Arson attack – latest escalation against Inter TV

first_img Help by sharing this information News News RSF_en Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Hostile demonstrations continued yesterday and today outside the Inter TV building, which is protected by a metal barrier. The protesters, who include many veterans of the fighting against separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, continue to accuse Inter TV of being pro-Russian.The TV channel’s headquarters was already the target of three violent protests in 2016 before the 4 September attack.President Petro Poroshenko has condemned the attack on Inter TV, which is one of Ukraine’s most popular TV channels, while the police have arrested six suspects. Ukraine is ranked 107th out of 180 countriesin RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an arson attack on the headquarters of Ukraine’s Inter TV channel in Kiev following a protest against its editorial policies, regarded by the demonstrators as “pro-Russian.” As the protest ended on the afternoon of 4 September, around 20 individuals used blazing tyres to set fire to the Inter TV building, causing serious damage to the first and second floors. One journalist was injured as the building was being evacuated. Several others suffered smoke inhalation.“It is unacceptable that criticism of a media outlet’s editorial policies should give rise to such violence,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “There can be no justification for the use of such methods. As there had been previous signs of hostility towards the TV channel, it is regrettable that the authorities were unable to prevent this attack. They now have a duty to do everything possible to shed light on this incident and prevent any recurrence.” Sergei Supinsky / AFP Organisation September 7, 2020 Find out more February 26, 2021 Find out more September 6, 2016 Arson attack – latest escalation against Inter TV Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV News Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority March 26, 2021 Find out more News UkraineEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Armed conflictsImpunityViolenceFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe UkraineEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Armed conflictsImpunityViolenceFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe to go further Receive email alerts Follow the news on Ukrainelast_img read more

Courts to protect South Africa’s water

first_imgThe Department of Water Affairs will belaunching courts that will address watercrimes that threaten the security of supplyto lawful water users(Image: Graeme Williams,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sputnik RatauDepartment of Water Affairs+27 12 336 8733Nosimilo RamelaSouth African Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced on 11 August 2010 that environmental courts will be set up to address crimes that threaten the quality and supply of water.Sonjica, speaking at the Agri SA water conference in Johannesburg, said her department was concerned about the impact of deteriorating water quality in South Africa, as it’s among the most water-scarce countries in the world.She said the new courts would help deal with all water-related crimes, but that role-players in the agricultural industry should also come up with ways to protect the country’s water supplies. She named agricultural practices, mining and urban development as the main contributors to water pollution.“It’s a serious matter for us and you will soon be invited to the launch of the first courts because we want to strengthen our regulatory bodies in this regard. I understand that water pollution is one of the areas of great concern for the agricultural sector today,” she said at the conference.The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) will be working closely with the South African Police Service and the directorate of public prosecutions to address water crimes that threaten the security of supply to lawful water users, the minister said.She added that unauthorised or illegal water abstraction was also a problem, and the department was strengthening its enforcement capacity to deal with such offenders.She said 14 water-management inspectors had been recruited and trained, and that the capacity of the compliance, monitoring and enforcement directorate had grown significantly.“We will intensify this aspect of our work to ensure that we bring all offenders to book.”Incentive schemesTurning to the issue of municipal waste-water, Sonjica spoke about the Green Drop Certification Programme, which encourages municipalities to comply with drinking-water and waste-water legislation put forward by the DWA.Being awarded Green Drop status implies excellent waste-water management and a respect for the environment and the health of the community.“Currently we have more than 50 qualified assessors conducting consultative audits on the management of the waste-water treatment works to guide local authorities in the direction of excellence,” the minister said.According to the Green Drop Report (PDF, 1.22 MB), released in 2009, 203 of the 449 waste-water systems assessed scored better than 50% when measured against the set criteria for quality and management, while about 7.4% of all waste-water systems were classified as excellently managed.Sonjica said the department was well on its way in meeting the 2010 target of assessing all the municipal waste-water treatment works in the country.She added that the design competency of some of the waste-water systems was stretched to capacity due to population and economic growth, which compromised the quality and management of the waste-water systems.“Shortcomings in the local government funding model as well as the skills deficit in the labour market exacerbate the problem even further.”In closing, Sonjica urged the farmers attending the conference to work with the department to fight illegal water abstraction.“Without effective regulation, your water may dry up or the quality may deteriorate significantly,” she said.last_img read more

EPA starting rule making process on application exclusion zones

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding application exclusion zones (AEZ) on Oct. 24.The EPA proposal would make two major changes for crop producers. Modifying the AEZ so it is only enforceable on a farmer’s property would replace the current regulation requiring farmers to ensure individuals are outside of the pesticide AEZ not only on their property, but off their property as well. The proposal would also exempt farm owners and their immediate family members from the requirement that they leave their home during certain pesticide applications.last_img

