Mozillas pdfjs project reaches its first milestone

first_img More information: … -js-first-milestone/ Citation: Mozilla’s pdf.js project reaches its first milestone (2011, July 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Well, this project has met its first big goal: the “pixel-perfect rendering” of the sample PDF that the company has designated as its first test sample. Currently, it only works in the current version of Firefox and on systems that are running Windows 7. Currently, other operating system and browser version combos are having mixed results at best.While this is far from a complete project it is a solid first marker when you consider that the document in question has not only text, but graphics, diagrams and tables, all of which makes the project milestone much more complicated. After meeting this milestone the project has been moved up to its Nevertheless, some serious progress has been made, considering that the sample file contains formatted text, graphics, tables, and graphical diagrams. As a result, the project has been bumped to the .2 version designation. Future steps will include making the Firefox extension available to users and finally shipping the code with a finished version of the Firefox browser. The development team hopes that this update will be a serious upgrade to web security since the pdf.js standard uses only native code pieces that are web safe, leaving fewer opportunities for exploitation. The pdf.js project is being licensed under a 3-clause BSD license, which is so liberal as to be considered almost open source, an indicator of the developers hope that this will become a community-based project. The developers are welcoming external contributors to help. ( — You may recall our earlier reporting on the Mozilla’s pdf.js project, in which the folks over at Mozilla are trying to get their browser to display PDF files in your Firefox web browser with the help of HTML5. 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.last_img read more

Snowboarders feel the buzz from haptic system

first_img Citation: Snowboarders feel the buzz from haptic system (2012, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. (—Daniel Spelmezan, an engineer at the Université Paris-Sud, has worked on a snowboard system that might lighten the case loads of orthopaedic surgeons and even keep those packets of Advil from being emptied. Spelmesan is behind a haptic snowboarding concept that uses vibrations to help teach the sport to new enthusiasts by sending cues to their limbs to execute moves properly. The system involves sensor-equipped snowboards and suits. Can tactile instructions in the form of vibrating actuators for arms and legs guide successful movements? Does such a system match or even outperform lessons in the usual way, where the only training comes from a coach, who delivers instructions and comments before and after the ride?He looked for answers in the context of snowboarding in a test at an indoor ski resort with ten amateur snowboarders and a snowboarding instructor. The volunteer instructor tested moves involved, such as turns, riding switch, and carving, to confirm that the system functioned as intended Participants got two lessons, one with and one without the sensors. They went downhill using turns that involved shifting weight and direction to zig-zag in an S-shaped pattern down. Mounted sensors on the snowboards sensed which way the boarders faced when they traveled down the slope, and when they turned to face the other way and continue their way down. The run up to the turn triggered the sensors to buzz in sequence, to remind the participant about which bits of the body to bend or where to shift weight.Two vibration motors were placed around each shoulder and laterally at the thigh that pointed forward during the ride.The tactile instructions were most effective when the exercises were not too difficult. When the snowboarders practiced new and difficult exercises, however, they focused on the coach’s instructions and had a hard time paying attention to tactile instructions.Some said the vibrating guides were a distraction. Only when a move became familiar did the buzzing help out, as reminders of the kinds of postures they needed to keep. In other words, they found the system useful in refining their techniques after first trying out new moves a few times. One such test participant reported, “I did not really react to the tactile instructions, although I noticed them, because there were so many other things to think about.”Spelmezan presented his work at the MobileHCI (focused on human computer interactions with mobile devices) conference earlier this year. The paper, “An Investigation into the Use of Tactile Instructions in Snowboarding,” reported what the snowboarders said about their tests, and presented recommendations for the use of tactile instructions in teaching sports skills. The Spelmezan system is based on an Arduino BT (an Arduino board with built-in Bluetooth module for wireless communication) and a Nokia N70 mobile phone as the host device. The system was programmed to detect the point when the rider pivoted the snowboard from one edge to the other edge. Pressure sensors measured the rider’s weight distribution on the snowboard.Vibrating sensors on the body, triggered by motion sensors in the snowboard, could remind snowboarders if they used the wrong turning technique on the slopes. Stimuli at the thigh signaled to shift the weight to the front foot, and stimuli at the shoulder signaled to turn left or right.But were the test participants paying attention? Those snowboarders with no experience focused on the coach’s words. Those with some experience were able to follow both tactile instructions and spoken instructions. Tactile instructions proved to be a good support for the learner fine-tuning previously learned movements.””Based on our findings, we conclude that tactile instructions should not be applied during the first lessons or when the coach introduces new exercises,” the paper stated. “Tactile instructions should be introduced after the learner has acquired the basic skills in performing the new task. At this stage during training, the cognitive load on the learner will be lower.” The most common snowboard injury is to the wrist. A common injury scenario is falling onto an outstretched hand. More information: Explore further How tech is making snowboarding even more awesome Two vibration motors were placed around each shoulder and laterally at the thigh that pointed forward during the ride. The arrows illustrate the direction of the stimuli on the skin. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Researchers find Jurassic strashilids not a parasite after all

