French Physicists Calculate Mean First Passage Time

first_img Physicists at the University of Pierre & Marie Curie Physiques Laboratory in Paris have developed a general theory that allows accurate evaluation of the mean First Passage Time, (FTP) in complex media. The lead scientist, S. Condamin, O. Benichou, V. Trejedor, and R. Voituriez in Paris combined efforts with J. Klafter of Tel Aviv University in Israel to accurately assess FTP in complex situations, heretofore the calculation was based on one dimensional geometries or to higher spatial dimensions in homogeneous media.The importance of calculating FTP can best be understood as pondering the question, “How long does it take a random walker to reach a given target.” The FTP is critical in assessing and predicting spreading of disease, neuron firing dynamics, and transport of disordered media. Over the past decades scientists from various disciplines have studied and researched the predictability of FTP .The title of the Letter report is entitled, First Passage Times in Complex Scale Invariant Media was published in Nature 450, at pages 77-80 on November 1, 2007. The scientists state that they have developed an analytical approach that provides a universal scaling dependence of the mean FTP on both the volume of the confining domain and the source-target distance. The scientists have performed various numerical simulation tests for representative models of disordered media, fractals, anomalous diffusion, and scale-free networks. The results of their research is applicable to a broad range of stochastic processes characterized by length, scale invariant properties. Further information and request for materials may be directed to Dr. O. Benichou at benichou (at) 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. First Passage Time, (FTP) can best be understood by pondering the question, “How long does it take a random walker to reach a given target?” The FTP is key to predicting the spread of disease, neuron firing dyanmics and more. Predicting FTP in Complex Models Citation: French Physicists Calculate Mean First Passage Time (2007, November 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

The future cometh Science technology and humanity at Singularity Summit 2011 Part

