CAD assembly of the COMAN ankle modules. Credit: IIT Space Robot Can Autonomously Reconfigure Itself As part of their research effort, the team also developed a way to calculate the optimal joint elasticity for the various joints—current methods rely on trial and error. That should help speed up the development of passive compliant robots as the group has shared what they’ve learned with others. At just 94.5 cm tall and weighing in at 31.2 kg, COMAN appears far more approachable than most robots, despite the lack of a head—the team says they plan to add one at some point—and for that reason it seems more likely to be deployed as a domestic servant, rather than as a soldier or tool for disaster assistance as seems to be the case with so many other robots being developed. Citation: COMAN: Researchers build first fully-limbed passive compliant robot (w/ video) (2013, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-coman-fully-limbed-passive-compliant-robot.html Explore further (Phys.org) —Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology with funding from the European AMARSI project have built the first passive compliant robot that features both arms and legs. Passive compliant robots are those that have flexible joints that allow the robot to move in more human-like ways. The new robot, called the COmpliant huMANoid (COMAN), is approximately the size of a child and is able to maintain its upright position even when knocked around. © 2013 Phys.org More information: COmpliant HuMANoid Platform (COMAN): www.iit.it/en/robots/coman.htmlvia IEEE Most robots, as demonstrated by various robotic development groups in videos posted to YouTube, have stiff joints, which result in jerky or stiff movement. The problem with such joints is that they make the robot unstable—a slight misstep could mean a fall or worse, injury to a person nearby. To smooth the gait and overall movement of robots, engineers have been investigating different types of flexible joint mechanisms. In this latest effort, the team used very small elastic actuators in the parts of the robot that need to flex or extend. They also added torque sensors to each joint that allow the central processor to cause the actuators to respond very quickly to external events, such as encountering an inclined path, or to being run into by other objects or people. What’s groundbreaking here is that the engineers created special compliant joints for so many areas of the robot’s body—a total of 25. COMAN has both arms and legs with joints and associated sensors in its ankles, knees, hips, waist, elbow, shoulder and neck. It walks with a more human gait and displays a very human-like ability to stand upright despite being knocked around by its makers. COMAN Humanoid. Credit: IIT 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.
In order to carry out its various functions, the nucleus in every cell must be able to receive certain molecules and send others to other parts of the cell, but because other unnecessary or dangerous molecules can make their way into the cell, a means of protecting the nucleus has evolved—a double membrane which serves as a barrier. That barrier has on average, 2000 pores in it, each of which serve as a gatekeeper, either allowing a molecule through, or barring its entry. Though the job is very important, because it serves as a means of stopping viral or bacterial attacks, its structure has not been very well understood, until now. In these two new efforts, both teams have managed to create maps of the different layers that make up the rings of the pores, offering other medical researchers a new way perhaps, to combat diseases that manage to make it through the NPC.The team at Caltech has been working on the problem for 10 years, using electron cryotomography to study each part of each ring, successively adding more and more to a growing map. The end result describes all of the interconnections and interactions of all of the proteins in each pore, which is itself part of a larger system. The second team took the opposite approach, using mass spectrometry, cryo-electron microscopy and finally computer modeling to create a realistic rendering of an actual pore.As both teams note, now that the structure of the NPC has finally been mapped, the next step will be to learn more about how all the pieces work together to control the flow of molecules in and out of the nuclear envelope and perhaps to devise a means for providing assistance when the NPC fails. Biochemists solve the structure of cell’s DNA gatekeeper Citation: Nuclear pore complex successfully mapped and diagramed (2016, April 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-nuclear-pore-complex-successfully-diagramed.html (Phys.org)—Two teams of researchers taking different approaches have successfully mapped and diagramed the nuclear pore complex (NPC)—protein complexes that make up the pores in the nuclear envelope that allow or prevent passage of molecules into the nucleus. One team from the California Institute of Technology took a bottom-up approach to discovering the makeup of the pore rings, while a team with members from several institutions in the U.S. and Germany took a top-down approach. Both have published their results in the journal Science. More information: D. H. Lin et al. Architecture of the symmetric core of the nuclear pore, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1015AbstractThe nuclear pore complex (NPC) controls the transport of macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but its molecular architecture has thus far remained poorly defined. We biochemically reconstituted NPC core protomers and elucidated the underlying protein-protein interaction network. Flexible linker sequences, rather than interactions between the structured core scaffold nucleoporins, mediate the assembly of the inner ring complex and its attachment to the NPC coat. X-ray crystallographic analysis of these scaffold nucleoporins