Monthly Archives: August 2019

LG unveils FPR polarized 3D television

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first_imgFPR 3D panel. Image credit: LG LG aims to secure 25 percent of world 3D TV market The new technology is dubbed FPR for Film Patterned Retarder, which is said to be vastly superior to previous 3D liquid crystal display (LCD) systems. The current system uses a frame sequential method and the display is viewed using liquid crystal shutter glasses (SG). The new technology uses a polarized film substrate in the panel and is viewed using polarized film glasses. Using film instead of glass as a substrate for the patterned retarder panel also cuts the costs of the system considerably. The new technology reduces the vertical resolution to half that of a panel and produces a near-4K resolution full high definition 3D picture that is extremely sharp and bright. The system was demonstrated at the press conference on an 84-inch display.The polarized film glasses eliminate the flicker and crosstalk problems associated with shutter glasses. The glasses do not require power from batteries or USB charge, and are also lighter and more comfortable than SG and emit no electromagnetic radiation, which means viewers can use the glasses for hours without discomfort. A representative of the Beijing Ophthalmology Research Institute presented the results of a comparison of FPR technology to SG. The study included 38 adult subjects, and found that the FPR system produced less eye fatigue than the SG.Chief Executive Officer of LG Display, Young Soo Kwon, said at the conference that the company was launching the “FPR 3D era” in China and will focus on the new technology because the company believes FPR is superior “in all aspects” to the previous 3D systems. According to Yang Dong Wen, vice president of Skyworth, a leading company in the Chinese LCD television market, FPR 3D products are clearly different to existing 3D televisions, and their introduction should see China’s 3D television market expand to more than eight million units in the coming year. The FPR system should also boost sales of 3D televisions because it will solve many of the problems in demonstrating 3D TVs in stores, such as dead batteries in the 3D glasses, synchronization errors, and occasional interruptions that occur when several 3D televisions are placed near to each other.LG Display said the company is aiming to achieve 70 percent of 3D LCD television sales in 2011 with the help of FPR technology. LG high definition (HD) televisions featuring FPR technology are already in production and will go on sale early in the new year, followed by the US in February, and then Europe and the UK in April or May.Other participants at the conference agreed to cooperate with LG Display to promote the sales of polarized 3D LCD televisions next year. The major companies represented included LG Electronics, Toshiba, Vizio, Skyworth, Changhong, TCL, Konka and Hisense. (PhysOrg.com) — LCD manufacturer LG Display has unveiled its new polarized three-dimensional television technology to 250 participants at a launch press conference in Beijing, China. Explore furthercenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: LG unveils FPR polarized 3D television (2010, December 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-lg-unveils-fpr-polarized-3d.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

Splitcycle engine now more efficient than traditional combustion engine w Video

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first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Split-cycle engines have been around for some time but until now have never matched the fuel efficiency of traditional internal combustion engines. That is about to change, with the latest split-cycle engines from the Scuderi Group offering greater fuel efficiency and up to 80 percent reduction in NOx emissions and 50 percent reduction in CO2. Split-cycle engines feature paired cylinders, so a four-cylinder engine has two sets of paired cylinders working together, with a crossover passage linking the two cylinders in each pair to each other. The four strokes of the engine are split into two groups, with the left cylinder handling intake and compression and the second handling combustion and exhaust. The Scuderi™ Air-Hybrid design adds an air storage tank and controls that allow it to recapture and store the energy lost as the engine operates.The new design solves some of the problems that have hampered previous split-cycle designs. The low volume breathing problem is solved by outward-opening pneumatic valves and a reduction in the clearance between the piston and cylinder head to under 1 mm, which means virtually 100 percent of the compressed air is pushed out of the cylinder. Split Cycle Engine. Image: Scuderi Group 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Scuderi president Sal Scuderi, son of the inventor Carmelo Scuderi who died in 2002, said he expected efficiencies should improve still further as the designs are fine-tuned and new simulations are run with the engines in different vehicles.The Scuderi engine can be built using conventional parts and minimal re-tooling is necessary, which makes it easier for manufacturers to adopt it. Scuderi says the technology should be licensed and on the road within three years. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Video: Scuderi Group The thermal efficiency problem of previous designs has been solved by adopting After Top Dead Center (ATDC) firing, which avoids losses caused by recompressing the gas. Firing ATDC is achieved by high pressure air entering the cylinder and resulting in massive turbulence. Firing ATDC is a cleaner burn that also dramatically reduces NOx emissions and improves fuel efficiency.The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been testing a 1-liter, two-cylinder engine for almost a year. The preliminary results suggest a 30-36 percent increase in fuel efficiency for the naturally aspirated Scuderi™ Air-Hybrid and a 25 percent increase for the base model. The test engine generates 135 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, which is similar to results of bigger and more fuel-hungry cars. Citation: Split-cycle engine now more efficient than traditional combustion engine (w/ Video) (2011, January 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-split-cycle-efficient-traditional-combustion.html Engineer works to clean and improve engine performance Engine Prototype. Image: Scuderi Group © 2010 PhysOrg.com Play Video: Scuderi Group The US government is introducing fuel economy rules to force manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles, and this may make the adoption of alternatives such as the Scuderi engines more attractive. More information: www.scuderigroup.com/our-engines/last_img read more

