first_img © 2010 Explore further ( — The humanoid robot iCub has learned a new skill: archery. After being taught how to hold a bow and shoot an arrow, it learned for itself how to improve its aim, and was so successful it could hit a bullseye after only eight trials. iCub, the Toddler Robot (w/ Videos, Pictures) Humanoid robot iCub learns the skill of archery. The iCub robot is an open-source robotic platform about the same size as a child three and a half years old, or around 104 cm tall. It has 53 degrees of freedom (hence it is called the 53-DOF iCub) distributed about the head, torso, arms, legs, and hands. The distance between the target and the iCub was 3.5 meters.The robot’s hands were set manually to allow it to grip the bow, and one joint in the index finger was used to release the string and shoot the arrow. The algorithm controlled the posture of the left arm and the orientation of the right arm (string side).ARCHER is a chained vector regression algorithm that uses experience gained from each trial to fine-tune the next attempt by modulating and coordinating the movements of the robot’s hands. Movements of the arms are controlled by an inverse kinematics controller. After each shot a camera takes a picture of the target and an image recognition system based on Gaussian Mixture Models determines where the tip of the arrow hit the target by filtering the colored pixels of the picture based on their likelihood of belonging to the target or the arrow head. This information is then used as feedback for the algorithm. Humanoid robot iCub learns the skill of archery. The learning algorithm, called ARCHER (Augmented Reward Chained Regression) algorithm, was developed and optimized specifically for problems like the archery training. Photo: Dr. Petar Kormushev The algorithm used to teach iCub is called the Augmented Reward Chained Regression (or ARCHER, naturally), and was developed especially for problems with specific knowledge about the goal to be achieved and which have a “smooth solution space.” In archery, the greatest reward comes from hitting a bullseye, the center of the target.center_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. Photo credits: Dr. Petar Kormushev More information: Research paper: The algorithm was developed by Dr. Petar Kormushev and colleagues of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). The results of the research will be presented in December this year at the Humanoids 2010 conference in Nashville TN in the US. Citation: The iCub robot learns archery (2010, September 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

first_img(Left) A diagram of the piezoelectric harvester with one straight inner piezoelectric multilayer stack (SIPMS) and two curved outer piezoelectric multilayer stacks (COPMSs). (Right) A photo of the first piezoelectric harvester prototype. Image credit: Tian Bing Xu, et al. ( — Although the idea of harvesting ambient energy from the environment and using it to generate electricity is alluring, most of the technology so far is capable of generating only very small amounts of power – on the order of microwatts to a few milliwatts with very low conversion efficiency. But a new piezoelectric energy-harvesting transducer shows that the technology is significantly improving. Researchers have predicted that 1-3 watts can be generated from a person walking when wearing a pair of shoes integrated with the new energy harvester, which is enough to power a soldier’s portable communication devices on the battlefield, among other applications. “As we mentioned in the pending paper, the critical challenge for piezoelectric energy harvesting is how to harvest electrical power on the order of tens of milliwatts to several watts, which is good enough for powering most portable devices, from any kinds of vibration and motion at any ranges of vibration frequencies (off-resonance mode harvesting technology is needed),” Xu told “The new piezoelectric transducer addresses several critical issues from energy absorption, coupling, and conversion efficiency to overcome those challenges.”In the future, the researchers hope that the new piezoelectric harvesters will be able to harvest enough energy to power different types of portable devices from the environment. In addition to being used in shoes, the harvesters could have applications in infrastructure health monitoring systems and sensor networks. Although the transducer works best when harvesting vibrations at a certain resonance, its high efficiency enables it to still use off-resonant vibrations for low-power devices, such as some sensors.“Piezoelectric energy harvesting is a multidisciplinary issue to be addressed from the considerations of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, material science, and system engineering,” Xu said. “For each individual mechanical vibration or motion resource, a specific device is designed to get an optimized electrical energy output. Our team is confident that we can move the energy harvesting technology into a new era.” The piezoelectric energy-harvesting transducer was developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. Tian Bing Xu from the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia, in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center, North Carolina State University, Stony Brook University, and TRS Technologies. The hybrid device combines two types of piezoelectric multilayer elements (one straight inner element sandwiched between two curved outer elements) with synergistically integrated force magnification, leading to advantages in several areas. Most notably, the transducer produces 19 times more electrical energy than current top piezoelectric transducers, and up to 1,000 times more electrical energy than a regular piezoelectric beam. Also, while the best piezoelectric transducers have mechanical-to-electrical conversion efficiencies of less than 7%, the new transducer achieves an efficiency of 26%.These improvements recently resulted in the new piezoelectric harvester winning the award for Best Technical Development of an Energy Harvesting Device at the conference of Energy Harvesting and Storage USA 2011, in Boston, MA, on November 15-16, 2011. This category was judged on which organization had made the most significant technical achievement in energy harvesting over the past 18 months. The awards are part of the IDTechEx annual conference of Energy Harvesting and Storage USA, which was attended by over 360 people from 16 countries and featured 40 exhibitors.The researchers have described the new piezoelectric harvester in more detail in a paper that is currently under NASA internal review. In a short description available on the website of Lei Zuo, coauthor and a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the researchers highlight a few important features that contribute to the device’s superior performance. For one, the curved outer piezoelectric elements are relatively soft and bendable, resulting in more deformation (and absorbing greater mechanical energy) under a given applied force. The device also does a better job of coupling this mechanical energy into the piezoelectric materials since minimal non-piezoelectric materials are used. Another advantageous characteristic is that, when a force is applied vertically onto the device, the forces of both the straight and curved elements are amplified to the sides. This design feature enables the device to generate 2-3 orders of magnitude more electric charges under a given amount of vibration. IMEC reports 40 microwatt from micromachined piezoelectric energy harvester Citation: Award-winning energy harvester brings practical applications closer (2011, December 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further © 2011 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_img © 2011 iRobot planning an Android-based robot This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Brainlink controller smartens dust-collecting robots: Let’s Roomba (2011, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Observing the dozens of cheap robots on