Solar activity is declining—what to expect

first_img But does it really mean a colder climate for our planet in the near future? In 1645, the so-called Maunder Minimum period started, when there were almost no sunspots. It lasted for 70 years and coincided with the well-known “Little Ice Age”, when Europe and North America experienced lower-than-average temperatures. However, the theory that decreased solar activity caused the climate change is still controversial as no convincing evidence has been shown to prove this correlation.Helen Popova, a Lomonosov Moscow State University researcher predicts that if the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true, then this minimum will lead to a significant cooling, similar to the one during the Maunder Minimum period. She recently developed a unique physical-mathematical model of the evolution of the magnetic activity of the sun and used it to gain the patterns of occurrence of global minima of solar activity and gave them a physical interpretation.”Given that our future minimum will last for at least three solar cycles, which is about 30 years, it is possible that the lowering of the temperature will not be as deep as during the Maunder Minimum,” Popova said earlier in July. “But we will have to examine it in detail. We keep in touch with climatologists from different countries. We plan to work in this direction.”The solar cycle is the periodic change in the Sun’s activity and appearance like changes in the number of sunspots. It has an average duration of about 11 years. The current solar cycle began on in January 2008, with minimal activity until early 2010. The sun is now on track to have the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750. The long-term decline in solar activity set in after the last grand solar maximum peaked in 1956.But according to Collado-Vega, the current minimum in the number of sunspots doesn’t mean that the sun won’t show us its violent nature in the coming years.”There is a development for coronal holes, due to the reconfiguration of the sun’s magnetic field, that bear the well-known high-speed streams. These high-speed streams have the ability to cause strong geomagnetic storms at Earth, and changes to the radiation environment in the inner magnetosphere,” Collado-Vega noted.Coronal holes are regions with lower density and temperatures in the sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona. The sun contains magnetic fields that arch away from areas in the corona that are very thin due to the lower levels of energy and gas, which cause coronal holes to appear when they do not fall back. Thus, solar particles or solar wind escape and create a lower density and lower temperature in that area.The existing fleet of spacecraft studying the sun includes the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), which provide continuous solar observations that are currently enhancing our knowledge about sun’s corona. And if that’s not enough, a new NASA probe named Solar Probe Plus is being developed to revolutionize our understanding of solar phenomena. Significantly, the mission, with a planned launch in mid-2018, will fly closer to the sun than any previous spacecraft. Its primary science goals are to trace the flow of energy and understand the heating of the solar corona and to explore the physical mechanisms that accelerate the solar wind and energetic particles. This would definitely improve future solar activity forecasts and help us more accurately predict the impact that the features on the sun have on our planet. Explore further SOHO image: Here comes the sun (Phys.org)—Is Earth slowly heading for a new ice age? Looking at the decreasing number of sunspots, it may seem that we are entering a nearly spotless solar cycle which could result in lower temperatures for decades. “The solar cycle is starting to decline. Now we have less active regions visible on the sun’s disk,” Yaireska M. Collado-Vega, a space weather forecaster at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Phys.org. The Sun by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASAcenter_img © 2015 Phys.org 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: Solar activity is declining—what to expect? (2015, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-solar-decliningwhat.htmllast_img read more

Covalent organic framework that has highest reported stability and can be modified

first_img(Phys.org)—A group of researchers from the Institute for Molecular Science, National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan report a novel covalent organic framework (COF) that is crystalline, highly stable in water, strong acids, and strong bases, and has a remarkably high 2D surface area. This COF was modified with catalytic subunits and used as a catalyst under inert conditions for Michael addition reactions using a variety of reactants. Their work is published in Nature Chemistry. 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. Exploration of stable, crystalline, porous covalent organic frameworks © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Chemistry Covalent organic frameworks are crystalline organic structures that are porous. They are an extended organic framework similar to graphene. COFs can serve as an organic platform for other reactions or, in the case of this research, as a catalyst. This catalyst was metal-free, and when modified with chiral catalytic arms, produced entioselective products. Furthermore, this catalyst allowed for a Michael reaction under relatively mild conditions and was able to be recycled multiple times.The ideal COF has stability, crystallinity, and porosity. Prior research on COFs shows that it is difficult to optimize all three of these properties in one covalent framework. Importantly, crystallinity and porosity in 2D frameworks depend on interlayer interactions. Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang designed a COF that has additional delocalization over the phenyl groups in an effort to enhance interlayer interactions via pi-stacking. Their COF is comprised of triphenylbenzene (TAPB) and dimethoxyterephthaldehyde (DMTA) subunits. When combined, the aldehydes on DMTA react with the amines on TAPB to form an imine which is conjugated with the dimethoxy phenyl groups in DMTA. This added interlayer stability promotes crystallization.The new TAPB-DMTA COF’s stability was tested using thermogravimetric analysis after samples were subjected to various solvents, including water, strong acid, and strong base, for one week. Results showed that there was no loss in weight in the COF in water or the organic solvents tested (DMF, DMSO, THF, MeOH, and cyclohexanone). Twelve molar HCl resulted in 85 wt% of the original COF, and 14M NaOH resulted in 92 wt%. The COF was still 72% of its original weight after being subjected to boiling water for a week. Additionally, powder x-ray diffraction and surface area measurements showed that the COF maintained its original crystal structure and only decreased somewhat in surface area. IR studies showed that the bonds remained intact.Additionally, crystallinity and porosity were investigated using powder x-ray diffraction analysis. Analyses and simulation studies confirmed the crystalline structure. A nitrogen-sorption profile indicated that the new COF was likely a mesoporous material. Additionally, Xu, et al. confirmed that the COF had a very high 2D surface area. Taken together, this new COF has remarkable stability and high crystallinity and porosity. With such excellent features, this COF should make a good platform for catalysis. More information: “Stable, crystalline, porous, covalent organic frameworks as a platform for chiral organocatalysts”, Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang, Nature Chemistry, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM2352AbstractThe periodic layers and ordered nanochannels of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) make these materials viable open catalytic nanoreactors, but their low stability has precluded their practical implementation. Here we report the synthesis of a crystalline porous COF that is stable against water, strong acids and strong bases, and we demonstrate its utility as a material platform for structural design and functional development. We endowed a crystalline and porous imine-based COF with stability by incorporating methoxy groups into its pore walls to reinforce interlayer interactions. We subsequently converted the resulting achiral material into two distinct chiral organocatalysts, with the high crystallinity and porosity retained, by appending chiral centres and catalytically active sites on its channel walls. The COFs thus prepared combine catalytic activity, enantioselectivity and recyclability, which are attractive in heterogeneous organocatalysis, and were shown to promote asymmetric C–C bond formation in water under ambient conditions. Explore further Citation: Covalent organic framework that has highest reported stability and can be modified for organocatalysis (2015, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-covalent-framework-highest-stability-organocatalysis.html Graphic view of TPB-DMTP-COF (red, O; blue, N; grey, C; hydrogen is omitted for clarity). Credit: Hong Xu, Jia Gao and Donglin Jiang, (c) 2015 Nature Chemistry, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM2352 To make the TABP-DMTA COF into an entioselective catalyst, Xu, et al. functionalized the COF walls with chiral centers on organocatalytic sites. These chiral organocatalytic sites [(S)-Py] were attached to some of the methoxy groups on the DMTA subunits. Not all methoxy groups were substituted, and, indeed, the number of groups that were substituted with (S)-Py affected the catalytic activity. Characterization confirmed the structure of the catalytic COF and that the overall structure of the COF was maintained after functionalization. The organocatalytic sites were incorporated into the walls of the COF and, based on number of sites within a pore, they create nanopores of varying sizes. To test the organocatalyst, Xu, et al. looked at Michael addition reactions using various reactants. While Michael addition reactions are typically conducted in organic solvents, in this case, water was used as it has more practical utility. The reaction was conducted in water at 25oC at near atmospheric pressure. Because the catalytic COF was insoluble, this allowed for recovery and reuse of the catalyst. The model Michael reaction involved reacting cyclohexanone and β-nitrostyrene. This resulted in 100% conversion, 92% enantiomeric excess, and 90/10 diastereoselectivity. The authors note that this is the first example of a heterogenous catalyst based on a crystalline porous material that has been used for the activation of low-activity ketones in a Michael addition reaction.They investigated how their catalytic COF worked with Michael addition reactions using different reactants. All had good conversion and selectivity. Four-methoxy-β-nitrostyrene had the best selectivity with 96% e.e. and 94/6 diastereoselectivity after reacting for 26 hours. Kinetic studies indicated first-order with respect to the nitrostyrene reactant. Additionally, the catalyst retained its reactivity after five cycles, although reaction time increased with each cycle.”One of the key issues of COFs is the combination of stability, crystallinity and porosity,” says principle investigator Donglin Jiang, “This study would open a platform for functional explorations and applications of COFs.”last_img read more