revealed the molecular details of their interactions with the flexible linker sequences and enabled construction of full-length atomic structures. By docking these structures into the cryoelectron tomographic reconstruction of the intact human NPC and validating their placement with our nucleoporin interactome, we built a composite structure of the NPC symmetric core that contains ~320,000 residues and accounts for ~56 megadaltons of the NPC’s structured mass. Our approach provides a paradigm for the structure determination of similarly complex macromolecular assemblies. J. Kosinski et al. Molecular architecture of the inner ring scaffold of the human nuclear pore complex, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0643 AbstractNuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are 110-megadalton assemblies that mediate nucleocytoplasmic transport. NPCs are built from multiple copies of ~30 different nucleoporins, and understanding how these nucleoporins assemble into the NPC scaffold imposes a formidable challenge. Recently, it has been shown how the Y complex, a prominent NPC module, forms the outer rings of the nuclear pore. However, the organization of the inner ring has remained unknown until now. We used molecular modeling combined with cross-linking mass spectrometry and cryo-electron tomography to obtain a composite structure of the inner ring. This architectural map explains the vast majority of the electron density of the scaffold. We conclude that despite obvious differences in morphology and composition, the higher-order structure of the inner and outer rings is unexpectedly similar. Explore further Journal information: Science © 2016 Phys.org 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. Composite structure of the symmetric core of the nuclear pore complex, shown in a cartoon representation. The composite structure was generated by sequential unbiased searches for each protein subunit. Distinct subunits are distinguished by different colors. The nuclear envelope is shown as a grey surface. Credit: Hoelz Laboratory/Caltech and Science/AAAS
The Bengali Indian music wizard Pankaj Mullick’s legacy is to be commemorated in a symphonic evening. Pankaj Mullick Music and Art Foundation is organizing a melodious musical evening as a tribute to the pioneer of film music.Jawahar Sircar IAS, CEO of Prasar Bharti, chief guest of the event will be accompanied by the guest of honor Bhaskar Khulbe IAS, Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal.DETAILVenue: Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House Date: 9 AprilTime: 6.30 PM
The annual fair of artisans from across the country, Shilpostav 2014, started off at Dilli Haat yesterday. Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Sudhir Bhargava inaugurated the ten-day festival that will continue till 10 November. Speaking on the occasion the Secretary said that for the progress of any section of the society, they should become financially independent. The Ministry of SJE is working towards empowering marginalised and disadvantaged artisans and in continuance of this Shilpostav 2014 has been organised. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Secretary further added that there are 160 stalls where in artisans assisted by the Apex corporations i.e. National Backward Classes Finance Development Corporation (NBCFDC), National Scheduled Caste Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC), National SafaiKaramchari Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) and National Trust will display and sell their products. The National Institutes under the Ministry is also showcasing their schemes and facilities. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe range of products in this fair includes – silk sarees, durries, readymade garments, terracotta product, jute products, dress material, Kashmiri shawls/stoles, leather, cane and bamboo products, hand embroidery, bead products, pearls, imitation jewellery, lakh products, decorative candles, wood carving, block printing, wooden toys, tie and dye, wood, marble artifacts, handloom etc. To entertain the gathering, a daily cultural presentation by top-notch performers is also organised.
Singapore: Singapore Airlines (SIA) is looking into allegations of rude crew behaviour made by a passenger on a recent flight from Singapore to Kolkata which was delayed by almost three hours, a media report said here today. On June 8, Flight SQ516 had experienced technical issues on the ground, resulting in a delay of two hours and 52 minutes. In a Facebook post, Chandni Doulatramani, who was on the plane, claims that cabin crew were rude to passengers who had asked why the flight was delayed, the Straits Times reported. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights In her post, accompanied by a video that has since been widely shared, Doulatramani said that upset passengers, who had already boarded the plane, became more agitated when they were allegedly told to remain in their seats with their seat belts on. The Singapore daily quoted her as saying, “When we confronted the cabin crew, they had no answers, rudely shut us up, threatened to call the cops to arrest us, and said ‘We are in the same situation as you are, don’t ask us, we don’t know anything’.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed She said, “The airline didn’t let anybody go. We were being treated like prisoners, being asked to sit in our seats and wear our seat belts. They told us if we were going to offload ourselves then we wouldn’t be allowed back in and they would put us on another plane which was two days later and they wouldn’t compensate us for any of it.” In the video she posted, passengers are seen arguing with airline staff. “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers on board,” SIA said. With regard to the online post, we take these claims seriously and will be looking into them thoroughly,” the airline was quoted as saying.
Kolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has conducted a raid at the Naktala house of former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh’s husband MAV Raju on Tuesday.The investigating officers took Raju along with them while conducting the search operation in the house.Raju was arrested by CID on August 7 in connection with the Daspur case, in which gold was taken from traders assuring a high rate of return, after demonetisation of high value notes was announced. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA senior officer of CID said that the raid was conducted for around three hours and they have seized six pendrives and one hard disc.The investigating officers are considering that they would be getting many documents from the seized sources that will help them get many leads to proceed with their investigation. Raju was arrested after the Calcutta High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail. He was taken to the CID headquarters at Bhabani Bhavan, soon after the arrest.
Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) announced the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 on March 1. The award will be conferred to noted theatre guru Ratan Thiyam for his contribution to Indian theatre.Padmashree Ratan Thiyam has created a new language in theatre and has enriched the art form in various roles, as a writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer. He is currently the chairman of National School of Drama (NSD).The META Jury for 2016 was also announced which comprised of distinguished personalities from the world of art and literature including author Kunal Basu, actor Kusum Haider, director and actor MK Raina, dancer, choreographer Tanushree Shankar and actor, director Sushma Seth. The curtain raiser for the 11th edition of META featured a discussion on ‘Theatre as an agent of Social Change’ which brought to light how theatre is being used as a catalyst in bringing about changes in societal norms, re-casting traditions into contemporary contexts and looking at key messages of change across communities.Talking about the decade long journey of META and looking forward in its 11th year Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. said, “It’s heartening to see how META has been accepted and appreciated by the theatre industry in India and carved a place for itself in cultural calendars. The response we get from the fraternity and from theatre enthusiasts, is phenomenal. We look forward to staging some of the best theatre we’ve found in the past year and are immensely grateful to the esteemed Jury members who’ve come on board to recognise and reward Indian theatre today.”
Kolkata: A committee has been set up for further development in the sector of fisheries.Speaking on the same, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “A committee comprising seven to eight departments has been formed. 2.5 lakh ponds have been curated under the Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Prakalpa to encourage pisciculture.” Banerjee further said that fishes still have to be imported from other states. Steps have been taken to make Bengal self-sufficient in this regard. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeInitiatives have been taken for pisciculture in 700 ponds to produce big fish, which take two years to grow. She further said that a pisciculture research centre has been set up for further development in the sector. Initiatives have also been taken for production of hilsa in the state itself, she added. The state Fisheries department is also ready to help if anyone is interested in the pisciculture sector. Initiatives have been taken to utilise unused water bodies in the state for pisciculture. The state Fisheries department has also prepared a roadmap to increase the production of fishes in the next couple of years. It may be mentioned that the overall production of fishes in the state was 17.42 lakh metric tonnes last year. The Fisheries department is taking a series of steps to increase the production in the current year.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ruled out any crisis in the government and at the same time, reiterated that there is no differences between her and Sovan Chatterjee, in connection with the latter’s resignation.”There is no crisis at all. One can always resign and there are provisions. There is no misunderstanding either. Someone can have personal problems,” Banerjee said during the discussion of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, at the state Assembly. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeLater, the Chief Minister told reporters that Chatterjee had sent his resignation four to five times earlier. “We had tried to see that he doesn’t resign and continues with his work properly. He had tendered his resignation from the post of minister on Tuesday. Both me and Bobby (Firhad Hakim) spoke to him. He had tendered his resignation, so we had considered that he didn’t want to work for some days as he is having some personal problems. So, he was asked to give resignation from the post of Mayor,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile Chatterjee, who tendered his resignation from the position of Mayor of Kolkata on Thursday, claimed that he did so at the behest of party supremo Mamata Banerjee. “My decision to resign as the KMC Mayor, has been taken considering my party’s will and instructions. There has been no dereliction of duty on my part both as a minister and Mayor. It is my duty to follow the order given out by the party supremo. I have done what was expected of me,” Chatterjee said, addressing a Press conference at his Golpark residence. “I have always followed her (Mamata Banerjee’s) instructions and will continue to do so. I will congratulate the new Mayor. I have heard that Firhad Hakim has been given the charge and I will extend all my help and cooperation, if required” assured Chatterjee. Chatterjee said that he had already sent documents related to his resignation to KMC chairperson Mala Roy. “Yesterday (Wednesday) was a public holiday and I had informed of my resignation today (Thursday),” he added. He also made it clear that if his party wants him to resign from the post of councillor, he is ready to do so. Chatterjee is the councillor of ward 131 of KMC. “KMC has helped me connect with the citizens. I will continue to play my role as a party member,” he added.
