Month: August 2019

Hope on the horizon for victims of DDoS attacks

first_img DDoS attacks are where one or more people use their own resources to cause as many computers as possible to try to access the services of a targeted website; flooding the server with requests to such an extent that legitimate visitors are unable to gain access and do business. These kinds of attacks can happen either because there are enough people involved in a coordinated attack, or because those involved gain access to multiple other computers which they then direct to attack the chosen site.DDoS attacks are not a new phenomena, but they have grown increasingly more pervasive in recent years as organizations, such as the infamous “Anonymous” gang of hackers, band together to forge new alliances, thereby increasing their ability to disrupt services. Such groups have come to use “botnets” or software robots to help them carry out their efforts. Botnets are created by implanting small pieces of code in as many unsuspecting computers as possible, then when a certain command is given, all of those computers start to harass the target; a giant army of software robots doing nothing more than creating a bottleneck that clogs up the web servers ability to carry out its job. The end result is legitimate users receiving messages saying they can’t access the site.Gushin and Behar have devised a method of fighting back against such attacks that effectively deflects the barrage back on to the attacking computers, causing them to become so busy themselves that they eventually give up the attack. Their method works by taking advantage of the fact that the botnets aren’t human beings sitting behind computers running actual web pages. By placing code on the front end of the web server that demands those requesting entrance identify themselves automatically as a machine running HTML, or a scrip language such as Adobe Flash or JavaScript, legitimate users can be allowed in as their browsers automatically respond to the queries while those that aren’t running such protocols are never allowed in.In another scenario, a web server can disrupt netbots by intentionally dropping a packet of data sent to them thus taking advantage of the Internet protocol that requires both sides in a conversation to reduce the amount of traffic they are sending, when an error occurs, which from the netbots perspective, appears as a time out; the netbot then tries to overcome the obstacle by repeating the original request; which causes the whole sequence to run again, and again. In this scenario the netbot winds up becoming very busy while the web server goes on as if nothing has happened. Eventually the netbot will be forced to give up, or its presence will become known to the host, who will likely kill it.In spite of these new advances in the war against the hackers, security experts such as Yuri Gushin and Alex Behar are not resting; they know it is only a matter of time before a way around the new defenses are found and they’ll have to find a new way to stop them. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Denial of service denial: New filtering system could protect networks from zombies 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 (PhysOrg.com) — Recently, Yuri Gushin and Alex Behar, security experts with Radware, an Israeli security firm, gave a presentation at the Black Hat conference in Barcelona, Spain, and as part of their program showed what they’ve been working on to assist big website portals in fighting back against Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS). Citation: Hope on the horizon for victims of DDoS attacks (2011, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-horizon-victims-ddos.html DDoS Stacheldraht Attack diagram. Everaldo Coelho/Wikipedia. More information: www.radware.com/newsevents/pre … lease.aspx?id=182682last_img read more

