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The Telegraph | Feb 07, 2018 ||
Sambalpur: An 81-year-old retired officer of the rural development department has taken admission in the Odisha Open University’s Bhubaneswar centre. The varsity’s vice-chancellor Srikant Mohapatra, while interacting with the learners, said: “There is no age limit for acquiring knowledge. The old man, Sarat Chandra Patnaik, a retired class I officer of the rural development department, has enrolled himself to study the rural development course.” Patnaik had secured his BA degree from Berhampur University in 1973. “See for yourself the interest of the old man. At this age, Patnaik wants to study and acquire more knowledge. He is sincere in his studies. He told me that as he was writing fast, the teachers were not able to read his handwriting,” the VC said, while narrating his experience of meeting Patnaik. He has successfully served 40 years in his department.
Mohapatra said he had gone through his answer papers. He added so many extra pages in his answer sheets, but due to age problem and fast writing, his hand writing was not clear for the teachers to evaluate. “I am proud of such a student. At this age, he is attending classes,” Mohapatra said. He said the Open University would start a master’s degree in cyber security from the next academic session. “We have applied to the UGC for allowing us to open the cyber security course in our university,” he said, adding: “I am not in favour of opening courses without the approval of the UGC. I do not want to provide unrecognised certificate to students.” He said the students enrolled in the Open University were taking keen interest in their studies. For the first time, the VC had organised the interaction session to get feedback from the learners in the presence of teachers. Most of the students took part in the interactive session, praised the courses and requested the VC to open more job-oriented courses. Teachers Lakshmi Meher, Subhas Panigrahi, Satyanarayan Bhoi, Pruthibiraj Mishra and course co-ordinator Mahendra Behera spoke on various aspects of teachings and its impact on students. Students requested the VC to include more practical classes and field study programmes. Pratap Kumar Das, a journalism student, said the course was so much interesting that his wife had also taken admission in it from this session. – Courtesy
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Oct 24, 2017 | Technology |
The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as an over-the-air update starting this week.
Amazon has announced a new Kindle app that is designed for book lovers and provides easy access to popular Kindle features—users can now move between the pages of their book, their library, personalised bookstore and more. The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting this week.
Key updates include:
Amazon Kindle app gets new look, easier search & more – Androidos.in
If you love reading on the Amazon Kindle Android app, there is good news for you. The company has released an updated version of the Kindle app, which includes a revamped look, better search and a lot more. According to Amazon, the updated Kindle app will be available in the Google Play Store beginning today. “We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place. It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle.
The most important addition in terms of the visual changes in the Kindle app is the new light and dark background themes. You can now choose which background theme you want while browsing the app. Additionally, the Kindle is also getting new fonts including Amazon’s custom Bookerly font, larger book covers, and a brand new app icon.
One Tap Access
Apart from the fresh look, Amazon is adding a new One Tap Access feature in the Kindle app. The company notes that the new bottom bar navigation in the app will now automatically show an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier than ever to get back to what you were reading.
This bottom bar also provides quick access to other Kindle features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more.
The Kindle is getting an always present search bar. So, no matter where you are in the app, you can always look for what you want.
While the Android version of Kindle is getting all the goodies mentioned above, it will have to wait for something which is debuting the iOS version today itself – the Goodreads integration. The Android version will get the integration in a future update.
So, what is this all about?
According to Amazon ,Goodreads is now built right into the Kindle app, unlike previously, when there were only bits and pieces of it here and there. The app will allow users to discuss books, get recommendations, share your views on books and other key Goodreads features.
With the objective of enablement and empowerment of cyber security, Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) and Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center (NCIIPC), are organizing the Global Cyber Challenge at the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), 2017.
Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 in New Delhi to host over 3500 cyber experts
Chennai, Oct 13 (PTI) Stepping up its cooperation in the field of science and technology, India today announced fully- sponsored academic fellowship to scientists and researchers of neighbouring countries. The 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship (ISRF) scheme will provide a fully-paid fellowship to researchers, scientists and academicians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said. To support PhD scholars, a new element has been added in the 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship scheme.
