Bouncing signals off ceiling can rev up data centers

first_imgRadio transceivers are placed atop each rack (a) or container (b). Using 2D beamforming (c), transceivers communicate with neighboring racks directly, but forward traffic in multiple hops to non-neighboring racks. Using 3D beamforming (d), the ceiling reflects the signals from each sender to its desired receiver, avoiding multi-hop relays. Image credit: Weile Zhang et al, 3D Beamforming for Wireless Data Centers 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. ( — Researchers have a startlingly upbeat idea for data center managers coping with packed rooms, Internet traffic bursts, and high costs looming in having to reconfigure data center designs. The researchers find that data centers can use ceilings to bounce off data signals. Doing so enhances data transmission speeds by 30 percent. More information: Explore further via TechnologyReviewcenter_img Disconnect between wireless demand and capacity Citation: Bouncing signals off ceiling can rev up data centers (2011, December 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from What’s more, compared to the cost and complexity of modifying data center architectures, they say their approach is a much more attractive option that can augment wired links with flexible wireless links in the 60 GHz band.The team of researchers propose an approach in a short-range, rack-to-rack 60GHz wireless network setting. What they show is how bouncing 60 GHz wireless links off reflective ceilings can address link blockage and link interference.Heather Zheng, an associate professor of computer science, worked with colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, along with Lei Yang from Intel Labs in Oregon and Weile Zhang at Jiao Tong University in China.In using a technique of angling the data stream upwards and bouncing it off the ceiling, signals can be transmitted from one area of a densely packed data center to another. Nodes send data to wherever needed regardless of location within a center. What is significant about this approach becomes apparent at peak traffic times, when wireless networks can switch on and provide an overflow for the wired network.One of the key components in this ceiling approach is the use of metal plates, which the researchers say provided suitable reflection in their simulation of a 160-rack data center. Alternatively, the entire ceiling of the data center could be polished metal. In their studies the team mounted microwave reflectors on the ceiling. The reflectors behaved as specular mirrors to reflect the signals.The reflectors can be flat metal plates; simple aluminum plates are sufficient. They placed electromagnetic absorbers on top of the racks to prevent local reflection and scattering around the receiving antenna. They note that such absorbers are widely available and maintenance-free.Overall, they say that the importance of their study is that “We explore the design space, and show how bouncing 60 GHz wireless links off reflective ceilings can address both link blockage and link interference, thus improving link range and number of current transmissions in the data center.”Also, one of the numerous advantages to their approach is what they categorize as easy rack movement and replacement. “Data center managers can upgrade or move racks without any physical constraints, and quickly calibrate the beam configuration based on rack locations.”To further exercise this approach, Zheng and team plan on building a prototype data center. © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Rare supercell thunderstorm in Hawaii produces record size hailstone

first_img Explore further Roofs fail to defend against frequent hailstorms, study reveals ( — A March 9 thunderstorm that struck the island of Oahu produced unusually large hailstones, one of which measured over four inches long, a record for the state which rarely sees hail at all. The hail was the result of a rare supercell thunderstorm forming which produced both hail and one small tornado, another rare event for Hawaii. Supercells are a type of thunderstorm common in the central plains of the United States, but almost unheard of in Hawaii, where the previous hail size record was only around an inch. To produce such large sized hailstones a storm must have a lot of warm moist air rising up into much colder and drier air. And at the same time, the storm must produce winds that change direction a lot at the mid and lower levels, producing a lot of energy which results in strong updrafts. Such conditions cause moisture to be pushed up into the colder air where it freezes and starts to fall due to its increased weight. But because of the strong updraft, it’s pushed upwards once again where more moisture freezes onto its surface, causing the hail to grow bigger in size. This process continues until the hailstones grow large and heavy enough to fall through the strong updraft. Thus, the stronger the updraft, the larger the hailstones will grow.Supercells striking Hawaii are rare because the conditions for creating them aren’t conducive to such storms. While there is generally a lot of warm moist air in the lower atmosphere, there is seldom the kind of air movement that causes updrafts due to prevailing winds pushing storms along, preventing them from stalling, which can lead to the multidirectional wind shifts and then updrafts. And while there is no real evidence to suggest that the large hail in Hawaii is linked to global warming, there will undoubtedly be some who tie such a rare storm to other rare weather events that have been taking place all over the planet in recent years.Records for Hawaiian weather go back only as far as 1950, but since that time, hail of penny or quarter size has been reported just eight times, highlighting just how rare it is for hail to land on the island and how odd it is for hail of such a large size to be seen. © 2012 PhysOrg.comcenter_img More information: via Hawaiinewsnow Citation: Rare supercell thunderstorm in Hawaii produces record size hailstone (2012, March 27) 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.last_img read more

