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New Theory of the Universe Marries Two of its Biggest Mysteries

first_img Improved model could help scientists better predict crop yield, climate change effects Physicists have devised a theory that unifies two widely studied mysteries of the universe: why there is an imbalance between regular matter and anti-matter (scientists expect to see equal amounts of each, but observe less anti-matter), and the identity of “dark matter” – the enigmatic particles thought to account for the extra gravitational pull observed in distant galaxies. He and his colleagues show in their paper (which appears in the November edition of the Journal of High Energy Physics) that if the dark-matter particle has certain properties it would have interacted with regular matter. When added to the rest of the equations in the Standard Model (dark matter is not currently part of it), this interaction could have caused a preference for matter over antimatter. Like the sphaleron process, this interaction would only take place at the very high temperatures of the early universe and would “turn off” as the universe cooled down. This not only explains how more baryons than anti-baryons could be generated momentarily, but also why there would be more baryons in the long run. But for this to work, the sphaleron process would have to turn off before the dark matter/regular matter interaction did. If it occurred in the opposite order, the excess baryons in the early universe would be annihilated by the new anti-baryons produced by the sphaleron process.The group came up with these ideas as they were studying an extension of the Standard Model known as the Pentagon model, which involves theoretical particles dubbed pentaquarks, which tend to combine together in groups of five. Scientists can only verify the Standard Model for particles with energies achievable in man-made experiments, which, relatively, are not very high. At high energies, many scientists suspect that the Standard Model breaks down and there is new physics at play. The Pentagon model, on the other hand, leaves room for unknown forces and holds at energies in which the Standard Model fails.The researchers say that their theory of baryogenesis could still be valid if the Pentagon model turns out to be incorrect, provided that their assumptions about the identity and nature of dark matter are true.“Ultimately, in order to know whether our theory is really the right explanation, it will need to be tested. Because it involves connections between many different kinds of physical processes, there will be more opportunities to test it and this may in some ways make it easier to test,” says Jones. “However, it has a certain advantage over alternatives in that it manages to kill two birds with one stone.”Citation: Tom Banks, Sean Echols and Jeff L. Jones, “Baryogenesis, dark matter and the pentagon.” J. High Energy Phys. JHEP11 (2006) 046By Laura Mgrdichian, 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. 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 Citation: New Theory of the Universe Marries Two of its Biggest Mysteries (2007, January 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-01-theory-universe-biggest-mysteries.html “We propose that at some point in the very early universe, dark matter interacted with regular matter in a particular way so as to shift the balance between matter and anti-matter ever so slightly towards matter, a process known as baryogenesis,” said Jeff Jones, a University of California-Santa Cruz physicist involved in the work, to PhysOrg.com. “We have proposed a new mechanism for baryogenesis that ties together these two mysteries, which are usually assumed to be unrelated.”The prefix “baryo” in baryogenesis comes from “baryon,” a class of particles made of three quarks. Protons and neutrons are the most common examples of baryons. By extension, ordinary matter – atoms, in other words, which are primarily protons and neutrons – is therefore essentially made of baryons. Similarly, anti-matter is mostly anti-baryons.The Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov, father of the Russian hydrogen bomb and advocate of peaceful coexistence between the Soviet and western systems, pointed out in the 1960s that in order for baryogenesis to take place there had to be a violation of CP symmetry.” CP symmetry is a physics concept stating that if ordinary particles are replaced by anti-particles in any physical process, and the particles’ “handedness” is simultaneously reversed (sort of like how I’m right-handed but my mirror image, my “anti-self,” is a lefty), the result should be an equally feasible process occurring at the same rate as the first. Of the four known fundamental forces – strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity – scientists have only seen the weak force violate CP symmetry in experiments. However, when that violation results in the production of baryons, it also always generates anti-baryons. So there is no imbalance produced.There must be, then, a process that does not conserve the total number of baryons involved and also violates CP symmetry. The Standard Model of particle physics – a theory describing the relationship between the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces, and the particles that feel those forces – predicts that there is such a process. Known as the sphaleron process, it would only take place at temperatures far too high to achieve in a lab, but would have existed during the early universe. The sphaleron process allows for the possibility of matter being generated without the corresponding anti-matter, but it’s still not a complete solution. But, Jones says, “The universe had no reason to prefer matter over anti-matter, so in the long run you would expect it to eventually even out. Mysteriously, it hasn’t, and that’s where our work comes in.”last_img read more

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Electronic tattoo display runs on blood

first_img Explore further Look beyond the sun for skin cancer culprits, doctors warn Jim Mielke’s wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin. Citation: Electronic tattoo display runs on blood (2008, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-02-electronic-tattoo-blood.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. The tattoo display: “Waterproof and powered by pizza.” The basis of the 2×4-inch “Digital Tattoo Interface” is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It´s inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein.On both the top and bottom surfaces of the display is a matching matrix of field-producing pixels. The top surface also enables touch-screen control through the skin. Instead of ink, the display uses tiny microscopic spheres, somewhat similar to tattoo ink. A field-sensitive material in the spheres changes their color from clear to black, aligned with the matrix fields.The tattoo display communicates wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices – both in the outside world and within the same body. Although the device is always on (as long as your blood´s flowing), the display can be turned off and on by pushing a small dot on the skin. When the phone rings, for example, an individual turns the display on, and “the tattoo comes to life as a digital video of the caller,” Mielke explains. When the call ends, the tattoo disappears.Could such an invasive device have harmful biological effects? Actually, the device could offer health benefits. That´s because it also continually monitors for many blood disorders, alerting the person of a health problem.The tattoo display is still just a concept, with no word on plans for commercialization.core77.com via Gizmodo last_img read more