Why nuclear power will never supply the worlds energy needs

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first_img As Abbott notes in his study, global power consumption today is about 15 terawatts (TW). Currently, the global nuclear power supply capacity is only 375 gigawatts (GW). In order to examine the large-scale limits of nuclear power, Abbott estimates that to supply 15 TW with nuclear only, we would need about 15,000 nuclear reactors. In his analysis, Abbott explores the consequences of building, operating, and decommissioning 15,000 reactors on the Earth, looking at factors such as the amount of land required, radioactive waste, accident rate, risk of proliferation into weapons, uranium abundance and extraction, and the exotic metals used to build the reactors themselves.“A nuclear power station is resource-hungry and, apart from the fuel, uses many rare metals in its construction,” Abbott told PhysOrg.com. “The dream of a utopia where the world is powered off fission or fusion reactors is simply unattainable. Even a supply of as little as 1 TW stretches resources considerably.”His findings, some of which are based on the results of previous studies, are summarized below.Land and location: One nuclear reactor plant requires about 20.5 km2 (7.9 mi2) of land to accommodate the nuclear power station itself, its exclusion zone, its enrichment plant, ore processing, and supporting infrastructure. Secondly, nuclear reactors need to be located near a massive body of coolant water, but away from dense population zones and natural disaster zones. Simply finding 15,000 locations on Earth that fulfill these requirements is extremely challenging.Lifetime: Every nuclear power station needs to be decommissioned after 40-60 years of operation due to neutron embrittlement – cracks that develop on the metal surfaces due to radiation. If nuclear stations need to be replaced every 50 years on average, then with 15,000 nuclear power stations, one station would need to be built and another decommissioned somewhere in the world every day. Currently, it takes 6-12 years to build a nuclear station, and up to 20 years to decommission one, making this rate of replacement unrealistic. (PhysOrg.com) — The 440 commercial nuclear reactors in use worldwide are currently helping to minimize our consumption of fossil fuels, but how much bigger can nuclear power get? In an analysis to be published in a future issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE, Derek Abbott, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia, has concluded that nuclear power cannot be globally scaled to supply the world’s energy needs for numerous reasons. The results suggest that we’re likely better off investing in other energy solutions that are truly scalable. 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. Nuclear waste: Although nuclear technology has been around for 60 years, there is still no universally agreed mode of disposal. It’s uncertain whether burying the spent fuel and the spent reactor vessels (which are also highly radioactive) may cause radioactive leakage into groundwater or the environment via geological movement.Accident rate: To date, there have been 11 nuclear accidents at the level of a full or partial core-melt. These accidents are not the minor accidents that can be avoided with improved safety technology; they are rare events that are not even possible to model in a system as complex as a nuclear station, and arise from unforeseen pathways and unpredictable circumstances (such as the Fukushima accident). Considering that these 11 accidents occurred during a cumulated total of 14,000 reactor-years of nuclear operations, scaling up to 15,000 reactors would mean we would have a major accident somewhere in the world every month.Proliferation: The more nuclear power stations, the greater the likelihood that materials and expertise for making nuclear weapons may proliferate. Although reactors have proliferation resistance measures, maintaining accountability for 15,000 reactor sites worldwide would be nearly impossible.Uranium abundance: At the current rate of uranium consumption with conventional reactors, the world supply of viable uranium, which is the most common nuclear fuel, will last for 80 years. Scaling consumption up to 15 TW, the viable uranium supply will last for less than 5 years. (Viable uranium is the uranium that exists in a high enough ore concentration so that extracting the ore is economically justified.)Uranium extraction from seawater: Uranium is most often mined from the Earth’s crust, but it can also be extracted from seawater, which contains large quantities of uranium (3.3 ppb, or 4.6 trillion kg). Theoretically, that amount would last for 5,700 years using conventional reactors to supply 15 TW of power. (In fast breeder reactors, which extend the use of uranium by a factor of 60, the uranium could last for 300,000 years. However, Abbott argues that these reactors’ complexity and cost makes them uncompetitive.) Moreover, as uranium is extracted, the uranium concentration of seawater decreases, so that greater and greater quantities of water are needed to be processed in order to extract the same amount of uranium. Abbott calculates that the volume of seawater that would need to be processed would become economically impractical in much less than 30 years.Exotic metals: The nuclear containment vessel is made of a variety of exotic rare metals that control and contain the nuclear reaction: hafnium as a neutron absorber, beryllium as a neutron reflector, zirconium for cladding, and niobium to alloy steel and make it last 40-60 years against neutron embrittlement. Extracting these metals raises issues involving cost, sustainability, and environmental impact. In addition, these metals have many competing industrial uses; for example, hafnium is used in microchips and beryllium by the semiconductor industry. If a nuclear reactor is built every day, the global supply of these exotic metals needed to build nuclear containment vessels would quickly run down and create a mineral resource crisis. This is a new argument that Abbott puts on the table, which places resource limits on all future-generation nuclear reactors, whether they are fueled by thorium or uranium.As Abbott notes, many of these same problems would plague fusion reactors in addition to fission reactors, even though commercial fusion is still likely a long way off. Of course, not many nuclear advocates are calling for a complete nuclear utopia, in which nuclear power supplies the entire world’s energy needs. But many nuclear advocates suggest that we should produce 1 TW of power from nuclear energy, which may be feasible, at least in the short term. However, if one divides Abbott’s figures by 15, one still finds that 1 TW is barely feasible. Therefore, Abbott argues that, if this technology cannot be fundamentally scaled further than 1 TW, perhaps the same investment would be better spent on a fully scalable technology.“Due to the cost, complexity, resource requirements, and tremendous problems that hang over nuclear power, our investment dollars would be more wisely placed elsewhere,” Abbott said. “Every dollar that goes into nuclear power is dollar that has been diverted from assisting the rapid uptake of a safe and scalable solution such as solar thermal.”Solar thermal devices harness the Sun’s energy to produce heat that creates steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity. Solar thermal technology avoids many of the scalability problems facing nuclear technology. For instance, although a solar thermal farm requires a little more land area than the equivalent nuclear power infrastructure, it can be located in unused desert areas. It also uses safer, more abundant materials. Most importantly, solar thermal can be scaled to produce not just 15 TW, but hundreds of TW if it would ever be required.However, the biggest problem with solar thermal technology is cloudy days and nighttime. Abbott plans to investigate a number of storage solutions for this intermittency problem, which also plagues other renewable energy solutions such as wind power, in a future study. In the transition period, he suggests that the dual-use of natural gas with solar thermal farms is the pathway to building our future energy infrastructure. Lack of fuel may limit US nuclear power expansion Citation: Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs (2011, May 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-nuclear-power-world-energy.htmlcenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: Derek Abbott. “Is nuclear power globally scalable?” Proceedings of the IEEE. To be published. Nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic. Image credit: Petr Adamek. 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One Codex in open beta for genomic data search

