The status of the battery and wireless signal are expected to be displayed on one of the two screens, but it is not yet known if the device will include a microphone and webcam for video conferences, or how the batteries will be recharged.According to Gizmodo, the development of the prototype has been kept secret, with the project team, led by J. Allard, even being located away from Microsoft’s major research site at Redmond, Washington. Allard is head of user experience and technology at the Entertainment and Devices division at Microsoft, and previously worked on Xbox and Zune. Briefs: Microsoft said designing wireless device Citation: Courier: Microsoft’s New ‘Booklet’ (w/ Video) (2009, September 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-courier-microsoft-booklet-video.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The device will have two hinged screens with a user interface operated by the fingers (flicking open, dragging items, turning pages, and so on) and a stylus for writing. A Home page button is at the base of the hinged section, which is similar to the iPhone idea. The back cover of the Courier incorporates a camera operated by touching a camera icon on one screen.A video below shows what appears to be an artist’s rendition of the digital notebook in action. The video is focused on business users and shows how the device combines applications such as an address book and map, journal with day planner, calendars and photographs. Wireless Internet access is fully incorporated in the design. (PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft has been secretly developing a prototype booklet-shaped tablet PC called the Courier, according to an exclusive report in the gadget blog “Gizmodo”. It is not known when, or even if, the device will be released, and it is also unclear if the “leak” to Gizmodo was sanctioned by Microsoft. There is, however, no indication the Courier will be unveiled at the January 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which would be expected if its release was likely to be within the next year. The Courier is also said to be just one of several tablet PC ideas Microsoft is developing.via Gizmodo© 2009 PhysOrg.com
New Zealand bird outwits alien predators Male New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Wellington. Image: Wikipedia The researchers, led by Professor Dave Kelly from the University of Canterbury, had already shown that many species of mistletoe are facing possible extinction through the disappearance of the birds that pollinated them, and turned their attention to New Zealand gloxinia (Rhabdothamnus solandri), a large (two-meter-high) native shrub found only in the forests of northern New Zealand. The shrub, known for its bright orange flowers, was pollinated by the bellbird, stitchbird and tui, which all have long tongues able to reach into the flowers, which are about 10 mm long.On the North Island, the tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) now appears to feed higher in the forest canopy, and the bellbird (Anothornis melanura) and stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta) have been wiped out by introduced predators such as cats, ship rats, stoats and possums brought by European settlers. The birds now survive only on a few islands off the North Island, where there has been little human interference, or where feral predators have been eradicated. The researchers analyzed areas of the North Island and three small islands nearby to see how gloxinia was faring. They found that on the mainland where the bellbird and stitchbird have gone, the fruit is smaller, containing just 37 seeds on average compared to 232 seeds in plants on the islands. Only a quarter of the mainland flowers showed evidence of bird visitation, compared to almost 80 percent of the flowers on the island plants. The population densities of adult plants were around the same but on the mainland there were 55 percent fewer young plants growing.When the biologists encased plants on the islands and mainland in wire mesh they also produced fewer seeds, which shows birds are needed for pollination, with insects playing a smaller role, if any, probably because the flowers are too long and narrow for insects to effectively pollinate them. When the researchers sowed seeds and manually pollinated the plants, they immediately boosted their numbers.In a paper published in the journal Science, Dr Kelly said the stitchbird and bellbird probably disappeared from the mainland around 1870. The decline in the plants had been gradual, and could easily have escaped notice as people generally disregard reports of how abundant plants were long ago. The gloxinia plant is known to be long-lived, and Dr Kelly estimates it may live as long as 150 years.Dr Kelly said the same kind of declines in plant populations could well be occurring elsewhere in the world. The research is continuing on other bird-pollinated plants in New Zealand. More information: Cascading Effects of Bird Functional Extinction Reduce Pollination and Plant Density, Science, Published Online 3 February 2011, DOI:10.1126/science.1199092 (PhysOrg.com) — A team of scientists in New Zealand has found the local disappearance of pollinating birds over a hundred years ago is having a detrimental effect on the species they pollinated. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Disappearance of New Zealand birds 100 years ago makes life tough for plants: study (2011, February 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-zealand-birds-years-life-tough.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