the market with no desirable interfaces for students, the company wanted firmware inside Brainlink to be open source and hackable. “Though it’s possible to use the pre-made apps to use Brainlink, to, for example, control most toy robots from an Android phone, we think that those who will fully enjoy Brainlink are hackers with an intermediate level of programming experience,” according to the company’s site. “If you’ve taken one high school or college CS class, you should have no trouble with it.”CMU’s CREATE Lab also had a hand in the product. CREATE stands for Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment. The software for Brainlink was developed by Christopher Bartley, principal research programmer in the CREATE Lab and Huaishu Peng, a student in the School of Architecture’s Tangible Interaction Design program. Explore furthercenter_img ( — A Carnegie Mellon spinoff has introduced a triangle shaped connector that can make simple little robots behave in a more sophisticated way and can otherwise transform an Android smartphone into a TV and gadget remote. The device is called Brainlink and it talks to Android phones or laptops via Bluetooth. The controller has a Bluetooth range of 30 feet. Basically, Brainlink can deliver new capabilities to toy robots and other gadgets operated with infrared (IR) remote controls. The device enables programming and wireless control of whatever it is attached to. Brainlink users can write programs for robots that have limited “brains” to start with and thereby expand their capabilities and can also control items such as VCRs with IR remotes. According to the company, the device can decode, visualize, and replicate the signals of most infrared remotes. The unit is powered by a rechargeable battery. Three built-in sensors include an Axis Accelerometer to help detect orientation, shaking, and tapping; a Photodiode, to read the amount of light reaching the sensor and Battery Voltage. to allow host programs to detect low battery states (less than 3.5V). BirdBrain Technologies is pricing Brainlink at $125. The company’s target audience is both home hackers and educators. Ordering a robot to fetch beer may not seem conducive to learning environments, but the product is a result of a team mission to produce a more intuitive interface for educational robots. Brainlink uses the Bluetooth RN-42 module to communicate between its microcontroller and the smartphone or laptop.Users who write their Android apps for the Brainlink write them in Java and then can test them out on any Bluetooth equipped Android device. End uses suggested by BirdBrain have no doubt encouraged the numerous enthused reviews, including: “Create an Android App that uses object recognition and voice analysis to find you a beer – you’ll probably need to place your phone on the robot to make this work well.” Other end uses are using voice commands to control a TV, and, back to the robots, using a toy robot to add light or sound. The company, BirdBrain Technologies, announced the product in a release dated December 14 and since then gadget-focused bloggers have been enthusing over a home robotics future. The device can make a Roomba more adept at moving around without bumping into walls and the device can be used to train a simple robot to fetch the user something.last_img read more

first_imgPool revenue using the Selfsh-Mine strategy for different propagation factors, compared to the honest Bitcoin protocol. Simulation matches the theoretical analysis, and both show that Selfsh-Mine results in higher revenues than the honest protocol above a threshold. Credit: arXiv:1311.0243 [cs.CR] . Explore further ( —Bitcoin is a digital currency that has, well, gained currency, as a medium of exchange. Now two computer science researchers from Cornell find that this extensive ecosystem can be undermined and they outline how in a paper that they have posted on arXiv. More information: Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable, arXiv:1311.0243 [cs.CR]: … /faq-selfish-mining/ … irtual-currency.html New fund launched for bitcoin investors The paper, “Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable,” is by Ittay Eyal, a postdoc member of the Computer Sciences department at Cornell and Emin Gun Sirer, associate professor at Cornell. According to the two researchers, “Empirical evidence shows that Bitcoin miners behave strategically and form pools. Specifically, because rewards are distributed at infrequent, random intervals miners form mining pools in order to decrease the variance of their income rate. Within such pools, all members contribute to the solution of each cryptopuzzle, and share the rewards proportionally to their contributions. To the best of our knowledge, so far such pools have been benign and followed the protocol.” Nonetheless, they describe a strategy that could be used by a minority pool to obtain more revenue than the pool’s fair share, that is, more than its ratio of the total mining power. “The key idea behind this strategy, called Selfish Mining, is for a pool to keep its discovered blocks private, thereby intentionally forking the chain,” they wrote. This selfishness can come out of people getting together to siphon off more money than a fair share for mining activities.The authors wrote that central to Bitcoin operations is a public log called the blockchain where all transactions are recorded. The security of the blockchain is established by a chain of cryptographic puzzles solved by a loosely organized network of participants called miners. The two researchers present an attack with which colluding miners obtain a revenue larger than their fair share. “This attack can have significant consequences for Bitcoin,” they warned, where rational miners join selfish miners and the colluding group increases increase in size until it becomes a majority. At this point, they said, the Bitcoin system ceases to be a decentralized currency. A Scientific American report on their findings further explained how damage might occur: Instead of releasing solutions to solved cryptopuzzles. The selfish crew can mine a branch in secret, hiding it from honest miners. The group would then get a higher share of coins than is fair for the resources they have contributed because they have forced other miners to waste computing power on the original chain. The problem gets worse as the selfish group recruits extra members.Elsewhere, the two were asked if they were trying to take Bitcoin down with their sober warning. “We’re Bitcoin supporters,” they blogged, ” and are working to make the currency stronger against a broader set of possible misbehaviors than what has been considered so far.” They proposed in their paper a practical modification to the Bitcoin protocol that protects against selfish mining pools. Can Bitcoin remain a viable currency? Sirer said, “Probably. We have shown that as long as selfish miners are below a certain threshold, they will not succeed.” Citation: Cornell researchers teach Bitcoin attack lesson in selfish mining (2013, November 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_imgSo what are you doing this Diwali? Staying at home and bursting crackers? Spending some ‘me’ time? Or going out with friends? How about enjoying Diwali in a mall and winning some goodies too? This mall in west Delhi is being decked up to resemble the city of Ayodhya to complete the festive look. There will be contests and workshops for visitors to enjoy some fun-filled moments.  Ek Minute Dhamaal has games like Building the Ram Setu, The Great Epic Quiz and more. Workshops includes activities like magic card tricks, Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’rangoli, storytelling and mehendi art. Children can be kept busy with Stick Mask making, diya decorations, card making, lantern making and paduka making. ‘Apart from the activities, we will also be introducing an exciting raffle draw where visitors stand to win many interesting gifts,’ said Abhishek Bansal, managing director, Pacific Mall. So get crackling.DETAILAt: Pacific Mall, Najafgarh Road On Till: 18 NovemberTimings: 10 am to 10 pmlast_img read more

