August 2019

first_img( — The world could one day be an economically equal place, if the lower-income population have anything to do with it. In an interesting yet disheartening series of socioeconomic experiments, led by a team of UC Berkeley researchers, the findings are that those on the lower-income levels are more likely to give and be charitable than their higher paid counterparts. In one experiment in particular, led by doctoral student, Paul Piff and his researchers, participants completed a questionnaire reporting their socioeconomic status and a few days later were provided with $10 to share anonymously. The findings concluded the more generous of the income brackets were on the lower-income scale. A recent national survey reiterates the results, revealing lower-income people give more of their hard-earned money to charity than the wealthy.At a time when the richest one percent of Americans own more than the bottom 90 percent combined, Piff and his colleagues’ findings are more than a little timely. “Our data suggests that an ironic and self-perpetuating dynamic may in part explain this trend,” the study researchers write, to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “Whereas lower-class individuals may give more of their resources away, upper-class individuals may tend to preserve and hold onto their wealth. This differential pattern of giving versus saving among upper–and lower– class people could serve to exacerbate economic inequality in society.”Piff and his researchers, including Greater Good Science Center Faculty , Dacher Keltner, conducted a second experiment based on the definitive psychological evidence that the less people have, the more they give. The participants did an exercise stating how they felt people should divvy their annual income. They were able to choose from charitable contributions, recreation, food, and other miscellaneous things. The point of the activity was to make them feel higher or lower on the status bar. It showed, again, those on the lower end, thought a higher percentage should be charitable.The researchers also found evidence that the likelihood of executing other compassionate, generous tasks and behaviors might be explained by their higher concern for equality and empathy for others. Though on the other end, when researchers provoked compassion in the higher-class participants, they were just as much — if not more — socially conscious as the lower-class participants. The researchers felt being “rich or “poor” wouldn’t necessarily indicate social behaviors, but it is the starting level of compassion they might feel for others. Prior research, found by Piff and his colleagues, suggests lower income people might be more compassionate because they’re more closely rooted to and dependent on others, therefore more empathetic. It’s also thought the more money the lower-earning people make in their lifetime and the higher their status becomes. As a result of it, the ability to connect with others’ point-of-view disappears, including the low-income population they were once ties to. 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. (c) 2010 Citation: The rich have more money but the poor are rich in heart: study (2010, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Explore further Rich man, poor man: study shows body language can indicate socioeconomic statuslast_img read more

first_img( — viaForensics, a computer security firm, has undertaken an exhaustive study to determine just how secure data is on smartphones; their results show that data such as login names, passwords, account numbers and in some cases even social security numbers, aren’t nearly as secure as most people would assume. The company has produced both a white paper detailing its results (including providing results for actual apps by name) and a report on its website detailing its findings. Citation: Security firm finds smartphones lacking in security (2011, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Android users get malware with their apps © 2010 The purpose of the report, the company says, is to give owner/users of smartphones (and tablets, etc.) a more clear understanding of the risks involved when using apps on their smartphones to perform various Internet related activities. They broke such apps into four broad categories: Financial, Social Networking, Productivity and Retail. They then set up a grading system of Pass, Warm and Fail. A Passing grade, obviously enough meant that “secure” data on the device was either not present or was encrypted. Warm meant that data was found, but its presence didn’t put the user (in viaForensics opinion) at risk. Fail meant login names, passwords or other data were found and recovered from the device.Overall, the report shows that Financial apps (Fail-25% Warm-31% Pass-44%) were the most secure, while Social Networking (Fail-74% Warm-26% Pass-0%) apps were the least; while Productivity (Fail-43% Warm-49% Pass-9%) and Retail (Fail-14% Warm-86% Pass-0%) apps fell in the middle. Though that might not be saying much since so many apps overall (Fail-39% Warm-44% Pass-17%) were either Warm or failed to secure customer data from financial or identity theft.In addition, the authors of the report found that 76% of apps stored usernames with no encryption, and 10% didn’t encrypt passwords either.To test the devices and apps, viaForensics tested 100 popular apps on running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform. They installed the apps on the phones via app stores and filled each with normal data. They also used real financial accounts.In the report, the authors note that the most prevalent piece of user data they were able to retrieve was login names, which they point out, means that if someone were to steal the phone, or hack their way in via malware, they’d have half the puzzle of breaking into user data half-solved.Finally, while the authors do mention that once a phone is lost or stolen, the person who finds it would have to have to do some digging to find such sensitive data, they don’t mention the fact that most people who find a lost phone, or steal one for that matter, wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to dig for such sensitive data, thus the risk might not be as great as indicated; this fact does not mean that apps makers are off the hook though of course, as clearly they have some very serious explaining to do. 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.last_img read more

