Trade between India and Zimbabwe has reached US $ 125 million in the financial year, 2010-2011, said Commerce Ministry Tuesday.Comparing to 2006-07 (US $ 64.02 mn), the trade growth between the two countries has doubled in four years.”Bilateral Trade has shown an impressive growth, increasing from US $ 64.02 mn in 2006-07 to US $ 125 mn in the year 2010-11, i.e. almost doubling in the last 4 years, with India’s exports to Zimbabwe amounting to US $ 114 mn and imports from Zimbabwe amounting to US $ 11 mn,” a press release by the Ministry said.Expressing happiness over the development, the Union Minister of Commerce Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma requested Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru to ratify BIPPA which was signed in 1999 as it will help in increasing investments in both countries.Conveying India’s interest in cooperating with Zimbabwe in the mining, power generation, railway, ICT and agricultural sectors, Sharma said “In fact the tripod on which the India-Africa relationship stands today with the resonance of South-South cooperation is that of technology, trade and training. We have created a three-tiered cooperation at Pan-African, regional and bilateral levels with the continent of Africa.”
A teaser for Minecraft: Earth showed a pig from the game.Microsoft’s YouTube ChannelMinecraft, one of the most popular games in the world, is getting the AR treatment from Microsoft and it seems to have high potential. The official trailer for Minecraft: Earth was released on May 17, which marked the 10-year anniversary of the game.Minecraft: Earth will allow players to project their creations into the world through their smartphones. Microsoft had released a teaser video on their official YouTube channel on 6 May, showing a pig from the game walking on grass. The official reveal is grander, showing the potential of the game and urging people to “Minecraft your world”.The trailer gives viewers a glimpse of the vast potential for creativity that Minecraft: Earth will bring. It shows people placing virtual treehouses in their garden, grand castles being built at a park, a giant blue octopus enveloping houses in its tentacles, a village on a table-top, and chickens.Thus, people will have the ability to create an environment on a small surface, say, the table in a restaurant, and then take their creation out in the world and showcase it on a larger scale. Players will be able to interact with virtual wildlife and the various mobs in the game. It will also give players the ability to collaborate on projects and create something together.Microsoft hasn’t revealed how the game will be monetised, but it has been reported by Windows Central that it will be a free-to-play game without any loot boxes. The report mentions that the game will have ‘Build Plates’ on which players will build their creations, and then be able to scale the build plates to size. To create, players will have to collect blocks and go for an “Adventure” for rarer materials, such as diamonds. These personal Build Plates will also ensure that a player’s creations don’t get destroyed by others.Players are being offered a free, Earth-themed skin for their avatar in Minecraft if they register now for the Minecraft: Earth. It is available for devices running iOS 10 (or greater)and Android 7 (or greater), and registrations are available through this link. Minecraft: Earth will allow players to collaborate on projects.Minecraft.netAugmented Reality (AR)The prospect of AR technology took the world by storm when Pokémon GO released back in July of 2016. An age-old franchise with a massive following had come to life on people’s phones. Fans could catch their favourite Pokémon and get rewarded just for walking. People could not stop playing the game, even on the road. It got some criticism when people met with accidents while crossing roads or driving.Minecraft: Earth will have a slightly different take on AR with its fixed anchors. This technology allows multiple people to see the same thing, say a tower at a park, at the same place. By permanently anchoring objects’ positions and logging that on the cloud, players’ creations will stay at one location until moved.Creator Markus Persson shared his story of looking for the technology at a time when none of the tech companies in Forbes 500 were working on it. “Name a Fortune 500 tech company,” he told Wired in an interview, “I probably asked them, ‘Hey, are you working on this?'” Nobody was.That was until he met the developers of HoloLens in 2017, who were working on the exact technology he had been looking for. They decided to collaborate on the project and Minecraft became a big part of HoloLens demos. Now, Microsoft wants to let players make their own world and experience it through the lens of their phone.The development of this game is certainly something to look forward to, as it will also mark a new way to play games. The beta for Minecraft: Earth will commence in Summer this year. The full release has been rumoured to be sometime before 2020.
