// October 2014 ~ EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY

Monday, 13 October 2014

Are 'Hearables' the Next Big Thing in Fitness................... Fitness.......

The future of “smart” wearable devices could be in your ear, according to the “wireless evangelist” Nick Hunn. Hunn is working on a new market forecast report for wearable tech, and wrote in a preview that he expects “hearables,” or smart earbuds, to be worth over $5 billion by 2018. For context, a recent forecast (pdf) predicted a total market of $30 to $50 billion for wearables by that year. Here’s why he could be right:
Screens make things complicated

After the release of the futuristic romance movie Her, in which the main character falls in love with an artificially intelligent operating system who speaks to him mostly through an earpiece, the production designer KK Barrett told Wired that he’d banished most screens, and basically all physical interaction with computers. “We decided we didn’t want to have physical contact,” he said. “We wanted it to be natural. Hence the elimination of software keyboards as we know them.”
The effect is a simplification of user interface with software: People would ask for what they wanted in the same way they’d ask another person, and their smart devices would deliver. Wrists could stay bare, and actual cellphones would hardly ever emerge.
Google wants to make voice control as seamless and easy to use as a keyboard. Right now, the interface is being groomed for use with Google’s first smartwatch. But after it overcomes the challenges of making a tiny screen functional, it can move on to working without one.
The technology is already in progress

This isn’t Google’s only product in development that could help hearables happen. The company’s Moto X “superphone” is able to listen for voice commands constantly—even when it’s asleep. The chips that allow this constant listening does so with very little power.
But for voice recognition to be appealing, it has to be quicker. Most voice recognition requires an internet connection—even if you’re not asking your phone to search the internet. When you ask Apple’s Siri to open iTunes, for example, your command goes to the cloud for interpretation. The delay of a few seconds is enough to make voice commands impractical for a lot of tasks. Intel thinks it has the solution: It has plans for an offline alternative, allowing for faster responses. Intel’s head of wearables, Mike Bell, told Quartz earlier this year that the company will make a processor powerful enough to parse out voice commands on its own—and small enough to fit on a wearable.
Intel is partnering with a third party to make a wireless headset that connects to your smartphone. Called Jarvis, it’s expected to behave like its Iron Man franchise namesake: The headset will understand your voice commands and respond to them verbally.
Your ear is a better home for a fitness tracker than your wrist

“Few people realize,” Nick Hunn writes in the preview of his market forecast, “that the ear is a remarkably good place to measure many vital signs.” It doesn’t move around like the wrist does, which will make readings like heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse oximetry more accurate. Several companies are already exploring the potential for health sensors in the ear: Dublin-based Zinc Software is raising money to make a hearing-aid-like clip-on that monitors heart rate for biofeedback purposes, and iRiver has a set of workout headphones that capture movement and heart rate. Apple recently filed a patent for earbuds that capture biometric data, as well. Maybe Jawbone’s next health and fitness tracker should look a little more like one of its Bluetooth earpieces.
We’re used to having stuff in our ears

One of the biggest barriers faced by all wearables is social acceptance. We’ve grown used to staring down at our phones in lots of public places—and even in more intimate settings. But something about the idea of a constant division of our attention—by way of a visual interface like Google Glass, for example– still bothers many of us. If you’ve been outside anytime in the past five years or so, you already know that earbuds have overcome that problem. We’re used to our peers listening to music constantly or shouting into their headphone cords as they walk down the street. So having a constant connection to your personal audio assistant won’t look out of place.
It can start with music

To break us into the concept, hearables can make our music listening experience smarter. Intel has previewed a set of heart rate-tracking headphones that pick your music based on your running pace. When you slow down, your music will push you to go faster.
But there’s room for even smarter music: Cone, a smart speaker coming out this summer, will act as a full-service music curator that learns your music habits and predicts your every auditory whim. Now imagine how great it would be if Cone fit into your ear, instead of sitting on your counter. Obviously it’s a tall order to shrink a new device so quickly; but who wouldn’t want a smart, in-ear jukebox?

What’s one thing you can’t live without at the gym? Odds are, headphones rank pretty high up on your list. For many people, a fitness tracker such as a Fitbit or Jawbone would be up there as well. And if you fall into the category that can’t live without either, there’s good news – the next generation of fitness trackers combine the best of both.

These new types of wearables, dubbed “hearables,” promise to offer more accurate measurements, longer battery life and a host of other benefits over wrist-worn fitness trackers. Hearables might be the next big thing, according to Scott Snyder, a senior fellow with the University of Pennsylvania's Mack Institute for Innovation Management and president and co-founder of the mobile strategy company Mobiquity. “Research suggests that 55 percent of Americans plan to use a wearable device in the coming year,” Snyder says. “Most of the attention to-date has been on the wrist, with a barrage of new devices from wrist-worn trackers to sensorized smartwatches, but hearables are makings strides and leveraging a mainstream consumer accessory – the earbud.”

Earlier this year, LG Electronics launched its first hearable, the Heart Rate​ earphone, which measures (you guessed it) your heart rate, speed, steps and calories, plus provides audio feedback on your workout. Another hearable, The Dash,​ which is a combination of a Bluetooth headset, music player and waterproof fitness tracker, raised more than $3 million on Kickstarter – a sign that there's a substantial market for these products.

So why the ear? It turns out that tracking your vitals through the ear just makes sense, Snyder says. “The ear happens to be a good place to pick up blood flow as it moves consistently in and out of the ear, and the membrane is relatively thin,” he says. “We can pick up heart rate, blood flow and even oxygen levels at an accuracy rate comparable to the chest strap.”

Hearables also have the added benefit of fitting seamlessly into your routine, says Steven LeBoeuf​, president and co-founder of Valencell, a research and design company focused on sensors and technology. “If I’m going to the gym and I forget my fitness tracker, it’s no big deal,” he says. “If I forget my headphones, I’ll turn around and head home to pick them up.”

Plus, with hearables, you don’t have to worry as much about battery life, since many can be charged right through your phone's headphone jack​, LeBoeuf says. Having to take off your tracker to charge it is a big reason people stop using it.​ “When people take off the wrist tracker to charge it, many never put it back on,” he says.

The one downside to hearables is that you won’t be able to capture data as often as you can with wrist-worn trackers, says Joshua New​, a policy analyst with the Center for Data Innovation. “The hearable form factor is a double-edged sword in this sense,” he says. “Wristbands benefit from their potential to be always-on, in that they can collect biometric data while you sleep, run, swim, go on a date or sit in a meeting. Wearing headphones is not always viable in these situations.”

Despite the limitation, it’s only a matter of time until these products become mainstream, Snyder says, and the company he believes is best poised to take advantage of this market is Apple. “It seems like Apple has a huge opportunity to grab this category and tap into its newly acquired Beats product line – where they could offer music from the watch or iPhone and earbuds to capture health information and store in HealthKit for tracking and management,” he says. (HealthKit is an app for iPhones that acts as a hub for fitness apps and displays all collected information in one place.)

New sees the future of the market as a little more cloudy, and says it still remains to be seen what consumers look for in these products. “We’ll see how the market shapes up for these devices,” he says. “It’s not yet clear whether consumers will buy headphones because they are smart or because of other features like the quality of the sound, weight and whether they stay in place while exercising.”

But even if they don’t become the most widely used type of wearable, hearables allow the people who do use them to collect data on their health habits, and anything that does that has the potential to be beneficial, New says. “There are many different form factors for wearables – eyewear, watches, even smart onesies for babies and smart collars for dogs,” he says. “By making these wearable devices more adoptable, we will see more data being collected, and this is always a good thing.”

MIT Students Claim Astronauts Will Starve On 'Mars One' Mission..........

