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Robo.to: They’re Watching the Social Web in Real Time – But Will It Pay?

first_imgParticle, the Justin Timberlake-funded microapp development shop, is dedicated to creating “massively small” products that provide simple, creative solutions to real problems.When we first reviewed their Robo.to application, we weren’t sure whether to be confused or delighted – but we knew there was more to the app than met the eye. Not long ago, we had a telephone chat with Particle CEO Rey Flemings; he revealed that Robo.to is to become the channel-surfer of the real-time web. He also told us what Particle is rolling out next. Read on for insights on the microapp universe – including monetization – and a few surprises, as well.On Watching the StatusphereRobo.to is an app that allows users to create soundless, 4-second video clips. These can be used as video avatars, sent as social-web calling cards, attached to all manner of links or geographical data, or simply updated with a line of text as one would update any other status-based message service. Of course, the videos and text can be automatically forwarded to the usual lineup of social networks.What the newly launched TV mode allows for is topic-based surfing of all Robo.to content.“It allows you to watch hashtags,” Flemings explained. “As bits of content bubble up, you can follow that along with the video posts. Users go into TV mode through search or by clicking on a topic. People tend to lost about half an hour when trying this out, because it’s fascinating to watch what people are doing.”For example, here’s what it might look like to watch the hashtag #squee on Robo.to’s TV mode:Flemings did say that the clips will remain soundless. “One of the things we’re trying to do is making it impossible to create bad content. Without parameters, people make all kinds of stuff… What we are doing on the audio front is to create more environmental sound – themeing, music, designing an experience.”On Being Massively Small“Our mission,” said Flemings, “is to reengage with the persistent snags of day-to-day Web use. We approach fairly contained, verticalized problems, apply a creative approach, and launch a massively small, feature-ful product to solve it.”So, what problems are the Particle apps designed to solve?Crusher addresses the problem of how to have a cool party. Pop is a tool for cool-hunting. Robo.to, which began as Smirk, attempts to solve the issue of the static user avatar.And there’s a new app in the works: Uooo. The name, said Flemings, “is based on the sound you make when you see something you ought to be capturing.” Like Robo.to, Uooo will present short-form video for the social web. Unlike Robo.to, Uooo will encourage users to point their cameras at the world around them rather than simply recording themselves. It will launch initially as a Robo.to feature.Particle is trying to perfect the most concise expressions of the social web, a concept that’s been ragingly popular ever since Twitter made tiny sexy and bloated networks began hemorrhaging users. The apps are small and lightweight enough for mobile browsers. The designs are compact. Even the product names are tiny and – dare we say it? – intentionally cute. But can these single-function, “massively small” products generate the massively large user base to generate revenue, and how do Flemings et al. intend to capitalize on their microapp suite?On Finding Users and Making MoneyBack at Robo.to’s launch, we wrote:Then there are the apps that, while nifty, don’t have the power to become a continent or an island because they can’t consistently draw users back. They become digital jetsam, and adoption declines after initial rounds of publicity are over.We’re not damning Robo.to to this particular fate, but we want to know: Why will we return to Robo.to and continue to upload content? What will remind us? Is returning even necessary? Has the Particle team succeeded in creating an app so tiny it’s virtually invisible?And without consistent user traffic prompted by that sticky, infectious property the best new apps have (hel-lo, Twitter!), how will Particle have the leverage to generate revenue?In the weeks between Robo.to’s rather quiet launch and our phone conversation with Flemings, we were told that the app’s user base had doubled and hundreds of video clips were being uploaded each hour.What Flemings could not share was specifics on exactly how many users the site has or how his team plans to monetize the app suite.“Robo.to is a new product,” he said. “It is a social serivce, the key focus is providing utulity and benefit and growing a community of users. Particle has products with much nearer term revenue propositions… Social products unlock their revenue potential at scale. There are certainly very strong ideas, but we’re not publicly talking about those.”Flemings’ purposely vague response left us disconcerted. We’ve been promised “revolutionary” approaches to social media monetization in the past, only to be confronted with freemium models, white-labeled apps, and endless streams of ads, none of which strike us as remotely innovative. Whatever these “strong ideas” happen to be, and however many users Particle needs to acheive their revenue-generating critical mass, we hope the results leave both users and Mr. Timberlake satisfied. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Microapp#start center_img jolie odell Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Resource Discovery| Caregiver Self-Care Activity Book