first_img Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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. That’s really the big frontier right now is for computers, in general, to master human emotions.Emotion is not some sideshow to human intelligence. It’s actually the most complicated intelligent thing we do, being funny, getting the joke, expressing a loving sentiment. That’s the cutting edge of human intelligence. If we were to say intelligence is only logical intelligence, computers are already smarter than us. I believe it’s going to be about over the next 20 years where we close that gap in terms of human superiority today in emotional intelligence. Today computers can understand human emotions in certain situations. Watson, the IBM computer that won Jeopardy, did have to understand some things about human emotion to master the language in that game, but they’re not yet at human levels. They’re getting there.True to the Singularity’s premise of accelerating technological innovation, this achievement may be arriving sooner expected: Recently, research conducted by Zoraida Callejas, David Griol and Ramón López-Cózar at the University of Granada and University of Madrid, has demonstrated a method for predicting a person’s mental state in spoken dialog from that individual’s emotional state and intention by means of a module bridging natural language understanding and dialogue management architecture.MIT wunderkind Alexander Wissner-Gross says that it will be sufficient for a post-Singularity AI to understand human feelings rather than having to develop emotive thought. In his much-anticipated talk, Planetary-Scale Intelligence, he suggested that a global human-level AI could emerge from the mathematical world of quantitative finance and high-frequency trading – and that it may already have. Alexander Wissner-Gross on “Planetary Scale Intelligence” at Singularity Summit 2011 In The Undivided Mind – Science and Imagination, filmmaker, aesthetic philosopher and ecstatic futurist Jason Silva – the speaker that most energized the crowd – called for passion and artistic sensibility to inform ideation and instantiation of the Singularity. Silva displayed this perspective by showing his short film The Beginning of Infinity, which visually expresses an epistemological epiphany. Silva is also the first guest to be interviewed on Critical Thought TV. VIDEO: THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY“What’s fantastic about having a Singularity Summit,” Silva notes, “is that it provides an anchor that gives legitimacy to these ideas – that they’re not just something on the fringe of academia. Our story then spills over into a variety of substrates – books, magazine articles, television, film, websites, and so on. However,” he points out, “I think they need to work on their aesthetic framing” – the essence of his talk – “which I hope provided an injection of art and design. As Rebecca Elson wrote in her book, A Responsibility to Awe, facts are only as interesting as the possibilities they open up to the imagination.” For Silva, one of those possibilities is our achieving the God-like qualities of immortality and omniscience long promised, but never delivered, by religion.Silva also differs from Kurzweil and Wissner-Gross in his view of emotion in coming human-analogous AIs. For example, he refers to Leonard Shlain’s Art & Physics, which Silva cites as pointing out that art and science are two sides of the same coin. Silva agrees that this appears to be supported by fMRI studies of human brain activity, which seem to show that their common ground lies in the emotional content of experience, as well as by very recent findings that visual encoding in the human ventral temporal (VT) cortex is common across individuals viewing the same movie content. “Truth,” concludes Silva, ”is a symphony.” Expert: AI computers by 2020 ( — In its essence, technology can be seen as our perpetually evolving attempt to extend our sensorimotor cortex into physical reality: From the earliest spears and boomerangs augmenting our arms, horses and carts our legs, and fire our environment, we’re now investigating and manipulating the fabric of that reality – including the very components of life itself. Moreover, this progression has not been linear, but instead follows an iterative curve of inflection points demarcating disruptive changes in dominant societal paradigms. Suggested by mathematician Vernor Vinge in his acclaimed science fiction novel True Names (1981) and introduced explicitly in his essay The Coming Technological Singularity (1993), the term was popularized by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity is Near (2005). The two even had a Singularity Chat in 2002. More information: Part II: … logy-humanity_1.htmlcenter_img Ray Kurzweil on “From Eliza to Watson to Passing the Turing Test” at Singularity Summit 2011 In his post-presentation press conference, Kurzweil was asked about the role of our evolutionarily-determined biological drives – and thereby motivation and emotion – as minds merge with machines and AI equals or surpasses human levels. Kurzweil noted that we have a remarkable ability to sublimate our drives, and we do so largely into innovation. Since he sees the purpose of technology as the transcendence of our biological limitations, one interpretation of his response is that he might well define human-like AI as being motivated by the goal of achieving unfettered, ever-accelerating innovation – and that achieving that goal will generate a positive AE (artificial emotional) state. Whether or not that’s the case, in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview earlier this year, Kurzweil has predicted that AI will achieve human-level emotional thought by roughly 2030: While the Singularity is not to be confused with the astronomical description of an infinitesimal object of infinite density, it can be seen as a technological event horizon at which present models of the future may break down in the not-too-distant future when the accelerating rate of scientific discovery and technological innovation approaches a real-time asymptote. Beyond lies a future (be it utopian or dystopian) in which a key question emerges: Evolving at dramatically slower biological time scales, must Homo sapiens become Homo syntheticus in order to retain our position as the self-acclaimed crown of creation – or will that title be usurped by sentient Artificial Intelligence? The Singularity and all of its implications were recently addressed at Singularity Summit 2011 in New York City.Vinge opens his groundbreaking 1993 essay with a fundamental definition of the Singularity: The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater-than-human intelligence. Science may achieve this breakthrough by several means (and this is another reason for having confidence that the event will occur):• Computers that are “awake” and superhumanly intelligent may be developed. (To date, there has been much controversy as to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is “yes,” then there is little doubt that more intelligent beings can be constructed shortly thereafter.)• Large computer networks (and their associated users) may “wake up” as superhumanly intelligent entities.• Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent.• Biological science may provide means to improve natural human intellect.For Kurzweil, the core of the Singularity remains the augmentation and surpassing of human biology through the accelerating evolution of technology (notably genetics, nanotechnology, and Artificial Intelligence) enabled by exponential increases in computational power and speed coupled plummeting costs and size. Not surprisingly, then, in his opening address, From Eliza to Watson to Passing the Turing Test, Kurzweil – ever the low-key evangelist – focused largely on what he described as the remarkable continuing evidentiary support for his original projections. He voiced a clear differentiation between basing our AI offspring using biologically-inspired principles and, alternatively, crafting biomorphic substrates: In short, he favors the former, viewing the latter as unnecessary. Explore further Citation: The future cometh: Science, technology and humanity at Singularity Summit 2011 (Part I) (2011, December 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Kurzweil writes that, due to paradigm shifts, a trend of exponential growth extends Moore’s law from integrated circuits to earlier transistors, vacuum tubes, relays, and electromechanical computers. He predicts that the exponential growth will continue, and that in a few decades the computing power of all computers will exceed that of human brains, with superhuman artificial intelligence appearing around the same time. Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.last_img read more

Engineer receives 12500 bounty from Facebook for discovering picture deletion vulnerability