PhD students at MIT published a study this week that seems to debunk Mars One's plan to land humans on Mars by 2025 using existing technology. They say that without dramatic improvements in equipment life, the space colonists, who would have no way to return to Earth, could starve to death.
The students, part of a research group specializing in large-scale multi-billion dollar space programs, used publically available information about the Mars One mission plans to simulate the trip to Mars. They say the problems they uncovered surprised them.

"We tried to keep a completely open mind going into it," says Sydney Do, one of the researchers on the study. He says the idea of space colonization excites him.

Mars One is looking for 25 to 40 pioneers to leave home forever and live out their lives on the red planet, by growing food and using resources from the Martian environment. The non-profit has recieved more than 200,000 applicants, and there are plans to fund their Mars journey with a global reality show.

"We tried to keep a completely open mind going into it."
The MIT research was conducted to build a framework for analyzing other space colonization plans. But flaws in Mars One's plan jumped out as the students ran the numbers.

Mars One expects to grow crops indoors on Mars. Plants produce oxygen--and too much in a closed environment could feed oxygen-sucking fires. Farming would require machines that separate and vent oxygen without losing nitrogen vital to keep up air pressure. But the technology needed to to keep oxygen under control has never been tested beyond our planet, and Do says hardware tested on Earth can fail in surprising ways after liftoff.

A urine recycling system installed on the International Space Station in 2009 returned drinkable water with 90 percent efficiency in NASA laboratories. But on the ISS it broke down. Astronauts lose bone mass in zero-gravity, dumping calcium into their waste, and those deposits gummed up the recycler's works. The system is up and running again, but at only 70 percent capacity. On a trip with no return flight and limited resupply, such failures could be deadly, especially when they involve maintaining oxygen supply.

But Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp says the students used incorrect and incomplete data for their study.

"I've talked to very knowledgeable people--experts with companies like Lockheed Martin--who tell me these technologies will work," he tells Popular Science. He says he hasn't had the time to read the research all the way through, but has looked at the conclusions.

Lansdorp seized on the excess oxygen problem as an example of misplaced alarmism in the research. "This technology has been widely tested on Earth," he says, "and it's very well understood." Similar equipment for scrubbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has been used in space for years.

But Lansdorp did not have a solution for what Do called the more serious issue uncovered in the research: replacement parts. The students used the failure rates of parts on the ISS to estimate the need for spares in a Mars colony. Without a resupply mission coming for another two years, a huge portion of the mass included in the initial launch would have to be extra materials.

"They are correct," Lansdorp says, "The major challenge of Mars One is keeping everything up and running." Repairing equipment and suits on Mars is a problem Mars One has yet to solve. Unmanned supply missions in advance of a second human launch are expected to land on the red planet a few weeks after the original colonists arrive, and Lansdorp suggests the first crew could take those stocks in a pinch.

"We don't believe what we have designed is the best solution. It's a good solution," he says. He adds that Mars One has done its own research with better results, but is not an aerospace company. He hopes future feasibility studies from groups like Lockheed Martin will provide answers. In the meantime, their in-house data is under wraps.

"We'd love to see what data he has and update the model," Do says.

Samsung Has Announced New 60GHz Wi-Fi Technology

Samsung has announced new 60GHz Wi-Fi technology that is claimed to be capable of speeds five times faster than current Wi-Fi speeds. The electronics giant says that the technology will enable data transmission speeds of up to 4.6Gbps and says that it will commercialize the technology in 2015.
Samsung says that it 802.11ad standard 60GHz Wi-Fi technology can maintain the top speed by eliminating co-channel interference, not matter how many devices are on the same network. The technology demonstrates actual speed that is more than 10 times faster than that of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies.
RELATED STORIESAtheros and Wilocity tie-up to unleash...Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 WiFiSamsung Galaxy Grand 2 vs. the competition: A...Panasonic develops micro colour splitters for...Indian student develops smartphone app to help...IIT student develops Android app for the...Samsung says that they are expecting to bring this new 60GHz technology a new range of audio visual, medical as well as telecom devices in the near future. The tech giant says that the technology will be ‘integral’ to development of Internet of Things and Smart Home devices. Read: Samsung Smart Home unvieled, lets you control home devices through a single app
Kim Chang Yong, Head of DMC R&D Center of Samsung Electronics stated ,"Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology, and looks forward to commercializing this breakthrough technology,” said “New and innovative changes await Samsung’s next-generation devices, while new possibilities have been opened up for the future development of Wi-Fi technology.”
Apart from Samsung technology giants Nokia and Huawei have are also testing high WiFi speeds. Earlier this year Nokia demonstrated 3.78Gbps 4G speeds at the Mobile Asia Expo. Huawei also successfully tested speed of 10Gbps at 5GHz in their test labs in China.

When it comes to Wi-Fi technology, it’s a tale of two speeds: the theoretical and the actual. Thanks to real-world elements like walls and household appliances, the maximum network bandwidth you see on a router’s box are never achieved – until now, if Samsung is to be believed. The technology giant claims to have developed a 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology that will bridge the gap between theoretical and actual Wi-Fi speeds.
Samsung says its Wi-Fi technology will open up the door to data transmission speeds of up to 4.6 gigabits per second (Gbps), or 575 megabytes (MB) per second. This would be about five times faster than the current ceiling for Wi-Fi speeds for consumer electronics devices, which stands at around 866 megabits per second (Mbps), or 108 MB per second.

So, for example, a 1 gigabyte (GB) movie could be transferred between devices in fewer than three seconds, and uncompressed high-definition videos can be streamed from mobile devices to TVs in real time.
“Unlike the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies, Samsung’s 802.11ad standard 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology maintains maximum speed by eliminating co-channel interference, regardless of the number of devices using the same network,” according to Samsung’s announcement.
Samsung says it has solved the speed-killing issues that come with millimeter waves, which travel by line-of-sight and are stymied by walls and other obstacles, by making use of wide-coverage beam-forming antennae and micro beam-forming control technology, among other fancy-sounding things.

The distinction between theoretical and practical speeds is important, because factors like the layout of the room, the materials the building is made off, the distance between emitter and receptor, and the number of devices on the network can greatly limit real-world transfer speeds.

Due to the characteristics of the 60GHz spectrum, 802.11ad WiFi tech is especially susceptible to path loss, as 60GHz radio waves bounce off walls and other objects, rather than penetrate them. But Samsung claims to have mitigated this “line-of-sight” problem:

Until now, there have been significant challenges in commercially adopting 60GHz Wi-Fi technology , as millimeter waves that travel by line-of-sight has weak penetration properties and is susceptible to path loss, resulting in poor signal and data performance. By leveraging millimeter-wave circuit design and high performance modem technologies and by developing wide-coverage beam-forming antenna, Samsung was able to successfully achieve the highest quality, commercially viable 60GHz Wi-Fi technology.

In an industry first, Samsung developed a micro beam-forming control technology that can adapt to the changing environment in 1/3000 seconds. Moreover, multiple devices can operate side by side without interfering to each other, thanks to the high directionality of beams formed by 60GHz antennae arrays.

Samsung says it will commercialize the new technology from next year, in a wide array of products, including mobile devices. It will take however a few years for the new 802.11ad to become ubiquitous. First deployed on the HTC One (M7) in March 2013, the current best 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac standard is still not available on most mobile devices.

For a deep-dive into the WiFi 802.11ad standard, check this excellent report from Network World.

Services Tax Department's Scanner Under The Uber

the US-based transport app provider Uber, which offers its services to around 1,200 cab operators in India's 10 top cities, has come under the scanner of the Services Tax Department.

"We have sent a tax enquiry to Uber. So far, they have not paid us a single penny in taxes. We have not sent them a demand notice as they don't have an office in the country, but are operating through their Netherlands arm," Mumbai Service Tax Commissioner SK Solanki told PTI.

