Samsung announces 5G data breakthrough
Seoul, May 15, 2013 (PTI):Samsung Electronics said today it had successfully tested super-fast
fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology that would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second.
The South Korean giant said the test had witnessed data transmission of
more than one gigabyte per second over a distance of two kilometres. The
new technology, which will not be ready for the commercial market before
2020 at the earliest, would offer transmitting speeds "up to several
hundred times faster" than existing 4G networks, it said in a statement.
That will permit users to "transmit massive data files including high
quality digital movies practically without limitation", it said. "As a
result, subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide range of services such
as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition
(UHD) content, and remote medical services," it added. Samsung said it
had found a way to harness millimeter-wave bands which have proved to be
a sticking point for the mobile industry to date. The test used 64 antenna elements, which the tech titan said overcame the issue of
"unfavourable propagation characteristics" that have prevented data
travelling across long distances using the bands. One of the most wired
countries on earth, South Korea already has around 20 million 4G users.
Indian academic develops intelligent robots in UK
London, April 5, 2013 (PTI): An Indian academic in the UK has developed
humanoid robots which use artificial intelligence to take on humans and learn
opponents' strategy as they play and try to win the traditional 'rock-scissors-paper' game.
Dr Ram Ramamoorthy from Bangalore led the team in developing the humanoid devices at the University of Edinburgh where he held a
Ramamoorthy earned his undergraduate degree in Instrumentation and
Electronics Engineering from the University of Bangalore and then went
to the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded his PhD degree.
He arrived at the University of Edinburgh in 2007. He is now working in
the School of Informatics, which is the biggest computer science department in Europe.
The Robots will play rock-scissors-paper game against human opponents in
a series of sell-out shows at this year's Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Rock-scissors-paper is a hand game usually played by two people, where players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched
hand. The rock beats scissors, the scissors beat paper and the paper
beats rock. If both players throw the same shape, the game is tied. During a series of one-hour workshops at this year's festival, the
robots will also practice responding to human gestures. With help from a Microsoft Kinect - a motion-sensing device originally
designed for the Xbox 360 video game - the two-foot-high robots will
learn to respond to people's gestures and, ultimately, learn to anticipate their actions.
In addition, the robots hope to hone their soccer skills in anticipation
of the 2013 RoboCup, a global football contest for robot teams. The free one-hour workshops are to be held at the National Museum of
Scotland until Friday. Ramamoorthy, who is overseeing the robots' participation in the Science
Festival, said: "These popular little robots are very entertaining to
watch and we hope that the Science Festival crowds will enjoy seeing them in action.
Google doodle celebrates 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus
February 19, 2013: Nicolaus Copernicus was born on 19 February 1473 in Thorn (modern day
Torun) in Poland. His father was a merchant and local official. When
Copernicus was 10 his father died, and his uncle, a priest, ensured that
Copernicus received a good education. In 1491, he went to Krakow Academy, now the
Jagiellonian University, and in 1496 travelled to Italy to study law. While a student at the University of Bologna he stayed
with a mathematics professor, Domenico Maria de Novara, who encouraged Copernicus' interests in geography and astronomy.
During his time in Italy, Copernicus visited Rome and studied at the
universities of Padua and Ferrara, before returning to Poland in 1503.
For the next seven years he worked as a private secretary to his uncle, now the bishop of Ermland.
The bishop died in 1512 and Copernicus moved to Frauenberg, where he had
long held a position as a canon, an administrative appointment in the
church. This gave him more time to devote to astronomy. Although he did
not seek fame, it is clear that he was by now well known as an astronomer. In 1514, when the Catholic church was seeking to improve the
calendar, one of the experts to whom the pope appealed was Copernicus.Copernicus' major work 'De Revolutionibus Orbium
Coelestium' ('On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres') was finished by 1530. Its central
theory was that the Earth rotates daily on its axis and revolves yearly around the sun. He also argued that the planets circled the Sun. This
challenged the long held view that the Earth was stationary at the centre of the universe with all the planets, the Moon and the Sun
rotating around it. Source: BBC News
Evidence of water dissolving Mars surface found
LONDON, February 8, 2013: "Scientists at the University of Glasgow together with the Scottish
Universities Environmental Research Centre and the Natural History Museum
(London) have discovered the first evidence of water dissolving the
surface of Mars," the Glasgow University said in a statement today. In a paper published in the Meteoritical Society's journal MAPS, the
research team outlined the results of tests on a 1.7 gram fragment of a
Martian meteorite known as Nakhla, which was provided by the Natural History Museum.
