Wiertz Sebastien – Privacy used under Creative Commons license http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiertz/6092000030/When I wrote last year about Online privacy, the message was that our perceptions of online privacy revolve around the use of information we consider private or personal in a context we weren’t expecting. This post will take a look at how our offline behavior and information is being used to influence the advertising we see online – in particular, ads on Facebook.Your first reaction may be that there’s no way that your Facebook identity can be connected to your offline activities, but that’s not correct. There are a large number of companies, called data brokers, that gather information from a variety of sources, and link that information to create a profile of an individual. Once these data brokers have an email address linked to an individual, they can use that to create targeted advertising campaigns through Facebook.What kinds of information do data brokers collect?To understand the kinds of information that data brokers collect, it’s instructive to take a look at the company Acxiom. According to their document, Understanding Acxiom’s Marketing Products, Acxiom has both household and individual data, including name, address, telephone, email, gender, education level, occupation, voter party, date of birth, marital status, number of children in household, children’s age ranges, household interests, home owner status, home purchase date, home loan amount, home market value, and much more. This data comes from a variety of sources, including public records (marriage licenses, property transfer and tax records, etc.), self-reported survey information, purchase information, etc. Axciom then uses this information to provide services to its customers including targeted or addressable advertising. Axciom states that they don’t share sensitive data, that any individual record contains only a subset of data that they collect, and that data may be combined to create “inferred elements.”How can this information be connected with my Facebook profile?The Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF) recently wrote about the details of how data brokers are able to partner with Facebook to show you targeted ads. In brief, data brokers provide Facebook with a hash (a hash is derived summary of an original value that is not reversible, so the original value is obscured) of an email address for each user they’d like to see a particular ad. Facebook then compares that hash to the hashes of the email address of each Facebook user. When there is a match, the two parties can be confident that it is the same person, even though they didn’t share the actual email address with each other. Facebook is then able to present the purchased ad to the user. In turn, Facebook provides information back to the broker about the success of the ad and aggregate demographic information about the viewers.A simple, contrived exampleIt may be easiest to get a sense of what’s happening through a fictitious example: A data broker would like to advertise dog food on Facebook, but only display that information to dog owners. In their dataset, the broker has stored publicly available dog license information and associated that with particular individuals whose email addresses they have also determined (through surveys or commercial entities.) The broker gives Facebook a list of hashed email addresses (they don’t share the actual email address) and Facebook compares that list to their own list of all hashed email addresses associated with Facebook accounts. The dog food ad is displayed to each user who is on both lists. So, even if a user has never posted about their dog on Facebook, they could see ads that are targeted to them based on offline information.So what?Is this a privacy violation? It likely depends on your perspective. Data brokers would contend that the information they gather is publicly available or shared by the individual. Facebook would contend that the resultant ads have greater relevance to the user, and are more desirable than displaying random ads to each user. The individual may find it creepy that Facebook appears to “know” about things that they did offline and did not intend to share with Facebook. The user may not have thought that licensing their pet would lead to them getting pet supply related ads on Facebook.As technology makes the sharing and combining of this sort of data easier, we can expect to see more examples like this. I remember a conversation from 15 years ago with a friend that sold life insurance. He would hire a college student to go to the county records office and get the information on marriages and births, so he could send the people letters offering his services. Now that large companies are combing through and digitizing these records, they are public in a way we may not be thinking.How can I stop it?The EFF article has information on how to opt out and what that really means. Unfortunately, there is no central clearinghouse where you can opt out from all data brokers at once, and opting out does not mean that data brokers will stop collecting your data. Opting out only affects how the data broker will use your data.Sign of the timesMany people have had the experience with physical junk mail, of suddenly receiving a flood of mail related to something they’ve done, like receiving extended warranty offers after purchasing a car. It appears that online ads have become the analog of junk mail, targeting you based on information gleaned elsewhere. As long ago as 1999, Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, was quoted, “You have zero privacy anyway…Get over it!”The only things that are truly private are those things known only to you. Once others know our actions, behaviors, or information, it is no longer private and we are confronted with how that information is used and in what context. Controlling our expectations and how others use the information we leave scattered in our wake is a challenge we will continue to face.