first_imgVosila sinensis from the Middle Jurassic epoch of Daohugou, China. Credit: (c) Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature11898 Ecological reconstruction of Strashila daohugouensis sp. nov. from the Middle Jurassic epoch of Daohugou, China. Credit: (c) Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature11898 © 2013 Journal information: Nature (—A research team made up of members from China, the U.S. and France has found new evidence that overturns the notion that a species of ancient insects known as strashilids were parasites. Instead, as the team writes in their paper published in the journal Nature, it appears they were actually amphibious flies that lost their ability to eat as they grew into adulthood. Taken together, the new evidence suggests that strashilids were very much like modern water flies that start out life in the water, grow wings during adulthood, then shed them and return to the water to reproduce and then die. Thus, they could not have been parasites, the team concludes. Citation: Researchers find Jurassic strashilids not a parasite after all (2013, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. More information: Amphibious flies and paedomorphism in the Jurassic period, Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature11898AbstractThe species of the Strashilidae (strashilids) have been the most perplexing of fossil insects from the Jurassic period of Russia and China. They have been widely considered to be ectoparasites of pterosaurs or feathered dinosaurs, based on the putative presence of piercing and sucking mouthparts and hind tibio-basitarsal pincers purportedly used to fix onto the host’s hairs or feathers. Both the supposed host and parasite occur in the Daohugou beds from the Middle Jurassic epoch of China (approximately 165 million years ago). Here we analyse the morphology of strashilids from the Daohugou beds, and reach markedly different conclusions; namely that strashilids are highly specialized flies (Diptera) bearing large membranous wings, with substantial sexual dimorphism of the hind legs and abdominal extensions. The idea that they belong to an extinct order is unsupported, and the lineage can be placed within the true flies. In terms of major morphological and inferred behavioural features, strashilids resemble the recent (extant) and relict members of the aquatic fly family Nymphomyiidae. Their ontogeny are distinguished by the persistence in adult males of larval abdominal respiratory gills, representing a unique case of paedomorphism among endopterygote insects. Adult strashilids were probably aquatic or amphibious, shedding their wings after emergence and mating in the water. A limited number of specimens led researchers to conclude that strashilids were parasites—they had mouths that resembled blood suckers and legs of the type that are used for hooking onto bird wings. Recently, however, the team obtained 13 more specimens (all from approximately 165 million years ago) from what is now Inner Mongolia, and made several discoveries as a result, which they say, proves the strashilids were not parasites at all. First of all, only the male of the species had the type of legs that could be used to hook onto bird feathers—they apparently actually used them to hook onto females during mating. Second of all, it appears the mouths that were thought to be of the kind used for sucking blood, didn’t work at all as the insects grew to become adults. Also, several of the more recently found specimens had wings, which indicated that at least for part of their life cycle, strashilids didn’t require a host to move from place to place. The researchers also noted that the males retained larval abdominal respiratory gills which may have helped them survive in the water during their final stage of life—both genders shed their wings and crawled into the water to mate—two wingless pairs were found doing just that. Finally, the team found in analyzing the sex organs of strashilids that they resembled those of modern water flies called Nymphomyiidae, which have feathery wings and live near fast moving water. Study shows how external ecological communities can affect the coevolution of hosts and their parasites Explore furtherlast_img read more