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Cool under pressure Superconductivity in 3D Dirac semimetal zirconium pentatelluride

first_imgThe paper reported that the possibility of topological superconductivity at higher pressure cannot be excluded, and so remains an open question, as well as while the researchers’ theoretical study rules out the possibility of topological superconductivity at low pressure, at high pressure (above 20 GPa), the system has a complicated Fermi surface and a superconducting phase. “Of major interest in the field of topological superconductivity is the realization of Majorana fermions, which are predicted to exist as protected bound states in topological superconductors,” Sun explains. “In contrast to most of the above-mentioned topologically-related states, which have been theoretically predicted and experimentally proven, topological superconductivity remains elusive.” However, Yang continues, the Dirac semimetal is the neighbor state closely related to various quantum states ranging from topological insulators to topological superconductors. “This versatility makes the Dirac semimetal an ideal parent compound for the realization of topological superconductivity. Moreover, in order to study the nature of superconductivity, we further performed band structure and Fermi surface calculations at high pressures, and showed that the possibility of topological superconductor at higher pressure cannot be excluded, which deserves further investigations.”Looking ahead, the scientists are planning to study the pressure-induced topological transition with the help of high magnetic fields and ultra-low temperature. “Currently, we’re developing an integrated system which combines the extreme conditions of high pressure, high magnetic field (up to 35 T) and ultra-low temperature (0.3 K), so that we can explore the Fermi surface structures by probing the quantum oscillations of the normal state under high pressure.”As to other areas of research, Yang tells Phys.org, the researchers believe that their study will be beneficial to material science – particularly for synthesizing novel superconducting materials. © 2016 Phys.org Prof. Zhaorong Yang and Phys.org discussed the paper he and his colleagues published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which they report their discovery of the pressure-induced transition of the three-dimensional Dirac semimetal zirconium pentatelluride (ZrTe5) to a superconductor by combining synchrotron X-ray diffraction, magnetic field low-temperature transport and theoretical investigations. “Three-dimensional Dirac semimetals are neighbor states to other exotic phases such as topological insulators, Dirac semimetals, Weyl semimetals, superconductors, and even topological superconductors,” Yang tells Phys.org. “Recent theoretical and experimental studies show that ZrTe5 is a very promising system that hosts topological properties and might help to pave a new way for further experimental studies of topological phase transitions.” These discoveries spark the present team of scientists’ interests to further investigations on its Dirac and topological characters in ZrTe5 under high pressures, since pressure has proven to be an effective method for tuning electronic properties of materials by extensive studies.Prof. Jian Sun (an author of the paper discussed in this article) notes that “The sample is small, experiments are performed under extreme conditions and the signals are not strong. So it is very difficult to determine the crystal structures of high pressure phases based on the experimental data only. Our theoretical crystal structure prediction technique provides us the best candidates under the experimental circumstances and can be compared with the measured signals to eventually nail down the real structures.””We first conducted resistance and AC magnetic susceptibility measurements on ZrTe5 single crystals at various pressures up to 68.5 gigapascals and observed two superconducting phases,” Yang adds. One gigapascal (GPa) is equivalent to 1,000,000,000 pascals (Pa) – the standard unit of pressure defined as one newton per square meter. “However, we noticed that the constructed pressure-superconducting phase diagram is very similar to that of tellurium, possibly due to the decomposition of ZrTe5 under high pressure.” To determine the origin of this transition, the researchers carried out in situ high-pressure synchrotron X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy measurements combined with theoretical calculations. “We’re very lucky that both experimental measurements and theoretical calculations identified that the superconducting phases are coming from a two-stage structural phase transition.” Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences The scientists found that (1) the appearance of superconductivity at the critical pressure is accompanied by the complete suppression of the high temperature resistance anomaly around 128 K, showing a structural transition from the Cmcm to C2/m space group, and (2) that at pressures above 21.2 GPa, a second superconducting phase with P-1 space group structure manifests and coexists with the original C2/m. (In mathematics and physics, a space group is the symmetry group of a configuration in space, usually in three dimensions.) “The superconductivity often appears in compounds which are close to a structural, magnetic, or electronic instability. More recent investigations have revealed that the high temperature resistance anomaly around 128 K is caused by temperature induced Lifshitz transition, in which the Fermi surface undergoes a change in topology and a drastic change in the electronic density of states.” In their study, the team demonstrated that the appearance of superconductivity at the critical pressure is accompanied by the complete suppression of the resistance anomaly and a structural transition indicates that both electronic and structural instabilities are responsible for the observed superconductivity. Fig. 1. Experimental evidence of pressure-induced superconductivity in ZrTe5 single crystal. (A) Temperature-dependent electrical resistance R(T) at various pressures up to 3.9 GPa. Inset schematically shows the arrangements of pressure, magnetic field and current applied. (B) Magnetoresistance (MR) measured at the peak temperature of electrical resistance anomaly. The MR is strongly suppressed with increasing pressure. (C) The emergence of pressure-induced superconducting transition at higher pressures ranging from 6.2 to 68.5 GPa. (D) The real part of the ac magnetic susceptibility as a function of temperature at different pressures up to 9.0 GPa. Inset shows the image of experimental setup for the ac magnetic susceptibility measurements. Copyright © Zhoy Y, et al. (2016) Pressure-induced superconductivity in a three-dimensional topological material ZrTe5. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(11):2904-2909. 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. New unconventional superconductors and Weyl semi-metal dynamics More information: Pressure-induced superconductivity in a three-dimensional topological material ZrTe5, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences March 15, 2016 vol. 113 no. 11 2904-2909, doi:10.1073/pnas.1601262113RelatedQi, Yanpeng, et al. Pressure-driven Superconductivity in Transition-metal Pentatelluride HfTe5. arXiv:1602.08616c1 [cond-mat.supr-con] Fig. 4. Enthalpy calculation of possible stable phases and their atomic and electronic structures of ZrTe5. Enthalpy vs. pressure for ZrTe5 phases up to 40 GPa (A). Crystal structure of C2/m (B) and P-1 phase (C). The balls in cyan color and golden color represent Zr and Te atoms, respectively. (D) Fermi surfaces of C2/m structure at 10 GPa. (E) Fermi surfaces of P-1 structure at 30 GPa. Copyright © Zhoy Y, et al. (2016) Pressure-induced superconductivity in a three-dimensional topological material ZrTe5. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(11):2904-2909. [Enthalpy is the sum of the internal energy of a thermodynamic system plus the product of the pressure and volume of the gas in the system.] Explore further (Phys.org)—Due to their electronic and magnetic properties and their association with crystalline and electronic structures under extreme conditions, three-dimensional (3D) Dirac semimetals – that is, materials that possess bulk Dirac fermions that disperse linearly along all three momentum directions – are proving to be of great interest. Moreover, these materials allow high pressure as an effective, clean method of lattice tuning. Recently, scientists at high magnetic field laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CHMFL), Nanjing University, HPSTAR in Shanghai, and Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington combined multiple experimental probes, synchrotron X-ray diffraction, low-temperature transport under a magnetic field, and theoretical investigations to demonstrate the pressure-induced semimetal-to-superconductor transition in a Dirac topological semimetal zirconium pentatelluride (ZrTe5) compound. Citation: Cool under pressure: Superconductivity in 3D Dirac semimetal zirconium pentatelluride (2016, March 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-cool-pressure-superconductivity-3d-dirac.htmllast_img read more