Economic Times,MUMBAI: After allegedly falling foul with RBI, the US-based transport app provider Uber Inc, which offers its services to around 1,200 cab operators in India's 10 top cities, has come under the scanner of the Services Tax Department. "We have sent a tax...,

When asked what is the quantum of the money they are in default of, Solanki said: "The department has not sent a demand notice to them but an enquiry, seeking clarifications.

"Their headquarters has informed us that some representative from their Netherlands office will meet us. We will issue them a demand notice after getting their response because we are not sure who is liable to pay the tax — Uber or the cabbies. But someone has to pay," he said.

Uber has become popular by offering luxury car rides for a little more than the regular fare.

The service tax notice to Uber makes it the first such demand to a foreign service provider in the e-commerce space in the country.

The San Francisco-based Uber claims to be the world's largest transport app service provider by online aggregation of luxury cab operators, and has been under legal and regulatory lens in almost all the markets it operates in like the home market US, Germany, Britain, Poland, Brazil, Korea, among others. It is present in over 200 cities globally.

In August this year, the Reserve Bank had reportedly asked it to stop receiving payments with single-factor authentication from October 31, which would effectively mean that it will have to shut shop by the end of the month here.

When told that Uber claims it is not in default, Solanki said: "I don't understand how they are different from any other taxi operator like Meru, TabCab etc who all pay service tax. We are very sure that either Uber pay us the tax or cabbies do so. But getting it from some 1,200 cabbies individually is not easy."

When contacted for response, Uber communications head for APAC Region, Evelyn Tay in an email told PTI: "Uber complies with all applicable tax laws, and pays the relevant tax in every territory it operates in. All payments on the Uber system are cashless and fully traceable in an industry that has been notoriously cash-based for years."

The privately held company, set up in March 2009 by Travis Kalanick (chief executive) and Garrett Camp, has Goldman Sachs and Google Ventures among others as investors and offers vehicles for hire, ride-sharing through its app.

Now App Can keep Mosquitoes away

Have mosquitoes become headache for you? No benefit of using mosquito repellents? Check out this smart mosquito repellent. Unlike other repellents it is for Free. Wouldn’t it be the coolest thing ever if you could download an app to your cell phone that would turn your phone into a safe, free mosquito-repelling machine? A smartphone app claim to use ultrasonic sound to repel mosquitoes. rescue yourself from mosquito bite using this app.

New apps for smartphones are now available in Google play store that can keep mosquitoes away. Either you may get “Mosquito Repellent” or “Anti Mosquito“. both the apps repel mosquitoes by generating high frequency sounds, The frequency is such that Mosquitoes are irritated of it.

How the app works?

The app simply emits frequencies from 9kHz to 22kHz, you just have to set a frequency that you can’t hear. Obviously it would be more than 20kHz, As humans can hear sounds ranging 20Hz to 20kHz. However Depending on the particular app, the sound is probably right at the edge of human hearing, so children or those with excellent ears might even be able to hear it, although adults might not.

Once you tap on the “Mosquito icon”, the app plays the ultrasound (that can’t be heard by the human ear) that simulates the sexual recall of the male mosquito, causing repulsion to the already fertilized female mosquitoes, the only which are able to bite. The idea sounds reasonable.

However Ultrasonic repellants that claim to work on the same principal have been around for decades. Before smart phone apps, the sound was emitted from plug-in or battery-powered electronic devices. Those are still on the market too.

How to use?
After installing the “Anti Mosquito” app on your smartphone you just have to click on red mosquito button which now turns to green. At the bottom of screen one can set a frequency at which the app is to be operated. Just set a frequency you can’t hear, mosquitoes will surely hear it. As they hate this frequency, they go away from your smartphone.

you always can keep smartphone that makes its use even in offices, bus, train and everywhere you want. Now you don’t have to carry all other repellents along with you every time.

'Thus there is no evidence that these EMRs could potentially be useful in preventing malaria in humans.’
There is also said to be little evidence female mosquitoes avoid males after they’ve mated.
The Liverpool researchers added that ‘male mosquitoes are actually the ones attracted by the female flight sound, and females normally have a very weak sensitivity for sound compared with the males.’
Wayne Crans, Associate Research Professor in Entomology at Rutgers added mosquitoes are also not know to leave areas hunted by dragonflies.
Reviews of the app additionally state that the sound is audible and ‘annoying’.

The muggy weather is creating a ‘perfect storm’ for mosquitoes to descend on our gardens.
But the latest high-tech weapon in the battle against the bloodsuckers doesn’t come in the form or a spray or clip, instead it’s a free app on your smartphone.
Anti-mosquito apps emit ultrasonic frequencies designed to frighten the mosquitoes away.
They do this by either mimicking the sounds of mosquito predators, such as dragonflies and bats, or by using the sound made by the wings of male insects.
Once a female mosquito has mated, she is said to actively avoid contact with males, so by playing this sound, the females stay away.
The most popular app is called the Anti Mosquito Sonic Repeller.
Its developers claim that the pitch of the sound it produces is so high, most humans don’t notice it.
It also comes with various frequencies in order to target different mosquito species within specific locations.
Although, the app does not guarantee 100 per cent protection, because ‘there are more than 3,500 known mosquito species in the world and they all react slightly different to the repellent’.
Other apps that play ‘mosquito sounds’ are designed to annoy people, rather than repel mosquitoes but have been found to serve that purpose by accident.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Romantic Places in New York City

If you're planning a romantic vacation, New York City is a great place for your special escape whether it's for a proposal, a honeymoon, or a Valentine's Day getaway. If you're looking for a particularly romantic spot for a kiss or proposal, check out this list of some of New York City's most romantic spots.
1. Central Park
From Carriage Rides in Central Park and boat rides below Bow Bridge, to Belevedere Castle and the Conservatory Garden, Central Park may just be New York City's most romantic place. Central Park is a magical place in New York City in every season, whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall.
The Central Park West Historic District is significant, in regards to the National Register, for its architecture and its character as a cohesive residential area. The district is located along one of the city's finest residential streets and consists mostly of apartment buildings which are among some of the earliest in New York.

With the 1990 local boundary increase the NYLPC developed the theme that the strength of the historic district lay in its diversity. The Commission called the buildings in the district brashly "commercial" and "stylistically diverse." The Commission went on to stress the importance of the district's special skyline that challenged the whole of the New York skyline. "The stylistically diverse buildings of Central Park West create a streetscape and a skyline which is exuberant and varied as to scale, height and form," the Commission stated.

2. Top of the Empire State Building

The site of the Empire State Building was first developed as the John Thompson Farm in the late 18th century. At the time, a stream ran across the site, emptying into Sunfish Pond, located a block away. Beginning in the late 19th century, the block was occupied by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, frequented by The Four Hundred, the social elite of New York.

The limestone for the Empire State Building came from the Empire Mill in Sanders, Indiana which is an unincorporated town adjacent to Bloomington, Indiana. The Empire Mill Land office is near State Road 37 and Old State Road 37 just south of Bloomington. Bloomington, Bedford and Oolitic area are known locally as the limestone capital of the world. It is a point of local pride that the stone for the Empire State building came from there.


Pretend you're Miss Holly Golightly, grab yourself a pastry and window shop outside of Tiffany's. Or, if you're feeling bold, head inside to peruse the merchandise up close.
The Tiffany and Company Building is the landmarked former home of the Tiffany and Company store at 401 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York.

This building, completed in 1906, served as the home of Tiffany until 1940. Today, a TD Bank branch, tchotchke shop, and Burger King occupy the ground level. The People's Court is filmed on a set inside the building.

The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978.

4. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
The Queens Botanical Garden began as part of the 1939 New York World's Fair in Queens. After the fair, the garden expanded to take up a larger portion of Flushing Meadows Park. When work was begun on construction of the 1964 World's Fair, the garden was moved to a site across the street from Flushing Meadows Park to a location atop the stream bed of Kissena Creek.