Cows found to be willing to work hard to gain access to

first_img © 2018 While it may look like cows in a field do nothing but stand around eating or chewing their cud, they also do something else—they rub themselves on virtually any object they can find, such as trees, fence posts and even a tractor if the opportunity arises. They rub themselves as part of grooming—exposure to the elements can cause an itchy hide. Rubbing not only feels good, it helps to remove dirt, feces and insects, and perhaps reduces stress. Unfortunately, dairy cows do not get to wander around in pastures that have places for rubbing—they are kept in the barn most of the time, where they have no way to engage in grooming. Noting that it must be frustrating for the cows, the researchers set up an experiment to determine if a large rotating bristly brush might help.After noting that test cows seemed to enjoy pushing themselves against the brush, the researchers set up an experiment to measure how much they enjoyed it. The experiment consisted of training several dairy cows to push against a gate to open it, allowing them access to one of three options: an empty enclosure, a bucket of feed, or the giant brush. They also rigged the gate to require different amounts of pushing to get through. After testing multiple cows with their gate, the researchers found that they would push just as hard to gain access to the brush as they would for the feed. They also discovered that most of the cows were not willing to work very hard to gain access to the empty enclosure.The researchers conclude by suggesting that the brush appears to be a viable option for allowing dairy cows to groom themselves. More information: Emilie McConnachie et al. Cows are highly motivated to access a grooming substrate, Biology Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0303AbstractIn natural environments, cattle use trees and other abrasive surfaces to scratch and groom themselves. Modern indoor dairy cattle housing systems often lack appropriate grooming substrates, restricting the animals’ ability to groom. We assessed the motivation of dairy cows to access an automated mechanical brush, a grooming resource that can be implemented in indoor cattle housing systems. Cows were trained to push a weighted gate to access either fresh feed (positive control), a mechanical brush or the same space without a brush (negative control). Weight on the gate was gradually increased until all cows failed to open it. The weight each cow was willing to push to access each resource was assessed using the Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Despite differences in methodology used to obtain data on motivation to access feed and the brush, the outcomes were very similar; cows worked as hard for access to fresh feed and the brush (p = 0.94) and less hard for access to the empty space (compared with fresh feed: p < 0.01; brush: p < 0.02). These results indicate that cows are highly motivated to access a mechanical brush and that it is an important resource for cows. Explore further A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia and Warsaw University of Life Sciences has found that dairy cows are willing to expend energy to gain access to a grooming brush. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group describes experiments they carried out with dairy cows and a large grooming brush and what they found. Dairy farmers should rethink a cow's curfewlast_img read more