Security researcher finds SMS vulnerability in social media sites

first_img Citation: Security researcher finds SMS vulnerability in social media sites (2012, December 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Twitter ‘unintentionally’ resets people’s passwords © 2012 Explore further (—Jonathan Rudenberg a self described security consultant, developer and researcher has been heavily involved in stamping out an SMS messaging vulnerability he found in Facebook, Venmo and Twitter. He has been posting his efforts on his blog and says that all three companies have finally fixed the problem. Rudenberg says the vulnerability allowed hackers to spoof messages from the services if they obtained the phone number associated with an account. Spoofing is where hackers send messages that appear to be from the true account holder – most users of email have seen examples of spoofed messages in their spam folders. He apparently became aware of the vulnerability in all three services sometime last summer and has been trying to get all three to fix the problem. Twitter was the last to do so, having only notified him that the problem had been fixed December 4.With Twitter the problem came about when users configured their account to accept SMS messages and also didn’t have a personal identification number set up for the account. To spoof a message, hackers would only need to know the phone number that had been associated with the account. Also because of the way Twitter accounts are set up, knowing the phone number would also allow hackers to change profile account information.Rudenberg says he notified Twitter and Facebook that he had found the vulnerability last August and Venmo in November. He was only able to get through to Facebook, he says because he has a friend working with the company. Facebook let him know they’d fixed the problem in November, and Rudenberg will be receiving a bounty check from the company for his efforts. He says Venmo, (an Internet payment system similar to Paypal) responded very quickly and fixed the problem by disabling SMS payments. Twitter however, took longer.Rudenberg says he notified the company about the problem on August 12, and received a response three days later letting him know his concern had been routed to a security team. In September he was asked by the company to not publish what he’d found till they’d fixed the problem. In October, having not heard from the company he requested an update and received no response. By the end of November he’d become frustrated and sent the company a message indicating he was going to go public with the issue. Six days later he received a message from the company saying the issue had been resolved. 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

Caffaus star is a dwarf Gaia DR2 confirms

first_img Explore further Caffau’s star, the most metal-poor object known to date and one of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy, turns out to be a dwarf star, according to an analysis of new measurements provided by Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2). The finding was detailed April 27 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print server. Caffau’s star, also known as SDSS J102915+172927, is a faint 13-billion-year-old star in the constellation of Leo. In 2011, a team of researchers led by Elisabetta Caffau of Paris Observatory, France, found that this star is composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with extreme under-abundance of heavier elements. This chemical composition surprised astronomers, as with its low mass (about 0.8 solar masses) and extremely low quantities of metals (more than 20,000 times smaller than that of the sun), this star should not exist at all.Although Caffau’s star was a subject of several studies, many of its properties remained uncertain, like its exact stellar classification and distance to it. One scenario proposed by astronomers suggests that the star is a dwarf, with an estimated a distance of 4,400 light years away from the Earth, while the other one proposes that the object is a subgiant star some 20,200 light years away.Now, a new catalog of data from ESA’s Gaia satellite has delivered important information that helped astronomers to find which of the two proposed hypotheses is true. The DR2 dataset, released on April 25, provides high-precision measurements, including positions in the sky, parallaxes and proper motions for more than 1 billion sources in our galaxy. DR2 data allowed a group of researchers led by Piercarlo Bonifacio of Paris Observatory and including Elisabetta Caffau, to confirm the true nature of SDSS J102915+172927.The authors write, “The Gaia mission with its second data release has provided us a very accurate parallax of 0.734 ± 0.073 mas. Thus, the distance is 1.37+0.15 −0.12 kpc, in perfect agreement with that estimated by Caffau et al. Gaia also provides photometry for this star G = 16.548 and a color BP−RP = 0.799. (…) We used the above information to compute the absolute V magnitude using the transformations provided by the Gaia DR2 documentation. This allows us to compare it to the metal-poor 3 isochrones computed by A. Chieffi (private communication) and shown in the figure.”According to the paper, data provided by DR2 exclude the possibility that SDSS J102915+172927 is a subgiant, which confirms that it is a dwarf star. Moreover, it also excludes the assumption that this star was formed from a medium dominantly enriched by a supernova of type Ia.The study published by Bonifacio’s team could be helpful in improving our understanding of such metal-poor, primitive and old objects like Caffau’s star, providing important insight into the process of star formation. It also underlines the role of dust cooling and fragmentation necessary in order to form a star like SDSS J102915+172927. More information: Gaia confirms that SDSS J102915+172927 is a dwarf star, Gaia Data Release 2 provides a parallax of 0.734+/-0.073 mas for SDSS J102915+172927, currently the most metal-poor known object. This parallax implies that it is dwarf star, ruling out the scenario that it is a subgiant. The subgiant scenario had as a corollary that the star had been formed in a medium highly enriched in C, thus making line cooling efficient during the collapse, that was also highly enriched in Fe by Type Ia SNe. This scenario can also now be ruled out for this star, reinforcing the need of dust cooling and fragmentation to explain its formation. Citation: Caffau’s star is a dwarf, Gaia DR2 confirms (2018, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The absolute magnitude of SDSS J102915+172927 derived from the Gaia parallax and the Gaia photometry implies it is a dwarf star. Credit: Bonifacio et al., 2018. 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. © 2018 The star that should not existlast_img read more