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Astronomers discover a large cavity around the Tychos supernova

first_imgChinese astronomers have detected a large cavity existing around Tycho’s supernova, also know as SN 1572, exhibiting stream-like structures. The findings, reported in a paper published Aug. 18 on arXiv.org, show that the environments of the supernovae may be much more complicated than previously thought. Collaboration uncovers the origin of extraordinary supernovae © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Astronomers discover a large cavity around the Tycho’s supernova (2016, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-astronomers-large-cavity-tycho-supernova.html SN 1572 lies between 8,000 to 10,000 light years from the Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is a well-established type Ia supernova, one of about eight supernovae visible to the naked eye in historical records. As one of the most popular supernova remnants in our galaxy, it has been widely observed in the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and astronomers have discovered a shell-like structure produced by the shocks from the explosion as well as circumstellar material and dust.More recent observations of Tycho’s supernova were conducted by a team of Chinese astronomers led by Xuepeng Chen of the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) in Nanjing, China. They used the 13.7-meter millimeter-wavelength telescope of the Qinghai station of PMO at Delingha in China to perform large-field and high-sensitivity carbon monoxide (CO) molecular line observations of SN 1572. The scientists observed the supernova from November 2011 to February 2016 as part of the Milky Way Imaging Scroll Painting (MWISP) survey, which investigates the nature of the molecular gas along the northern Galactic Plane.”We present large-field CO (1-0) molecular line observations toward the Tycho’s supernova remnant, using the PMO 13.7-meter telescope. Based on the CO observations, we find a large cavity with radii of 0.3 degrees by 0.6 degrees around the remnant, which is further confirmed by the complementary infrared images from the space telescopes,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The team estimated that the cavity is located about 8,000 light years away and has radii of 42 and 88 light years. Their calculations allowed them to estimate that this cavity is expanding at a velocity of approximately 4 km s-1.Moreover, the astronomers distinguished stream-like structures in the cavity that could be part of a larger cavity seen along the line of sight. They noted that these structures may also record the accretion winds from the progenitor system. Due to these uncertainties, the team calls for further observations that could illuminate the real nature of these structures.”In the wind-regulated accretion models, the accretion wind could last for few million years, and the white dwarf may explode as a type Ia supernova while the accretion wind is still active. Therefore, another possible explanation is that these stream-like structures actually record the accretion winds from the progenitor system. This scenario is somehow supported by the infrared observations, in which knot-like structures are also found in the southwest and west of the cavity,” the paper reads.The scientists also investigated the origin of the cavity. They excluded the possibility that it could be produced by bright star in the region or the option that it was randomly distributed. According to the paper, the most plausible hypothesis taken into account is that it could be explained by the accretion wind from the progenitor system of the Tycho’s supernova.”The discovery of the Tycho’s cavity also gives us an alert that the environments of the supernovae Ia may be much more complicated than we thought before,” the researchers concluded. The large-field WISE [12–4.6] µm infrared image around the Tycho’s supernova remnant (SNR). The red circle shows the position and size of the shell-like structure in the Tycho’s SNR, while the yellow dashed ellipse shows the cavity found in the MWISP CO images. The three white dashed lines are shown to guide the eye for the stream-like structures seen in the CO images. The white arrows mark the positions of the pillar-like structures found in the WISE image. Credit: Chen et al., 2016. More information: Discovery of A Large Cavity around the Tycho’s Supernova Remnant, arXiv:1608.05329 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1608.05329AbstractWe present large-field (3×2 deg^2) and high-sensitivity CO(1-0) molecular line observations toward the Tycho’s supernova remnant, using the 13.7-meter radio telescope of the Purple Mountain Observatory. Based on the CO observations, we discover a large cavity around the remnant, with radii of about 0.3×0.6 deg (or ~13×27 pc at a distance of 2.5 kpc), which is further supported by the complementary infrared images from the space telescopes. The observed CO line broadenings and asymmetries in the surrounding clouds, the infrared pillar-like structures found around the remnant, in concert with enhanced 12CO(2-1)/(1-0) intensity ratio detected in previous studies, indicate strong interaction of the large cavity with a wind in the region. After excluding the scenario of a large bubble produced by bright massive stars, we consider that the large cavity could be most likely explained by the accretion wind from the progenitor system of the Tycho’s supernova. The CO gas kinematics indicates that the large cavity is expanding at a velocity of about 4 km/s. The estimated velocity (~1000 km/s, with a mass-loss rate of ~10^(-6)*M_sun*yr^(-1)) and timescale (~4×10^6 yr) of the wind needed for creating such a cavity are consistent with the predictions from the wind-regulated accretion model. We conclude that Tycho’s supernova, the prototypical Type-Ia supernova in the Milky Way, arose from accretion onto a white dwarf.last_img read more

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All the right notes

first_imgThe evening commenced with an astounding experience filled with the notes of unmatched piano music, recited by the magical fingers of the undisputed Moroccan Hungarian Pianist Marouan Benabdallah in association with Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre. Possessing a deep musical interest that transcends the confines of the instrument, Marouan’s performance was  superbly evocative leading to overwhelming response by the crème de la crème present, to share the joy of fine music on the finest musical instrument.Benabdallah enthralled the audience with his dynamic recitals and numerous sequences inspired the gathering, whilst he draw audiences into the very heart of the music, during his live performance for the evening. An arresting artist who brought tenderness to the lyrical musings and vigour to the touch of chords as expressed by his fans, left the audience speechless.last_img read more

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HMC set to introduce online property tax payment from second week of

first_imgKolkata: Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) is all set to introduce the system of online payment of property tax from the second week of May.The days of standing in long queues to pay property tax is going to be a matter of the past, with introduction of the online mechanism.Dr Rathin Chakraborty, Mayor, said: “The initiative is a part of the measures taken to provide better civic amenities to the residents of Howrah.”At present, residents of the area under the municipal corporation have to visit the headquarters of the civic body to pay their property tax. But with introduction of the online system, using which one can pay the same from their mobile phones itself, the process is going to become much easier. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn a bid to make the payment online, one has to visit the website of the municipal corporation, which is www.hmcgov.in. There will be a link available in the website and just a click on the link will take the user to the page, through which the property tax can be paid online.Bijin Krishna, commissioner of Howrah Municipal Corporation, said: “The work to introduce the online platform to pay property tax is almost complete and it will be introduced soon in May.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBesides introducing the online platform to pay the property tax, the civic body is also ensuring that one can make the payment at borough offices as well. The step has been taken so that people who are not that comfortable in making the payment online, do not have to travel a long distance up to the headquarters to pay their property tax. Instead, they can make the payment at borough offices as well.It has been learnt that in absence of the online platform to pay the property tax, the civic body authorities at present release the bill for the same in phases, to avoid unnecessary gathering at the payment receiving counter. In a bid to make the people aware of the new system, the HMC authorities will be sending a notice along with the next property tax bill.last_img read more