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first_img Journal information: Nature Biotechnology Data, data everywhere and now as ever researchers need the best tools to make the data useful. In medicine, searching through genomic data can take some time. A startup called One Codex hopes to make difference with their genetic search platform that can process data sets quickly. A report on their work on Friday in TechCrunch noted the advantage of One Codex speed. “Currently,” wrote Julian Chokkattu, “the most commonly used tool for genome searching is by using an algorithm called BLAST, Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, which compares primary biological sequence information.” For Nick Greenfield, cofounder of One Codex, uploading a file to BLAST took two minutes and 30 seconds to process, compared with the One Codex system where the number was less than 1/20th of a second. The company defines One Codex as a search engine for genomic data. The TechCrunch piece describes what they offer as a service platform for genomics. Apart from using search technology,” said Chokkattu, the platform also acts as an indexed, curated reference. © 2014 Phys.org Searching genomic data faster with new algorithm More information: One Codex: onecodex.com/ 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. Citation: One Codex in open beta for genomic data search (2014, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-codex-beta-genomic.html The company said that it can search the world’s largest index of bacterial, viral, and fungal genomes. A key advantage is speed. The product can, said the company, “process next-generation datasets in minutes, not days (millions of DNA base pairs per second).”The two founders are Nick Greenfield, former data scientist, and Nik Krumm, who has a PhD in genome sciences from the University of Washington.Sample applications would be in clinical diagnostics, food safety and biosecurity. Right now, said TechCrunch, the company is focusing on testing their platform with hospitals and agencies. One Codex is in open beta.Scientific interest in being able to search genomic data faster has been in evidence for some years. In 2012, MIT’s news office reported on a study in Nature Biotechnology, where MIT and Harvard researchers described an algorithm “that drastically reduces the time it takes to find a particular gene sequence in a database of genomes. Moreover, the more genomes it’s searching, the greater the speedup it affords, so its advantages will only compound as more data is generated.” The authors of that paper, titled “Compressive genomics,” said, “In the past two decades, genomic sequencing capabilities have increased exponentially, outstripping advances in computing power. Extracting new insights from the data sets currently being generated will require not only faster computers, but also smarter algorithms.” They stated that although compression schemes for BLAST and BLAT that they presented yield an increase in computational speed and in scaling, “they are only a first step.”last_img read more

Purring tempo sliding notes grab cats attention

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first_img More information: www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com … (15)00060-X/abstract Citation: Purring tempo, sliding notes grab cats’ attention (2015, February 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-purring-tempo-cats-attention.html Is there such a thing as cat-centric music, which is pleasing music to cats’ ears? Explore further Credit: Wikipedia Cat shelter findings: Less stress with box access The journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science has published online a study by a team from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and University of Maryland. They worked to produce cat-centric music and tried it out on domestic cats.”We looked at the natural vocalizations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices,” lead author Charles Snowdon said in Discovery News. “We incorporated tempos that we thought cats would find interesting—the tempo of purring in one piece and the tempo of suckling in another—and since cats use lots of sliding frequencies in their calls, the cat music had many more sliding notes than the human music.” The journal carrying their study is the official journal of the International Society for Applied Ethology. Their research approach involved observations of 47 domestic cats hearing two types of music—one type relaxing classical music pleasing to humans (Gabriel Fauré’s Elegie and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on a G String) and the other type, specially created cat music. What were the results? “While the relaxing classical music did not freak out the felines, they basically ignored it, showing no interest whatsoever,” said Discovery News. The cat music grabbed their attention. “Cats possess scent glands along their tails, on each side of their head, between their front paws and on other parts of their body. When a cat rubs something or someone, prior research concludes this means the cat is claiming that thing or individual. In this case, the cats appeared to be trying to claim the music, represented by the speaker playing it,” said Discovery News. “They did not rub against the speakers when the Bach and Fauré pieces were played.”Most of the cats in the study were mixed breeds; it was not possible to examine if certain breeds liked music more than others. Also, the researchers discovered that younger and older cats responded more to the feline-specific music than middle-aged cats. Could the findings support useful applications? Cats experience stress in cat shelters. Their work may have relevance for shelter cats, especially those accustomed to human companionship. Snowden said in Discovery News that there was “some research showing that cats experience separation anxiety, which is greater in human-raised cats than in feral cats.” The authors in their study wrote that “The results suggest novel and more appropriate ways for using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals.” Beyond cats, other animals have been explored for musical response, as researchers seek to learn more about responses to music by species other than human. Co-author of this cat study, David Teie, who is a musician and composer, has explored cognitive processes involved in music appreciation. Working with Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin, they have studied “species-specific music” and looked at its effect on tamarin monkeys. The website “Music for Cats” describes their work. They performed tests at the University of Wisconsin using response to human music as their experimental control. Included in observed behaviors were locomotion, vocalization, scent marking, female solicitation, foraging and speaker orientation. As for the tamarins, they showed a lack of interest in the human music. By contrast, the effect on them of the species-specific music composed by David Teie was reported as clear and convincing. “They displayed a marked increase of activity in response to the music that was designed to excite them, while the ‘tamarin ballad’ music induced a significant calming. This calming effect was measured against the baseline of silence; they moved and vocalized less and orientated more toward the audio speakers during and immediately following the playing of the tamarin ballad.” © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A peek into the merging galaxy cluster Abell 3888

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first_img(Phys.org)—Studying substructures of galaxy clusters can reveal important information about the morphology and evolution processes of these gravity-bound groups of galaxies. Optical spectroscopy is very helpful in this matter, capable of unraveling the history of large-scale structure formation in the universe. That’s why a team of astronomers from New Zealand conducted a series of spectroscopic observations to peek into the galaxy cluster Abell 3888, unveiling that this cluster is dynamically young and might be an indicator of an ongoing or past merger event. A paper detailing the findings was published online on Feb. 11 on the arXiv pre-print server. In galaxy clustering, mass may not be the only thing that matters Citation: A peek into the merging galaxy cluster Abell 3888 (2016, February 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-peek-merging-galaxy-cluster-abell.html Explore further © 2016 Phys.org More information: An Optical Analysis of the Merging Cluster Abell 3888, arXiv:1602.03756 [astro-ph.CO] arxiv.org/abs/1602.03756AbstractIn this paper we present new AAOmega spectroscopy of 254 galaxies within a 30′ radius around Abell 3888. We combine these data with the existing redshifts measured in a one degree radius around the cluster and performed a substructure analysis. We confirm 71 member galaxies within the core of A3888 and determine a new average redshift and velocity dispersion for the cluster of 0.1535 +- 0.0009 and 1181 +- 197 km/s, respectively. The cluster is elongated along an East-West axis and we find the core is bimodal along this axis with two sub-groups of 26 and 41 members detected. Our results suggest that A3888 is a merging system putting to rest the previous conjecture about the morphological status of the cluster derived from X-ray observations. In addition to the results on A3888 we also present six newly detected galaxy over-densities in the field, three of which we classify as new galaxy clusters. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The team, led by Associate Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, has used the AAOmega spectrograph installed on the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) situated at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Thanks to the spectrograph’s 400 fibres covering a two-degree field when projected on sky, it is an excellent instrument for examining the optical substructure in nearby southern clusters.The researchers carried out their observations in May 2013. They were initially targeting nearly 800 galaxies up to 30′ radius from the centre of the cluster. In result, the team detected 254 new redshifts in this region and in combination with previous findings, they determined that Abell 3888, as the main structure, has 71 member galaxies. Importantly, the astronomers were able to identify substructures in the field that were very helpful in unraveling the merging nature of this galaxy cluster.”The combination of pieces of evidence from the optical analysis, the elongated optical galaxy distribution, and our substructure test which showed that Abell 3888 is bimodal strongly suggests that this cluster has had dynamical interactions and is highly likely to be a young cluster in an active merging state,” the paper reads.Galaxies and galaxy groups come together and merge to form larger units such as galaxy clusters. Cluster merging is believed to be a key parameter in formation and evolution of galaxy clusters. The process is very common and has a significant impact on cluster characteristics such as velocity dispersion, temperature and mass. It often generates clumps of galaxies within the cluster volume. This change in galaxy volumetric density is known as “substructure.””Substructures may be formed through the infall of individual galaxies or galaxy groups into a relaxed cluster or during the merging of two or more entire galaxy clusters,” the researchers wrote in the paper.Currently, the most robust method to detect merging is the combination of the optical and X-ray substructure analyses of clusters. Therefore, Shakouri and her colleagues underline that results from spectroscopic observations of Abell 3888 are consistent with previous findings from the X-ray studies focused on unveiling morphology of galaxy clusters.In addition, the team also detected six galaxy over-densities in the field. Three of them were classified as new galaxy clusters.The researchers concluded that further spectroscopic analysis of Abell 3888 would be useful to further probe its dynamics. They also stressed the need for single slit spectroscopy or more usefully observations with an integral field unit are required to increase the spectroscopic coverage in the cluster core. “This would allow a more detailed probe of the cluster core and better statistics on the merging populations,” the scientists noted. 10 arcmin x 10 arcmin field showing luminosity (top) and temperature (bottom) maps of Abell 3888 before (left) and after (right) point source removal. The color scale in the luminosity map is set so that white corresponds to the maximum cluster flux. The point source is 100 times brighter than this level. The scale in the temperature map ranges from 2 to 10 keV. Credit: Andersson, K. et al., 2009.last_img read more