first_imgTell us a bit about yourself. Right from childhood to eventually painting posters and now canvases.I started off as a billboard painter. Always wanted to draw, so I attached myself with local painters as an assistant so that I could earn for materials that I wanted to work with and have access to large scale surfaces so I can practice without any financial hindrances. It was in 2000 when I got admitted in National College of Arts that I started academically being introduced to art and its many facets. Miniatures held a lot of appeal to me because at the time it was easily affordable. Later the technique held so much appeal that I decided to play with it a little further. I enjoyed adding sculptural elements into my wasli, making cut outs, perforations and then playing around with images that would go in conjunction with it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Do you believe in this high art  – low art distinction? Because according to the definitions – you have dabbled in both.For me art enjoys a very abject position in our perceptions, no one can decipher or pin point when an artist is going to make a master piece, not even the artist him/herself. It just happens. Of course how the art is being looked at, what platform it is being exposed on, who is patronizing it, all these ingredients involve to create this abjectness. If I approach this question with a personalised view I would have to say that while enjoying the position of a cinema board painter because at that time it satisfied my need to buy art materials, no one saw what I was making, but I was making art. Today I may be using the same genre images and they are being shown at various public spaces and suddenly everyone is focusing on ‘what’ and ‘why’ I am making them. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow difficult or easy was it to move from pop art to a newer strain of creativity? Pop art is still a very inherent part of my imagery and I guess it shall always be there, lurking in the background coming forward whenever it can because it is part of my basic training. Perceptions about art did change because before I had a very limited experience about ‘painting’ I thought I was coming to Lahore to understand how I can better my skills although I knew that I had learnt from the best because my ‘ustaad’ was the best. It was hard keeping a very open mind to what I was coming across during class. The need to excel allowed me to understand that while I was very good with my skills, the creativity part left a lot of be desired. It was then that I allowed myself to look at a certain painting in another light, the ‘isms’ that I had been introduced in the academia came forward and I realized that marrying skill with creativity can lead to much more. What would you consider your major influences?Travelling. My first visit to India and then to London was a life changing experience for me. I had never travelled abroad. The first experience of entering the boarding lounge, sitting in the aeroplane, the excitement of the take off and landing, it was just… I really have no idea how I can explain that. I feel my work is a better illustration of how breathtaking those days were for me to this date. In India no one recognized me as a foreigner, I easily gelled in, became a part of the society. I could talk in their language as well. That was an awesome experience.Is there a lot of difference in the art cultures of India and Pakistan?Not really. I think we are of the same culture at least the northern and central India and Pakistan, because geographically we were once connected. Our daily lives are same, we identify with each other and coexisted quite well for a long time. Of course, with Hindus and Sikhs still have a presence here we get to see and celebrate Diwali and other festivals. As a Pakistani artist displaying his work in India, how have you been perceived, approached and treated?Very well. It is always a pleasure to exhibit my work in India where ever and which ever city it happens to be in. My works and myself, receives a warm welcome. I have many friends who are close to my heart now in India.Do you think art can be a peace bridge? Have you ever faced any criticism that is not art related?I have never faced criticism from India regarding my practice or images. It has always been welcomed. As artists we can try to build connections and spread a more positive and softer side to our relations and we are doing that all the time. A non related art criticism I face…my appearance and how I dress. I don’t follow dress codes! For this reason I have been kicked out of many clubs. Even my marriage lunch I couldn’t attend because I wasn’t wearing the right shoes. It is a point of confusion for me because as artists we are encouraged to think and view things differently. How has the Delhi art circle treated you? Delhi art circle as always been an exciting host. The energy is so positive and the feedback and response is great. One thing I enjoy the most is the readiness of the audience to discuss and tell me what they think about my work. They don’t limit their reactions, which is very fresh. Most of the discussions are friendly heated debates and quite exhilarating. Delhi reminds me of Lahore. There is so much familiarity of spaces and places and people and yet I am a foreigner. That is what I like about the whole experience. As for a dislike- Delhi being so close to my heart because it was my first international exit as an artist, my parents being from here, it holds a lot attraction and unexplored bonds. All this pull to the beautiful city and I cant come as often and as easily as I would like to.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Workers of Burn Standard Company Limited staged a demonstration outside the factory in Howrah protesting against the Centre’s decision to close down the company.Trinamool Congress workers and supporters led by Arup Roy, the state Cooperation minister, also protested outside the factory in Howrah. The decision to close the factory was taken considering the poor physical and financial performance of the company in the past 10 years. The protest continued for several hours and they demanded withdrawal of Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsthe decision. Besides the permanent ones, there were temporary workers in the factory as well. In that case, the future of the temporary workers remains in dark as to what they would do with the closure of the factory. Hundreds of Trinamool Congress supporters and workers gathered outside the factory and staged a demonstration as a support to the workers and against the decision of the Centre to close it down.It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly protested against the steps to close the factory and the state government had even written to the Centre requesting steps for revival of the company. Moreover, an all-party resolution was also passed in the state Assembly against the Centre’s attempt to close Burn Standard Company Limited. Congress, Left Front and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha MLAs also extended their support protesting against the attempt after Partha Chatterjee, the Parliamentary Affairs minister, had raised the issue of the Centre’s “politically motivated” move to close down the factory.last_img read more