Physicists investigate onset of effective mass

first_img The familiar type of mass, also called the “inertial mass” or “bare mass,” is a fundamental property of an object that is determined by an object’s resistance to acceleration when subject to a force, for example gravity.When an object’s mass is modified by putting it in a different medium, the modified mass is called the “effective mass.” Effective mass is distinctly different than bare mass, as it is not a fundamental property of an object, but changes depending on the material it is in. For practical purposes, effective mass plays an important role in electrical conductivity and electronic devices.”The effective mass description is incredibly powerful because it allows one to sweep away a lot of the complex physics, which describes the interactions between the electron and the medium, replacing it with an intuitive ‘classical’ description, while burying the details within a modified mass,” physicist Rockson Chang, currently at the Institut d’Optique at the Université Paris-Sud, told”Effective mass behavior is well established, both in fundamental science and modern electronic engineering,” he said. “An example of the latter is in the use of the semiconductor gallium arsenide (GaAs). Electrons in GaAs turn out to have a very small effective mass, just 0.067 times that of the bare electron mass. This very small mass means that when the electrons are subjected to a potential difference, they move significantly faster than outside this medium, making them ideal for high-speed electronic devices. “While working at the University of Toronto, Chang and his coauthors investigated what happens to effective mass when an external force is applied very abruptly. In the simplified theory of effective mass, which is often used in research, the assumption is that the forces are applied slowly. The researchers wanted to find out what happens when this assumption is not met.To do this, the researchers used a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC)—a large number of atoms cooled to near absolute zero temperature. These atoms were trapped in an artificial crystal made of light called an optical lattice. Although this system contains atoms rather than electrons, it exhibits many of the same fundamental properties as a semiconductor. However, because BECs exist on larger length and time scales, they have the advantage of being much more easily accessed experimentally than semiconductors. As the researchers explained, this idea of using one well-controlled quantum system to “simulate” the properties of another is called “quantum simulation.” After trapping the BEC in an optical lattice, the researchers abruptly (in about 20 µs) applied a force on the atoms with an external magnetic field. This force results in an oscillation of an atom’s motion in the crystal, and from this motion the researchers were able to extract the particle’s mass.The researchers’ most important finding was that the initial response of the atoms to this applied force is characterized not by the effective mass as expected, but by the bare mass. Shortly after this initial time period, the atoms response undergo rapid oscillations and the onset of effective mass occurs.”For over 50 years, the observed effective mass behavior has been well described by theory,” Chang said. “However, the popular and intuitive description is based on some fundamental assumptions, in particular that the external force is applied relatively slowly. In our work we probe what happens when this assumption is invalidated. Our work shows that if one were to apply a force sufficiently quickly, the effective mass description falls apart. Interestingly, the initial response of the particle is that of a particle with its bare mass—or in other words, the particle responds as if the medium wasn’t there at all. Only over longer time does the medium have a chance to catch up, again modifying the behavior of the particle and gradually returning to the usual effective mass response.”To give a loose analogy, Chang explains that the onset of effective mass is somewhat like walking through a muddy field. Because of the mud, you tend to walk slower than you would otherwise. This is like having an effective mass larger than a bare mass. However, if you started off by running into the mud, you would at first move very quickly. At this point, effective mass is still low. But as you sink deeper and deeper into the mud, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain that speed, and you eventually slow down. Likewise, it takes some time for the effective mass behavior to arise when subjected to a force.”It’s not that our work is the first observation of the effective mass,” Chang said. “Rather, our experiment demonstrates that the simple and intuitive picture of effective mass can actually break down, while revealing a conceptually very satisfying transition between two different behaviors, from a response in free space (described by the bare mass) to in a medium (described by an effective mass). Our work explores a new regime of dynamics, fast compared to the characteristic timescale of the material-particle interaction.”By showing how effective mass develops on short time scales, the results shed light on some of the most fundamental properties of solid state systems.”This regime is increasingly of interest for researchers looking to continually push the speed of electronic devices,” Chang said. “For example, there has been recent interest in using ultrafast laser pulses (femto-second and shorter) for fast electronic switches. Our results show that the speed and effectiveness of this switching may be affected since the effective mass description may no longer be valid.” Metamaterials experts show a way to reduce electrons’ effective mass to nearly zero Citation: Physicists investigate onset of effective mass (2014, May 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Rockson Chang, et al. “Observing the Onset of Effective Mass.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.170404 Explore furtherlast_img read more

