Nearly 20,000 couples have been allowed to have a second child in Beijing under China's controversial One Child Policy, which was recently modified to meet demographic challenges.
So far 21,249 couples have filed birth applications of which 19,363 were granted permission for the second child in the Chinese capital, Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning said.
Around 56% of those permitted are women aged between 31 to 35 while another 537 aged above 40, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China last year relaxed its decades-old one-child policy which was designed to curb population growth as the country grappled with looming demographic crisis with the increase in the numbers of old aged people.
A majority of the Chinese provinces, including the most populated, Henan, have allowed couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child. Beijing followed suit on February 21.
Before the policy was adopted, both parents must be sole children to be eligible for a second child.
The relaxation came as the world's second largest economy is coping with a declining labour force and an aging population.
Demographic experts have said the easing will help promote balanced population growth in the country.
Under the one-child policy, many couples, particularly in China's countryside, had abortions as they prefer boys to girls.
This led to a wide gender gap of 118 male births versus 100 female births in 2010.
Microsoft is reportedly gearing up to show off its next operating system, likely called Windows 9 but currently codenamed Threshold, to the world on September 30, The Vergesaid Thursday. Details for the event are reportedly still being ironed out, but the date does match up with rumors that Microsoft will release a public preview of the Windows 9 operating system sometime this fall, either late next month or early in October.
Windows 9 should bring plenty of welcome changes, particularly for those who use the operating system with a keyboard and mouse, as opposed to a touchscreen. Microsoft has already confirmed the Start menu is returning and we might also see the addition of virtual desktops and even the Cortana voice assistant. The company is also reportedly ditching its “Charms” menu that was introduced in Windows 8.
Windows 9 isn’t expected to launch until sometime in 2015 but The Verge said that it’s already “nearing completion.” If it is indeed ready, we should be playing with a preview of the new OS just a month or so from now.
Ice Bucket Challenge is the new craze that has swept the world. Recently, you must have noticed people sharing videos where they are pouring buckets of ice over themselves. If you think, all this is happening because of the rising summer temperatures, then wait. The reason why people are pouring cold water on them is the Ice Bucket Challenge. What is the Ice Bucket Challenge?
• The Ice Bucket Challenge, also known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one's head.
• If the aforesaid is not done then, donation is made to the ALS Association in the United States.
• In the challenge, those who have been nominated have to pour a bucket of ice water on their heads and also make a video of the same.
• The nominated people have 24 hours to complete the challenge, either by pouring the ice cold water or by making the financial donation. How did it start?
• In the Northern-Hemisphere summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media and became a pop culture phenomenon, particularly in the United States, with numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other people posting videos of themselves on the social media.
• After the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media, public awareness for ALS increased.
• On August 18, 2014, the ALS Association announced that it had received $15.6 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period (July 29 to August 18) in the prior year. What are the rules for the challenge?
• Within 24 hours of being challenged, those who have been challenged have to record a video while performing the challenge.
• First, they have to announce their acceptance of the challenge.
• Then one has to pouring ice into a bucket of water and then the bucket is to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant's head.
• After completing this, the participant challenges other people to take the challenge.
• If you can't brave the chill, then the other option is to donate $100 to the ALS foundation.
• In short, douse yourself with a bucket of chilled ice water, film the complete process and then post the video to social media.
• Don't forget to nominate your friends to do the same. The purpose of the challenge The challenge was started to spread more awareness about ALS, a motor neurone disease and to raise money for the ALS foundation. What is ALS?
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease in the United States is a Motor Neurone Disease.
• It attacks the spinal cord and can lead to speech difficulties, muscle spasms and even paralysis. • ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases. Who all took the challenge?
• This ice bucket challenge trend has taken International celebrities by storm including US President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber and many more.
• Novak Djokovic, Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jr, Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, Cristiano Ronaldo are among few other international celebs who took the challenge.
• Amongst those who brought the fever to India are Sania Mirza, Bipasha Basu, Rohan Bopanna, Ritesh Deshmukh who have taken the challenge and further nominated many more friends to perform the same.
Mobile apps can facilitate group work and keep college students productive.
RescueTime can track the time students spend on distracting websites, and Google Drive can help students keep files and documents organized in the cloud.
This year’s crop of college freshmen was in elementary school when Apple Inc. released its first iPhone and, along with it, the App Store.
Now, more than 70 percent of college students own smartphones and most use them for school work on a regular basis, according to a 2013 report by Pearson, an education services company.