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Teenagers attend rally as a mark of respect

first_imgKolkata: Teenaged boys and girls, who had not been born on July 21, 1993, when 13 people were gunned down by the police, turned up in large numbers to pay respect to the martyrs on Saturday.Thirteen people were killed when police had opened fire during a march to the Writers’ Building organised by the state Youth Congress, led by none other than Mamata Banerjee, on July 21 in 1993 demanding production of voters’ identity card mandatory in elections. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life2018 marks the 25th year of the incident but the wound still seems fresh in the memory of many who had witnessed innocent youths being killed with such brutality in brought daylight and have gone on to narrate the incident to their next generations.The younger generation has witnessed the massive development work carried out by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and hence, besides paying respect to the martyrs, another purpose behind attending the rally has been immense respect for the Chief Minister for her “pro-people” policies and unrelenting service to the masses. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe boys and girls, who later came to know about the sacrifice of those 13 people, attended the rally on Saturday. Most of them are students of different colleges and they turned up at Esplanade as this is the biggest platform from where respect is given to the martyrs.”We would like to express our gratitude to Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee for organising the rally from where respect is paid to the martyrs, whose sacrifice has brought transparency in the electoral process by making the production of voters’ cards mandatory in elections,” said Samar Gayen. Samar, who is a first-year BCom. student of Surendranath College, said: “I like the ideology of our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she fights for the rights of common people and always raises her voice whenever any anti-people step is taken.”Some students of the Chemistry department of St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College also attended the Martyrs’ Day rally. Sourav Chowdhury, a first year BSc student of the college, said: “We came to know about the incident of July 21 in 1993 from our parents and seniors. We also know how their sacrifice yielded results in the electoral process. So we came to pay our respects to the martyrs.”Similarly, 18-year-old Anas Sheikh from Purbasthali in Burdwan came to attend the rally.last_img read more

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Moves that sweep you off your feet

first_imgExpression of feelings and complex emotions is best done through dance, which is not only limited to the boundaries of an art form but outshines the limited approach of words. In an attempt to showcase a dance performed on the beats of amalgamated carnatic music and classical Hindustan music, ‘Aayam Cultural Society’, Art Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi is organising a Bharatnatyam dance recital. Shashrek Ambardar, disciple of Sindhu Mishra will be performing in the national Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The event will be inaugurated by Kapil Mishra, Minister of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi. With its vivid expression of emotions, its sculpturesque poses and the rhythmic depiction of innate human feelings, Bharatnatyam has been one of India’s most loved classical dance forms that have retained its popularity over centuries and spread its following to even distant lands.Presented by Aayam Cultural Society, choreographed by renowned danseuse Sindhu Mishra, recital has attempted a unique synthesis between Carnatic and Hindustani music styles. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis January, ‘Aayam,’ the society for promotion of Indian culture, is presenting a never-seen-before performance of Bharatnatyam that blends the seamless singing of Hindustani classical music with the rhythmic elements of Carnatic music to attempt a new take on the traditional south Indian dance form.Choreographed by veteran danseuse and actor Sindhu Mishra, and performed solo by her young and dynamic disciple Shashrek Ambardar, the recital is in Hindi and offers a unique synthesis between two different musical forms. Padma Vibhushan Dr Sonal Mansingh will grace the occasion as a special guest. The performance will also be attended by other veteran artists including Padma Bhushan Raja Reddy; Padmashri Pt Bhajan Sopori and Padmashri Bharti Shivaji as guests of Honour. Explaining the unique features of the dance recital, Sindhu Mishra says that she and her team have worked tremendously hard on this recital to offer something different and enchanting to the lovers of Indian classical dances. “This recital is different for its unique amalgamation of Hindustani and Carnatic music not just in rhythms but also in vocals. The vocal renditions are in both Hindustani and Carnatic, and this lends a unique blend to the traditional south Indian dance form. Unlike most Bharatnatyam recitals which are performed by women, this is a solo performance by a male dancer. The entire Varnam displays the Sringar Ras of the Nayak (and not the Nayaki), depicted through the episode where Rama has a glimpse of Sita for the first time in a garden before the Dhanush Yagya,” she says. Bharatnatyam is based on episodes from Tulsidas’s Ramacharitmanas, one of the most loved epics of Indian literature, a poetic retelling of Valmiki’s Ramayana. It was Tulsidas’s epic that successfully took the Ramayana’s understanding from a select elite to the common masses by narrating it in their language.Currently studying Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, Shashrek said, “I feel honoured to perform at a prestigious stage in front of some of India’s most veteran artists as well as the discerning audience of Delhi. We are hopeful that this unique experiment will be loved and appreciated by the people. I thank our troupe and my guru for giving me this opportunity.” When: January 15Where: LTG Auditorium, Mandi HouseTimings: 6pmlast_img read more

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TMC block president shot at health condition critical

first_imgOur correspondent Kolkata: A block president of Trinamool Congress was shot at by some unidentified miscreants when he was returning home on Sunday afternoon. The incident took place in Khairasol area of Birbhum when some miscreants fired indiscriminately at him. The victim, Deepak Ghosh, has received two bullet injuries in his body. He was immediately rushed to Durgapur Mission Hospital. According to hospital sources, the health condition of the victim is stated to be critical. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe district Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that the BJP backed miscreants were behind the attack and demanded a high level probe into the incident. The district BJP leaders have, however, denied the allegation and termed this to be a result of the intra-party clash within Trinamool Congress. Ghosh, an active Trinamool Congress leader, has been instrumental in strengthening the party’s organisation in the district. It might be an attempt to weaken the organisation, alleged senior Trinamool Congress leaders. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedGhosh was returning home on a motorcycle on Sunday afternoon when some miscreants blocked his way and shot at him from a close quarter. Two bullets pierced his body and the victim fell on the ground. Alerted by the sound of gun shots, locals rushed to his rescue. The miscreants who reportedly came on motorcycles fled the spot immediately after the incident. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. Police are conducting raids to nab the culprits. It may be stated that Ghosh was attacked earlier as well by some miscreants. Anubrata Mondal, Trinamool Congress president in Birbhum on Sunday said Ghosh is an efficient organiser who had contributed immensely in the party organisation. It was a deliberate attempt to weaken the organisation, Mondal said. He also alleged that the BJP backed goons were behind the attack.last_img read more