Showcasing some breath-taking masterpieces, ‘Engross’, an art show by Sudip Roy, Niren Sen Gupta, S.C Ahuja and Suresh Kumar is taking place at the India Habitat Centre until January 22. Sudip Roy’s work includes pencil sketches and watercolours, charcoals and a heady series of landscape done in limped line drawing. His forte lies in his realistic and in-depth rendering of still life. One of his recent famed painting ‘Charulata’ is a perfectly demarcated figure which casts a spell on its beholders with the right touch of sensuality added to it. Considering his artwork he said, “Art is something which makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.” Some of his artworks include Victoria Memorial painting, Venice painting, and Mother Teresa painting. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhereas, Niren Sengupta is a contemporary artist. He finds lasting beauty in the serenity of the total surrender of monks of Ramakrishna Mission. A mission that signifies sacrifices and service to mankind. His works are aesthetic expressions of his inner reflections infused with serenity, sacrifice, service and beauty. Suresh Kumar is a Bangalore-based Sculptor. He recently travelled to Uzbekistan for an international show in “Srijan-Yatra” group exhibition and “The Bridge”international Art exhibition at The Nehru – Wangchuck Cultural Centre (NWCC) Bhutan. His recent project “The Per-Fumes” project was a response to Suresh’s ongoing concern about education in the arts, documentation of contemporary practices, and his interest in creating collective spaces for sharing in-process work. ‘It is also an ideological comment on Suresh’s approach to arts practice. He wished to develop the pedagogy of collaborative community and public art by documenting the work of 180 Bangalore-based visual artists via the medium of video. While expressing about his paintings he said , “A sculpture is an art of intelligence.”S.C Ahuja is heavily inspired by natural surroundings, and his sculptures touch the everyday reality of an ordinary man. He brings his expertise to the fore by envisioning the emotions and expressions of different people and decoding the same contemplation through the curves of his sculptures. In his recent work, he showcased sculptures of music artist. He also mentioned “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.
India International Centre has organised an exhibition of 75 selected images of mountains and forests, lakes and rivers, from the heart of Himalaya, seen by the wandering lens of Deb Mukharji over six decades.Titled ‘Tall tales from the Himalaya’, the art show was inaugurated by Yashwant Sinha, former Union Minister on February 7, and will be on view until February 19, at at the Art Gallery, Kamaladevi Complex, IIC. Though an ‘amateur’ photographer by definition, Deb Mukharji’s work has received recognition and appreciation by critics and viewers. Eminent film director late Mrinal Sen had commented “Pleasure to feel poetry through lens” and Goutam Ghose had found it a “Wonderful journey”. Mukharji is the author of Magic of Nepal (Rupa 2005), Visions of the Infinite (Nepalaya 2009) and A Quest Beyond the Himalaya (Niyogi 2013), the latter two on his three visits to Kailash and Manasarovar. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHis photographs, including on architecture and dance, have been carried by prominent journals. Deb Mukharji has held solo exhibitions in Delhi, at the India International Centre, in 1994 and 2002, at the Drik Gallery in Dhaka in 2000 and at The Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata in 2003. Though Mukharji has worked extensively with Kodachrome in the past, his preferred medium is black and white. The current exhibition will largely feature his black and white photographs.