Keeping up with which apps are the best bets for taking notes, managing schedules and studying for an upcoming exam can be a full-time job, though, with hundreds of new apps released every day.
[Find out which tech skills college students need.]
Below are five must-download apps for college students.
1. Campus apps: Colleges have started to jump on the mobile craze, and schools such as Ohio State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have launched apps that allow students to check grades, manage their university accounts and track campus bus lines.
Apps created by colleges often go beyond just schedules and grades, says Chester Goad, director of disability services for Tennessee Technological University.
"Many colleges and universities upload tips and tricks for navigating campus,
best places to eat, college traditions and more," he says, adding that these apps often include emergency alerts to help keep students safe on campus.
best places to eat, college traditions and more," he says, adding that these apps often include emergency alerts to help keep students safe on campus.
2. RescueTime: Want to know how much time you’re losing to digital distractions? This app will tell you.RescueTime tracks time spent on email, social media and websites, and identifies top distractions.
Students can set goals to make sure they are using their time productively – by studying instead of scanning Twitter, for example – and create alerts to notify them when they’ve spent too much time playing Candy Crush.
"RescueTime is a terrific app for keeping track of how you spend your time, and helping you avoid distractions," says Goad, adding that he often recommends this app to the students he works with.
The app is currently only available on Android devices. RescueTime also offers a desktop version that tracks time spent on websites and syncs with the mobile app to give users a better picture of how they spend their time online. RescueTime is free, but the Web application does have a premium version for $9 per month, which allows students to block access to distracting sites for set periods of time.
[Check out other apps that can help manage life in college.]
3. RefMe: Writing research papers can be tedious. Especially when you realize you still need to pull together a bibliography page – and your paper is due in 10 minutes.
Students can avoid figuring out the nuances of MLA versus Chicago style with RefMe, a free app available on Android and Apple devices.
The app allows students to scan the bar code on books and journals or copy and paste a URL to get citations in various styles, including Harvard, American Psychological Association and Chicago style. These citations are stored in the cloud, so students can access them from anywhere using the application’s Web platform.
4. Google Drive: Group projects are a regular part of college life, and Google Drive makes collaborating on these projects a breeze.
Students can use the app to create, share and collectively edit presentations, spreadsheets and documents. Drive has a suite of tools, similar to Microsoft Office, that allow students to edit any document, regardless of it was created and students with a Gmail account already have a Google Drive account.
Since Drive is a cloud-based app, so students can store up to 15GB of documents, images, music, or other files for free, and then access them from any device.
"There are other cloud storage options, including Box and OneDrive," says Stephanie Humphrey, a tech expert and former engineer who covers technology trends for Ebony and the Philadelphia Fox affiliate. "For a student, Google Drive stands out for the office tools feature and the cheaper storage upgrades, which can help when you’re on a budget."
5. Evernote: There is no shortage of note-taking apps available for smartphones and tablets, butEvernote continues to come out on top.
Launch of eagerly awaited new iPhone model fuels
surge in share price to new record high of $100.53
Japanese police said the death toll from rain-triggered landslides on the outskirts of Hiroshima city rose to 39 on Thursday with 51 people still missing, as search efforts continued in the devastated area.
Hillsides caved in or were swept down into residential areas in at least five valleys in the suburbs of the western Japanese city on Wednesday, crushing dozens of houses after heavy rains.
Hiroshima prefectural police said 39 people were confirmed dead and 51 others were missing as of midday Thursday. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 23 people were injured, 13 seriously. A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said there was a possibility of some inaccuracies in the tally.
About 2,500 police and military personnel searched for the missing in the mud-covered areas.
Hiroshima city officials have faced criticism because their initial evacuation advisory came an hour after the first mudslide. Officials said their response was delayed because the land collapsed so quickly at multiple locations.
Landslides are a constant risk in mountainous, crowded Japan, where many homes are built on or near steep slopes. Torrential rains early Wednesday apparently caused slopes to collapse in areas where many of the buildings were newly constructed.
Hiroshima's geology, consisting of highly water-retentive soil, makes the city particularly prone to such disasters, experts say.
A new report by researchers from collaborating universities significantly contributes to the developing science on quantum computing and opens new possibilities for further research. Here’s what they discovered and developed.