Fastmoving invisibility cloaks become visible

first_img Journal information: Physical Review A © 2016 Phys.org Explore further The scientists, Jad C. Halimeh, et al., have published a paper on invisibility cloaks moving at relativistic velocities in a recent issue of Physical Review A.Although the work shows that high speeds can be detrimental for invisibility cloaks, the physicists also showed that, for light with the right frequency moving in the right direction, the harmful relativistic effects will cancel out, and perfect cloaking can still be achieved. However, this cloaking is now inherently “non-reciprocal,” meaning an observer inside the invisibility cloak would be able to see people on the outside.”The non-reciprocal cloaking is actually quite an interesting feature, as people have been investigating it for quite some time in the context of transformation optics. Here, this effect just came about from the physics – we didn’t really design it,” Halimeh, a physicist at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, told Phys.org.This is the first time that relativistic invisibility cloaks have been investigated, although there has been a great deal of research on other objects moving at relativistic velocities. In general, two unusual phenomena occur in these situations: length contraction (the moving object appears compressed to a stationary observer) and time dilation (time slows down for the moving object compared to a stationary observer). These effects have been well-documented for fast-moving particles, and time dilation has even been measured for astronauts, who age a fraction of a second slower aboard the fast-orbiting International Space Station than they would on Earth.In the new study, the scientists found that length contraction and time dilation also contribute to making an invisibility cloak visible when moving at relativistic speeds. Length contraction and time dilation help create a relativistic Doppler effect, which is similar to the regular Doppler effect that causes a siren to sound higher-pitched (wavelengths are compressed) as it comes closer and lower-pitched (wavelengths are extended) as it moves away. Although the relativistic Doppler effect is more complicated than the regular Doppler effect, in both cases the frequency shift is caused by the relative motion of the source and the observer. Even small frequency shifts as perceived by the cloak cause distortions, technically called “aberrations,” that can interfere with the cloak’s invisibility. As the cloak’s velocity increases, the aberrations become more pronounced. Magnetic invisibility cloak shields magnets from magnetic fields 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: Fast-moving invisibility cloaks become visible (2016, January 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-fast-moving-invisibility-cloaks-visible.html (Phys.org)—Physicists have found that invisibility cloaks that can achieve perfect invisibility when not in motion will become visible when moving at speeds of around thousands of meters per second. This is because invisibility cloaks appear invisible only to light at a certain frequency called the cloak’s “operational frequency.” When the cloak is moving at high speeds with respect to an observer, relativistic effects shift the frequency of the light arriving at the cloak so that the light is no longer at the operational frequency. In addition, the light emerging from the cloak undergoes a change in direction that produces a further frequency shift, causing further image distortions for a stationary observer watching the cloak zoom by. Yet no matter how fast the cloak is moving, the researchers showed that it’s always possible to find a way to restore invisibility at that specific velocity. “This is achieved by giving light of some frequency the right direction such that the Doppler shift is canceled,” Halimeh said. “The relativistic Doppler shift can be seen as an admixture of a longitudinal Doppler red-shift and a transverse Doppler-blue shift. For a given frequency, you can tune the direction such that these two shifts cancel each other out and the cloak ends up seeing the light as having its operational frequency, thereby cloaking it.”Using this strategy, the researchers show that there are infinitely many combinations of light frequency and direction that can be cloaked at any given relativistic velocity. The results will help scientists better understand the abilities and limitations of invisibility cloaks.”We are interested in such research for two reasons,” Halimeh said. “First, it allows us to further investigate whether or not these invisibility cloaks are electromagnetically equivalent to vacuum. Second, it allows us to better understand the limitations of these cloaks when it comes to a relativistic world, where we have fast-moving objects that we need to cloak or cloak ourselves from, or in case we are in a strong gravitational field, for example, and we wish to have a cloak that works there as well.”As coauthor Dr. Robert Thompson at the University of Otago in New Zealand added, the results go beyond cloaking.”Scientists around the world are using cloaking as a testbed for the design and construction of new light-controlling technologies that could have a big impact on everything from communications to medical devices, and fully understanding the kinds of effects we’re studying is crucial for making the most of these new technologies,” Thompson said. A cylindrical invisibility cloak is perfectly invisible when not in motion (top left) because the incoming light rays have the same frequency as the cloak’s operational frequency. As the cloak’s velocity increases, the frequency of the light changes so that it no longer matches the operational frequency, creating image distortions that cause the cloak to become visible. (Colors correspond to the light’s frequency.) Credit: Halimeh, et al. ©2016 American Physical Society More information: Jad C. Halimeh, et al. “Invisibility cloaks in relativistic motion.” Physical Review A. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.93.013850 . Also at arXiv:1510.06144 [physics.optics]last_img read more