Last month, IBM sacked more than 2,000 employeesCredit: ReutersIn a shocking revelation by a former vice president in an ongoing age discrimination lawsuit, International Business Machines Corp (IBM) has laid off as many as 1,00,000 employees in the last 7 years. The deposition further said that IBM took the step to enhance its appeal towards millennials and look “cool” and “trendy” as Amazon and Google. It is to be noted that the Armonk-based IT giant is facing several lawsuits accusing it of sacking older employees, including a class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil suits filed in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas.In a statement, IBM said, “The Company hires 50,000 employees each year, and spends nearly a half-billion dollars on training our team. We also receive more than 8,000 job applications every day, the highest rate that we’ve ever experienced, so there’s clear excitement about IBM’s strategy and direction for the future”.As per a report published in Bloomberg, IBM’s revenue has been shrinking since last seven years. In order to cut down on costs, the company has fired thousands of people in the US, Canada, and other high-wage markets. At the end of the year 2018, IBM’s workforce has slumped to its lowest point in six years with 3,50,600 employees globally which is 19 percent since 2013. michiganmodern.orgThe latest revelation by Alan Wild, former vice president of human resources in one of the lawsuits, claimed that IBM sacked 50,000 to 1,00,000 employees in just the last several years. In a submission to the court Wild said IBM face huge recruitment problems and with the objective to show that IBM was not “an old fuddy-duddy organization” and show itself as “as [a] cool, trendy organization” like Google and Amazon, the company sacked older employees. The document further added that following this strategy, IBM fired Texas-based Jonathan Langley, 61 after 24 years of his services in the company who filed a case. IBM filed a motion requesting the court to dismiss his case, in turn, Langley’s lawyers filed an opposition to that motion.Last month, IBM sacked more than 2,000 employees. The company had said, “We are continuing to reposition our team to align with our focus on the high-value segments of the IT market – while aggressively hiring in critical new areas that deliver value for our clients and IBM.”
How close? The answer is a bit hard to swallow even to a disinterested physicist! A difference of one part in a million billion (1015) would allow galaxies to form before the expansion of the universe pulls everything too far apart for new structures to form. This is known as a fine-tuning problem: to explain the observed properties of the universe under the Big Bang model, physicists had to assume a very specific value for its initial density.If the universe were actually at the critical density, which has a clear physical significance, the fine-tuning problem wouldn’t be so bad. A universe starting at the critical density remains at the critical density forever, which sounds like a clue to some deeper physical law. One might claim that an unknown physical process makes this the only possible value. But in knowing that the initial density was some other number, physicists had to admit that any initial density was possible. Although we live in a universe capable of supporting life, the probability that such a universe came into existence randomly seemed to be infinitesimal.The fine-tuning problem was eventually solved by borrowing ideas from quantum field theory, a branch of physics dealing with fundamental particles and their interactions. During the Eighties and Nineties, most physicists were content with the Big Bang model and believed that a quantum mechanical process called inflation pushed the density of the early universe very close to its critical value in a brief period of runaway expansion. During inflation, the universe was dominated by a field of energy not unlike the dark energy being discussed today. In this scenario, the initial density of the universe was no longer relevant—inflation would drive any initial value towards the critical value in the blink of an eye.At the turn of the millennium, however, this tidy theory began to fail. Large-scale surveys discovered distant supernovae by the dozen, allowing astronomers to determine how fast the universe was expanding billions of years ago. The cosmology du jour predicted that the universe was slowing down, but these and subsequent observations have shown that the expansion is actually speeding up!To explain this result, Einstein’s cosmological constant had to be brought back into the picture. This parameter corresponds to the energy density of a vacuum (the ‘dark energy’), and just like the matter density the cosmological ‘constant’ evolves along with the universe. The fine-tuning problem has therefore returned, in a different form. The initial density of vacuum energy had to be very close to zero at the Big Bang, or else an accelerating expansion would have driven apart all the matter before stars could form. Inflation can’t solve the problem this time; technically speaking, the cosmological constant is itself one cause of inflation.Once again, cosmologists find themselves debating the initial conditions of the universe. One common explanation, which has been used for decades to solve fine-tuning problems, is called the anthropic principle. In essence, this is the statement that we must live in a universe that can support life because we are here to observe it. This statement isn’t very satisfying, however, since it doesn’t offer any new insight into the nature of the universe. In modern times, physicists such as Alexander Vilenkin (Tufts University) have begun to suggest that our universe is only one of many. They envision an eternally expanding field of fundamental energy, effervescent with an infinity of universes. Each one has a Big Bang of its own, popping into existence wherever quantum fluctuations cool the fundamental field sufficiently. If there are an infinite number of universes, then it is certainly