Computer simulations show it might be possible to create gamma ray beams

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2016 Phys.org Calculated electron density (green) and magnetic field strength (yellow-orange-blue) inside a structured plastic target 300 femtoseconds after being irradiated with an intense laser pulse from the left-hand side. The red dots indicate locations where photons with energy greater than 10 MeV were emitted in this simulation. The photons (not shown) exit to the right. Credit: A. V. Arefiev, D. J. Stark, T. Toncian/Univ. of Texas, via Physics Explore further Journal information: Physical Review Letters Plasma research shows promise for future compact acceleratorscenter_img More information: D. J. Stark et al. Enhanced Multi-MeV Photon Emission by a Laser-Driven Electron Beam in a Self-Generated Magnetic Field, Physical Review Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.185003AbstractWe use numerical simulations to demonstrate that a source of collimated multi-MeV photons with high conversion efficiency can be achieved using an all-optical single beam setup at an intensity of 5×1022  W/cm2 that is already within reach of existing laser facilities. In the studied setup, an unprecedented quasistatic magnetic field (0.4 MT) is driven in a significantly overdense plasma, coupling three key aspects of laser-plasma interactions at high intensities: relativistic transparency, direct laser acceleration, and synchrotron photon emission. The quasistatic magnetic field enhances the photon emission process, which has a profound impact on electron dynamics via radiation reaction and yields tens of TW of directed MeV photons for a PW-class laser. Scientists would like to be able to create intense on-demand gamma ray beams for use in many types of applications, both academic and in products—from nuclear fusion research to medical use to the study of fundamental physics—but to date, efforts to create such a beam have left much to be desired. Such efforts have generally involved combining electron and laser beams, but to make a truly useful gamma beam would require a stronger laser beam than currently exists. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a different approach, firing a laser beam at a piece of plastic, resulting in the creation of plasma consisting of ions and electrons. In their simulation, the laser would then shove the plasma forward, which would result in the creation of a strong magnetic field, which would in turn speed up the electrons even more—but not in straight lines. The movement of the electrons would generate synchrotron radiation of gamma ray photons moving back towards the direction of the laser.The team reports that their approach works in principle, though it might need some tweaking in a real world experiment. They found that as the laser pulse made its way into the plastic, the plastic became unstable, resulting in an unstable beam of gamma rays photons. To fix that problem, they tried varying the size and shape of the plastic and found that forming it into a round channel would cause the laser pulse to stay on course, resulting in the desired clean beam.The researchers cannot say for sure if what they have simulated would work as envisioned in the real world, but are hoping a team of experimentalists, (applied physicists) will take up the challenge. If successful such beam creation would be quite intense—providing a new tool for both practical applications and physics research projects. Citation: Computer simulations show it might be possible to create gamma ray beams using laser and plastic targets (2016, May 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-simulations-gamma-ray-laser-plastic.html (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with The University of Texas has found a possible way to create gamma ray beams by firing a laser beam at a piece of plastic. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, David Stark, Toma Toncian and Alexey Arefiev describe the computer simulation they created, what they found and their hopes that their discovery will lead to a means for creating intense beams of gamma rays for use in a wide variety of applications.last_img read more

