to an area the size of California. Now medical supplies can be delivered to rural areas without roads or regions rendered inaccessible by natural disasters or war.High-resolution aerial imagery, like these before and after images of Hurricane Irma, are being used to aid in emergency response and rescue, FEMA fund allocation and flood management.Image Credit: Nearmap Public transit.Local transportation agencies such as Orange County Transportation Authority and the District Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, are using aerial imagery as a base map — a collection of GIS data and imagery that form the background setting and orientation of the map.Related: The iPhone of Drones Is Being Built by This TeenagerAerial photographs integrated with third-party programs like Autodesk and Esri products help in project management oversight, planning and site analysis, and validating construction updates (lane, roadway and sidewalk updates).Ocean mapping.Realizing that the ocean is critical to human existence — the source of 97 percent of the planet’s water and producer of more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere — it may come as a surprise that 85 percent of the ocean’s surface remains unmapped and unexplored.Aerial imagery has played a part in bridging that gap. High-resolution photos from aircraft camera systems can capture and retrieve surface current data and measure Doppler shift in waves. This method is cost-effective, timely and scalable; it can cover large surface areas.This process has implications for the oil and gas industry. Using the data extracted from the aerial captures, oil companies can plan and execute offshore exploration, conduct deep-water drilling operations, reinforce oil spill response and mitigation, and assist in search-and-rescue missions.Machine learning and AI.The combination of machine learning and AI is changing the way the insurance and real estate markets answer questions at scale. Now, with extremely high-resolution imagery, insurers can easily gather the most accurate, inspection-level property data, allowing assessors to easily identify characteristics and potential risks of a property such as swimming pools and the distance between trees and buildings.Cape Analytics, for example, has developed a cloud-based platform that provides an on-demand data stream of high-value property features and risks for real estate portfolios across the United States.Precision agriculture.Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on the use of technology to increase crop yields and profitability while reducing a number of traditional components necessary for growing crops such as water, fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides. Drone aerial imagery is key. Aerial pictures help farmers work smarter in tasks such as surveying entire farm properties, conducting soil and irrigation sampling, scheduling pesticide applications, and finding mechanical errors in equipment.Related: The Drone Industry: Thoughts From an OutsiderLarge companies such as Monsanto, John Deere, Bayer, Dow and DuPont are investing in precision farming technologies like software, sensors and aerial-based data.City water districts use aerial imagery to monitor crop production and water supplies and analyze aspects of the water budget. GIS and aerial imagery were used to create models and tools for the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership for examining and assessing the Coachella Valley Aquifer. These maps were used to estimate infiltration as well as change in land cover classifications and water depth surfaces, all visualized in 2D and 3D to find possible trends.As the aerial technology industry matures, it will only become more ubiquitous. The sky covers everything, from emergency response to public transit, oceanic discovery to large-scale farming and property assets. Sure, you’ll still get your package delivered, but the sky is opening up a world of other possibilities. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

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