Google will put Majel on the line to rival Siri

first_img Explore further Siri a challenge to Google search: Eric Schmidt Citation: Google will put Majel on the line to rival Siri (2011, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-google-majel-line-rival-siri.html Based on tips circulating this week, Android Voice Actions will be followed by a newcomer that will be further up in the voice recognition hierarchy and it’s called Majel. The site Android and Me has published a story that Majel will make its debut shortly. A better conversational experience will challenge that from Siri. The key factor that has held Voice Actions back was a rigid verbal command syntax, say observers, whereas Siri ‘s AI capabilities have entertained as well as helped iPhone users.According to reports, Majel will get natural language processing capabilities. End users will be able to speak to their phones Siri-like, using natural speech rather than having to think of ways to phrase their questions to make their phrase or sentence understood. While Majel will be intelligent, it will not have Siri’s personality traits. Majel will not have much of any personality, say the tipsters. If Siri is a coy, sophisticated mate, Majel will be just a helpful voice assistant. Majel will make no effort to be “spunky” but will just “talk, listen and interpret,” says a report.Google’s company purchases in 2010 and 2011 may have something to do with attempts to ensure Majel talks, listens and interprets extremely well. Smartphone users seeking useful information from a personal voice assistant are likely to find Majel up to the task. The company acquired Phonetic Arts in 2010, a UK-based speech synthesis business. Google reportedly intends to use the technology to improve the sound of its automated voices. Also, Google recently acquired Clever Sense, the developer behind Alfred, a context-aware, curated recommendation engine. Alfred has proven its worth as a discovery engine that can make restaurant recommendations for users based on information gathered about the user’s tastes. Google also bought restaurant authorities Zagat in September, further bolstering its information trove. Some say Majel could be released by the end of the month, while others assume an early 2012 launch to be more likely. What’s more, Android watchers point to Google’s June I/O event as a fitting time for the company not only to announce the next release of Android but also to announce that Majel is integrated into the platform too. © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Majel is Google’s voice controlled assistant in the wings and it is poised to compete against Apple’s iPhone 4S-based Siri. The new chatter surrounding the yet to be launched Majel can be translated down to Watch out Siri: Android’s coming at you. While smartphone users generally agree that no smartphone voice assistant has yet to rival Siri–a technology with roots in a DARPA project with a history of research before Apple bought it in 2010 — Siri is in for more serious competition. 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

Research duo develop a means for people to conceptualize polarized light

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Polarization distance: a framework for modelling object detection by polarization vision systems, Published 18 December 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1632AbstractThe discrimination of polarized light is widespread in the natural world. Its use for specific, large-field tasks, such as navigation and the detection of water bodies, has been well documented. Some species of cephalopod and crustacean have polarization receptors distributed across the whole visual field and are thought to use polarized light cues for object detection. Both object-based polarization vision systems and large field detectors rely, at least initially, on an orthogonal, two-channel receptor organization. This may increase to three-directional analysis at subsequent interneuronal levels. In object-based and some of the large-field tasks, the dominant e-vector detection axes are often aligned (through eye, head and body stabilization mechanisms) horizontally and vertically relative to the outside world. We develop Bernard and Wehner’s 1977 model of polarization receptor dynamics to apply it to the detection and discrimination of polarized objects against differently polarized backgrounds. We propose a measure of ‘polarization distance’ (roughly analogous to ‘colour distance’) for estimating the discriminability of objects in polarized light, and conclude that horizontal/vertical arrays are optimally designed for detecting differences in the degree, and not the e-vector axis, of polarized light under natural conditions. © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Cuttlefish have high definition polarization vision, researchers discover It’s a well-known fact that animals other than humans can see polarized light and that many use it as a means of navigation, terrain discrimination or even as a form of communication. Recent studies have even found that some organisms, such as shrimp, are able to communicate with one another using polarized light that is reflected off a part of their bodies, in this case, their tails. Many scientists believe that there likely exists a hidden world of communication going on in natural world, where only those who can see polarized light are able to join in. How and Marshall describe it as a secret language—one where prey are able to communicate silently, for example, unseen by a predator, without fear of being overheard.Unfortunately, because it is invisible to the human eye, researchers have had a hard time studying the impact of polarization on animals and the ways they use it. To help in this area, How and Marshall have come up with a way to use several attributes of polarization to mimic what is known as “color distance,” which in normal light is calculated by quantifying saturation, hue and intensity. In this case, they instead use attributes of polarized light—percentage, intensity and angle—to provide a means for estimating the discriminability of objects in polarized light.Creating a characteristic of polarization based on actual attributes allows for calculating polarization distance, which in turn can be used to convert polarized reflections into false colors the human eye can see. That in turn, the researchers hope, will lead to the creation of devices that will allow scientists to study the hidden world of communications used by animals in a more natural way—by “listening in” on their secret signals and noting how those that can see them respond. Citation: Research duo develop a means for people to conceptualize polarized light (2013, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-duo-people-polarized.html Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Phys.org) —Two researchers from Queensland University in Australia have developed a way to describe polarizing objects in a way that can be visualized by the human eye. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Martin How and Justin Marshall describe a technique they have developed for using attributes of polarization to describe what they call “polarization distance.”last_img read more