Bioinspired MXenebased actuators for programmable smart devices

first_imgThe soft actuator maintained a flat and unwrinkled form under ambient conditions with relative humidity, while bending in response to increasing/decreasing humidity in the environment, which Cai et al. quantitatively analyzed. They noted excellent actuator performance and controllable bending angles in a variety of humidity levels. The scientists next investigated the electrical actuation of the device by connecting an MXene-cellulose strip to two copper wires. The bending angle almost linearly decreased with increasing electrical power, while the soft actuator only required a low voltage to achieve extreme actuation. Compared to humidity-based actuation, the scientists achieved larger bending angles with electrothermal actuation. The scientists also recorded temperature variation and binding angles of soft actuators using near infrared (NIR) light irradiation. They observed remarkable synergistic actuation motion of the MXene/cellulose composite material, in contrast to poor actuation performance of the individual components. Based on the observed optical absorption, photothermal conversion and electrochemical actuation, Cai et al anticipate the use of these composite smart soft actuators in photo-responsive functions. Cai et al. further investigated the photoinduced mechanical forces of the material under NIR light irradiation on a mechanical analyzer. The actuation process of MXCC/PC was rapid and reversible. The scientists studied the structural changes of the MXCC/PC and MXene/PC actuators under different intensities of illumination using X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements to show amorphous character of cellulose and PC membrane. They investigated the mechanical behavior using finite element modelling methods (FEM) to further understand the actuation process of the composite material. The modeling results agreed with the experimental outcomes in the study. To demonstrate programmable actuation behavior, the scientists developed a series of sophisticated configurations. Including a double folding U-shaped actuator, trefoil arch-shaped actuator and self-blooming flower where the petals opened and bloomed before NIR irradiation to close rapidly on exposure to NIR. Additionally, the scientists explored a variety of smart devices such as worm-like robots, smart switches, an encryption device as well as IR dynamic display and camouflage to extend the primary concept. Furthermore, Cai et al. constructed a smart switch by patterning cross-shaped MXCC on the PC membrane, which they controlled using wireless NIR light. Based on the principles, the scientists also formed an open electrical circuit to switch on/off a smart watch using NIR light. For data encryption, based on the programmable MXene-cellulose ink, Cai et al. engineered a desired pattern and conveyed the information by local heating using NIR light or electricity. The information was only readable using IR and invisible to the human eye, providing better suited information encryption beyond machine readable barcodes and QR codes. The ability to integrate diverse functionalities into one system to achieve camouflage, display and actuation is important and useful in multiple disciplines. These devices confirmed the possibility of using MXCC/PC membranes to serve multiple functions in smart soft systems including information encryption, camouflage and thermo-responsive behavior. , Science © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Journal information: Science Advances Citation: Bioinspired MXene-based actuators for programmable smart devices (2019, July 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-bioinspired-mxene-based-actuators-programmable-smart.html A variety of environmental stimuli such as humidity, temperature, electricity, light and pH can trigger physical alterations of these materials. But it is presently difficult to enhance the speed of actuation and scale-up shape changes due to poor mechanical and thermal instability that restrict their capabilities. Building a smart actuator that responds to diverse stimuli such as humidity, electricity, heat or light with fast actuation, large-shape deformation, programmable adaptability and robust stability is therefore highly desirable. To build new and improved material properties, the materials scientists must therefore explore previously unidentified combinatorial materials and rationally design device configurations to invent high-performance actuators. The elaborate structure, components, and actuation mechanism of the MXene-cellulose–based actuator. (A) Photograph of a natural leaf. (B) Schematic diagram of a leaf structure. (C) Schematic diagram of the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator, which is composed of MXCC and a PC filter membrane. (D) Actuation mechanism of the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator. Macroscopic and microcosmic (involving H bonds) structure changes of the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator in response to hygroscopic and thermal stimuli simultaneously (both hygroscopic and thermal actuation processes are controlled by electrical and NIR light actuation). Scanning electron microscopy images of the MXCC (E) and the PC filter membrane (F). Contact angle measurement of the MXCC (G) and PC filter membrane (H). (I) Transmission electron microscopy image of the 2D MXene nanosheet (inset: SAED pattern). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 During photosynthesis, natural leaves with elaborate architectures and functional components can harvest and convert solar energy into chemical fuels that are converted into energy. The biological energy production has provided materials scientists a new bioinspired paradigm to produce many autonomous systems, including light-triggered motion. In a recent report, Guofo Cai and co-workers at the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Astronautic Science and Mechanics, and Chemical Engineering, developed an unprecedented bilayered actuator base on MXene (Ti3C2Tx)-cellulose composites (MXCC) and polycarbonate (PC) membranes. Programmable soft actuators show the great potential of soft robotics , Advanced Materials Representative programmable motions for the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator. (A) Double folding U-shape actuator. (B) Trefoil arch–shaped actuator. (C) Self-folding box. (D) Self-blooming flower. Green dashed lines in (C) and (D) (left diagram drawing) are the slight creases created on the bottom of the box and flower to make the self-folding box and self-blooming flower work well under NIR irradiation. (Photo credit: Guofa Cai, Nanyang Technological University.) Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 A real-time digital camera video of the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator upon sequential on/off NIR light irradiation. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 More information: Guofa Cai et al. Leaf-inspired multiresponsive MXene-based actuator for programmable smart devices, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 M. Ma et al. Bio-Inspired Polymer Composite Actuator and Generator Driven by Water Gradients, Science (2013). DOI: 10.1126/science.1230262 Xili Lu et al. Liquid-Crystalline Dynamic Networks Doped with Gold Nanorods Showing Enhanced Photocontrol of Actuation, Advanced Materials (2018). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201706597 R. H. Baughman. MATERIALS SCIENCE: Playing Nature’s Game with Artificial Muscles, Science (2005). DOI: 10.1126/science.1099010 The new composite materials, rational design and low-cost fabrication introduced in the study, alongside synthetic strategies implemented by the scientists, will make the MXCC/PC membrane systems accessible for broad scientific and engineering fields. In this way, Guofa Cai and co-workers developed and established a new class of multiresponsive materials and devices with unprecedented integration of multiple properties inspired by multifunctional biological structures. The MXCC/PC membrane systems mimicked crucial features of a natural leaf from the microstructure to photosynthetic capabilities, which included energy-harvesting and conversion. The bilayer actuators showed strong features, similar to state-of-the-art multiresponsive actuators. The explored materials and advanced systems can be further developed to establish novel possibilities for revolutionary technologies in the fields of soft robotics, information encryption and IR dynamic display. LEFT: Mechanical performance and motions of the MXCC/PC bilayer-structured actuator caused by NIR light. (A) Typical static force and strain changes of the MXCC- and cellulose-based actuators during one actuation cycle when NIR light illumination was turned on and off (50 mW cm−2). (B) Plot of the static force and strain of the MXCC- and cellulose-based actuators as a function of time for five consecutive NIR light on and off cycles, indicating the reversible, stable, and rapid actuation process. (C) Static force changes of the MXCC-based actuator under different NIR illumination intensities (from 5 to 200 mW cm−2). (D) Bending angle of the MXCC-based actuator under different NIR illumination intensities (from 5 to 200 mW cm−2). RIGHT: Structure change under different NIR illumination intensities and mechanical modeling. (A) XRD patterns of MXCC- and MXene-based actuators under different NIR light illumination intensities (solid lines, MXCC-based actuator; dashed lines, MXene-based actuator). (B) Corresponding d-spacing of the MXCC- and MXene-based actuators under different NIR light illumination intensities. (C) Simulated and experimental results of the MXCC-based actuator. (D) Simulated results of the MXCC-based actuator under NIR light illumination. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 A real-time digital camera video of smart switch upon sequential on/off NIR light irradiation. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7956 MXene (Ti3C2Tx) used in the present work belongs to a new family of liquid-crystalline, two-dimensional (2-D) metal carbides with excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and photothermal conversion to form multiresponsive and potentially high performance actuators. Only a single example currently exists of the use of MXene as an electrochemical actuator. In the present work, therefore, Cai et al. aimed at using MXene as a multiresponsive soft actuator to explore leaf-inspired, sophisticated architecture for simple actuation, coupled with synergistic functional components. Inspired by the biological architecture and photosynthetic mechanism of a natural leaf, Cai et al. designed an asymmetric, bilayered soft actuator using single-crystal, 2-D MXene nanosheets to harvest electric or light energy for conversion into thermal energy. For this, they used biocompatible, cellulose nanofibers to form the vein skeleton for rapid leaf-like shape changes alongside polycarbonate (PC) filter membranes to form the stomata and epidermis for water insertion and extraction to or from the MXene-cellulose composites (MXCC). The scientists confirmed the increased absorption of water in MXCC due to the presence of cellulose using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra. Using selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns, they detected the presence of MXene as a hexagonal structure and single crystallinity without defects at the nanometer scale. The device mimicked the sophisticated architecture of a leaf and showed energy-harvesting and conversion capabilities similar to photosynthesis. The bilayered actuator contained highly desirable features including; multi-responsiveness, low-power actuation, fast actuation speed, large-shape deformation, robust stability and programmable adaptability—well suited for modern soft actuator-based smart systems. Cai et al. believe these adaptive soft systems will be attractive as revolutionary technologies to build soft robots, smart switches, for information encryption, infrared dynamic display, camouflage and temperature regulation. They envision additional uses of the technology to develop human-machine interfaces such as haptics. The study is now published in Science Advances. Materials scientists have studied materials and devices that dynamically change shape, size and electrical/mechanical properties in response to external stimuli for a variety of applications. Such devices have important functions as actuators, artificial muscles, in robotics, as energy generators, sensors and smart curtains. Scientists have devoted substantial efforts to develop smart actuators based on a variety of active materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, shape memory polymers, gels, conjugated polymers and liquid crystal elastomers as well as ceramics and alloys. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Former Uber Engineer Charged With 33 Counts Of