Scientists accelerate airflow in midair

first_img Citation: Scientists accelerate airflow in mid-air (2017, August 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-scientists-airflow-mid-air.html (a)–(d) Water vapor can be electronically steered through open air at different angles, without tilting the beam source. (e) Conventional water vapor spreading, for comparison. Credit: Hasegawa et al. ©2017 American Institute of Physics 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. Explore further More information: Keisuke Hasegawa et al. “Electronically steerable ultrasound-driven long narrow air stream.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4985159 When a fan blows air across a room, the airflow typically decelerates and spreads out. Now in a new study, scientists have demonstrated the opposite: an airflow created by a carefully controlled ultrasound array can maintain its narrow shape and accelerate as it moves away from the source. The researchers explain that it’s as if the airflow is being pushed along by a sequence of invisible fans floating in mid-air. They expect that the accelerating air stream could have unprecedented applications, such as the ability to perform and control chemical reactions in mid-air.center_img The physicists, Keisuke Hasegawa et al., from The University of Tokyo, RIKEN, and Nanzan University, have published a paper on the steerable, ultrasound-driven air streams in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.As the researchers explain, self-accelerating acoustic beams have been demonstrated several times before in water and in air. An important aspect of the new study is that the beams can be controlled, marking the first demonstration of an electronically steerable macroscopic self-accelerating beam in free space. The researchers used a type of beam called a Bessel beam, which has the unusual property of not spreading out as it propagates, but rather maintaining a narrow, tightly focused shape. The scientists generated these beams using a phased array of approximately 1000 ultrasound transducers. Each transducer converts an electrical signal into an ultrasound wave, and tuning the wavefronts of these emitted waves controls the direction of the airflow. The ultrasound field also produces kinetic energy, which accelerates the air stream as it propagates forward. In experiments, the researchers demonstrated that the spot with the highest velocity can be located a foot or more away from the sound source.One of the most interesting features of the beam is that that tilting the ultrasound array is not required to control the beam direction. Instead, the beam is electronically steerable by tuning the wavefronts, which forms a tilted beam without tilting the array. The researchers also showed that the airflow is powerful enough to be felt by the hand and to guide water vapor in a desired direction. The scientists expect that the ability to generate an air flow with these unique properties will lead to new applications, such as performing mid-air chemical reactions, sampling a gas concentration, and in studies of ethology, such as investigating how animals respond to pheromones in the air.”Animals react to physiological substances in the air such as pheromone,” Hasegawa told Phys.org. “We expect that such substances can be conveyed to target animals and observe their reaction. Our method does not need to constrain their movement or require them to wear specific instruments. So it would offer an opportunity to observe the natural reaction of animals.”In the future, the researchers plan to further explore methods for controlling the air flow.”Currently, we are planning to create more preferable flows for conveying airborne substances,” Hasegawa said. “For example, current flows entail turbulence, which deteriorates the spatial localization of the conveyed substances. We think it possible to make the flow more similar to a laminar flow by designing the ultrasound field in a refined fashion.” Journal information: Applied Physics Letters © 2017 Phys.org New ‘needle-pulse’ beam pattern packs a punchlast_img read more

Study suggests hydroelectric dams causing greater impact on Amazon basin than thought

first_img Explore further Citation: Study suggests hydroelectric dams causing greater impact on Amazon basin than thought (2018, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-hydroelectric-greater-impact-amazon-basin.html A team of researchers from the U.S. and multiple countries in South America has found that hydroelectric dams built in the Amazon river basin, which were built to meet the growing electricity demands in the region, are making more of an impact on the natural geography than previously thought. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes using data from satellites to learn more about the true impact of modern dam building. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Navigation is a central river ecosystem service that could be affected by the direct and indirect effects associated with fragmentation by dams in the Andes Amazon. Credit: Sebastian Heilpern Damming a river has other impacts as well, the team notes. Dams trap silt, comprising sediments and nutrients that farmers (and the trees in the forests) have relied on for a very long time. When a dam is built, the team points out, 100 percent of the silt gets trapped. Dams also prevent natural flooding during the rainy season, preventing the natural dispersal of seeds in the Amazon basin. The overall problem, the researchers point out, is the large number of dams and the numbers of new ones that are planned—together, they represent a major threat to the river basin. A river’s natural flow regime acts as a master control on numerous human and ecological systems. Credit: Elizabeth Anderson © 2018 Phys.org More information: Elizabeth P. Anderson et al. Fragmentation of Andes-to-Amazon connectivity by hydropower dams, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1642AbstractAndes-to-Amazon river connectivity controls numerous natural and human systems in the greater Amazon. However, it is being rapidly altered by a wave of new hydropower development, the impacts of which have been previously underestimated. We document 142 dams existing or under construction and 160 proposed dams for rivers draining the Andean headwaters of the Amazon. Existing dams have fragmented the tributary networks of six of eight major Andean Amazon river basins. Proposed dams could result in significant losses in river connectivity in river mainstems of five of eight major systems—the Napo, Marañón, Ucayali, Beni, and Mamoré. With a newly reported 671 freshwater fish species inhabiting the Andean headwaters of the Amazon (>500 m), dams threaten previously unrecognized biodiversity, particularly among endemic and migratory species. Because Andean rivers contribute most of the sediment in the mainstem Amazon, losses in river connectivity translate to drastic alteration of river channel and floodplain geomorphology and associated ecosystem services. As cities in South America grow, electrical needs grow along with them. In the Amazon basin, the most logical option for fulfilling those needs is hydroelectric dams. But what is the impact on the geography of all the new dams? As the authors note, little has been done to find out. To learn more, they obtained satellite images and studied them, looking for clues. Their analysis led to two important findings. The first was that there are many more hydroelectric plants in operation in the Amazon basin than have been reported through official channels. The other involved the impact that hydroelectric dams on areas downstream.Damming a river does not reduce the amount of water that flows from one end of a river to the other—once the reservoir formed behind it is filled, the amount of water flows unchanged (unless people pump some of it out). But building a dam can have a permanent impact on organisms that live in the river, such as spawning fish—the dorado, for example, historically swims more than 3000 miles to deposit its eggs, but now is disappearing because it cannot get past the dams that humans have built. That can cause problems for fishermen, and, of course, for those who do not want to see fish populations die off. Dams on Andean Amazon rivers often divert all water from a river channel over a distance of several kilometers. In addition to the barrier of the dam itself, these de-watered reaches are significant breaks in connectivity. Credit: Elizabeth Anderson Hydroelectric dams threaten Brazil’s mysterious Pantanal—one of the world’s great wetland 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. Journal information: Science Advanceslast_img read more

