Month: August 2019

Another piece in the dark matter puzzle

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. Most scientists agree that most of the matter in the universe is dark. Dark matter, which is undetectable through direct observation, can only be inferred because of its effects on the matter that we can see. The blue and red haze is the x-ray emission from the gas. The greencontours represent the gravitational potential mapping the mass distributionin the cluster of galaxies. The authors looked at the the matter “blob” to theright of the yellowish gas front. This blob originally came from theleft, and within some 100,000 years it moved through the larger blob tothe left, where the gas was separated. Credit: Data from the Chandra x-ray telescope, courtesy of Signe Riemer-Sørensen. “In principle,” Signe Riemer-Sørensen, a scientist at the Dark Cosmology Centre at the University of Copenhagen, tells PhysOrg.com, “dark matter can’t be seen directly. We know it has to be some kind of particle that we have not seen on earth, and that it can exist without being detected here.”Riemer-Sørensen is one of many scientists around the world interested in studying dark matter. Because it is so prevalent, physicists agree that understanding how dark matter works is an important fundamental question that could lead to a better knowledge of the universe, and the basic laws upon which it operates. Riemer-Sørensen and her group, which also consists of scientists from the University of Patras and the Aristotle University of Thessoaloniki in Greece, and the University of Oslo, are working on a way to pin down some of the characteristics of dark matter.“We took one specific theory about dark matter,” Riemer-Sørensen explains. “We look at a specific type of decaying particles, and if they represent dark matter, they will decay and transform into photons in x-rays.” The particles in question are axions, hypothetical elementary particles used in theories describing “extra” dimensions. The idea, she says, is to look for an area of the universe that has a great deal of dark matter, and then look for weak x-ray emissions. Riemer-Sørensen and her peers looked at colliding clusters of galaxies. “A good place to do this is clusters of galaxies because they are very heavy and consist of approximately 85 percent of dark matter. The stars and galaxies are only about five percent, and then there is about 10 percent hot gas, which does also emit x-ray.”She points out that the galaxies within clusters of galaxies do not collide in the classical sense. Rather, they pass through each other. “The only thing colliding is the gases in the galaxy cluster.” During the galactic collision, the gases are displaced due to friction. “You compare this to the gravitational potential from dark matter,” Riemer-Sørensen continues. “Because the two galaxy clusters have collided, and the gas has been displaced. In a normal cluster of galaxies, the galaxies, the gas, and the dark matter are all contained within the same region. In the colliding case there is a clear separation, and to find the putative x-ray emission from axions, we look in regions where there is a lot of mass, but very little gas.”So, did Riemer-Sørensen and her colleagues find the weak dark matter x-ray emissions? “We didn’t find any clear signs of x-ray emissions from axions in these regions,” she says. “And that tells us something about dark matter.” If dark matter particles do follow the reactions of decay set forth in the theory of axions as dark matter, then dark matter has an extraordinarily long lifetime. “If dark matter does decay,” Riemer-Sørensen insists, “then the lifetime of the axions is at least three million billion years, which is twenty thousand times longer than the lifetime of the universe.”“This is a piece of information that tells us something about how dark matter must behave,” Riemer-Sørensen continues. “So for technical reasons x-rays can currently be eliminated as a way to detect it.”She hasn’t stopped trying to detect dark matter more directly, however. “Now we’re working on going into gamma rays to see if there’s a signature there.”Dark matter may have stumped scientists for three decades, but little by little the puzzle is starting to fit together.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Another piece in the dark matter puzzle (2007, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-10-piece-dark-puzzle.htmllast_img read more