Growing from its humble beginnings as an ash dump in the late 1800s, Brooklyn Botanic Garden has come to represent today the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display.

Below is a chronology of important dates and developments in the Garden's history. It is illustrated with photos from our archives taken by Louis Buhle between 1915 and 1968. These charming black-and-white photos capture the evolution of the Garden and the spirit of the times.

5. Brooklyn Promenade
Brooklyn Heights is an affluent residential neighborhood within the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Originally referred to as 'Brooklyn Village', it has been a prominent area of Brooklyn since 1834. As of 2000, Brooklyn Heights sustained a population of 22,594 people. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 2. The neighborhood is served by the 84th Precinct of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade will take your breath away. Made famous by cameo appearances in movies like Annie Hall and Moonstruck, it is one of the most romantic spots in New York City, and has been the destination for thousands of first dates, wedding proposals and anniversary celebrations. One-third of a mile long, it offers a vista of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and the majestic Brooklyn Bridge. Lined with flower beds, trees, benches and playgrounds, the promenade is a favorite destination for tourists, joggers, strollers, families and lovers.

6. Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center
The world-famous ice rink at Rockefeller Center has been a quintessential NYC experience for generations, set against the unique urban backdrop of Rockefeller Center's sparkling lights and holiday tree. Bring your friends, family and loved ones to make magical memories on ice that you will cherish for years to come. Watch the skaters glide by afterwards while enjoying a delicious meal at Rock Center Café, The Sea Grill or Cucina & Co.

Main Parts of Drone

For someone new to the multirotor hobby, putting together your first quadcopter parts list can be extremely daunting. Trying to figure out what to buy and what parts will work together is tough, especially for people who don’t come from a background in radio controlled planes or helicopters. Forums are packed with people who want to build a quadcopter but don’t know where to start. It can be frustrating trying to sort through the thousands of posts on forums and blogs and figure out what to do. We’ve heard from a lot of readers who are in similar positions and this post is designed to spell out exactly what you need for your first quadcopter build. While we will recommend a complete list of specific parts that we have used and tested for a complete quadcopter build, the main purpose of this post is to provide a general overview of the parts needed to build a quadcopter. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Frame
2. Motor x4
3. Electronic Speed Control (ESC) x4
4. Aurdno
5. Propeller x4 (2 clockwise and 2 counter-clockwise)
6. Battery & Charger

You will also need some miscellaneous things like zipties, double sided tape and/or velcro, a small amount of heavy gauge wire, battery strap, and some female to female servo leads or jumper wires. As far as tools go, you will want to have access to a soldering iron, small screwdrivers, hex wrenches, needle-nose pliers, and a hot glue gun. Now we’ll go over each part in detail and provide a specific recommendation.

Every quadcopter or other multirotor aircraft needs a frame to house all the other components. Things to consider here are weight, size, and materials. We recommend the DJI FlameWheel F450 or one of the many clones. These are great quadcopter frames. Check out our review of the FlameWheel F450 here. They’re strong, light, and have a sensible configuration including a built-in power distribution board (PDB) that allows for a clean and easy build. There are also a ton of spare parts and accessories available from many different websites. In our online store, we offer the RCTimer SM450 Quadcopter Frame, which is an F450 clone and includes the same built-in PDB and durable construction as the original. Parts and accessories are 100% compatible and interchangeable.

The motors have an obvious purpose: to spin the propellers. There are tons of motors on the market suitable for quadcopters, and usually you don’t want to get the absolute cheapest motors available, but you also don’t want to break the bank when some reasonably priced motors will suffice. Motors are rated by kilovolts, and the higher the kV rating, the faster the motor spins at a constant voltage. When purchasing motors, most websites will indicate how many amps the ESC you pair it with should be and the size of propeller you should use. We have found that a 1000kV motor is a good size to start with.
Electronic Speed Controls

The electronic speed control, or ESC, is what tells the motors how fast to spin at any given time. You need four ESCs for a quadcopter, one connected to each motor. The ESCs are then connected directly to the battery through either a wiring harness or power distribution board. Many ESCs come with a built in battery eliminator circuit (BEC), which allows you to power things like your flight control board and radio receiver without connecting them directly to the battery. Because the motors on a quadcopter must all spin at precise speeds to achieve accurate flight, the ESC is very important. These days if you are building a quadcopter or other multirotor, it is pretty much standard to use ESCs that have the SimonK firmware on them. This firmware changes the refresh rate of the ESC so the motors get many more instructions per second from the ESC, thus have greater control over the quadcopter’s behavior. Many companies sell ESCs that have the SimonK firmware already installed. We carry theRCTimer 30A SimonK ESC, which is a good option for a first quadcopter build and pairs well with the RCTimer motors mentioned previously.

The radio transmitter and receiver allow you to control the quadcopter. There are many suitable models available, but you will need at least four channels for a basic quadcopter with the KK2.0 control board. We recommend using a radio with 8 channels, so there is more flexibility for later projects that may require more channels. The Turnigy 9x is a great choice for a first radio. It’s inexpensive yet still has some advanced functionality. There is also a large community of 9x users out there, so troubleshooting is easier. Chances are any problem you have has been experienced and solved before, or someone on a forum like rcgroups will be able to help you out.

Arduino is a single-board microcontroller, intended to make building interactive objects or environments more accessible.The hardware consists of an open-source hardware board designed around an 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller, or a 32-bit Atmel ARM. Current models feature a USB interface, 6 analog input pins, as well as 14 digital I/O pins that accommodate various extension boards.

An Arduino board consists of an Atmel 8-bit AVR microcontroller with complementary components that facilitate programming and incorporation into other circuits. An important aspect of the Arduino is its standard connectors, which lets users connect the CPU board to a variety of interchangeable add-on modules known as shields. Some shields communicate with the Arduino board directly over various pins, but many shields are individually addressable via an IC seria bus—so many shields can be stacked and used in parallel. Official Arduinos have used the megaAVR series of chips, specifically the ATmega8, ATmega168, ATmega328, ATmega1280, and ATmega2560. A handful of other processors have been used by Arduino compatibles. Most boards include a 5 volt linear regulator and a 16 MHz crystal oscillator (orceramic resonator in some variants), although some designs such as the LilyPad run at 8 MHz and dispense with the onboard voltage regulator due to specific form-factor restrictions. An Arduino's microcontroller is also pre-programmed with a boot loader that simplifies uploading of programs to the on-chip flash memory, compared with other devices that typically need an external programmer. This makes using an Arduino more straightforward by allowing the use of an ordinary computer as the programmer.

A quadcopter has four propellers, two “normal” propellers that spin counter-clockwise, and two “pusher” propellers that spin clockwise. The pusher propellers will usually be labeled with an ‘R’ after the size. For the quadcopter configuration in this post, we’re using 9×4.7 props. This is a good size for the motors and ESCs we’re using.
Quadcopters typically use LiPo batteries which come in a variety of sizes and configurations. We typically use 3S1P batteries, which indicates 3 cells in parallel. Each cell is 3.7 volts, so this battery is rated at 11.1 volts. LiPo batteries also have a C rating and a power rating in mAh (which stands for milliamps per hour). The C rating describes the rate at which power can be drawn from the battery, and the power rating describes how much power the battery can supply. Larger batteries weigh more so there is always a tradeoff between flight duration and total weight. A general rule of thumb is that doubling the battery power will get you 50% more flight time, assuming your quadcopter can lift the additional weight. For this quadcopter, we suggest the Turnigy nano-tech 3000mAh 3S LiPo.
Battery Charger
Charging LiPos is a complex process, because there are usually multiple cells within the battery that must be charged and discharged at the same rate. Therefore you must have a balance charger. There are many chargers on the market that will do the job, but be careful of cheap or off-brand chargers as many of them have faulty components and can cause explosions or fires. In general you should absolutely never leave LiPo batteries charging unattended. Many people charge batteries outside on a cement area or in a fireproof LiPo bag (although the effectiveness of these is up for debate). We recommend the IMAX B6 AC Balance Charger. It is affordable but reliable. Be wary of knock-offs.
Those are the major components that you need to build a quadcopter. There are hundreds of possible configurations, which can make the process of choosing parts confusing for someone new to the hobby. Hopefully this list has provided some clarity. If you have questions about your specific setup or parts list, feel free to leave a comment here.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Ebola Virus Makes Zombies

Simply uttering the word Ebola is enough to cause a person to cringe, shudder, twitch, or perhaps even recoil in horror. Rightly so. Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF), the result of an infection with one of the four identified sub-types of Ebola viruses known to affect humans, is gruesome. Ebola infection can result in a mortality rate as high as 90 percent of all infected individuals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The real horror, though, comes when you know that no one is sure where Ebola can be found (until there’s an outbreak, of course); there are no vaccines and no treatments; and we’re still uncertain about how people are infected in the first place.