first_imgBALURGHAT: The South Dinajpur unit of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has taken measures to install prepaid meters in all the government offices from the next month of June. Officials said the survey work for launching the new system has been on.Initially, it has been decided that the prepaid meters will be distributed to all government offices, except state-run hospitals where electricity consumption is much higher, in and around the district. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSources said the new meters will be ultramodern and problem free.Officials said the prepaid electricity billing system through the new meter is similar to prepaid mobile connectivity where the consumers have to purchase particular data pack either for voice call or internet services.Similarly, the government offices from June onwards have to recharge the same for electricity services. A message before termination of services will be sent from WBSEDCL to the consumers for continuation of connectivity. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNotably, the post paid billing system has been active since WBSEDCL started functioning. Officials said the concerned department faces losses too due to non-payment of bills by the defaulters particularly in cases of households’ connectivity. Regional official of WBSEDCL Nirmal Biswas said: “Initially we have decided to install the prepaid meters in government offices where electricity consumption is less than 5 kilowatt. Soon, the rest of the government offices and households will be under the same category.”last_img read more

first_imgA missile fired by Syrian forces killed at least 18 civilians on Tuesday in a residential neighbourhood of the old quarter of Aleppo city, a monitoring group said. “The missile struck when people were still inside their homes in the Maghayir district. It killed 18 civilians, including one child, and wounded dozens of others,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.“There are many people still stuck in the rubble, and ambulances are going back and forth transporting people,” Abdel Rahman said.The Britain-based Observatory said the death toll was likely to rise as more bodies were discovered.Photos published by the monitor showed crumbling walls surrounded by a sea of dusty plastic and cinderblocks.Groups of men, some wearing the white helmets associated with civil defence volunteers, waded through the rubble. More than 35 homes were destroyed, the Observatory said.last_img read more

first_imgKOLKATA: Some BJP supporters clashed with civic volunteers and later chased them away after police refused them to hold a public meeting at their preferred venue. The police on Wednesday did not allow the BJP supporters to hold a meeting at the site and suggested an alternative spot. However, they refused to move and told police they would hold the programme at the announced site. On Thursday morning, the police deployed civic volunteers at the venue to stop the BJP supporters from entering. They clashed with the civic volunteers and later chased them away and took possession of the land. When Mukul Roy had come he was taken to a make shift dais from where he addressed the gathering. The local BJP leaders said the police cancelled on the venue at the eleventh hour when it was impossible for the party to shift to an alternative venue. They alleged that police did not give allotment of an alternative site in writing and apprehended they could have stopped the supporters from entering the venue and holding the meeting.last_img read more

first_img‘Asmita theatre group’ is celebrating its 25 glorious years in the world of art. To celebrate this special occasion ‘Asmita’ is organising a two-month long ‘Summer Theatre Festival’ which will enthral the audience from May 20 to July 28 at various eminent venues in the Capital. This “Summer Theatre Festival” shall begin with play ‘Court Martial,’ directed by Arvind Gaur and written by Swadesh Deepak with music composed by Dr Sangeeta Gaur at Sri Ram Centre, Mandi House. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn this festival, the group will showcase 17 plays, all of which are directed by Arvind Gaur and the music is composed by Dr Sangeeta Gaur. ‘Ambedakar Aur Gandhi’ and ‘Hindu Code Bill’ written by Rajesh Kumar; ‘Operation Three Star’ written by Dario Fo (adapted in Hindi by Amitabh Srivastava) and lyrics by Piyush Mishra; ‘Unsuni’ ; ‘Moteram Ka Satyagrah’; ‘Ek Mamooli Aadmi’; ‘Log-Baag’; ‘Final Solutions’; ‘Ye Aadmi Ye Choohe’; ‘Kharashein’ and many other fabulous plays are going to be enacted at this festival. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveArvind Gaur, the leader of ‘Asmita’, is known for his work in socially and politically relevant theatre in India. Gaur’s plays are contemporary and thought-provoking, connecting intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political issues. His work deals with Internet censorship, communalism, caste issues, feudalism, domestic violence, crimes of state, politics of power, violence, injustice, social discrimination, marginalisation, and racism. The founder of the ‘Asmita’ theatre group believes that his work is not just sheer entertainment, but a medium to address concerns which are rooted in every individual’s time and space. “To me, theatre is a tool to sensitise people towards their own existence. I feel responsible for inciting the concerns of my audience, especially youth, towards the needs of our society.” Gaur believes that stage training acts as a catalyst to create better human beings. “We must work on the most basic unit of society i.e. the individual, for developing sensibility on a broader scale.”last_img read more

first_imgA little appreciation and a sense of belonging from mentors may be helpful in reducing adolescents destructive behaviour and delinquent activities, says a new study, emphasising the importance of mentoring the youth.The study revealed that of the natural mentors the respondents identified, teachers or coaches at their school had a significant impact on reducing dangerous behaviour.”If you are made to feel useful and important to others, especially in this case by a non-kin and education-based mentor, then you are more likely to have a reduction in delinquency and dangerous behaviour,” said lead author, Margaret Kelley from the Department of American Studies at the University of Kansas in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe findings may be encouraging for educators, parents and those who work with youths, especially in trying to prevent at-risk adolescents from heading down a path of delinquency and dangerous behaviour that could jeopardise their future.”Making them feel appreciated and providing a sense of belonging for them at this crucial point in their adolescence can change those trajectories,” Kelley said, in the paper published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review,” said Kelley.Further, the research showed males found guidance and advice from their mentors while women tended to receive emotional nurturing.”The study also indicated the importance of female mentors in serving as positive role models, as well as the importance of helping children establish non-kin mentoring relationships early,” Kelley added.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Two members of a family were found dead, while one was recovered in an unconscious state at their house in Khidderpore port area on Friday.Police recovered the decomposed bodies of brothers Triloki Prasad Gupta (59) and Bhola Prasad (53). Their sister Shanti (56) was found unconscious, but was declared dead at a local hospital, said a police official. Police have primarily ruled out murder and are suspecting that they might have died after consuming something poisonous or of suffocation as the house on Karl Marx Sarani in South Port police area lacked ventilation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Police said the neighbours informed them about the stench emanating from the house, following which they broke open the door. Primary investigation revealed there were no external injury marks on their bodies. “All the three bodies have been sent for post-mortem. The actual cause of death and time will be ascertained only after we get the reports,” said an official. Bhola was into milk business, while Triloki was a government employee. Both of them were unmarried. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “There was no opening inside the house. All ventilators were manually shut. We found a diesel generator in the house,” said a forensic official. Forensic officials said there is a possibility that they died of suffocation due to emission of carbon monoxide from the generator. Police found that the electric supply of the house was disconnected and they suspected that they might have used the generator. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