Light meet matter Singlephoton quantum memory in diamond optical phonons at room

first_img © 2015 Phys.org Experimental concept, energy level diagram, and setup. (a) The memory protocol. A horizontally (H) polarized single photon (green, 723 nm) is written into the quantum memory with a vertically (V) polarized write pulse (red, 800 nm). After a delay τ, an H-polarized read pulse recalls a V-polarized photon. (b) Energy levels in the memory. The ground state j0i and the storage state |1>correspond to the crystal ground state and an optical phonon, respectively. The signal photon and the read-write pulses are in two-photon resonance with the optical phonon (40 THz) and are far detuned from the conduction band j2i. (c) The experimental setup. The laser output is split to pump the photon source and to produce the orthogonally polarized read and write beams. The photons are produced in pairs with one (signal) at 723 nm and the other (herald) at 895 nm. The signal photon is stored in, and recalled from, the quantum memory. The herald and signal photons are detected using APDs and correlations between them are measured using a coincidence logic unit. Credit: D. G. England, K. A. G. Fisher, J-P. W. MacLean, P. J. Bustard, R. Lausten, K. J. Resch, and B. J. Sussman, Storage and Retrieval of THz-Bandwidth Single Photons Using a Room-Temperature Diamond Quantum Memory, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 053602 (2015). Recently, scientists at National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa and Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo demonstrated storage and retrieval of terahertz-bandwidth single photons via a quantum memory in the optical phonons modes of a room-temperature bulk diamond. The researchers report that the quantum memory is low noise, high speed and broadly tunable, and therefore promises to be a versatile light-matter interface for local quantum processing applications. Moreover, unlike existing approaches, the novel device does not require cooling or optical preparation before storage, and is a few millimeters in size. The scientists conclude that diamond is a robust, convenient, and high-speed system extremely well-suited to evaluating operational memory parameters, studying the effects of noise, and developing quantum protocols.Prof. Benjamin J. Sussman discussed the paper that he, Prof. Kevin Resch, Dr. Duncan G. England, and their colleagues published in Physical Review Letters. “The possibility of using single photons in quantum technologies offers a host of new opportunities in measurement and communications,” Sussman tells Phys.org. “However, it’s challenging to do so because the light we typically use – that is, from the sun, light bulbs, or lasers – contains tremendous numbers of photons.” Therefore, much of the technology for manipulating and measuring light (including naturally-evolved light-detecting biological organs, such as our eye) have been designed to deal with larger numbers of photons – and in addition, background noise from the faintest light source can mask these single photons.”Creating a single photon is also a formidable problem,” Sussman continues, adding that to generate single photons the scientists employ a low probability stochastic quantum optics process called spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC). The method of generation is very effective, but the challenge is that – being a probabilistic process – a photon is generated not on demand, but unpredictably. “We have to wait for success and then perform an experiment, which means most of the time the experiment fails,” Sussman explains. “However, quantum memories are very interesting because they act as photon buffers, and can convert a probabilistic process into a deterministic one. This effectively turns a repeat-until-success single-photon source into an on-demand source.” , Science Explore further Citation: Light, meet matter: Single-photon quantum memory in diamond optical phonons at room temperature (2015, March 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-single-photon-quantum-memory-diamond-optical.html 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. (Phys.org)—Photonic quantum technologies – including cryptography, enhanced measurement and information processing – face a conundrum: They require single photons, but these are difficult to create, manipulate and measure. At the same time, quantum memories enable these technologies by acting as a photonic buffer. Therefore, an ideal part of the solution would be a single-photon on-demand read/write quantum memory. To date, however, development of a practical single-photon quantum memory has been stymied by (1) the need for high efficiency, (2) the read/write lasers used introducing noise that contaminates the quantum state, and (3) decoherence of the information stored in the memory.center_img The heralded second-order correlation function of the memory output as a function of storage time. Values below the classical limit of g(2)out = 1 demonstrate the quantum characteristics of the output field. Nonclassical statistics are observed for storage times up to ∼3 ps. Error bars are from Poissonian counting statistics. D. G. England, K. A. G. Fisher, J-P. W. MacLean, P. J. Bustard, R. Lausten, K. J. Resch, and B. J. Sussman, Storage and Retrieval of THz-Bandwidth Single Photons Using a Room-Temperature Diamond Quantum Memory, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 053602 (2015). Sussman notes that ultrafast lasers were developed to study picosecond and femtosecond dynamics in molecular and bulk phonon vibrations. “It’s therefore not surprising that we’d employ these vibration or similar systems as substrates to operate at ultrafast speeds for quantum processing – and Dr. England was able to leverage his expertise in these two areas to bridge the National Research Council and Institute for Quantum Computing teams and make the project a success.”The paper states that because the quantum memory is low noise, high speed and broadly tunable, it promises to be a versatile light-matter interface for local quantum processing applications. Sussman explains that the interface between light and matter is an important frontier for quantum information science, in that it combines the advantages of photonic qubits (which move fast and have long decoherence times) with those of matter qubits (stationary and with strong interactions). “The diamond memory is an important innovation because it provides a robust and convenient platform on which to investigate this interface,” which he adds are due to its key advantages:• the memory is broadly tunable, and so can be used for many different photon sources• the high speed of the memory allows millions of experiments per second, which is important for synchronous detection of multiple spontaneous quantum events – that is, it is critical for experiments with a low probability of success and where many repeat efforts are required• the memory is low noise – even at room temperature – making it a simple test bed system which does not require any bulky and expensive cryogenic or vacuum apparatusThe system described in the paper has some advantages over previous efforts to implement optical quantum memories, including single atoms in a cavity, ultracold atoms, atomic vapors, molecular gases, and rare-earth doped crystals, and other platforms. “Our system has two interesting features: low noise and high bandwidth. “The noise floor of the memory is principally a measurement of the background introduced by parasitic processes driven the strong read/write pulses,” Sussman explains. “This noise degrades the integrity of the quantum state stored by the memory. Practically speaking, the noise floor is measured by blocking the input photon and measuring what comes out of the memory if nothing is put in. As the intention is to store and retrieve single photons, it’s critical that the noise floor remains a fraction of the single-photon, or the quantum, level.”One important feature of diamond is that optical phase matching requirements suppress parasitic processes. Another factor is that in many systems, it is often necessary to employ cryogenic or laser cooling to isolate a quantum system from environmental noise – but due to the large energy of the diamond optical phonon, the Boltzmann inversion at room temperature is sufficient such that there is no need to cool the diamond. The memory therefore operates with quantum-level noise at room temperature. In addition, he continues, their previous work with Walmsley’s group at Oxford looked at creating entanglement between two different diamonds1. “We continue to build on this diamond platform and have now shown that it is possible to store single photons. The entanglement experiments suggest that it should be possible to store entangled states of light in diamond, which is encouraging for some future research directions.”While, as mentioned, significant work has been put into developing ultrafast spontaneous parametric down-conversion sources compatible with a specific quantum memories, Sussman says that their system takes the opposite approach. “We have a memory with bandwidth larger than that of the photon source. The bandwidth of a stored pulse here is ultimately only limited by the large 40 THz energy of the phonon,” although he acknowledges that in this investigation that it was experimentally limited by their longer duration 2 THz write pulse.Interestingly, when Phys.org asked how advanced acoustic metamaterials such as synthetic phononic crystals might relate to their research, Sussman agreed that modifying the phonon band structure and density of states would be very useful for customizing the memory energy levels and controlling decoherence.In terms of research plans, Sussman says that much research has gone into long coherence time quantum memories for use as a component in long-distance quantum communications. “In a complementary way, there are a number of interesting opportunities where coherence times are shorter but bandwidths are higher. Because the diamond quantum memory can utilize short pulses, a significant number of operational time bins can be performed before the system decoheres. Our next steps will involve storage and generation of more elaborate single-, multi-, and entangled photon states, as well as looking at very interesting opportunities for sensing and color conversion.”Sussman adds that, broadly speaking, the researchers work in three areas: developing optical methods of controlling quantum systems; developing novel quantum systems; and combining these to then develop quantum technology applications. “The state-of-art in laser technology now allows quantum systems to be manipulated with extreme precision, and the implications are that it will be increasingly easy to build quantum technologies that are capable of performing in ways not possible with traditional methods. I think some of the next big steps will be in extending the technologies built for quantum communications to sensing.”For Sussman and his colleagues, the future is ripe with possibility. “The current areas of research where quantum memories are of considerable interest are quantum information processing and communications – but in the future the individual components needed to build these systems will surely find applications beyond these areas. As examples, sensing and imaging will surely be affected by the development of robust quantum components including sources, memories, gates, frequency converters, and detectors that can be combined in new ways. It’s not hard to envision that this will ultimately have impacts in range of important additional applications, including those as varied as astronomy, chemical sensing and medical imaging.” Improved interface for a quantum internet More information: Storage and Retrieval of THz-Bandwidth Single Photons Using a Room-Temperature Diamond Quantum Memory, Physical Review Letters (2015) 114: 053602, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.053602Related: 1Entangling Macroscopic Diamonds at Room Temperature, Science (2011) 334(6060): 1253-1256, doi:10.1126/science.1211914 Sussman notes that the most difficult technical obstacle was verifying the non-classical photon statistics of the memory output. To determine whether single photons were actually retrieved from quantum memory, the scientists performed a so-called g(2) measurement (the degree of coherence between two fields) in which the output photon was coupled into a 50:50 beam splitter, and detectors placed at both output ports. “Because single photons are indivisible, one would never expect to measure coincident detection in both arms – and this is what we were able to confirm. Nevertheless, experiments aren’t perfect – and where the single photon is even slightly contaminated by background noise, we very occasionally make a coincidence measurement. As a result, measuring enough of these coincidences in order to collect significant statistics required over 150 hours of continuous data acquisition.” He adds that graduate students Kent Fisher and JP MacLean worked tirelessly to perform the experiment.”A quantum memory is a conversion between quantum states of light and matter,” Sussman tells Phys.org. “However, decoherence is constantly destroying the crucial quantum nature of the matter system, and thus the advantages of quantum technologies. Typically the narrow linewidths of the quantum levels involved limit the bandwidth of such memories to the gigahertz range or below. Our challenge was therefore to work with very short pulses of light to beat decoherence – that is, to perform our operations before the system decays. Again, ultrafast Spontaneous Parametric Down-conversion is the most popular source of high purity single photons – but with femtosecond oscillators it produces THz-bandwidth photons that can’t fully be utilized in lower bandwidth systems. We were able to bridge this three orders of magnitude gap between light and matter by building an ultrafast capable quantum memory.”Since all quantum systems suffer from decoherence effects when they interact with an external environment, isolating the quantum system from its environment is a universal problem in quantum technology. “The key insight behind our experiment was that ultrafast lasers can avoid decoherence. Rather than try to isolate our memory from the environment, we address it on timescales that are fast compared to decoherence by using ultrafast laser pulses of ~200 femtoseconds duration.” Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