– An excellent explanation of the technical aspects of the data broker / Facebook relationship – Security Now podcast Epsiode 404 with Steve Gibson from the TWIT Network.Author: Stephen Judd (+Stephen Judd, @sjudd)This article was originally published Tuesday May 21, 2013 on the Military Families Learning Network blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Archiving master files of your projects is never a fun task, but using bundles in FCPX makes it a whole lot easier.For years, I had a terrible system for archiving my final cuts of commercial and personal projects. I’d typically only create one master file, which of course meant that if I ever needed that file in a different resolution or codec, I’d need to re-encode it. Not the end of the world in many cases, but in circumstances where I needed that file right away it was a bit of a pain to dig through old archival drives to find, convert, and upload it to a video hosting site.My current method of archiving has become far easier and more streamlined as a result of the bundles feature in FCPX, which effectively allows you to output multiple deliverables with a single click.Currently, most of my projects are shot in 4K, so this is how my bundle is set up to archive final 4K projects:4K Data Master (ProRes HQ)1080p Data Master (ProRes HQ)1080p Web Master (H.264)Both the 4K and 1080p Data Masters will output to my internal drive, while the 1080p web master will not only output to my hard drive, but will also automatically upload to Vimeo with a password. This means that even if a client calls me while I’m on vacation asking for a cut of an old project, I can simply pull up my Vimeo app and send them a link straight from my phone.Bundles are a very powerful way to create masters of your projects in a single click, and you obviously can and should customize your bundle to your specific work needs. Regardless of how you set it up, simply taking the time to arrange a bundle structure in Final Cut Pro X in the first place can save you hours of time down the line, searching for and converting older projects.
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Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now You are already an expert at writing value propositions. Over the course of your lifetime you’ve written thousands of value propositions. Well, to be honest, you didn’t actually write these value propositions. But rest assured, you did create value proposition.Let’s look at example. Remember when you upgraded your computer and bought that new MacBook Air? Did you really need the MacBook Air? We could have an interesting debate over whether you wanted it or needed it, but there is no debating that you came up with a compelling value proposition.What did you tell yourself when you bought that computer? Maybe you told yourself that your old computer was too slow and that your work requires a faster computer. You might have told yourself that your new Macbook Air would boot in seconds, preventing you from having to wait to start working and saving you time. Perhaps you told yourself that the new computer would be light enough that you could carry it everywhere with you, allowing you to work from anywhere and making you even more efficient. If you were really convincing when you sold yourself, you explained to yourself how much money your time was worth and how much more you would make with a faster, lighter, sexier computer.So the value proposition was that you would invest $1500 (plus or minus) and for that $1500 you would gain the ability to get to work faster, improve your efficiency, and make more money–regardless of where you happened to be in the world. And just like that, there is your value proposition.Why then is there so much trouble converting this concept into a value proposition for your prospective clients?You value proposition wasn’t about buying a computer. It was about buying what a computer would allow you to do. It was about the outcomes. Your clients don’t want to buy what you sell. They want to buy what it will allow them to do that they can’t do already. They want to buy outcomes, too.QuestionHow do you craft a compelling, differentiated value proposition?How do you convert features and a benefits into a concise, compelling statement?What makes something difficult to convert into a compelling value proposition?How do you make crafting a value proposition easy?
Suspected militants on Sunday night attacked the ancestral residence of Jammu and Kashmir Minister Farooq Abdrabi in South Kashmir’s Anantnag District, injuring a policeman.The attack was on the residence of Mr. Abdrabi, Minister of State for Hajj and Waqf, at Dooru in Anantnag District and injured a policeman, a police official said.He said the injured policeman was taken to a hospital here for treatment. Further details on the incident are awaited.
One militant has been killed and two soldiers injured as the Army spotted a group of militants in a pre-dawn searches near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara on Monday.Initial reports suggest a joint party of the 10 JAKLI, Army’s 57 Rashriya Rifles (RR) and 41 RR observed the movement of a group of infiltrators and were challenged at Safawali Gali adjacent to Batpora forests in Kupwara.“One militant is killed so far. The body has been spotted and an AK-47 rifle recovered,” said a police official.The operation is on in the area as the militants and the security personnel continue to exchange fire. Two soldiers were also injured, said the police.