first_imgLocated slap bang in the middle of Europe, Poland often found itself trapped between voraciously expanding empires. This meant that throughout its history, the Polish nation, often seen as an obstacle in the eyes of its more ambitious, aggressive, and frequently more powerful neighbors, had to resort to desperate and often farcical measures to survive and maintain its unique cultural character. Whether living under Catherine the Great, Otto von Bismarck, or Adolf Hitler, those who fought to preserve their national identity faced varying degrees of animosity from the occupying forces, keen to weed out the inconveniently defiant Poles.Map of Poland under the rule of Duke Mieszko I, who is considered to be the creator of the Polish state, c. 960–996. Photo by Bede CC BY-SA 3.0One man whose name came to symbolize that spirit of resistance and resourcefulness was Michał Drzymała — a Polish peasant, born in the Kingdom of Prussia on September 13, 1857.He gained worldwide notability at the beginning of the 20th century, when the story of his bizarre dispute with the Prussian administration, regarding permission to build a house on a plot of land he had purchased in the village of Kaisertreu, was picked up by journalists around the globe.Michał DrzymałaLike many of those belonging to his social class, Michał Drzymała toiled his entire life in a bid to escape the poverty cycle by purchasing land, where he could build a family home for himself and the generations to come.According to Prussian law, prospective home-owners had to seek consent — much like today’s planning permission — from the local administration, before commencing any construction work.Fulfilling the Kulturkampf (culture fight) politics of Germanization, common on territories laid claim to by both Prussians and Germans throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, which favored the German-speaking population, local authorities used the aforementioned planning permission requirement to discourage ethnic Poles from settling on the more sought-after land.Anti-Catholic caricature in the Munich Leuchtkugeln, 1848. A warning not to rejoice yet. The Catholic cleric as a fox and blind passenger on the wagon of progress, in order to later reverse the course of history.Under the 1904 Law Regarding Limitation of Polish Parcellation Activity, the legislation also prohibited Polish people from establishing farms and building new households.Drzymała fell victim to this glaring discrimination, and with no roof over his head was forced to improvise — he purchased a circus wagon, which would become his family home for the years to come.Adamant that any dwelling stationary for a period of more than 24 hours is a house, the Prussian authorities attempted to remove Drzymała’s wagon, however, the canny peasant would not give up his fight easily.Drzymała’s caravan in RakowienicePlaying the infamous Prussian bureaucracy machine at its own game, the folk hero took advantage of the legislation used against him, and in an absurd turn of events resorted to moving his trailer by a few inches every night.Astonishingly, he was able to circumvent the discriminatory building regulations and the Kafkaesque dispute continued for four years, making a mockery of the government’s oppressive directive and, ironically, attesting to the strength of the rule of law in Prussia.Eventually, hounded by officials who used every law in the book to make his life a misery, Michał Drzymała abandoned the plot of land in question, and instead purchased a nearby property with a house already built on it.A farm house in the Drzymały estate in Rakowienice (1907)Drzymała’s stubbornness became the symbol of grass-roots defiance to Prussian (and later German) oppression against its Polish citizens. The power of his rebellion was not lost on the German-speakers either – following his death in 1937, not one of the local carpenters was willing to build a coffin for Drzymała, and instead, he was buried in a casket crafted by a Polish furniture-maker.Michała Drzymała’s monument. Photo by MOs810 CC BY SA 3.0Two years later, his tomb was deliberately destroyed by German soldiers advancing into Poland during the initial stages of the war. The Nazis knew Drzymala’s legacy had no place in the Europe they envisaged.In 1918 the land returned to Polish hands, and in 1939 the then village of Podgradowice, formerly known as Kaisertreu, was renamed Drzymałowo in honour of Poland’s tenacious folk hero and his unwillingness to succumb to Prussian subjugation.Michała Drzymały’s tombSince his death, the story of the iron-willed smallholder has been immortalized by poets and authors, and streets named after Michał Drzymała can be found in most Polish cities.Read another story from us: The Deadliest Female Sniper in HistoryThe national champion was also posthumously awarded the Polish Cross of Merit. Over 100 years on, the euphemistic “circus on wheels,” inspired by the events described above, remains an element of the Polish vernacular, synonymous with tragicomedy and situations convoluted to the point of farcicality.last_img read more

first_imgThe Chiefs beat the Raiders last night to take the inside track on the AFC West division title, and Colin thinks they legitimately have a chance to win the Super Bowl. The only reason people aren’t taking them seriously is because they’re not interesting.If you look at their roster, it’s loaded, especially defensively. Andy Reid is the second-best coach in the AFC. People say they can’t win a Super Bowl with Alex Smith, but he’s won 60 of his last 84 starts, which is a better winning percentage than Bill Parcells had as a head coach. He’s got nice weapons like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to throw to, and the KC defense is better than Denver’s. No one will talk about them, but they’re a Super Bowl level team.“The Kansas City Chiefs are boring, and unbelievably effective.”NBA Critics say that the league is boring because it’s so top-heavy, and only two or three teams have a chance to win every year, but the same handful of teams always have a shot to win in the national title college football and basketball and nobody says a word. The truth is, people can complain all they want about how unbalanced the NBA is, but if LeBron and Durant meet in the Finals, everyone will be watching. The ratings will always tell the truth.“You say you want parity in the NBA. You say you want underdogs, and you don’t. And how do I know? Because ratings are truth serum.”The Rams are awful, and Albert Breer’s recent article in the MMQB says that head coach Jeff fisher and GM Les Snead can’t stand each other, and the Rams organization is a mess. Colin says the Rams organization is like a bad marriage. They moved the team, they drafted a young star quarterback, but the with all the flashy moves, the underlying problems are all the same. The Rams are irrelevant on the L.A. sports scene, and sticking with Jeff Fisher isn’t going to help anything. Time for a divorce.“The Rams right now, are a bad marriage, and they’re trying to save it with an exciting new move. A new house. ‘Let’s have a baby.’ Let’s draft a quarterback… And what do you have? A bigger mess.”Also, Colin gives his NFL Week 14 Blazin’ 5 picks! Game of the week is Baltimore at New England.Guests:Michael Lombardi – Former NFL GM and host of the Make Me Smarter football podcast is in-studio to discuss the Chiefs win over the Raiders last night, the reported dysfunction with the Rams between Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead, why he thinks the Ravens are primed for a playoff run, and his Week 14 picks.Greg Cosell – Senior producer of NFL Matchup and NFL Films joins the show to break down the film from Week 13, what he sees on film with the Seahawks, how their offensive philosophy has changed under Carroll, and what the film says about Cam Newton’s bad mechanics.Albert Breer – NFL Insider for The MMQB joins the show to discuss his recent article about the Jeff Fisher/Les Snead feud with the Rams, why Snead and Fisher could both be gone at the end of the year, whether Tony Romo could end up in L.A., how the stats say Matt Stafford is better than Tom Brady right now, and the huge difference Jim Bob Cooter has made with Stafford.last_img read more