Physicists discover an infinite number of quantum speed limits

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first_img More information: Diego Paiva Pires et al. “Generalized Geometric Quantum Speed Limits.” Physical Review X. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.6.021031 Illustration of geometric quantum speed limits. The ultimate speed limit arises from the length of the shortest geodesic path between two states, which here is the solid red line. This distance corresponds to the minimum time needed for a system to evolve from one state to another. Credit: Diego Paiva Pires et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review X 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. Physicists quantify the usefulness of ‘quantum weirdness’ Citation: Physicists discover an infinite number of quantum speed limits (2016, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-physicists-infinite-quantum-limits.htmlcenter_img Although physicists have been investigating different quantum speed limits for different types of quantum systems, it has not been clear what the best way to do this is, or how many different quantum speed limits there are.Now in a new paper published in Physical Review X, Diego Paiva Pires et al., from the UK and Brazil, have used techniques from information geometry to show that there are an infinite number of quantum speed limits. They also develop a way to determine which of these speed limits are the strictest, or in other words, which speed limits offer the tightest lower bounds. As the researchers explain, the search for the ultimate quantum speed limits is closely related to the very nature of time itself. “In recent years, there has been an intense theoretical and experimental research activity to understand, on one hand, a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics such as time, and to devise, on the other hand, efficient schemes for the implementation of quantum technologies,” coauthor Gerardo Adesso, at the University of Nottingham, told Phys.org. “A basic question that combines and underpins both areas of research is: ‘How fast can a quantum system evolve in time?’ Establishing general and tight quantum speed limits is crucial to assess how fast quantum technologies can ultimately be, and can accordingly guide in the design of more efficient protocols operating at or close to the ultimate bounds.” In order to determine how fast a quantum system can evolve from one state to another, it’s necessary to be able to distinguish between the two states, and there are multiple ways to do this. In the new study, the physicists used a general method based on information geometry. From a geometric perspective, two distinguishable states can be represented by two points on the surface of some shape, such as a sphere or other manifold. Previous research has shown that there are an infinite number of corresponding metrics that can be used to measure the distinguishability of two quantum states.In the new study, the physicists have shown that each of these metrics corresponds to a different quantum speed limit. The “strictest” quantum speed limit is determined by the metric that gives the shortest distance (also known as a ‘geodesic’) between the two points, or states, as measured along the manifold’s curved surface. “A different quantum speed limit arises from each of these metrics in such a way that the tightest bound for a given dynamics is specified by the metric whose geodesic is best tailored to the given dynamical path,” explained coauthor Marco Cianciaruso, also at Nottingham.Overall, the new approach unifies most of the previous results by interpreting them under a single, new framework. On one hand, the researchers could derive the tightest bounds to date on quantum speed limits for some relevant instances, such as quantum bits undergoing dissipative and decohering evolutions. On the other hand, they could also show that bounds that have been previously proposed for other instances are truly the optimal bounds—no tighter bounds will ever be found. In the future, the researchers plan to experimentally investigate the quantum speed limits derived here using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. “Our findings are expected to have an impact on the fields of quantum information, computation, simulation, and metrology,” said Diogo Soares-Pinto at the Sao Carlos Institute of Physics, who supervised the project. (Phys.org)—In order to determine how fast quantum technologies can ultimately operate, physicists have established the concept of “quantum speed limits.” Quantum speed limits impose limitations on how fast a quantum system can transition from one state to another, so that such a transition requires a minimum amount of time (typically on the order of nanoseconds). This means, for example, that a future quantum computer will not be able to perform computations faster than a certain time determined by these limits. © 2016 Phys.org Explore furtherlast_img read more

