Thursday, April 09, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Mars exploration Orbiter Status
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the orbiter has now taken more than 3,000 images of Mars, resolving features as small as a desk in targeted areas covering thousands of square miles of the Martian surface. Already, this is the largest Mars data set ever acquired by a single experiment. The camera is one of six instruments on the orbiter.
During the first three months after the orbiter's primary science phase began in November, researchers saw an increase in noise and pixel dropouts in data from seven of the camera's 14 detectors. The effects on image quality were small in all but two detectors, but the trend raised concerns noted in a Feb. 7 news release.
Tests have yielded an explanation for the earlier pattern, and the camera's performance record shows the noise stopped getting worse after about three to four months of the science phase. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the camera, said, "I'm happy to report that there has been no detectable degradation over the past five months."
A team at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., designer and builder of the instrument, has used an engineering model of the camera's focal-plane system to successfully duplicate the problem. This has helped in understanding causes and in testing a procedure for warming the focal-plane electronics prior to each image. One cause is that an electrical interface lacked extra capability beyond minimum requirements. Another cause is an unexpected change in performance of another electronic component over the course of the first thousand or so large images. With pre-warming, the camera acquires good data from all detectors, though minor noise remains an issue in data from one of two channels of one detector collecting infrared imagery.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Users of Google News will be able to access both text and photos from the participating agencies, EPA and Google said in a joint statement Tuesday.
"This new approach not only enhances the experience for users, it also gives proper recognition to journalists and publishers who work hard to break the news," Josh Cohen, Google News' business product manager, said of the initiative.
Jörg Schierenbeck, EPA's managing director, hailed the accord as "good for all".
"EPA, the participating agencies and Google will benefit from the monetisation of our original articles and photos hosted by Google, and users will benefit from the user-friendly approach to this type of display of news agency content," he said.
"Previously, Google News would often display multiple copies of the same news agency articles and photos, with separate links to various sites," Google's Cohen said. "Thanks to the agreement with EPA, Google News will now be able to link directly to the original article, on a page hosted by Google."
The EPA stories will also include links to other websites where the items appear.
"The importance of this agreement is that the news agencies are recognised for the original content they create, and can generate new revenue through the advertising revenue share split with Google for all hosted articles on Google News," according to the chairman of EPA's supervisory board, Walter Grolimund.
Frankfurt-based EPA- is a consortium of 11 European news agencies, including Spain's Efe, which is the entity's second-biggest shareholder.
The consortium distributes more than 1,000 photos per day to hundreds of media outlets worldwide.
Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California, is the leading search engine the Internet.
source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/Google-to-offer-content-from-European-news-agencies/articleshow/4280939.cms
* Remove food from packaging before defrosting. Do not use foam trays and plastic wraps because they are not heat stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping may cause harmful chemicals to migrate into food.
* Cook meat, poultry, egg casseroles, and fish immediately after defrosting in the microwave oven because some areas of the frozen food may begin to cook during the defrosting time. Do not hold partially cooked food to use later.
* Cover foods with a lid or a microwave-safe plastic wrap to hold in moisture and provide safe, even heating.
* Heat ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, fully cooked ham, and leftovers until steaming hot.
* After reheating foods in the microwave oven, allow standing time. Then, use a clean food thermometer to check that food has reached 165 °F.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Although the DRE and PSA tests cannot diagnose prostate cancer, they can signal the require for a biopsy to examine the prostate cells and decide whether they are cancerous. In some men, changes in urinary or sexual function lead to a full evaluation by the doctor, and, if prostate cancer is assumed, a biopsy will be performed.
During a biopsy, needles are inserted into the prostate to take small samples of tissue, often under the guidance of ultrasound imaging. The biopsy procedure may cause some discomfort or pain, but the procedure is short, and can usually be performed without an overnight hospital stay.
Gleason Grading and Gleason Scores
Under normal conditions, prostate cells, just like all other cells in the body, are constantly reproducing and dying, and each new prostate cell has the same shape and facade as all of the other prostate cells. But cancer cells look different, and the degree to which they look different from normal cells is what determines the cancer grade. "Low-grade" tumor cells tend to look very similar to normal cells, whereas "high-grade" tumor cells have mutated so much that they often barely resemble the normal cells.
The Gleason grading system accounts for the five distinct patterns that prostate tumor cells tend to go during as they change from normal cells. The scale runs from 1 to 5, where 1 represents cells that are very nearly normal, and 5 represents cells that don’t look much like prostate cells at all.
After examining the cells under a microscope, the pathologist looking at the biopsy sample assigns one Gleason grade to the most common pattern, and a second Gleason grade to the next most common pattern. The two grades are added, and the Gleason score, or sum, is determined.
Generally speaking, the Gleason score tends to predict the assertiveness of the disease and how it will behave. The higher the Gleason score, the less the cells behave like normal cells, and the more aggressive the tumor tends to be.
