30 Photos Post a comment Preview • A new Amazon Echo is here. Catch up on Alexa’s upgraded home 4:40 Smart Speakers & Displays See it News • Amazon Echo Dot deal: 3 for $70 Mentioned Above Amazon Echo (2017,Heather Gray Fabric) Amazon Echo CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 0 Review • Amazon’s new Echo improves upon the original, slashes the price Now playing: Watch this: New Amazon Echo Dot plays defense against Google How To • How to sell your old Amazon Echo 2018 was a good year for the Amazon Echo. Chris Monroe/CNET It seems like Alexa has had a busy 2018. On Wednesday, Amazon released some year-end stats about its Alexa smart assistant and Amazon Echo devices — and the numbers are pretty impressive.Amazon says that it sold tens of millions of Echo devices this year. While Amazon doesn’t give an exact sales number, it shows other ways in which Alexa is booming.According to Amazon, the number of people who use Alexa every day doubled in 2018. The number of people who own more than one Echo device has doubled too. The number of things Alexa can do for you has also skyrocketed — developers have made more than 70,000 skills for Alexa.Alexa is showing up in more places. There are now more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 4,500 different brands. Alexa learned several new languages this year, and has new native experiences in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.Another impressive statistic: Alexa told over 100 million jokes in 2018 alone.As more people buy Echo devices and more partners hop on board, the number of things you can do with Alexa grows. So that Echo smart speaker you bought years ago will continue to feel fresh. Share your voice Tags Echo Dot, Home Mini, and Simplisafe: The best smart home Christmas gifts for 2018 $99 Alexa Amazon
Sunny Leone, Diljit DosanjhYouTube ScreenshotThere’s no second thought that Diljit Dosanjh must have had a blast shooting with Sunny Leone in Arjun Patiala’s song Crazy Habibi Vs Decent Munda. And we don’t even blame him if the Punjabi singer-turned-actor gets as smitten by Bollywood’s new generation Laila as everyone else in this world.As we all know that when it comes to projecting your feelings to the girl you are crushing on, Diljit is the one person who you can look up to. We all have seen how Diljit would storm Kylie Jenner’s Instagram and leave a romantic comment in Punjabi. But when Diljit was seen dancing around Sunny in Crazy Habibi song, she made him blush like a tomato with her magical touch.So when Diljit came across a meme featuring him and Sunny Leone about that reaction when a girl touch you for the first time, he couldn’t resist himself from sharing it on his Instagram timeline. Arjun Patiala is a comedy film set in Patiala. The quirky film showcases the story of a police officer (Diljit) who is known for his quirky, original and unusual ways to solve crime and how his life changes when he meets a news reporter (Kriti Sanon). The film, which also stars Varun Sharma and directed by Rohit Jugraj, is all set to release on July 26.
Five students of Dhaka University start hunger strike at the foot of Raju Sculpture on Tuesday evening, demanding fresh elections to its central student union and hall unions. Photo: UNBFour independent candidates along with a general student of Dhaka University (DU) started hunger strike at the foot of Raju Sculpture on the campus on Tuesday evening, demanding fresh elections to its central students’ union and hall unions, reports UNB.Among them, Anindya Mondol, a third year student of Philosophy department was a member candidate of Jagannath Hall union, Tawhid Tanjin, a fourth year student of Computer Science and Technology department, was a candidate for transport affairs secretary of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) elections.The others are Soyeb Mahmud, a second year student of Physics department and an independent candidate of literature affairs secretary of Shahidulla Hall union, Md Mainiddin, a second year student of Population Sciences department and an independent candidate of cultural affairs secretary of Mohsin Hall Union and Roni Hossain, a fourth year student of Geography and Environment Science department and a resident of Bijoy Ekattor Hall.Anindya Mondol told UNB, “The results of DUCSU and hall unions are fabricated ones. The university authorities staged a drama in the name of election.”Five students of Dhaka University start hunger strike at the foot of Raju Sculpture on Tuesday evening, demanding fresh elections to its central student union and hall unions. Photo: Prothom AloHe also said they are observing hunger strike demanding re-elections at the earliest.”Or else, we’ll continue our hunger strike.”The long overdue elections to DUCSU and its hall unions were held on Monday.Quota reform movement leader Nurul Haque Nur was elected vice-president (VP) of DUCSU while Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) general secretary Golam Rabbani its general secretary.Eight among nine secretary posts went to candidates from BCL panel in the elections, marred by allegations of irregularities.BCL is the student wing of ruling Bangladesh Awami League.After the results were published, all panels, except that of the BCL, rejected the results alleging irregularities, and demanded re-election to all the posts except that of VP and Social Welfare post, and announced to boycott classes for an indefinite period.