Darjeeling: Incessant rainfall has thrown life out of gear in North Bengal. The water level in the rivers has risen dangerously, adding to the woes. Rail communication in the Alipurduar division has been the worst affected.In between Jorai and Kamakhyaguri railway stations in the Alipurduar railway division, around 100 m of down line track has been damaged in 4 places. 12 short distance trains have been cancelled in this division. The up line is still functional but the speed of the trains to Guwahati from NJP, New Alipurduar and New Cooch Behar has been reduced drastically. “We are trying to repair the tracks on a war footing,” stated S K Jain, DRM, Alipurduar Division, North East Frontier Railway. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOwing to incessant rain in Bhutan Hills, the water level of the rivers flowing through Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri are reaching the dangerous mark. A flood-like situation has cropped up in Cooch Behar and Toofangunj. Red alert has been issued for the Raidak river, while it is yellow for the Mansai and Kaljani rivers. In the last 24 hours, rainfall recorded in Cooch Behar has been 73.20 mm, with 55 mm in Dinhata, 65.60 mm in Toofangunj and 124 mm in Mathabhanga. There are some places that have received extremely heavy rainfall. Siliguri has received 222 mm of rain, with 247 mm in Gorubatha, 226 mm in Nagrakata and 400 mm in Matiali, in the last 24 hours. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state42 relief camps have been opened up at many places in Cooch Behar, where around 6,000 affected persons have taken shelter. “We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” stated Kaushik Saha, District Magistrate, Cooch Behar. Malbazar subdivision in Jalpaiguri district has also been badly affected. Large areas have been inundated in the Meteli block. 500 families have been affected in the Neora Bustee, following the breaching of embankments of the Kumlai and Chel rivers. Many areas of Siliguri have been inundated as well. Even the camp of the SSB 41 Batallion on the Indo-Nepal border has been inundated. Meanwhile, rains have receded in the Hills from Wednesday evening and the IMD has downgraded the red alert to amber for July 25.
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon constitute a dedicated wing to curb filling up waterbodies. The move comes in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directing her government officials to be vigilant against such acts and take the issue of water conservation very seriously.”We have decided to create a separate department for thwarting attempts of filling up of waterbodies. We are also developing a website which will have a mapping of the ponds in the city and will constantly update the various notifications regarding conservation of waterbodies,” Mayor Firhad Hakim said after visiting the site of a large waterbody at ward 124 in Thakurpukur, Behala. Hakim had received complaints regarding filling up of the waterbody. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Mayor, along with Borough 16 chairman Indrajit Bhattacharya, went to the spot and assured the local residents that KMC will soon clean up the clogged pond to restore it to its original state and also beautify it. “I appeal to the local residents not to throw garbage in the pond as it is an important source of oxygen. We need to take conservation of water very seriously, otherwise our future generation will face serious problems,” he said. Bhattacharya said that a portion of the waterbody was gradually being filled up. “The Mayor has informed me that KMC will put a fencing around the pond,” he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHakim also visited the residence of one Abul Hayat, who had complained of problem of potable water supply to his residence through the ‘Talk to Mayor’ programme. “I am overwhelmed by the response of the KMC officials after I informed the problem to the Mayor. They immediately responded and took necessary action within 24 hours,” Hayat said. “It gives me great pleasure to find that my initiative to directly connect with the residents of Kolkata through the ‘Talk to Mayor’ programme is yielding results. We may not be able to resolve all the issues but we are committed to work to the best of our ability,” Hakim said. The Talk to Mayor programme is held every Wednesday, where citizens call on a helpline number and inform their problems directly to the Mayor.