Staging the Disease
Staging determines the extent of prostate cancer. Localized prostate cancer means that the cancer is confined within the prostate. Locally advanced prostate cancer means that most of the cancer is confined within the prostate, but some has started to escape to the immediate surrounding tissues. In metastatic disease, the prostate cancer is growing outside the prostate and its immediate environs, possibly to more distant organs.
A number of tests can be used to help determine the stage of disease. For example, cancers growing outside of the prostate can often be detected through traditional imaging studies, such as CT scans, MRIs, or x-rays, or through more specialized imaging tests such as bone scans. Note that because these tests cannot detect very small groups of cancer cells, results of these tests cannot be used alone to determine the stage of the disease, to guide treatment options, or to predict outcomes.
Metastatic disease can also be detected through imaging studies, and often can be detected in the lymph nodes. Cancers that spread to more distant organs tend to travel through the lymph system, a circulatory system similar to the blood surgery, lymph nodes will be removed and examined for the presence of cancer cells.
Knowing the stage of disease can help to determine how aggressively the disease needs to be treated, and how likely it is to be eradicated by the available treatment options.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
BEING president of too many well-meaning organizations put my father into an early grave. The lesson in this was not lost on me. But now I am president of the Authors Guild, whose mission is to sustain book-writing as a viable occupation. This borders on quixotic, given all the new ways of not getting paid that new technology affords authors. A case in point: Amazon’s Kindle 2, which was released yesterday.
The Kindle 2 is a portable, wireless, paperback-size device onto which people can download a virtual library of digitalized titles. Amazon sells these downloads, and where the books are under copyright, it pays royalties to the authors and publishers.
Serves readers, pays writers: so far, so good. But there’s another thing about Kindle 2 — its heavily marketed text-to-speech function. Kindle 2 can read books aloud. And Kindle 2 is not paying anyone for audio rights.
True, you can already get software that will read aloud whatever is on your computer. But Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one. And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing. Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.
You may be thinking that no automated read-aloud function can compete with the dulcet resonance of Jim Dale reading “Harry Potter” or of authors, ahem, reading themselves. But the voices of Kindle 2 are quite listenable. There’s even a male version and a female version. (A book by, say, Norman Mailer on Kindle 2 might do a brisk business among people wondering how his prose would sound in measured feminine tones.)
And that sort of technology is improving all the time. I.B.M. has patented a computerized voice that is said to be almost indistinguishable from human ones. This voice is programmed to include “ums,” “ers” and sighs, to cough for attention, even to “shhh” when interrupted. According to Andy Aaron, of I.B.M.’s Thomas J. Watson research group speech team: “These sounds can be incredibly subtle, even unnoticeable, but have a profound psychological effect. It can be extremely reassuring to have a more attentive-sounding voice.”
When I read that quotation, it hit me: Hey, I know Andy Aaron. Years ago, he said he was working on some sort of voice simulation, and asked to work my Southern accent into the mix. I don’t remember whether we got around to that or not, and this new I.B.M. software is designed, at any rate, not for audio books but for computer help lines. So no part of my voice is competing with my own audio books yet. But people who want to keep on doing creative things for a living must be duly vigilant about any new means of transmitting their work.
What the guild is asserting is that authors have a right to a fair share of the value that audio adds to Kindle 2’s version of books. For this, the guild is being assailed. On the National Federation of the Blind’s Web site, the guild is accused of arguing that it is illegal for blind people to use “readers, either human or machine, to access books that are not available in alternative formats like Braille or audio.”
In fact, publishers, authors and American copyright laws have long provided for free audio availability to the blind and the guild is all for technologies that expand that availability. (The federation, though, points out that blind readers can’t independently use the Kindle 2’s visual, on-screen controls.) But that doesn’t mean Amazon should be able, without copyright-holders’ participation, to pass that service on to everyone.
The guild is also accused of wanting to profiteer off family bedtime rituals. A lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sarcastically warned that “parents everywhere should be on the lookout for legal papers haling them into court for reading to their kids.”
For the record: no, the Authors Guild does not expect royalties from anybody doing non-commercial performances of “Goodnight Moon.” If parents want to send their children off to bed with the voice of Kindle 2, however, it’s another matter.
Roy Blount Jr. is the author, most recently, of “Alphabet Juice.”
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Internet is a worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that interchange data by small package switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of restricted to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and additional technologies.
The Internet carries a variety of information resources and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing, online gaming, and the inter-linked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW).
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
What is pointing device?
A pointing device is an input interface (particularly a human interface device) that allows a user to input spatial (i.e., continuous and multi-dimensional) data to a computer. CAD systems and graphical user interfaces (GUI) let the user to control and give data to the computer using physical gestures — point, click, and drag — for instance by moving a hand-held mouse across the surface of the physical desktop and activating switches on the mouse. Movements of the pointing device are echoed on the screen by movements of the pointer (or cursor) and added visual changes.
While the nearly all common pointing device by far is the mouse, a lot of more devices have been developed. But, mouse is normally used as a metaphor for devices that move the cursor.