first_img Facebook is serious about its user community following rules about what is posted on user and group pages. For that reason, they have added a section to the Support Dashboard for users that come across postings or pictures that break the rules so that they can be reported and removed. In looking at how Facebook handled such reports for objectionable photos, Kumar noticed that the code for sending the request could be viewed by the user making the request. He then discovered that the code could be modified as well. Normally, when a report is created it is sent to Facebook, where someone on staff looks at the picture in question and makes a judgment about whether to let it remain or to delete it. If they choose to let it remain, a message is created with a link in it and sent to the owner of the account that holds the photo. That person can then either choose to let the photo remain on their page, or can click the link to have it instantly removed. Kumar found that he could alter the address to which the message would be sent, which meant he could have it sent to himself, rather than the account holder. Once the message was received, he was then free to click the link to delete the photo. That meant he could delete photos from any account, personal or group—even those posted by others on someone’s page, without permission from them or Facebook, and without the knowledge of either. The owner of the page wouldn’t know anything had occurred unless they happened to notice a photo missing on their page.Kumar very carefully followed the rules Facebook has outlined for reporting vulnerabilities (he didn’t remove pictures from real user accounts, for example) and was handsomely rewarded for his efforts. He reports that Facebook has subsequently fixed the vulnerability. © 2013 ( —An electronics and communications engineer in India has been awarded a $12,500 bounty by Facebook for the discovery of a picture deleting vulnerability in the social network’s Support Dashboard. Arul Kumar details on his blog how he found the vulnerability, how it works and his communications with Facebook regarding the find. 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. Explore further Citation: Engineer receives $12,500 bounty from Facebook for discovering picture deletion vulnerability (2013, September 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Vulnerability in Facebook’s OAuth allowed hacker full profile accesslast_img read more

Astronomers discover bubblelike structure associated with the pulsar PSR J1015−5719

first_img(—Astronomers have recently identified a peculiar bubble-like structure associated with an energetic pulsar known as PSR J1015−5719. The newly found feature, designated G283.1−0.59, is most likely a polar wind nebula. The findings were presented June 9 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: Discovery of a Synchrotron Bubble Associated with PSR J1015-5719, arXiv:1706.02978 [astro-ph.HE] report the discovery of a synchrotron nebula, G283.1-0.59, associated with PSR J1015-5719. Radio observations using the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array at 36, 16, 6, and 3 cm reveal a complex morphology. The pulsar is embedded in the “head” of the nebula with fan-shaped diffuse emission. This is connected to a circular bubble of 20″ radius and a collimated tail extending over 1′. Polarization measurements show a highly ordered magnetic field in the nebula. It wraps around the edge of the head and shows an azimuthal configuration near the pulsar, then switches direction quasi-periodically near the bubble and in the tail. Together with the flat radio spectrum observed, we suggest that this system is most plausibly a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), with the head as a bow shock that has a low Mach number and the bubble as a shell expanding in a dense environment. The bubble could act as a magnetic bottle trapping the relativistic particles. A comparison with other bow-shock PWNe with higher Mach numbers shows similar structure and B-field geometry, implying that pulsar velocity may not be the most critical factor in determining the properties of these systems. We also derive analytic expressions for the projected standoff distance and shape of an inclined bow shock. It is found that the projected distance is always larger than the true distance in three dimensions. On the other hand, the projected shape is not sensitive to the inclination after rescaling with the projected standoff distance. © 2017 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. Pulsar wind nebulae Citation: Astronomers discover bubble-like structure associated with the pulsar PSR J1015−5719 (2017, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ATCA radio intensity maps zoomed in at J1015 and the nebula G283.1−0.59 at 16, 6, and 3 cm. The 16 cm image is obtained from the off-pulse phase bins with the pulsar binning data. The crosses mark the pulsar positionand the beam sizes are shown in the lower left. Credit: Ng et al., 2017. Located some 16,600 light years away from the Earth, PSR J1015−5719 is an energetic pulsar with a spin period of 0.14 seconds and an estimated age of about 39,000 years. The pulsar was detected in 2003 by the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey. Although PSR J1015−5719 is located near the gamma-ray source 3EG J1014−5705, so far no pulsed or persistent gamma-ray emission has been found at the pulsar position. Therefore, the possibility of association with this source was excluded by researchers. Moreover, follow-up infrared, optical, and X-ray observations also found no counterparts to this pulsar.Now, a team of astronomers led by C.-Y. Ng of the University of Hong Kong presents the results of new radio observations of PSR J1015−5719, which reveal an interesting structure associated with this pulsar. The observational campaign was conducted using the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), both located in Australia. The new data allowed the researchers to reveal a nebula consisting of a diffuse head, a circular bubble, and a collimated tail.”We report the discovery of a synchrotron nebula, G283.1−0.59, associated with PSR J1015−5719. Radio observations using the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array at 36, 16, 6, and 3 cm reveal a complex morphology. The pulsar is embedded in the ‘head’ of the nebula with fan-shaped diffuse emission. This is connected to a circular bubble of 20″ radius and a collimated tail extending over 1′,” the scientists wrote in the paper.According to the authors of the study, G283.1−0.59 is most likely a bow-shock pulsar wind nebula (PWN). PWNe are characterized by broadband synchrotron radiation from radio to X-ray bands when they are formed as a result of interaction of pulsar wind with the ambient medium. The morphology of bow-shock PWNe includes a long collimated tail with a small bow-shock standoff distance.The team revealed that morphology of G283.1−0.59’s head resembles the shape of a classical bow shock. The results also suggest a projected stand-off distance of about 20″. Therefore, the researchers argue that the morphology of the newly discovered nebula is similar to that of other PWNe.The hypothesis that G283.1−0.59 is associated with and thus powered by PSR J1015−5719 is based on the fact that the nebula is very close in projection to the pulsar.”We suggest that this is a newly identified bow-shock PWN associated with J1015. (…) Given its peculiar properties, a chance coincidence seems very unlikely,” the paper reads.The astronomers concluded that G283.1−0.59 is an interesting rare example of a slow moving bow-shock PWN, in which the pulsar spin axis misaligns with the proper motion direction.last_img read more