Advertisement The Vikings fell short of making the Super Bowl, but appear to have won the sweepstakes for free agency’s most prized quarterback. According to NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, ex-Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is likely to sign a fully guaranteed 3-year, $86 million contract with the Minnesota.The Vikings were always considered among the frontrunners to land Cousins and things continued to take shape last night when news leaked that Denver plans to sign ex-Vikings QB Case Keenum. The deal is not done, but Cousins is reportedly planning to visit Minnesota first when the league year opens tomorrow and the expectation is that an agreement will be reached. Assuming they don’t call him Kurt.Cousins, who has thrown for over 4,000 yards and at least 25 touchdowns in each of the last three years, will walk into a ready made Super Bowl roster complete with offensive weapons and an elite defense. If he does sign, they may have just put the NFC North on lock down for the next several years.The #Vikings have solidified their standing on Kirk Cousins. He’s visiting Minnesota when the league year opens and they do not want him to leave the building. Here. We. Go. pic.twitter.com/3fPqVp5aPB— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. June 4, 2009 If you are like me you want to keep track of what various websites are posting about your field, your competition, and just general technology news that is specific to your business. As the number of online sources for information continues to spiral upwards–one place quotes more than 20 million Americans post at least weekly to their blogs–you want to have an organized plan of attack so you aren’t buried in data. And as you can imagine there are dozens of different web-based services that you can use to filter and organize things.One of the more overlooked technologies of the web era is RSS, which stands for real simple syndication. It is the ability to collect items that have recently changed on websites, to make it easier to track news, price changes, and other time-sensitive data.RSS lies at the heart of many social media innovations such as blogging and podcasts, and it is ideal for when you find yourself browsing through the same sequence of websites every morning as part of your daily ritual to keep up with the worldThere are numerous websites that allow you to create your own custom RSS consolidators. I will mention some of them here and show you why I like each of them better than managing browser bookmarks or “favorites.” All are free and just require a browser to get setup.The site that I use the most is bloglines.com. Here you can easily add a new RSS feed, and keep track of which articles you have already read, or save one to come back for future reference. You have control over whether you want the feed to be newest posts first or last, and display summaries or the entire post. There is not much control over the look and feel of the overall reader page itself, which is fine by me. You can also make your selections public so that others can see what you think are important.But Bloglines is really good at just reading RSS feeds. If you want to do more than that, you have to look at other solutions, and the one that I recommend you start with is Pageflakes. Pageflakes has several thousand widgets–which they call flakes–that connect to various news and information sources, along with box.net online storage, Facebook, podcasts, YouTube videos, and Twitter feeds. The issue here is that there are almost too many things to choose from. You start off with a three-column display although you can customize it to one or two columns and there are dozens of “themes” or page templates that you can choose from too.Another service that offers something similar is Netvibes, and here you can see my personal page for this service. It has fewer widgets and overall they seemed a bit less polished and had some problems when I tried to set things up with Mac Safari. And two services from Google, iGoogle and Google Reader, are other alternatives that aren’t as useful as the services I have already mentioned, although some people like either or both of them.Finally, there is a new service that has a combination of web portal, links to your social networks on Facebook and LinkedIn, and collects RSS feeds from your favorite blogs called Chi.mp. The service gives you a free domain in the .mp space and within a few minutes you can have a pretty attractive web portal too.I am sure that there are dozens of other sites that intersect with the services that I mentioned, feel free to send me comments on your favorites for keeping track.David Strom is a former editor-in-chief of Network Computing, Tom’s Hardware.com, and DigitalLanding.com and an independent network consultant, blogger, podcaster and professional speaker based in St. Louis. He can be reached at email@example.com. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min read Brought to you by PCWorld