Reinterpreting music Sufistically

first_imgHis house resonated with the sound of tabla, immersing him in music during his formative years. Son of the renowned tabla player Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Bickram Ghosh carries on the family tradition with his experimental take on Indian classical and folk music. Adding zing to Sufi music this time around he is geared up  to take the audience through a journey where Sufi meets the new and rhythm-heavy sound. Ghosh and his entourage bring you Sufusion as a part of the 14th Annual Sangeet Mahotsav here in the Capital on 2 June at Kamani Auditorium. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’How did a chance encounter with Parvati Kumari lay the foundation for Sufusion ?I met Parvati through the CEO of a music company. She will be one of the lead vocalists for Sufusion. She has this earthy tone to her voice; not  like one of your pop singers, who also wants to delve into Sufi, but a raw and traditional Sufi artist. I have always had a desire to work on this format of music. With Parvati on board, we took a step forward. Is your original brand of music way different from the form that Delhites are going to listen to? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWell, let me take you back in early 2000 when we formed our band Rhythmscape. We were striving to reinterpret Indian music through our style and that’s what has given an edgy image to the band. We produce a modern take on Indian classical and folk music. On stage, we like to keep the performance flowing, so we jam instead of playing a regular lineup of music.And should we expect some Sufi-tabla jamming sessions this time around?Now, that’s the tricky part. We wanted to maintain our style here but were caught up with the question of justifying the lyrical Sufi music through jamming? That’s where we have Shankha, our dholak player, coming in. Our finale act is always a jam, no matter what. That’s where dholak, an integral part of Sufi music, will feature in the jamming session. Besides the show, we would like to know about your early days as a tabla player. Making a foray into music was a family tradition or a personal choice?I was always drawn to music, and how couldn’t I be. During my growing up years, our house was always swarming with people from musical background. I studied English literature but was trained into percussion as well. I took up a career in music after college. During the late 90’s, the idea of fusion as an element in music picked up force. I would say, Rahul Sharma, Taufiq Querishi and I were the new face of changing form of music from our generation. What’s the road ahead from here on?I still remember the time when Pt. Ravi Shankar asked me to perform with him in Brussels back in 1993, giving me a day’s notice. It was unbelievable. It kicked off my 11 years long working relationship with the maestro. Now, apart from experimenting with different genres, I am also mainstreaming my music through films. Having worked on the music of bollywood movies, such as Jal and Super Se Upar. In my next venture, I am collaborating with Sonu Nigam for the album ‘Heart and beat’.last_img read more

Over 500 compete in Kolkatas first interorphanage fest

first_imgKolkata: Around 500 underprivileged children participated in multiple activities related to literature, art and culture during an inter-orphanage talent festival held for the first time in Kolkata, the organisers said on Monday. The festival “Nakshatra” brought together the children from various rainbow schools and shelter homes, who had a memorable seven hours of fun and smiles at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum auditorium on Sunday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsOrganised by Bhumi, one of India’s largest independent volunteer non-profit organisations, the fest saw the children showcase their talent in quiz, story writing, paper modelling, pot painting, recitation, singing and dance competitions.”I like to paint. So, when I was told about this event, I knew that I had to participate. This is the first time that I am participating in this big an event.” said Nafisa Ali, who competed in the pot painting category. Riya Saha, a standard XI student of Loreto Rainbow Home, could not hide her excitement. “I am very excited about performing in an auditorium. I dance well and have participated in many events organized between the Rainbow schools, but this is my first performance in the auditorium.” One hundred and twenty volunteers oversaw the smooth conduct of the event, which was earlier held in Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.last_img read more

Cheers to the Chinese connection

first_imgTo commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and India and celebrate Chinese New Year 2015, Embassy of China and India China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC) organized a cultural evening of acrobatic performances at Sirifort Auditorium on Friday Feb 27.The extravagant show was performed by the Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Theatre Group from China. The art group is recognized by the government of People’s Republic of China ever since the troupe was founded in 1959. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’One of the largest auditoriums in New Delhi saw a heavy crowd excited and full of cheer to see the Acrobatic Show displaying an array of excellent skills such as theChinese Diabolo, Contortion, Duo Balancing,Swinging Hoop, Juggling, etc. Speaking on the occasion was His Excellency Le Yucheng, Chinese Ambassador to India along with Zhang Zhihong, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of China in Indiaextending warm greetings to everyone on the happy occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of Sheep. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAdding further to the spirit of the occasion, Mohammed Saqib, Secretary General, India China Economic and Cultural Council thanked one and all present at the show and promised on bringing the two nations closer through culture in the next 5 years.  India China Economic and Cultural Council is an autonomous not-for-profit organization founded in the year 2003 to enhance economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries; India and China. Towards this objective, ICEC conducts policy research on industry and trade aspects between India and China and provides platform for enhanced interaction and cooperation between governments, businesses and civil society of the two countries by organizing trade and investment summits and sector oriented delegation meetings in India and China. ICEC Council has a strong base in both India and China, and has offices in all the major provinces of both countries.last_img read more