first_imgBy: Bari Sobelson MS, LMFT & Hannah Hyde, M.Ed.We can’t talk enough about the importance of self-care. We also can’t talk enough about the importance of resources! VA Caregiver Support offers training, educational resources, and many other tools to assist and support caregivers in their important role in the health and well-being of Veterans.We found the Caregiver Self-Care Activity Book which is a resource full of great self-care suggestions and tips. The following are some of our favorites…Go Outside!As John Muir eloquently put it, ” Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”  Go outside and relax for a little while! VA Caregiver Support recommends leaving your cell phone inside to minimize distractions.Stretch AwayAccording to VA Caregiver Support, “stretching increases flexibility, range of motion, and energy levels. It reduces muscle tension, and provides relaxation and stress relief.” Not sure how to get started stretching for self-care? This section provides a list of stretches that you can do any place, any time!Create a Mindfulness Glitter JarIf you like to get your creative juices flowing, this is a great activity for you! Here you can find how to make a glitter jar and the ways in which this jar can be helpful for you through creating a clearer mind and focused breathing.Make friends and improve your social lifeThe Mayo Clinic contends that friendships can enrich your life and improve your health in a number of ways. Here you will find a detailed list of ways in which you can make friends and improve your social life!Walk down memory lane“Reflecting back on a happy or joyful time is powerful. It can ignite gratitude, hope, and remind you of your strengths.”  VA Caregiver Support suggests an activity to help reflect back on good times.LaughWho doesn’t love a good laugh? Take a look at the different things you can do to get that silly bone working! If you like a good corny joke check out their list!Comfort StoneHave you ever heard of a Comfort Stone? Learn more about what it is and how to use it in this section of the activity book.Journaling“Journaling is a creative and therapeutic activity that you can do for yourself anywhere, anytime. You can explore your innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences.”  In this section, you are provided with some ideas to get your ideas flowing for journaling on your own.Prepare Yourself for Sweet DreamsAccording to NIH, “sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” This activity book provides things you can do to prepare for a good night’s sleep!Interested in further exploration of this resource?You can check out this resource from VA Caregiving Support at Caregiver Self-Care Activity Book.  We suggest you look at all of their recommended activities in detail if you are looking for ways to increase your self-care.Written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT of the MFLN Family Development Team and Hannah Hyde, M.Ed., of the MFLN Military Caregiving Team.last_img read more

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli graces the cover of Men’s Health magazine

first_imgUnmukt Chand is lucky. The skipper of the India U-19 team has become a national phenomenon overnight after his team’s World Cup win in Townsville. This is in stark contrast to 2008. Despite trouncing South Africa in the World Cup final in Malaysia, the country’s U-19 squad led by an enthusiastic Virat Kohli did not make it to the front pages of national dailies.However, the world’s largest men’s magazine Men’s Health saw the potential in these young boys and picked out Kohli and Pradeep Sangwan for their first-ever fashion shoot.Says Kohli, who has comfortably slipped into the shoes of Team India’s go-to man and become the vice-captain of its ODI squad, “We were starstruck teenagers then(in 2008). Though I was a tad nervous, we thoroughly enjoyed the shoot. In hindsight, that episode with MH eased me into the limelight.”The accompanying story throws up the question: how does a simple boy from West Delhi take to the limelight? The answer: like a fish does to water.Kohli, who features on the cover of Men’s Health’s bi-annual 15-page Guide to Style section in the September 2012 issue, discusses how men can make small tweaks in their dressing to turn heads, without ever crossing the line of masculinity or audacity. “A fit body gives you confidence,” he says.”And there’s nothing more impressive than a great attitude, which you can wear on your sleeve. But you’ll have to remember the difference between being rude and being confident,” Kohli adds.Jamal Shaikh, the editorial director of Men’s Health, says, “This is Kohli’s third shoot with Men’s Health India in four years, though this is the first time he’s gracing the cover.advertisementWe’re a real man’s magazine, and Virat’s success story and sense of style are very achievable for the common Indian youngster. That’s what makes him an even bigger star in our eyes.”last_img read more

Maria Sharapova has paid the time she had to pay for doping offence: Arantxa Sanchez to India Today