much less surprising that some would be habitable. Our particular combination of cosmological parameters, however, remains a highly improbable event in its own right.Advances in string theory and our understanding of higher dimensional spaces have made possible an even more astonishing solution to the coincidence problem. Quantum mechanical models have been proposed that allow the cosmological constant to decay from any initial value to almost zero. Such models, however, have two problems: first, the process typically requires trillions of years; and second, while the cosmological constant is large the density of matter in the universe drops to zero very quickly. But what if the universe is much older than it appears? Professors Paul Steinhardt (Princeton University) and Neil Turok (Cambridge University) have come up with a novel solution that gives the cosmological constant time to decay to its required value. Resurrecting a ghost of the cyclical universe, they propose that our universe is one of two embedded in the eleven-dimensional space of string theory. The two universes are linked with a spring-like attraction, and so pass through each other (moving along one of the higher dimensions) periodically. Every time they interact, enormous energies are released and both universes fill with hot plasma—a new Big Bang. There is no Big Crunch, as both universes are constantly expanding. A trillion years or so after one Big Bang, when the universe is practically empty, another Big Bang occurs and the stars and galaxies can form once more.The underlying cosmological constant, however, is unaffected by this process and has all the time it needs to decay to a small value. Eventually stars and galaxies will have time to form, and the same will be true of every subsequent cycle. In this modern version of the old cyclical model, the coincidence is resolved because only a few cycles are required for the cosmological constant to decay. The number of star-producing cycles following the decay, however, is practically infinite.Either way, it is clear that our perspective has changed. A single universe is no longer satisfying, given the most unlikely nature of our own. To explain our existence, it seems we must imagine others.References:Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok, “Why the Cosmological Constant is Small and Positive”, Science 4 May 2006, http://xxx.lanl.gov/astro-ph/0605173Alexander Vilenkin, “The Vacuum Energy Crisis”, Science 4 May 2006, http://xxx.lanl.gov/astro-ph/0605242Articles from Science magazine are also available at http://www.sciencemag.org/1As the universe expands, its density decreases. The critical density is therefore actually a function of time, and had a much higher value in the early universe than it does today.By Ben Mathiesen, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. During the decades following common acceptance of the Big Bang model, physicists and astronomers tried very hard to measure the composition of the universe. According to theory, the average density of the universe would determine its ultimate fate. A universe with too little matter would expand forever, and its average density would eventually drop to zero. A universe with too much matter, on the other hand, would one day collapse under its own gravity (the ‘Big Crunch’). Only one special value, the critical density, could prevent both a Big Crunch and the unchecked expansion of the universe. Those with philosophical objections to a dying universe had only three alternatives. One idea was that we actually lived in a steady state universe. In this model, the universe expands at a constant rate but produces an occasional atom out of the void to maintain its average density. A steady state universe is infinite, and need not have had a Big Bang at all. Another way out was to have a cyclical universe, whose every Big Crunch is followed by another Big Bang. The cyclical universe model didn’t improve our own long-term prospects, but it at least preserved the universe itself from extinction. Unfortunately, neither of these models survived under the pressure of improving astronomical observations.By the 1970s, a critical density Big Bang model was the only viable solution for a stable universe. Unfortunately, even the most generous accounting of matter in the universe added up to only about half of the required density. Cosmologists were stuck with an unstable universe, doomed to end in cold and darkness. A universe that expands forever is not so bad, if the data require it; the future history of the universe might be disappointing to aesthetes, but a scientist will just shrug and accept the result. The Big Bang model, however, still had a big problem: our low-density universe could only arise from a highly unlikely coincidence of initial conditions. An expanding universe is fine in principle, but it mustn’t expand too quickly! For galaxies, stars, and planets to form, the average density of matter has to stay relatively high for at least a few billion years. To satisfy even this one vague constraint, it turns out that the initial density of the universe would have had to be very close to the critical value1. Citation: A Cosmic Coincidence Resurrects the Cyclical Universe (2006, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-06-cosmic-coincidence-resurrects-cyclical-universe.html Over the past five years or so, scientists have finally converged on a model of the universe that explains (or at least permits) all of its characteristics. The new cosmological model has one very surprising feature, however, which is supported by several robust and unrelated observations. In addition to matter and radiation, it seems that the vacuum of space is filled with a mysterious ‘dark energy’ that pushes the universe apart. While the dark energy helps us explain a great many things, it also resurrects an old problem once thought buried—the idea that our universe is the product of a highly unlikely cosmic coincidence. Could vacuum physics be revealed by laser-driven microbubbles? 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.