Blue whale fossil provides evidence that baleens grew large earlier than thought

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. More information: Giovanni Bianucci et al. Rise of the titans: baleen whales became giants earlier than thought, Biology Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0175 New whale fossils from Italy and Peru imply an early origin of modern mysticete gigantism. (a) Map of Italy showing the fossil locality of Balaenoptera cf. musculus. (b) Cranium of Balaenoptera cf. musculus, in dorsal view. (c) Right tympanic bulla of B. musculus (National Museum of Nature and Science specimen M25900), in dorsal view (i), and B. cf. musculus in dorsal (ii) and ventrolateral (iii) view. (d) Support surface for the mode shift model from Slater et al.; dark and light grey bars denote the range of the 2- and 3-unit support regions, respectively. (e) Support surface for the mode shift model with B. musculus truncated at 1.37 Ma, but with the Peruvian fossils excluded. (f) Mysticete body length plotted against time, and compared with the 80 (white), 90 (grey) and 95% (black) quantiles of 1000 BM simulations on the baleen whale phylogeny of [4]; grey circles are chaeomysticetes, triangles toothed mysticetes, and red circles the new fossils from Italy and Peru. Note that the BM simulations were carried out on a phylogeny that did not include the specimens described here; their placement relative to the quantiles is thus merely indicative. (d–f) Modified from Slater et al. Photo in (b) by Akhet s.r.l. (akhet.it). Drawing of B. musculus by Carl Buell. Credit: Biology Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0175 Citation: Blue whale fossil provides evidence that baleens grew large earlier than thought (2019, May 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-blue-whale-fossil-evidence-baleens.html Explore further Journal information: Biology Letterscenter_img Baleen whales are very large creatures—the biggest of them, the blue whale, is not just the largest animal alive today—it is the largest animal in evolutionary history. Prior research has shown that baleen whales are able to grow so large because they live in the ocean, which allows whales to counter the impact of gravity with buoyancy—and because the evolution of the baleen allowed them to catch and consume a huge amount of food in short order. For many years, there has been some debate among ocean scientists regarding why the whales grew so big and when it happened. In recent years, a general consensus has maintained that they likely grew large rapidly approximately 300,000 years ago—though researchers have suggested that it could have been as far back as 4.5 million years ago. Researchers believe that at some point in time, the climate changed in a way that very strongly impacted krill, the main baleen food source. In order to survive, the whales would have had to eat huge amounts of the tiny sea creatures before swimming a very long way to find another meal. But now, this theory is being challenged by the team studying a blue whale fossil found in Italy.The researchers report that the fossil is that of a blue whale approximately 26 meters in length. Dating shows that the fossil is approximately 1.5 million years old. When the researchers added data from the blue whale to data from other baleen fossils, they came up with a new time scale—they suggest that the large size of the baleen whales occurred about 3.6 million years ago, and maybe even as far back as 6 million years ago. They also suggest that the change in size likely developed gradually. But they also acknowledge that much more work is required to give their theory credence, which will involve finding more ancient whale fossils to study. Genome sequencing shows baleen whales intermingled more than thought © 2019 Science X Network A team of researchers with members from Italy, Australia, and Belgium has found evidence that suggests baleen whales grew large earlier than has been thought. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group describes their study of a whale fossil that was found in 2006 and how old it was.last_img read more

Sushi noon and Murakami musings

first_imgAll this thanks to an invite I got to attend an international sushi training workshop by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA) in association with Sheraton New Delhi as the hospitality partner.  In great company of Master Chefs  Masayoshi Kazato, executive  director, All Japan Sushi Association and Hirotoshi Ogawa -Director  General, All Japan Sushi Association.Let me confess my rather Bong palate had not taken too kindly to raw fish before. But to learn the art of making Sushi, from the very best that too, can make taste buds evolve in an hour’s notice. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What is heartening is like me, a large chunk of Delhi is experimenting with food, any food, and Japanese fare is getting its place under the sun and on the dinner table.Japanese cuisine, on its part, has also evolved over  the  last  few  decades  and it has gained the convolutions  of  western  touch, primordial instincts of Asian flavour, elegance and cadence of modern culinary profile. And Sushi, the very essence of Japanese cuisine, has put up a hard fight with the sorshe illish. Okay, that was bit of a stretch!But why Murakami on my mind. Well, let’s just say it was chefs’ names, the food and all the book talk before and after.last_img read more