In the ongoing debate regarding the evolution of life on planet Earth, more and more scientists are coming to believe it likely came here from elsewhere, via comets, or asteroids, rather that springing forth from initial ingredients. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that the nitrogen level of our atmosphere likely came to exist due to early meteor showers.The trio studied the meteorite samples using an electron microscope looking at bits of the mineral carlsbergite which were too small to be seen with the naked eye—in so doing they found nitrogen levels nearly identical to those found in our atmosphere. The finding, they say, shows that there was another kind of nitrogen present in the early solar system—billions of years ago.Carlsbergite is made of nitrogen and chromium, and is unusual of course, because nitrogen is generally found as a gas and has rarely been seen in mineral crystals. The researchers theorize that the nitrogen in the carlsbergite got there due to shock waves or collisions between ammonia bearing ices—the high temperatures could have caused reactions that led to the formation of chromium and nitrogen. Asteroids with some amount of carlsbergite in them would have then made their way across the solar system, eventually, with help from Jupiter’s gravity, crossing paths with our own planet, and giving rise to the nitrogen in our atmosphere.The team is looking forward to revelations by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft this spring as it makes its way into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres which is in the asteroid belt, possibly offering evidence of carlsbergite in asteroids with nitrogen levels matching those of the samples they have been studying—giving credence to their theories. More information: Reactive ammonia in the solar protoplanetary disk and the origin of Earth’s nitrogen, Nature Geoscience (2015) DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2339AbstractTerrestrial nitrogen isotopic compositions are distinct from solar and cometary values and similar to those of primitive meteorites, suggesting that Earth’s atmospheric nitrogen originates from a primordial cosmochemical source. Prebiotic organic compounds containing nitrogen that formed in the solar protoplanetary disk, such as amino acids, may have contributed to the emergence of life on Earth. However, the original reservoirs of these volatile compounds and the processes involved in their distribution and chemical modification before accretion remain unclear. Here we report the occurrence of the mineral carlsbergite (chromium nitride) within nanocrystalline sulphide inclusions of primitive chondritic meteorites using transmission electron microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry. The characteristics and occurrence of carlsbergite are consistent with precipitation from a chromium-bearing metal in the presence of reactive ammonia. The carlsbergite crystals have nitrogen isotopic compositions that differ from ammonia in cometary ices, but are similar to Earth’s atmospheric nitrogen. We suggest that the reactive ammonia proposed to have initiated formation of the carlsbergite came from ices within regions of the protoplanetary disk that were affected by the distal wakes of shock waves. Our findings imply that these primordial ammonia-bearing ices were a nitrogen reservoir within the formation region of the chondritic meteorite parent bodies and could have been a source of volatiles for the early Earth. Citation: Researchers find levels of nitrogen in meteorites similar to levels in Earth’s atmosphere (2015, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-nitrogen-meteorites-similar-earth-atmosphere.html Journal information: Nature Geoscience (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers in Germany has found levels of nitrogen in carlsbergite in two meteorite samples match levels found in the human body and the Earth’s atmosphere. In their paper published in Nature Geoscience, Dennis Harries, Falko Langenhorst and Peter Hoppe with Universität Bayreuth, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie respectively describe their analyses of two primitive meteorites found in Antarctica in 1979, and offer theories as to how nitrogen levels found in them came to be there. Explore further © 2015 Phys.org Estimates of anthropogenic nitrogen in the ocean may be high Credit: NASA 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.