Digitally printed cyanobacteria can power small electronic devices

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first_img © 2017 Phys.org Explore further Demonstration of inkjet-printed bioenergy wallpaper. 1: Printed photosynthetic organisms in green; 2: Printed CNT anode; 3: Printed CNT cathode; 4: Paper substrate; 5: Solid medium. Credit: M. Sawa et al. Nature Communications The scientists, at Imperial College London and University of Cambridge, have published a paper on the new biophotovoltaic cell in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”Our biophotovoltaic device is biodegradable and in the future could serve as a disposable solar panel and battery that can decompose in our composts or gardens,” coauthor Marin Sawa at University of Arts London and Imperial College London told Phys.org. “Cheap, accessible, environmentally friendly, biodegradable batteries without any heavy metals and plastics—this is what we and our environment really need but don’t have just yet, and our work has shown that it is possible to have that.”In general, biophotovoltaic cells contain some type of cyanobacteria or algae that is phototrophic, meaning it converts light into energy. However, even in the dark these organisms continue to generate some energy by metabolizing their internal storage reserves. So when the organisms are connected to a non-biological electrode, they can function as either a “bio solar panel” when exposed to light or a “solar bio-battery” in the dark.Currently one of the biggest challenges facing biophotovoltaic cells is producing them on a large scale. Typically, the organisms are deposited onto an electrode surface from a bulky liquid reservoir. In the new study, the researchers demonstrated that inkjet printing can be used to print both the carbon nanotube electrode surface and the cyanobacteria on top of it, while allowing the bacteria to remain fully viable. This approach not only allows the cells to be fabricated quickly, but the set-up is also more compact and allows for greater precision in cell design.With these advantages, the inkjet-printed biophotovoltaic cells can generate a maximum current density that is 3-4 times higher than cells fabricated using conventional methods. To demonstrate, the researchers showed that nine connected cells can power a digital clock or generate flashes of light from an LED, illustrating the ability to produce short bursts of relatively high power. The researchers also showed that the cells can generate a continuous power output over the course of a 100-hour period consisting of light and dark cycles.In the future, the researchers plan to develop thin-film biophotovoltaic (BPV) panels and also explore potential applications as integrated power supplies in the areas of point-of-care medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring, both of which benefit from disposable, environmentally friendly biosensors. Another potential application is a bioenergy wallpaper.”The bioenergy wallpaper is a scaled-up application of our BPV system,” Sawa said. “The wallpaper will have carbon-based conductive patterns with electron-producing cyanobacteria. It turns an interior surface into an energy harvester to drive low-power applications like LED lights and/or biosensors, which can, for example, monitor indoor air quality.”The researchers also expect that the power output of the cells can be improved in a variety of ways, such as by improving circuit conductivity, optimizing cell design, and using more resilient organisms. More information: Sawa, M., Fantuzzi, A., Bombelli, P., Howe, C., Hellgardt, K., Nixon, P. “Electricity generation from digitally printed cyanobacteria.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01084-4 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.center_img (Phys.org)—Researchers have used a simple inkjet printer to print a “bio-ink” of cyanobacteria onto a conductive surface, creating a biophotovoltaic cell. Unlike conventional photovoltaic cells that operate only when exposed to light, the cyanobacteria can generate an electric current both in the dark and in response to light. The researchers expect that the cell may serve as an environmentally friendly power supply for low-power devices such as biosensors, and can even be scaled up to print a bioenergy wallpaper. Citation: Digitally printed cyanobacteria can power small electronic devices (2017, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-digitally-cyanobacteria-power-small-electronic.html Researchers develop wallpaper bio-solar panel Journal information: Nature Communicationslast_img read more

Riding the spirit of freedom

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first_imgP K Goyal, Director Finance, Indian Oil Corporation Limited flagged off the IndianOil sponsored Spirit of Freedom Motorbike Expedition of Pathfinders to Ladakh on Monday. T.S. Khwaja, General Manager Incharge, Delhi State Office, Indian Oil was also present on the occasion.As part of their motto, ‘Adventure for Social Outreach’, Pathfinders would donate laptops, stationery, sports gear, solar lamps and generators to government schools in its route along borders with Pakistan and China. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’P K Goyal lauded the efforts of the Pathfinders in embarking on an expedition which promises to make a difference to the people living in remote Himalayan region. One of the notable clutch of schools is in Turtuk, the northernmost village in the country that was liberated from Pakistan in 1971. Another school worth mentioning is at Sato in Durbuk block run for children of nomadic tribes. Goyal handed over the items for the schools to bikers before flagging off the expedition in the presence of IndianOil GM In-Charge, Delhi and Haryana State Office, Talib S Khwaja. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis year the expedition would visit Turtuk Village in Nurba Valley and Trishul village in Leh along with other locations. A troop of seven bikes with eleven members would roughly cover 3600 Kms in a span of 15 days. The aim of this expedition is to spread awareness about environment degradation in the Himayalas among the school children in the remote villages of Ladakh as well as to reach out to the underprivileged in these inaccessible and hilly areas. IndianOil has a long tradition of intense commitment towards sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. The various CSR initiatives supported by IndianOil are all aimed to benefit the community and to fulfill the social responsibility.last_img read more

Grand finale

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first_imgThe fifth edition of the Delhi Classical Music Festival came to an end today with a performance by the iconic Pandit Jasraj and a soulful rendition of the traditional Sarod baaj by Pt. Narender Nath Dhar.The performances by Padma Vibhushan Pt Jasraj, and by Pt. Narender Nath Dhar of the Etawah Gharana brought down curtains over the event after five mesmerizing days of classical music display.Showcasing the best of India’s music traditions, the five-day festival of classical music saw several leading names in the field come together with some promising young exponent of classical music. From eminent Dhrupad singers Gundecha brothers; to the doyen of music Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, to Sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez, the festival witnessed some memorable performances. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Presented by the Department of Art, Culture & Languages, and organized by the Punjabi Academy, the Delhi Classical Music Festival offered an enriching experience to the connoisseurs of art in Delhi in furtherance of the efforts of the Government of Delhi to present and nurture our rich cultural heritage by presenting the finest and best that India has to offer to Delhi’s national and international audience.’We are very happy by the response the people have showed to the festival. At a time, when some people are concerned about modern pop culture overshadowing the Indian classical, we have numerous examples of young Indians who have taken to different genres of Indian classical music and enriched it with their contributions. It is important for us to celebrate India’s classical musical forms and take them to the younger generations. This will not only keep our art forms alive but also encourage the younger generation to absorb and adopt these traditions, said SS Yadav, Secretary, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Delhi Government.Over five days other vocalists and instrumentalists who performed at Kamani auditorium include Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar; Pt. Ajay Pohankar; Ustad Rashid Khan; Shri Bhuvanesh Komkali; Annupriya Deotale on the Violin; and Prem Kumar and P Vetri Boopathy on the Mridangam.last_img read more

Three including minor killed in 2 separate road accidents

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first_imgKolkata: Three teenagers were killed in two separate road accidents in the city on Saturday night.The first incident took place on Belghoria Express Way when two teenagers who were riding a motorcycle were hit by a speeding truck. The incident took place in Nimta area at around 10 pm on Saturday. Another youth who was riding pillion also received injuries in the accident.The victims have been identified as Abhisek Acharya (19) and Shivnath Tudu (19). Police said the victims, who were residents of Dum Dum Airport area, were returning home on a motorcycle when the accident took place. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to preliminary investigation, police suspect that they were riding the bike at a high speed as a result of which they could not control it when a truck suddenly came from the opposite direction. The incident might have occurred while taking a sharp turn on the Belghoria Express Way, police suspect.According to police, Tudu and Acharya died on spot after being knocked down by a loaded truck while another, identified as Ritwik Singh (17) suffered critical injuries in the accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice and locals rushed the injured victims to the College of Medicine and Sagar Dutta Hospital.Some of the locals heard a loud thud and found that the victims lying in a pool of blood. The driver of the truck fled the spot along with the vehicle immediately after the accident. Police have started a probe into the incident and conducting raids to nab the driver.In another incident, a 14-year-old boy who was returning home in a rickshaw along with his mother was killed after being hit by a speeding Tata Magic. The victim’s mother has been undergoing treatment in a private hospital. According to police, the victim, Sudiptonath Haldar (14) was returning home from private tuition along with his mother in a rickshaw when the accident occurred. When they were headedtowards Sanghashree ground near Garia station, the vehicle hit the rickshaw.The boy was rushed to the hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead. His mother, Rupa Haldar (35) received serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle fled the spot along with the vehicle after the accident. Police have started a probe.last_img read more