My First 100 Days With Google Glass

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts joshua merrill 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App “What are those glasses you’re wearing?”“It’s called Google Glass. It can search the web, send email, take pictures and more.”Thus begins a conversation I’ve had hundreds of times. I’ve never seen so much fascination with a new device as Google Glass. The original iPhone, which I bought the first day it was available, doesn’t even come close.How did I get Glass? I was in the right place at the right time: Google I/O, the company’s annual developer event, on June 27, 2012. That day, U.S.-based developers got a chance to register for the Glass Explorer program, which gave them the option to plunk down $1,500 for a prototype unit when they became available in Spring of 2013.My First Encounters with GlassIn January, 2013, four months before any devices were shipped, Google invited me and about 80 other developers to the first-ever Glass hackathon in San Francisco. Most of what happened during that event is still covered by a non-disclosure agreement, but it should be obvious that many of the hackers there were insanely smart. My team (Joseph Su and Andrew Lamonica) built a crude product barcode price checker, the first that I know of for Google Glass.My time to pay up finally came on May 2nd, 2013. At the Google campus, I met with some folks from the Glass team to choose a color (“Cotton”) and get fitted. I’ve worn Google Glass every day since.Many articles have already covered the Glass hardware; simply put, Google has done a good job designing the device. Glass is light and unobtrusive. The screen looks great, even in broad daylight, and the camera and processor are excellent for such a small form factor. Battery life, though, is the bottleneck: with heavy usage, I can discharge the entire battery in half an hour. I expect this to improve over time; it has to, for Glass to be viable.Getting ready to ask Elon Musk a question at the Tesla annual shareholder meetingGoogle has stumbled by not allowing prescription lenses with Glass out of the gate. Effectively, Google is saying that people who need glasses can’t use them, while people who have perfect vision have to get used to wearing glasses.Glass In The Real WorldMeeting people is definitely high on the list of Glass features. The device gets attention everywhere it goes—supermarkets, shopping malls, even traffic signals. Old and young, rich and poor, technophiles and technophobes. The people who have never heard of Glass ask what it is, and those who do know ask to try it on.I have many photos of myself taken by friends and strangers trying on GlassI’m happy to oblige; more than 300 people have used my Google Glass in the past 100 days. Most of these trials begin with “WOW!” followed by two minutes of confusion. The frustrating truth is that Glass is not intuitive for most first-time users. A three-year-old can pick up a smartphone or tablet, see rows of colored icons, and start performing actions. Glass requires considerably more practice.As for the attention? It was great at first, but it can get tiring. More often than not, I carry Glass around my neck so fewer people will notice it.There’s really no established etiquette for wearing a computer on your head, but after a few weeks, the rules became clear: in a restaurant, in a meeting, in a conversation, Glass has to come off. It’s like headphones for your eyes: even when they’re not in use, it’s a sign of inattentiveness and even disrespect to wear them.Most owners know when to take Glass off, but I see some with the device glued to their faces. Simply put, there are no Glassholes, only assholes who happen to have Glass.What Is Glass Really Good For?Photography has been my most common use for Glass. As soon as it became available, I installed Mike DiGiovanni’sWinky, which enables the wearer to take a photo by winking. This dramatically increased my photo-taking—in fact, I created a photo log of my life. Video is also great; since I don’t have to hold a camera up in front of me, I can record effortlessly for as long as I want.As one might expect, searching Google is simple—just press and hold the touch pad. How tall is the Empire State Building? (1,454 feet.) Who was the first person in space? (Yuri Gagarin.) When were the Pyramids built? (2,584 B.C.) If the answer is in Google’s knowledge graph, getting it is effortless.In the Glass XE7 update, released in early July, Google added a web browser. I use it to read the news and look up movie ratings on IMDb. I stick to a handful of websites that are mobile-optimized; otherwise, reading text is too much effort. While browsing the web on Glass is useful, it’s one of the fastest ways to empty the battery.Finally, Glass’ translation capabilities are impressive. Ask Google to translate any phrase into another language, and you’ll hear the spoken translation along with an English phonetic spelling on screen. Unfortunately, the time required to speak my desired phrase into Glass makes this feature impractical in many real-world settings; on a two-week trip to Japan, I didn’t use translation once. But it makes for an impressive demo. Using The Glass UII like touch screens, because instead of acting through a representation of myself—like a mouse cursor—I can actually press, swipe and pinch on the objects I want to manipulate. That’s much closer to how the physical world works.Glass is a strange hybrid of both approaches. The user taps and swipes on the side of the device to navigate and make selections on the screen, but there are very few visible cues for which gesture to use. I often see first-time users get stuck when trying to go up the hierarchy one level—say, from search results back to the home screen. (The correct gesture, not so intuitively, is to swipe down.)Compared to a touchscreen, it takes longer to mentally construct a model of Glass’ menu hierarchy and map it to the gestures needed to navigate it. First-time users can’t build this mental model fast enough; that’s why they get confused. Some of this confusion could be solved by software, but part of it seems inherent to the device’s form factor. (I’m told that Apple has glasses-based prototypes of its own, but ultimately opted for a different form factor—the watch.)The interface that will really make Glass work is mind control, formally known as a brain-computer interface. There are a number of promising technologies in this space, but none yet that would enable Glass. Once Glass has a good thought-controlled interface, I can imagine it being very successful.The Problems With GlassGlass is built to do many of the things my phone can do, but it does them half as well. It can search Google, but it’s cumbersome for reading web pages. It can send messages, but relies on imperfect voice transcription. It can post to Facebook, but there’s no way to read my friends’ updates. The problem with Glass is that it doesn’t do much of anything that takes advantage of its unique form factor.Actually, all Glass needs to be is a platform for augmented reality. When I see text in a foreign language, translate it. When I look at a house for sale, tell me the asking price. When I look at a product, scan the barcode and tell me if it’s cheaper online. When I’m standing in a public place, let me travel backwards through time using Street View. When I look at a person, show me his or her professional history. Creepy? Absolutely. But really useful products have a way of succeeding despite their creepiness.If Google released Glass today, it would fail. The current product is an order of magnitude short in capability, battery life and ease of use; even a 2014 release date seems too early to me. Google has called Glass a ten-year commitment. They’re going to need every minute.So is Glass the future? Yes and no. Glass is the future like Windows XP Tablet Edition was the future. In both cases, it’s about a company trying to will a market into existence, but missing the humanity to make the product a success. Somebody, someday, will get this product right. It may be Google, or it may not. The future is up for grabs.center_img Tags:#Contributed#Google Glass#Reviews 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Landscapes of Sound: An Interview with Mandell Winter