Study People may use overconfidence to persuade or deceive others

first_img © 2019 Science X Network More information: Peter Schwardmann et al. Deception and self-deception, Nature Human Behaviour (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41562-019-0666-7 Researchers find breathing-in before doing a task might make you better at doing it Scientists who study human behavior have found through various studies that most people tend to overrate their own abilities or characteristics. Most people think they are smarter than they actually are, for example. And most people seem to think they are better drivers than all the others on the road. But why is this? In this new effort, Schwardmann and van der Weele sought to find out if there might be an advantage to being overconfident—to that end, they carried out a two-stage experiment designed to reveal possible advantages.In the first part of the experiment, a group of volunteers was given an intelligence test; half were told that they would receive €15 if they could convince other people that they did very well on the test. After taking the test, all of the volunteers were given their results and asked to convince other people that they had done well. Unbeknownst to the volunteers, not all were given their actual scores by the researchers. Some were given results that were higher, while others received a lower score. The researchers then studied the behavior of the volunteers as they tried to convince mock employers that they had scored high on the test.The researchers report that those volunteers who were told they scored well on the test reported higher confidence to the researchers than those who were told they scored badly. That was the first result. The second part of the study was designed to find out if overconfidence gave people an advantage when dealing with other people. This involved studying the behavior of the volunteers as they attempted to persuade a mock employer that they had done well on the test. The researchers report that those who were told they scored high on the test, whether they actually had or not, were better able to convince the employer that they had—an example of an advantage for overconfidence Credit: CC0 Public Domain Journal information: Nature Human Behaviourcenter_img A pair of researchers, one from the University of Munich, the other the University of Amsterdam has found that people may behave with overconfidence as a means to persuade or deceive other people. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, Peter Schwardmann and Joël van der Weele describe a two-stage experiment they carried out with volunteers and what they found. 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: Study: People may use overconfidence to persuade or deceive others (2019, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