Kolkata: The West Bengal Heritage Commission organised a seminar on ‘Heritage Conservation’ to create awareness amongst people and professionals belonging to different fields for the preservation and reconstruction of heritage buildings and sites on Monday to celebrate the World Heritage day.The seminar was presided over by the Chairman of WBHC, Shuvaprasanna and consultants of different departments. Experts from the Conservation Architect and Heritage also delivered speeches to address Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsthe matter.After Heritage Commission was set up in 2001, the main aim of the body was to preserve the heritage sites and buildings as a mere respect towards them and also as a contribution towards the economy of the country. Due to public negligence towards heritage sites and the destruction of the same, a need for awareness has cropped up.Suvaprasanna said the financial crunch makes it difficult for the Commission to work on reconstruction. He further said they are in dire need of engineers and qualified people. Srikumar Bhattacharya, senior engineer of PWD assured Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedhelp from the department and the establishment of a proper cooperation cell for the preservation of Heritage buildings. WBHC officials have also requested educational institutions to make their students aware of the problems and teach them to become more equipped in this field.Sujata Sen, a WBHC official said: “Awareness is only the starting point.”Through this seminar, WBHC pushes people to preserve their culture and heritage to the best of their abilities,” she added.
Hopeful of the Indo-Pak series coming through in December despite the escalation in diplomatic tensions, Pakistan Cricket Board’s senior official Najam Sethi said the situation would be clear by next month.“I am not bothered by political statements coming from India or the fuss in the media around the series. I see it happening because they are highs and lows in Indo-Pak relations all the time and the situation is still not that serious to say there will be no cricket series in December,” Sethi said. Also Read – A league of his own!“I think the situation will be much clearer in September when the prime ministers of both countries and the other officials of the foreign ministries are likely to meet on the sidelines on the UN session in New York,” he said in an interview.Sethi, who was PCB chief when the MOU was signed between the two boards to play six series between 2015 and 2022 with four of them being hosted by Pakistan, said the document was signed in an ICC meeting and it is on record that BCCI said it will not back out. Also Read – Domingo named new Bangladesh cricket coach“There are millions of dollars involved in this MOU and we stand to gain a lot financially by hosting India in December. More importantly, the Indo-Pak series is even bigger than the Ashes in cricket and we need to remain cool and not panic and get worried that the series will not be held,” Sethi added.BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said on the Geo Super channel on Monday night that the series will not go ahead if the political tensions do not subside. “There are three months and the series can be held. The BCCI wants the series to
Kolkata: The Supreme Court refused to stay the decision of the Mamata Banerjee government to give a Rs 10,000 grant to Durga Puja organisers.The Bengal government had announced to give the grant to each of the 28,000 Puja committees in the state.Subsequently, a PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court against the state government’s decision. The Calcutta High Court had disposed of the PIL on October 10, allowing the state government to give the grant to the Durga Puja committees. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe High Court had also decided not to interfere into the matter as the legislature is the right forum to take decision on expenditures of the government.Challenging the order, a petition was filed before the apex court. However, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta refused to stay the state government’s decision to grant fund to the Durga Puja committees. The apex court has directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit explaining the matter, within six weeks. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the state government has stated before the court that the decision to give Rs 10,000 to each of the Durga Puja committees has been taken for traffic safety campaigns during Puja.It may be recalled that the state government hadtaken all necessary steps todistribute cheques among the Puja committees, immed-iately after the High Court decided not to interfere into the matter.The cheques were distributed through local police stations in the evening, after the High Court gave its direction in this connection. The next day, the petition was filed before the Supreme Court and the appeal was heard on Friday, when the apex court refused to stay the decision of the Mamata Banerjee government.It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged all Durga Puja organisers to create awareness amongpeople when they visit the pandals.This comes at the time when the state government has taken several steps to check road accidents.The Chief Minister had introduced the statewide Safe Drive Save Life campaign and it has helped in bringing down the number of accidents in the state.Now, with the grant to Durga Puja organisers, more steps will be taken to create awareness among pandal-hoppers, which will ensure traffic safety with people becoming more aware of the same.The Durga Puja committees have also made a plan to utilise the grant properly so that the purpose is served.
