Interactive Conferencing New Beta Product ConnectR By iRobot

first_imgThe iRobot ConnectR. Credit:iRobot The iRobot Corporation has expanded its technology to interactive robotic conferencing. The device is currently offered at a reduced cost for candidates in the pilot project. The testers are required to submit surveys of their experiences. Citation: Interactive Conferencing: New Beta Product ConnectR By iRobot (2008, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-01-interactive-conferencing-beta-product-connectr.html The iRobot Corporation has a new product in beta phase called the ConnectR. It is a “virtual presence network, (VPN) ” The device will allow users to access the iRobot´s secure network that allows video and audio calls between the ConnectR software and the robot. The company is recruiting candidates for a pilot project. This allows registrants to purchase the ConnectR for $199. The expected retail price when it is released will probably be in the $500 range. For users enrolled in the low introductory pilot project, iRobot expects as a condition of purchase some operational surveys be completed. The way the ConnectR works is by virtue of a built-in microphone and speaker for two way communication. The robot has two built- in cameras which effect the appearance of a single video source. The technology allows the user to zoom, go wide angle and provide close up viewing. The zoom level is nearly 17x and the camera has 220 degrees of tilt and can be panned 360 degrees using the wheels of the device. The ConnectR provides users with a unique password and secure back-end network that provides privacy of communications. The set-up requires a wireless network and broadband connection. The following salient points should be made in the overall description of the product, but it is made clear in the FAQ section. In addition the user must have a computer that is equipped with Pentium 111 or better. The computer must have Windows XP with the service pack. There must be at least 256MB of RAM available and 30MB Hard Drive space. The computer needs a sound card and video card with 4MB of memory. Also, the user needs Microsoft Direct 9.0c. The ConnectR comes with everything else you need to enjoy this flexible and fun interactive video conferencing device in the box. The ConnectR has a rechargeable battery, self charging base, joystick, headset microphone, remote control and software that is downloaded from the Internet. The ConnectR robot can run at night and comes equipped with a small headlight. The ConnectR is expected to be marketed to families with distant relatives for keeping up with familial events. Some other purposes include small business interactive communications and creative enterprises where seeing the work in progress is essential. Each user is given a ConnectR phone number and private pin number. The ConnectR is expected to be some months away from going retail, but it can be viewed at 2008 CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10. The 2008 International Consumer Electronics awarded iRobot Best in Innovation and Design for its gutter cleaning device for home appliances. 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

iOS still safer than Android according to Symantec report

first_img Citation: iOS still safer than Android, according to Symantec report (2011, June 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-ios-safer-android-symantec.html Symantec has recently done a comparison of the two mobile device operating systems that showed some surprising results. As it turns out iOS currently has 182 more security vulnerabilities than the Android OS. While most of these are lower level flaws, they are still potentially harmful, since they allow full access to a devices data if they are exploited in the correct way. Yet, despite those extra flaws they still came to the conclusion that the iOS is significantly more secure than the Android OS in their overall analysis.The two deciding factors in the analysis are the vetting process for applications, since Android has had a serious problem with trojanized applications being placed in the store in recent months, and the fact that the iOS devices all have data encryption. Android users only get a similar level of protection if they happen to be using a Honeycomb-powered tablet.One other factor that Symantec specifically mentioned is the fact the iOS is “immune to traditional types of viruses and worms” because it can’t run desktop application code, which is how the majority of malicious code is programmed. Oddly enough, this same immunity does apply to Android-based devices of the current generation. Army tests iOS and Android devices for potential combat usage Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Since the Android OS came out people have been comparing it to the iOS. One of the most important debates has been about the relative security of the two operating systems. The iOS is rather closed, with each of its apps needs to be vetted before it is released and the OS only coming from one vendor. Comparatively, the Android-based devices are a lot more open. Anyone can submit at app and have it included in the directory without vetting and many device makers use the Android OS. 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