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BSF conducts civic action programme at Balupara BOP

first_imgBALURGHAT: A civic action programme was organised by Border Security Force’s 199 Battalion at Balupara border outpost on Wednesday. According to a senior BSF official, the programme was started at 10 and continued till 2 pm.Around 16 schools along with an orphanage institution located at India-Bangaldesh border were given essential stationary items amounting to Rs 2.65 lakh to enhance an overall quality of basic education infrastructure in the border area. A large number of representatives from the schools apart from school students and local representatives of adjacent Panjul and Hili also attended the programme and appreciated BSF’s initiatives. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”This has been a great job initiated by the BSF. The people residing in villages close to Indo-Bangladesh border have financial limitations. The BSF’s effort will meet their primary requirements. The stationary items mainly for educational purpose to the students have been distributed by the BSF officials. It has enormous humanitarian aspect,” said a local Soumitra Sarkar. Meanwhile, BSF’s 199 Battalion also had taken initiative to arrange employment training for the unemployed youths residing in border villages so that they get employed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOver the past few years, the BSF has been maintaining close connection with the border people and helps in restricting cross border smuggling or illegal activities. In Tapan, during the month of April-May while there was an acute water crisis, the BSF used to supply drinking water for the locals. Officiating commandant and second in command of BSF’s 199 Battalion, D K Singh who had chaired the programme, said: “The principal objective of arranging such programmes is to provide a sense of security amongst border people. Our Battalion organises similar programmes frequently. Today’s Civic Action Programme helps to enhance overall basic standard of living and the little school goers’ education.” Notably, the border population is being an important stakeholder in the entire process of border management. “It is also pertinent that they should be taken along in the development process,” Singh said. It is true that the border people have been residing with tremendous financial crunch and compulsions following which they urgently need economic support. The Mamata Banerjee government has already undertaken many benevolent tasks extending their aid and support.last_img read more

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Would work for permanent solution

first_imgDarjeeling: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured the people of the Hills that her government would work towards a permanent solution for the region, one that would help secure the political identity of the Gorkhas and facilitate in creating a better Darjeeling.”After the Lok Sabha elections, we will review the Darjeeling accord or agreement (GTA) and see if we can come up with a better arrangement for Darjeeling, Kurseong and the Kalimpong Hills. In order to preserve your identity and ensure all-round development, I will do whatever needs to be done in the form of a permanent solution,” said Banerjee. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIncidentally in the past, the Hills have been a witness to repeated agitations. The violent agitation in the 1980s spearheaded by the GNLF resulted in the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988. A neo agitation by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in 2007 resulted in the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in 2012. At present, Hill political parties including the GNLF are demanding a permanent solution for Darjeeling in terms of a constitutional guarantee to any form of administrative arrangement. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe Chief Minister had held parlays with the GJM and the GNLF on Tuesday in an attempt to forge an election alliance necessary to oust the BJP from Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency. On Wednesday, while addressing the huge gathering at the Darjeeling Chowrasta, Banerjee stated: “You all had asked for a Central University. Despite repeated assurances, the Central government did not give you one. The state government immediately initiated the process of starting the Darjeeling Hill University. They only make thousands of assurances at the time of elections and then run away. We don’t do that.” Regarding the inclusion of 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the Scheduled Tribe list, Banerjee stated: “We have already sent our endorsement to the Centre. However, it is not doing anything. If a new government comes to the Centre, we will definitely do the needful.” The Chief Minister stated that during hours of crisis, Bengal has always showed the way. “The struggle for Independence started from Bengal. Whenever India is plunged in darkness, Bengal and its people show the path,” stated Banerjee. She further added that the nation will not forget the role of the Gorkhas in the Indian war of Independence, specially in the Indian National Army under Netaji. “Netaji had a strong bond with the Gorkhas. They fought side by side with him in the INA. From then onwards, the identity of the Gorkhas had been established,” she added. Both the GJM and the GNLF welcomed her assurances of a permanent solution for the Hills. “We are very grateful to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her announcement regarding the identity and safety, security of the Gorkhas in India. She has also agreed to review the existing GTA Act and confer more powers. The GTA election will be held after the Lok Sabha polls,” stated Binoy Tamang, president, GJM.last_img read more

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Following Mayors directions KMC to come up with English medium school at

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will come up with a new English medium school at ward 82 in Chetla, in which Mayor Firhad Hakim is the councillor. Hakim has held a meeting with the Education department of KMC recently and has given directions for boosting the infrastructure of municipal schools and stressed upon introducing more English medium ones.”We are planning to come up with a new English medium school at ward 82. The total number of English medium schools by KMC will go up to 18. We will also elevate two primary schools to upper primary,” a senior official of KMC’s Education department said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseLenin Memorial School and Mukh Ram Kanoria School have been selected for the upgradation. The two schools presently have students up to the fifth standard. They will now house students up to the eighth standard. The civic body is also setting up water purifiers to ensure potable drinking water for the students studying in the municipal schools. “The system will be put in place before the onset of summer season,” the official said. It may be mentioned that while a number of municipal schools have a handful of students, the English medium schools are having a reasonably good number of pupils. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”To begin with, we will start English medium in around 20 schools. Based on the feedback we will be introducing it in more schools. However, Bengali medium will continue to run side-by-side. It will be the discretion of the students when it comes to opting for English or Bengali medium,” said Avijit Mukherjee, Member, Mayor-in-Council (MMiC), Education. A senior official of KMC’s Education department said English will be the first language for those opting for English medium, with Bengali as the second language. Subjects like History, Geography and Science will be taught in English. At present there are 273 municipal schools in the city, among which 157 are Bengali medium and 17 are English medium. Besides these, there are a number of schools with Oriya, Hindi and Urdu mediums.last_img read more

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Rising cases of gluten intolerance