first_imgPremiumBeat sat down with this seasoned pro to explore his process, working relationships, and the challenges involved in sound design.With over twenty years of experience in the film industry, Mandell Winter is intimate with the landscape of sound. Most recently, he received two Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie, Or Special Category for his work as the sound supervisor on HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie, and Season Three of HBO’s anthology crime series True Detective.Mandell’s accolades also include two MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) Golden Reel Award nominations for his work on Season Two of True Detective and a third Golden Reel Award nomination for the film Southpaw.Mandell Winter via IMDbPremiumBeat: Tell us about what your role as Supervising Sound Editor entails.Mandell Winter: As a Supervising Sound Editor, I work with the director, producers, and the picture editor to make sure I understand their sensibilities and how they want the show to sound. I also work with the producers to make sure I understand the parameters, schedule, and budget. At the same time, I work with the sound editors to coordinate the dialogue, ADR, foley, sound effects, and sound design. Then I take those elements to the mix stage, working with the Re-recording Mixers to make sure they have everything they need to deliver the soundtrack.Ian McShane in Deadwood: The Movie via HBO FilmsPB: How were you invited to work on Deadwood: The Movie?MW: I was originally just going to handle the ADR for the film, as Ben Cook was slated to supervise. However, as schedules shift, Ben was no longer available. So with his recommendation, I became the Supervising Sound Editor for the show, along with Daniel Colman as Co-Supervising Sound Editor.Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood (TV Series) via HBO – 2004PB: The original Deadwood series ended in 2006. What was it like re-creating that world over ten years later?MW: It was a bit daunting at first. In the film, Deadwood is more established than the original series. We had access to and used the original recordings and sound effects from the series, leaning into authenticity. We also used a lot of loop group to establish the town. The same loop group from the series was used on the film. Joyce Kurtz, our loop group leader, brought folks out of retirement. It was invaluable because they knew the sound of Deadwood and, instantly, became the characters on-screen.PB: Did you want to keep a sonic continuity between the original series and Deadwood: The Movie?MW: Yes, we did. We leaned into it, taking every effort to make sure it sounded familiar to the audience. At the same time, we were directed to add scale to the soundtrack because it was a movie.Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood: The Movie via HBO FilmsPB: Deadwood: The Movie is set in 1889. What are some challenges in creating sound for a period piece?MW: It is important to use clean sounds that are free of anything that sounds modern. You can’t have traffic or airplanes in the recordings. We used the fine tip brush to add all the gritty sonic details. We had the added responsibility of being accurate to the time and place. Daniel Colman went to great lengths to make sure the train sound was geographically accurate, making sure the horn was from the train that ran through Deadwood at that time.Stephen Dorff and Mahershala Ali in True Detective via HBOPB: How did you approach creating the sound for True Detective Season Three?MW: We focused on tension and mood in True Detective. Nic Pizzolatto writes such interesting characters, and it’s such a dialogue-driven show that we wanted to make sure that the dialogue was crystal clear. It was a minimalist approach to the sound effects, as it has been the aesthetic for the series. It has to feel real and timely. Concentrating our efforts on the transitions between the three timelines and making sure that the audience is tracking where we were in the story, at any given time.PB: Did the time jumps in True Detective present any unique challenges for you and your team? Were there any other challenges designing the sound and mix for the show?MW: We wanted to make sure the audience was tracking the timeline transitions. So, we spent additional time on the first set of transitions because it’s all about creating tension. We played with the sounds and timing — from the card in the spokes of a boy’s bicycle tire to the ticking of the watch and then the ticking of the clock — as we transition between the three timelines.Carmen Ejogo in True Detective via HBOPB: Did True Detective’s show-runner, Nic Pizzolatto, want to create a sense of aesthetic/sonic continuity between the different seasons of True Detective, or are they viewed as existing with their own context?MW: No. Each season is a separate story.PB: How did you weave T-Bone Burnett’s score into the sound design?MW: T-Bone’s tracks are awesome. They often play really low, and naturally dance on that fine line where you don’t know where the music hands over to sound design, and vice versa.PB: What elements of the show/film inspire the sound design and how do you know if you got it right?MW: We listen to the director, producers, and editors to understand their sensibilities. Then, we lean into the story and visuals, adding our own interpretation.Gerald McRaney in Deadwood: The Movie via HBOPB: What was your favorite aspect of working as a Supervising Sound Editor on True Detective and Deadwood: The Movie?MW: I really enjoy working with the director, producers, and editor(s) to understand their vision. Then, translating that so the sound team can add a sophistication and their interpretation. That’s when it becomes a collaboration.PB: Do you often work with the same sound mix/sound editing teams? Tell us about working with the sound teams on these two shows.MW: There are several people that I work with, as often as possible. Our Sound Designer on True Detective, David Esparza, and I have worked together on nearly forty projects now. Ryan Collins cuts for us, whenever he is not mixing.  Eryne Prine is another key member of the team. In fact, the whole thing would fall apart without her. Micah Loken recently joined the team, but he’s not going anywhere, if we can keep him busy enough.I brought several folks onto Deadwood that I’ve wanted to work with over the years. But, I also finally had the pleasure of working with Daniel Colman, John Cook, and Bill Freesh. It’s always nice when you get to work with such talented people.Mandell Winter via IMDbPB: What programs and software do you typically work with?MW: On both shows, we edited in Pro-Tools and mixed on the Avid S6 console. Our sound designer on True Detective, David Esparza, used Kyma for some of the designed elements — when Hayes is haunted by the ghost of his wife.PB: Do you have any advice for aspiring audio engineers wanting to work in sound for TV and film?MW: You have to really love sound because you’re going to put in long hours. Find mentors and people that’ll teach you what they know. Go for it.Looking for more industry insights from professionals? Check these out.Editor Tom Jarvis on “Carpool Karaoke” with Paul McCartneyFilm and Video Game Composer Austin Wintory on Success from Failure7 Filmmaking Interviews with Real-World Career AdviceIndustry Insights with Cinematographer Michael FranksDirector Nora Mandray on Using History to Understand the Presentlast_img read more