In a first AIIMS docs remove 17 kg tumour from womans abdomen

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first_imgIn a case that may be counted as first of its kind, a tumour weighing 17 kg was taken out from the abdomen of a 30-year-old woman suffering from a rare ovarian tumour (growing teratoma syndrome) by the doctors of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.  Experts claimed that it was the largest ovarian tumour removal in India till now and the case has been sent to be documented in Limca Book of Records. The biggest ovarian cyst removal in India till now mentioned in the Limca Book of Records is of 6.1 kg. N Devi, a native of Bihar was referred to AIIMS in December last year with huge abdominal tumour, which was growing rapidly and caused constant pain. The woman had developed a small cystic tumour in her right ovary, for which she had undergone ovarian cystectomy in Bihar in 2014, said Neerja Bhatla from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, AIIMS. “However, even after chemotherapy, the mass inside the abdomen kept growing progressively. In fact within 8-9 months the tumour had occupied whole of her abdomen and doctors had given up on the case,” Bhatla added.last_img read more

26 passengers injured in two separate road accidents

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first_imgKolkata: As many as 26 persons have been injured in two separate road accidents in the state on early Sunday morning.The first incident took place on National Highway 117 at Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas when a bus and a truck collided head on. Around 15 passengers were injured in the accident. They were rushed to a local hospital. There was huge traffic congestion in the area for quite a long time.According to police, a truck was headed towards Kakdwip from Diamond Harbour when a Kolkata-bound government bus coming from the opposite direction collided head on with the truck. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe driver of the bus lost control over the vehicle and eventually hit the truck. Both the driver and the helper of the bus were also injured.Locals took part in the rescue operation and rushed the injured persons to a nearby hospital. After being informed, police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. Other vehicles remained stranded on National Highway 117. Police seized both the vehicles.In another incident, around 11 passengers of two buses have received injuries when a state-run bus was hit by another state-run bus from behind.The incident took place near Dhubguri. According to police, the Balurghat-bound bus was standing near Cinema Hall More to de-board passengers when the other bus hit it from behind. Passengers were immediately rushed to a local health centre. A major tragedy was averted as the other bus was at a low speed and could slow down itself before it hit the bus.Ends.last_img read more

City hosts Dignity March to end victim shaming

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first_imgKolkata: In a collective bid to achieve 100 percent conviction rate in cases of sexual violence, Dignity March, a platform for the survivors of rape and sexual violence, conducted a campaign in Kolkata on Friday.Around thousands take part in this journey — aiming to cover 10,000 km across the country — with the aim to put an end to the culture of shame and fear among victims and instill the fear of conviction in culprits. “We need to support the victims of sexual crimes, especially in cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, as minors are vulnerable and need constant support from their families and society. In the past, our governments and laws have taken a reactive approach towards this issue but it is high time to take a robust proactive measure to create deterrence among “customers” who buy sex involving children. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalA 100 percent conviction rate is the only solution that can help us instill fear in culprits and put an end to this menace,” said Ashif Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March, at an event in Kolkata. The statistics of National Crime Record Bureau 2016 states that out of 15,379 victims trafficked in India, around 58.7 percent is children. Most of these children are trafficked for sex-work (or Commercial Sexual Exploitation). Dignity March is rooted in a national online survey conducted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan. The survey ‘Speak Out!’ was conducted to determine the intensity of sexual violence against women and children and gave the survivors an opportunity to raise their voice against such atrocities. The survey revealed that an alarming number of people have faced sexual violence but about 95 percent of such cases remain unreported. Especially, in case of children, most crimes go unnoticed and there is negligible conviction which leads to impunity among culprits. Dignity March has already covered Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.last_img read more

Victoria Memorial Hall awed by rural Rajasthan museum

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first_imgKolkata: The authorities of Victoria Memorial Hall on Friday have drawn inspiration from a remarkable small museum — Arna-Jharna, the desert museum in Rajasthan that uses brooms as a metaphor for life in the desert and seeks public engagement with the folk culture and oral traditions of the locality.Noted research scholar and cultural critic Rustom Bharucha, who had been the project director in the early stages of the making of the eco-museum delivered an informal talk titled “Grassroots Museology in the Indian Context: The Making of Arna-Jharna,” highlighted his experience in the unique museum located in a rural area near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe lecture was organised to observe the International Museum Day that falls on Saturday, May 18. “Every year we offer free admission to our museum and gardens on International Museum Day. At the same time, we also organise something or the other that offers some food for thought for the museum sector, some significant takeaway for those who love museums, and work in or think about them. “We have earlier listened to and learnt from some of the world leaders in this field, coming from such iconic museums such as the British Museum, the Georges Pompidou Centre and the Smithsonian. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”However, this year, we wanted to have knowledge about a small rather unconventional museum – Arna-Jharna,” said Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of Victoria Memorial Hall . According to Sengupta, Arna-Jharna is among those rare specialty museums that seek, with very limited or no government support, to capture the voices of the small, the marginal, the peripheral. “In my opinion, it stands to capture our many pasts and complex presents much more effectively, and with the necessary criticality that is much more difficult for encyclopedic museums to emulate,” he said. Envisioned by the renowned folklorist and ethnomusicologist Komal Kothari, and supported by a team of practitioners affiliated to Rupayan Sansthan, this unique museum focuses on one particular object — the broom — to reflect on traditional knowledge systems and their sustenance in today’s world. The talk elaborated on the research that went into making the broom at botanical, environmental, social, and political levels and provided insights into the curatorial challenges of representing the broom. The lecture was paired with the screening of a documentary film, Jhadu Katha (Broom Stories), directed by Navroze Contrator, which was specially commissioned by the museum. “A handful of tourists on a trip to Rajasthan visit this museum because people are unaware of it which is located some 15 odd kilometers from Jodhpur,” Sengupta said.last_img read more