Of love and despair

first_imgBegum Akhtar, born in 1914, is a classic example of how personal tragedy is often that differentiating edge between a great performer and a truly exceptional one. Witty, vibrant, and engaging with the world at various levels, here was a remarkable woman who took life head-on, and by many accounts, perhaps a bit recklessly. She braved on regardless, driven by a deep inner quest to pursue love in its purest form, as an end in itself; be it in music or in life. Today her name is almost synonymous with the concept of ghazal gayaki, and her imitable style of singing which immortalised her, and gave her the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazal). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As the whole country gears up to celebrate her birth centenary, Kolkata cannot be left behind where Begum had home. Elocutionist and theatre artiste Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee shall present a cultural ensemble on 31 October  at Padatik Theatre, evoking memories of the legendary singer through ghazals and also interesting snippets of her life and times through dramatised readings.Eminent personalities like broadcaster Kishore Bhimani, PR veteran Rita Bhimani, theatre personalities Dolly Basu, Sanchayita Bhattacharya, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Mahmud Alam and Ghazal singer Jayati Bhattacharya and many others shall be a part of this event. The premise of the show has been inspired by the biography of Begum Akhtar written by her student Padmashree Vidushi Rita Ganguly. The show is being supported by Turning Point, Addlife Caring Minds, SREI and Phreedom 4 Ever. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAs Rita Ganguly, a student and companion Begum Akhtar puts it in her book Ae Mohabbat… Reminiscing Begum Akhtar, ‘Her taseer (soulful sound) was the result of years of loneliness, pain, suppression and silence’. Her forte was not necessarily the audibility of her music, for she had a defective area where her voice cracked at a high-pitch, with a limited one-octave range, but she turned it into her virtue for she knew how to mould her voice. The much loved classical diva of 20th century India Akhtaribai Faizabadi, or Begum Akhtar was the last of the great female singers from the courtesan (tawaif) community. Begum Akhtar effortlessly transcended that label to marry Barrister Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbassi of Lucknow.  Ganguly, said, ‘I really admire Sujoy as a sperforming artist and the show he is curating on my Ustad speaks volumes about her inseparable bond with the city where she has been an icon as well.Where : Padatik Theatre, Kolkata When: 31Octoberlast_img read more

Centre asks states UTs to issue environment clearances online

first_imgWhile online procedure is already in place for attaining environment, forest and wildlife clearances from the central government, the states and UTs have been asked to follow suit.In states, environment approvals are issued by State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and State Environment Assessment Committee (SEAC).“The states have been asked to start online submission of environment clearances from SEIAA and SEAC to bring transparency in the process. They have given consent in the matter,” said Javadekar. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIA two-day conference of chief ministers, environment ministers and forest officials on Tuesday concluded brainstorming on giving final shape to various environment laws and strict compliance of green norms. The conference was attended by 30 ministers and over 400 forest officials.Giving details of the resolutions passed in the conference, Javadekar said the states would have to clear the backlog of forest clearances by the end of June. They have been asked to complete delineation of eco-sensitive zones by 30 June. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindSeven states along the Western Ghats have been asked to submit their final reports by April 15 on demarcation of ecologically-sensitive areas in their respective areas as suggested by the K Kasturirangan Committee report.“All states have agreed to give their suggestion by April 15 because after that the eco-sensitive zone will be declared. So, we want input from the states and we have asked them to do ground survey which includes going to each village and taking opinion of the people in terms of development they want,” the Minister said.The states with tiger ranges will constitute state level steering committee and prepare Tiger Conservation Plans including voluntary village relocation from core and critical tiger habitats.last_img read more

Life partially affected in Bengal due to BJP strike

first_imgKolkata: Life on Sunday was partially affected in West Bengal’s Purulia district due to a 12-hour strike called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after two of their party workers were allegedly murdered within a span of three days. The body of 32-year-old Dulal Kumar was found hanging from a high-tension tower in Dabha village on Saturday morning.Claiming that the victim was a prominent party worker, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress for the murder and sought a CBI probe into it. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAnother body of a 20-year-old BJP worker named Trilochan Mahato was also found hanging from a tree in Balarampur area of the same district last week with a message inscribed on the back of his T-shirt, accusing him of supporting the BJP.The Trinamool has, however, denied its involvement in either of the incidents. The state government has handed over the probe to the Criminal Investigation Department.”Law and order situation has been under control. The strike has affected the life partially,” a police official of Balrampur police station said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedMost shops remained shut. Private transports were not seen on the roads while state-owned transports were spotted running on the roads.Twin killings caused tension in the Balrampur area and also in the district and the West Bengal BJP had held demonstrations protesting against the killing of their youth activists.The BJP also demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state, as party chief Amit Shah alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government had completely failed to maintain law and order.Purulia S.P. Joy Biswas on Saturday claimed that preliminary investigation suggested the death of Kumar was a case of suicide.Following this statement, Biswas was transferred by the Mamata Banerjee government to the post of Commanding Officer of State Armed Police 9th Battalion and Akash Magharia was given charge as Purulia SP.last_img read more