WHO Study Finds No Evidence Of Health Concerns

first_img by NPR News Scott Neuman 8.22.19 2:57am The World Health Organization says there’s not enough evidence to conclude that microplastics — which exist everywhere in the environment and show up in drinking water — pose any risk to human health, but it cautions that more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.In a new study, the WHO says that microplastics are “ubiquitous” with surface run-off and wastewater the largest sources of fresh-water contamination.However, despite widespread concern, “There is currently no evidence to suggest a human health risk from microplastics associated with biofilms in drinking-water,” the study concludes, referring to microorganisms that attach to microplastics.Instead, WHO suggests that diseases associated with untreated or poorly treated drinking water should remain a more urgent priority for public health officials. The risk posed by microplastics “is considered far lower than the well-established risk posed by the high concentration and diversity of pathogens in human and livestock waste in drinking-water sources,” the study says.Even so, WHO’s director of public health, Dr. Maria Neira, acknowledges that the conclusions reached in the report are based on incomplete information.”We urgently need to know more about the health impact of microplastics because they are everywhere — including in our drinking-water,” she says in a statement. “Based on limited information we have, microplastics in drinking water don’t appear to pose a health risk at current levels. But we need to find out more. We also need to stop the rise in plastic pollution worldwide.”Although there is no exact scientific definition of microplastics, they are formed when man-made plastics break down into tiny particles that measure less than 5 millimeters — about the size of the letters on a computer keyboard. Those plastics have gotten into oceans, rivers, lakes and streams and are consumed by humans and other animals.”But just because we’re ingesting them doesn’t mean we have a risk to human health,” says Bruce Gordon, WHO’s coordinator of water, sanitation and hygiene, according to The Associated Press. “The main conclusion is, I think, if you are a consumer drinking bottled water or tap water, you shouldn’t necessarily be concerned.”The report is WHO’s first to cover potential health risks associated with microplastics. The organization recommends more studies of microplastics, developing new ways to remove them from drinking water and the establishment of standard methods for measuring microplastics in water.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. WHO Study Finds No Evidence Of Health Concerns From… Eric Gaillardlast_img read more

Fine dining on the hot seat

first_imgAs the season changes, we need to change our eating patterns and modify our day-to-day routines.Another aspect of our diet that needs to be addressed with the change of season is the freshness of food. Fresh food is light and easily digestible, which is very important, because in summers our digestive capacity reduces as compared to winter. FOODS TO EATSummer is all about fluids and having light meals. Drink lots of fluid -such as water, nimbu pani, buttermilk, lassi, fruit juices and Margarita as you need to keep yourself hydrated. Juices are good but eating the fruit by itself is more beneficial. In case of juices, take freshly squeezed juices without sugar. Try a combination of fruit and veg in your juice like  watermelons, chilled apple, pear, pomegranates, carrot, oranges. Cold soups are also another treat usually reserved for the summer months. Melon and mango soup or cucumber and yogurt soup are the two popular soups of this season. Savory ice creams are  excellent for salads and cold soups. For example – Parmesan or blue cheese ice cream, ceaser dressing ice cream or Gazpacho ice cream are all in trend. Burnt mango is also one of the best coolants and can be utilised in all courses like burnt mango dressing or burnt mango sorbet. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’SUMMER COOLERSSorbets are frozen fruit juices that are a much healthier option as compared to ice cream and is coming into trend. Lime chili margarita or frozen mango margaritas are quiet popular this season.Usually three to four meals pattern is best during summer. The easiest snacks during the summers are fruits and vegetables. Make a fruit salad with mango, apple, melons, watermelons etc. Fruits and veggies are packed with powerful nutrients and they help keep you hydrated when the weather heats up. Common Ingredient for this summer are- watermelon, melon, pineapple, mango, beet-root, fruit Palm, bell fruit, lychee, papaya, apricot, plums, peaches, figs, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, eggplant, french beans, onions, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini, olive oil, lemon, tamarind, yogurt and coconut. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFOOD NOT TO EATFood which is low in calorific value are excellent in summers. Do not rely on aerated drinks for fluid requirements. Avoid spicy, heavy, fatty/greasy, chips, sodas, pickles, tea, coffee etc. Try to keep your meals light and do not eat too many times a day. Heavy desserts made of khoya, butter, ghee etc should be avoided. The variety of grain should also become lighter, so switch to easier-to-digest grains such as rice, sattu and barley. The requirements of your palate should also keep pace with the change of season.CHILLED TOMATO GAZPACHOIngredientsCucumber (deseeded and skinned) 250 gmsTomato (deseeded) 250 gmsRed pepper (desseded) 150 gmsJalapenos 25Mayonnaise 200White bread 30Salt and pepper 5Almond ice creamCooking cream 160 gmsParmesan cheese 15 gmsEgg yolk nos 1Almond powder 35 gmsChopped almonds 75 gmsFor GarnishBlack olive dust 2 gmsExtra virgin olive oil  2mlMethodBlend all the ingredients together and sieve it through strainer; store it in refrigerator. For icecream – heat cream on double boiler, whisk in yolks until it has emulsified. Add parmesan cheese, almond powder. Freeze and blend in mixer after it is set. Scoop ice cream and pour over chilled soup, garnish with olive dust.  MANGO SEMIFREDOIngredientsEgg Yolk 10Icing Sugar 10 gms Mango Pulp 100 gms Mango Chopped 200 gmsMango Essence 10 mlWhipped Cream 1/2 kgMethodOn a double boiler, beat egg yolk and icing sugar till it fluffs up. Take off the double boiler and let it cool. In another bowl, whisk  mango pulp, mango chopped, mango essence and cream together. Now, fold the mango cream  mixture in the egg yolk and icing mixture by adding the cream mixture slowly without losing muc  fluffiness. Pour it in a ramekin or a dessert bowl and freeze it for 4-5 hrs. Garnish with mango and serve cold.last_img read more