first_imgFormer Uber Engineer Charged With 33 Counts Of Trade-Secret… by NPR News Vanessa Romo 8.27.19 9:19pm It may have appeared that Anthony Levandowski was out of the legal hot seat after Google’s parent company, Alphabet, agreed to settled a corporate espionage lawsuit against Uber last year. But the controversial Silicon Valley executive is at the center of another case stemming from the same allegations — only this time it is federal prosecutors claiming that after years of spearheading Google’s autonomous vehicle division, he looted a trove of top-secret files before going to work with Google’s primary rival, Uber. Levandowski was charged on Tuesday with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets for allegedly making off with about 14,000 files pertaining to the Google’s Waymo self-driving car project.The criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern California alleges that in the months before he abruptly resigned from Google in January 2016, Levandowski downloaded and copied key files onto his laptop. He then used those trade secrets to create his own self-driving truck company called Otto, according to the documents. Months later that startup was acquired by Uber for roughly $680 million. Additionally, Uber named Levandowski as head of the ride-hailing company’s autonomous vehicle department, which was getting off the ground at the time. “All of us have the right to change jobs, none of us has the right to fill our pockets on the way out the door,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said in a statement. “Theft is not innovation.”Court documents say Levandowski made off with circuit board drawings and schematics as well as detailed designs for light sensor technology called Lidar that took “years of research and testing, and millions of dollars in investment” for Google to produce. “The FBI will not tolerate the theft of trade secrets,” FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett, told NPR in an emailed statement. “These are the Crown Jewels of companies and this unlawful behavior has a real impact on our economy, local jobs, and consumers around the country and even the world. Silicon Valley is not the Wild West.” Levandowski’s lawyers, Ismail Ramsey and Miles Ehrlich, say he’s an innovator in the self-driving technology field and “didn’t steal anything from anyone.””The downloads at issue occurred while Anthony was still working at Google — when he and his team were authorized to use the information. None of these supposedly secret files ever went to Uber or to any other company,” they said in a statement, adding that the latest charges rehash “claims already discredited in a civil case.”The lawsuit between the two tech giants over the same issue was settled last year after a four-day trial in which Levandowski refused to cooperate with Uber’s defense attorneys, citing Fifth Amendment privileges. He was subsequently fired from Uber. In the end, Uber, which at the time was planning to go public, agreed to pay Alphabet’s Waymo subsidiary $245 million to end the legal proceedings, and not to use its technology.The judge who oversaw the lawsuit also recommended the case for criminal investigation, which is what led to the indictment against Levandowski. “We have always believed competition should be fueled by innovation, and we appreciate the work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI on this case,” a Waymo spokesperson told NPR in an emailed statement. Meanwhile, Uber said it has “cooperated with the government throughout their investigation and will continue to do so.”If convicted, Levandowski faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each of the 33 counts of trade-secret theft.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Jeff Chiulast_img read more