first_img‘More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.’ With estimates like that, you think, why is it that suddenly people have increasingly become allergic or intolerant to gluten? Sangeeta Khanna, a food and nutrition consultant explains that it is not just gluten that’s causing a haywire in your body but the amalgamation of several other refined and bleached ingredients combined with gluten that’s making you malaise. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Almost every packaged food that you get from the market – from bread, cookies to cake – is made from wheat. In fact, all the bakers that I have come across are trained to work only with wheat and also white all purpose flour, which is refined and bleached. All-purpose flour is the cheapest ingredient that one can find on the market for making packaged food, even cheaper than whole wheat. And even though it requires a little more processing than wheat, it is cheaper because it has a longer shelf life. Everything that could have been nutritious food has been stripped of all its nutrition due to the bleached and refined all-purpose flour,” Khanna explained. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFurther adding on the factors which are causing gluten intolerance among people, she said, “All the packaged food is manufactured by the industry so as to increase its shelf life. Ingredients are manipulated to stay longer in the storage. Even gluten’s percentage index in packaged food has been increased to almost 30% for the same purpose. So, we don’t know when the wheat for the biscuit that we are eating today was actually grown in the field”. Sangeeta Khanna was at the Imperial Hotel along with Executive Sous Chef Alok Verma for a live culinary session on one of the fascinating cookouts – Gluten free recipes. This exclusive session from The Imperial Culinary Club had Sangeeta Khanna lending her expertise on nutrition to Chef Alok Verma, who hand-crafted a Gluten Free menu for tea time eats. The cookout featured recipes by Chef Alok conjured from healthy alternate ingredients like buckwheat, ragi, quinoa, millets, water chestnut so on and so forth while Sangeeta gave an insightful talk on adapting a Gluten-free lifestyle, its relevance and benefits. “The awareness and acceptance of gluten-free is gaining prominence in a big way as many of us are intolerant of this protein and are Celiac. I believe recipes like these will end the big dilemma of how to make fuss-free gluten-free snacks, especially for tea time which are delicious too. I have created this menu for those who are gluten intolerant and also who intend to try a gluten-free diet for an easy on stomach home-cooking. For instance, I have done alternations in samosa filling, added quinoa to crackers, water chestnut to panacotta, crafted a buckwheat sandwich and more. The idea is to make the menu not only healthy but to use easily available ingredients in a creative manner for some delectable bites” said Chef Alok Verma – Executive Sous Chef The Imperial during the live culinary session.From Buckwheat blinis sandwich with beetroot and feta to Ragi Samosa filled cucumber, peas and cashew nut; Quinoa cumin and sesame crackers with orange hummus; Amaranth flour, carrot and raisin cookies and Freshwater chestnut panacotta with pecan nut and honeycomb, the menu was a treat to the senses filled with gluten-free delights.A wheat allergy is an immune response to any of the proteins present in wheat, including but not limited to gluten. The symptoms of a wheat allergy can range from mild to life-threatening.Being an acclaimed health and healing food writer, Sangeeta knows about the life-threatening symptoms of gluten allergy and says that although many people are affected by it, they are not aware of their condition. “Gluten allergy can be a very serious disease which is mostly genetic but can also be due to several environmental factors. One has to stay away from wheat because even a fine dust of wheat can cause allergic reactions in them. Some people are intolerant to gluten and some are allergic to it. Intolerance can cause hormonal imbalances and some other autoimmune disorders which include rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain and unexplained body aches,” she said in her speech at The Imperial Culinary Club.She further added, “Gluten combined with many other bleaching agents becomes a much more complex thing. One doesn’t know what’s making them lethargic but one has to know that industrial bread is actually making people sick whether it is gluten or not. I suggest you include ingredients like buckwheat and millet in your everyday diet to tackle gluten intolerance. Food is the biggest change maker, not only for our individual self but also for the environment.”last_img read more

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TMC launches music video for Lok Sabha polls

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday launched a music video for the upcoming Lok Sabha election in the state. The 2-minute-30-second video was on the theme of peace, harmony and progress prevailing in West Bengal, in contrast to an alleged atmosphere of fear in other parts of the country. The music video was shared by Banerjee on all her social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “I am very happy to share the new music video Maa, Mati, Manush for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections. Banerjee said in a post. The state, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in all the seven phases. The Trinamool Congress last week had launched a web series christened ‘Pradhan Mantri Hisab Do’ comparing the various welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre with that of the TMC government in West Bengal. The first episode of the web series began with a short film comparing the state government’s ‘Sabooj Sathi’ with the Central government’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme.last_img read more

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76yearold Robert Kraft announces he is not the father of 38yearold girlfriends

first_imgAlthough reluctant to address the paternity of the baby, Kraft finally released a statement through a spokesman denying he was the father of the child.“While Robert Kraft is not the biological father, he is thrilled with Ricki’s blessing of having a healthy child.” -Kraft Family Spokesperson pic.twitter.com/L7gGKIuta2— Susan Tran (@susantran) March 1, 2018There are so many questions here, but this puts the rumors of Kraft having superhuman fertility at 76 to rest. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is 76, but has been dating the significantly younger 38-year-old Ricki Noel Lander for the past 5 years. On Wednesday, Page Six dropped the bombshell that Lander had recently dropped out of public view because she was pregnant and gave birth to a baby in secret last year:“There were rumors they had broken up, but we’re told dancer, model and actress Lander was in fact pregnant and wanted to stay out of the public eye. She gave birth to the child last year, multiple sources exclusively confirmed to Page Six. Kraft, via his Patriots spokesman, declined to comment to us about the baby, saying, “This is a private matter.”Kraft and statuesque blonde Lander went public again as a couple following the birth. They were photographed together at the 2018 Super Bowl, as well as on the red carpet at the Grammys and the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. They are expected to step out at the Oscars on Sunday.Sources say that Kraft is “taking full care of Ricki and the baby,” and he has bought her a Los Angeles mansion and made some sizable financial investments on her behalf. But Kraft will not publicly discuss if he is the baby’s biological father, even with close friends.” Advertisementlast_img read more

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A Look at LowCost Cameras Ready for Business

first_imgFebruary 22, 2011 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global KODAK PLAYSPORT/ZX3 ($150)The ruggedized Kodak Playsport/Zx3 is made to help adrenaline junkies record their latest base jump, cliff jump or ski jump. But this small, good-looking video and still camera has solid small-business skills lurking inside. Sure, the Playsport pumps out reasonably high-quality video, good still images and has an easy-to-use USB output that lets all images feed directly into a PC. But what makes the Playsport unique is its tougher-than-nails case and lightning-fast turn-on time. So instead of having to baby your iPhone in an add-on case and wait forever to take a picture, you can grab the Playsport, shoot what needs to be shot and move on. If you doubt the business value of that, just ask any of the many iPhone owners out there whose camera doesn’t work at all. This story appears in the March 2011 issue of . Subscribe » 3 min read Register Now » CASIO EX-H20G ($350)Most businesses are about being somewhere and doing something at a specific place and time. So most businesses should get to know the Casio EX-H20G. Not only does this unit have a traditional global-positioning system, but it also has so-called autonomic positioning–basically, what a guided missile uses to stay on course. The tool allows this super-simple point-and-shoot camera to generate a remarkably accurate position for where and at what time photos are taken. Say you’re out doing an onsite for an upcoming job. Rather than pinging your location with your cell phone, jotting down an address and hoping that Google Maps gets it all right so you can find your way back, take a picture with your H20G and know your position is correct. Getting an accurate fix on where you need to be is a handy tool indeed. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Now that smartphones have powerful cameras and video systems built right in, makers of traditional cameras have had to adapt: Today’s nominally consumer-grade camera comes jammed with advanced features like video, global-positioning systems and rugged designs. If you know the tricks, seemingly basic cameras can be turned into business-ready multimedia imaging devices that can help your firm market, communicate–and make more money.Here are our picks for low-cost, portable cameras with small-business game:SONY NEX-5 ($800, PACKAGED WITH 16MM LENS)Remember the difference between single-lens reflex cameras and point-and-shoot units? SLRs were pricey but powerful and let you change lenses; point-and-shoots were cheaper but had limited features and only internal lens adjustments. Those days are over. The new Sony NEX-5 brings the interchangeable lenses of the SLR to a point-and-shoot-size camera, opening a level of professional-quality imaging to smaller firms. Not only can the NEX-5 shoot seven frames per second in continuous live-action stills mode, the unit also produces fabulously high-quality, high-resolution video. If you are looking to add multimedia to your social media pages, take quality comps of your work for clients or otherwise create powerful marketing material, you will be surprised by how professional a tool the NEX-5 can be.last_img read more