Political plight on Delhi stage

first_imgDarkness Engulfs the nation when the ruler is a wreck. How apt is the quote in today’s scenario. In fact, if critics are to be believed, the Indian government is going through a similar plight with brickbats being thrown at the government on a regular basis. Director Anurag Dixit aims to bring about a change and not through criticism, but with the help of creativity.Dixit, adapted the play Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja originally written by B Bharatendu Harishchandra in 1881, and talks about how foolish rulers can destroy the whole kingdom. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘The play is a very popular comedy and is a satire based on our political system. We aim to create awareness for the next generation through music and performing arts which are the real motivators unlike essays and lectures at education institutes,’ said Dixit.‘The play is quite relatable in today’s time. Many people feel that our prime minister is like a puppet actually led by Sonia Gandhi. We have played around with politics in a comic and satirical manner,’ added the 34-year-old. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe one-hour play, which took almost three months to put on stage, casts all young actors in the age group of six to 14 years. So was it difficult to make them perform? ‘Not really, all the children belong to the Musicology Drama course (at an institute in Noida) and hence are honed in the art. I believe in the holistic development of a child in today’s time and since a child’s mind is highly prone to conditioning, the story is adapted in a way which will act as a teacher than a problem,’ said Dixit.How about the other elements of theatre aesthetics? ‘There is minimal use of lighting and props because I have tried to create maximum impact through the performances. The costumes and light props are in sync with the storyline,’ he said.DETAILAt: Sri Ram Centre, Mandi HouseWhen: 1 FebruaryTimings: 5.30 pm onwardslast_img read more

Articulating expressions

first_imgTo initiate an art gallery in times like these is an extremely daunting and challenging propositions, but nonetheless, a commitment to showcase emerging talent, support and foster young contemporary artists coupled with an aspiration to expand spectatorship and collectorship of visual arts propelled Art and Aesthetic to launched its formal physical space in Lado Sarai in August 2013 with its  first exhibition titled Time Will Tell – emerging forms of contemporary expressions. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The second exhibition Own An Original –  a concept that aimed to widen collectorship of contemporary art, making acquisition of original work of  art more accessible  through competitively priced drawings and paintings in a postcard format, succeeded in cultivating first time buyers of art both in New Delhi and Mumbai.Taking the gallery objective forward our current show – A Tribute to Masters and Masterpieces– History Revisited, attempts to brings glimpses from art history to the viewers, thereby providing an opportunity to introduce and re – visit  seminal works of art from historical timeline. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixShowcased here are iconographic reinterpretation and fascinating depictions by 9 contemporary artists. The idea is to disseminate history in an informal manner and for the audiences to make connections with the resources of the past.Through humble yet focused initiatives, Art and Aesthetic hopes to celebrate Indian Contemporary Art and strives to consolidate its prime objectives.WHEN: On till 28 FebruaryWHERE: Art and Aesthetic, 213/A, First Floor, Old M B Road, Lado Sarailast_img read more