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time. You can’t go trouncing around third-world countries and not expect to bring back some form of souvenir. Unfortunately for us, a man in Dallas brought back the Ebola virus.

That’s right folks, we now have the first diagnosed Ebola case in the United States. Now that the virus is confirmed, the CDC needs to identify the people who have had contact with patient zero. I know what you’re thinking; could this be our Zombie Apocalypse? Ebola hit the international stage without warning and with dumbfounding devastation. In 1976, outbreaks in Zaire and Sudan resulted in 318 and 284 cases, with 280 and 151 deaths, respectively. Since 1976, sporadic outbreaks have occurred, ranging from a single case to a massive 425 cases in Uganda in 2000. Since 1976, well over 2,000 cases have been identified, with over 1,000 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks have occurred in Uganda as recently as November 2012.

Ebola HF, named after a river where it was first recognized in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), is a disease that affects humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that was first recognized in 1976. It’s a type of RNA virus known as Filoviridae. There are four sub-types of the virus that cause disease in humans: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast, and Ebola-Bundibugyo. A fifth type, Ebola-Reston, can cause disease in primates, but has not affected humans in the past.

All confirmed cases of Ebola HF in humans have occurred in African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, the Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Uganda. The Ebola-Reston virus, dangerous to monkeys, was found in research laboratories in the United States, Italy, and the Philippines. While some researchers were also infected with this strain, they were asymptomatic.

The WHO thinks that the route of transmission is zoonotic, meaning the Ebola is spread from animal to human. Contact with infected primates, and interestingly enough, fruit bats and dead forest antelope or porcupines have been documented as ways the virus gets passed along to people. Once in a human host, transmission between humans can happen via blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids. Scarier still is the fact that burial ceremonies of dead Ebola patients, healthcare worker interaction with patients, and even semen passed up to seven weeks post-infection, can play all a role in transmission, too.

The incubation period—the time between infection and when a person has symptoms—is estimated to be between two and 21 days. Ebola HF is an acute-onset disease, meaning, it’ll happen fast, with immediate symptoms that can include joint pain, fever, chills, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, sore throat, and vomiting, according to the National Institutes of Health. As the disease progresses, the most severe symptoms—for which Ebola HF became infamous—begin to take their toll: bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum, and internal bleeding may occur. Depression, swollen eyes and genitals, painful skin, a red, inflamed roof of the mouth, and a hemorrhagic rash (containing blood) over the entire body characterize the most devastating symptoms.

When reports came in from Liberia describing Ebola victims rising from the dead, most of the world brushed it off as figments of people’s imagination, driven by the tragedies that have struck the area. But recent footage by ABC's Good Morning America suggests there may be a bit of truth to these zombie stories.

To the surprise of GMA's crew, a corpse they were filming sprung back to life moments before it was hauled into a truck on the way to the crematorium. The video is quickly going viral and giving the world a glimpse of just how bleak the situation in West Africa has become.

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s chief health and medical editor, who is currently working in Liberia, says Monrovia is currently a city where “if you die from Ebola, they are very quick for you. If you’re living and you need help, there’s really nowhere to go.” The doctor and his camera crew were able to witness this sad truth firsthand when they came across the “corpse” of a dead man on the side of a busy city road,

It is difficult to pin down preventative measures when the exact location and mode of transmission are unknown. For now, the best advice available, echoed by the CDC, WHO, and others, is to avoid endemic areas in times of outbreaks altogether. Since there’s no treatment for Ebola HF the most that can be done for a patient is what’s called “supported therapy,” which entails balancing fluids and electrolytes, blood pressure, oxygen, and monitoring for other infections.

A recent study in the journal Chemistry and Biology found potential for a treatment and cure, in a compound that can block viral RNA synthesis, among other things. The research showed that sometimes the scientists could prevent the Ebola virus (and others) from proliferating by using a compound known as CMLDBU3402. It will be important to see if anyone else can repeat these results and potentially develop treatment for Ebola and other deadly RNA viruses.

6 Things You Might Not Know About Ebola

Improve Your Android’s performance

Android being Open Nature and User-friendly, has increased its market in a very short time. This is the main fact why The Android is being so much popular while other rivals are trying to take the market in hand. you can have anything that you just wanted to be. Easy use and friendly nature of Android has drawn a lot of drawbacks in Android smartphones. It can cause more time taken in processing by a Android device. Many times you would have to face a slow processing speed when you fills the screen with a number of Widgets and Icons, A tons of software starts running simultaneously. and sometimes it affects primary apps used in cell like phone book, messenger and camera. User becomes irritate with this, and sometimes in common words it is said to be Hanged.

A lot of people say that the beauty of Android is in its open nature, allowing you to personalize almost each and every aspect of the system. However, Android's open nature may also be seen as one of its weaknesses, as there are certain scenarios where the system can be treating consumers to a sub-par experience due to lack of enough processing time or memory. Most of those who can afford a top-notch flagship smartphone usually end up with a mostly smooth and snappy interface, but we all know that as our phones age, the tons of software and content that go through them each and every day eventually bog them down.

performance of Android device starts to diminish as the time goes on. Keeping the problems in mind, Here are some of the tips that you can use for better experience:
> Learn capabilities and drawbacks of your device. Don’t install apps which uses more resources. That kind of apps which requires more resources to perform, degrades the performance resulting in “Slowing down of device”. These apps eats up resources needed by essential apps like Camera and Phone book.

> Update Android for better performance.
Make sure that you are using Updated version of Android, If you aren’t. Update it. As sometimes it also may be one of the reason of slow speed of your Android device. Android 4.0 or more gives a good processing.

> Try to keep Apps only which you use.
Every App or Game that you install on your device takes some space and always there are some background processes taking place, from which most of the users are not aware of. These background processes are reason to Slow performance.

> Disable Unnecessary Apps.
When you Uninstall Apps on device, It removes all the application files from the device. Rather then Uninstalling, one can disable These less used Apps. Disabling an App does not deletes the application files, it simply removes the Icon from Home screen. when you need these Apps back, you can Re-enable the files. After Re-enabling it is ready to users again.

> Make use of a Good quality Memory card.
The speed of your device also depends on the Memory card you are using for storage. There are a number of classes of Memory card. One should make use of Class 6 or Class 10 memory card for smooth operation. These cards can boost up the capacity to a large amount and the extent to which it may be boosted up depends on the Maximum expendable memory of device. There are Memory cards available from 2GB to 32 GB storage.

> Don’t use Live Wallpapers.
Everybody likes live or some kind of 3D wallpapers, which no doubt gives a nice look to your smartphone, This is the main point which leads to the extending market of these Wallpapers, But these Wallpapers are continuously running some CPU cycles. CPU becomes busy with these cycles and there is chance that It would not be efficient enough to perform other tasks. It results in Slow speed of Android device. so to prevent Slow speed, always try to avoid these attractive wallpapers.