Budget is dhanwapsi by NDA to big corporates Congress

first_img“It is a pro-corporate budget,” Congress President Sonia Gandhi said when asked about her reaction on it.Slamming the budget as one that promises nothing new, party leaders said the plan to bring a new law on blackmoney meant that the government was not bringing illegal money stashed abroad on which it had made tall promises.”Finance Minister Arun Jaitely is a good lawyer. But he presented the government’s case on Saturday as a very bad lawyer,” remarked Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIHe charged that the budget was a “repayment by the BJP government to the rich and corporates who had supported them during Lok Sabha polls”.Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said the budget was a “dhanwapsi” programme. “You (BJP) had taken in elections. You are paying back,” he charged.The allusion was to the controversial “gharwapasi” programme by saffron parties.Ramesh also said the “budget has (SIMI) in it…Skill India, Make India.” Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe Congress President’s political secretary Ahmed Patel said, “The hype over the budget had created lot of hope but the outcome is disappointing”.”Allocation for Sarvashiksha Abhiyan is cut. Farmers get nothing. Service tax increase hurts the poor and the rich will pay less tax,” Patel said. Holding that the budget lacked any substantial investment in the social sector, Kharge charged that it was “pro-industrialist”, “pro-corporate” and not meant for the poor. “The government got a lot of money because of the fall of prices in crude oil. But you did not use it for the poor for inclusive development. The budget was also made keeping in mind the future state elections in Bihar and West Bengal in mind,” he said.”The budget fills the coffers of the rich and empties that of the poor. It has not launched any new programme and repackaged old schemes with cosmetic changes.”The budget does not give an answer sheet. He has only given a question paper,” Kharge said, adding that Jaitley’s promise for special packages for states raises doubts as they have been announced for states where elections are due.Former Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath said the budget does not bring the stimulus that should have come in the country’s economy.”The budget is a great disappointment. It does nothing that stimulates the rural economy or growth or generate employment. It’s a budget that promises setting up committee, commissions.”This is a hollow budget, a budget of event management. There is nothing in this budget which will increase the purchase capacity of the youth. Corporate tax has been reduced, which will only benefit the rich,” he said, adding he will not give more than 2 or 3 out of 10 to Jaitley if the budget is rated like this.All India Congress Committee General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said the budget is “very ordinary”.”The budget is not special from any point of view. Government talks a lot about poor but nothing has been done in the budget about the poor.Common man will have to pay for service tax and other similar proposals of the government.”Former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia termed the budget as “plain and hollow”.last_img read more