Strumming the night away

first_imgHead banging, applause and cheers were all over the house as top bands from NCR unleashed their passion on Les Paul’s tribute night, organised by Matchbox Pub and Grub in association with Gibson Les Paul. Celebrating the legend’s birthday, bands like The Iyer Project, guitarist Namit Chabbra, Virtus and Man Goes Human performed chartbursting covers from the 60s, 70s and some of their own numbers. When the best guitar brand joins hands with a happening pub in the Delhi NCR, it is sure to strike a chord with many, and the Les Paul tribute night was no different. If The Iyer Project enthralled the music aficionados with their alternate Carnatic rock, then Virtus belted out covers of Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Man Goes Human ended it with jazz and blues numbers from 60s and 70s.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Sexy’ Les Paul guitars (as described by some of the performers and listeners) were on display, giving an opportunity to budding guitarists to learn more about their most desired instrument. Band members were felicitated with gift vouchers by Gibson Les Paul in the end. Great food and drinks added the extra zing to the event. The co-owners of Matchbox Amit Panda, Mahavir Mohanty and Siddharth Suman are passionate about music and strive to promote the rock scene in NCR. ‘The idea behind Matchbox is always to celebrate legends of music who contributed immensely towards its evolution in 20th century.’  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe goes on to say, ‘The Les Paul tribute night is a step whereby we wanted to provide a platform for music lovers to come and celebrate the legendary Les Paul. The wonderful line up of bands that we had for this played songs that would inspire us towards our effort to celebrate music. More such tribute nights, celebrating the music of icons by the most happening bands will take place at Matchbox in time to come,.’ they said.last_img read more

Kerry presses Irans FM to reach nuke deal outline

first_imgUS Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iran’s foreign minister on the Obama administration’s desire to reach the outline of a nuclear deal by the end of March, in keeping with a target set by negotiators last year.Kerry delivered the message to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif during a two-hour meeting on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich, according to a US official. Kerry “reiterated our desire to move toward a political framework by the end of March,” the official said. “They agreed to stay in close touch and that they would try to meet again soon.” The official was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will resume negotiations with Iran soon, with an eye on the March target they set in November after missing two earlier deadlines.Their ultimate goal is to reach a final agreement by July that would, in exchange for a lifting of sanctions, address international concerns that Iran may be using a civilian atomic energy program as cover to try to develop nuclear weapons.Despite assurances from the administration that it will not accept any deal with Iran that allows the capability to construct a bomb, the prospect of an agreement that may only keep Iran on the threshold of such a step has alarmed many allies, including Israel and the Gulf Arab states, along with many in Congress.Meeting later with foreign ministers and senior officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Kerry pledged anew that “no deal is better that a bad deal,” according to senior US officials who attended the session.last_img read more

Water for health

first_imgThis year marks the 10th anniversary of an event to increase public awareness of an important health problem in the community across the globe. The Departments of Nephrology of PGIMER, Dr R M L hospital and AIIMS are jointly organizing a two day event on March 12-13 at the auditorium of PGIMER, Dr R M L hospital. The theme this year Kidney Health for All reminds us that all of us are not equal with regards to risk for kidney disease and access to treatment. This two days event will have public lectures and panel discussions quiz, poster competition among school and nursing students and CME on Kidney for the Central Government Health Service doctors and Nurses. The Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be the Chief Guest and Director General Health Service and Director; AIIMS will be the Guest of Honour in the inaugural function. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The pledge, ‘sharing a glass of water’ on March 12 is a good way to remind us that kidneys are vital organs and that they should be taken care of.Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle clearly helps to reduce risk, and early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.With 10% of the population worldwide having some form of kidney damage, there is a long road ahead to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease. Some communities in both higher and lower income countries are at greater risk than others because of their ethnic origin, socioeconomic status and/or where they live. India at present has the world’s largest population of diabetes and obesity; both have been recognized as an emerging epidemic. Every fifth person in India is hypertensive. All these are risk factors contributing to the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which is predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade; and is now recognized by WHO and other organizations as a global public health issue.The Organising Chairperson, Prof Dipankar Bhowmik told there are several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. Keep fit and active, Keep regular control of your blood sugar level, Monitor your blood pressure, Eat healthy and keep your weight in check, Maintain a healthy fluid intake, do not smoke and do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis.last_img read more