Kids develop selfesteem even before age five

first_imgChildren may develop a sense of self-esteem even before they begin kindergarten, reveals an interesting research. “We found that by as young as five years of age, self-esteem is established strongly enough to be measured using sensitive techniques,” said lead study author Dario Cvencek, research scientist at University of Washington.The study conducted in January 2016 used a newly developed test to assess implicit self-esteem in more than 200 children up to five-year-old. “Some scientists consider preschoolers too young to have developed a positive or negative sense about themselves,” study co-author Andrew Meltzoff from University of Washington noted. Until now, no measurement tool has been able to detect self-esteem in preschool-aged children as the existing self-esteem tests require the cognitive or verbal talk. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Researchers created a Preschool Implicit Association Test (PSIAT), to measure how strongly children feel positively about themselves.To make the task appropriate for preschoolers, a mix of 234 boys and girls of five-year-old from the Seattle area, replaced words related to the self with objects. They used small unfamiliar flags, and where told about “yours” and “not yours”. Using buttons on a computer, children responded to a series of “me” and “not me” flags, using words and pressing the buttons. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results showed that the five-year-old associated themselves more with “good” than with “bad”, and this was equally pronounced in both girls and boys.A gender identity task assessed the children’s sense of whether they are a boy or a girl, called a “gender in-group preference”. Children with high self-esteem and strong sense of gender identity showed preferences for members of their own gender. The study was published in the journal Experimental Social Psychology.last_img read more

Barasat gets first trauma care ambulance two biotoilets

first_imgKolkata: Barasat Municipality in North 24-Parganas has got its first trauma care ambulance that will cater to a large number of people in the district.Barasat MP Kaloli Ghosh Dastidar on Monday inaugurated a trauma care ambulance along with two bio-toilets that will be extremely handy for the civic body to provide better services to the people.The trauma care ambulance which is equipped with all the modern facilities will be stationed at the municipality office. It will not only cater to the people under the jurisdiction of the municipality but also to others living in the adjoining areas. The projects have jointly been funded by the MP and the Barasat Municipality. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeChampak Das, the Chairman-in-council (Health) of Barasat Municipality said the services would be provided at a subsidised rate so that the people can afford the ambulance service at a low cost. There will be a doctor and two technicians in the ambulance. The newly inaugurated ambulance is fitted with an operation theater and a life support system. The doctor can perform a surgery within the ambulance if it is required while transporting an accident victim to the hospital. “The fare of the trauma care ambulance will be fixed after the chairmen-in-council meeting. People can avail it at a much cheaper rate. The ambulance will provide 24-hours emergency services to the people of Barasat and also from the adjoining areas,” Das said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned here that accidents often take place on National Highway 34 and Jessore Road, both of which pass through the district head quarter at Barasat.In some cases, accident victims are critical and they require a trauma care ambulance for an immediate transportation. The trauma care ambulances of the private hospitals are not always available and they charge people a huge amount of money. Two bio-toilets have been procured by the municipality which would be used during any event. The toilets would also be used for commercial purposes, an official of the civic body said.last_img read more

Facebook obstructs childrens moral development

first_imgOnly 15 per cent of parents thought that popular social media websites such as Facebook provided a positive influence on a young person’s character, said the poll from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham.The team of researchers found that 40 per cent of parents were “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about the negative and potentially harmful impact of social media.“There are some surprising findings in the poll, not the least the low level of agreement that social media can enhance or support a young person’s character or moral development,” lead researcher Dr Blaire Morgan said in a university statement. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’According to the report, 24 percent of the respondents said forgiveness and self-control were the qualities that were least present in them, followed by honesty (21 per cent), fairness (20 per cent) and humility (18 per cent).“Sixty percent of parents named anger and hostility as the most negative trait displayed, followed by arrogance (51 per cent), ignorance (43 per cent), bad judgment (41 per cent) and hatred (36 per cent),” the report noted.Meanwhile, the top five character strengths promoted at least once a month on social media sites were identified as humour (52 per cent), appreciation of beauty (51 per cent), creativity (44 per cent), love (39 per cent) and courage (39 per cent).last_img read more

Exploring the botanical heritage of India

first_imgShowcasing the specimens and literatures that depict some of the most crucial chapters of botanical history of India and the world, an exhibition entitled the ‘Botanical Heritage of India’ is going to be launched on October 27.Being organised by The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) along with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at London and Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH), University of Sussex, exhibition will be held at the gallery of India International Centre, New Delhi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt is based on the theme of Indian Natural History Collections in Botany and Meteorology and aims at helping assemble, reconsider and debate fresh frameworks for botanical and meteorological histories of the Indian Ocean region c.1500- c.2000.It is very clear that no plants in the world are left out without any medicinal value. So, the collection of Bengali manuscripts known as Puthi, on display, is an important pointer to the existence of indigenous knowledge of plants and their medicinal values. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveInfographs, prepared by Botanical Survey of India and Central National Herbarium, form an important component of the exhibition. These posters would provide a historical background of the discipline of botany through the work of William Roxburgh and Nathaniel Wallich. The commissioned expedition of Joseph Dalton Hooker, and his subsequent publications and work in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, England as its director, was extremely important in organising the classification, preservation and distribution of plant specimens and its accompanying botanical knowledge across the world. This forms the core of the exhibition. The collection comprises of materials brought over from Kew Garden and corresponding artefacts from the archives of Botanical Survey of India. This exhibition also celebrates the life and work of an Indian Botanist Janaki Ammal Edavaleth Kakkat and puts her in her rightful place in the pantheon of botanical heritage of India. This Exhibition offers scholars and the general public in India an opportunity to view and access a rich collection of the Heritage. The exhibition will last till November 7.last_img read more

