Best of Last Week—Roundest object ever found taking aim at fake news

first_img 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. (Science X)—It was a big week for space science as a team with members from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the University of Göttingen found that a distant star was the roundest object ever observed in nature—they found that the difference between the equatorial and polar radii of a star named Kepler 11145123 was only 3 kilometers. A team with NASA’s THEMIS mission reported that they had found unusual origins of high-energy electrons that gain energy through electromagnetic activity in the foreshock region. And a team working on the New Horizons mission found evidence that suggested a water-ice ocean lies beneath Pluto’s heart-shaped basin. Also, a Dutch firm unveiled a concept space suit for Mars explorers—Mars One showed off the suits, which are similar to those used by astronauts that went to the moon, but have extra features to deal with the red dust. And a team with Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge announced that they’d found evidence of a cosmic ‘barcode’ from a distant galaxy that confirms nature’s constancy—showing that electromagnetism in a distant galaxy has the same strength as it does here on Earth.In other news, a team of researchers at the University of Toronto unveiled a new AI algorithm taught by humans that learned beyond its training—they report that the system outperformed conventional systems by 160 percent. And a team at the University of Illinois described how they tweaked photosynthesis to boost crop yield—by boosting levels of three important proteins. A team at the University of Leeds reported on how they discovered a common cough virus that kills liver cancer cells and the hepatitis virus—reovirus, they found, stimulates the immune system, providing help in fighting both ailments. And there was more news about how Google and Facebook are taking aim at ‘fake’ news—which some have said may have actually influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election.And finally, a type of face that men recognize better than women—a pair of researchers at Vanderbilt University found that men are better at recognizing the faces on Transformer toys. This, the researchers claim, suggests that facial recognition may be more experience-based than thought. Explore further Distant star is roundest object ever observed in naturecenter_img The star Kepler 11145123 is the roundest natural object ever measured in the universe. Stellar oscillations imply a difference in radius between the equator and the poles of only 3 km. This star is significantly more round than the sun. Credit: Mark A. Garlick Citation: Best of Last Week—Roundest object ever found, taking aim at ‘fake’ news and one face men recognize better than women (2016, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 Science Xlast_img read more

Get pampered this monsoon

first_imgRecently, a number of spas have sprung up in and around the national Capital, offering a wide range of health and beauty treatments which will help one relax.Our skin accelerates its natural aging process, if constantly subjected to environmental elements. Monsoon shoves summer out, but it can spell doom for your hair and skin. An epitome of luxury, Imperial Hotel has introduced a large variety of luxurious skin and hair treatments at the Imperial Salon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ These include Citrus Drench -body scrub and wrap which is available for resident guests only from July to September. It helps one rehydrate and rejuvenate the skin with the citrus sensory experience which includes exfoliation & a firming hydrating antioxidant wrap. This body treatment prevents the sun damaged skin from premature aging and is ideal to treat stretch marks, leaving your skin radiant and even-toned. Allow 60 minutes at Rs 6,000 plus taxes to get an exhilarating experience.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhereas, Kerastase experience ritual (for both resident and non-resident guests) would help in providing shine, nourishment, protection and resistance for the hair. This treatment is available throughout July and August. This is a ritual which combines a customization of treatments and massage techniques that best suits you to make you feel relaxed and beautify your hair. Kerastase hair product strengthens the hair and seals it internally and reconstructs it while externally sealing your weak hair fibers. One can rejuvenate and pamper oneself at the cost of Rs 3200 plus taxes with an added discount of 15 per cent. A spa can be pampering, rejuvenating, nurturing, caring, and calming. You can regain your inner balance and manage stress, enhance feelings of tranquility and well being, and heal.last_img read more

This Little Robot Finds Leaks in Water and Gas Pipes

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Leaky pipes can be a huge problem, and the solution is often complex and costly. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to change that.A group of researchers from the school have developed a small robot that can inspect water and gas pipes from the inside to locate leaks before they become disastrous. The rubbery device, which looks like an “oversized badminton birdie” is inserted into a water system via a fire hydrant, MIT says.Once inserted, the device “moves passively with the flow, logging its position as it goes,” according to MIT. “It detects even small variations in pressure by sensing the pull at the edges of its soft rubber skirt, which fills the diameter of the pipe.”The robot can be retrieved with a net at a different hydrant. From there, the data is uploaded for analysis. This system doesn’t require any digging, and won’t interrupt water service.According to MIT, today’s water distribution systems lose 20 percent of their supply, on average, because of leaks.”These leaks not only make shortages worse but also can cause serious structural damage to buildings and roads by undermining foundations,” the school said. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that today’s leak detection systems are “expensive and slow to operate,” and they don’t work well in wood, clay or plastic pipes, which are common in developing countries.That’s where the little robot comes in.MIT professor of mechanical engineering Kamal Youcef-Toumi, graduate student You Wu and two others have been designing and testing this system for the past nine years. They plan to describe the system in detail at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver, Canada, this September.The team also plans to test the system this summer on the city of Monterrey, Mexico’s concrete water distribution pipes. “Monterrey … has a strong incentive to take part in this study, since it loses an estimated 40 percent of its water supply to leaks every year, costing the city about $80 million in lost revenue,” MIT says. “Leaks can also lead to contamination of the water supply when polluted water backs up into the distribution pipes.”The system can also be used to detect leaks in pipes distributing natural gas. In the future, the team plans to build a more flexible version of their robot, which can adapt to pipes of different sizes. Their ultimate goal is to outfit their robot with a special system that can instantly repair leaks it finds. This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. July 25, 2017 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Cockroach Labs 2018 Cloud Report AWS outperforms GCP hands down