High gas prices may be explained by selforganized cartel behavior

first_img(Left) When buyers update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, a product’s value (w) increases toward 1.0, resulting in low prices and a buyer’s market. (Right) When sellers update their strategy faster than a critical value, a product’s value fluctuates around values less than 1.0, resulting in high, fluctuating prices that benefit sellers. This cartel-like behavior emerges spontaneously based on the relative speeds with which buyers and sellers update their strategies. Image credit: Peixoto and Bornholdt. ©2012 American Physical Society 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. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. The researchers, physicists Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt of the University of Bremen in Bremen, Germany, have published their study, called “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game,” in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“Our work shows that, under very reasonable and simple assumptions of the market dynamics, cartel-like behavior can emerge, without an explicit agreement between sellers,” Bornholdt told Phys.org. “This is, to our knowledge, completely new and we feel that it comes somewhat unexpected, for example in the context of German gasoline price discussions in the media. For example, a few months ago, the German governmental cartel agency searched the offices of large gasoline companies in search of evidence of cartel behavior. We asked ourselves if a cartel-like dynamics could emerge by itself, without leaving traces of evidence. As gas prices in Germany were – and still are – strongly fluctuating in time and space, this made us curious whether this could be a sign for an interesting collective dynamics, of gas sellers, interacting with each other in a funny way.”The spontaneous emergence of cartel-like behavior appears in a model that the researchers developed, which is based on a real-life market scenario. The model involves one million agents, each of whom has the role of both buyer and seller of a necessary commodity, such as groceries or (for drivers) gasoline. As buyers, the agents must buy the product in question, but they can choose which seller they buy from. As sellers, the agents can set their price, knowing that too low of a price will not make them much profit, and too high of a price will drive buyers away to another seller.As the game evolves, buyers and sellers continuously update their strategies: buyers change where they shop by comparing prices, and sellers raise or lower their prices by replicating the prices of other sellers who have higher profits. More information: Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt. “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game.” Physical Review Letters 108, 218702 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.218702 Established eBay sellers get higher prices for good reputations Journal information: Physical Review Letters Explore further (Phys.org) — Rapid increases and unpredictable fluctuations in gas prices annoy many drivers, especially since it may seem that oil companies are secretly conspiring to keep prices high by forming a cartel in an effort to increase their profits. But a new study shows that cartel-like price dynamics of certain commodities, such as gasoline, can emerge spontaneously in a strategic model without any collusion among the sellers. The finding doesn’t necessarily mean that companies don’t intentionally form cartels, but the possibility of self-organized cartel formation could have implications for market regulations. Citation: High gas prices may be explained by self-organized cartel behavior (2012, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-high-gas-prices-self-organized-cartel.html The key variable in the game is who can update their strategy the fastest. If buyers can update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, the model shows that the pricing favors the buyers. Since the sellers offering the lowest prices will profit most, other sellers will replicate these low prices until all sellers have the same low price.But if sellers can update their strategy at a fast rate above a critical value compared to buyers, then the entire population of sellers benefits at the expense of all the buyers. This is because the sellers are quick enough to copy the high prices of more profitable sellers before the buyers have a chance to react. Soon, there are no low-priced options available, marking the emergence of a cartel-like phase. “Our work shows that the deciding factor for whether a cartel can self-organize is the relative speed of buyers in comparison to sellers in updating their strategy,” Bornholdt said. “For consumers, price comparison websites and smartphone apps can be a potential means to react more quickly to price changes. If a global and real-time ranking of sellers is available, this could significantly thwart a cartel-like scenario. Note that the mere existence of such catalogs is not enough, it has to be used by a significant portion of the buyers; otherwise it has no effect, since a small number of buyers will not be able to benefit from it in the long run.”Unlike the first scenario where prices settle at a stable low point, in the cartel-like scenario the model shows that the high prices fluctuate tremendously due to the ongoing competition among sellers, sometimes dipping down to reasonable prices. The price fluctuations are highest at relative strategy update rates close to the critical value, demonstrating typical critical behavior. When the sellers’ strategy update rate far exceeds the critical value, the price fluctuations diminish somewhat, but remain significant.The model also shows another interesting feature of these price fluctuations: the average price often rises very quickly and decreases more slowly. This type of oscillation, called an Edgeworth price cycle, is often observed in real life and can be predicted by simple models when just two sellers are involved. In contrast, the model used here incorporates numerous sellers as well as the impact of buyer behavior, providing a more realistic system. Nevertheless, the researchers explain that using the model to predict future prices would be difficult, since the price cycle dynamics are aperiodic and not easily predictable.However, the results could still be useful for market regulation, where regulators often discuss whether price fluctuations result from collusion among companies in an attempt to increase profit. If sellers are just quick to individually update their pricing strategies, then high gas prices may simply be a natural result of the market. The researchers plan to improve the model in the future.“The model can be made more realistic in a number of ways, in particular by implementing spatial constraints (a cheaper gas station which is 100 km away is not a viable option),” Bornholdt said. “Spatial constraints can sometimes significantly alter the dynamics in this type of system.”last_img read more