City back to normal within hours after mass rally

first_imgKolkata: Robust arrangements made by the Kolkata Police ensured a smooth and hassle-free Martyrs’ Day rally on Saturday that was attended by lakhs of people who came from all across the state.The top brass of the city police had chalked out a detailed plan for crowd management to ensure the security of people and most importantly, regulate the traffic movement when lakhs of people begin to march towards the venue on Saturday.Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police and Supratim Sarkar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) accompanied by other senior police officers visited the venue on Friday morning and inspected all arrangements. Sources said stress was given on the security aspect of the VIPs, who were on the stage and also those attending the rally. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBesides bringing the entire area under the coverage of surveillance cameras, concerned policemen kept a constant watch over the situation to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the rally. The police had also taken precautionary steps to avoid any trouble that could have been triggered by rumours and could prove fatal.With the proper execution of the plan, people have not faced any inconvenience in reaching the venue. At the same time, they were provided with the necessary guidance to return home without facing any trouble. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTrinamool Congress volunteers in yellow T-shirts were found assisting the police to guide people as and when required. There were ambulances at every crucial junction and without facing any restrictions, they operated smoothly at the rally.The police had also maintained a vigil along river Hooghly and necessary steps were taken for the security of the party workers who reached Kolkata by boat. There were many party workers who came by crossing Hooghly on boats, from Howrah and Hooghly districts.The police had to divert several vehicles when lakhs of party workers headed towards Esplanade in processions.But within minutes after the meeting, the police managed to allow plying of vehicles on almost all the major thoroughfares. It helped the party workers as well to return home without facing any inconvenience.last_img read more

Municipal Service Commission Bill passed Will bring transparency in recruitments says Hakim

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Municipal Service Commission Bill 2018 was passed at the state Assembly on Wednesday, to empower the Municipal Service Commission for direct recruitment of personnel in all urban local bodies across the state, including municipal corporations, municipalities, notified area authorities, industrial township authorities, development authorities and different organisations that come under the aegis of the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”This would usher in professionalism and transparency in the recruitment process and ensure that there will be no allegations of political interference in the recruitment,” state Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said, while placing the Bill at the state Assembly.An official in the state Municipal Affairs department said recruitment in all the 8 municipal corporations, 115 municipalities, 18 development authorities, three notified areas and three industrial authorities etc. will be done through this commission. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCurrently, the recruitment of employees of Kolkata Municipal Corporation is done through the commission and sometimes also for the municipal corporations, while the process of recruitment of the 115 municipalities, 18 development authorities and others are conducted by various agencies. According to the Bill, the Municipal Service Commission will be an autonomous body, pulling it out of the aegis of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, so that it may work on its own strength under the administrative control of the department. The commission shall consist of a chairman and not more than three other members. The chairman and the members shall be appointed or nominated by the state government and one of the three members shall be an officer of the state Backward Class Welfare department.There will be yardsticks in educational qualifications, age and other aspects by which the Commission members, including the chairman, will be constituted. “We have witnessed a number of litigations alleging lack of transparency in recruitment. This step will also curb such things,” Hakim said.Left Front MLA Ashok Bhattacharjee, who was also the former Urban Development department minister, suggested a special commission for such recruitment in the hills. Ruling out such suggestion, Hakim said that people from all communities live amicably in Bengal and reiterated that there is no need for any such separate commission.last_img read more