This story appears in the October 2011 issue of . Subscribe » October 4, 2011 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Many tablets can be less expensive, lighter and more portable than even the most ultra-portable laptop. Although the business software that’s available for these devices is nowhere near as full-featured as what is found on a PC, it’s still robust.Considering the importance of being mobile while getting a business off the ground, you’ll appreciate a device that allows you to quickly access your basic office functions–e-mail, calendar, word processing–on the road, without lugging a clunky laptop or squinting at your tiny smartphone.Here are our top tablet picks for firms just getting off the starting block.BlackBerry PlayBookStarts at $500 for 16 GBCanadian smartphone maker Research In Motion got off to a terrible start with the PlayBook, but don’t let the bad press and lack of direct e-mail support fool you. By using web-based e-mail, the PlayBook is a fast, multitasking business tool. BlackBerry smartphone users can easily work around the PlayBook’s deficiencies using the unique BlackBerry Bridge feature, a Bluetooth connection that fetches the e-mail, calendar and address book from nearby BlackBerrys and puts them on the PlayBook. It’s also handy as a second display. Mix the PlayBook’s über-portability (it has a 7-inch screen) with its ability to run several apps simultaneously, its HDMI connector for PowerPoint and other applications with its speed, and you get the most portable business tablet bang for your buck.ViewSonic ViewPad 10Starts at about $600 for 16 GB, 2 GB RAMThe ViewPad won’t win your startup any style points. It’s nearly a foot across diagonally, a hefty half-inch thick and the screen is average. But get past the frumpy exterior and this dual-boot tablet is a small-business wonder. It runs in either Google’s Android 2.2 or the Windows 7 operating system, so small businesses looking to replace pricey laptops with tablets for on-the-go computing will find that this machine truly offers the best of both worlds. In Android mode there are great apps for checking e-mail, video chatting and delivering presentations. For editing documents and viewing business-based web services, the Windows 7 mode provides PC-like efficiency. Two USB ports allow for a variety of useful peripherals and a Micro SD slot lets you add more than enough memory for whatever you’re working on. The ViewPad may be ridiculously clunky, but it’s also ridiculously useful.Motorola XOOM$500 for 32 GBUsually buying a tablet from a cell phone company is the best way to overpay. But for those road warriors who absolutely must stay connected, we really like the Motorola Xoom, sold via Verizon. The Xoom runs Android’s Honeycomb operating system–which is specifically designed for tablets–and is intuitive and lightning-fast, boasting a solid connection to Verizon’s cellular network. For cloud-based shops, assuming your data is sitting on a server, this could be the only mobile tool you need.Apple iPad 2Starts at $500 for 16 GBFor all the consumer branding, Apple has quietly aimed the iPad at small businesses with several nice hardware touches like excellent video tools and external volume control. The iTunes App Store is loaded with business apps. With the App Store Volume Purchase Program, you can buy these programs in bulk for use throughout your business. Other selling points include long battery life, beautiful two-way video conferencing and a slick, lightweight design. If you can get past the Apple connectors and nickel-and-dime nonsense (like $30 for a replacement charger), it’s tough to beat the iPad 2. 3 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »
The Clinton Global Initiative and Mashable’s Social Good Summit kick off, Advertising Week’s conference tackles the Big Apple, Startups can start advertising for funding, foodies get a “quick and dirty” class on business plans, the Midwest’s entrepreneurial hopefuls apply for a Pipeline Fellowship … This week’s notable news and startup events for entrepreneurs.1. CGI 2013 Kicks off: The Clinton Global Initiative is hosting its annual gathering under the theme “mobilizing for impact.” Leaders from various sectors will gather to develop new ideas, create partnerships, and take action at one of the most high-profile social events of the year. (New York, Sept. 23 – 26)2. Doing some social good: Global leaders are gathering at Mashable’s Social Good Summit to ponder how to make the world a better place through new media and technology. This three-day conference is packed with a diverse line-up of unique speakers including Astronaut Ron Garan. (New York City, Sept. 22 – 24)3. Networking, Mad Men style: Get ready for nearly constant activity at this year’s Advertising Week conference, a gathering marketing and communications leaders. Not only will the event span four days, there are more than 200 distinct events for conference goers to check out — from a “tech showcase” to a panel called “The British are coming.” (New York, Sept. 23 – 27)4. Need startup capital? Start advertising: The SEC repealed a ban on general solicitation or advertising the selling of securities for startups looking for funding. In English: If you need to raise cash for your startup, you can actually tell people about it. (Sept. 23)5. Biz plans for foodies: Impact HUB is hosting a “quick and dirty” business-plan course specifically tailored to food entrepreneurs. The course is extensive, covering everything from why a business plan is important to “quantitative and qualitative data for marketing, operations and finance.” (San Francisco, Sept. 24) 6. Sell locally? Market locally: Don’t waste time and money on global marketing for your small business. Think local, and, in the process, save a few bucks. This course promises to parse the finer points of creating a hyper-local marketing campaign to drive local engagement. (New York, Sept. 26) 7. Ladies launch… in Denver: Denver Women in Business is holding its twice-monthly luncheon “aimed at building leaders,” empowering women in business and growing the female role in the Denver business environment. (Denver, Sept. 24)8. Build your startup pipeline: Apply today for a Pipeline Fellowship to gain access to an exclusive community of the “Midwest’s most successful, high-performance entrepreneurs.” Hurry, as only 10 to 12 new entrepreneurs are selected each year. (Wichita, Kan., Sept 26th) Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read Register Now » September 23, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