first_imgAt 45, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario still looks as fit as a rookie 17-year-old girl hustling around at Roland Garros, where she inflicted one of the biggest tennis upsets back in 1989.Steffi Graf, who could do nothing wrong those days, was on a roll and was unbeaten in the last four Grand Slams, before she ran into Sanchez. Rest, as they say, is history as the Barcelona girl became the youngest women’s singles player to lift the French Open title, defeating Graf in a hard-fought final.That day, Sanchez fought hard for a dream, which still remains the closest thing to her heart, and that is what she preaches to youngsters as well.It was a healthy rivalry those days with players like Graf, Sanchez, Monica Seles and even Martina Navratilova battling around against each other. Even today, there’s no dearth of talent in the women’s tennis, but American Serena Williams has made a place of her own.Maria Sharapova, probably, comes closest to Serena, but the doping ban she endured, took her away from the game for a 15 months. Sharapova will make her first appearance at the Stuttgart Open next week where she has been handed a wild card. That move has rubbed some big names in the women’s tennis the wrong way. Many feel Sharapova should go through the qualifiers and shouldn’t get an automatic entry into the main draw.But Sanchez has backed the former Russian World No.1 and says Sharapova has served the punishment for her anti-doping rule violation.advertisement”There will be a difference of opinion on this issue. But I think she has already paid the time she had to pay for the doping offence. She will be playing her first tournament at the Stuttgart Open after serving her doping ban. It will be interesting to see how she comes back, so that’s what we need to look at,” Sanchez, who is in the Capital to promote the Rendezvous Roland Garros wild-card tournament, told India Today.Sancehz, nicknamed ‘Barcelona Bumblebee’, always relished the opportunity to play at the clay courts of Roland Garros. Three of her four Major titles came at the French Open, which has been ruled by another Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, over the years. But lately, Rafa has been losing his grip.Sanchez also had a game very similar to Rafa as both relied on their ability to retrieve virtually everything from the baseline. So can Rafa win one more at the French Open?”I think both of us had one common thing. It was and is our determination and ability to never give up, whatever the situation may be. We always fight till the end and have the ability to turn things around. Rafa has been playing well and he came early to play at clay this season. He is looking good and surely, to win his 10th French Open title. Definitely, great signs for him,” reckons Sanchez.  Sanchez also feels in the coming days, Czech Karolina Pliskova will be the player to beat in the women’s tennis, although the Spaniard still believes a fit Serena will be a difficult nut to crack.”Serena has been very dominant and has the motivation to keep winning these Grand Slams. When she is playing, she is always the favourite but when she is not, it opens the door for others. As long as she is healthy she will play. Last year it was Angelique Kerber, and this year, it could well be Karolina Pliskova. she is very good and could well be the next World No. 1 after these two.”last_img read more

4 days agoFIGC president Gravina has message for Totti – and Juventus pair

first_imgFIGC president Gravina has message for Totti – and Juventus pairby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFIGC president Gabriele Gravina has sent a message to Roma icon Francesco Totti.The Italian great is currently out of football since quitting a desk job with the Giallorossi at the end of last season.Gravina told Le Repubblica: “Totti? I spoke with him three times. My intention is to include him in the training of young people. “But he must study to be a director.”Gravina also stated two Juventus players were in his plans.He added: “I heard from (Gigi) Buffon, I see him as a great coach in the future. And then I think of (Giorgio) Chiellini.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