The government has informed a Parliamentary panel that it signed a framework agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) after it agreed on a settlement within the Indian federation with a “special status.” R. N. Ravi, interlocutor for the Naga talks, told the committee that it was a departure from their earlier position of “with India, not within India,” and that the government called it a framework agreement and signed it. This is the first time that details of the agreement signed at the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 3, 2015, have emerged.The details are part of the 213th report on the security situation in the Northeastern states tabled by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. The committee was also informed that the “contours” had not been spelt out in the framework agreement that was “just about the recognition of the uniqueness of the Naga history by the Government of India”, and some special arrangements will have to be made for the Nagas. “On being asked what the special arrangement will be, the Committee was told that with respect to Nagaland…Article 371A of the Constitution makes it clear that they are special and a special status has been accorded to them. A similar kind of status, with some local variation, and some change to the Nagas in the neighbouring States can be explored,” the report said. According to the report, Mr. Ravi also informed the committee that the Nagas had now reached a common understanding with the government that “boundaries of the States will not be touched” and “some special arrangements would be made for the Nagas, wherever they are.”“The Interlocutor apprised the committee about the broad status of the negotiations that boundaries of any State will neither be changed nor altered. Initially, the Nagas had stuck to the idea of unification of Naga inhabited areas, resolutely maintaining their stand of ‘no integration, no solution.’ However, they have now reached a common understanding with the Government that boundaries of States will not be touched,” the report said. The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas. The Chief Ministers of the three States have warned against any tinkering with its boundaries.“While briefing the committee, R. N. Ravi, interlocutor for Nagas, stated that the Government has been talking with the NSCN-IM for the last 20 years and their position from the very beginning has been that Nagas were exceptional, Nagas were not Indians, Nagas were sovereign and any settlement could be reached only on the basis of the fact that this is a settlement between two sovereigns“During the course of the last several years, the Government started opening out and reaching out to civil society organisations, Naga tribal bodies and other stakeholders other than the NSCN-IM,” the report said.
The Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday said senior leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig and party counsel will fight the legal challenge to the validity of Article 35A in the Supreme Court on the next date of hearing.“Veteran PDP leader and MP from Baramulla, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, along with party’s legal counsel will fight the assault being launched against the State’s special position in the Supreme Court of India and will remain present in the court on next hearing slated to be held on August 27,” Peoples Democratic Party chief spokesman Rafi Mir said on Wednesday.Mr. Baig, an alumni of Harvard Law School, served as the advocate-general of Jammu and Kashmir from 1987-89 before joining politics.Mr. Mir said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti held a detailed meeting with party’s top leadership over the present political situation and measures needed to be taken to defend Article 35A in the apex court. “It was unanimously agreed during the meeting that the special position accorded to the State of Jammu and Kashmir by the Constitution of India needs to be protected on all fronts and that the party will remain in the forefront to defend it in the Supreme Court,” He said.Top lawyers Mr. Mir said it was highlighted how the PDP while being part of the coalition with the BJP took “drastic and vital measures” for the defence of Article 35A and the government had engaged the top lawyers of the country for the purpose. Ms. Mehbooba emphasised that the fight to safeguard Jammu and Kashmir’s special status will be carried forward with the same zest, he said.The Supreme Court had, on August 6, said a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35A should be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A. Khanwilkar had adjourned the crucial hearing on as many as five petitions “to the week commencing from August 27” on the grounds that they pertained to the challenge to a Constitutional scheme and could not be heard as the third judge, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, was not present on that day.
The Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday claimed to have arrested from Kanpur an Assamese youth on charges of being am alleged operative of the Kashmir-based militant organisation Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The police said the suspect, who was reported missing earlier this year, was planning to carry out a terror attack in UP during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.Identified as Kamar-uz-Zama, the suspect was nabbed from the Chakeri area of Kanpur by a team of the UP Anti-Terror Squad with inputs from the NIA, said the UP ATS.The Uttar Pradesh DGP O.P Singh, who briefed media on the arrest, said the suspect had first surfaced in April this year after a photo of him flaunting an AK47 rifle with his code name was posted on social media and widely shared.Police said that in April 2017, during his stay in Kashmir, Kamar came in touch with a person named Osama and joined the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen through him and went on to get training in the forests and hills near Kishtwar. He then adopted the name Dr. Hurera as part of the HM, said the police.Mr. Singh said the suspect admitted during questioning that he was sent to UP to carry out an attack during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and was even carrying out a recce. The ATS said they found in his phone a video in which he is conducting recce of a temple in Kanpur.“We are still to get the details and are questioning him,” said Mr. Singh.The ATS said it was finding out the duration of Kamar’s stay in UP, details of his aides, source of funding and specific targets in the state.Kamar is a resident of Jamunamukh in Hojai district of Assam.As per the police, he has a diploma in typing and computers and had failed to clear his B.A. third-year exams.Kamar has also lived abroad, in the Republic of Palau, from 2008 to 2012.
A major fire broke out in a slum cluster in Shivaji Nagar on Wednesday afternoon.Initial reports suggest there was no loss to life but authorities have yet to confirm the number of injured.The blaze was allegedly caused by a gas cylinder explosion and engulfed scores of houses in the heavily-crowded Patil Estate area, according to reports. Around a 100 shanties were charred and 50 families were affected.The fire was brought under control after three hours with 30 fire tenders from Pimpri-Chinchwad and Khadki Cantonment Board. “A cylinder explosion in lane number 3 in the Patil Estate slum cluster caused the fire. Eight to 10 cylinders exploded as the fire caught on. While the situation is under control, operations are far from complete,” said Prashant Ranpise, Pune Municipal Corporation’s chief fire officer.The impenetrability of the narrow slum lanes hindered fire department teams from getting hoses close enough to the nerve-centre of the blaze.The crowds of frightened residents, onlookers, civic authorities, traffic police teams and firefighting teams, led to major traffic snarls at a number of points in the city including the crowded Maldhakka Chowk-Mangalwar Peth road area. Traffic coming from Pimpri-Chinchwad into Pune alsowas diverted along a different route.Mayor Mukta Tilak and local MLAs visited the spot, reassuring compensation for those people who would be displaced.A fire had broken out earlier this week under similar circumstances in lane number 5 in the same slum cluster and four to five shanties were charred.In October, another fire caused by a cylinder explosion claimed two lives in a slum in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Discussions for seat sharing between the Congress and the CPI(M) in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are expected to start soon, sources in the two parties said on Monday. They said the parties have already been holding informal parleys, but formal talks are likely to begin after the February 3 rally. According to State Congress sources, the party is keen on fighting at least 18-20 seats, including Raiganj and Murshidabad, which are the only two seats that the CPI(M) won in the last elections in the State. These two seats are presently the bone of contention between the two parties, sources said.
A think tank has written to the Goa Director of Social Welfare, a nodal department for persons with disability, over an inordinate delay in notifying the draft rules for the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016, in the State.The Centre notified the Act in January, 2017. All States were given six months to frame rules and notify them. “The rules are far from notified in Goa, the State has missed the deadline several times, breaching the Central directive,” said Monika Singh of I-DARE, a registered think tank of activists and professionals working for persons with disability. “Having gone through the draft of the rules we feel a lot of issues need to be addressed. The problems therein will not only dilute the spirit of the Act, but are also likely to land departments and stakeholders in a quagmire when implemented,” the letter stated.I-DARE said the rules have not been framed for some sub-sections under Section 101 of the Act, and that the some don’t seem to be in sync with the Section. Apart from typographical and spelling errors, terminology used in the draft rules is offensive and derogatory to persons with disability. For example, the term ‘mentally retarded’ was used, which must be replaced with ‘persons with an intellectual disability’. The draft has specified persons from the field of science and medicine to head the research committee. However, I-DARE has pointed out that disability research is being carried out through allied fields, more robust than pure sciences and medicine. “We recommend that the rules be technically edited or checked by experts from fields like psychology, disability medicine and education,” the letter said.The group has asserted that rules need to be framed for the constitution and functioning of the search and selection committee for the appointment of a new Disability Commissioner. Details of the necessary infrastructure and human resource must be provided to avert a situation similar to when the past Commissioner resigned over non-cooperation and lack of infrastructure.The think tank sought to know the current status of notification of the drafted rules, the process to be followed and time frame for it.