Large Hadron Collider team announces beginning of restart

first_img Though proving the existence of the Higgs boson was a major goal, and achieving it garnered a lot of headlines, the facility at CERN has made progress in other areas as well—the creation of quark–gluon plasma back in 2011, is but one example. Now the facility is in the process of an upgrade, which has been in the planning stages for several years and will include upgrades to several pieces and parts of the facility that support the LHC as well as the main accelerator itself. The team recognized that the facility had begun to suffer from diminishing returns and that many parts could be improved due to the development of new technology and improvements on old ways of doing things. Thus, this past February the LHC, along with other parts and accelerators that feed it, was shut down. The retooling has been forecast to total approximately $4.4 billion dollars.Thus far, the team has successfully restarted the part they call the source—the piece of equipment responsible for stripping electrons off of hydrogen atoms for use in producing protons. Next up the team plans to fire up Linac2, an accelerator whose job it is to give protons their initial push. After that a booster will be started that will be used to push the protons even faster. For the LHC to be used in its proper context, it must receive protons that are already moving exceedingly fast.Team members have made much of the complete upgrade to the control system for the LHC—the part that integrates all of the systems and which of course will be central to a successful reboot. They should know early on if there are any problems. In addition to swapping out parts for new and improved technology, technicians will also be replacing worn cables or other minor but necessary components. If all goes well, the LHC should be ready and back in business sometime early next year. Projects in the pipeline include: ALICE, CMS, ATLAS and LHCb. Explore further 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. Physics group looks ahead past LHC to LEP3 (Phys.org) —The team of scientists working at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) facility has reported to the press that the process of restarting the massive experimental mechanism has begun—though it won’t finish until sometime next year. The world’s most complicated system of machines will have to be restarted in pieces to ensure that each is operating properly before the next can be brought online. Citation: Large Hadron Collider team announces beginning of restart (2014, April 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-large-hadron-collider-team-restart.html © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

Journal team adds reviewer pay to openaccess model

first_img “Open Access journal publishing reimagined”—that is the catchline for Collabra, from the University of California Open Press, the Open Access publishing arm of the University of California Press. The journal focus will be life and biomedical sciences; ecology and environmental science; and social and behavioral sciences. Why the decision to pay reviewers? It has to do with a conviction of enhancing the concept of “open” to one in which not only content is shared but also distributed throughout a value chain, from publisher to reviewer and to the entire research community. That’s why they created Collabra. “When you volunteer your time and expertise as an editor or reviewer, your efforts should be recognized with more than a thank-you. We do that by giving you the option of either being paid for the work you do or paying that value forward to the research community.”They are doing something about past criticism in scholarly publishing that all value and revenue flows only to publishers. In their setup, the Article Processing Charge (APC) is $875. Of that sum, $625 goes toward the publishing platform, the submission and review platform, editorial assistance from UC Press, marketing, and other operational costs. The remaining $250 goes to editors and reviewers, who keep the money or send it to a waiver fund set up for authors who do not have the money for the APCs, or to their library’s fund. As such, the journal team believes they are addressing two hurdles in research circles, the high charge of article processing and the lack of deserved recognition for of editors and reviewers. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, in Science Insider, said, “Most scientific journals rely on volunteer editors and peer reviewers to operate. But when it comes to business models, journals fall into two general camps: subscription journals, which charge readers and libraries to read content that is kept behind paywalls; and open-access journals, which charge authors an upfront fee to make their accepted papers immediately available to anyone with an Internet connection.” © 2015 Phys.org The Collabra team wanted to make a difference. “As not-for-profit publishers, we were free to create an OA journal that removes expensive barriers, rewards participation, and pays value forward so research becomes the focus,” they said.Matthew Gunther in Chemistry World said the journal will give contributors value points that are based on their level of journal engagement. This will determine the amount of money they can get from the fund. Even if the paper is rejected, reviewers can still accrue points. A new open-access journal called Collabra plans to pay reviewers, and that’s a twist in the world of scientific publishing. The reviewers get to exercise some options. They can keep the cash (generally a modest sum) or give it back to the research world by donating the money to a waiver fund, for poor scientists who cannot pay the $875 publication fee. The third option is to contribute it to their own institution’s open-access activities. Corporate interest is a problem for research into open-access publishing Explore further Citation: Journal team adds reviewer pay to open-access model (2015, January 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-journal-team-open-access.html More information: www.collabraoa.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.last_img read more