Old world charm

first_imgGet ready to experience some enthralling performances as Pierrot’s Troupe is on a performing spree. They will be staging some classic plays in the Capital. The latest one from the troupe is Chacha Chakkan In Action, a humorous reflection of life in and around us which will be staged at Shri Ram Centre on May 2. Written by Qudsiya Zaidi, the play revolves around the quirky misadventures of ‘one and only’ Lucknow-born Aligarh-bred Chacha Chakkan BA LLB.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It begins with Chacha Chakkan’s chaotic search, one not so fine morning, for his lost ‘eyeglasses’ while sporting the same. By afternoon, he decides to take care of his ailing son to mess it up with giving wrong doses of medicine to the latter. Not discouraged by his idiocy, he, in the evening, decides to take from his wife the job of giving out dirty clothes to the washerwoman: He, this time, ends up with giving away his wife’s gold studded silk shirt. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn the process, the play showcases 24 hours in Chacha’s life. However, in the garb of humor and satire, this stylish play by Qudsiya Zaidi beautifully captures the socio – cultural milieu of our country in 1960s.The next play to be staged on May 17 at the same venue is Ghalib In New Delhi. Directed by M Sayeed Alam, this rip-roaring comedy has the great erstwhile Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, revisiting his beloved ‘Dehli’, now ironically ‘Delhi’, in 2015 to witness and relish his posthumous fame. The play deals with Mirza Ghalib’s re-birth in 21st century New Delhi, highlighting his trials, travails and tribulations — from his second birth at the ISBT in Delhi to staying in a Servant Quarterwith a University student from Patna (with the land lady being a Punjaban) to becoming a Page-3 celebrity. The next play to be staged at Sri Ram Centre is Maulana Azad which will be staged on June 17. It is the first ever play on Maulana Azad encompassing his life, his times, his scholarship, his secular credentials a great deal. Maulana’s narrative includes numerous entertaining anecdotes and memoirs characterising his life, personality, thoughts and scholarship. Maulana’s personal relations with Gandhi Ji Nehru, Patel and Jinnah also come under the review in the course of the play. Performed brilliantly by Tom Alter, the play has been rightly billed as the biggest casting coup in the history of Indian theatre.last_img read more

RamMahabharata connection

first_imgFrom Lord Ram’s birth date to the Mahabharata war dates, an ongoing exhibition here claims to have answers to many intriguing questions historians are still trying to crack.According to the exhibition, Cultural Continuity from Rigveda to Robotics, Lord Ram was born on January 10 at 12.05 hours, 5114 BC and the Mahabharata war started on October 13, 3139 BC.With astronomical evidence, it is stated that Hanuman met Sita at Ashok Vatika in Lanka on September 12, 5076 BC. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Contesting theories of Aryan invasion, the organisers of the exhibition said that Aryans were indigenous and that the Mahabharata and Ramayana were historical texts. ‘The genetic study of the world population say that indigenous civilisation has been developing in India for the last 10,000 years. Aryans were originals of India. Studies also showed that the genes of north Indians, Dravidians and tribals are the same,’ said Saroj Bala, director of the Delhi chapter of the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas (I-Serve). Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBala added that they have sufficient evidence to prove that Ramayana and Mahabharata were historic and not mythological texts.‘Rigveda goes back to 7,000 years back, and Ramayana references goes back to 7,000 years, whereas Mahabharata goes back to 5,000 years back,’ she said. ‘Ramayana and Mahabharata are the history of the period. Vedas are the composition of knowledge of subjects including astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, botany and more,’ Bala said. The organisers claimed that the findings were based on astronomical and scientific evidences and followed extensive research. ‘It is a result of 10 years of extensive research work. The software used for astronomical references is called Planetarium Gold,’ said Peeyush Sandhir, associate director, I-Serve. Sandhir added that the references to astronomical dates in Rigveda, Ramayana and Mahabharata were corroborated by oceanographic, archaeological, geological, remote sensing and anthropological proof. The exhibition has also displayed evidence of archaeological excavations carried out in the Indus, Saraswati and Ganga regions. The artefacts include utensils, ornaments, weapons and infrastructure. The exhibition is on at Lalit Kala Akademi till September 23.last_img read more