Turning a new leaf

first_imgHamsa Moily’s book Homecoming-poems was released on Wednesday by politician and author Shashi Tharoor.The book which consists of a collection of 30 poems is published by Rupa Publications and includes a foreword by diplomat and successful littérateur Pavan Kumar Varma.The poems in the book speak about the mysteries of life and death; about love that is seamless and unconditional, about a yearning to turn a new leaf, a new life. These poems come from music through silences, which is nothingness, and from this nothingness these poems have arrived. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Commenting on the book, the minister of oils and gas, Veerappa Moily, father of Hamsa Moily said, ‘I am not here to talk about her book as a politician or a father, I speak from the perspective of an author. Hamsa’s poems reflect a certain purity which is rarely seen in the poems these days, her poems are devoid of the sense of self and pride which is very difficult for an author. I, myself have never been able to detach from my sense of self in my works.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe poet, on the occassion, read out two of her poems including the one titled, Homecoming from the book and said, ‘I have written these poems in 30 days. Enclosed within the four walls of my room, these poems arose from my loneliness, from nothingness, from silence.’Hamsa moily is a Bharatanatyam dancer and an experimental choreographer. She has acted in a Tamil film, Shringaram, based on the lives of Devadasis.She has recently choreographed a Hindi play for children, Kyun Kyun Ladki, inspired by Mahashweta Devi’s book by the same name, and an English play for children written by Rabindranath Tagore. She describes herself as a seeker and a practitioner of yoga. If you are a literature lover, grab a copy of the book soon.last_img read more

Delhi gets an Aussie dose

first_imgThe nation is acquiring interest in documentary films, especially since the BBC’s documentary on Nirbhaya rape case created quite a stir in the International platform. Australian documentary films are nonetheless awe-inspiring as they also deal with interesting issues and are creatively presented to the audience. The national Capital also witnessed some of the Australian Documentaries as India International Centre hosted a film festival where award-winning documentaries were shown from July 23-25.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Two documentarians Martin Butler and Pat Fiske, who happened to be in the city for their documentary films, talked about film-making, Australian historical heritage and much more.When asked whether getting into film-making was harder than continuing in the industry, Martin Butler said, “Both are extremely hard but getting started is harder because one does not have the funds or contacts that would facilitate in becoming a documentary film-maker. Money is invested in your work once you gain experience in film-making. Experience makes it easier to get noticed.” Pat Fiske added, “During our time in the 70’s we had access to government funds which was provided to promote film-making and we could explore the art of film-making and learn on the job. At that time the government was putting in a lot of money so we learned by participating but nowadays film schools have come up which did not exist in our time (to Butler) wouldn’t you agree? To which Butler replied “Yes. It is indeed tough to become a documentarian and I suspect one has to be lucky.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTalking about the industry, Butler added, “The Australian film industry is quite big compared to the size of the country and they make quite a number of feature films each year. It is nothing like the size of India obviously, but I think that Australia is stronger in documentary film-making. There are a number of complicated reasons for that but Australian films are bold and they take on interesting, confronting topics and subjects and use them in an innovative way. Indian audience should be advised to watch Australian films, especially, the documentaries. There are a lot of interesting subjects covered, I’d be surprised if they’re already covered in India.” Martin Butler talked about his documentary First Footprints, where he described Australia’s ancient history. He explained how it covers the history of fifty thousand years before the arrival of White Australians. He said, “It is generally assumed that the Aboriginal Australians were too primitive though the research has found out that they were technologically advanced. They were pioneers in sea faring being the first people in the world to cross the ocean. They had explored the ocean when nobody else did. They were also the first ones to make pictures and sculptures. If one would visit the remote areas of Australia, one would find such sculptures and paintings.” He added that Australia is also rich in cultural heritage like India.Pat Fiske, described her two documentary films Scarlet Rose and Love Marriage in Kabul that were shown in the festival.Scarlet Rose follows the extraordinary life of an Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a long over-looked clientele —people with disability.In the documentary Love Marriage in Kabul, Mahboba Rawi is a strong-willed Afghan-Australian woman who has dedicated her life in helping orphans in Afghanistan. She is the founder of Mahboba’s Promise and a mother figure for thousands of orphans and widows currently supported by her programs. The story revolves around one of the girls from her orphanage who falls in love with a boy-next-door and all the problems that she faces in getting them married.last_img read more