37th International Trade Fair begins

first_imgBased on the theme of ‘Start-up Standup’, the much awaited 37th India International trade fair (IITF) kick-started on November 14 with a participation of approximately 21 countries and 3000 companies. Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, inaugurated the annual flagship event of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Hamsadhwani Theatre, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The ‘business days’ for the mega fair fall from November 14 to 17 whereas for the general public, the fair will be open from November 18 to 27. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe 37th IITF has Vietnam as the partner country, the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia as the ‘focus country’ and Jharkhand as the partner state.Among the participating countries, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Kyrgyz Republic, Netherlands, UAE, UK, and Vietnam are a few names.First lady, Savita Kovind also graced the inauguration ceremony along with Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, C.R. Choudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, C.P. Singh, Urban Development Minister, Jharkhand, Samargiul Adamkulova, Ambassador, Kyrgyz Republic, Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and L.C. Goyal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, ITPO. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking on the occasion, Ram Nath Kovind said, “India International Trade Fair 2017 takes place at a point when India is recognized as one of the bright spots of the global economy. The world has acknowledged the changed business environment in the country and the strides made in doing business. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a milestone. It has broken down barriers between states.” Complimenting ITPO for the IITF 2017 as well as the ongoing redevelopment plan of Pragati Maidan as International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC), the President pointed out that ITPO is consistently delivering IITF as a world-class event and IECC is one that is suited to India’s stature as a rising economy. He evinced keen interest to visit the complex when it would be set up by the year 2019. He expressed his happiness over the participation of Vietnam as a ‘Partner Country’ and Kyrgyzstan as the ‘Focus Country’ in the fair. He also reiterated that Vietnam, a valued friend and a member of ASEAN is a pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ while, the Kyrgyz Republic is part of Central Asia, a region that is one of India’s oldest trading destinations. Kyrgyz-India trade is diverse and ranges from pharmaceutical drugs to commodities. The scope for growth is immense. In his keynote address, Suresh Prabhu commended ITPO for continuing the legacy of fairs including IITF, especially when redevelopment of Pragati Maidan is underways. The Minister informed that holding this edition of the fair with improved logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry is making all possible efforts to provide a conducive environment for the empowerment of India’s business community. Tickets for ‘business days’ visit to the India International Trade Fair (IITF) are available at 42 Delhi Metro stations including Dilshad Garden, Rithala, ITO, Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Janpath, Lajpat Nagar, Govind Puri, Badarpur, Escorts Mujesar, New Delhi, Dhaula Kuan, Sikanderpur, Huda City Centre and Noida City Centre, across all corridors. Business visitor registration counters are at Gate No. 1 (of Pragati Maidan) and a ticket is priced at Rs 500.”For the general public, tickets will be sold from November 18 at the metro stations. The entry tickets for the general public, however, would be available at all stations, including on the Airport Express Line, except the Pragati Maidan Metro Station,” the DMRC said. From November 18, the fair will be open to all visitors with a ticket price of Rs 60 for adults and Rs 40 for children. However, on Saturday and Sunday as well as any holiday between November 18-27, the ticket price for adults will be Rs 120 and Rs 60 for children.last_img read more

Police nab man with heroin worth Rs 2L

first_imgKolkata: The narcotics cell under Detective Department (DD) of Kolkata Police has nabbed a person with heroin worth Rs 2 lakh from in front of the police morgue located behind the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH)The man has been identified as Arvind Singh. According to a source, police officers recently got a tip-off that the heroin smuggler was operating in and around Sealdah-College Street area. Based on the information, police officers came to know that Singh sold heroin to school and college students in the city through a few local drug peddlers. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseDetective Department personnel came to know that the area behind the medical college and hospital has turned into a hub of drug addicts since the past few days. During investigation, sleuths came to know that Singh operated from the area. Police officers immediately started search operations to nab Singh at his residential area in Girish Park but were not able to locate him. On Wednesday evening, a source of police informed that Singh has been seen around CMCH. Immediately, a team from DD raided the spot in front of the police morgue behind CMCH and arrested Singh. Sleuths have also seized 275 grams of heroin from him which he intended to hand over to some drug peddlers who allegedly did not come. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to the police, the increase in drug addiction in students has become a major issue since the past few months. Recently several drug dealers and drug peddlers have been arrested, who sold ganja, heroin and other drugs to school and college students. To curb the menace, police are mulling to get in touch with school and college authorities and make an initiative to conduct counselling sessions for students to prevent them from getting addicted to drugs. On March 14, police officers had arrested two persons and seized 4kg ganja. Sleuths came to know that drug peddlers were trying to sell ganja to students of various schools and colleges. Three more were arrested with other drugs from multiple locations. They also sold drugs to students. Singh’s name cropped up during investigation in these cases.last_img read more

TMC questions PM Modis failures in Facebook video

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress on Sunday uploaded a video on its Facebook page, demanding an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its failure in providing jobs after skill development training and at the same time, highlighting the achievements of the Mamata Banerjee government’s skill development initiative.The move is a significant step on the part of TMC to strengthen its campaign before the ensuing Lok Sabha election. The video, titled Pradhan Mantri Hisab Dao, is the second in the series where TMC has been critical about the Centre’s failure in a scheme and depicted a contrast picture about the success of the state government in the implementation of a scheme. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe video begins with a girl hailing from Dehradun in Uttarakhand demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister about his failure in providing her with a job after her parents had spent heavily for her education and skill development training. It soon shifts to another part when a girl from Jalpaiguri thanks the state government for her job in the hospitality industry after skill development training. She also states that Bengal has reduced unemployment by 40 percent, while several people have lost jobs at the Centre. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe video ends with an appeal to vote for TMC for development in Bengal and for building a secular and progressive Central government. It may be mentioned that nearly 6 lakh youths have received training in skill development under the Utkarsh Bangla scheme in 324 courses in 38 sectors at 268 ITIs (both government and private), 153 government polytechnics and 3,289 vocational training centres and vocational education schools. The project has been declared a ‘Champion Project’ at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes given by ITU, a United Nations organisation working for the use and development of information and communication technology. “We will be uploading some more videos highlighting various people friendly schemes of the Mamata Banerjee government and at the same time, raise questions over the failures of the Narendra Modi government,” a senior member of TMC’s cyber cell said. This has been the first time when the Trinamool Congress has uploaded such a video on the Facebook page of All India Trinamool Congress. During the Panchayat polls, the TMC had also made videos showcasing different development schemes but questions about the failures of the Prime Minister were not raised. It was in September last year when Mamata Banerjee, at a digital conclave of her party, had instructed her youth brigade to take to social media, to counter the spread of fake news by BJP. Meanwhile, all India Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee called for building an arsenal of ‘digital warriors’ to garner more support for the ruling party and said that the cell would work hard to ensure that the party wins all the 42 Lok Sabha seats.last_img read more