On a happy platter

first_imgTo celebrate 25 years of Dakshin in India,  the restaurant is going to showcase some of the signature dishes and masterchefs’ talks about their wonderful journey so far. Dakshin opened in Chennai on 14 April 1989, on the Tamil New Year’s Day. The restaurant is offering a 10-days celebration that  offers three course meal.Dakshin is the result of years of research and trials across the foursouthern states of India, by the team of chefs and culinary experts. This team sourced information and ingredients from noted and celebrated cooks in the region. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gourmet experts from traditional south Indian communities were invited to sample the dishes as they were being developed resulting in some of the most delectable dishes from the region. The same day is also celebrated as Vishu festival in Kerela  which is considered as the festival of lights and  fireworks. However, Vishu feast or Sadya, which consists of equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items is also the most enjoyed part of the festival.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFor enjoying this delicacies by the Malayalees who stay away from their native place, WelcomHotel Sheraton presented the Vishu special thali for lunch. Starting with a welcome drink- more kachiyathu, the thali included kai uperi, chakkarai varatti, saivam payaru thoran, avial, olan, kalan, erussery, parippu thalichathu, kuthari choru (kerala red rice), plain rice, maduram, parippu pradhaman parippu thalichathu and a lot more was also offered.last_img read more

A collection of expression

first_imgThis one’s for the art lovers. A group exhibition titled Inner Konnect Art is being organised in the Capital by three  artists Gaurav Chawla, Ruchi Chadha and Sumita Kathuri. The artists feel that art brings much needed relief and peace into their lives and this show will bring new dimensions into their lives. The viewer not only would have a riot of colours to see, but will be taken to a  journey where they will feel and experience different emotions. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Chawla who mostly paints in acrylic colours gets his inspiration by abstraction in the nature anywhere he see around himself. His art depicts beauty and spiritual connection. Texture and dimension in his works invite contact and extended viewing.  He says, ‘My art is my way of expression of various emotions and I express it with colours. I believe my art has its own language to communicate so to explain my art words are not enough. My chosen visual form of expression, which I call an expression through colour, is universal and does not need any particular linguistic explanation. I compose my thought in lively and vibrant presentation to strike positive spirit’. The artist aims to inspire emotion within the viewer, to allow him/her to feel a powerful connection. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChadha, is a trained artist and has experimented with a variety of mediums exploring the outer and inner world. She consciously chose to follow the preachings of Buddha which helped her evolve as an artist and this can be observed in her paintings. Painting nature on canvas brings her closer  to God. She has participated in several group shows across  the country and her paintings are held in private collections in India and abroad . She noted, ‘Nature has always been an inspiration for me. The beauty is limitless. Wherever I look , I find a theme or something out of  it that inspires me. I just can’t express my love for nature as it has new facets every day. So you will find the freshness of nature, the richness of colors, serenity, peace and passion in my work’. In this series, Chadha has tried to bring out human emotions and bondings in various situations of life. She aims to bring out a poetic symphony of life.Kathuria has over two decades of experience working in diverse mediums and variety of subjects. She has developed a unique style of work. Her work depicts the experiences that she gets in her daily life, a perspective to everyday life with her unique insight.When: 18 – 24 JulyWhere: Lalit Kala Academy. Rabindra Bhawan, Feroz Shah Road Timing: 11 am to 5 pmlast_img read more

Justin Beiber swaps bad influence for cookbooks

first_imgAccording to sources, the wild-child Baby hitmaker, now 20, has grown up and swapped getting drunk for cooking recipes, reports mirror.co.uk. Bieber has also ditched ‘bad influence’ friends in favour of quiet nights in with girlfriend Selena Gomez. Sources say he is so settled they wouldn’t be surprised if the couple were to wed soon. ‘Justin has moved on to the next chapter of his life. He wanted to put all the bratty child and bad boy stuff behind him. So, he took the decision a few weeks ago to grow up.’last_img read more

CPIML Red Star leader sent to 10day police custody

first_imgKolkata: CPI(ML) Red Star leader Alik Chakraborty, who was arrested in Bhubaneswar on charges under the stringent UAPA, was produced before a court here on Saturday and sent to police custody for 10 days. Chakraborty, who has been leading an agitation against the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited in Bhangar in South 24-Parganas for the past few years, was brought here by the police on a transit remand from Bhubaneswar.He was produced before the sub divisional magistrate’s court at Baruipur in the district. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe police said he has been charged with instigating and deliberately misinforming villagers of Bhangar, which witnessed violent clashes against the PGCIL’s proposed unit on 16 acres.He was arrested by the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the South 24-Parganas police from Bhubaneswar when he went there for treatment. He was arrested from outside Kalinga Hospital at Bhubaneswar for his alleged involvement with the Maoists and for creating trouble at Bhangar. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedDue to Alik’s agitation, the work of the almost complete sub-station had to be stalled and it resulted to the restriction in development of the area.The police had been on the look-out for Alik for the past one-and-a-half years. But he had managed to flee from Bhangar a few weeks ago and went to Hyderabad from where he reached Bhubaneswar for treatment. The police received information and went to Bhubaneswar acting on the tip-off. They found Alik outside a tea stall and arrested him. He was brought to Kolkata in flight on Friday late night and was produced before the court on Saturday afternoon. Alik had headed the movement against setting up of the power grid sub-station at Bhangar and rallies under the banner of ‘Jomi Jibika Poribesh o Bastutantra Raksha Samiti’ (committee for protection of land, livelihood, environment and ecology). Some supporters of the CPIML (Red Star) had created trouble at Bhangar causing inconvenience to common people protesting against the arrest. A large contingent of police was posted in the area to ensure that the situation remains calm and doesn’t deteriorate further.last_img read more