There and back again Extending optical storage lifetime by retrieving photon echoes

first_img © 2014 Phys.org , Physical Review Letters “For this reason, research on quantum optical memories attracted a lot of attention,” Akimov told Phys.org. “Current investigations of photon echoes have concentrated primarily on atomic vapors and rare earth crystals with long storage times, which are crucial for implementation of robust light-matter interfaces. However,” he noted, “light-matter coupling is weaker in these systems, so operation speed is not as fast as it could be in semiconductors. For example,” he illustrated, “efficient optical excitation in atomic systems is possible with optical pulses longer than one nanosecond, which slow down the operation speed by three orders of magnitude as compared to our protocol – and for rare earth crystals the pulse duration should be even longer.”In contrast to classical storage, quantum memory forbids measurement of the optical field during saving and retrieving processes. “In other words,” Akimov said, “storage of non-classical quantum light – such as squeezed light or a single photon – should occur without knowing which optical fields have been stored and retrieved, because otherwise the quantum state would be irreversibly destroyed during the measurement procedure. However, our protocol allows quantum storage since transfer between optical excitation and spin excitation does not require state measurement.” In other words, the new protocol transfers a quantum superposition between optically coupled states (optical excitation) and the other pair of states coupled by a magnetic field (spin excitation). In this process no measurement takes place – just the transformation between different excitations.Regarding the quantum well, the researchers specifically concentrated on an n-doped CdTe/(Cd,Mg)Te quantum well where storage time increased from picoseconds to tens of nanoseconds. The structures were grown by Prof. Grzegorz Karczewski and Prof. Tomasz Wojtowiczin the Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw using molecular beam epitaxy. (CdTe/(Cd,Mg)Te is a cadmium telluride compound in which some of the cadmium is replaced by magnesium.) “The cadmium telluride semiconductor quantum well structure is a model proof-of-principle system for extending the photon echo delay,” Akimov told Phys.org. “In such two-dimensional structures, the carriers are confined in one direction; this results in well-defined spin-level system and clean selection rules for optical transitions. Secondly, n-type doping of barriers with donors provides excess electrons in the quantum well which, again, are responsible for long-lived spin excitations.”That said, while using cadmium telluride quantum wells enabled very clean experiments on the ensemble of trions to be performed because their optical transitions are well isolated spectrally, the researchers had to maintain weak optical pulse intensity to prevent interactions between weakly localized trions. “In order to increase the efficiency and to achieve longer delays for photon echoes it is necessary to try different type of semiconductor nanostructures which can be also based on other compounds.,’ Akimov explained. “One of such candidates is the ensemble of quantum dots where the electrons and holes are localized much more strongly in all three dimensions. This is in contrast to quantum wells where strong confinement is present only along one direction.”Finally, Akimov noted that in semiconductors there are two types of fundamental optical excitations: excitons (electron-hole pairs bound by Coulomb interactions) and trions – charged excitons consisting of an exciton bound with an excess electron or hole. “A trion is a three-particle complex, and after its decay there’s always an excess carrier left,” he explained. “In our case, we deal with excess electrons which possess spin 1/2. Therefore, in contrast to excitons, it is possible to save information about optical excitation in the spin of the excess electrons left after trion recombination. This transformation is only possible when an external magnetic field is applied, since it allows us to mix the electronic states in the proper way.” The most salient advantage of quantum well structures is that exciton and trion resonances are spectrally well separated – meaning that picosecond laser pulses let the researchers address only the optical transition from excess electron to trion.For all of these seemingly daunting challenges, the researchers’ key insight was to study photon echoes emitted by trions in semiconductor nanostructures subject to an external magnetic field – and by then using a transient four-wave mixing (FWM) technique to measure magnetic-field-induced long-term photon echoes, they were able to show that photon echoes can be retrieved from excess electron spin ensembles. (Transient four-wave mixing belongs to time-resolved coherent spectroscopy based on non-linear optics, whereby interactions between two or three optical pulses in medium produce fourth optical field in the signal) “We used ultrashort optical pulses with duration of about one picosecond,” Akimov explained, “because efficient optical excitation in semiconductors is possible on the order of 0.1-1ps.” In addition, he said, the experiments had to be performed at extremely low temperatures – about two degrees above absolute zero – in order to keep the system robust against interactions with phonons (collective excitations, similar to quasiparticles, in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, such as solids and some liquids), as well as to suppress other relaxation mechanisms which could lead to irreversible dephasing of optical and spin excitations and thereby loss of coherence. “From an experimental point of view,” he added, “our primary challenge was combining four-wave mixing with ultrashort picosecond pulses and external magnetic fields at low temperatures.”The current study demonstrates that photon echoes can be retrieved from the spin system on the timescale of 10-100 ns. “However,” Akimov said, “this time delay is still too short for practical applications. In order to solve this problem we need to extend the decay time of spin excitations.” There are two possible reasons for decay of spin excitations: dephasing of spins and irreversible spin relaxation through decoherence – that is, due to interaction with the environment. “The first point can be addressed by means of spin resonance