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—Why do teens—especially adolescent males—commit crimes more frequently than adults? One explanation may be that as a group, teenagers react more impulsively to threatening situations than do children or adults, likely because their brains have to work harder to rein in their behavior, a research team reported here yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.Whether it’s driving too fast on a slick road or experimenting with drugs, teenagers have a reputation for courting danger that is often attributed to immaturity or poor decision-making. If immaturity or lack of judgment were the only problem, however, one would expect that children, whose brains are at an even earlier stage of development, would have an equal or greater penchant for risk-taking, says Kristina Caudle, a neuroscientist at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City who led the study. But younger children tend to be more cautious than teenagers, suggesting that there is something unique about adolescent brain development that lures them to danger, she says.It’s hard to generalize about teenage impulsivity, because some adolescents clearly have more self-control than many adults, says principal investigator B. J. Casey, a neuroscientist. Still, a growing body of evidence suggests that, in general, teens specifically struggle to keep their cool in social situations, she says. Because many crimes committed during adolescence involve emotionally fraught social situations, such as conflict, Caudle and colleagues decided to test whether teens perform badly on a common impulsivity task when faced with social cues of threat. They recruited 83 people, ranging in age from 6 to 29, to perform a simple “Go/No-Go” task, in which they watched a series of faces making neutral or threatening facial expressions flicker past on a computer screen. Each time the participants saw a neutral face, they were instructed to hit a button. They were also told to hold back from pressing the button when they saw a threatening face. 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Males performed worse than females, suggesting a sex difference that fits with the disproportionate number of crimes that male teens commit, Caudle says. Those adolescents who did manage to restrain themselves showed significantly higher activity in a brain region called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which is involved in top-down control of behavior. “You could think of it as the brake,” Caudle says. “It’s as if the teenage brain might need to work a little harder to hold that response back.” This could help explain why teenage criminals are less likely to be repeat offenders, the researchers say—as their brains develop into adulthood, it gets easier for them to rein in their behavior.”This work strongly suggests that the teenage brain is highly impulsive in the face of threat and points to unusual vmPFC activity as a possible biological underpinning,” says Jon Horvitz, a neurobiologist at the City College of New York. “It is an exciting finding.”
Plastic may be with us a lot longer than we thought. In addition to clogging up landfills and becoming trapped in Arctic ice, some of it is turning into stone. Scientists say a new type of rock cobbled together from plastic, volcanic rock, beach sand, seashells, and corals has begun forming on the shores of Hawaii. “The article is intriguing and fascinating,” says geophysicist Douglas Jerolmack of the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the work. “If these things can be preserved, then they might be a nice marker around the world of when humans came to dominate the globe and leave behind their refuse in mass quantities.”Geologist Patricia Corcoran of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and Charles Moore, captain of the oceanographic research vessel Alguita, stumbled upon the new rocks on a beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. These stones, which they’ve dubbed “plastiglomerates,” most likely formed from melting plastic in fires lit by humans who were camping or fishing, the team reports this month in GSA Today. Although anywhere there is a heat source, such as forest fires or lava flows, and “abundant plastic debris,” Corcoran says, “there is the potential for the formation of plastiglomerate.” When the plastic melts, it cements rock fragments, sand, and shell debris together, or the plastic can flow into larger rocks and fill in cracks and bubbles to form a kind of junkyard Frankenstein.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Corcoran says some of the plastic is still recognizable as toothbrushes, forks, ropes, and just “anything you can think of.” Once the plastic has fused to denser materials, like rock and coral, it sinks to the sea floor, and the chances it will become buried and preserved in the geologic record increase.Corcoran and her team canvassed Kamilo Beach on the Big Island for more of the rocks and found plastiglomerate in all 21 sites they surveyed. She says people have already found plastiglomerate on another Hawaiian island, and she expects there to be much more on coastlines across the world. Plastiglomerate is likely well distributed, it’s just never been noticed before now, she says.Jerolmack agrees. “All around the world where there’s trash being openly burned in mass quantities, you can imagine there are even larger melted plastic deposits” where plastiglomerate could form.The discovery adds to the debate about whether humanity’s heavy hand in natural processes warrants the formal declaration of a new epoch of Earth history, the Anthropocene, says paleontologist Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study. Plastics in general are so pervasive that they’ve been documented in a number of surprising places, including ingested in wildlife and on the sea floor. The mass of plastic produced since 1950 is close to 6 billion metric tons, enough to bundle the entire planet in plastic wrap. Combine plastic’s abundance with its persistence in the environment, and there’s a good chance it’ll get into the fossil record, Zalasiewicz says. “Plastics, including plastiglomerates, would be one of the key markers by which people could recognize the beginning of the Anthropocene.”How long the plastic will endure remains a matter of debate, however. Jerolmack says he doubts the material will stick around in the fossil record. After all, plastic melts, and rocks often pass through hellish depths and temperatures through tectonic processes and burial. Geologist Philip Gibbard of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom says he imagines that plastics might “revert back to a source of oil from whence they came, given the right conditions of burial.” But Zalasiewicz and Corcoran say that isn’t true for all the plastic. Some of the material can be preserved as a thin carbon film, much like the way fossil leaves are preserved. Zalasiewicz says that in some rare cases, in that etch of carbon “you may well be left the shape for a flattened plastic bottle.”