19 more Kanchrapara councillors rejoin TMC

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first_imgKolkata: Nineteen councillors of Kanchrapara Municipality rejoined the Trinamool Congress from BJP, Abhishek Banerjee, the Trinamool Youth Congress president, announced during a press conference on Saturday.Kanchrapara in North 24-Parganas is believed to be the fiefdom of Mukul Roy and his son Subhrangshu. The latter joined the saffron brigade after the result of the general election was announced on May 23. Nine councillors, including the chairman and vice-chairman of the Kanchrapara Municipality, Sudama Roy and Makhan Sinha rejoined TMC on Saturday. Last week, five councillors had returned to the party as well. Abhishek said taking advantage of the Model Code of Conduct which was still in force after the result of the general election was declared, BJP had unleashed a ‘Reign of Terror’ in Kanchrapara. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe councillors were threatened with dire consequences. The houses of some of them were attacked and the lives of their spouses and children were at risk. The councillors were taken to Delhi and forced to join the BJP. After coming back to Bengal, they got in touch with the Trinamool leaders and expressed their willingness to rejoin the party. Without naming Mukul Roy, Abhishek said: “A person who cannot control the councillors of his locality is dreaming to control 107 MLAs of the Trinamool Congress.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe added that the people in the state had kept faith in Mamata Banerjee and that was the reason why the poll percentage of Trinamool Congress had gone up. “It will be repeated in 2021 Assembly elections,” he said, adding: “By unleashing a ‘Reign of Terror’ it is difficult to take control over Bengal.” Meanwhile, three Zilla Parishad members in South Dinajpur rejoined the Trinamool Congress on Saturday. Arpita Ghosh, TMC’s South Dinajpur president, said three Zilla Parishad members had joined BJP shortly after the election. Three more will join shortly either before July 21 or immediately after that, she maintained.last_img read more

Remembering Karnad and his contributions

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first_imgTo pay tribute to the legendary playwright, actor and director Girish Karnad, who passed away on June 10 after a prolonged illness, a memorial event was organised by Indian Writers Forum, Raza Foundation, and Jan Natya Manch. Held at India International Centre, the event ‘A Life of Cultural Resistance: Paying tribute to Girish Karnad’ saw eminent people who knew Karnad or had worked with him in the past.Ashok Vajpayee, Gita Hariharan, TM Krishna, MK Raina, Anuradha Kapur, and K Satchinandan were among the few dignitaries present at the venue. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe organisers paid homage to the legendary playwright by showing clips of his plays, movie, interviews and a lot more compiled in a video. Later, all his friends and colleagues delivered their eulogies and remembered how he had a clear conscience and courage to speak against the evils of societies and break the illogical norms that don’t allow people to raise their voice. Highlight of the event was Jan Natya Manch’s performance, who presented excerpts from the plays of Girish Karnad such as Tughlaq, Talenanda, Nagamandala. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Gita Hariharan, who moderated the entire discussion, highlighted one of the important aspects to Karnad – myth, tale, and history. Though essential to his work, this did not make him vulnerable to nativism or being frozen in the past. Rather his use of myth and tale was open-ended. While the past fed his creative energy, it was actually the present he was engaged with – be it his plays, ideas, speaking up for freedom of speech or against crushing of dissent. Also, she mentioned that the contributions to Kannada theatre were remarkable. Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Vajpayee said, “Karnad was one of the few people who maintained a balance between modernity and traditions. He staged plays where there would be traditional dialogues with a modern tone.” Ashok also recalled how Karnad would raise his voice against the wrong, without thinking about the consequences at all. Ashok concluded by saying that the only way to remember him is to remain dynamic, active, courageous and vocal. MK Raina said that Girish had open avenues for artists. “His perspective towards theatre was very unique. Instead of being a part of the rat race, he chose to create a new definition of theatre. It was Karnad’s ‘Hayavadana’ that brought a change in the Indian theatre scene and it’s because of his we are enjoying versatility in the theatrical sphere today.” The event came to an end with K Satchinandan reciting his poem ‘Beware’, followed by T M Krishna’s performance where he sang Vachana of Basavanna in Kannada.last_img read more

VIDEO Shaq went on a rampage after learning LeBron passed him on

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first_imgLeBron James passed Shaquille O’Neal for 7th place on the all-time scoring list last night, and when former Magic teammate and NBA TV host Dennis Scott broke the news to the Diesel that LeBron had passed him, he got pissed. He went on an unhinged ‘rampage’ around the studio, destroying everything in sight.After smashing a cell phone, throwing around some stock room items, and Shaq Fu’ing some LeBron portraits, the big fella left the room in disgust.Save yourself the tweet to me that this is staged. No kidding. It’s still pretty funny..@SHAQ is handling being passed by LeBron pretty well… ? pic.twitter.com/ETvBqbRmmU— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 31, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more

The Patriots dynasty is officially in decline

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first_imgDon’t blame the kicker for the Bucs’ loss, Blame Jameis WinstonBucs kicker Nick Folk is likely out of a job after missing three field goals in a 4-point Thursday Night Football loss to the Patriots, and even though he’s the easy scapegoat, Colin thinks the blame lies with Jameis Winston, who was unimpressive all night, and missed plenty of easy throws to open receivers.Winston is often brought up in the conversation of young star NFL quarterbacks, but Colin just doesn’t see it, yet. Winston is still average in his third year in the league, despite now having above average weapons, and offensive weapons all over the place.Maybe Winston will breakthrough, but right now, Colin just doesn’t see it like he does with Derek Carr, Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. The Patriots’ dynasty is officially in declineThe Patriots escaped with a win against Tampa last night, but were far from impressive in doing so. Tampa had the better roster, dominated most of the key statistical categories, and only lost because of an inferior scheme and three missed field goals.Even though New England has started slow in the past, Colin thinks this year feels different. For the first time, their scheme can’t overcome their age, lack of talent, and it looks like this is finally beginning of the end of their dynasty.They’ll still win games and make playoffs, but their decade long run as the unquestioned dominant franchise in the NFL, and American professional sports, is done. Guests:Eric Dickerson – FS1 NFL Analyst and NFL Hall of Fame running back is in-studio talk about his opinion of Jameis Winston; why he took Cam Newton’s comments differently than most;Keith Hernandez – FS1 MLB Analyst is in-studio to break down the divisional series; if this year can be different for the Nationals; why the Yankees still have a chance; and the hEric Davis  – FS1 NFL Analyst is in-studio to give his opinion on Jameis Winston; if the Patriots are eroding; and his take on the Cam Newton controversy.Dave Wannstedt – FS1 NFL Analyst is in-studio talking Jameis Winston’s TNF performance; why the Packers don’t have anything after Rodgers; how he was able to recruit so much NFL talent at Pitt; and why he isn’t as high on Sam Darnold as an NFL QB as most.last_img read more