Researchers gain better understanding of cellular intestinal barrier structure

first_img Study IDs new cause of brain bleeding immediately after stroke (Phys.org)—A team of researches affiliated with several institutions in Japan has conducted research into the cellular structure of tight junctions in the small intestine, and has made progress in better understanding their construction, possibly helping to pave the way towards creating drugs that would be better equipped to make their way into the bloodstream. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their research and findings and what they believe must be done next. Per Artursson and Stefan Knight with Uppsala University in Sweden offer a perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal edition. More information: Structural insight into tight junction disassembly by Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, Science 13 February 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6223 pp. 775-778. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261833ABSTRACTThe C-terminal region of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (C-CPE) can bind to specific claudins, resulting in the disintegration of tight junctions (TJs) and an increase in the paracellular permeability across epithelial cell sheets. Here we present the structure of mammalian claudin-19 in complex with C-CPE at 3.7 Å resolution. The structure shows that C-CPE forms extensive hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions with the two extracellular segments of claudin-19. The claudin-19/C-CPE complex shows no density of a short extracellular helix that is critical for claudins to assemble into TJ strands. The helix displacement may thus underlie C-CPE–mediated disassembly of TJs.PERSPECTIVE: Breaking the intestinal barrier to deliver drugs, Science, www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/716.summary Explore further Structure of mCldn19cryst in complex with C-CPE shown in ribbon representation and viewed parallel to the membrane. The color of mCldn19cryst changes from the N terminus (blue) to the C terminus (red), and C-CPE is colored green. Dashed lines indicate disordered regions. The gray bars suggest the membrane boundaries of the outer (Ext.) and inner (Cyt.) leaflets. Credit: Science 13 February 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6223 pp. 775-778. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261833 © 2015 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Science In order for drugs taken orally to do their job, they must make their way through the stomach, and into the small intestine. Once there, they must pass through a layer of endothelial cells that make up a protective barrier meant to keep out harmful substances. Unlike the blood-brain barrier that exists in capillaries that are impermeable, the barrier in the small intestine is semi-permeable, allowing some substances to pass through, but not others. Those that do get through, find their way through what are known as tight junctions, the spaces between cells. In this new effort the researchers learned more about the crystal structure of claudin-19, one of the major proteins that exist in the barrier, by watching how it was impacted by a bacterial toxin known as CPE—prior research has shown that it breaks down material in the tight junctions allowing entry into the bloodstream and causing food borne illnesses.This new research was focused on learning more about how CPE causes destruction of claudin-19—the researchers found that it came about due to the bacteria’s ability to block the formation of a short, extracellular helix, which serves as a physical barrier. Without the barrier, CPE can pass right through. As Artursson and Knight point out, the new research did not lead to a clear understanding or explanation of just how CPE was able to block the formation of the helix, but it does offer a new path to take. If researchers can figure out just how exactly CPE blocks formation of the helix, the process might be duplicated in substances added to medicines, allowing future patients to take medicine orally that must now be given by injection. Citation: Researchers gain better understanding of cellular intestinal barrier structure (2015, February 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-gain-cellular-intestinal-barrier.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.last_img read more