Darwin’s finches have reached their limits on the Galapagos 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. Skulls of various Canid genera; Vulpes (corsac fox), Nyctereutes (raccoon dog), Cuon (dhole) and Canis (golden jackal) Credit: Wikipedia. A group of researchers in Sweden, Switzerland and Brazil have collaborated on a study of North American canids to show that competition from multiple carnivore clades is responsible for the ultimate demise of two extinct canid subfamilies. They theorize that the competitive processes driving these extinctions are more prevalent in species diversification than previously believed. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The North American fossil record provides abundant evidence for the evolutionary history of the dog family Canidae and of other major carnivores. The researchers analyzed around 1,500 fossil occurrences for 120 canid species from around 40 million years ago to the present; theorizing that competition from other species was a factor driving extinction rates, they also compiled data for five additional carnivore families including cats, bear dogs, false saber-tooth cats, and bears. They developed an analytical framework to invesigate whether speciation and extinction rates responded to evolution of body mass—a good approximation of diet for canids. The authors suggest that body size can indirectly correlate with diversification dynamics as increases in size predispose the development of hypercarnivory behaviors and selective feeding. These adaptive constraints place canids in danger of extinction by restricting their possible sources of food.Via a Bayesian analytic framework, the researchers have determined that the two extinct subfamilies that form the basis of their study were ultimately wiped out by the competitive effects of other carnivore clades, previously considered a rare occurrence, but increasingly regarded as an important influence on biodiversity.Climate change events are widely believed to be a main driver of extinction and speciation, but the study strongly suggests an important role for competition between different species with similar ecologies. Two biologic mechanisms drive clade replacement: passive replacement and active displacement. In the case of passive replacement, an incumbent carnivore clade prevents a competitor population from radiating. The competitor can only radiate once the incumbent carnivore clade declines.Active displacement is the process by which a clade’s rise in diversity causes the decline of another clade by outcompeting for limited resources. “The demise of nonavian dinosaurs by the Cretaceous-Paleogene meteorite impact around 66 million years ago and the subsequent evolutionary and ecologic diversification of mammals provide an iconic example of passive replacement,” the authors write.The authors found evidence for significant changes in speciation and extinction rates for the two extinct canid subfamilies, Hesperocyoninae and Borophaginae, suggesting strongly that the demise of a clade is driven by both its rate of extinction and its failure to originate. The researchers report that changes in in the speciation and extinction rates of the two extinct canid groups were strongly correlated with changes in diversity of multiple competitors. “Our results strongly indicate that competition among several clades of canids and other carnivores drove the changes in diversification rates and the replacement of entire clades,” they write. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: The role of species competition in biodiversity (2015, July 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-role-species-competition-biodiversity.html © 2015 Phys.org More information: “The role of clade competition in the diversification of North American canids.” PNAS 2015; published ahead of print June 29, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502803112AbstractThe history of biodiversity is characterized by a continual replacement of branches in the tree of life. The rise and demise of these branches (clades) are ultimately determined by changes in speciation and extinction rates, often interpreted as a response to varying abiotic and biotic factors. However, understanding the relative importance of these factors remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we analyze the rich North American fossil record of the dog family Canidae and of other carnivores to tease apart the roles of competition, body size evolution, and climate change on the sequential replacement of three canid subfamilies (two of which have gone extinct). We develop a novel Bayesian analytic framework to show that competition from multiple carnivore clades successively drove the demise and replacement of the two extinct canid subfamilies by increasing their extinction rates and suppressing their speciation. Competitive effects have likely come from ecologically similar species from both canid and felid clades. These results imply that competition among entire clades, generally considered a rare process, can play a more substantial role than climate change and body size evolution in determining the sequential rise and decline of clades. Explore further (Phys.org)—Over long spans, biodiversity is a fluid and shifting balance of species and influences. Species diversification occurs in response to a host of complex factors, both biotic and abiotic, and understanding them is a major challenge of evolutionary biology.