BJP supporters set fire to bus force patient to get down from

first_imgKolkata: In an attempt to create panic among people, BJP supporters allegedly set fire to a West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) bus on the southbound approach road of Brabourne Road flyover.While resisting the BJP supporters, two police personnel, including the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Howrah Bridge traffic guard, received multiple injuries. A BJP supporter was injured as he got trapped inside the burning bus. School students and patients were also forced to get down from different vehicles to make the bandh a success in two different cases throughout the city. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the police, some miscreants boarded the bus from route C-7 (Howrah to Harimohan Ghosh College) acting as passengers, on Wednesday at around 1.40 pm. When the bus arrived near Pagaya Patty, the alleged hooligans started creating a ruckus, threatening the passengers and the bus driver.The panic stricken passengers deboarded the bus in a hurry. As the driver of the bus had also got panicked, he was not able to stop the bus in time and rammed it into a divider, before coming to a halt. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAs the bus stopped, BJP supporters threw some inflammable material inside the bus and set it on fire. In the meantime, one of the BJP supporters somehow got trapped inside the bus, who was later identified as Sanjib Singh. Police and locals immediately joined hands to rescue Singh. Two fire tenders were pressed into action to douse the fire.At the same time, the OC of Howrah Bridge traffic guard Raj Kumar Singh and home guard of Sealdah traffic guard Bidesh Samanta got injured, while confronting the BJP supporters. Police later identified the two persons responsible for the incident and detained one of them. Sanjib has been admitted to the Medical College Hospital with multiple injuries.In another incident, a school bus packed with children was obstructed by BJP supporters near Ganganagar under Airport police station area on Wednesday morning.Sources informed that the children and teachers were forced toget down from the bus. The bandh supporters allegedly tried to ran-sack the bus but later stepped back after repeated requests from the teachers.Meanwhile, a patient and his family members were forced to get down from a taxi near Howrah Station. The taxi was then ransacked. Later, police intervened and arranged another taxi for the patient and his family. Police also dispersed the mob and secured the taxi driver as well.last_img read more

Weaving a continuity of expressions

first_imgPratha Parv – a festival of folk, tribal and traditional cultural expressions of India is being presented by Sangeet Natak Akademi, a national academy of music, dance and drama and an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.In a country as vast and layered with history, antiquity and diversity, it is the realm of performing arts in which a deep connection of various genres of art or skill can be seen weaving a continuity of expressions.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTraditional cultural expressions also called ‘expressions of folklore’ may include music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and narratives, or many other artistic or cultural expressions including the folk and tribal art. These, which essentially form parts of the identity and heritage of a traditional or indigenous community, are passed down from generation to generation, and are integral to the cultural and social identities of indigenous and local communities. They transmit core values and beliefs. And primarily, these notions are constantly developing and being recreated within the community ie the practitioners and connoisseurs and passed on to new generations as future protectors of the shared legacy. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe festival comprises presentations of diverse forms of performing arts, film screenings sourced from the meticulously cultivated archives of the Akademi exhibition and dissemination of various musical instruments, folk and traditional, from different states of the country (primarily North-East, Odisha, Kerala and Uttarakhand). The programme also includes interactive session with artists who will share their traditional methodologies and other related aspects that may bring forth the tangible and intangible aspects to incorporate verbal expressions or symbols (stories, epics, legends, tales, riddles), musical expressions (songs, instrumental music), expressions by action (dance form, play, ritual), tangible expressions (drawings, designs, paintings, body art, carvings, woodwork, metal work, jewellery, glassware, textiles, costumes) and  intangible expressions reflecting traditional forms of thought and architectural forms. The festival is an opportunity to bringing into limelight and assimilating a variety of cultural aspects of the country, as defined as North, South, East, and West and the resplendent North-East. Each day of the festival is based on this cultural classification, which aims to enhance and safeguard the inherent plurality of the cultural identity that this country so strongly identifies with.last_img read more