# Avoid syncing.
Synchronization of data with google servers is known as Syncing. This facilitates to get notification from E-mail account, Social media and Apps updates. The processor has now to give time to check for updates, mail notification, for example If it checks for notifications after each 10 minutes, means after each 10 minutes it goes busy with Syncing feature, affecting other important tasks, even the primary tasks which are basic need of users, such as Camera and Phone book.

# Update Old Apps.
Always try to keep the updated version of Apps installed. All Apps developer add additional features and remove the problems of previous version, Surely It would be fast and efficient.

# Do not use more Widgets.
Android users use some of the additional widgets, for weather information, and some like to have attractive Clock on their home screen, but these slows down the speed as they are active all the time.

# Use Task Manager.
Task Managers are available in Google play store. Use a task killer to stop the background processes that you don’t want to use again. Advanced Task Killer and Super Task Manager are some of the good once. You can set settings by your own choice, that will automatically stop the unnecessary tasks.
The tips above stated can be extremely helpful for the users which are annoyed with the Android Slow performance. So try with it and Make your android to function fast.

Now Google Speak Can Search understands five languages

When it came to choosing a language to do a voice search with in the Google Search app, you have to undergo the limitation of choosing a single language at the time. The problem was, you could only choose one language at a time. Until now. Now you can choose five languages among 50 languages available.

Exploring the abilities of Google search app, Google officially announced that its updated version can work with upto five languages. A new feature is added to Google Voice Search, allowing users to choose up to five languages and the app will automatically understand the spoken language. More than half the world’s population speaks two or more languages, I personally feel same was the idea behind exploring the abilities of Google voice search. However The feature is only available on the Google search app for Android (version 3.6) till now.

Google reports in Official blog post –

You can use voice search in more than 50 languages and dialects already, but previously you had to change your settings if you wanted to switch languages. Now, you can just make a small, one-time change to your settings, and then you can switch back and forth easily. Google will automatically detect which language you’re using. (For now, you need to stick to one language per sentence though.) You can select up to five languages total

The older version limits you to use single language at a time. Now you can search for a nearby hotel using any of the five languages at the same time, the only thing to be kept in mind is users can’t switch the languages midway in a sentence.

You can now switch between languages and Google will still understand you
For many people, speaking just one language isn’t enough, like most of us are Hinglish fans. More than half the world’s population speaks two or more languages—and now Google can keep up.
Previously, though you could voice search in more than 50 languages and dialects, but you had to change your settings if you needed to switch between the launguage. However, with the new update in Google Voice Search app on Android, you can now speak in upto five languages, switch back and forth between any of them, and Google will understand you.
All you have to do now is to set your five favourite languages, and then you can switch back and forth easily, Google will automatically detect which language you are using. However, Google is still learning multi-lingual commands and so you will still have to stick with one language per sentence.
Update your Google Voice Search app on your Android device and give the smarter Google a try!

Google's voice search functionality is handy for many people, especially considering the more than 50 languages and dialects it supports. According to the search giant, more than half the world's population speaks two or more different languages, and now it is adding new functionality to further accommodate multilingual individuals
With the Google search app for Android, users can now search in multiple languages at once without having to dig through the settings menu to flip back and forth manually. With a quick, one-time change, users can pick up to 5 languages to voice search with simultaneously. For example, users can input a basic search in one language and then immediately fire off a text message to a friend in another.
The company notes that only one language per sentence can be used for now but that additional features/languages will be added over time. The company also says that whether or not users receive spoken responses will depend on the particular language and search query.

Apple Tool Checks iPhones for ‘Kill Switch’ Security’

The iPhone already supports that feature, and the company recently released a tool to check whether an Apple device has the kill switch turned on. Google and Microsoft will add a “kill-switch” feature to their Android and Windows phone operating systems.

As Smartphone theft has become a big problem across the world. According to a report by US authorities:

Some 3.1 million mobile devices were stolen in the US in 2013, nearly double the number of devices stolen in 2012
One in three Europeans experienced the theft or loss of a mobile device in 2013
In South Korea mobile device theft increased five-fold between 2009 and 2012
In Colombia criminals stole over one million devices in 2013

In an attempt to tackle the issue, policymakers have launched an initiative called Secure our Smartphones.

this tool is available on Apple’s iCloud website users can enter a serial number of the device or the so-called IMEI, a unique identification number assigned to each and every phone. The web tool will say whether the kill switch feature, called Activation Lock, is enabled.A new tool on Apple’s i Cloud website lets iPhone owners check to see if their device has been enabled with a so-called kill switch.Credit

If a device still has Activation Lock turned on, that could mean it has been reported lost or stolen, or the owner has simply forgotten to deactivate the feature before putting it up for sale. With Activation Lock turned on, the device could be unusable without the Apple username and password of the owner.

That comes in handy in a few cases. People buying a used iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch via eBay or Craigslist, for example, can ask for the identification number of the device before agreeing to buy it. Resellers, or businesses that buy used phones, could also require sellers to share the identification number of each iPhone so they can check whether the device has Activation Lock turned on before offering to buy it.

Apple introduced Activation Lock last year amid complaints from law enforcement authorities that phone carriers and technology companies were not trying hard enough to combat cellphone theft, which has become a frequent urban crime.

In August, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed the measure requiring all smartphones sold in California to include a kill switch.

Microsoft and Google have said they plan to introduce the anti theft tool in future versions of their mobile software systems. The law only affects California, but phone manufacturers won’t sell two different phones. So this means that all cell phones will eventually have this capability. And, of course, the procedural controls and limitations written into the California law don’t apply elsewhere.


A “hard” kill switch would render a stolen device permanently unusable and is favoured by legislators who want to give stolen devices the “value of a paperweight”
A “soft” kill switch only make a phone unusable to “an unauthorised user”
Some argue that the only way to permanently disable a phone is to physically damage it
Experts worry that hackers could find a way to hijack a kill signal and turn off phones
If a phone is turned off or put into aeroplane mode, it might not receive the kill signal at all, warn experts

Improved mood and functioning, Benefits of controlled breathing, Potential help for PTSD &Delirium, dementia, amnestic, and other cognitive disorders