“The scheme for the first time will also include doctoral students in science, engineering and medical fields to undertake project-related research work in any premier research and academic institution in India up to a period of six months,” Vardhan said. He made the announcement at the India International Science Festival (IISF) here, which was attended by Afghanistan’s Minister of Higher Education Abdul Latif Roshan and Bangladesh’s Minister of Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman. The IISF, which began today, concludes on October 16.
Two hundred travel slots every year were announced for the researchers from these countries to be supported by the Department of Science and Technology to enable them to make the best use of these advanced training programmes offered by India. “This would help in capacity building and will also foster research networks with Indian scientific institutions in these countries,” Vardhan said. India is engaged in active cooperation in the field of science and technology with more than 44 countries, including advanced, emerging and developing nations. – Click here to download ISRF 2018 Brochure / Call for Application & Guidelines
ND TV | Education | Anisha Singh | September 20, 2017 |
New Delhi: The allure for Engineering will take some more time to die. According to a research by a British recruitment agency, more students who study engineering at University end up as billionaires than any other branch of study. The said research in question examined the Forbes’ list of 100 richest people in the world including what they studied, their first job and how much wealth they owned. The result of the research was in favor of those who studied engineering at University. Almost 30% of those who had a degree among the top 100 had a degree in Engineering. Of the 100 richest people on the list, 75 had a degree and 22 of these 75 had studied engineering. A Business degree and a degree in Finance and Economics come a close second and third with 16 and 11 of the 75 having a degree in these categories.
Billionaire or not, these degrees are definitely capable of giving a head start down the billionaire lane as according to QS World Ranking, these are also some of the degrees which an employer favors while recruiting. As per the same research some of the first jobs the billionaires held include sales and engineering related profiles. While 10 of the richest people held a salesperson job, stock trader came close second with 9 people in the category. The top five slots are rounded up by 5 software developers, 5 Engineers, and 4 Analysts. What is revealing is that 53% of the richest people in the world began working in a non-family owned business. This indicates that while the road to becoming a billionaire may be tough, it is not skewed in the favor of those coming from a traditionally rich business family.- Courtesy
The New Indian Express | By PTI | 15th September 2017 | Opinion |
PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that Lord Parashuram who is believed to have created Goa must have been an engineer who reclaimed the land from the sea. Parrikar was addressing the Engineers Day function in the city. “This is a day when India recognises the importance of engineering talent,” the chief minister said. Referring to the origin of Goa as per mythology, Parrikar said “it is said that Lord Parashuram created Goa. I believe that Parashuram must have been belonging to the clan of engineers who reclaimed the land from the sea.” “It was thousand years back that we knew about the instances like Hastinapur or Pandava Palace which showed the use of all kind of technology. “Engineering is a very old art and skill that existed in India, which is recognised in the modern era,” he said. – Courtesy
Hindustan Times, London | Sep 14, 2017 | Prasun Sonwalkar |
The surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript, which contains hundreds of zeroes, reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century, some five centuries older than previously believed.
The idea of ‘zero’ – crucial to mathematics and all calculations – is widely believed to have originated in India, but carbon dating at the University of Oxford has now proved that an Indian text mentioned it as early as the third or fourth century – much earlier than thought. Considered the oldest recorded origin of ‘zero’, its mention in the Bakhshali manuscript dates it to a period hundreds of years than previously thought. It was found in 1881 in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar, and has been in the Bodleian Library of Oxford since 1902. The library said on Thursday that the surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript which contains hundreds of zeroes reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century – approximately five centuries older than scholars had previously believed. This means that the manuscript in fact predates a ninth century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India. The findings are highly significant for the study of the early history of mathematics, it said.
“The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript. The dot was originally used as a ‘placeholder’, meaning it was used to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system – for example, denoting 10s, 100s and 1000s”, the library said. While the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, such as among the ancient Mayans and Babylonians, the symbol in the Bakhshali manuscript is considered particularly significant for two reasons. First, it is this dot that evolved to have a hollow centre and became the symbol that we use as zero today. Secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, hence creating the concept and the number zero that we understand today. This happened in 628 AD, just a few centuries after the Bakhshali manuscript was produced, when the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta wrote a text called Brahmasphuta siddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.The document will be displayed in the ‘Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London from October 4. It is part of a season of exhibitions and events that celebrates India’s contribution to science, technology and mathematics.