VIT Chancellor felicitated on his 80th birthday

first_imgVellore Institute of Technology celebrated Chancellor Dr G Viswanathan’s 80th birthday on December 23 in the university premises. M Sugumar, secretary, VIT Chancellor welcomed the gathering and said that a sum of Rs 15 lakhs was collected by various important personalities for the birthday celebration and have been donated to the Universal Higher Education Trust (UHET) – founded by Dr Viswanathan to provide financial assistance to poor students to pursue higher education. For this, J K N Palani, Gudiyatham AIADMK Town Secretary also donated Rs 25,000. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfProfessor Abdul Kadhar, Tamil poet presided over a `Muses Meet’ – organised at the celebration with Pazha Nedumaran, president, Tamil National Movement; Nanjil Sampath, litterateur, and M Venkadasubbu, president, among others to offer their felicitations. Panrutti S Ramachandran, former Tamil Nadu minister, who was also present at the event said, ‘Dr Viswanathan should take the lead in uniting the Tamils throughout the world to protect the interests and cause of the Tamils living in different countries.’ Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHe also said that Dr Viswanathan was one of the few persons who was personally invited by former Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder late C N Annadurai (popularly known as Anna) to involve themselves actively in politics. Also, he was among the close people to him. Dr Viswanathan was the right person to unite the Tamils of the world, transcending religious, caste and other barriers. Dr Viswanathan also had the distinction of having established in Vellore – an institution of higher education of international repute. Apart from Ramachandran, people who spoke at the function and paid tributes to the multi-faceted personality of the Chancellor included K P Singh Deo, former Union Minister from Orissa – described the VIT Chancellor as one who dedicated his life to the empowerment of people through higher education. Another minister, C Ponnaiyan regarded him as a thinker, intellectual, scientist, and researcher. An industrialist and chairman of the K H group of institutions – M M Hashim said that Dr Viswanathan considered education as a key to national development. Books like ‘Viyarvaiyin Vetri’, `Stars and Saplings’, `Vendhar 80′ were also released by various guests like K C Veeramani, Tamil Nadu Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration, Ponnaiyan, among others.last_img

Breadtime Story

first_imgThroughout history, bread been the staff of life. It has played an important role in the evolution, rise and fall of civilisations. So much so, that the Lord’s prayer itself asks for ‘our daily bread’.The bread by itself is the history of humanity which we contemplate. Bread is the very base of our food since millennia; it is the privileged witness of the history of mankind and of its buildout. As a spiritual symbol, it has accompanied religious festivals and rites. With the whims of nature and military campaigns, the bread has been a token of opulence or misery, of constraint or freedom. Lack of bread caused famine in the Middle-Ages, protests due to the bread price was at the root of the French revolution, bread rationing was practised during World War II, whereas the grandiosity of people was measured by the colour of bread they ate after the war. In this article, let us discuss a subject that is very close to my heart and try and rewind the history and the contemporary significance of the humble loaf. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHistoryThe History of the bread is as old as the civilisation itself. Since the Neolithic Era approximately 12,000 years ago bread has been known to be eaten in one form or the other. There is evidence suggesting that cereal grains were crushed and mixed with water to form a paste that was cooked over open fire and eaten. In 2600 BC, the ancient Egyptians have been said to have developed the use of natural yeast in bread making and the first leavened bread is said to have originated from thereon. Slowly bread making and bread as an ingredient started to gain immense importance. In fact, many workers in Egypt were paid in loaves of bread which were used as a valid currency. Paintings in some Pyramids show that the dead were buried with loaves of bread to provide sustenance in the afterlife. The Greeks then brought the Egyptian flour to Greece where bread baking really flourished and developed to be one of the most respected and sought after professions. After Rome conquered Greece, they developed the enterprise further and the bread makers had a very strong presence in local governance and decision making. In 150 BC, the first Baker’s Guild was formed in Rome and later in England, where the Baker’s Guilds came to be respected as thoroughly professional and powerful bodies that could give harsh punishments for overcharging the bread. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn the early 1800s, two events took bread making to entirely new levels where commercially, mass-produced bread started to get popular and the consumption of non-home-made bread became popular and affordable, a trend that continues even to this date. These two events – the invention of roller flour mills that could mill the flour into different grades and helped in making the bread loaves lighter and whiter and the invention of compressed cakes of yeast by a German Baker which made the production of breads much more easier and efficient and completely – changed the way bread was manufactured and consumed. In Colonial America, the lack of wheat and flour millers led to the development of now-famous Corn Bread. Indian Breads Ayurveda dates back to the consumption of ‘Roti’ during the Vedic periods where something called Purodhashas (probably the origin of the word Paratha) made as thick pancakes was offered during Yagnas and religious functions. With the Islamic invasion and rule, many types of bread with Middle Eastern influence also made India their home and to this date, we enjoy the Naan, the Bakarkhani and the Bhaturas. Our own chapatti, on the other hand, is said to have been the favourite of Emperor Akbar himself and finds a reference in the 16th-century document ‘Ain –i-Akbari’. Later Aurangzeb, who is known to be a vegetarian made Chapati and Phulka his favourite dishes and carried those to war too. Later, when the British arrived in India, they brought with them the sandwich bread and it quickly went on to become popular throughout the country. Indian breads, for the most part, were made with whole wheat flour or ‘Atta’ and other coarse grains such as sorghum, millet or even rice flours, whereas the breads in Europe and the Middle East used refined flour or ‘Maida’. Today, India boasts of its own wide variety of breads including Poori, Bhatura, and Paratha from the North, Puran Poli, rotla and bhakri in the west, Appam and Dosa in South and Luchi and Pithe in the East of our country. Is Bread Bad? Over the last several years carbohydrates in general, and breads, in particular, have become the outcasts in the food world, mainly referring to self-proclaimed ‘specialists’ that make all of us think that breads somehow is equivalent to a slow poison that kills you slowly while making you fat and lethargic. While it is true that any food group eaten beyond moderation is bound to have ill effects and that a carbohydrate-rich diet is not preferred for a certain group of people, it is also true that breads provide plenty of nutrients that are essential for the proper functioning of the body and the mind. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy since it breaks down into glucose easily and gets absorbed to be used as energy. Eating breads in moderation also keep you full for longer and help you in eating less while the roughage and fibre found in breads – especially the whole wheat type – keep the gut healthy. The fibre also helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol while producing ‘serontin’- the hormone said to make one happy. So there you have it- breads are happiness. The recent trends The recent trends in the bread consumption are first, that of healthier alternatives such as whole grain and low sugar breads which are gaining traction. Dark breads such as Rye and Pumpernickel as well as Gluten-free breads are also making significant inroads. Another is that of more and more people trying their hands at making sandwich breads at home since the raw material and the know-how, including machines and ovens are easily and widely available. Overall, with the increased culinary awareness, specialty and artisan breads have more takers, even at higher price points. Recipe: Today, I am giving the recipe of an extremely easy to make bread that is delicious and simple and can be made without the use of yeast. In fact, it is almost like a tea cake. Spicy Carrot – Pineapple Bread 500g Red Carrot (peeled and grated) 3 eggs 250 ml vegetable oil 500g sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 500g crushed pineapple 750g all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder 1½ tsp ground cinnamon ¾ tsp ground nutmeg 250g finely chopped walnuts 250g raisins Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla extract; beat until thick and foamy. Stir in carrot and pineapple. Add flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, and raisins, stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing. It goes extremely well with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.last_img read more