February 2, 2017 Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Bill Gates is known for a lot of things — he’s the richest person in the world, a major philanthropist, one of the biggest innovators in tech — but did you know he also programmed the first PC game? That’s right — way back in 1981, Gates co-wrote a game about … donkeys. Using BASIC language coding, Gates created DONKEY.BAS, where the goal is to avoid the asses on the road.Related: 10 Surprising Facts About Bill GatesBack then, the game was only available on PCs and slowly fizzled in popularity. Yet to pay homage to the donkey game, developer Johnny Ixe recreated it, making it suitable to play on an iPhone or Apple Watch. It’s now available in the App Store for $0.99. While you’re at it, check out Elon Musk’s game that he built when he was 12. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 1 min read
February 16, 2018 To say that big cities and technology companies have a dysfunctional relationship is probably something of an understatement. Right now, most cities are on edge. City staff, legislators and regulators see technology companies, like Uber and Airbnb, disrupting markets faster than they can write regulations. Instead of working together to ensure new companies to fit in and strengthen the existing urban fabric, both sides too often devolve into wars of words and lawsuits.That doesn’t need to be the norm. Technology and government shouldn’t be at odds. They could be partners.Related: Tech and Trump: What the Next Four Years Might BringIt’s possible. Just look at what Postmates is doing in Washington, D.C. The delivery service realized that when people order food from restaurants or stores less than a mile away, it really doesn’t make sense for a driver to pick up and deliver that food.“Sometimes it’s not financially advantageous for our fleet to make such short distant runs. So we were inspired by a desire to reserve couriers for higher-paying trips, while still facilitating merchant sales for hyper-short distances,” says Vikrum Aiyer, vice president of public policy at Postmates.Instead, they wanted to use self-driving robots — think of them as coolers on wheels — to deliver short distances. So Postmates and robotics company Starship Technologies went to the city government in D.C. to discuss a partnership. In exchange for letting Postmates test the robots, the companies would share their data with the government on an ongoing basis. Some of that data included information about how the deliveries are helping local business, how they are impacting sidewalk congestion and how removing cars from the equation is affecting local traffic.That good-faith open dialogue not only helped build trust between Postmates and the government, it also gave the government data-based information — hard facts — at their fingertips as they continued to discuss whether to regulate these new robots. The experiment has gone so well that Postmates is expanding the pilot program to more neighborhoods in the Beltway.Compare that to legislation that was recently passed in San Francisco.In the heart of the tech world, the city council voted to put in place strict regulations that will ban self-driving delivery robots from most city streets. Amid concerns about the robots taking jobs and endangering pedestrians, the council reacted emotionally instead of trying to work with Postmates and Starship to find ways to truly measure the impact of robots, through data.Related: ‘The Jetsons’ World Is Becoming Reality. Innovators, Start Your Engines.Both cities and tech companies have to do better.Last year the Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, hosted the first CityXChange summit for government officials and tech leaders to start discussing how they can work together. The event, which took place on the shores of Lake Cuomo in Italy, produced a list of recommendations to help cities and tech companies better understand the benefits of working together, build foundations for partnerships and rethink process and regulations to encourage innovation.Their recommendations included:Startups taking city politics seriously. By understanding the motivations and risks politicians deal with every day, startups can think more deeply about how to help to the people they will need on their side.Cities using their bully pulpit to advocate for innovation. While a city like San Francisco might feel comfortable turning away tech companies, cities in the rest of the country are courting the tech industry. Every city has a platform for making that pitch.Cities should convene local tech communities to help with resiliency challenges. Often the best new ideas are coming from tech entrepreneurs. By working with startups, cities can start to find solutions to some of their biggest problems.Cities should update their procurement processes. Structures like Requests for Innovation can help cities find new technology companies to work with.Cities and startups should enable phased projects. As D.C. and Postmates show, working together to roll out a technology can produce great results for both parties.Related: Apple, Facebook and Google Vets Form Coalition to Fight Tech AddictionIt’s time for these two worlds to come together. The new services that tech companies offer have the potential to make people’s lives better and easier. But those benefits will struggle to break through if the companies are constantly engaged in battles with local government.When both sides come to the table early to work towards data-based 21st century regulations, everyone wins. 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.