The Shahpur Jat treasure trove

first_imgA number of designers have their stores here and lovers of fashion, quaint quirks and some incredible nick-nacks are just at home amidst the winding lanes of Shahpur Jat. What better way to explore the area than with their biannual Open House?The community brings the third Biannual day-long mela – where cafes, restaurants, studios, art galleries, fashion houses and concept stores across the urban village throw open their doors and bring in Diwali festivities with a mad mix of music, food, drinks and entertainment. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This year Open House turns it up a notch with a mega music theme, as all participating outlets will be setting up live performances; expect DJ sets, acoustic guitar bands, accapella groups and local music crews tearing up the streets.   As for culture vultures and retail junkies  – there are new fashion winter collections, promotional offers, free gifts and punch. Sam Miller, a local resident and the author of Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity and Blue Guide India will lead a walk through the neighborhood of Shahpur Jat. The main park in Shahpur Jat will house a carnival for kids, complete with bouncy castles, merry-go-rounds and carousels. Look out for contemporary street performers, pop-up bakeshops, retro photobooths, rustic retail therapy as ‘thelas’ with designer-ware traverse the streets. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith forty stores participating this year Vivita Relan, the mind behind the Open House explains the objective. ‘ Shahpur Jat has always been a tucked away little village despite it being in the centre of South Delhi; always the poor little ugly step sister, wrong-side of the tracks to the other burgeoning urban village Hauz Khas, which seemed to be the darling of the alternative, liberal arts publications, but no heed was paid to poor little SPJ. This meant it had low rents, despite its central location, and hence attracted a motley eclectic mix of fashion designers, graphic designers, artists and its studios, photographers, event planners, yoga studios, social entrepreneurs and interior design outfits. Later, some of these graduated to commercial retail outlets, which were floundering because of the lack of footfalls. The market was known as the poor man’s answer to shaadi kapde; so to publicise the word that the market was also filled with other super cool, indie stores and cafes that had a unique, creative offering, the Open house was created by 6 store owners: Lila, The Wishing Chair, Alecca Carrano, Olivia Dar, Second Floor Studio and Les Parisiennes,’ she says.With bake sales, tarot card readers, some great eats and even better shopping options – pick up a map and don’t miss this!last_img read more

Consensual sex not rape Nagaland says in report to Centre

first_imgAccording to agency reports, the girl went with the accused on her own. This is what was also claimed by the ‘rape accused’ Sayed Shareef in his statement to the police. He was in police custody for a day before being lynched last Thursday by a mob. He was later buried on Sunday at his home town, Karimganj in Assam. Shareef’s family has alleged that he was framed.Meanwhile, four more persons have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the lynching of the rape accused. On the other hand, authorities relaxed prohibitory orders for 12 hours. Internet and SMS/MMS services, however, continued to be blocked. Police said four more persons were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the lynching. A total of 47 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kohima, Kakheto said.Shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices opened as the prohibitory order was lifted from 6 AM to 6 PM on Wednesday. Vehicles plied on the road and large number of people thronged markets.last_img read more

Football meet to mark Niveditas 150th birth anniversary

first_imgKolkata: Commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita, a football tournament between schools of Ramakrishna Mission in Bengal was organised at the playground of Belur Math Vidyamandir in which 16 teams participated. The initiative was taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The final match between Ramakrishna Mission Boys’ Home High School, Rahara, and Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir (ERMS), Jhargram, was held on Saturday. Swami Gautamananda, vice-president, Swami Suvirananda, general secretary and Swami Balabhadrananda, assistant general secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and Howrah’s MP Prasun Banerjee were present during the football match in which both the teams scored one goal each till the first half. Ramakrishna Mission Boys’ Home High School, Rahara, became the winner of the tournament defeating Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir (ERMS), Jhargram, in a tiebreaker. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsWith the Chief Minister’s inspiration and serious efforts of the MP, the tournament was organised in which the 16 teams played since May 20 to qualify for the final. It may be mentioned that football in Bengal has received a new lease of life with several initiatives taken up by the Mamata Banerjee government in the past seven years. From providing financial assistance to clubs, a large section of which is involved in providing football training, to the creation of necessary infrastructure to encourage sports activities have helped in creating a wider platform for football players and athletes. The state government has even distributed Joyee footballs. Prasun Banerjee said: “There will be efforts to organise a college-level football tournament in September and the all-India level one will be held in winter.”last_img read more