Moonlight Melody Marvel

first_imgWhen the glint of silver light from the moon would reflect on the strings of Lakha Kahn’s sarangi, and when his voice would stir your soul, you’d thank yourself for being at Lodi Garden.  Friends of Music (FOM), the series of musical get together is back with another evening of great music. The musical evening will not only see Lakha Khan but also two collaborative projects – The Aditya Narayan Collaborative and the Boom Shankar Project. About Lakha Khan, you’d know how great a sarangi player he is along with being the last living master of a rare and versatile instrument, the Sindhi Sarangi. But what you’d not know is that he’s a Manganiyar, a marginalised community of Muslims who make a living playing music on either side of the India-Pakistan border. In Pakistan, the community is known as Manganhar, and has less complex, but nevertheless potent version of the sarangi called the Surando. Isn’t that the best example of how music has no boundaries? You can also see, or rather listen, how versatile Lakha Khan can get when he plays his instrument to Bulleh Shah in Punjabi and also the next moment render Kabir’s dohas in Hindi. And obviously nothing can be as soothing as his singing in his native language of Rajasthan.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Just if by any chance you are not too fond of the classical music and you are proudly a part of the ‘global village’, don’t you worry child! The Boom Shankar Project  is a collaboration of musicians with different musical backgrounds and influence from India and around the globe exploring world music. Based out of Delhi, their soulful compositions include Bhatiyali, Baul, Persian, Turkish, Jazz and a multitude of influences. Even the Aditya Narayan Collaborative is one that has been exploring new sounds, genre, people and even instruments through their music. So look out! Well, have you ever wanted to have great food with live music playing that too under the moonlight? Then this is exactly where you want to be!When: 23 May, 7:30 pmWhere: Lodi – The Garden RestaurantTickets: Rs 350. Book at kyazoonga.comlast_img read more

Body of woman found hanging at inlaws residence in Regent Park

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a housewife whose body was found hanging from a fan inside her in-laws’ house at Regent Park on Thursday.The family members of the victim lodged a complaint at the police station stating that the woman had been murdered by her husband and in-laws who are absconding since the incident had taken place.Police said the victim Nalini Shaw got married to Sanjib Shaw, a resident of Palpara area of Regent Park in February this year. A quarrel broke out between the couple two months after their marriage. It was alleged that accused husband is involved in an illicit love relationship with his sister-in-law and the victim had come to know about the matter. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victim’s family members told the police that the woman had raised objections several times and urged her husband to call it off. But the accused on the other hand had been mounting pressure on the victim to get divorce. He also gave some papers to the woman asking for her signature. The victim’s father told police that they had paid a few lakh rupees to the accused during the marriage. He said the woman’s farther-in-law called them up on Thursday afternoon saying she locked herself inside a room. When they rushed to the house, they came to know that the victim had been taken to a hospital. They later went to the hospital and found her dead.Police are investigating if the victim had committed suicide after being tortured by the accused or there was any foul play behind her death. On the basis of a specific complaint, police have started a probe.Police are conducting raids to nab the accused. They are also interrogating the other family members of the accused and locals in this connection.last_img read more

Active neighbourhood can make you healthier

first_imgAccording to researchers, creating healthier cities is an important part of the public health response to the global disease burden of physical inactivity.The four neighbourhood features, which were most strongly associated with increased physical activity, were — high residential density, number of intersections, number of public transport stops and number of parks within walking distance.“Neighbourhoods with high residential density tend to have connected streets, shops and services meaning people will be more likely to walk to their local shops,” said lead study author James Sallis from University of California, US. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Interestingly, distance to nearest transport stop was not associated with higher levels of physical activity, whereas the number of nearby transport stops was,” Sallis added in the paper published in the journal The Lancet. This might mean that with more options, people are more likely to walk further to get to a transport stop that best meets their needs.The study included 6,822 adults aged 18-66 and mapped out the neighbourhood features from the areas around the participants’ houses.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPhysical activity was measured by using accelerometers worn around participants’ waists for a minimum of four days, recording movement every minute. On average, participants did 37 minutes per day moderate to vigorous physical activity — equivalent to brisk walking or more.The difference in physical activity between participants living in the most and least activity-friendly neighbourhoods ranged from 68-89 minutes per week, representing 45-59 percent of the recommended 150 minutes per week.  Physical inactivity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.“We need interventions to counter the rapidly growing inactivity that urbanisation leads to, by providing environments that change the way we live our daily lives. It is high time that built environments provide the quadruple boost towards health, environment, equity and habitat,” Shifalika Goenka from Public Health Foundation of India commented.last_img read more

Ushering in the Christmas spirit

first_imgWith Christmas being just a month away, the only thought the hovers over the mind is the thought of devouring the yummy Christmas cake. It is no fun without the Christmas cake and making it quick is also not an easy task- preparations begin months in advance. The first step towards making a cake is the mixing process, better known as the Cake mixing ceremony. This ceremony is a part of an age-old Christmas tradition, which dates back to 17th Century Europe. In those days, it marked the arrival of the harvest season. A lot of fruits and plums were harvested and used in making the traditional plum cake. In the stirring ceremony the ingredients of the festive fruit cake,the raisins, black currants, prunes, glazed dates, cherries, candid orange, lemon rinds and nuts like cashews, pistachios and almond are emptied on a large container and  mixed with wine and liquor in advance so that the ingredients can develop aroma and taste.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOriginally a family affair, it is for many years celebrated within organizations to spread camaraderie and goodwill. People from all the walks of life come together for such festivities The Suryaa,a five-star hotel hosted the Cake-mixing ceremony to mark the beginning of warmth and cheer of Christmas in the National Capital on November 11. The festivity started with the cake-mixing ceremony. This age-old ceremony of cake mixing was hosted to usher in good tidings and happiness. The guests were invited to be a part of this traditional celebration and were presented aprons and chef’s hat as a small token of love. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePatrons of the hotel and other guests along with members of the staff participated and contributed towards the large mixture. Senior Executive Sous Chef Pankaj Jha said, “The fruits are soaked for about a month, after which they are used to make the traditional plum cake and Christmas pudding. Also, for the cold and bone-chilling Christmassy weather, the plum cakes are the perfect food to help you beat the cold”.The mixing ceremony was enjoyed by all the guests present in the gathering while the fragrance of different spirits that continued to linger on. Filled with camaraderie and cheer, this cake mixing ceremony not only infused fruits and wines, but also reaped in early Christmas cheer.last_img read more

Brazilian music takes India by storm

first_imgNew Brazilian music and Jazz India kicked off their tour at India Habitat Center on May 2 with guitarist Daniel Marquez from Brazil and Flautist Mark Alban Lotz captivating the audience on the first day of their two-day performance in Delhi, creating a euphoric atmosphere for the audience. The concert was presented by Recalling Roots and partnered by IRIS Fragrances.With the New Brazilian Music and Jazz tour, Recalling Roots aims to foster respect, understanding and awareness about different cultures thus developing multi-culture sensitivity and global mindset. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Nimisha Shankar, Founder, Recalling Roots, said, “It feels special to work with two maestros of music from different continents creating something so visceral, original and unique. We got tremendous support and we are thankful to our admirers and supporters for helping us bring this together. We are excited about the upcoming New Brazilian Music performances in Pune and Mumbai.” With use of electronics, extended techniques and voice, Lotz painted a colorful portrait of intense beauty that reflected his life in jazz, classical and world music. Daniel Marquez who took the listeners to a universe of serene sounds of a unique voice on his Guitar, said, “My music mainly comes from compositions of Brazilian folklore but I make my own tunes out of it, trying to take it on a different level.” After their solo performances, Daniel and Mark came together for restless stirrings of flute and guitar playing melodious notes, creating a rhythmic intensity that placed the listeners in a wonderful land of harmony. The duo’s music was energetic and full of detail at the same time. The tour that began in Delhi on will subsequently move to Pune and Mumbai at city’s most reputed venues. The attendance to the second day event in Delhi is free and open to all.last_img read more