When nature’s fury unleashes its wrath, there’s hardly anything one can do to control its might. Its aftermath deserves a thought on our interefence with the environment and a lot of effort to rehabilitate life as it was. To fastrack the rehabilitation process in Uttrakhand, Goonj is collaborating CameraunLIMITED and art@indianaugust to showcase an art exhibition, A brand new day-rebuilding Uttrakhand from 20 July to 5 August in the Capital. The exhibition features artists who have volunteered to give their artworks for display and sale for the relief funds for Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.The artists include Ananmitra Chakladar, Angad S Malhotra, Ahmed Firoz, Ambika Sethi, Atanu Dey, Niraj Gera amongst others.
India’s 67th Independence Day celebration on 15 August, Discovery Channel presents viewers with an exclusive journey inside the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. The program captures the story of Rashtrapati Bhavan from its conception to its completion and the changes undergone as the home of the President of India. Rashtrapati Bhavan, amongst the largest presidential estates of the world, Rahul Johri, senior vice president and general manager said, ‘Discovery Channel is privileged to present the breathtaking splendour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan – the office and residence of the President of the largest democracy in the world. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On the occasion of this Independence Day, we are delighted to take viewers inside the corridors of the presidential palace rarely seen on the Indian television.’Every element in Rashtrapati Bhavan has evolved over the past eight decades the building has witnessed the transition from an Imperial occupation to being the head of the largest democracy in the world.The palatial residence is an extended expression of architect Edward Lutyen’s passion and finesse. From the most spectacular Ashoka Hall, to the Dwaraka Suite – this exclusive insight into the President’s House answers a spectrum of questions on what lies behind the high gates. The show premiers at 9 pm on 15 August.
Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday launched search operations here at the properties of three businessmen in connection with a money laundering probe, an official said. “Our officers have been conducting search operations at four locations in the city including the residences and other properties of the three businessmen — Jagjit Singh, Ajmol Siddique and Vishnu Mundra,” the ED official said. The agency has been investigating the case for the last few months.Initial investigations suggested that the accused were involved in converting crores of black money into white through shell companies, the official said. Singh, who also owns a bar, has also been accused of running a trafficking racket.
The Lalit Kala Akademi’s National Exhibition of Art is held every year to exhibit the works of brilliance and to give appreciation and recognition to outstanding artists. The objective of the 59th National Exhibition of Art, 2017-18 is to showcase works of art of excellence both in terms of material application and aesthetic appeal. The exhibition will cover artworks from a broad range of mediums like paintings, sculptures, graphics, photographs, drawings, installation and multimedia. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor this exhibition, fifteen awardees have been chosen by an esteemed panel of Jury. 10 awards will be given to artists between 30-50 years of age group, and five awards will be distributed to artists who are above 50 years of age. While Jyotiprakash Sethy (Bhubaneswar, Odisha), Vivek Kumar (New Delhi), Pappu Bardhan (Kolkata, West Bengal), Cherring Negi (New Delhi), Debashish Dutta (Vadodara, Gujarat), Indira P Ghosh (Raipur, Chattisgarh), Vikrant Vishwas Bhise (Mumbai, Maharashtra), Shivakumar Kesaramadu (Mysuru, Karnataka), Rabi Narayan Gupta (Khairagarh, Chhattisgarh), and Pradeep Prathap (Kottayam, Kerela) are the 10 awardees that fall in the 30-50 year age group; Pankaj Gahlot (Shivganj, Rajasthan), Kumaran K R (Angamaly, Kerela), Atin Basak (Kolkata, West Bengal), Amit Dutt (New Delhi), and Amit Chakraborty (Kolkata, West Bengal) fall in the latter category. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe jury of the exhibition had art practitioners, artists and critics from all over the country. The Lalit Kala Akademi nominated five members selection jury for the first tier namely Prof. Shyam Sharma (Patna, Bihar), Noni Borpuzari (Guwahati, Assam), Ramdas Adyanthaya (Mysuru, Karnataka), V Nagdas (Khairagarh, Chhattisgarh), and Johny ML (New Delhi). The second tier jury for the selection of awards consisted of Ram V Sutar (Noida, Uttar Pradesh), Surya Prakash (Hyderabad, Telangana), Madan Lal (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh), U Bhaskar Rao (Bengaluru, Karnataka), and Prof. R B Bhaskaran (Chennai, Tamil Nadu). “The 59th National Exhibition of Art is more than just an exercise in participation and contribution of the art practitioners from all over the country. It ideates the truth that art is more than a mere conversation between art lovers and artists: it is the bond between the initiator and the spectator,” said C S Krishna Setty, Administrator, Lalit Kala Akademi. The Akademi has received 3644 entries submitted by 1433 artist throughout the country. The selection jury unanimously selected 172 exhibits in different disciplines by 171 artists for the National exhibition. Eminent artists like Bose Krishnamachari, Manu Parekh, KS Radhakrishnan, Adwaita Gadanayak, Jyoti Bhatt, LN Tallur and N Pushpamala are a part of the very esteemed invited section.