Brought to you by PCWorld Register Now » November 29, 2007 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read ProsSolid performerConsDoesn’t completely uninstall itselfPricing: Royaldiscount.com $51.94VioSoftware.com $57.99Royaldiscount.com $27.99Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008 Symantec’s Norton Internet Security 2008 suite offers solid security protection and features, including the best behavior-based defense against unknown threats.Symantec’s Norton Internet Security 2008 security suite ($70 for up to three PCs) is easy to use and comes with a host of extra security features, such as a separate Security Inspector scan that warns about unsafe browser settings and other potential security holes. It was the only suite in our testing for “All-in-One Security Suites: Tried and Tested” that didn’t cry wolf by reporting at least one false positive.It detected an above-average 91 percent of AV-Test.org’s 674,589 malware samples. This results put the Norton suite close behind the Avira Premium Security Suite, BitDefender Internet Security 2008, Checkpoint ZoneAlarm Internet SecuritySuite 7.1, and Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 packages, each of which detected 95 percent or more of the malware samples. Nevertheless. a 4 percent difference in detection rates represents a difference of 26,983 undetected samples. Symantec’s suite produced the second-worst showing on AV-Test’s heuristic tests, catching only 10 percent of samples when required to use one-month-old signature files to detect unknown malware based on similarities to existing code.The Symantec suite did outperform the other programs at getting rid of infections. It cleaned up 80 percent of all files and Registry entries added by malware. In particular, Norton was a champ at fighting rootkits–malware designed to hide other malware. It detected every active and inactive rootkit sample, and successfully neutralized those infections. Symantec’s suite was one of only two programs (Checkpoint was the other) to detect and block unidentified malware based solely on the way it behaved, but even so it caught just one sample out of five.In our tests, on-demand (user-initiated) scans were more than 50 percent faster with Norton than with the next-fastest suite (Avira Premium), yielding an impressive data-analysis rate of 16.07 megabytes per second. And those on-demand scans look inside file archives, where crooks frequently hide malicious payloads. (On the other hand, Norton’s automatic scans, which check files as your system saves them to the hard drive, won’t check file archives unless you change the default settings).Symantec’s firewall is polished. It successfully blocked attempts from outside to scan a protected PC for information, and it did better than most competing suites at refraining from issuing unnecessary warnings about benign apps such as Firefox and Internet Explorer.In addition, Norton Internet Security displayed an apt warning when it detected an unencrypted wireless connection, and it incorporates various safe-browsing features. For example, its Norton Confidential toolbar, designed for Firefox and Internet Explorer, blocks phishing sites; and its Browser Defender checks for known vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Though the suite’s Identity Safe feature protects sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, from inadvertently leaving your PC, you’ll must manually tell it what information to protect–a standard but laborious process. It has no antispam or parental controls, but those features are freely downloadable from Symantec’s site.The interface is well laid-out, and the software’s pop-up detection alerts are generally understandable, though they provide little information, such as where a threat was found. Its impressive log entries simplify the task of finding out what the program has been up to–but again they lack information about where a given threat was discovered.Our one major criticism of the suite is that when we uninstalled it, it left behind the separate LiveUpdate component. You have to know to go back and remove LiveUpdate as well.Norton Internet Security 2008 has a good design and an appealing feature set. It could be better at blocking malware, but it’s the best choice of the eight we looked at.– Erik Larkin