The world of vision

first_imgFrom the time immortal there lies a bridge between the beginning and end. This bridge is an ongoing process.  pre-historic character have established a contour through a flowing evolution. The contour which is ever changing, depending on environment and nature. These are evident in both physical and metaphysical aspects. But the spirit remains eternal. A mutilated fundamental entity results in detachment and destruction from the main-land.  Our dream revolves around that very spirit,  save some external modifications. Banerjee is an architect of that venture. Apparently it seems though that the sculptures and drawings are mercy pre-historic in nature and reflection.  An intense study of the same portrays it as a link between the two ends. In a nut-shell it’s art for art’s sake, vibrant with a esthetic beauty.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For Banerjee, drawing is an essential form of self expression. He understood that drawing is not just taking notes of what the artist sees with his eyes, but also with his third eye. The world of vision and of fantasy, the conscious and the sub-conscious influences the artist. Drawing shows how an idea is born in the artist’s mind, the innate possibilities of the concept at the embryo stage,as it begins to grow naturally. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTanmay’s world has frozen scenes that sometimes depict Neolithic rural life or hark back to Mesolithic primitive times. Some of the protagonists might be clothed but one or two appear nude. As in cave painting, a figure might be drawn over another. People are always there with domesticated animals. A normal pastoral scene gains momentum when one of the figures appear in the nude. One begins to wonder what difference would it make if we went around in Adam’s swear. Tanmay’s lines dance to the tune of unheard music. They are never nervous, but always bold, strong and fluid. They move from dark tone to lighter ones and gradually reach the final stage of white.They sometimes move into a calligraphic world. At times he enhances the linear movements by adding shades and areas of corresponding darkness. This is a world of reality that is tinged with fantasy. When: May 25 – May 31Where: Lalit Kala Academi, Rabindrabhavan Timing: 10 am to 7pmlast_img read more

Bullies least likely to be depressed says study

first_img“Humans tend to try to establish a rank hierarchy. When you’re in high school, it’s a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways… Bullying is a tool you can use to get there,” lead researcher Jennifer Wong, a professor of criminology, was quoted as saying by National Post.Researchers at Simon Fraser University surveyed a group of Vancouver high school students and got the results which oppose earlier assumptions about bullies. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Also, bullying is in the genes and not something learnt outside, the researchers said.“Most anti-bullying programmes try to change the behaviour of bullies… and they usually don’t work, That’s probably because the behaviour is biologically hard-wired, not learned,” Wong said.Wong and student Jun-Bin Koh surveyed 135 teenagers from a Vancouver high school. A standard questionnaire — asking things like how often they were “hit, kicked or shoved” — divided the students into the categories of bully, bystander, victim or victim-bully. Some of the differences were  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixnot statistically significant, but bullies —“about 11 percent of the group” —came out on top on three main outcomes: they scored highest on self-esteem and social status and lowest on depression, said the study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.Wong recommended a rethinking of how schools tackle bullying, saying that merely punishing the perpetrators not only fails to work, but in some cases enhances their status.last_img read more

Narcissists not as big risk takers as thought

first_img“I thought that narcissists, given that they are impulsive and have high opinions of themselves, would take bigger risks. That is what other research would have suggested,” said study lead author Amy Brunell, associate professor of psychology at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, US.“But any association between narcissism and risk-taking that we found was very small and essentially meaningless,” Brunell noted. One explanation for the discrepancy may be the fact that many of the studies linking narcissism and risk-taking were based on self-reports: Essentially, narcissists saying that they took risks in certain situations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But self-reports may not be the best way to measure risk-taking for this group, Brunell said, “When they are asked, narcissists may brag about taking big risks because they are showing off,” she said. “But their own behaviour in our experiments does not support their claims about being risk-takers,” she pointed out.The researchers conducted three experiments involving a total of 936 undergraduate students. They looked specifically at three narcissistic traits such as grandiosity, entitlement and exploitativeness — to determine if any of them might have links to risky decision-making. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixParticipants completed a variety of decision-making tasks to measure risk-taking. In one task, the students played a computer game in which they pumped up 30 balloons, earning five cents for each pump until they decided to stop. But if the balloon popped, they lost all the money.In these and other tasks, the researchers wanted to know how much people who score high on narcissism were willing to risk compared to those who scored lower. The results appeared online in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.last_img read more