JashneRekhta Urdu festival gears up for second edition

first_imgJashn-e-Rekhta, a festival celebrating Urdu is gearing up for its second edition in a bigger venue with a line up of acclaimed authors, poets, artists, litterateurs and singers.Over 75 participants from India, Pakistan and the US are set to attend the festival to be held from February 12-14 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts here, organisers said in a statement today.Gopi Chand Narang, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Iftikhar Arif, Zehra Nigah, Javed Akhtar, Jeelani Bano, Mahesh Bhatt, Shabana Azmi, Tom Alter, Sabri Brothers, Tina Sani, Ashok Vajpeyi, Namvar Singh are a few names in the line up. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival aims to showcase the richness of Urdu through various forms like Mushaira, Qawwali, Dastangoi, Ghazals besides numerous film screenings, dances, plays and more. The renowned Sabri Brothers from Rajasthan famous for their Qawwali, are set to open the festival on February 12 with their performance.A special highlight of the festival will be the birth centenary celebration of legendary Urdu writers Ismat Chugtai and Rajinder Singh Bedi, known as the pillars of Urdu fiction. The event has also planned a celebration for the birth centenary of Akhtar-ul-Iman, famed for his modern Urdu Nazms. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe event, organisers said drew over 20,000 visitors last year and had hosted eminent personalities like Zia Mohyeddin, Javed Akhtar, M K Raina, Muzaffar Ali, Nandita Das besides legends of Urdu literature Shamsur Rahman Farooqui, Gopi Chand Narang and Intizaar Hussain amongst many others. Besides interactions and discussion on tracks on films, art and culture, the upcoming edition has also lined up a food court with authentic cuisines like Kashmiri, Deccani, Hyderabadi, Lucknowi and Purani Dilli. A special focus is a children’s corner that will have storytelling, dastangoi, audio installations, fun drawing and other interesting activities aimed at reviving Urdu literature among children. Ghazal singer from Pakistan Tina Sani is set to perform at the festival and other attraction at the festival is Urdu Bazaar, a special area dedicated to brass artifacts, variety of Itra (fragrances), film posters and much more. The festival is being organised by the Rekhta foundation, which curates one of largest online repository of Urdu poetry in the world at Rekhta.org Sanjiv Saraf, founder Rekhta.org and the force behind Jashn-e-Rekhta says, “Jashn-e-Rekhta is a manifestation of our belief in the versatility, richness and the timeless beauty of Urdu. The success of its debut last year is a testimony to this belief. We were overwhelmed to see lovers of Urdu coming together to feel and experience its beauty through the savants of the language.”last_img read more

LPG tanker explodes after headon collision with heavy truck 2 killed

first_imgKolkata: A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) and an LPG tanker collided head-on at Kona Expressway in Howrah on the wee hours of Thursday.Immediately after the collision, both the vehicles went up in flames, resulting in blasting of the LPG tanker. The drivers of both the vehicles burnt to death while being seated inside. According to the police, around 3:40 am on Thursday, a Kolkata-bound LPG tanker filled with gas collided head-on with an HGV carrying iron material near Garfa rail bridge. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDue to friction a fire broke out and immediately spread on both the vehicles. As the fire came in contact with the highly inflammable LPG tanker, the tanker burst. Later, multiple sounds of blast could been heard around 2 km away from the accident spot. The fire spread on some temporary street side shops. During the incident an on-duty traffic police constable Chandu Sardar got seriously burnt. He was taken to Howrah District hospital. Later, he was been shifted to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital with 80% burn injury. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedFire brigade arrived within a few moments. Primarily, four fire tenders were pressed in to action. Later, two more fire tenders were sent. The fire fighters were able to control the flames around 7:30 am. Later, the fire fighters recovered two charred bodies from the driving seats of the vehicles. “We were sleeping when we heard multiple loud explosions. We came running to the spot and saw that a HGV and gas tanker collided and were up in flames,” said a local resident. Due to the blast the flames went up so high that the High Tension (HT) electricity line of West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (WBSETCL) got affected. The HT wire melted and fell on the South Eastern Railway’s overhead wire in Howrah-Amta section and as a result the railway overhead connection tripped between Santragachi/Mourigram and Bankranawabaz rail station. Train services got disrupted. Two pairs of Howrah Amta local were cancelled. As HT wire of State Electricity had fallen on the railway wire between Santragachi/Mourigram and Bankranawabaz, the train services in Amta section were disrupted. Early morning EMU locals between Howrah/Santragachi and Amta have been cancelled. “Considering the ground situation another pair of Amta local was Cancelled. Overhead electrical connection resumed at 7:35 am and only after that train services in Amta section resumed,” said spokesperson from South Eastern Railway. Not only train services but also the Kolkata flank of National Highway 2 and 6 got choked for more than five hours. After the fire was doused, Howrah Police managed to clear the road within an hour. Around 8:30 normal vehicular movement resumed. But it took more than three hours to ease the traffic congestion in the area.last_img read more