Share Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawllins/ReutersA woman holds a placard during a candlelight vigil for victims of yesterday’s shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.After a shooter killed 17 people at a Florida high school, many have expressed frustration at the political hand-wringing over gun control and calls for prayer.As a parent, I understand the desire for practical responses to school shootings. I also absolutely believe the government should do more to prevent such incidents. But the gun control debate has proven so divisive and ineffective that I am weary of waiting for politicians to act.I study the kind of aggressive childhood behavior that often predates school shootings. That research suggests what communities and families can start doing today to better protect children.Here are 10 actions we can all take while the federal government drags its heels.What schools can doBecause educators observe students’ emotional and behavioral development daily, they are best positioned to detect troubled behaviors and intervene. In Los Angeles, for example, schools have successfully used outreach and training to identify potentially violent students before problems occur.1. Teach social and emotional skillsChildren learn social skills from everyday interactions with each other. Playtime teaches young people how to control their emotions, recognize others’ feelings and to negotiate. Neighborhood “kick the can” games, for example, require cooperation to have fun – all without adult supervision.Today, frequent social media use and a decrease in free play time has reduced children’s opportunities to learn these basic social skills.But social and emotional skills can – and should – be taught in school as a way to prevent student violence. Students with more fluent social skills connect better with others and may be more able to recognize troubled peers who need help.2. Hire more counselors and school resource officersDue to budget cuts, many schools have few or no trained school psychologists, social workers or adjustment counselors on staff. These mental health professionals are society’s first line of defense against troubled students – especially with the current increase in adolescent depression and anxiety.In my opinion, school resource officers – trained police officers who work with children – are also helpful for students. While untrained officers may pose a threat to students, well-trained school resource officers can connect with kids who have few other relationships, acting as a support system. They are also on hand to respond quickly if crime or violence erupts.Putting trained school resource officers and counselors in every school will cost money, but I believe it will save lives.3. Use technology to identify troubled studentsTechnology may challenge kids’ social development, but it can also be harnessed for good. Anonymous reporting systems – perhaps text-message based – can make it easier for parents and students to alert law enforcement and school counselors to kids who seem disconnected or disturbed. That enables early intervention.In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one such tip appeared to prevent extreme violence in May 2017. Police took a young man who’d threatened to harm his peers into protective custody before he could act on his words.What communities can doCommunities also help raise children. With many eyes and ears, they can detect often smaller problems before young people grow into violence.4. Doctors should conduct standard mental health screeningsExtreme violence is almost always preceded by certain behavioral problems. These typically include a propensity toward aggression, a marked lack of social connectedness, indications of serious mental illness and a fascination with violence and guns.Doctors could detect these problems early on with a standardized screening at health checkups. If concerns arise, referrals to counseling or other mental health professionals might follow.5. Enlist social media companies in the effort to detect threatsMost young people today use social media to express their feelings and aspirations. In the case of school shooters, these posts are often violent. A single violent post is hardly a guarantee of homicidal acts, of course. But evidence strongly indicates that repeated expressions of this nature can be a sign of trouble.I would like to see companies like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat create algorithms that identify repeated online threats and automatically alert local law enforcement.What parents can doParents and guardians are often the first to detect their child’s emotional struggles. Here are some tips for monitoring and promoting healthy emotional development at home.6. Think critically about your child’s social media useFrom virtual war games to cruel trolls, the internet is full of violence. The relationship between violent content and aggression hasn’t been consistent in research: Some studies see no relationship at all, while others find some correlation between violent video games and violent behavior.This mixed evidence suggests that online content affects children differently, so parents must assess how well their child handles it. If your daughter likes “Assassin’s Creed” but is gentle, socially successful and happy, the onscreen violence may not be strongly impacting her.But if your child is drawn to violent games and tends to be aggressive or