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British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, a winner of the Man Booker Prize in 1981 for “Midnight’s Children,” is back in contention for the foundation’s special one-off award: its ‘Golden Man Booker Prize’ to mark the literary awards’ 50th anniversary.Along with Rushdie, four other Indian-origin authors are in the run for this award which will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public: V.S. Naipaul for “In a Free State” (1971); Arundhati Roy for “The God of Small Things” (1997); Indian American Kiran Desai for “The Inheritance of Loss” (2006); and Aravind Adiga for “The White Tiger” (2008).Read it at India West Related Items
Indian IT companies and their customers are facing a dearth of mid-level talent in the US, caused by stricter interpretations of rules governing the H-1B work visa programme.The US market has always had a problem with entry-level talent but the middle layer was generally filled with Indians on H-1B visas. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
My parents crossed the ocean on one of the early waves of immigrants, in 1970. My dad came to the United States from India with a mechanical engineering degree and worked three jobs to establish a foothold for his young family. A year later, my mom and three sisters joined him. They bought an apartment, enrolled the kids in school and built a life they could be proud of. As thankful as I am for the sacrifices my parents made and for the courage it took them to pursue their dreams on my behalf, even though I would not be born for another decade, their story is not altogether unique. In fact, most Indians who immigrated to the United States during that time relate similar experiences. They laugh like old army buddies as they trade war stories of their journeys.“I came here with only $8,” boasts one man.“I arrived with only six,” recalls another. “And I didn’t know a single person here.”The women relate their experiences raising their children without help from relatives, of joining PTA groups where they were peppered with such questions as, “Did you have houses in India?” or “Did you have electricity?”They nod understandingly at each other’s memories and common histories. They chuckle at their naïveté and marvel at where they have arrived.Just being Indian was enough to bond them as friends. As a child, I remember the countless times we ran into an Indian couple while shopping at a department store. Either my dad or the stranger would start up a conversation, usually in Hindi or another Indian dialect. The women would smile and introduce themselves, launching into their own conversation, as my brother and I strained to assess if the couple was old enough to have kids our age. We fidgeted while the grown-ups talked animatedly.“Oh, we know some Gujarati families in the area. Not too many from Rajasthan, though.”“We moved, I guess, 15 years ago now. I’m living in Pennsylvania, but my brother and his wife are here, so we’re visiting.”The conversations would last sometimes for an hour, until my mom realized that my brother and I were squatting at the feet of the mannequins, as our legs tired. My dad would invite the couple to our home for tea and a new friendship would be launched, just like that.But that was many years ago, back when Kauffmann’s used to be May Company. Such spontaneous encounters are rare now. Second and third generation Indians pretend to ignore other Indians. First, their radar goes off: “Indian at two o’clock, approaching fast!” (I’ve never been sure whether this recognition system is learned behavior or sheer instinct.) Then comes the nonchalant glance, subtle only in the mind of the observer, because the person observed always is well aware of the stare.But that’s where it usually ends – no genial greetings, no camaraderie, no chats over steaming cups of tea. Instead, the parties remain awkwardly silent, trying to avoid eye contact. Everyone knows there is an elephant in the room, but no one wants to acknowledge its presence.Whenever I see that occur, it saddens me a little. I feel like I’m watching a little of the past die with each unreturned glance. My parents’ generation shared a history, a brotherhood, but what will my generation share? Are we a fragmented community, with no connection to each other, no common humanity? Have we lost all identification with each other as Indians? I refuse to accept that, almost to the point of childishness.On