2018/19 Financial Year Officially Begins Today

first_imgThe 2018/19 Financial Year officially begins today (April 1), with the Government projecting to spend $773.6 billion for the year.When former Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, tabled the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure in the House of Representatives in the afternoon on Thursday, February 15, the document outlined that the Government expects to spend $560 billion for Recurrent (house-keeping) expenses and $213.6 billion on Capital (development) projects for the year.Before the tabling of the Estimates, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, delivered the Throne Speech, outlining the programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government during the year.The fight against crime remains a major national priority, with the Government committing additional resources and support to the security forces for the 2018/19 fiscal year.The Governor-General noted that organised crime, along with the violence and homicide it produces, is the biggest threat to citizens’ security and continues to stymie the growth and prosperity of the country.He said the Administration will be seeking approval for a number of legislative measures designed to improve crime-fighting efforts and better enable law-enforcement agencies to interdict criminals.These include the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, Finger Prints(Amendment) Act, Firearms (Amendment) Act, Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, Parole (Amendment) Act, and The Justice Protection(Amendment) Bill.In addition to the legislative measures, the Government will continue to focus on strengthening its administrative and technological capabilities, crime-prevention and community safety measures, and rehabilitation and redemption.The justice system will also be given special attention in order to reduce the backlog of cases and improve efficiency and effectiveness.The Governor-General said the Government has committed to enabling growth and national development through a sound and predictable macro-economic policy framework that maintains low inflation, a stable exchange rate and competitive interest rates; and improving revenue administration by creating a simple, equitable andcompetitive tax environment to enhance growth and ensure greater compliance.Other areas of focus highlighted in the Throne Speech include programmes to rehabilitate and make new investments in critical health infrastructure; accelerating construction of affordable housing and providing greater access to funding; construction and maintenance of water and irrigation systems; commencement and completion of road projects to ease congestion and improve road safety and security; and scaling up progammes to reach more unattached youth.Social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation.Included are programmes for youth employment, poor relief, children’s homes and places of safety, school feeding, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.Special attention will be placed on the Programme of Advancment Through Health and Education (PATH), which targets some of the most vulnerable segments of the population – children and students aged zero to 19 years; the adult poor, including the disabled, elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers and the destitute Measures to establish a National Identification System (NIDS) will be advanced with the National Identification and Registration Authority Regulations to be developed and tabled in the House by September 2018.Work will continue to digitise the records of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD); develop processes to link the records of births and deaths to prevent identity theft; commence transformation of the RGD into the National Identification and Registration Authority; and establish a National Address Database, which will indicatewhere all parcels of land are located within the island in order to support the enrolment of persons in the NIDS.The Government will embark on an aggressive legislative agenda to support its strategic priorities to ensure food security, sustainable use of agricultural land and fisheries resources, and facilitate an enabling local business environment.Fire stations will be constructed in Montego Bay, Port Maria and Yallahs, two drop-in centres in Trelawny and St. Thomas, and homes built for indigent persons.Additional garbage trucks will also be purchased.The Government will be putting measures in place to increase protection of women and girls with the tabling of the Sexual Harassment Bill this year.The proposed Gender Advisory Council is also to be established.Work will begin to build out entertainment zones in Fort Charles and Fort Rocky, Port Royal; Seville, St. Ann; and Westmoreland and St. Catherine.The necessary legislative work and amendments to the various laws regulating entertainment will alsobe done in parallel.As it relates to education, five new schools are to be constructed, while money is to be provided from the e-learning budget to assist in the sustainability of information and communications technology (ICT) in schools from the early-childhood to secondary levels.The support programme for children zero to three years will be given focus, and the Early Childhood Rationalisation programme continued.When Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made his contribution to the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House on March 20, he emphasised that achieving economic growth and curbing crime remain national priorities.Mr. Holness said the Administration is taking positive action in securing the nation’s prosperity, through effective stewardship reflected in delivering jobs and housing and undertaking infrastructural development.The Prime Minister argued that if Jamaica is to grow and develop into the desired inclusive, nurturing and caring society, Government spending will have to be “reprioritised towards critical growth areas, infrastructure spending and poverty alleviation.”last_img read more

Saskatchewans climatechange plan includes buying carbon offsets no carbon tax

first_imgREGINA – The Saskatchewan government has introduced a climate-change strategy that inches toward a price on carbon emissions, but leaves large parts of its economy untouched.And it doesn’t include a carbon tax, which Environment Minister Dustin Duncan was happy to point out Monday.“I believe it will achieve as much, if not more than, a carbon tax ever would,” Duncan said after introducing the plan.It calls for performance standards on facilities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes annually of carbon dioxide equivalent. Facilities that exceed their limit will have to pay.They will be able to buy carbon offsets from farmers or foresters, a carbon credit from another company with emissions under its allotment or pay into a provincial fund.The standards are to be developed next year, Duncan said.“We want to see the economy continue to grow and, for some industries, that means that their emissions will grow. It’s not a cap-and-trade program where we’re capping absolutely the amount of emissions.”Duncan said standards will recognize investments companies have already made to reduce their emissions, something the energy industry has been lobbying for.The document contains no goals or targets and doesn’t include estimates of how much greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced. There is an undated pledge to have SaskPower, a Crown-owned utility, generate half its electricity from renewables.“They’re going to great pains to say they’re not doing carbon pricing and then implementing a policy which, everywhere else it’s implemented, is called carbon pricing,” said University of Alberta energy economist Andrew Leach.The biggest hole in Saskatchewan’s plan is its limited scope, said Leach.“They’re not touching their transportation, home heating, commercial and industrial energy use at all with this policy.”Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec all have more inclusive plans, he said.Leach also noted the government hasn’t specified how high the emissions standards will be. Too high, he said, and carbon becomes worthless and few emissions will be cut.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the plan is a good step toward carbon pricing.“Saskatchewan’s new plan proposes a performance standard for heavy industry that includes a carbon market. Momentum for carbon pricing is growing.”But she said it will have to be wider to satisfy Ottawa.“Based on what’s in today’s plan, Saskatchewan’s price likely wouldn’t hit our standard, because it applies only to heavy industry instead of being economy-wide.”Brad Herald of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers welcomed Saskatchewan’s plan.“There’s a great range of compliance options for us there.”He declined to say whether Saskatchewan’s plan is more favourable to industry than Alberta’s, which includes a carbon tax.“Both are legitimate,” he said.The Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan also praised the plan. It leaves agriculture, the source of about one-quarter of the province’s emissions, largely exempt.“We also strongly reject the imposition of a carbon tax on our sector,” said association president Todd Lewis.Erin Flanagan of the Pembina Institute, a clean energy think-tank, said Saskatchewan’s plan is an improvement over previous positions.“It’s still not a credible approach to climate change,” she said. “They are last to the party, but it’s good they are moving forward with some pieces of an approach.”Flanagan said it’s tough to know how much difference the plan will make.“The fact they haven’t said what these (carbon) prices will be makes it difficult to know what kind of impact this is going to have. Saskatchewan doesn’t have an economy-wide (reduction) target.Saskatchewan has remained opposed to the federal government’s insistence that all provinces must have a price on carbon in place by 2018.Duncan said Monday’s plan doesn’t change that.“We’re prepared to defend our position. If that means go to court, so be it.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow him on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