Using ultrafast pulses of laser light, university researchers were able to create a technique that can record the quantum mechanical behavior of electron in a diamond’s nanoscale defect. The researchers applied these laser light pulses to control the whole quantum state of the nanoscale defect and to observe how a single electron state cahnges over time.
The research, led by the University of Chicago scientists, contributes to the constantly evolving field of quantum information processing, one that demands science to get rid of the “unambiguous universe of traditional binary logic—0 or 1—and embrace the counterintuitive quantum world” wherein electrons can be in several states at once.
They say it could speed up the development of quantum computing devices as well as the additional computing power because materials with appropriate quantum properties will be identified easier. A quantum computer makes use of the electron’s spin state as quantum bit or qubit, similar to how traditional computers apply the electron’s charge state to create specks of information.
The researchers looked into the electron’s quantum mechanical property called spin. The spin system on study is regarded as nitrogen-vacancy center, a defect the size of an atom naturally occurring in diamond, which consists of nitrogen atom found next to a vacant space in the crystal lattice.
Team leader David Awschalom says in a statement that such defects gathered great interest in the previous decade, “providing a test-bed system for developing semiconductor quantum bits as well as nanoscale sensors.”
“Here, we were able to harness light to completely control the quantum state of this defect at extremely high speeds,” says Awschalom, who is the university’s Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering.
Co-lead author Lee Bassett says the goal of the team was to push the quantum control limits in such remarkable defect systems and the technique likewise offers a new exciting measurement tool.
“By using pulses of light to direct the defect’s quantum dynamics on super-short timescales, we can extract a wealth of information about the defect and its environment,” says Bassett in a statement.
It also provides a way to understand and control new materials at atomic level, says co-author and professor Guido Burkard, who is also a theoretical physicist at University of Konstanz.
Evelyn Hu, a Harvard University professor, concurs that the new technique developed by the researchers leads to new possibilities.
“Each new system will pose new challenges to understanding the energy levels, local environments and other properties, but the general approach should provide an enormous step forward for the field,” Hu says in a statement.
The paper, titled “Ultrafast optical control of orbital and spin dynamics in a solid-state defect,” appeared this month in the journal Science.
The VIP Status
Separating Work and Personal Life
Jetpac's technology can be used to find anything on images, but Google is mum on its plans
Nine players from Spain figure in the 49-strong international players’ central pool for the Hero Indian Super League (HISL). The draft will be held on August 21, 2014. A total of 56 foreigners will feature in the city-based tournament, seven other internationals were contracted directly by the franchise teams.
The average age listed is 28 years, with 186 appearances per player on an average. Other nationalities include France (eight), Czech Republic (eight), Brazil (five), Portugal (five), Colombia (five), South Korea (two), Argentina, Canada, Serbia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, England, Greece and Cameroon (one each).
The seven foreigners signed directly by four clubs are Delhi Dynamos FC (Mads Junker and Morten Skoubo), FC Pune City (Emanuele Belardi and Bruno Cirillo), North-East United FC (Isaac Chansa and Cornell Glen), Atletico de Kolkata (Borja Fernandez). The HISL is promoted by IMG-R and Star India.
The international players’ pool break-up is:
Goalkeepers--- André Matos Dias Pereira (Portugal); Apoula Edima Edel Bete (Cameroon); Gennaro Bracigliano (France); Jan Šeda (Czech Republic); Marek Čech (Czech).
Defenders--- Andrés Felipe González Ramírez (Colombia), Erwin Spitzner (Brazil), Henrique Dinis Oliveira Dias (Por), Ilias Pollalis (Greece), Massamba Lô Sambou (Senegal), Raphael Romey (Fra), Sylvain Monsoreau (Fra), Tomáš Josl (Czech), Grégory Arnolin (Fra), Bernard Mendy (Fra), Pavel Čmovš (Czech), Youness Bengelloun (Fra), Johann Letzelter (Fra), Cédric Hengbart (Fra), Jairo Andrés Suarez Carvajal (Col) José Miguel González Rey (Spain).
Midfielders--- Park Kwang-Il (South Korea), Bojan Djordjic (Sweden), Bruno Augusto Pelissari de Lima (Bra), Cristian Hidalgo González (Spn), Edgar Carvalho Figueira Marcelino (Por), Francisco Javier Fernández Luque (Spn), Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos (Bra), Víctor Herrero Forcada (Spn), Jan Štohanzl (Czech), Omar Andres Rodriguez Martinez (Col), Saïdou Mady Panandetiguiri (Burkina Faso), Bruno Herrero Arias (Spn), Bruno Filipe Tavares Pinheiro (Por), Guilherme Felipe de Castro (Bra), Pavel Eliáš (Czech), Jakub Podaný (Czech), Jofre Mateu González (Spn), Do Dong-Hyun (S Kor).