sunny weekends, go to the outdoor mall in Grove City, Penn. You can be sure to find at least 20 Indians, 45 if it’s especially busy. I know this, because I count them. Reasoning that they are noticing me as well, I satisfy my need to recognize them by enumerating each person I spot. Then I whisper to whomever I’m with, “Hey, look! It’s an Indian person.” If it’s my sister, she will try to get me to look away, pretend that we have not seen them, only after, of course, she has taken a quick glance herself. My dad, on the other hand, will look directly at the person with amiable curiosity and pass on the information to my mom. Likewise, whenever they spot an Indian on our shopping trip, they notify me so I can retabulate my census.I’ll be the first to admit that it’s an absurd game. But I know that everyone else is playing it too, at least at a subconscious level. We seek out people with whom we can identify. Pointing out each Indian is my small act of rebellion against the trend of alienation. I can’t invite these strangers over without raising some suspicion, but I won’t deny the connection I feel with them either. I don’t want to let the easy friendships my parents’ generation developed with one another fade over time. I’m afraid they will anyway.But every now and then, I will meet someone who will reaffirm my faith a little. A few days ago, I passed a jewelry stand. A couple of students were clustered around it, looking for the perfect shell necklace for a boyfriend or a hippie accessory. I paused at the table, I told myself, to see if there were any silver paayal (Indian ankle bracelets) or jhoomki earrings. My real reason, though, was that I noticed that an Indian gentleman was operating the stand. I wanted to see if he would say anything even vaguely reminiscent of those conversations I fidgeted through as a child. I was testing the current attitude of Indians in the United States toward each other. I knew it was unfair to put an entire segment of humanity on trial, but this man was about to be my prime witness.I strode over and pretended to be engrossed in a ring display. I could feel him watching me silently, his radar going off.“You look like you’re from India,” he said to me.I smiled. I came darn near close to beaming.“Yes, my family is from Rajasthan,” I answered.“These pieces of jewelry here are all from Rajasthan,” he said, motioning to some amber stones. “I just went there a few months ago. It’s very beautiful there.”And then we began talking. He told me about his old job as a high school teacher and swimming team coach. We talked of his recent visits to India, about the weather, politics and current events. We traded some information about our families and discovered that his daughter-in-law and my mom knew each other. My mom had met her when she stopped at the jewelry stand she operated at our local mall.All in all, I only spent about 10 minutes talking to the man. We wouldn’t be lifelong friends, but we both felt an immediate sense of familiarity. When I said good-bye, I called him “uncle,” as is the Indian custom for showing respect to an elder gentleman. He shook my hand as I left for class.“It was nice meeting you,” we said to each other – and we sincerely meant it. Related Items
A New York company is entering a joint collaboration with Banglore-based Reva Electric Car Company to launch electric cars for the U.S. market in 2010.Freeport, N.Y., based Bannon Automotive will build the three-door, plug-in hatchback Reva NXR and a sporty two-seater NXG at a suburb in Syracuse. Reva and Bannon will jointly invest $26.5 million in the plant, while state and federal officials are providing a $6.76 million package in grants and tax incentives as well as $52 million in federal loans and loan guarantees.Bannon’s Reva factory will initially employ 100 workers, growing to 250 in three years and will produce 15,000 to 20,000 cars annually.The lithium-ion battery powered NXG model, priced from $20,000 to $25,000, reaches speeds of up to 65 mph with a range of 100 miles on a single charge. The lead-acid battery powered NXR’s speed tops out at 50 mph. The NXR has a 50-mile range and sells for around $17,000. Related Items
Chandra Proteco is setting up a $32 million copper cable manufacturing plant in Morgantown, Kentucky, which is expected to create 106 jobs in the town.The plant, called Kentucky Copper, is the company’s first U.S. facility. The company presently has plants in India, Europe, Africa and China. Related Items