Although the Bakhshali manuscript is widely acknowledged as the oldest Indian mathematical text, the exact age of the manuscript has long been the subject of academic debate. The most authoritative academic study on the manuscript, conducted by Japanese scholar Hayashi Takao, asserted that it probably dated from between the eighth and the 12th century, based on factors such as the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content. The new carbon dating reveals that the reason why it was previously so difficult for scholars to pinpoint the Bakhshali manuscript’s date is because the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is in fact composed of material from at least three different periods. Marcus du Sautoy, professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, said: “Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics”. “We now know that it was as early as the third century that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world. The findings show how vibrant mathematics have been in the Indian subcontinent for centuries.” – Courtesy
Washington Post || 10
The controversial memo written by James Damore, a 28-year-old former Google engineer, rattled Silicon Valley last weekend when it became public and stirred a fierce debate about diversity in the workplace. Google leaders billed the memo as “offensive” and “harmful.” The memo said that “genetic differences” may explain “why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”This week the company fired the author for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” he said. Until now, little has been known about Damore. But since his firing, he’s given at least two lengthy interviews with the hosts of right-wing YouTube channels and a significantly shorter interview with Bloomberg TV. “I’m not saying that any of the female engineers at Google are in any way worse than the average male engineer,” Damore told Stefan Molyneux, a vocal supporter of President Trump and the host of Freedomain Radio. “I’m just saying that this may explain some of the disparity in representation in the population.” Damore filed a complaint Monday with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging he was subjected to “coercive statements” by Google, according to the Associated Press. Damore told the AP that he filed the complaint before being fired later that day, and that he’s also weighing other legal options. “It’s illegal to retaliate against a NLRB charge,” he said. A Google spokesman told the AP on Tuesday that the company could not have retaliated because it was unaware of his labor complaint until reading about it in the media after his dismissal. Both YouTube interviews with conservative hosts lasted more than 45 minutes. Damore appeared reserved and composed, his words carefully chosen and interlaced with nervous laughs. He told Molyneux he decided to write the memo after attending a Google diversity program, where he heard things he “definitely disagreed with.” “There was a lot of just shaming and ‘no, you can’t say that, that’s sexist,’ Damore told Molyneux.
“There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying,” he added. Molyneux is unabashed in his views against feminism and has generated a large YouTube following, with more than 654,000 subscribers. Damore told him he wrote the document on a 12-hour flight to China for a work trip, and shared the document internally multiple times a month ago. Initially, the reactions weren’t “explosive,” he said. But once it leaked outside of Google, he said he “couldn’t really get ahead of it at all.” “People got offended because it goes against the left’s ideology,” Damore said, adding that those on the right in Silicon Valley often feel the need to “stay in the closet” in a workplace culture he defined as a “progressive echo chamber.” Since his firing, Damore said he has received an outpouring of support in personal messages from individuals within and outside of Google, as well as a number of job openings. He told Molyneux that Google should attempt to become a more “female-friendly environment” by capitalizing on his viewpoint that women tend to be “more people-oriented” while men are “more things-oriented.” He suggested promoting more collaboration among coders, skills in which he says women tend to excel. Molyneux criticized the mainstream media’s portrayal of Damore’s memo and praised him for writing it. The host also said he believed critics targeted Damore in large part because he is a white man, and claimed white privilege is “the opposite of privilege.” In another interview, Damore spoke with Jordan B. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a critic of “political correctness,” feminist postmodernists and the concept of white privilege. He said that Damore’s memo was well-supported by scientific facts and is “certainly not an anti-diversity screed.” Damore told Peterson he has mostly declined to speak to the mainstream news outlets because they will “twist whatever I say towards their agenda.” Peterson, however, encouraged him to rethink that position.