Necessary evil

first_imgWith the emergence of a whopping number of schools, especially private/public schools, the demand for private cabs/vans is at an all time high. In the present scenario where school kids, too, aren’t safe, easy accessibility for the students becomes necessary. Parents, nowadays, are opting for private schools to keep up the so-called tradition of “best of best education” for their kids but at the same time, they are haunted with conveyance related issues. This paves way for the not-so-safe private school cabs, which surprisingly are considered to be convenient than the school bus for the parents. They get carried away without considering all the aspects of the cab service and end up preferring that over school bus, which comparatively is a lot safer, if not the best. Seema Singhal, whose son studies in V. V. D. A. V. said, “The school is in our vicinity hence we did not secure the bus service. We however opted for the cab service due to the family’s unavailability to drop and pick up our kid on a regular basis.” When asked about the safety of her child travelling in a cab, she said, “We are quite familiar with the cab service that we are taking as many families in our neighbourhood have acquired the same service, hence I feel that my son is quite safe as there are other kids travelling with him too.”  Also Read – A vintage affair with Shyam SundarNowadays, the most important agenda for a parent is not only to find a good institution for his kid but also to arrange a suitable conveyance for his kid for travelling back and forth from school. Cab service also becomes handy for working parents, who, due to their “busy” schedule, inadvertently become unavailable to drop and pick up their kids. They painstakingly choose a cab service best for their kid as soon as their kid gets enrolled in a school. Sanpreet Kaur, a working mother of two kids studying in KR Mangalam World School said, “Since the school bus wouldn’t drop the children in front of the house that’s why I have a private cab for them.” When asked if she feels safe hiring a cab service, she too echoed the same, “Yes I think it’s safe as other kids too are present in the cab along with my kids and I trust the driver whom I’ve known for the past four years.” Also Read – Melodious Mavericks – Jatin LalitWhile those who have secured bus service, have a completely different perspective on the cabs service. Damini, a college student, who used to go to school by bus said, “I used to travel to school by bus and now my younger sister too goes by bus. Bus is a lot more safer than private cabs as they are authorised by school. The school is responsible in the case of any mishappening and one can complain to the school directly, which is not possible in the case of the private cabs.”Also, many unemployed and unauthorised drivers, who do not have a commercial licence, start cab service. Refuting such rumours, the manager of RS Tour and Travel said, “We provide cabs privately on the request of parents and tag with the schools too. We have to submit all documents in the school and take permit for the service. We have employed professional drivers and even though they have driving licence but still we get their verification done all over again.” There also have been cases of rash driving with the cab drivers as they are in a hurry to drop the kids. At times it is also seen that drivers with eight seater cabs tend to stuff kids with 15 kids travelling in an eight seater, making some sit on the CNG cylinders in order to accommodate them. When asked about the same, then the owner of City School Cabs, a school cabs service provider said, “We have in all total six cabs. If there are kids between the age groups of 6-10 (those in class I-V) then in one cab we accommodate eleven kids but if there are kids in the age group of 11-16 (class VI-XII) then we take seven to eight kids max. But our cabs are never overfilled and we care about the comfort of the kids and believe in providing best of best services to our customers.”Hence, be it cabs or buses but the safety of the kids do matter in both the cases and it should not be the matter of blame game. With the numerous cases that have happened in the past with school kids travelling in the cabs or buses, it becomes necessary for both the parents and schools to be well informed of the services that they acquiring. It is not only the school’s responsibility but parents too have to be careful when they are sending their kids to school in order to avoid the consequences that they might regret in the future out of sheer negligence done in the past.last_img read more

Unemployment reduced by 40 percent in Bengal says Central report

first_imgKolkata: With a series of steps taken by the Mamata Banerjee government, unemployment has reduced by 40 percent in the state, as per a report of the Centre.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the state Assembly on Thursday: “As per the report of the Central government, unemployment in the state has gone down by around 40 percent.” In the past seven years, a series of steps starting from setting up of ITIs to developing infrastructure for more investment were taken, which helped in generation of job opportunities. Moreover, many have become self-dependent as well. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Chief Minister said: “Three hundreds ITIs were set up in the state.” It may be mentioned that setting up of the ITIs has ensured skill development training for a large section of job aspirants. The Chief Minister further said: “Utkarsh Bangla has been introduced in a bid to ensure a better skill development programme. A committee was also formed with Amit Mitra, the state Finance minister, as its chairman and every year, around 6 lakh students undertake training.” It may be mentioned that Utkarsh Bangla is a placement-linked skill development initiative. Moreover, an e-governance portal of Utkarsh Bangla, which is a flagship scheme of skill development in the state, was introduced for various purposes, including candidate registration, empanelment of training partners, etc. The portal also assists in maintaining transparency and at the same time, ensures better accessibility in reaching out to the unemployed youth in every part of the state. It will also act as a medium for various companies and organisations to search for skilled youths, as per their requirement. Utkarsh Bangla is making youths “industry-ready” and increasing their opportunities to bag a job. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWhile replying to a question in the state Assembly, Technical Education and Training and Skill Development minister Purnendu Basu said the process of getting admission in ITIs has been made simpler for the benefit of the youths who are interested in undertaking training. He also informed the House that steps have been taken for better functioning of around 22 ITIs and tenders have been floated for the same. The process will get completed soon and the 22 ITIs will again start functioning properly.last_img read more