Strikers--- Arnal Llibert Conde Carbó (Spn), Diego Fernando Nadaya (Arg), Eduardo Silva Lerma (Spn), Iván Bolado Palacios (Spn), Michael Chopra (England), Luis Alfredo Yánes Padilla (Col), Miguel Bruno Pereira Herlein (Por), Miroslav Slepička (Czech), Pedro Adriano Veloso Gusmão (Bra) and Iain Hume (Canada
TEHRAN (FNA)- In the age of surveillance paranoia, most smartphone users know better than to give a random app or website permission to use their device’s microphone. But researchers have found there’s another, little-considered sensor in modern phones that can also listen in on their conversations. And it doesn’t even need to ask.
In a presentation at the Usenix security conference this week, researchers from Stanford University and Israel’s defense research group Rafael plan to present a technique for using a smartphone to surreptitiously eavesdrop on conversations in a room—not with a gadget’s microphone, but with its gyroscopes, the sensors designed measure the phone’s orientation. Those sensors enable everything from motion-based games like DoodleJump to cameras’ image stabilization to the phones’ displays toggling between vertical and horizontal orientations. But with a piece of software the researchers built called Gyrophone, they found that the gyroscopes were also sensitive enough to allow them to pick up some sound waves, turning them into crude microphones. And unlike the actual mics built into phones, there’s no way for users of the Android phones they tested to deny an app or website access to those sensors’ data, Wired reported.
“Whenever you grant anyone access to sensors on a device, you’re going to have unintended consequences,” says Dan Boneh, a computer security professor at Stanford. “In this case the unintended consequence is that they can pick up not just phone vibrations, but air vibrations.”
For now, the researchers’ gyroscope snooping trick is more clever than it is practical. It works just well enough to pick up a fraction of the words spoken near a phone. When the researchers tested their gyroscope snooping trick’s ability to pick up the numbers one through ten and the syllable “oh”—a simulation of what might be necessary to steal a credit card number, for instance—it could identify as many as 65 percent of digits spoken in the same room as the device by a single speaker. It could also identify the speaker’s gender with as much as 84 percent certainty. Or it could distinguish between five different speakers in a room with up to 65 percent certainty.
But Boneh argues that more work on speech recognition algorithms could refine the technique into a far more real eavesdropping threat. And he says that a demonstration of even a small amount of audio pickup through the phones’ gyroscopes should serve as a warning to Google to change how easily rogue Android apps could exploit the sensors’ audio sensitivity.
“It’s actually quite dangerous to give direct access to the hardware like this without mitigating it in some way,” says Boneh. “The point is that there’s acoustic information being leaked to the gyroscope. If we spent a year to build optimal speech recognition, we could get a lot better at this. But the point is made.”
Modern smartphones use a kind of gyroscope that consists of a tiny vibrating plate on a chip. When the phone’s orientation changes, that vibrating plate gets pushed around by the Coriolis forces that affect objects in motion when they rotate. (The same effect is why the Earth’s rotation causes the ocean’s water to swirl or air currents to form into spinning hurricanes.)
But the researchers found that the same tiny pressure plates could also pick up the frequency of minute air vibrations. Google’s Android operating system allows movements from the sensors to be read at 200 hertz, or 200 times per second. Since most human voices range from 80 to 250 hertz, the sensor can pick up a significant portion of those voices. Though the result is unintelligible to the human ear, Stanford researcher Yan Michalevsky and Rafael’s Gabi Nakibly built a custom speech recognition program designed to interpret it.
The results, says Boneh, aren’t anywhere close to the kind of eavesdropping possible from the phone’s microphone–he describes the software in its current state as picking up “a word here and there.” But he says the research is only intended to show the possibility of the spying technique, not to perfect it. “We’re security experts, not speech recognition experts,” Boneh says.
Boneh says that Google has likely been aware of the study: The company’s staffers were included on the Usenix program committee. A Google spokesperson wrote in a statement that “third party research is one of the ways Android is made stronger and more secure. This early, academic work should allow us to provide defenses before there is any likelihood of real exploitation.”