Five books to look forward to in September 2017

first_imgThe literary scene has been quiet for some time now, but as the heat of summer gradually recedes, quite a few literary festivals and gatherings are on the cards. With such crowd-pulling platforms for publicity and launch of new books scheduled in the coming months, many works of interest by headline authors will soon hit the stores. The past two months had witnessed a significant number of fiction releases, but in September, non-fiction rules the roost. The only promising fiction title for the month marks the return of Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winning author Nayantara Sahgal.Here are the five books that we can’t wait to read this September:1. “When the Moon Shines by Day” by Nayantara Sahgal India has changed. Rehana finds her father’s books on medieval history have “disappeared” from bookstores and libraries. Her young domestic help, Abdul, discovers it is safer to be called Morari Lal in the street, but there is no such protection from vigilante fury for his Dalit friend, Suraj. Kamlesh, a diplomat and writer, comes up against official wrath for his anti-war views. A bomb goes off at Cyrus Batliwala’s gallery on the opening day of an art show.Presiding over this new world is the Director of Cultural Transformation, whose smiling affability masks a relentless agenda to create a Hindu master race. In this atmosphere, Rehana and her three book-club friends, Nandini, Aruna and Lily, meet every week to discuss a book one of them has chosen – their oasis of peace amidst the harshness of reality – even as Rehana’s German friend, Franz Rohner, haunted by his country’s Nazi past, warns her of what is to come. All revolutions, he wryly observes, follow the same path.But is India about to prove him wrong? 2. “The Indian Spirit: The Untold Story of Alcohol in India” by Magandeep Singh Drinking has been as old as eating and it has been an important part of Indian culture. The book is a treasure trove for those who have the palate to enjoy their drink and curiosity to know where it came from. It also tells you about the right way to order and enjoy your drink. It delves into history to trace the earliest instances of drinking in India. The author’s brilliant research also notes the manner in which drinking is mentioned in classical Indian literature and its recognition in our culture. Captured in the book are fascinating stories about alcohol, the etiquette of drinking and tasting notes on different spirits and brews. 3. “The Parrots of Desire: 3,000 Years of Indian Erotica” by Amrita NarayananThe erotic tradition in India is thousands of years old. In “The Parrots of Desire”, the modern reader, to whom the anthology is dedicated, will find a wealth of Indian erotic writing – beyond the famously unbridled passages of the Kama Sutra and Koka Shastra. There is, for instance, the extract “Why does sex exist?”, recreated from the 3,000-year-old Rig Veda; the work of the Tamil Sangam poets, whose contemporary finesse belies their antiquity; Bhakti poets Antal and Mahadeviyakka, who describe women’s fantasies of men; short stories by Kamala Das that have been out of print for decades; excerpts from the work of contemporary writers like Mridula Garg and Ginu Kamani, and much more.4. “Husain: Portrait of an Artist” by Ila PalSix years after first seeing him on a rainy day outside Mumbai’s Jehangir Art Gallery, Ila Pal met the star painter for the first time in 1961. It was the beginning of a long and enriching association between an eager student of art and M.F. Husain – a journey that lasted 50 years. This book is a product of that intimate relationship.Filled with anecdotes about his charisma, his sharp wit, his sense of wonder about the world at large and his insatiable hunger for love, this warm and personalised biography traces his evolution through his many avatars. It also delves into the artist’s exile from his homeland at the fag end of his life, exploring the question of creative licence in a climate where people’s sentiments are easily hurt and where censorship rules the roost like never before.5. “Barefoot To Boots” by Novy KapadiaFew football-crazy fans today may be aware that India was once called the “Brazil of Asia”. Or that the rivalry between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan is ranked among the top 50 club rivalries in the world. This is the only book on Indian football that provides a comprehensive view of clubs and players outside of Calcutta (Kolkata) – in Hyderabad and Bangalore, as also in Kerala, Punjab, Goa and the northeast. It describes major international tournaments where India performed brilliantly.last_img read more

Celebrating the gurushishya tradition

first_imgVeteran musicians gave a glimpse of their lineage and proficiency at the recently concluded ‘Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet-Nritya Mahotsav’ in New Delhi.The four-day festival, organized by Uma Sharma’s Bharatiya Sangeet Sadan in association with the HCL Concerts, commemorated the esteemed guru-shishya parampara of our traditional arts, showcasing some of the gems chiselled out under this invaluable tradition. Till Sunday i.e., the concluding day of the festival, the spacious Shankar Lal Hall at New Delhi’s Modern School was stuffed with thousands of music lovers attending ‘Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet-Nritya Mahotsav’. “Who says there are no takers of classical music?”, exclaimed an overwhelmed Uma Sharma, eminent Kathak danseuse, who started this festival in order to revive people’s interest in Indian traditional arts, and to rekindle the love for classical music in the younger generation. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf The inaugural evening at the Modern School on Barakhamba Road saw performances by Kathak doyen Uma Sharma, legendary flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. The festival was inaugurated by Union Minister, Mahesh Sharma. Expressing his happiness at the presence of a large young audience, he said that the youth were global ambassadors of the country’s culture. The minister also urged people to always keep the flames of the country’s rich culture burning. He appealed to them to take forward the guru-shishya (teacher-student) tradition, describing it as India’s pride and strength. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveUma Sharma, a Padma Bhushan awardee, said her mission with this festival is to ensure that India’s rich culture doesn’t get extinct.On January 12, the second day of the program, Pandit Chhannulal Mishra and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s Mohan Veena were the main attraction. Raga Puriya Kalyan, famous singer of Hindustani classical music and Pandit Chhannulal Mishra won the hearts of the audience with their singing on a number of lovely performances like Thumri, Kajari and Jhula in Banaras. Next, Ayan Ali Bangash playing on the strings of sarod along with Satyajit Talwalkar on Tabla touched the hearts of Delhiites. The second day’s final presentation was by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Manganiyars Group. While Vishwa Mohan played Mohan Vina, the Manganiyar Group made the evening of the festival colourful with Rajasthan in focus. Swami Haridas Tansen Music and Dance Festival is an attempt to keep our culture alive through the revival of cultural ‘renaissance’ and music ethos. On the third day of the program, celebrated singer Shubha Mudgal had the audience enthralled with her presentation. The versatile Mudgal is a classical musician who is also known for Khayal, Thumri and Dadra besides Indian pop music. Apart from this, the presentation of famous sitar player Ustad Shujaat Khan on the third day was a rare treat for aficionados of classical music. Sarod maestro Ustad Ashish Khan also proved to be quite a show stealer.On the last day of the festival, sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan took the audience on a magical journey. Apart from this, the famous classical musician Pandit Ulhas Ann Kahlkar also showed his mettle. The classical music extravaganza was organised by the Indian Music House in collaboration with Sri Ram Center for Performing Arts.last_img read more