Improved mood and functioning
Questions remain about exactly how yoga works to improve mood, but preliminary evidence suggests its benefit is similar to that of exercise and relaxation techniques.
In a German study published in 2005, 24 women who described themselves as "emotionally distressed" took two 90-minute yoga classes a week for three months. Women in a control group maintained their normal activities and were asked not to begin an exercise or stress-reduction program during the study period.
Though not formally diagnosed with depression, all participants had experienced emotional distress for at least half of the previous 90 days. They were also one standard deviation above the population norm in scores for perceived stress (measured by the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale), anxiety (measured using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), and depression (scored with the Profile of Mood States and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, or CES-D).
At the end of three months, women in the yoga group reported improvements in perceived stress, depression, anxiety, energy, fatigue, and well-being. Depression scores improved by 50%, anxiety scores by 30%, and overall well-being scores by 65%. Initial complaints of headaches, back pain, and poor sleep quality also resolved much more often in the yoga group than in the control group.
One uncontrolled, descriptive 2005 study examined the effects of a single yoga class for inpatients at a New Hampshire psychiatric hospital. The 113 participants included patients with bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia. After the class, average levels of tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue dropped significantly, as measured by the Profile of Mood States, a standard 65-item questionnaire that participants answered on their own before and after the class. Patients who chose to participate in additional classes experienced similar short-term positive effects.
Further controlled trials of yoga practice have demonstrated improvements in mood and quality of life for the elderly, people caring for patients with dementia, breast cancer survivors, and patients with epilepsy.
Benefits of controlled breathing
A type of controlled breathing with roots in traditional yoga shows promise in providing relief for depression. The program, called Sudarshan Kriya yoga (SKY), involves several types of cyclical breathing patterns, ranging from slow and calming to rapid and stimulating.
One study compared 30 minutes of SKY breathing, done six days a week, to bilateral electroconvulsive therapy and the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine in 45 people hospitalized for depression. After four weeks of treatment, 93% of those receiving electroconvulsive therapy, 73% of those taking imipramine, and 67% of those using the breathing technique had achieved remission.
Another study examined the effects of SKY on depressive symptoms in 60 alcohol-dependent men. After a week of a standard detoxification program at a mental health center in Bangalore, India, participants were randomly assigned to two weeks of SKY or a standard alcoholism treatment control. After the full three weeks, scores on a standard depression inventory dropped 75% in the SKY group, as compared with 60% in the standard treatment group. Levels of two stress hormones, cortisol and corticotropin, also dropped in the SKY group, but not in the control group. The authors suggest that SKY might be a beneficial treatment for depression in the early stages of recovery from alcoholism.
Potential help for PTSD
Since evidence suggests that yoga can tone down maladaptive nervous system arousal, researchers are exploring whether or not yoga can be a helpful practice for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One randomized controlled study examined the effects of yoga and a breathing program in disabled Australian Vietnam veterans diagnosed with severe PTSD. The veterans were heavy daily drinkers, and all were taking at least one antidepressant. The five-day course included breathing techniques (see above), yoga asanas, education about stress reduction, and guided meditation. Participants were evaluated at the beginning of the study using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), which ranks symptom severity on an 80-point scale.
Six weeks after the study began, the yoga and breathing group had dropped their CAPS scores from averages of 57 (moderate to severe symptoms) to 42 (mild to moderate). These improvements persisted at a six-month follow-up. The control group, consisting of veterans on a waiting list, showed no improvement.
About 20% of war veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from PTSD, according to one estimate. Experts treating this population suggest that yoga can be a useful addition to the treatment program.
Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., are offering a yogic method of deep relaxation to veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Kristie Gore, a psychologist at Walter Reed, says the military hopes that yoga-based treatments will be more acceptable to the soldiers and less stigmatizing than traditional psychotherapy. The center now uses yoga and yogic relaxation in post-deployment PTSD awareness courses, and plans to conduct a controlled trial of their effectiveness in the future.
. Delirium, dementia, amnestic, and other cognitive disorders. Cognitive disorders involve a clinically significant deficit in cognition or memory that represents a marked change from a previous level of functioning. The disorders are usually further categorized based on their presumed etiology.
• A delirium is characterized by a disturbance in consciousness and a change in cognition that develop over a short time. Some examples are delirium due to a medical condition, and substance-induced delirium (such as caused by a drug of abuse or a toxin). Drugs that are listed as causing the condition include alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, marijuana, nicotine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), sedatives, and other unspecified chemicals. Substance withdrawal may also produce a delirium.
• A dementia is characterized by multiple cognitive deficits that include memory impairment. Examples are dementia of Alzheimer's type, vascular dementia, and dementia due to HIV disease.
• An amnestic disorder is shown by multiple cognitive deficits that include memory impairment, but the disorder is not connected with states of delerium or dementia. A major problem is the transfer of information from short term to long term memory. Amnestic disorders result from a physical cause such as a traumatic event (for example, a head injury incurred in an accident, during surgery, or from an electric shock), drug abuse, or the use of medications.
• A fourth category, cognitive disorder not otherwise specified, is used to delineate a cognitive dysfunction presumed to be due to a general medical condition or substance use but that does not meet the other diagnostic criteria.
A Report By
Arahan Dhami

Adjustment disorder, Yogic effect on stress, Taming the stress response

. Adjustment disorder: - Reaction to Common Life Stressors
A person whose response to a common stressor such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, or losing a job in maladaptive and occurs within 3 months of the stressor can be said to have an adjustment disorder. The person’s reaction is considered maladaptive if he or she is unable to function as usual or if the person’s reaction to the particular stressor is excessive. In adjustment disorder, the person’s maladjustment lessens or disappears when (1) the stressor has subsided or (2) the individual learns to adapt to the stressor. Should the symptoms continue beyond 6 months, DSM –IV-TR recommends that the diagnosis be changed to some other mental disorder.
What's the difference between normal stress and an adjustment disorder?
Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to positive or negative situations in your life, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Stress itself isn't abnormal or bad. What's important is how you deal with stress.
When you have so much trouble adjusting to a stressful change that you find it difficult to go about your daily routine, you may have developed an adjustment disorder. An adjustment disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness that can affect your feelings, thoughts and behaviors. An adjustment disorder can occur in both adults and children.
Signs and symptoms of an adjustment disorder can include:
• Anxiety
• Poor school or work performance
• Relationship problems
• Sadness
• Thoughts of suicide
• Worry
• Trouble sleeping
If you're dealing with a stressful situation in your life, try self-help measures, such as talking things over with caring family or friends, practicing yoga or meditation, getting regular exercise, and cutting back on your to-do list. If these techniques don't help and you feel like you're still having a hard time coping, talk to your doctor.

Yogic effect on stress: - Since the 1970s, meditation and other stress-reduction techniques have been studied as possible treatments for depression and anxiety. One such practice, yoga, has received less attention in the medical literature, though it has become increasingly popular in recent decades. One national survey estimated, for example, that about 7.5% of U.S. adults had tried yoga at least once, and that nearly 4% practiced yoga in the previous year.
Yoga classes can vary from gentle and accommodating to strenuous and challenging; the choice of style tends to be based on physical ability and personal preference. Hatha yoga, the most common type of yoga practiced in the United States, combines three elements: physical poses, called asanas; controlled breathing practiced in conjunction with asanas; and a short period of deep relaxation or meditation.
Many of the studies evaluating yoga's therapeutic benefits have been small and poorly designed. However, a 2004 analysis found that, in recent decades, an increasing number have been randomized controlled trials — the most rigorous standard for proving efficacy.
Available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends.
Taming the stress response
By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body's ability to respond to stress more flexibly.
A small but intriguing study further characterizes the effect of yoga on the stress response. In 2008, researchers at the University of Utah presented preliminary results from a study of varied participants' responses to pain. They note that people who have a poorly regulated response to stress are also more sensitive to pain. Their subjects were 12 experienced yoga practitioners, 14 people with fibromyalgia (a condition many researchers consider a stress-related illness that is characterized by hypersensitivity to pain), and 16 healthy volunteers.
When the three groups were subjected to more or less painful thumbnail pressure, the participants with fibromyalgia — as expected — perceived pain at lower pressure levels compared with the other subjects. Functional MRIs showed they also had the greatest activity in areas of the brain associated with the pain response. In contrast, the yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during the MRI. The study underscores the value of techniques, such as yoga, that can help a person regulate their stress and, therefore, pain responses.

Common external causes of stress, Categories of stress, Classification of conflict situation

• Memory problems
• Inability to concentrate
• Poor judgment
• Seeing only the negative
• Anxious or racing thoughts
• Constant worrying • Moodiness
• Irritability or short temper
• Agitation, inability to relax
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Sense of loneliness and isolation
• Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
• Aches and pains
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Nausea, dizziness
• Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
• Loss of sex drive
• Frequent colds • Eating more or less
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Isolating yourself from others
• Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
• Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
• Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.
Causes of stress: - The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion.
What causes stress depends, at least in part, on your perception of it. Something that's stressful to you may not faze someone else; they may even enjoy it. For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.
Common external causes of stress
• Major life changes
• Work
• Relationship difficulties • Financial problems
• Being too busy
• Children and family
Common internal causes of stress
Not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:
• Inability to accept uncertainty
• Pessimism
• Negative self-talk • Unrealistic expectations
• Perfectionism
• Lack of assertiveness
Categories of stress: - Adjustive or stressors, stem from sources that fall into three basic categories: - (1) Frustration, (2) Conflicts, (Pressures).
1. Frustrations: - A wide range of obstacles, both external and internal, can lead to frustration. Prejudice and discrimination, unfulfillment in a job, and the death of a loved one are common frustration stemming from the environment; physical handicaps, limited ability to perform certain tasks, loneliness, guilt and inadequate self-control are sources of frustration based on personal limitations.
2. Conflict: - In many instances, stress result from the simultaneous occurrence of two or incompatible needs or motives: The requirements of one preclude satisfaction of the others. For example, if a woman is committed to a career but must decide whether to uproot her family undisturbed, she will experience conflict while trying to make the choice.