techniques using dynamic decoupling,” he explained, “which is an approach largely the same as photon echo but based on periodic excitation of the spin ensemble with microwave pulses which lead to spin echoes. In that way it will be possible to keep the spin ensemble of excess electrons free of dephasing, and timescales up to tens or even hundreds of microseconds may be achieved. However, irreversible spin relaxation is more difficult to solve – but there are several attempts to reduce hyperfine interaction between nuclear and electron spins. One of the solutions would be to use compounds with isotopes carrying zero nuclear spin. In this case storage times in the milliseconds can be available.”In fact, Akimov added that the scientists plan to investigate extending the timescale of photon echoes further into the microsecond and millisecond range. “We’ll test other nanostructures, such as quantum dots with strong trion localization, and will search for new materials with suppressed spin excitation decay. In addition,” he said, “we’ll use spin resonance techniques in order to eliminate spin dephasing in the ensemble of excess electrons.”Akimov also mentioned applications beyond optical memory. “While most applications are related to optical memories where the optical information should be saved and released on demand,” he said, “there’s another fundamental aspect: Our studies combine optical and spin phenomena, and in this sense it’s very interesting to explore our approach for monitoring the time evolution of combined optical and spin excitations.”A unique feature of photon echo experiments is the dephasing which already occurs at the initial stage directly after excitation with the first pulse, where the sequence of two linearly polarized pulses create comprehensive spin distribution for excess electrons without net spin polarization. While each of the electrons has a certain well-defined spin, the ensemble spin polarization, or average spin, is zero – and the information about the optical pulses, such as polarization and interpulse delay, is encoded in the spins of excess electrons. “This differs from conventional techniques,” Akimov pointed out. “For example, in well-established pump-probe experiments the non-zero spin polarization in the system is first induced by a circularly polarized pump pulse, and then the evolution of the spin in time is probed.” The scientists therefore believe that their approach based on photon echoes in a magnetic field constitutes an interesting platform for fundamental spin studies.Along these exploratory lines, Phys.org asked Akimov if, given that storage times of seconds or longer might be possible by further exploiting the hyperfine interaction between electrons and nuclei in quantum dots, quantum wells and self-assembling quantum dots might at some point be combined in a single quantum system that emulates human short- and long-term memory. “I think we are still far from that,” he replied. “In order to achieve this goal it would be necessary to establish a net of such quantum dot ensembles, analogous to cells, which would communicate between each other.” He added that while he does not exclude such possibility, he emphasizes that such a quantum system would very complex and would contain and integrate far more than a simple set of quantum nanostructures. “Several challenging issues such as communication between different ensembles have to be addressed, and for that it is necessary to accomplish directed and selective coupling of light at the nanoscale in and out of the cells. Accordingly, realization of such a network would need integration of photonic crystals or waveguide layers which can be based on semiconductors. Nevertheless,” he concluded, “this is a special area of research which deserves a lot of attention.” 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. Scheme of photon echo experiment and optical properties of investigated structure. (A) The CdTe/(Cd,Mg)Te quantum well (QW) is optically excited with a sequence of three laser pulses with variable delays t12and t23 relative to each other. The resulting four-wave mixing transients |EFWM(t)| are detected in 2k2-k1 direction using heterodyne detection. All measurements are performed at temperature of 2 K. (B) Top: schematic presentation of exciton (X) and trion (T-) complexes in QW. The QW potential of conduction (CB) and valence (VB) bands leads to spatial trapping of electrons and holes. Bottom: Photoluminescence (PL) spectrum (solid line) measured for above-barrier excitation with photon energy 2.33 eV, demonstrating X and T- emission. The laser spectrum (dashed line) used in photon echo experiment is tuned to the low energy flank of T- emission line. (C) Four-wave mixing transients for t12 = 23 ps and t23 = 39 ps. Spontaneous (PE) and stimulated (SPE) photon echo signals appear at tref =2t12 and tref =2t12 +t23, respectively. (D) Decay of PE and SPE peak amplitudes. From exponential fits (dashed lines) we evaluate T2=72 ps and T1 = 45 ps. Credit: Ilya A. Akimov. Journal information: Nature Photonics Explore further Schematic presentation of the main mechanisms responsible for magnetic-field-induced stimulated photon echoes (SPE). The whole process comprises three steps: 1. pulse 1 creates the optical excitation (initialization—conversion of the optical field into a material excitation); 2. pulse 2 performs a transformation of the optical excitation into the spin system (storage); 3. pulse 3 stimulates the photon echo (readout). Optical pulses are circularly polarized. (A) Transfer of optical coherence into electron spin coherence (Sx and Sy components). The efficiency is maximum for t12=p/wL. (B) Creation of spectral spin fringes for electrons and trions (Sz and Jz components). This mechanism is most efficient for t12=2p/wL. The spectral spin gratings for electrons and trions are shown in (C) at the moment of creation by the second pulse (t=t12=2p/wL) and in (D) after trion recombination and before arrival of pulse 3 (t>>t12+T1). Credit: Ilya A. Akimov.center_img More information: Access to long-term optical memories using photon echoes retrieved from semiconductor spins, Nature Photonics (Published online 28 September 2014), doi:10.1038/nphoton.2014.219Related:1Magnetic-Field Control of Photon Echo from the Electron-Trion System in a CdTe Quantum Well: Shuffling Coherence between Optically Accessible and Inaccessible States, Physical Review Letters 109, 157403 (2 October 