first_imgJason Whitlock is in for Colin:The Irish Sun is reporting that the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have reached an agreement for their superfight that has been stuck in the rumor mill for the past year. UFC President Dana White has since denied the report.If the fight does take place, Whitlock thinks Mayweather is guaranteed to win in a walk. In his opinion, McGregor will be completely outclassed in a boxing match, and the gap in skill levels will jump off the screen. It may be an entertaining event, but it won’t be much of a fight.“Floyd is not going to lose a boxing match to Conor McGregor.”Whitlock caught hell on social media yesterday for insinuating that LeBron James was athletically privileged because he won the genetic lottery, and his path to the NBA was all but guaranteed from a young age.He pointed out that James was ushered into a coddled AAU life once he was identified as a basketball prodigy in 8th grade, and all but destined to succeed once basketball scouts and shoe companies viewed him as a generational talent.Jason also pointed out that those insinuating that ‘The King’ didn’t know he was destined to make it at a young age might want to check the tattoo on his back. He knew, too. It was always a sure thing.“He didn’t tattoo ‘Hardest Working One’ on his back, he tattoed ‘Chosen’.”Guests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio to discuss Kevin Love’s knee surgery; if the Cavs should trade for Carmelo Anthony now that love is out; why he disagrees with Whitlock that LeBron James is privileged; and why LeBron overcoming poverty is still impressive despite his physical gifts.Eric Mangini – Former Jets and Browns Head Coach is in-studio to explain why he thinks Brady can play 5 more years; why he was able to eventually solve the Falcons defense in the fourth quarter; and what he suspects Bill Belichick’s position is on players not attending the White House.Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors All-Star Shooting Guard joins the show to talk about how this year’s Warriors team compares to last; Golden State’s leadership by committee approach; if a potential title would be less sweet if it wasn’t against the Cavs; and his pick for NBA MVP.last_img read more

first_img Rosen and Darnold have the leverage in this situation. They shouldn’t reward teams for tanking.If I’m Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold and the two worst teams in [the NFL] next year are the Jets & Browns, I’m staying in school.”“If I’m Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold and the 2 worst teams in [the NFL] next year are the Jets & Browns, I’m staying in school.”— @ColinCowherd— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 7, 2017 The Jets are shedding veterans and committing to the tanking life for the 2017 NFL season. With the grand prize of USC’s Sam Darnold or UCLA’s Josh Rosen waiting at the top of the draft, the race to the bottom in the NFL in 2017 is going to be intense, and the only way there is by throwing in the towel before the season begins.Today, Colin said that the culture of a team that is actively engaged in not being competitive is a toxic destination for an NFL rookie quarterback, and the Browns and Jets are entering the season with weak rosters, no answers at quarterback, and have shown no urgency to pursue viable short term solutions.Colin’s advice to Darnold or Rosen if the Browns or Jets are sitting at the top of the draft? Stay in school.They would be better off getting more reps in another year of college than getting going to either team. More college experience for quarterback prospects is rarely a bad thing. Some good cultures have down years, but these are just bad cultures and should be avoided in the interest of long-term career health. Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants to go anyway.” Advertisement The debate surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem was reignited when President Trump cancelled the Super Bowl champ Eagles White House visit altogether because only a handful of the team planned to attend. Today, during an NBA Finals media availability, LeBron James was asked for his take on the story. James said the decision to cancel the visit was “typical” of Trump, and added “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants an invite anyway. It won’t be Cleveland or Golden State going.” When he was asked to comment, Curry confirmed he agreed with LeBron’s take:last_img read more

first_imgMarch 5, 2009 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The NetbookThe introduction of small powerful notebooks at low prices, such as those from Acer and Asus, will provide a practical option for the growing number of individuals who work on the road. These netbooks are especially useful for those who find it difficult to use the very small form-factor of Blackberry or iPhone-type devices.The battery life and lightweight quality of these tiny machines make them ideal for individuals who travel without access to a power supply, but their networks aren’t quite as advanced as that of the Blackberry or iPhone devices. This is the case because cell phone companies are able to provide their clients with constant access to the Internet, whereas laptops must be linked into an available wireless network. However, with companies now introducing Internet sticks with the ability to provide access anytime, anywhere, these limitations are quickly lessening. Thus, netbooks will be the ideal choice for on-the-move corporate individuals in 2009.Integration Of The CloudCloud computing services provide small and midsize businesess with an economical storage option. A hybrid version of application and service delivery is evolving. This version is instead of the anticipated migration from an on-premise-only and/or perpetual licensing-only model to a total SaaS-only and subscription-only model.Thus, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is becoming all the more important, since the future cloud of services will be comprised of the organization’s onsite services and those supplied to it by an offsite vendor.FlywheelsGreen initiatives will continue to grow in importance as a driver of cost savings. One of the least known but most valuable green products for the data center is the flywheel, which essentially stores energy for use when power is interrupted. It is a clean and cost effective alternative to battery-based uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). At present, flywheels represent 6% of the three-phase UPS market, but the longer lifecycle and lower cost of maintenance is going to trigger increased demand for these in the near future.Adoption of the flywheel in Europe is very high, with several large data centers announcing the implementation of flywheel technology. One of the largest hosting firms in the San Francisco area has adopted the technology as well. The systems currently available are able to handle mid-sized to very large centers and thus can be useful for a variety of business sizes and types.Rich Internet ApplicationsRich Internet Applications (RIAs) provide the interactivity of a desktop application conveniently delivered in any Web browser. Google Maps is an early example, but many companies are beginning to use RIAs to:Simplify online shopping.Provide rich interactive graphics.Support social networking.End users are fond of RIAs because they are user-friendly and quickly accessible. They are also proving to be profitable for the companies that provide them, making increasing uptake in 2009 inevitable.Hybrid Use of Off-Premise Application ServicesA broad range of applications have been available to organizations in the form of hosted services or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The advantage of these is that small and midsize businesses can add services