On Wednesday night, Damore told Bloomberg TV: “The whole point of my memo was to improve Google and Google’s culture and they just punished me and shamed me for doing it,” he said. “I’m not a sexist.” A number of Google leaders have spoken out about the memo in the days since it circulated. The most personal response came from one of the company’s highest-ranking women, Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive of YouTube, which is owned by Google. In an essay published by Fortune on Wednesday, Wojcicki wrote that her daughter asked her about the memo. “Mom,” her daughter asked her, “is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?” After some thought, her mother responded, “No, it’s not true,” she wrote. “I thought about the women at Google who are now facing a very public discussion about their abilities, sparked by one of their own co-workers,” she wrote. “And as my child asked me the question I’d long sought to overcome in my own life, I thought about how tragic it was that this unfounded bias was now being exposed to a new generation.” In response to Wojcicki’s essay, Damore told Bloomberg TV “there are simply fewer women” wanting to get into tech. “But if you’re a girl and you’re interested in technology, then that’s great,” he added. – Courtesy
ND TV | World | Cleve R. Wootson Jr.| The Washington Post | August 07, 2017 |
The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”
- The engineer criticised the number of women working in Google
- Google is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality
- The engineer has faced harsh criticism and backlash
In a screed that rocketed around Silicon Valley this weekend, a software engineer at Google blasted the company’s efforts to increase the number of minorities and women in its ranks and leadership positions. The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” The author has not been publicly identified, but his words have sparked a backlash. Critics say his sentiments reflect a tech company culture that’s unwelcoming or even hostile to women and minorities. Another fear: The engineer’s words reflect the unspoken thoughts of many others in an industry dominated by white men. Google, which has announced efforts to increase diversity and is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality, did not respond to a message from The Washington Post seeking comment Sunday. The company did address the essay in an internal letter to employees.
The essay argues that Google should stop its campaigns to increase gender and racial diversity and focus instead on “ideological diversity.” It says the reason women don’t make up half of the company’s technological and leadership positions is because of “genetic differences” in their preferences and abilities. “These differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the engineer wrote. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.” The author says the company’s diversity efforts have “created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence” and makes it easier for “extremist and authoritarian policies” to take root. He says Google’s efforts to achieve more equal gender and race representation – special programs for HBCUs for example, or coding camps for girls – have led to “discriminatory practices,” specifically against conservatives. In the essay, the author says he has received support from others in the company for “bringing up these very important issues,” which others “would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired.”
The essay comes as the Mountain View, California, company has been trying to increase the stubbornly unbudging percentage of women and minorities in its ranks and is being investigated by the Labor Department for a disparity in pay between men and women. Responding to the essay in a message to Google employees, Danielle Brown, the company’s new vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, said the essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” Brown said. “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.” As The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor wrote in March, just 1 percent of Google’s technology employees are black – a percentage that hasn’t moved since 2014. To become more diverse, McGregor wrote, “the company has expanded its recruiting to a broader range of schools, trains its workers on ‘implicit biases’ and re-examines resumes to make sure recruiters don’t overlook diverse talent.”
Slack engineer Erica Baker, whom CNBC called an “outspoken critic of systematic bias in the tech industry,” said the engineer’s diatribe was shocking but not surprising. “Google has seen hints of this in the past, with employees sharing blog posts about their racist beliefs and the occasional internal mailing list question, ‘innocently’ asking if Black people aren’t more likely to be violent,” she wrote on her blog Saturday. “The most important question we should be asking of leaders at Google and that they should be asking of themselves is this: Why is the environment at Google such that racists and sexists feel supported and safe in sharing these views in the company?” Yonatan Zunger, a former senior Google employee, also took issue with the software engineer’s post. He wrote on Medium that the essay shows a misunderstanding of the way Google tries to address the world’s problems: “Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I’m very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to.”- Courtesy
Google Fires Employee Behind Anti-Diversity Memo : ND TV, | Reuters | August 08, 2017 |
James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal, saying in an email to Reuters on Monday that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” …Read More …
Sunder Pichai condemns anti-diversity memo, Google sacks engineer, The New Indian Express, Read More…