2012), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.157403 In their study, the researchers found that picosecond optical pulses and an applied weak transverse magnetic field led to the transfer of a short-lived optical excitation into a long-lived electron spin state. In turn, this induced stimulated photon echoes with high bandwidth on submicrosecond timescales that exceeded optical excitation lifetime by a factor exceeding three orders of magnitude. Moreover, the scientists state that the ability to address all three spin components –parallel and perpendicular to applied magnetic field – as well as the energy level structure of localized trions being identical in quantum wells and self-assembled quantum dots make their approach “highly appealing” for future memory device applications and may lead to the fabrication of semiconductor nanostructure-based optical memories.Dr. Ilya Akimov discussed the paper that he, Doctoral Student Lukas Langer and their co-authors from Dortmund, St-Petersburg and Warsaw published in Nature Photonics, starting with the main challenges in devising a new experimental approach to stimulated photon echoes by transferring the information contained in the optical field into a spin system, where it is decoupled from the optical vacuum field. “A photon echo can be considered as a flash of light initiated in a medium after a sequence of two or more optical pulses,” Akimov told Phys.org. “Properties of the photon echo pulse – that is, intensity, optical coherence and phase – are identical to the properties of the initial pulse; therefore this phenomenon can be used to store information in all-optical systems.” Photon echoes because they occur in structures which rapidly dephase optical excitation in response to the first pulse, but with the second pulse reverse the dephasing process. Akimov pointed out that the timescale at which photon echoes can be observed is determined by the period during which optical excitation coherence is preserved. “This is why photon echoes are coherent,” he explained. “If scattering processes are suppressed, optical excitation coherence is limited by its lifetime as governed by intrinsic properties of the materials. Nevertheless there is a general rule that the more efficient light-matter interaction, the faster decay into the ground state will be observed – for example, faster spontaneous emission due to the optical vacuum field. Here we have a dilemma,” he noted. “On the one hand, we’d like to excite the medium quickly with the shortest possible pulse, which requires strong light-matter interaction. However, this limits the timescale at which the photon echoes can be observed.” The opposite is also true: To observe long-lived photon echoes, materials with weak light-matter coupling are needed – and although semiconductor systems belong to materials with strong light-matter interaction, it’s possible to extend photon echo decay if the optical excitation is transferred into the spin excitation and then recovered back to the optical excitation – that is precisely what Akimov and co-authors have accomplished. Quantum holograms as atomic scale memory keepsake “In order to achieve this goal,” he said, “we’ve used semiconductor quantum wells with excess electrons.” (A quantum well is a thin layer which can confine quasiparticles – emergent phenomena that occur when a microscopically complicated system, such as a solid, behaves as if it contains weakly interacting particles in free space – in the dimension perpendicular to the layer surface.) What’s key is that the spin excitation coherence time of such electrons decays three orders of magnitude more slowly than the lifetime of optical excitations. “In our protocol the first pulse leads to optical excitation in semiconductor quantum well; next, after dephasing of the optical excitation the second pulse transfers optical excitation into the electron spin excitation; and finally – even after a long delay, which can be 1,000 times longer than the delay between the first and second pulses – we apply the third pulse.” This third pulse transforms spin excitation back to optical excitation and initiates rephasing, so that resulting photon echoes are retrieved from the spin ensemble – and therefore the third pulse can be associated with the readout of optical information previously saved by the optical-to-spin transformation induced by the second pulse.”The unique feature of photon echoes is that they contain the information about the first optical pulse,” Akimov pointed out. “Therefore, photon echoes can be used for information technology optical memory applications. Moreover, it’s possible to perform not only classical light storage but to use photon echoes for realization of quantum optical memories.” This is essential, he stresses, for the development of quantum information and communication systems which use the laws of quantum mechanics to significantly enhance the speed and capacity of future computers. Citation: There and back again: Extending optical storage lifetime by retrieving photon echoes from semiconductor spin excitations (2014, October 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-optical-storage-lifetime-photon-echoes.html (Phys.org) —For all of their differences, classical and quantum communication have at least one thing in common: the importance of being able to store optical information. That being said, optical storage is a complex process that depends largely on the material being used to convert, store and retrieve this information in a controllable, consistent manner – a process especially prone to short optimal memory times when implemented in certain semiconductor quantum structures. Recently, however, scientists at Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany in collaboration with Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and Institute of Physics in Warsaw, Poland demonstrated magnetic-field-induced long-lived stimulated photon echoes1 – coherent optical phenomena in which resonant excitation of a medium by short optical pulses results in a delayed coherent optical flash response – in the electron–trion system, allowed the bidirectional coherent transfer of quantum information in a semiconductor between optical and spin excitations. (Trions are excitations comprising three charged quasiparticles – emergent phenomena that occur when a microscopically complex system, such as a solid, behaves as if it contained different weakly interacting particles in free space.)last_img read more