3 BJP leaders arrested from Gopiballavpur

first_imgKolkata: Three BJP workers were arrested from Gopiballavpur in Jhargram on Sunday on charges of attempting to distribute cash a day ahead of the Panchayat polls. Police claimed that they have found leaflets of the BJP from the arrested persons. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also raised the allegation of distribution of cash and urged people to be alert and to inform the police in case they find anyone distributing money. Police said they were patrolling the area when they received information that some have gathered to distribute cash among people. The police went to the spot and arrested them and collected a few leaflets from them as well. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that on Saturday, the police arrested three people including BJP Jalpaiguri district secretary Shubhankar Ghosh and Alipurduar district leader Raju Ghosh for allegedly possessing Rs 10 lakh cash in Alipurduar. Acting on a tip-off, police conducted a raid in a hotel in Alipurduar and picked up all three of them. The cops have recovered unaccounted cash from them which the leaders claimed to be party funds.last_img read more

KMC collects 13 fish samples from 5 city markets to test for

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Monday collected as many as 13 fish samples from five markets in the city, to check for presence of formalin in them. There have been allegations of presence of formalin in fish imported from Andhra Pradesh.”We have collected 9 surveillance samples and 4 regulatory samples from some leading fish markets. We will conduct tests to find out whether there is presence of formalin. The report is expected to be available in two to three days,” Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said. Also Read – Naka checking to be stricter to rein in speed demonsIn case of regulatory samples that have been collected by undergoing certain formalities as per rules, the civic body can initiate cases if they find any irregularities in the samples.Among these samples, two have been collected from Manicktala Market, one from Poura Parna Bithika Market- Behala and another from S N Ray Market in Behala. Among the nine surveillance samples, six were collected from Entally Market and three from New Market.Formalin is a preservative that can lead to cancer if consumed over a period of time. The chemical can also cause nausea and other ailments in the short term. Also Read – Sowing activities on track with ample rain in S Bengal districtsIt may be mentioned that more than half the fish consumed in the city is procured from Andhra Pradesh.Officials of the state Fisheries department have been asked to visit wholesale markets across the city from Saturday, to collect samples that will be checked.According to the state Fisheries department stats, the city alone consumes around 235 tonnes of fish every day. Fish from Andhra Pradesh – mostly Rohu and Katla – accounts for around 135 tonnes of the total consumption. Of around 1.73 lakh tonnes of fish that Bengal imports from other states annually, Andhra accounts for around 1 lakh tonnes.The Assam government had already banned sale of fish from Andhra Pradesh, after lab tests detected formalin in some samples.”Banning of fish from Andhra will be difficult for Bengal. If we stop import, the deficit cannot be met by local production,” an official in the state Fisheries departmentsaid.last_img read more