The research isn’t actually the first to find that phones’ gyroscopes and accelerometers pose a privacy risk. In 2011, a group of Georgia Tech researchers found that a smartphone could identify keystrokes on nearby computers based on the movement of the phone’s accelerometers. And in another paper earlier this month, some of the same Stanford and Rafael researchers found that they could read a smartphone’s accelerometers from a website to identify the device’s “fingerprint” out of thousands.
In this case, the researchers say mobile operating system makers like Google could prevent the gyroscope problem by simply limiting the frequency of access to the sensor, as Apple already does. Or if an app really needed to access the gyroscope at high frequencies, it could be forced to ask permission. “There’s no reason a video game needs to access it 200 times a second,” says Boneh.
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have accurately measured and confirmed the existence of an elusive black hole, 400 times the mass of our Sun, in a galaxy 12 million light years from Earth.
Ranging from a hundred times to a few hundred thousand times the Sun’s mass, these intermediate-mass black holes are so hard to measure and even their existence is sometimes disputed.
Little is known about how they form. And some astronomers question whether they behave like other black holes.
University of Maryland astronomy graduate student Dheeraj Pasham and colleagues succeeded in accurately measuring — and thus confirming the existence of — a black hole about 400 times the mass of our Sun in a galaxy 12 million light years from Earth.
Co-author Richard Mushotzky, a UMD astronomy professor, said the black hole in question is a just-right-sized version of this class of astral objects.
“Objects in this range are the least expected of all black holes,” said Mushotzky.
While the intermediate-mass black hole that the team studied is not the first one measured, it is the first one so precisely measured, Mushotzky says, “establishing it as a compelling example of this class of black holes.”
“For reasons that are very hard to understand, these objects have resisted standard measurement techniques,” said Mushotzky.
Pasham focused on one object in Messier 82, a galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major.
Messier 82 is our closest “starburst galaxy,” where young stars are forming.
Beginning in 1999 a NASA satellite telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, detected X-rays in Messier 82 from a bright object prosaically dubbed M82 X-1.
Astronomers, including Mushotzky and co-author Tod Strohmayer of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, suspected for about a decade that the object was an intermediate-mass black hole, but estimates of its mass were not definitive enough to confirm that.
Between 2004 and 2010 NASA’s Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite telescope observed M82 X-1 about 800 times, recording individual X-ray particles emitted by the object.
Pasham mapped the intensity and wavelength of X-rays in each sequence, then stitched the sequences together and analysed the result.
Among the material circling the suspected black hole, he spotted two repeating flares of light. The flares showed a rhythmic pattern of light pulses, one occurring 5.1 times per second and the other 3.3 times per second.
The study was published in the journal Nature.
Captain Mithali Raj steered India to victory over England on the final day of the women's Test at Wormsley.
Set 181 to win, India began the day on 119-4, with England knowing Raj stood between them and any hope of victory.
But the India skipper hit 50 not out, adding 68 with nightwatchman Shikha Pandey (28 not out) as England's seam-heavy attack failed to break through.
The sides now meet in three one-day internationals which form part ofthe inaugural ICC Women's Championship.
It represents a major triumph for India, who have not played a Test since 2006 and struggled in recent global limited-overs tournaments.
By contrast, England will reflect on a poor batting performance on the first morning of their first match since the squad were awarded full-time professional contracts by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
England women v India
13-16 Aug: Only Test, Wormsley - India win by six wickets
21 Aug: 1st ODI, Scarborough
23 Aug: 2nd ODI, Scarborough
25 Aug: 3rd ODI, Lord's
"It didn't start well with me losing the toss but that's no excuse as we didn't bat well. It doesn't matter how much money you're paid, you've got to turn up," captain Charlotte Edwards told BBC Test Match Special.
"India were the better team over the four days. We didn't play straight enough and our total of 92 wasn't enough. We bowled well to get them out for 114, but a lead of 180 wasn't going to be good enough."
Jenny Gunn, replaced as vice-captain by Heather Knight earlier this summer, was named as player of the match after taking 5-19 in India's first innings before giving England hope with an unbeaten 62 in their second innings - the biggest score of the match.
Edwards added: "Hopefully we'll come back better in the one-day internationals.
"We'd like to play more Tests and we've got to work on the longer form of the game to improve our Test cricket over the next few years."
The first one-day international is at Scarborough on Thursday.
You can listen to ball-by-ball commentary on all of England women's internationals on the BBC Sport website.