Failed students stage sitin protest demand promotion to new class

first_imgKolkata: The authorities of Bethune Collegiate School made it clear on Tuesday that students, who had secured less than pass marks in the Class XI annual examination, will not be promoted to Class XII. A number of students agitated on Monday demanding promotion by pressuring the management to promote them to the next standard. The authorities claimed that most of the students had scored less than 10 percent in the examination.Some of the students, who failed the examination, were accompanied by their guardians to stage a sit-in demonstration in front of headmistress Saswati Adhikary’s room on Monday. They also hurled abuses at some of the teachers and threatened to commit suicide if they are not promoted. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”This is a social degradation. The parents are pushing their wards to become doctors or engineers without understanding the fact that every student does not possess the same merit and skill. This has resulted in such chaos in a school like Bethune which is known for its academic excellence,” a senior teacher of the school said. Nearly 25 percent of the students in the school are first generation learners and they have sought admission in the school through lottery system. This system is prevalent in all state schools. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe agitating students along with their guardians sought intervention from the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Examination and complained that the schoolteachers have given less marks than their wards deserved. The council, however, made it clear that the schools have been given free hand when it comes to promotion. It may be mentioned that 119 girls had appeared for the annual examination combining arts and science stream. Out of them, 18 students have failed in two or three subjects. There are even some cases when students have secured 1, 2 and 3 marks in written tests.last_img read more

Smelling highcalorie food can directly satisfy belly

first_imgDoes a whiff of pizzas, burgers or sandwiches entice you, but you refrain from eating them due to the high-calories it contains? Take heart, smelling these for longer than two minutes will make you feel satiated, suggest researchers, including one of an Indian-origin. The study showed that ambient food scent can directly satisfy the belly because the brain does not necessarily differentiate the source of sensory pleasure. “Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods. In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children’s and adults’ food choices than restrictive policies,” said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe researchers discovered a direct connection between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. They also conducted a series of tests using a nebuliser that separately gave off the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items (cookies versus strawberries, pizza versus apples). The findings, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, showed that participants exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more likely to want a cookie. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHowever, those exposed for longer than two minutes did not find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries instead. The results were the same in case of the scent of pizza and apples. Since non-indulgent foods do not give off much of an ambient scent, they are typically not connected with reward, therefore they have little influence on what we order, the study noted. High caloric foods are high in fats and sugars and extraordinary intake of these types of foods increase your risk factors for obesity Type-2 diabetes, heart disease as well as cancers.last_img read more

Still remain Muslim faith is above attire Nusrat slams cleric Twitter says

first_imgKolkata: Actor and newly-elected TMC MP Nusrat Jahan’s was pulled in a controversy on Saturday after a Muslim cleric criticised her for marrying a Jain businessman and wearing a sindoor (vermilion) and bangles. Nusrat Jahan sporting bangles and sindoor while taking oath as Lok Sabha member became a matter of controversy when a Muslim cleric criticised her for marrying a person outside her religion and termed the practice as un-Islamic. “Islam says a Muslim can marry only a Muslim. I have got to know that Nusrat is a film actor and people in the cinema do not care about religious practices. They do what they have to,” said Mufti Asad Quasmi of Madrasa Jamia Sheikh-ul-Hind. He also questioned the parliamentarian’s decision to marry a man belonging to Jainism. However, Nusrat Jahan gave an apt response saying she represents an inclusive India. Taking it to Twitter, the first time parliamentarian who has recently got married, Nusrat Jahan said, “I represent an inclusive India which is beyond the barriers of caste, creed and religion.”(With inputs from DNA)last_img read more

Five Cheap Effective Security Tips

first_img While a lot of security technologies come with impressive price tags, there are some fairly inexpensive things you can do to make your enterprise more secure.We picked the brains of a handful of security experts and got their ideas for the five cheapest security changes that would have the most impact. We skipped the obvious choices, like creating more complicated passwords and not leaving the door to the building or the server room open. The experts gave us suggestions that ranged from using digital signatures on all sent email, to what to not allow into the system, and what might be hidden in the office.”There are things you can do to secure your network without it taking a hit on your budget,” said Brian Dykstra a senior partner with Maryland-based Jones, Rose, Dykstra & Associates, a computer security and training company. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is to think they can’t afford to make any changes so they bury their heads in the sand. That almost always leads to a bad situation.”Here are five suggestions:Periodically check for rogue wireless access points in corporate buildings.The problem here is that some companies don’t have wireless access or they have restricted access, and some users will think they can sneak their own wireless access points in to make their lives a little easier. Maybe they want wireless from a conference room or from their desk. They set it up without IT’s knowledge, or guidance, and they often leave it unsecured.That means a hacker who is targeting the company now has an open door into the network. “There’s always rogue access,” said Dykstra. “It’s under the desk, or stuck behind a desk drawer. In any kind of large environment you go into, you’ll find a couple of them. The IT managers will always say, ‘Oh no, no. Not us.’ And then you find the Lynksis access setup.”Enable Windows Update on all computers.However, be sure to remember to verify that the systems actually are actually being patched, said Ken van Wyk, principal consultant with KRvW Associates.It’s an easy step that will ensure that systems are patched as soon as possible, but Dykstra said it’s “stunningly amazing” how many companies don’t take advantage of it. “Whenever I’m teaching, people stop me and ask what they should do on their own computer to improve their security,” he added. “I tell them to enable Windows Update. Let it automatically accept all [the patches] all the time. Your average non-IT person isn’t going to make a smart choice about what patches they need.”Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that not every computer will accept the patch update. Some glitch is going to shut down the update process before it’s done and if the IT manager doesn’t verify that it’s gone through, an unpatched computer could put the whole network at risk.”Sometimes you’ll go back and find out that there’s a machine that always denies a patch,” said Dykstra. “And here you thought you didn’t have to think about this process, but this machine was actually never being updated. That’s fairly common in a big environment.”Don’t allow html e-mail through.E-mail that uses html to enrich the images, the background, or the text opens the door for security problems, according to Rohyt Belani, managing partner with Intrepidus Group, a security consulting company.Phishers are relying more and more on html e-mails, which also are known as e-mail with active content. Belani explained that html enables spammers or hackers to disguise their attacks by allowing them to mask the URL address to which the hyperlink points. The link may read www.yourbank.com, but it actually might point to a Russian hacking site. That helps the hacker con unsuspecting people into clicking on the link, which most likely will take them to a malicious site where their machine is infected with malware.”You would not know this unless you viewed the source of the html e-mail, which non-IT-savvy won’t know to do,” said Belani, who noted that it’s a simple step to block html e-mail at the gateway, just like many companies do with executable attachments.Belani also said few companies need html e-mails. “E-mail may not look as pretty,” he said jokingly. “It enriches the text, but also hackers’ abilities.”Training, whether for users or the IT staff, will pay off in the long run.Most of the security experts contacted recommended training. Yes, there’s a cost involved but they either said there are ways to make it less expensive, like doing it in-house, or that in the long run the investment will more than pay for itself.”That’s my number one thing,” said Dykstra. “No matter what you do, there’s nothing cheaper than training up your personnel. You could even do it in-house if you have somebody who is willing to put this together. If I train somebody in what to be prepared for, or how to prepare for an incident that’s going to happen, that one effort will have a long-term payoff. If I buy some box and put it on my network, I’m not sure I’m going to get the same level of continuous payoff. Making people smarter is always a smart move.”Dykstra also said that he would focus on giving his IT staff security training before he would move on to the users. He noted that many techies aren’t given any, or enough, security training in college and it’s often cheaper to train them because it’s a smaller group than the company’s mass of users.”If they have a few classes on patch management, or security incident response, or how to secure users then you have this smart IT base and they’re going to make better decisions,” he added. “They need this kind of training.”Consider using Mozilla Foundation’s Thunderbird and Firefox as possible alternatives to Outlook and Internet Explorer.Since Microsoft’s applications heavily dominate the market, they’re the main target for hackers and virus writers. It’s not an issue of bugs. Mozilla’s Firefox actually had nearly twice as many reported vulnerabilities as Internet Explorer in a recent six-month span, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report. The issue is that hackers simply are targeting Microsoft’s software and basically leaving Firefox and Thunderbird alone.”Attackers are writing their malware to market share,” said Ken van Wyk, principal consultant with KRvW Associates. “That is, they’re targeting the big guys the most — IE and Outlook. Switching to anything else will improve your security, not because those things are more secure, but because those other products aren’t what the attackers are going after, by and large.”Keep in mind, though, that if enough people were to take van Wyk’s advice, everything would change. “Of course,” he added, “if the world changes to Firefox and Thunderbird, the attackers will go there, as well.”- Sharon Gaudin, InformationWeek(c) 2000-2007 CMP Media LLC. All rights reserved. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 6 min read April 25, 2007 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