Classification of conflict situation: -
I. Approach-avoidance conflict.
II. Double-approach conflict.
III. Double-avoidance conflict.
3. Pressure: - Stress may stem not only from frustrations and conflicts but also from pressures to achieve specific goals or to behave in particular ways. Pressure forces us to speed up. Redouble our effort, or change the direction of goal-oriented behaviour, which can seriously tax our coping resources or even lead to maladaptive behaviour.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Other psychological disorders, The Body’s Stress Response

Other psychological disorders:-
1. Stress.
2. Adjustment disorder.
3. Delirium, dementia, amnestic, and other cognitive disorder.

What is stress?
Life would be simple indeed if all of our needs were automatically satisfied. In reality, however, many obstacles, both personal and environmental, prevent this ideal situation. We may be too short for professional basketball or have less money than we need. Such obstacles place adjustive demands on us and can lead to stress. The term stress has typically been used to refer both to the adjustive demands placed on an organism and to the organism’s internal biological and psychological responses to such demands. To avoid confusion, we will refer to adjustive demands as stressors, to the effects they create within an organism as stress, and to efforts to deal with stress as coping strategies. Stress is a by- product of poor or inadequate coping.
All situation, positive and negative, that require adjustment can be stressful. According to Hans selye (1956, 1976a) the notion of stress can be broken down further into eustress (positive stress) and distress (negative stress). Both type of stress tax a person’s resources and coping skills, although distress typically has the potential to do more damage.

The Body’s Stress Response
When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger – whether it’s real or imagined – the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life – giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you'd rather be watching TV.
But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.
It’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feels familiar even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently.
Stress doesn’t always look stressful
Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
• Foot on the gas – An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
• Foot on the brake – A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
• Foot on both – A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.
Signs and symptoms of stress overload
The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.
Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
• Memory problems
• Inability to concentrate
• Poor judgment
• Seeing only the negative
• Anxious or racing thoughts
• Constant worrying • Moodiness
• Irritability or short temper
• Agitation, inability to relax
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Sense of loneliness and isolation
• Depression or general unhappiness

Mental Deficiency, Exams and Tests,Toxic, Criminal Behaivour

Mental deficiency:-
Subnormal intellectual development as a result of congenital causes, brain injury, or disease and characterized by any of various cognitive deficiencies, including impaired learning, social, and vocational ability. Also called mental deficiency. A developmental disorder characterized in varying degrees by a subnormal ability to learn, a substantially low IQ, and impaired social adjustment. Below-average intellectual ability resulting from a genetic defect, brain injury, or disease, and usually present from birth or early infancy.
Mental retardation affects about 1 - 3% of the population. There are many causes of mental retardation, but doctors find a specific reason in only 25% of cases.
A family may suspect mental retardation if the child's motor skills, language skills, and self-help skills do not seem to be developing, or are developing at a far slower rate than the child's peers. Failure to adapt (adjust to new situations) normally and grow intellectually may become apparent early in a child's life. In the case of mild retardation, these failures may not become recognizable until school age or later.
The degree of impairment from mental retardation varies widely, from profoundly impaired to mild or borderline retardation. Less emphasis is now placed on the degree of retardation and more on the amount of intervention and care needed for daily life.
Risk factors are related to the causes. Causes of mental retardation can be roughly broken down into several categories:
• Infections (present at birth or occurring after birth)
o Congenital CMV
o Congenital rubella
o Congenital toxoplasmosis
o Encephalitis
o HIV infection
o Listeriosis
o Meningitis
• Chromosomal abnormalities
o Chromosome deletions
o Chromosomal translocations (a gene is located in an unusual spot on a chromosome, or located on a different chromosome than usual)
o Defects in the chromosome or chromosomal inheritance (such as fragile X syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome)
o Errors of chromosome numbers (such as Down syndrome)
• Environmental
o Deprivation syndrome
• Genetic abnormalities and inherited metabolic disorders
o Adrenoleukodystrophy.
o Galactosemia.
o Hunter syndrome.
o Hurler syndrome.
o Lesch-Nyhan syndrome.
o Phenylketonuria.
o Rett syndrome.
o Sanfilippo syndrome.
o Tay-Sachs disease.
o Tuberous sclerosis.
• Metabolic
o Congenital hypothyroid
o Hypoglycemia (poorly regulated diabetes)
o Reye syndrome
o Hyperbilirubinemia (very high bilirubin levels in babies)
• Nutritional
o Malnutrition
• Toxic
o Intrauterine exposure to alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs
o Lead poisoning
o Methylmercury poisoning
• Trauma (before and after birth)
o Intracranial hemorrhage before or after birth.
o Lack of oxygen to the brain before, during, or after birth.
o Severe head injury
• Unexplained (this largest category is for unexplained occurrences of mental retardation)
• Continued infant-like behavior
• Decreased learning ability
• Failure to meet the markers of intellectual development
• Inability to meet educational demands at school
• Lack of curiosity
Exams and Tests:-
An assessment of age-appropriate adaptive behaviors can be made using developmental screening tests. The failure to achieve developmental milestones suggests mental retardation.
The following may be signs of mental retardation:
• Abnormal Denver developmental screening test
• Adaptive behavior score below average
• Development way below that of peers
• Intelligence quotient (IQ) score below 70 on a standardized IQ test
The primary goal of treatment is to develop the person's potential to the fullest. Special education and training may begin as early as infancy. This includes social skills to help the person function as normally as possible.
It is important for a specialist to evaluate the person for other affective disorders and treat those disorders. Behavioral approaches are important for people with mental retardation.
Genetic: - Prenatal screening for genetic defects and genetic counseling for families at risk for known inherited disorders can decrease the risk of inherited mental retardation.
Social: Government nutrition programs are available to poor children in the first and most critical years of life. These programs can reduce retardation associated with malnutrition. Early intervention in situations involving abuse and poverty will also help.
Toxic: - Environmental programs to reduce exposure to lead, mercury, and other toxins will reduce toxin-associated retardation. However, the benefits may take years to become apparent. Increased public awareness of the risks of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy can help reduce the incidence of retardation.
The prevention of congenital rubella syndrome is probably one of the best examples of a successful program to prevent one form of mental retardation. Constant vigilance, such as limiting exposure to cat litter that can cause toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, helps reduce retardation that results from this infection.
Criminal behaivour:-
The criminal behavior is behavior in violation of the criminal law. No matter what the degree of immorality, reprehensibility or indecency of an act, it is not a crime unless it is prohibited by the criminal law.
(- Sutherland and cressey)
“A crime is an act or default which prejudices the interests of the community and is forbidden by law under the pain of punishment.
Types of criminal behavior:-
1. Felony.
2. Misdemeanor.

Types of Misdemeanor:-
1. Personal offence.
2. Offence against security and dignity of the state.
3. Offence against social welfare.

1. Personal offence:- It includes Murders, rapes, Robbery e.t.c. In this type of psychological disorder person wants to harm someone special.
2. Crimes against security and diginity of the state: - In this category those crimes are included in which person take a step like treason, and blasphemy.
3. Crime against social welfare: - Those crime which is totally harmful for society.