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Why Businesses Will Like PayPals Updated Checkout Process

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 13, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » PayPal unveiled a new checkout system that it says is more efficient for customers and allows merchants to keep customers on their site throughout the payment process.Under the new system, shoppers who are using PayPal to buy online will not be directed to a separate PayPal page; instead, the entire payment takes place in a small window on the merchant’s website.”Customers stay on your site, making them more likely to complete their purchases,” the payment processing company said on its website.Related: You Can Now Embed Your Indiegogo Campaign on Your WebsiteWith the new system, shoppers will be able to log into merchant websites and apps with their PayPal credentials. This may ease security concerns for customers who are uncomfortable providing credit card information directly to stores, although buyers will also be able to also pay using their credit cards or PayPal’s Bill Me Later option.The company is piloting the updated checkout system for both desktops and mobile devices, and predicts it will be available for large merchants sometime during the first half of this year, with plans to eventually offer the new system to small and medium-sized businesses as well. 1 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

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How Much Do Data Breaches Cost Big Companies Shockingly Little

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 7 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine March 27, 2015 In the last two years, Fortune 500 companies from Sony to Target to Anthem have experienced major data breaches. Executives have lost their jobs, tens of millions of consumers have had their credit card and other personal data compromised, and corporations have frantically tried to contain the damage. Just last week, Target agreed to pay $10 million in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit related to a huge 2013 data breach.But for all the panicky headlines, the boardroom anxiety, and the general cyber security doom-and-gloom, one important—if counterintuitive—question seems to have been overlooked: How much does hacking really cost big companies?If you dig into the financial performance results of companies hit by some of the world’s most notorious, disclosed data breaches, a disturbing fact will strike you: They don’t seem to cost all that much.That is the stunning conclusion of an analysis by Benjamin Dean, a fellow at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dean—who also has a background in accounting—pored over 10-K filings for Sony, Home Depot, and Target, after their recent, well-publicized security breaches. Keeping an eye out for breach-related expenses in these companies’ quarterly financial reports, Dean discovered that the actual expenses reported by these companies amounted to less than 1% of each company’s annual revenues.“After reimbursement from insurance and minus tax deductions, the losses are even less,” Dean writes on The Conversation, where his post initially appeared.A close look at Sony.Sony’s November 2014 hacking led to the disclosure of unreleased movies, embarrassing internal emails, and personal data—including Social Security numbers—of 47,000 celebrities and employees. (It was so traumatic and disruptive to the company that it delayed its 10-K filing.)Still, Sony estimates its breach’s financial impact has been just $15 million to date “in investigation and remediation costs.” That’s barely a blip on the radar.“To give some scale to these losses,” Dean writes, “they represent from 0.9% to 2% of Sony’s total projected sales for 2014 and a fraction of the initial estimates.”Dean notes that Sony, in total, anticipates spending $35 million “restoring financial and IT systems” for the full fiscal year. Further writing off the breach’s monetary ramifications, the company forecasts: “Sony believes that the impact of the cyberattack on its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 will not be material.” Translation: .These numbers are likely not small enough to vindicate Sony Pictures’ former executive director of information security. In 2007, he told CIO Magazine that “‘it’s a valid business decision to accept the risk’ of a security breach…I will not invest $10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss.” But Dean’s analysis does come alarmingly close to making the minimal effort-stance a defensible position.The Home Depot hacking also barely made a dent.Last year’s Home Depot hacking led to crooks pocketing an estimated 50 million customers’ credit card numbers and email addresses, but this relevant bit from Home Depot’s most recent earning’s report shows it had a negligible impact:In the third quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company recorded $43 million of pretax expenses related to the Data Breach, partially offset by a $15 million receivable for costs the Company believes are reimbursable and probable of recovery under its insurance coverage, for pretax net expenses of $28 million.When you do the math, that $28 million “represents less than 0.01% of Home Depot’s sales for 2014,” Dean points out.And what about Target?Target’s hacking in late 2013 resulted in the theft of 40 million payment cards and 70 million other records, including customers’ email addresses and phone numbers. The security breach was considered so severe that the CEO felt compelled to resign.And yet, Target, in its latest filing, lays out in great detail the tolls of its breach:The Company incurred breach-related expenses of $4 million in fourth quarter 2014 and full-year net expense of $145 million, which reflects $191 million of gross expense partially offset by the recognition of a $46 million insurance receivable. Fourth quarter and full-year 2013 net expense related to the data breach was $17 million, reflecting $61 million of gross expense partially offset by the recognition of a $44 million insurance receivable.To sum the math up, Target’s gross expenses totaled $252 million, insurance compensation brought that down to $162 million, and further tax deductions yield a final $105 million. While larger than either Home Depot’s or Sony’s outlay, the final amount is not so wounding in the grand scheme of things.“This is the equivalent of 0.1% of 2014 sales,” Dean notes.“To the companies themselves, this seems like a rounding error,” he told Fortune on a call from Australia. “It’s certainly not a huge loss when compared to their annual revenues.”To invest or not to invest in security.To be sure, this analysis has generated criticism. Matthew Rosenquist, an information security strategist at Intel, argues Dean’s analysis has several problems. First, he notes Dean uses revenues rather than profits as the key metric. “It can make a lot of difference to management if an attack consumes a big chunk of your profit or worse, pushes you from the green into the red side of the ledger,” he writes on a company blog.Rosenquist also stresses the hidden costs of a breach: rising insurance premiums, damage to third parties, sinking customer goodwill and trust. Most importantly, he writes, failing to invest in security is strategically myopic; without ensured stability, a business may as well be committing corporate suicide.Dean acknowledges that over time consumer faith may erode, but he says, for now, “You can’t see losses and effects on the bottom line in terms of reputational damage.”Actually, Rosenquist and Dean don’t differ greatly in their conclusions. “Regardless of the way we measure it, or whether we look forward or backward, we agree on the central point that companies need to invest in information security,” Dean told Fortune, responding to Rosenquist’s criticisms by email.Turns out Dean is not an apologist for the willfully, digitally indisposed. He says he believes corporate networks need buttressing—even if data breaches don’t hurt companies’ bottom lines. Moreover, he believes the incentives for buttressing corporate networks need buttressing. And until corporations are held more accountable for these breaches—not with $10 million slaps-on-the-wrist—but with, well, he isn’t quiet sure what yet, companies won’t make the big investments in information security needed.So, is security worth the investment? Here’s Dean’s take:We need to get back to what the hard evidence says. What are the verified losses and impact, as opposed to speculation in some cases? It’s not quite fear-mongering. We need to ground our analysis in how big a problem this is. Once we’ve ascertained how big a problem it is, we can figure out what to do about it, and have an open and informed discussion. Right now that’s not happening. I’m not seeing hard evidence used to back up claims. If that discussion is happening, it’s not open.Consider the conversation started. Register Now »last_img read more