Kolkata: Consul General of China in Kolkata Zha Liyou stressed the need of conducting joint training programmes in management and IT between Universities of China and West Bengal.”India aces in software production while China is one of the leading hardware technology manufacturers globally. We should work together in the field of Technology for mutual benefit and progress,” Liyou said. While addressing a Special Session on ‘A New Chapter of Sino-India Friendship: Strengthening Economic Ties Through State-Province Exchanges’ organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Liyou highlighted several areas of mutual cooperation between the provinces of China and the State of West Bengal. He appreciated the rich cultural heritage of Bengal, with a special mention of Tagore’s verses and songs. He observed that every aspect of culture and society prevalent in China somehow have traces of their roots in India. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSpeaking on the possibility of business collaboration between West Bengal and other provinces of China, Liyou spoke about the famous China-South Asia Expo and Kunming Trade Fair where he expects participation from West Bengal. He also stated that his office would facilitate Chinese investors for making investments in the land at Haldia, owned by the Kolkata Port Trust and suitable for tea, rice and sea food. Answering to a question during the programme, Liyou said that large coal mining and infrastructure companies of China are willing to venture in and around Kolkata to extend their operations in India. Sitaram Sharma, President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce emphasised that the prospects of exchanges at the micro level between West Bengal and her sister Provinces in China should be identified.
Kolkata: One person died and another man suffered injuries after an app-cab driver rammed his vehicle into a truck early on Tuesday. Police suspected that the accident took place because the driver had fallen asleep.According to sources, on Tuesday around 4:30 am, the truck was moving towards the airport on the VIP Road. Around the same time, the cab was moving in the same direction behind the truck. Near Raghunathpur subway, the driver rammed his car into the truck at a high speed. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHearing a loud sound caused by the collision some pedestrians ran to the spot and saw the cab was stuck behind the truck. Baguiati police station was immediately informed. Within few minutes police arrived at the spot and rescued the driver identified as Akhya Nayak (42) along with one passenger identified as Nazrul Islam and admitted them to the R G Kar Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared Nayak dead. Islam is still undergoing treatment. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to a local, driver of the app cab applied brake at the last moment but that did not help. Sleuths suspect that driver had fallen asleep and woke up at the last moment when the passenger alerted him. It is also suspected that Nayak had been driving all through the night and as a result he had fallen asleep. The police are waiting for Islam recovery to question him as he is the only person who knows what exactly happened. Earlier during January this year, an app cab was moving towards Chingrihata from Science City with four passengers. Near Metropolitan Housing Complex, the driver identified as Ajay Roy lost control and collided with a median divider on E M Bypass. Later, police came to know that the driver had driven throughout the night and had fallen asleep while driving and lost control over the vehicle. In May, last year, an IT professional died after an app cab rammed into a stationary container at Baguiati Joramandir. In this case too, sleuths later came to know that driver had fallen asleep. These accidents are taking place often. The cops are planning to talk to app cab authorities to ask them not to schedule early morning trips for those drivers, who had been driving throughout the night.