Realistic goals may help you lead better life

first_imgYou can hope for better well-being if you set realistic goals for yourself as a new study suggests that the key for later satisfaction is whether the life goals are seen as attainable and what they mean to a person. The findings of the study, published in the European Journal of Personality, revealed that perceiving one’s personal goals as attainable is an indicator of later cognitive and effective well-being. “Many of our results confirmed theoretical assumptions from developmental psychology,” said lead author Janina Bühler from the University of Basel. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor the study, the research team conducted a detailed examination on how life goals are embedded in people’s lives across adulthood. The researchers used data from 973 people between 18 and 92 years of age. More than half of the participants were surveyed again after two and four years. The participants had to assess the importance and the perceived attainability of life goals in 10 areas – health, community, personal growth, social relationships, fame, image, wealth, family, responsibility/care for younger generations, and work – using a four-point scale. The result implied that people are most satisfied if they have a feeling of control and attainability.last_img read more

VIDEO Justin Timberlake Tony Romo and Steph Curry combined for an alleyoop

first_imgMost celebrity golf tournaments only feature sub-standard golf by celebrities, but the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament, this weekend, has been more like a Happy Gilmore tournament.Yesterday, Steph Curry caught a bomb from Aaron Rodgers while on the course, and today, Justin Timberlake, Tony Romo and Steph Curry combined for an alley-oop with the highest total Q rating ever.With an 8-foot  portable hoop off to the side of the tee box, Timberlake hiked the basketball to Romo, who tossed a dime of a football pass to Curry, who slammed it home. Romo was not injured on the play.I can already hear the comments that it wasn’t a regulation hoop. Save it.Timberlake ➡️ Romo ➡️ Steph ? pic.twitter.com/waglzvaPrE— NBCS Warriors News (@NBCSWarriors) July 15, 2017last_img read more

VIDEO Ndamukong Suh grabbed Ryan Mallett by the throat for coming at

first_imgMaybe Suh is just a huge Darth Vader fan? Advertisement It’s been a while since Ndamukong Suh made news for attacking players after the whistle. Well, that little streak’s over.Things were testy all night during the Ravens 40-0 Thursday night destruction of the Dolphins, especially after Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso took out Joe Flacco. With the Dolphins trailing 26-0, Suh grabbed Baltimore backup Ryan Mallett by the throat and threw him backwards after Mallett got in his face after the play.Suh got a personal foul for the throat snatch, his second on the night, and can probably expect to get a fine after the league office reviews the tape.last_img read more

Golf Fan Gets Tiger Woods to Laugh at His Tiger Woods Mugshot

first_img Advertisement Tiger Woods’ comeback in 2018 was nothing short of miraculous, considering the rock bottom he hit after his 2017 DUI arrest that looked like it could be a sad final chapter in the career of one of the two greatest golfers ever to walk the planet.During last weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, one die-hard fan in the gallery showed up wearing Tiger’s infamous mugshot on his t-shirt, and actually got a laugh out of Woods as he walked past to the next tee box. The crowd obviously ate it up.After all he’s been through, this version of Tiger Woods actually has a sense of humor. The big cat is back baby.Tiger Woods couldn’t help but laugh at a guy with his mugshot on his shirt 😂 (via @ThomasWesling23) pic.twitter.com/CCvO8hnVae— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) March 18, 2019last_img read more

Selecting a Digital Camera

first_img (877) 865-SONY Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global $249 3x optical zoom Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. CONTACT MEGA- PIXELS CompactFlash MEMORY SD cards Canon PowerShot S60 FEATURES Kodak EasyShare CX7300 16MB internal memory, video clip capture Nikon Coolpix 3200 $349 SD/MMC cards 5 STREET PRICE 5.1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 (800) 0K-CANON $399 (800) 23-KODAK 3.2 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. MANUFACTURER/ MODEL October 1, 2004 3 min read 3.6x optical zoom, movie mode 5.1 3x optical zoom, 14.5MB internal memory 3.2 (800) 752-0900 $149 Hewlett-Packard Photosmart R707 Memory Stick xD-Picture Card (800) NIKON-UX You’ve seen auctions with bad pictures: the images are blurry, grainy, either too far away or too close, lack detail, or the colors look unnatural. If this bothers you, you know it’s got to be a big turnoff for a seller’s potential customers. That’s why a clean photograph is essential for any eBay listing. We’re going to look at a range of digital cameras suited to meet your needs.If you can visit a retailer and try out several models in person, go for it. Little details can make a big difference when you’re narrowing down your digital camera choices. The $249 (all prices street) Nikon Coolpix 3200, for example, has an autofocus assist illuminator that takes the guesswork out of shooting in low-light situations. For buyers who want to use their cameras for more than eBay, it’s worth looking at a higher-end model, like the $499 Canon PowerShot S60. Featuring a 5 megapixel resolution, it will produce large, high-quality printouts as well as handle your Web needs.For a basic, entry-level camera, the Olympus Camedia D-395 offers 3.2 megapixels for a low $149 price tag. Compare this price to that of the $130 Kodak EasyShare CX7300. Although these models lack some of the features of more expensive cameras, they take the crown for affordability. What’s more, the Kodak EasyShare CX7300 and Olympus Camedia D-395 both come with digital zooms. But if you’re planning on photographing larger objects that require a high-quality optical zoom lens, look upward in the Olympus and Kodak product lines.The $399 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 falls in the midrange. It features 5.1 megapixels and a slim and stylish design that will appeal to fashion-conscious buyers. Like the Canon, it can handle high-resolution prints as well as tackle your eBay photos, and the 3x optical zoom gives you a lot of flexibility.Hewlett-Packard’s $349 Photosmart R707 is a versatile camera with built-in red-eye reduction, a document capture shooting mode and 5.1 megapixels of resolution. Other manufacturers include FujiFilm and Konica Minolta. Shop around; there’s bound to be a camera that will fit your needs and budget. Shopping ListHigh-end or low-priced, a digital camera can give your product great exposure. We review the brands that will help you get the picture. $499 3.2 Register Now » Autofocus lens, 2.5x optical zoom (800) 622-6372 3x optical zoom, video clip capture SD/MMC cards $130 Olympus Camedia D-395last_img read more