Creating a Startup at 60 MPH

first_img Enroll Now for Free min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As soon as I picked up my credentials at the Austin Convention Center, people wearing identical light blue shirts, huddled over laptops and coffee at a smattering of tables immediately caught my attention. Their shirts reading “StartupBus.com” came with this description: “The best do-ers, thinkers and designers hacking a real startup together over a few sleepless days in a bus moving at 60mph.” It appeared the Gatecrashers had arrived. After spending some time on StartupBus.com. I was able to get a fuller picture. Now in its second year, the StartupBus, which is supported by companies including Microsoft and AT&T, is a rapid-fire entrepreneurship, coding and problem-solving competition rolled into one. From six different cities (New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Cleveland and Miami) teams of established entrepreneurs, CEOs, coders and developers worked on creating a startup — complete with a working demo or application during a 48-hour bus ride to Austin. What could normally require months or even years is fleshed out in a matter of hours.After hours of working and driving, each regional team created its own two-minute pitch –oftentimes while still on the bus, or their hotel or on the streets of Austin itself — making the case for their new startup. Today, the teams entered the entrepreneurial octagon at a SXSW panel. The winner will undoubtedly receive great exposure and hopefully funding.Here are my favorite three startups from this year’s StartupBus competition:Bouncr (San Francisco)Bouncr is an online application that helps users uniquely manage your email against spam. Rather than handing out your email address, Bouncr provides an alternate email address — akin to bit.ly  — which is linked to your real one. Here’s an example of how Bouncr works at SXSW: When you RSVP to any one of the hundreds of parties, you have to submit an email address with the knowledge that it will get circulated and sold into the ether and possibly spammed into oblivion. By supplying a spoof address instead, Bouncr eliminates that possibility.FullyFollow.me (Chicago)Perhaps inspired by The Office’s WUPHF, FullyFollow.me suggests a clever solution to managing your ever-expanding social profile on the Web. Instead of having to track down a new contact on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, FullyFollow.me provides a one-page profile that allows users to immediately connect with individuals across the entire social web. WalkIn (Silicon Valley)A QR code-based app that allows you to reserve a table at a restaurant. Simply walk up to the door, scan the restaurant’s unique QR code at the entrance, and secure your spot in the queue. The backend software would let the restaurant manage the reservation list, and, when your table is ready, send a text alert.The running theme among these three startups — and the other contestants — is that they all have created applications that solve specific, real problems. The extreme turnaround time appears to be an effective test for entrepreneurs and engineers to sharpen their focus, think simply, and, hopefully, hit on the next big thing.Bryan Keplesky is Senior Art Director at Austin’s Door Number 3, an independent branding shop. Bryan has covered SXSW since 2005. Contact Bryan at bkeplesky@dn3austin.com.center_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now March 14, 2011last_img read more

On the Macs 30th Birthday Apple Does Some Horn Tooting

first_imgBeyond that, the company is asking fans to share their stories in a section called “Your first Mac.”Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, even opened up to MacWorld about the anniversary.“Every company that made computers when we started the Mac, they’re all gone,” he said. “We’re the only one left. We’re still doing it, and growing faster than the rest of the PC industry because of that willingness to reinvent ourselves over and over.”That may not seem like much, but for Apple, it’s an uncommon level of candor.Of course, Apple left some of the heavy lifting to websites that were more than happy to publish retrospectives on its behalf. Forbes has this collection of quotes about the machine. Mashableoffered this brief history, which included a mention of the iconic “1984” Super Bowl ad that introduced the Macintosh.The site 9To5Mac created its own timeline of the Mac’s three decades, which you can check out below:Click to Enlarge+ Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Outside of product announcements and keynote addresses, Apple tends to be a fairly reserved company, to put it lightly. For years, the company has been called tight-lipped and secretive.So the fact that the company added a section to its website Friday marking the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh home computer’s emergence on the market seems uncharacteristic. It isn’t just a timeline and a few words about the computer’s introduction on Jan. 24, 1984, either. There’s a video with gushing interviews with computer experts, teachers, designers, artists, and Moby:center_img January 24, 2014 This story originally appeared on PR Daily 2 min readlast_img read more