Govt mulls use of biofertilisers to boost plant productivity

first_imgKolkata: The state government is keen on increasing of productivity of various plants by administering bio-fertilisers and other manures, which will be fruitful for the plants.The Biotechnology department has already formed committees for the smooth implementation of various projects taken up by the department. Scientists and research fellows are conducting researches on bio-fertilisers about how they can be used to increase the productivity of various plants and vegetables. They will also save people from the toxic substances used in chemical fertilisers. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt has been learnt that researches are being conducted to examine how a particular plant can give fruits three times a year. Likewise, productivity of many other fruit trees and vegetables plants would be increased through various means, which will be more conducive for these plants to grow.According to sources, the state government has a plan to open a unit at all the districts, to provide technical assistance to the farmers on increasing the productivity of what they produce. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThe department is committed to ensure that the people can get vegetables, fruits and others foodgrains free from toxic substances at the markets.The department is also contemplating how the productivity of foodgrains and vegetables could be increased in comparatively unfertile areas of Bankura, Birbhum and Purulia. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had laid a lot of stress to improve the standard of life for the farmers in rural areas. She had announced lots of new projects in this regard. The scientists will also conduct “tissue culture” as a part of their research work in the district level to increase the productivity of plants. It has been seen that the vegetables and fruits that are supplied into various markets in the city, are often found to be unhealthy.It also affects human health as various chemical fertilisers rich in toxic substances are often administered to the plants to augment the productivity.The department will also carry out research on increasing the productivity of cattle. The state government will provide assistance to those who rear cattle.last_img read more

No Apologies On Hack Snapchat Founder Says We Thought We Had Done

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read Despite warnings on Christmas Eve by an internet security group that a potential attack was looming, Snapchat chief executive Evan Spiegel said with a nervous laugh on the Today show this morning, “At the time, we thought we had done enough.”But then, on New Year’s Day, the names and phone numbers of 4.6 million uesrs were leaked by anonymous hackers onto the website SnapchatDB.info, which has since been taken down.While he didn’t offer much in the way of an apology, Spiegel reasoned that tech startups teetering on the brink of innovation are particularly vulnerable to unforeseen abuses. “In a business that’s moving so quickly,” he explained, “if you spend your time looking backwards, you’re just going to kill yourself.”Related: Happy New Year? Snapchat and Skype Get HackedSnapchat announced today a new version of its app that allows users to opt out of the Find Friends feature — the cause of the breach. And looking ahead, Spiegel assured the app’s users — who send 350 million images a day, the company said — that security would be top of mind.”You have to work really, really, really, hard with law enforcement, with security experts, internal and external groups to make sure you’re paying attention and addressing security concerns,” Spiegel explained.Snapchat also noted that no images or videos were compromised during the attack.You can watch Spiegel’s full interview with the Today show here: Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy January 3, 2014 Register Now »last_img read more