Telly soap shooting resumes in Kolkata after sixday deadlock

first_imgKolkata: Shooting for Bengali TV serials resumed this morning in the city, a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with the artistes and producers to end a deadlock over regularization of payment. The impasse between the Artists’ Forum and Welfare Association of Television Producers had stalled shoots for six days, forcing TV channels to air old episodes. Banerjee, after convening a meeting of representatives from both sides, told reporters yesterday that a conciliation committee has been set up with state Youth Affairs Minister Aroop Biswas as the chairman and veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee as chief adviser to “look into the complaints”. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life She also assured the artistes and technicians that the newly formed committee will hold a meeting every month to ensure that they are not deprived of their basic rights. Among those who were present at the meeting at the secretariat yesterday were actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, the working president of the Artists’ Forum, Shrikant Mohta of Shree Venkatesh Films and Nispal Singh of Surinder Films. Talking to PTI today, Arindam Ganguly, the general secretary of Artists’ Forum, said all performers and technicians turned up at the studios for the shoot today as per “call time”. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “The conciliation committee’s first meeting will take place in two days’ time and hopefully we will solve all pending issues, including demand for overtime payment, in an amicable manner.” The Artists’ Forum had been demanding salaries by 15th of every month, hourly incentives for toiling over 10 hours and a 14-hour work limit every day. Leena Gangopadhyay, a script writer of TV soaps and one of the members of the conciliation committee, expressed confidence that the differences will be sorted out soon. “Now that the shooting has resumed, we are confident that all problems will be resolved sometime soon,” she said.last_img read more

Three city pandals to adopt the themes of Abahan Abarta Bisharjan

first_imgKolkata: Abahan, Abarta and Bisharjan, the three eternal concepts relating to the advent of Goddess Durga with her entourage on earth, her five day stay here and her journey back to her abode, will be depicted interestingly through the lifecycle of a child at three Puja pandals in the city.A child is often considered as the embodiment of God. According to artist Anirban Das, who has come up with the unique idea of showcasing the concept through Durga Puja, said that the invocation of Goddess Durga is very similar to the birth of a child, who is also invoked by his/her parents. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAbahan or invocation has become the theme of Dum Dum Tarun Dal, where models of various Gods and nymphs will be kept inside the Puja pandal, who will be celebrating the birth of a child. There will be symbolic representations of children through various depictions of flowers. “Every child is special but we fail to provide conducive atmosphere for a child to grow up. Many of the children are ill-treated in the society. We seek power from Goddess Durga to fight injustice and oppression, so that our world becomes a better place for these children,” Das said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHindustan Park Sarbojanin has adopted the theme of Abarta, where life’s journey would be depicted through various models inside the Puja pandal. They’ll show how the children are overburdened with studies and are forced to take part in the so called rat race. “People often force their children to take part in a mad race. We are trying to present how human lives have become complicated. A circus will be set up through various models to show how we all have become mere stage players. There will also be models of clowns. The idol of Goddess Durga will be portrayed on an Ektara, a one-string musical instrument,” Artist Das said. The Ektara is closely associated with the life of a folk artiste who believes in simple living. This very concept had prompted the artist to put Goddess Durga on the backdrop of the instrument. The artist is trying to highlight that taking part in a mad race of earning money does not always bring fortune for the children, Das said. Bisharjan has become the Puja theme for Chetla Agrani this year, where a palatial building will be constructed which will help people understand the futility of existence. A pond will also be created in front of the idol in such a manner that the visitors can see the Goddess’ reflection in it. According to the artist, the pond serves as a symbol where people can shed their sins.last_img read more

Gradual decline in enthusiasm for Facebook Twitter Study

first_imgMore and more people are gradually viewing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and enterprise social media LinkedIn negatively than in the past, an interesting study has revealed.The team from American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) which tracks opinions of search engines, news outlets, social media sites and other ‘e-businesses’ found that consumers view Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn more negatively than in years past.Facebook and Twitter saw the largest declines – at nine per cent and eight per cent, respectively. An increase in restless user base on some of the largest social media sites is forcing advertisers and the businesses who run them to put their money elsewhere.The declines are driven in part by the presence of advertising on services that are still regarded as “free”. Consumers have not fully accepted advertising as a necessary cost for online services they have come to expect as free. There is little companies can do to change that perception beyond making sure that those advertisements are relevant and non-disruptive, the report said.Facebook was mired in controversy over “curated” news where it was accused of political bias in its “trending news” section after news broke that stories from politically conservative sources were sidelined. However, the company denied such a bias.Earlier this year, reports said that Twitter irked many users when it tweaked its newsfeed from a chronological system to a new algorithm based system. It has also failed to keep pace with ever-evolving social apps including Snapchat, Imgur and Instagram.“It’s impossible for global brands with massive user bases to like Facebook and Twitter to keep everyone happy,” experts added.last_img read more