first_imgWhile testing the features for CockroachDB 2.1, the team discovered that AWS offered 40% greater throughput than GCP. To understand the reason for this result, the team compared GCP and AWS on TPC-C performance (e.g., throughput and latency), CPU, Network, I/O, and cost. This has resulted in CockroachDB releasing a 2018 Cloud Report to help customers decide on which cloud solution to go with based on the most commonly faced questions, such as should they use Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or Microsoft Azure? How should they tune their workload for different offerings? Which of the platforms are more reliable? Note: They did not test Microsoft Azure due to bandwidth constraints but will do so in the near future. The tests conducted For GCP, the team chose the n1-standard-16 machine with Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (Skylake) in the us-east region and for AWS  they chose the latest compute-optimized AWS instance type, c5d.4xlarge instances, to match n1-standard-16, because they both have 16 cpus and SSDs. #1 TPC-C Benchmarking test The team tested the workload performance by using TPC-C. The results were surprising as CockroachDB 2.1 achieves 40% more throughput (tpmC) on TPC-C when tested on AWS using c5d.4xlarge than on GCP via n1-standard-16. They then tested the TPC-C against some of the most popular AWS instance types. Taking the testing a step ahead, they focused on the higher performing c5 series with SSDs, EBS-gp2, and EBS-io1 volume types. The AWS Nitro System present in c5and m5 series offers approximately similar or superior performance when compared to a similar GCP instance. The results were clear: AWS wins on TPC-C benchmark. #2 CPU Experiment The team chose stress-ng as according to them, it offered more benchmarks and provided more flexible configurations as compared to sysbench benchmarking test. On running the Stress-ng command stress-ng –metrics-brief –cpu 16 -t 1m five times on both AWS and GCP, they found that   AWS offered 28% more throughput (~2,900) on stress-ng than GCP. #3 Network throughput and latency test The team measured network throughput using a tool called iPerf and latency via another tool PING. They have given a detailed setup of the iPerf tool used for this experiment in a blog post. The tests were run 4 times, each for AWS and GCP. The results once again showed AWS was better than GCP. GCP showed a fairly normal distribution of network throughput centered at ~5.6 GB/sec. Throughput ranges from 4.01 GB/sec to 6.67 GB/sec, which according to the team is “a somewhat unpredictable spread of network performance”, reinforced by the observed average variance for GCP of 0.487 GB/sec. AWS, offers significantly higher throughput, centered on 9.6 GB/sec, and providing a much tighter spread between 9.60 GB/sec and 9.63 GB/sec when compared to GCP. On checking network throughput variance, for AWS, the variance is only 0.006 GB/sec. This indicates that the GCP network throughput is 81x more variable when compared to AWS. The network latency test showed that, AWS has a tighter network latency than GCP. AWS’s values are centered on an average latency, 0.057 ms. AWS offers significantly better network throughput and latency with none of the variability present in GCP. #4 I/O Experiment The team tested I/O using a configuration of Sysbench that simulates small writes with frequent syncs for both write and read performance. This test measures throughput based on a fixed set of threads, or the number of items concurrently writing to disk. The write performance showed that AWS consistently offers more write throughput across all thread variance from 1 thread up to 64. In fact, it can be as high as 67x difference in throughput. AWS also offers better average and 95th percentile write latency across all thread tests. At 32 and 64 threads, GCP provides marginally more throughput. For read latency, AWS tops the charts for up to 32 threads. At 32 and 64 threads GCP and AWS split the results. The test also shows that GCP offers a marginally better performance with similar latency to AWS for read performance at 32 threads and up. The team also used the no barrier method of writing directly to disk without waiting for the write cache to be flushed. The result for this were reverse as compared to the above experiments. They found that GCP with no barrier speeds things up by 6x! On AWS, no barrier (vs. not setting no barrier) is only a 25% speed up. #5 Cost Considering AWS outperformed GCP at the TPC-C benchmarks, the team wanted to check the cost involved on both platforms. For both clouds we assumed the following discounts available: On GCP :a  three-year committed use price discount with local SSD in the central region. On AWS : a three-year standard contract paid up front. They found that GCP is more expensive as compared to AWS, given the performance it has shown in the tests conducted. GCP costs 2.5 times more than AWS per tpmC. In response to this generated report, Google Cloud developer advocate, Seth Vargo, posted a comment on Hacker News assuring users that Google’s team would look into the tests and conduct their own benchmarking to provide customers with the much needed answers to the questions generated by this report. It would be interesting to see the results GCP comes up with in response to this report. Head over to for more insights on the tests conducted. Read Next CockroachDB 2.0 is out!Cockroach Labs announced managed CockroachDB-as-a-ServiceFacebook GEneral Matrix Multiplication (FBGEMM), high performance kernel library, open sourced, to run deep learning models efficientlylast_img read more