troubled, discuss the situation with your pediatrician or school counselor.7. Consider what your child is missing out onIs your child sleeping properly? Do your kids socialize with other young people? These two behaviors are linked to mental health in children, and excessive screen time can reduce or diminish the quality of both.Make sure digital devices aren’t disrupting your kids’ sleep, and schedule play dates if your kids don’t make plans on their own.8. Assess your child’s relationshipsLike adults, children need confidants to feel invested in and connected with their community. The trusted person can be parent, a family member or a friend – just make sure someone’s playing that role.For children who struggle to make friends and build relationships, there are programsthat can help them learn how.9. Fret productively about screen timeResearch shows that excessive screen time can damage kids’ brains. That’s alarming in part because parents can’t realistically keep kids entirely off devices.So rather than just fret over screen time, focus instead on how children can benefit from a variety of activities. Evidence shows that children who experience different pursuits over the course of their day – from sports and music to an after-school job – are happier and healthier for it.10. Talk with your childThis is both the easiest and hardest way to make sure your kids are doing OK. Children, especially teenagers, don’t always want to talk about how life is going. Ask anyway.My research shows that simply asking children about their friends, their technology use and their day is an important way to show you care. Even if they don’t respond, your interest demonstrates that you’re there for them.Try this one now. Ask your children what they’re thinking about the shooting in Florida and how they like their friends and school. Then listen.Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, and the Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), Bridgewater State UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Blake Thornberry via FlickrA pump jack in the Permian Basin in 2013The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to considering allowing its members to increase their oil production at a meeting Friday in Vienna, Austria, a decision that could have implications for Houston-based oil companies and prices at the gas pump. Listen The oil cartel’s member nations have purposefully cut production since late 2016, in an effort to help stabilize global oil prices. Now, with that job largely accomplished, Saudi Arabia and Russia are reportedly pressuring OPEC members to open up the floodgates again.The cartel has also faced pressure from President Donald Trump, who railed against “too high” oil prices on Twitter this month, seemingly blaming the OPEC cuts.Wood Mackenzie oil analyst Ann-Louise Hittle said the outcome of the meeting is still “highly uncertain,” but there are three distinct possibilities:OPEC could maintain its current oil cuts agreement, which would still lead to weaker oil prices closer to 2019, as U.S. production continues growing.The organization, along with Russia, could agree to “moderate” combined oil increases of less than 1 million barrels/day in 2019, which would keep Brent crude prices hovering around $71/barrel through 2018.The meeting could lead to a “dramatic” increase of about 1.5 million barrels/day, which would “significantly” weaken global oil prices and lead to lower gas prices in the U.S. (This would be good news for President Trump, Hittle notes.)The firm said a moderate OPEC move is likely. Economist Karr Ingham, with the trade group Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, said that outcome wouldn’t slow down drillers here. “Pricing is going to be favorable for continued development in Texas and in the United States,” he said. “What it simply may do is slow the rate of that development just a touch, but it’s going to continue to be production growth.”Still, Ingham said Texas drillers are dealing with other headaches that could complicate the OPEC effect, namely the prospect of increased costs from President Trump’s steel tariffs. Share 00:00 /00:45 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X
How Time-Traveling Could Affect Quantum Computing Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — For more than 50 years, physicists have been intrigued by the concept of closed time-like curves (CTCs). Because a CTC returns to its starting point, it raises the possibility of traveling backward in time. More recently, physicists have theorized that CTC-assisted computers could enable ideal quantum state discrimination, and even make classical computers (with CTCs) equally as powerful as quantum computers. However, a new study argues that CTCs, if they exist, might actually provide much less computational benefit than previously thought. Citation: Study Shows Time Traveling May Not Increase Computational Power (2009, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-power.html As the scientists note, one of the motivating factors for their investigation is the previous finding that CTCs can distinguish between two nonorthogonal pure states, which is impossible in standard quantum mechanics. Further, the previous results seemed to imply that CTCs could be used to distinguish between two identical states, which should be impossible no matter how you look at it. To investigate this problem, the scientists considered what would happen if