WiFi for Rural Areas

first_img 5 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. October 1, 2005 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » How many phones, phone numbers and phone companies do you have? How would you like to have just one number from one company–a VoIP/cellular combination for home, office and mobile calls served by one voice-mail/e-mail inbox, with all those special calling features for which traditional telecoms still charge extra? What the heck–we’ll toss in fixed and mobile broadband, too.You can have all of it or choose any combination from one company at a very reasonable price. Just move to Mankato, Minnesota, or one of the neighboring farming communities served by Midwest Wireless.Not really a snow person? Well, your house doesn’t necessarily have to be parked on the prairie. Midwest Wireless president and CEO Dennis Miller regularly consults with other wireless ISPs and has found small-market telecom providers in all four corners of the country working on similar bundles (see “Now That’s a Plan” on page 41). The Radicati Group shares that observation, predicting that sales of unified communications services like Miller’s will quadruple by 2009.But if you insist on living in a large city, it could be awhile before this level of service reaches you. It will depend on who’s left standing after the coming war between municipal governments and the traditional telephone, wireless and cable giants.It seems that a growing number of city leaders, unhappy with the broadband options being provided by the big boys, plan taxpayer-funded networks of their own to deliver free or deeply discounted broadband to their residents. The technology of choice seems to be wireless mesh networks–Wi-Fi routers perched atop light poles and other city-owned vantage points. More than 200 American cities are in some stage of deployment, reports Ron Sege, president and CEO of Sunnyvale, California, mesh kingpin Tropos Networks. Sege figures that by year’s end, more than 300 American cities could be covered by municipal Wi-Fi clouds.Just one thing: Urban centers happen to be the markets most highly prized by top-tier cable, landline and cellular providers. Historically, cities have been the first to get everything from cable TV to cellular service to wired broadband–and even Wi-Fi hot spots–for one simple reason: As John Dillinger would say, “It’s where the money is.” But city leaders complain that a “digital divide” is keeping their low-income residents off the internet. Cities could deliver free or cheap access to everyone, the argument goes, by forgoing the profits being reaped by those big providers.”Cities are disrupting the traditional business model in which an oligopolistic [telecom] or cable company uses wires or other expensive technology to bring broadband to people,” explains Sege.Maybe. But those guys have invested tons in places like Atlanta and Philadelphia and won’t just write off those investments. They’re going to fight. Their lawyers and lobbyists, who sharpened their incisors shredding the 1996 Telecommunications Act, are pushing Congress and state houses to outlaw muni Wi-Fi. Naturally, cities are buying up politicians of their own. It’s just round one in a long fight that will test the viability of all ventures.Not My MoneyBecause each urban situation is unique, to muni Wi-Fi or not should be a local choice. But taxpayer dollars should never, ever be thrown into this mosh pit–as many cities are contemplating.Like every other hot technology market, muni Wi-Fi could very easily be hugely successful in one town and a complete bust in another. As Ashland, Oregon, and Orlando, Florida, have discovered: Build it, and they don’t always come. And when they do, low-cost access has to be underwritten by something else–coffee, hotel rooms, Big Macs.Right now, broadband happens to be an out-of-control snowball picking up competing technologies, and it won’t all get sorted out before meeting some distant tree. Established wireline providers, whose profit margins cities hope to divert, are already locked in turf battles that are driving everyone’s revenues toward SBC Yahoo! DSL’s $14.95 a month.Raising money is challenging, but whatever happened to special assessment districts, bond issues, or nudging private risk-takers with tax breaks and right-of-way offers? Interested civic groups can band together in nonprofit corporations like cFreeWireless in Central Iowa. But betting the incomes of passive taxpayers on a commercial venture is inappropriate and unnecessary in this case.That’s what Miller does for a living–take risks. His company and hundreds of small commercial WISPs just like his would jump at the chance to tack a radio transmitter to a light pole–if only a lawyer and a lobbyist weren’t needed to hold the ladder. Sege reports that some 50 commercial WISPs have recently started using his technology to sell broadband in urban areas.Why designate just one lucky bidder to be muni Wi-Fi’s favorite son? VoIP flourished without much regulation. Licensing, city franchises, overlapping regulatory and taxing authorities–they’re what create the oligopolies that cities say are stunting their broadband. Why create a new local monopoly?Instead, turn guys like Miller loose. If he can bring it to Winona and Keokuk, Philly and Frisco are no problem.Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur’s technology editor. Register Now »last_img read more

Where are the hot spots for opening branch IT offices

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 11, 2008 If you mean you want to open up an office that sells IT services and what areas are hot or growing there’s no perfect answer.Small businesses are growing all over the country and you could check Entrepreneur.com for the places where small businesses are growing most. All of these small businesses have IT needs. Best Buy’s Geek Squad, CMIT solutions and other franchises are one clue in knowing what areas are hot areas–they spend money on knowing this. Like many McDonald’s competitors do, just follow the arches. The key to success, other than “location, location, location,” is providing exceptional service, getting your customers to recommend you to others, working with your local chamber of commerce and other small business influencers, and getting local media attention.I hope this helps,Ramon RaySmallbiztechnology.com min read Register Now »last_img read more