October is the busiest month for corporate car rentals says Hertz

center_img Monday, October 17, 2016 ESTERO, Fla. — If you’re finding more traffic than usual on the road this month, you’re not imagining it – Hertz has announced that more corporate customers are renting cars in the U.S. during October than any other month of the year.According to the company, corporate customers drive an estimated 114 million miles during October, which kicks off a busy stretch of conferences and conventions across the United States. Due to the fact that many business trips are scheduled around summer vacations or delayed for after the start of the school year – combined with the fact that it is the last full month of working days before the holiday season – October becomes the ideal month to hit the road for business.The top five busiest locations for Hertz in October are projected to be San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. Monday is expected to be the peak day of the week for business travel. To ensure travellers get on their way quickly during this high volume time, Hertz advises signing up for its free-to-join Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program, which provides a premier level of service and an expedited rental experience. In addition to enjoying many exclusive benefits such as earning free rental days, Gold Plus Rewards members can skip the counter at more than 50 airports and go directly to their vehicle. They can also experience faster returns with Hertz Express Return service and eReceipts, which allows members to simply drop off their car and go.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?To reward members with even more free rental days, Gold Plus Rewards members in the U.S. and Canada can earn 550 bonus points – enough for a free weekend day – when they rent twice from Hertz before Nov.13, 2016 and register at HertzFallRewards.com. Posted bylast_img read more

Laser tag and race track to debut on NCLs new Norwegian Bliss

center_img Share Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line LAS VEGAS — New details have emerged about the Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 16th ship that will sail to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera (select voyages) beginning in June 2018.Currently being constructed at MEYER WERFT in Germany and scheduled for delivery in Spring 2018, the custom-built ship will boast many firsts at sea, including the largest competitive race track at sea and an open-air laser tag course. These exclusive details were announced earlier this week by Andy Stuart, NCL president and chief executive officer at Virtuoso Travel Week at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.“Norwegian Bliss will no doubt be our most incredible ship to date. We have elevated Norwegian Bliss’s onboard experience to new heights, bringing the best features from across our fleet plus exciting new first-at-sea activities like the largest race track and new dining concepts to create the ultimate cruising experience,” said Stuart.The two-level electric-car race track – the longest at sea at nearly 1,000 feet – will feature four speed settings to accommodate novice, intermediate and advanced drivers, reaching up to 30 miles per hour with a special ‘turbo boost’ available on each lap. The electric cars will run silent but the sounds of a race car engine will still be piped in through speakers located in the car’s headrest to give racers a more authentic experience.The laser tag course, available both day and night, will be themed as an abandoned space station. Guests of all ages can go into stealth mode and compete against family and friends with state-of-the-art laser guns.To wind down, passengers can relax at the ship’s expansive pool and sundeck featuring two pools and six infinity hot tubs that scale the side of the ship. There’ll also be the Aqua Park with two multi-storey waterslides: the high-speed Ocean Loops free fall slide featuring two loops, and the tandem Aqua Racer, which will allow guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes.2017 Norwegian Joy Architecture Photo ShootNorwegian Bliss Architectural RenderingNorwegian Bliss Architectural RenderingFor younger guests, there’ll be the Kids’ Aqua Park, a watery wonderland of splash pads, water cannons, tipping buckets and slides, as well as the Splash Academy, the fleet’s award-winning complimentary youth program featuring age-appropriate supervised activities for kids aged three to 12. Teens aged 13 through 17 can also enjoy their own space aboard at Entourage, home to gaming stations, foosball, air hockey and a dance floor. Even the youngest of guests – ages six months to under three years old – will have a dedicated space onboard the Bliss at the fleet’s largest Guppies playroom.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionDining will be both vast and varied, with restaurants like Q, the all-new Texas Smokehouse, and Los Lobos, which will serve elevated Mexican cuisine. Also onboard will be Cagney’s Steakhouse, The A-List Bar, Le Bistro for French food, La Cucina for Tuscan cuisine, Ocean Blue for fresh seafood, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea, Teppanyaki for Japanese, the new Coco’s for à la carte dessert, and much more.Norwegian Bliss Architectural Rendering2017 Norwegian Joy Architecture Photo ShootNorwegian Bliss Architectural RenderingFor Wellness options the Mandara Spa on deck 16 aft will offer 24 treatment rooms, a full-service salon and barber shop, fitness centre and themal suite. At the fitness centre, guests can use state-of-the-art TechnoGym cardiovascular and strength training equipment, as well as sign up for personal training and group fitness classes like TRX, Norwegian Fight Club and RYDE Cycle. Equally impressive will be the thermal suite where guests can enjoy the vitality pool and heated whirlpool, steam room, sauna, snow room and 17 heated stone loungers. Passes to the thermal suite will be available for purchase for a limited number of guests each sailing.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthDuring her inaugural summer season, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle where it will be the largest ship to ever seasonally homeport on the West Coast. A first for any ship on the West coast will be The Waterfront, a popular feature that debuted on Norwegian Breakaway in 2013. This outdoor promenade will be home to al fresco dining, bars and lounge spaces with spectacular views of Alaska’s scenery and wildlife.As for nightlife, Norwegian Bliss will offer deck parties at Spice H2O and an expansive casino featuring hundreds of slot machines and table games. In a first for Norwegian, the casino will now offer a smoking and non-smoking casino to cater to all guest preferences. There’ll also be the Tony-Award winning Jersey Boys musical production and two observation lounges from where guests can spot whales and watch the sunset.Accommodations onboard run the gamut, from luxury suites in The Haven by Norwegian, to Studio staterooms for solo travellers and new connecting staterooms for large groups and families.The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising. Norwegian Bliss will sail her inaugural Winter season beginning in November 2018, sailing seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises each Saturday from PortMiami, featuring calls in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.last_img read more