they prepared and evolved quantum states according to a specific physical process. They found that two output states can be distinguished even without using a CTC, eliminating any advantage the CTC may have offered. In addition to quantum state discrimination, the physicists also investigated the alleged computational power of CTCs, where they found that the output is often not correlated with the input. The scientists argue that the root of the problem seems to lie in the definition of the CTC-assisted computational class, which is not physically or computationally meaningful, and does not produce correctly correlated mixtures of input-output pairs. The scientists proposed an alternate CTC-assisted computational class that allows them to correctly evaluate the system’s abilities, but it also shows that CTC-assisted systems do not seem to increase computational power.Not all scientists agree with the new results. Scott Aaronson of MIT, who has also investigated the possible computation benefits of CTCs, said that he has been aware of the issues of nonlinearity, but does not consider it as important as the scientists do in the current study. Further, he explains that, even in the new model, CTCs would still increase the power of quantum computers.“The underlying reason for the disagreement is this: in the actual universe, CTCs almost certainly don’t exist,” Aaronson said. “So, in asking what the right model of computation ‘would be’ if they did exist, one is inherently asking a strange and somewhat ill-defined question.”Aaronson agreed with the new study that requiring the input to be a pure state (as he and coauthor John Watrous do in a previous study) is a problem. But, he said, the new model requires the input to be nothing, which is an even bigger problem.“As it turns out, every answer to the question that people have come up with has had conceptual problems,” he said. “But in (essentially) prohibiting any input whatsoever to the CTC register, it seems to me that Bennett et al. make the conceptual problems worse, not better, than they are in my and Watrous’s model. This is a matter of honest disagreement.”In spite of the new study’s conclusions, Smith also thinks that CTCs are still worth investigating, as they may be useful in ways that are currently unknown.“I think it’s still interesting,” he said. “Our work just highlights some of the subtleties involved that can lead you to inaccurate conclusions. I should point out that we haven’t proven CTCs are no good for computation, we’ve only shown that the existing algorithms that have been proposed don’t work. So, there might be something more out there (though I wouldn’t bet on it).”More information: Charles H. Bennett, Debbie Leung, Graeme Smith, and John A. Smolin. “Can closed timelike curves or nonlinear quantum mechanics improve quantum state discrimination or help solve hard problems?” Physical Review Letters. To be published. arXiv:0908.3023v1 Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. A team of scientists consisting of Charles Bennett, Graeme Smith, and John Smolin from IBM, along with Debbie Leung from the University of Waterloo, argues that previous analyses of CTCs have fallen into the so-called “linearity trap,” and have been based on physically irrelevant definitions that have led to incorrect conclusions about CTCs. The new study will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.As the physicists explain, CTCs are difficult to think about because they make quantum evolution nonlinear, whereas standard quantum mechanics systems evolve linearly. (In linear systems, the evolution of a mixture of states is equal to the mixture of the evolutions of individual states; this is not the case in nonlinear systems.) It seems that much of the apparent power of CTCs has come from analyzing the evolution of pure quantum states, and extending these results linearly to find the evolution of mixed states. The physicists call this situation the “linearity trap,” which occurs when nonlinear theories are extended linearly. In the case of CTC computations, Bennett and coauthors found that this problem was causing the output to be uncorrelated with the input, which isn’t a very useful computation.“The trouble with the earlier work is that it didn’t take into account the physical processes by which the inputs to a computation are selected,” Smith told PhysOrg.com. “In a nonlinear theory, the output of a computation depends not only on the input, but also on how it was selected. This is the strange thing about nonlinear theories, and easy to miss.” To overcome these problems, the scientists proposed that the inputs to the system should be selected by an independent referee at the start of the computation, rather than being built deterministically into the structure of the computer. In order to ensure that the proper input is selected, the physicists proposed the “Principle of Universal Inclusion.” The principle states that the evolution of a nonlinearly evolving system may depend on parts of the universe with which it does not interact, ensuring that scientists do not ignore the parts of the universe that need to be used to select the inputs. The physicists hope that these criteria will lead to choosing the correct input, and then to generating the correct corresponding output, rather than simply evolving the system linearly based on incorrect inputs. This document is subject to copyright. 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