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Ever Hear of Pii What You Need to Know About Its Life

first_img In high school you learned about pi, remember? Pi is the the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. All well and good. But now it’s time to learn about pii.Related: Microsoft Offers First Major Endorsement of New EU-U.S. Data Privacy PactPII stands for “personally identifiable information.” And personally identifiable information can mean an assortment of things, such as name, address, social security number and biometric data, like voice and fingerprint identifiers.As such, pII isn’t always private information, but often it is sensitive. Think: passport number, health information and medical records — all part of the concept of “privacy” you hear so much about, in terms of personal information and cyberspace. Companies, such as banks and health plans, which store private, personal information about people should allow those same people to determine how their pII is used or revealed.And that brings up the matter of the pii life cycle. At birth, pii is rounded up and collected because the need exists for this data, for various small business transactions. At death, if you want to call it that, the cycle is finished: Pii data is no longer needed.What are the in-between stages? After pii is gathered, it’s stored and maintained in a computer system. It’s ready for use — the next stage of the life cycle. Along with that exists the need to share the pii, as in disclosure or transfer or even sales/marketing. In a business, when the pii is no longer needed, there are policies that determine when the time period for holding on to the data has expired.As mentioned, pii is usually of a sensitive nature, though not always, and includes such items as email addresses and birthdates. A business’ responsibility is to handle sensitive data with lots of TLC, keeping it protected from theft and private, based on the terms set forth by the business that collects it and the client who agreed to those terms.In fact, businesses have a lot of heavy responsibility when it comes to handling pii:Proper management of the entire life cycleProtection of data, in offline form as well.Prompt reporting of any violations of privacyThe end of the life cycle may be referred to as disposition. Proper disposition is a must. This entails thorough shredding of sensitive documents. It does not mean tossing out an old computer that still has its hard drive into a rubbish can (where dumpster divers can retrieve it, take out the hard drive and see what kind of juicy data is on it, like bank account numbers and social security numbers).Businesses need to watch out: Punishment for privacy violation is no picnic and includes the possibility of criminal charges.Related: Despite Social Media’s Popularity, Most Americans Don’t Want to Give Up Private DataThe Laws of PrivacyYou’ve probably seen “HIPPA” and heard people say “Hippa.” The abbreviation is actually HIPAA, short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This means that your mother’s cardiologist isn’t going to tell you what’s going on with her heart unless your mother “puts you on her HIPAA.”Translation: She authorizes the doctor to share information. HIPAA also bars, for example, nurses telling a reporter why a movie star was treated in the emergency room. HIPAA further makes it possible for patients to access their own records.Ever hear of COPPA? The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires that parental consent be obtained for websites that gather personal information on kids under the age of 13. Here is a brief rundown of other pii elements to be aware of:The Privacy Act of 1974 is a primer for the gathering, use and sharing of personal data.The Office of Management and Budget Mandate M-07-16 requires protection for pii in cyber and offline form.The E-Government Act of 2002, titles II and III, makes it necessary for federal agencies to analyze the influence of privacy for systems that gather public data.Policy Number HHS-OCIO-2008-0001.003: When suspicious things occur relating to pii, action must be taken, and that’s where this policy comes in.The National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53, Revision 4, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. Check out the information about privacy controls in Appendix J.If you’re unaware of these items, you need to start learning about them now. Security for privacy requires a very systematic, strategic approach on the part of businesses. And the advent of online data has only complicated matters, raising the bar for security and protection.Related: Apple’s Trio of ‘Privacy Czars’ Grapple With Internal Conflicts Over User DataWhat do you still need to learn? This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now May 11, 2016 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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Ransomware Scams Have Raked in 25 Million

first_img 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Ransomware is now a multimillion-dollar black market; the most prevalent ransomware strains have netted a total of $25 million, according to a study from Google, bitcoin security firm Chainalysis, the University of California at San Diego and New York University.The ransomware ecosystem is currently “dominated by a few kingpins,” like Locky and Cerber. Locky, the first ransomware to make more than $1 million per month, has raked in $7.8 million. Cerber, which ushered in the rise of ransomware as a service, is right up there as well; the strain accumulated around $200,000 per month for more than a year and $6.9 million to date.CryptoLocker, CryptXXX, SamSam, CryptoWall, AlNamrood, TorrentLocker, Spora, CoinVault and WannaCry are also raking in the cash.Exacerbating the problem is the fact that just 37 percent of users back up their data, the study notes.Just last month, a global ransomware outbreak known as Petya had government agencies and private businesses around the globe scrambling to get their systems back online and recover their data. That outbreak came after hundreds of thousands of PCs were attacked by WannaCry.Malwarebytes late last year analyzed nearly half a million ransomware incidents to identify the 10 U.S. cities most victimized by the threatening software. Las Vegas topped the list with the most ransomware detections overall, the most detections per individual machine and most detections per population.”Cybercriminal gangs have already saturated both the rural and urban U.S. populace with ransomware, yet they are constantly improving their tactics, execution and business model to evade detection by current solutions,” Malwarebytes’ Head of Malware Intelligence Adam Kujawa said in a statement at the time. “With millions of dollars being handed over to cybercriminals, ransomware will only increase in prevalence.”Most cyber-security experts warn ransomware victims not to pay up. Petya, for example, was thought to be wiper malware disguised ransomware; the email address associated with the scammers was inactive. For more, check out How to Protect and Recover Your Business from Ransomware. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now July 28, 2017last_img read more

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