The Construction Industry

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first_imgJanuary 13, 2009 Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. When a consumer checks out a construction website, he is looking for information on what services a company provides–and proof the company does what it does well. He’s not going to be impressed with flashy graphics and music. Give him the information he wants, and maybe provide a testimonial or two.The EssentialsA construction company’s website should provide client testimonials, calling special attention to these on the homepage. Ways to do this include featuring a quote from a satisfied customer or noting a major contract your business has won prominently on your homepage.As Delta Creations’ owner and head web developer Joel Hill says, “In Louisiana post-Katrina, anyone with a hammer was calling themselves a contractor.” But among the masses of construction companies on the internet, it’s surprising how few offer testimonials to differentiate themselves. Past clients’ feedback offers prospective customers validation that your business has credibility, and distinguishes you from less experienced firms.To further put customers’ minds at ease, use official graphics that represent the various professional construction industry organizations (local and national) that your business belongs to.Use your website to distinguish your firm from other construction companies. Don’t simply roll out your company history–be specific by telling prospective clients the benefits of doing business with your firm as opposed to another.Good construction isn’t cheap, and cheap construction isn’t good. The same can be said for some web design companies, so forego design firms that specialize in “cookie cutter” websites based on templates. Most of the time, inexpensive sites like these are simply not optimized for search engines, and even an attractive construction website can still cost you six- and seven-figure contracts if it isn’t optimized well–that’s not money well spent. Make sure you have a web professional who’ll improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). If you already have a construction website and are considering a firm to optimize it for you, ask for concrete examples of how they were able to get other construction companies to rank well on Yahoo!, MSN and Google. (Be sure to ask for their target keywords, not just for stats on searches of the company’s name.)Keep the number of site navigation (menu) choices limited. People should be able to find what they’re looking for in the shortest time possible and reach their destination page with as few clicks as possible.Provide photographs and descriptions of past projects, including the time it took to complete the project.Also, use alternate image tags for photographs and menu buttons on your site. This will not only provide some search engine benefits, but also make the site fully accessible to visually impaired web users who use a screen reader.Be sure to keep the purpose of the site crystal clear at the top of every page. When someone gets referred from Google, she needs to determine that she’s in the right place within a matter of seconds.Mistakes to AvoidFirst and foremost, you want to get potential customers on the phone as quickly as possible. You can’t always trust prospective clients to send you an e-mail, and playing e-mail tag is not the best way to sell them on your services. Not having a toll-free number displayed in a prominent place on every single page of the site is a cardinal sin of marketing for a construction website.Flash-animated websites for construction are overrated. Most search engines have trouble reading Flash movie files, which means you’re given limited opportunities to optimize a Flash website for your target keywords. A totally Flash-driven website is typically one page that changes, as opposed to a non-Flash construction website that may consist of as many as 15 pages, each page optimized for a different set of target keywords and performing independently of the others on Google. Each page will also be filled with keyword-rich text, so that’s 15 different lightning rods for search engine traffic, instead of just the one with a Flash website. Deciding to forego an all-Flash site could mean picking up five times as much traffic through Google, and subsequently scoring many times more leads.Flash-based site navigation is a no-no. Search engines such as Yahoo! and Google send “bots” to a website (sometimes called “spiders” by web designers). If Google’s spiders don’t have a clear path to a site’s page (either via an internal link on your site or a link from another website), that page simply doesn’t exist to Google. Since most search engine spiders usually can’t read or follow Flash-based menu links, they have no means of proceeding to your site’s other pages (and consequently those pages will not be indexed in Google). Avoid Flash-based site menus, or at least include a link to a sitemap on your homepage, or a set of text links in the site’s footer , which provides a path to every other page on the site.Avoid using a domain name (.com) that contains digits or hyphens–try to keep the number of syllables in your domain name to a minimum.Make sure you have sufficient content on each page. While some business owners prefer having very little text on a page, to keep things less cluttered, web designers worth their salt in the SEO game will always say “content is king” when it comes to getting love from Google; and the more keyword-rich unique content on a given page, the better. Keep information that will be most relevant to a prospective client up at the top of the page.Avoid music on a construction site. This isn’t a festive restaurant website–music is one more distraction that isn’t necessary.Avoid inconsistency with font sizes and colors. You want to be sure an older audience doesn’t have trouble reading text. Larger-sized text and a white or light-colored background are the easiest to read.Don’t forget to update the look and feel of your site every one to two years to keep it fresh. Don’t get bogged down by a content management system with limited capabilities. Make sure your web developer can easily add to your site and streamline it. When hiring a web developer, ask about their willingness to consider other options besides a content management system.Some companies don’t check their website for cross-browser compatibility. Make sure your site displays well in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Mac browsers.Never use a free e-mail address host (Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, Comcast, etc.) on a construction website soliciting contracts ranging from five to eight figures. Your credibility will take a back-click, along with your site visitor.Avoiding an all-Flash-based site is also good from a loading perspective. The heavier the Flash files, the longer it takes for pages to load (even in an age where dial-up is something of a distant memory). Every second the page takes to load, you’re getting back-clicks from a site visitor.Places to BeWhile sending out newsletters and participating in Twitter, Facebook, blogs are fine for sites selling products or that deal with repeat customers, it’s not necessary for construction companies.”With construction, we’re not really looking for volume,” says Hill of Delta Creations. “A carpet cleaning company gives you a monogrammed desk clock or a calendar because they want to remind you about them on a daily basis; this approach really doesn’t work for a construction company that you hire only on rare occasions. Also, there’s nothing ‘hip’ about construction, so we can’t market it the same way that you do a retail product. Who wants to add a construction company as their MySpace friend?”Message boards can be relatively helpful at pulling more traffic to your site. But be aware there’s a fine line between what’s perceived as contributing to a board and what’s perceived as spamming it. Contribute to a message board that’s related to construction, and only add your link to your signature after the first few posts. Google places more weight on a link that relates to the discussion content.A better avenue to take: Promote your business by supporting a good cause. With the popularity of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, now’s a great time to get involved in charity construction projects by donating materials or labor to a nonprofit’s building project in your area. Your business will be credited for its donation by the nonprofit’s PR, and you can note it on your website. A construction company can also affordably go to PRweb and, for less than $100, send out a mass, self-written news piece. Of course, the story is more likely to be run on small news websites and blogs that use RSS news feeds related to that industry, but sometimes a bigger publication or website will decide to run it. Also, notify your local press about your contribution and provide your website address.Researched and written by Liz Wilson. Additional information providedby: Delta Creations, a web development and internet marketing services firm. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 8 min readlast_img read more