without purchasing perpetual licenses, without dedicating servers and storage, and with only minimal support staff. While organizations may be unwilling to trust critical functions to these external service providers, they will increasingly use them to augment their primary in-house applications for special purposes.Need sales-force profitability analysis? Don’t bother with another module, just rent some software for a little while. This option facilitates optimal gain with minimal investment — the perfect mix in a time of economic crisis.Three factors will increase the adoption of these technologies:The functional quality and reliability of these services improve continually.While application services may cost more over a period of several years, the initial cost is significantly lower than an in-house solution, which is very attractive during a period of financial frugality.The faster speed of deployment will suit businesses that need additional functionality to temporarily and quickly augment their current application capability.Short-Term Use Of External Service ProvidersIn addition to external application services, businesses will increasingly look outside their own IT groups to augment their capabilities or capacity quickly without making a long-term staff or equipment commitment. This strategy is especially appropriate in a tight financial situation, when the need is great but money is scarce.The service providers who will succeed are those that:Are prepared to support short-term people and equipment needs — not just long-term contracts.Make their own facilities and equipment available rather than just managing the customer’s own equipment.Social Computing For Business CollaborationYes, everyone else says the same thing, but it’s true. Content and collaboration services that are based on the friend-of-a-friend network model are growing fast and are becoming the primary point of interaction for younger generations. These generations are eschewing e-mail as an interaction channel and instead opting for real-time and near-real-time (i.e., text messaging) interaction through their personal networks. The good news is that such basic services are inexpensive and easy to deploy.The downside, of course, is that organizations must get past their concern about staff using these tools for personal use. An alternative method, currently utilized by many companies, is an internal messaging system. This option facilitates quick correspondence among employees and limits the number of redundant e-mails, which can be overlooked within the e-mailing system. Less archiving and faster communication — social computing certainly has its benefits.In-Memory AnalyticsFor companies in search of improving financial consolidation and ad-hoc analysis for little monetary investment, in-memory analytics seem to be a feasible solution. As competition for shrinking markets intensifies, organizations will increase their need for analysis of data. Why would they build a data warehouse when they can just load all of their data into a computer with a huge pile of RAM?The market has shifted to allow for RAM to be very economical and an extremely realistic option for companies throughout a period of financial uncertainty.Wide Area Network Optimization DevicesThe demand for increased bandwidth for data communication continues to grow, but the drops in unit cost have not kept in step. Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization devices facilitate more information flow on an existing network connection, which in turn allows organizations to add effective bandwidth without having to invest in more capacity from carriers.Given the current downturn, many companies that require a capital investment will have to demonstrate a one-year payback (or less). The savings on WAN connectivity costs will provide payback for many businesses in only a matter of months, making this option ideal for 2009.Data Loss Or Leakage ProtectionSecurity continues to be a main concern for many organizations, especially when it comes to the leaking of corporate information. Of special significance is the inappropriate transmission of this corporate information from within an organization to outsiders (as opposed to external attempts to access information).Businesses seeking to improve internal security have been adopting Data Leakage Protection (DLP) faster than any piece of technology in quite a while. With data breaches caused by employee error occurring as frequently as hacks and malicious actions combined, the value behind this technology is tremendous.Application VirtualizationVirtualization of servers has been extensively adopted by most organizations that operate multiple computer servers. The extension of virtualization from the server to applications will accelerate the adoption of the utility infrastructure. In fact, expect utility infrastructure to become the accepted approach for running business applications.The organization’s view of infrastructure will also continue to morph from a specific configuration of servers, storage, and network components to a flexible service that easily adapts the allocation of resources to changing performance and capacity requirements over time. Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Listen Now 7 min read How Success Happenslast_img read more

first_imgNovember 19, 2010 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Brought to you by PCWorld 10 min read Good citizens of technological America, this story is not for you. Today we honor the louts, the Luddites, and the lazy. Everyone has a little techie vice — raise your hand if you have ever used “password” as a password — but with this outing we’re digging a little deeper, calling out the really bad habits that can cause permanent damage to your high-tech psyche.Without further ado, it’s time to get our hands dirty. We present to you our 25 worst high-tech habits.1. Avoiding Security SoftwareSo you thought you could get by without antimalware utilities, just by being mindful of what Web links you click and what e-mail you open. How’s that working out for ya? Use something — anything — to protect your PC from the bad guys, who are happy to have you as a target. You can even start with free antivirus software.2. Failing to Back Up Your ComputerThe funny thing about people who admit that they don’t back up is that they always preface it by saying, “I know it’s bad, but…” Listen: All hard drives crash eventually. All of them. Yours will, too. For help, see our simple guide to getting started with backup.3. Neglecting Offsite BackupA thief breaks into your apartment and steals your laptop. No problem: You just backed it up last night. Oh, wait, he stole your backup drive too, because it was sitting right next to the laptop. Store your data in multiple locations, with automatic backups scheduled for hard drives kept away from your PC — and make a backup plan to prepare for worst-case scenarios.4. Replying to SpamWhy do spammers do their dirty work? Because enough people respond to it to make sending junk worth their while. Yes, clicking the “remove me” link counts as a response — though on rare occasions, if a message is clearly from a legitimate brand-name company, using that link is worth a try. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. In addition to following this commonsense advice, you can take an extra step to harness the spam-fighting powers of your e-mail service.Tempting as the offer may be, put spammers out of business by ignoring their e-mail.5. Traveling With an Operating ComputerTaking your computer from the kitchen to the living room while it’s running? No problem. Taking your running PC from the office, on the subway, for a mile-long walk, and up the stairs to your house? Terrible idea. Spinning hard drives can crash, and computers can easily overheat in cramped quarters. Shut the PC down. (Extra demerits if your hot, whirring laptop is sweating it out in a closed briefcase for the entire ride.) Windows offers custom settings for the power button and lets you tell a laptop to power off when you shut the lid.6. Using a Laptop on a BedUse your laptop in bed all you want — it’s when you leave the machine running on your goose-down comforter that the problems begin. Fluffy cushions and the like can block ventilation ports, overheating (and ruining) your PC. Use a lap desk or a coffee-table book to keep some airflow between the two. Plus, you can hurt your body if you’re typing in an unnatural position, so pay attention to ergonomics.7. Printing EverythingYou already have a digital record — why do you need to print it out? Even forms that require signatures often can accept a “digital” signature that you create in Microsoft Paint. Save completed files as PDFs for even easier transportation and archiving.8. Taking a Camera to the BeachOne grain of sand in the shutter or zoom mechanism, and it’s toast. If you must shoot beachside, put the camera in a waterproof case or a plastic bag. Better yet, get a waterproof camera.9. Leaving a Laptop in the CarThieves stake out hot parking spots and wait for fancy-pants business types to leave their laptop bags in the car, even just for a few minutes. All they have to is smash a window and grab it, and they’re gone in 10 seconds flat. Or, maybe you thought you got smart, and you put your laptop in the trunk, out of sight — too bad you waited until you got to Sketchy Street to do it, where the bad guys watched you every step of the way. Trunks are even easier to pop open than windows. Stow your rig in the trunk before you embark on your trip. Better yet, take the laptop with you, or try a travel lock.10. Keeping All of Your E-MailEvery e-mail message you’ve ever received is sitting in your inbox in chronological order. Congratulations! You now have an unassailable historical record of your communications…and a guarantee that you will never find anything of any importance whatsoever. Use folders or tags to organize your inbox, and be liberal with the Delete key.11. Failing to Learn Keyboard ShortcutsDid you know that some people out there still aren’t aware that Ctrl-C is copy and Ctrl-V is paste? I’m not saying you need to learn every Alt-Ctrl-Shift combo, but the more Alt-F4s you pick up, the sooner you can go home. Drop the mouse and try a few essential shortcuts for shutting down a PC and more, and several specific shortcuts for Windows 7.12. Installing Too Much JunkWhy is Windows so slow? You installed three instant messaging clients and seven browser toolbars on your machine. Once some of this stuff is installed, the damage is already done, as many of these apps leave behind traces that are impossible to eliminate. You can try uninstalling as much as possible, but a clean Windows setup is often your best bet.13. Discarding ReceiptsNull’s Law dictates that consumer products will always break immediately after the expiration of their warranty — but once in a while they break sooner. You might be able to get the thing fixed … if you saved your receipt. Keep a folder next to your medical records. Once you collect some receipts, you can scan and organize them with the Neat Receipts system.14. Waiting in Line for Tech StuffRemember when you slept in a tent so that you could be the first guy in your ‘hood to own a PlayStation 3? Your parents are probably just as proud of that achievement as when you finally leveled your Druid up to 80. Trust us: The gadget works the same 24 hours later. You can probably even preorder it online and let it come to your door.15. Hitting Your ComputerBe mad. Seriously, Windows aggravates everyone — get angry! Remember, though: We can offer a lot of aid, but throwing, kicking or otherwise abusing a PC physically will not help. And shelling out a few hundred bucks for a new computer will actually make you feel even worse in the end. Meditate, and restrain yourself. If your laptop is sick from a latte that you tossed on it in a fit of rage, clean it carefully. Luckily, you can try a few emergency tech fixes that can restore hardware to health if your tantrum goes too far.16. Saving Files Anywhere and EverywhereWhen you get your electric bill, do you just throw it on the table, mixing it in with family photos, flyers, the Sunday paper and your discs from Netflix, or do you take 20 seconds to file it away where it really ought to go? Wait, don’t answer that. As with your inbox, folders are your friend.17. Checking in With Location-Based ServicesThe only people who care that you’re at Sizzler or TJ Maxx are people you really don’t want to know. Exceptions: If you’re someplace really cool — like Mt. Fuji, Versailles or Chernobyl — check in all you want. We’ve looked at some practical uses for services like Foursquare; stick to those.18. Citing WikipediaWhen you need a fact to make a point, the perfect place to go is a gargantuan website that anyone can edit anonymously, and where hoaxes and gag entries can have a life span of years. If you must use Wikipedia, click the links in the footnotes on the page to get the real story, and to see how credible the information digested there really is.19. Posting Hilarious Pictures Online”Hey, coworker! Looks like you had a great time at your pal’s bachelor party. Oh, is that you posing with a Heineken in your hand? How original! Yeah, you and that girl look pretty wasted in that one. At least, that’s what our boss said when he e-mailed it to me. Good luck with that evaluation!” Save such moments for posterity in private — or else. Pay close attention to the privacy settings on Facebook (and untag yourself in those compromising pictures) and on photo-sharing sites. On Flickr, for example, click Edit your profile privacy from the ‘Manage your profile’ page to control who can see what.20. Believing the SalespersonLet’s put it this way: If that guy really knew a lot about computers, would he be wandering the aisles in a blue shirt and slacks asking if you need help? No. No, he would not. Do your research by googling for consumer reviews and comments before you get to the store, and learn which stores offer the best services and deals.21. Ignoring the SpecsThe big idea in tech today is to offer three classes of product: A bare-bones version, a power-user version and an “extreme” version, each with an escalating price tag. The problem is, the extreme edition may not really do anything that the bare-bones version can’t do — or it has features you don’t actually need — but you buy the expensive one anyway, because you didn’t really read the specs. It can take a lot of Web research time to figure out the meaning of some of the arcana — and what’s really important — but this is time well invested.22. Using One Password for EverythingAll it takes is a single data leak at your cell phone company for a crook to get into your e-mail, bank, investing, online shopping and accounts. It’s one-stop shopping for identity thieves! Having a unique password for every site is unrealistic, but use a series of several passwords and save your best for the most critical sites. Password managers can help.23. Not Having a Disposable E-Mail AddressDon’t give out your regular e-mail address to newsletters, iffy Web services and girls or boys you meet after midnight. A disposable e-mail address that you check once a fortnight is a better solution. This is why Gmail was invented.24. Failing to Lock Your SmartphoneWhen an unsavory type finds a lost phone, his first order of business is to call as many international and 900-type numbers that he humanly can. Then he harvests all the data on it for identity theft and spam purposes. Or you could, you know, prevent all of that by putting a simple PIN on the thing. You can find tools built to manage security for Android and other mobile operating systems.25. Commenting OnlineI know: You have the perfect bon mot to counter one of the points on this list, and you’re going to enter it painstakingly into a Web form at the bottom of this article so you can be clever comment #86 on page four. Congratulations, sir or ma’am. Touché. Seriously, people, this is 2010. If you have something snarky or inflammatory to say, at least have the common courtesy to tweet it (politely). Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more