Nakhla, named after the town in Egypt where it landed in 1911 after
being blasted from the surface of Mars by a massive impact around 10
million years ago, has been studied for decades by scientists around the
world. Previous research on Nakhla has provided evidence of the existence of
water on Mars through the presence in the meteorite of 'secondary minerals' - types of carbonates, hydrous silicates and
sulfates most likely formed when Martian minerals reacted with water. Professor Martin Lee of the University's School of Geographical and
Earth Sciences, lead author of the paper, said: "What has been unclear
in the past is exactly where the chemical elements which made up the
secondary minerals within Nakhla came from. "Using a scanning electron microscope, we examined many tiny bowl-shaped
depressions, known as etch pits, in grains of the minerals olivine and augite found in the meteorite.
"What we've found for the first time is evidence that the etch pits were
created when water dissolved the olivine and augite, and that the elements released from those minerals led to the formation of the
secondary minerals. It's an exciting discovery and better informs our
understanding of how water affected rock on Mars," he said. "Our research does raise fascinating questions about exactly how long
ago the water interacted with the part of Mars which Nakhla came from
and where the water might have gone. Source: Times of India
Google doodles 64th Republic Day India
January 26, 2013: Google has doodled a tiger on the India home page as a mark of respect
on the occasion of the country's 64th Republic Day. The Republic Day in
India is celebrated as the day India's own constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950.
While India gained independence from the British on 15th August 1947, it
continued to be governed by the Government of India Act 1935, which was
a relic of the British era. Thus, the Republic Day, is seen as the day
India broke all ties from the British-empire, especially since it was
amongst the Commonwealth countries that refused to recognise the British
Queen as their head of state after independence. Other countries like
Australia and Canada, continue to have the British Monarch as their head of state till date.
Republic Day India commemorates the date that the Constitution Of India
was enacted and became the document that governed the country. On January 26, 1950, the Indian Assembly's 308 members signed two
handwritten copies of the new Constitution, an English and a Hindi version, and two days later the Constitution became the law. Drafted by
a committee headed by B R Ambedkar, the Constitution replaced the Government Of India Act Of 1935 that had previously governed colonial
India, and declared the country a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.
The Republic Day India doodle 2013 shows a tiger in all its glory. Last
year, the doodle depicted three elephants decked in finery, each with
two children and a tricoloured umbrella on the back, a reference to winners of the bravery awards who take part in the Republic Day parade
held in New Delhi every year. Source: NDTV
Earth-sized planets 'number 17bn'
California, January 8, 2013: Astronomers say that one in six stars hosts an Earth-sized planet in a
close orbit -suggesting a total of 17 billion such planets in our galaxy.
The result comes from an analysis of planet candidates gathered by Nasa's Kepler space observatory.
The Kepler scientists also announced 461 new planet candidates, bringing the satellites' total haul to 2,740.
Their findings were announced at the 221st meeting of the American
Astronomical Society in California.Since its launch into orbit in 2009, Kepler has stared at a fixed part
of the sky, peering at more than 150,000 stars in its field of view.
It detects the minute dip in light coming from a star if a planet passes
in front of it, in what is called a transit. But it is a tricky measurement to make, with the total light changing
just tiny fractions of a percent, and not every dip in light is due to a
planet. So Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics -
who discovered the first Earth-sized planets set about trying to find out not only which Kepler candidates might not be
planets, but also which planets might not have been visible to Kepler.
"We have to correct for two things - first [the Kepler candidate list]
is incomplete," he told BBC News. "We only see the planets that are transiting their host stars, stars
that happen to have a planet that is well-aligned for us to see it, and [for each of those] there are dozens that do not.
"The second major correction is in the list of candidates - there are
some that are not true planets transiting their host star; they are other astrophysical
configurations." These might include, for example, binary stars, where one star orbits
another, blocking some of the light as the stars transit each other.
"We simulated all the possible configurations we could think of - and we
found out that they could only account for 9.5% of Kepler planets, and
all the rest are bona fide planets," Dr Fressin explained. The results suggest that 17% of stars host a planet up to 1.25 times the
size of the Earth, in close orbits lasting just 85 days or fewer - much
like the planet Mercury. That means our Milky Way galaxy hosts at least 17 billion Earth-sized planets. Source: BBC News