Correction Zodiac KillerDNA story

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – In a story May 3 about the Zodiac Killer investigation, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the killer was dubbed Zodiac because of astrological symbols he included in letters sent to police and media. The killer referred to himself as Zodiac in the letters.A corrected version of the story is below:DNA match sought to Zodiac Killer after break in other caseCalifornia detectives want to use DNA tracing technology to try to zero in on the infamous Zodiac Killer after investigators used the method to arrest a suspect in another old serial killing caseNorthern California detectives still trying to identify the infamous Zodiac Killer who targeted victims in the late 1960s and taunted investigators with letters say they hope to try the same DNA tracing technology recently used to arrest a suspect in another string of cold-case serial slayings — those blamed on the Golden State Killer.But first they have to get a better DNA profile.Several months ago, the Vallejo Police Department sent two letters written by the Zodiac Killer to a private lab in hopes of finding his DNA on the back of the stamps or envelope flaps that may have been licked. They are expecting results soon.“They were confident they would be able to get something off it,” Vallejo police Detective Terry Poyser told the Sacramento Bee.Poyser said he hopes a full DNA profile will be found that will enable detectives to try the same DNA sleuthing techniques that were used to arrest Joseph DeAngelo last month. Authorities suspect he committed at least 12 murders and 50 rapes in California between 1976 and 1986.Investigators uploaded DNA collected at one of the crime scenes to an open-source genealogical website and found a partial match to a distant relative of DeAngelo’s. From there, they painstakingly constructed a family tree dating back several generations before they zeroed in on DeAngelo.Some privacy advocates say they are concerned with the process and worry about future abuses, but detectives investigating the Zodiac Killer say they hope the technique will help solve one of the most vexing cold cases in the country.“That’s a great idea,” said Gary Harmor, founder and director of the Serological Research Institute, a private DNA lab. “I think we’ll see more investigations use this technique.”Detectives in Southern California are testing DNA collected from a double-murder and rape to see if they can be tied to DeAngelo. Another man, Craig Coley, was recently cleared of those crimes after spending 38 years in prison in the murder of a 24-year-old college student and her 4-year-old son in 1978.The Zodiac Killer fatally stabbed or shot to death five people in Northern California in 1968 and 1969, then sent taunting letters and cryptograms to the police and newspapers. The Vallejo police are the lead investigators because the first two victims were killed there.The killer referred to himself as Zodiac in some of the letters.Various pieces of evidence, including a rope used to tie a victim as well as the letters, have been tested unsuccessfully for the killer’s DNA profile. Poyser said recent advances in DNA testing prompted investigators to seek a match on two of the killer’s letters.Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said the samples were sent to the lab as a matter of routine. Sampayan, a former homicide detective, said police submit samples every couple of years in hopes that advances in DNA testing will finally yield a profile detectives can use.“It was coincidental,” Sampayan said of the new DNA test occurring at the same time as the breakthrough in the Golden State Killer case.“There will come a time when we get a match,” he said.The 2007 movie “Zodiac,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., renewed widespread interest in a case that has always had a cult following of amateur detectives and cryptographers who sought to crack the killer’s code.One of those amateur sleuths, Tom Voigt, said the key to solving the Zodiac killings is mimicking the Golden State Killer investigation, which included forming a full-time task force dedicated to the case and exploiting publicly accessible DNA databases.Voigt said the Zodiac case was being investigated part time by a Police Department in a city that filed for municipal bankruptcy.“There’s a formula to follow,” Voigt said. “And it’s to simply copy what happened to the Golden State Killer.”last_img read more

Jhargram Police launch Lakhyabhed to help students with competitive exams

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to provide a platform for students to perform well in the competitive examinations and gain employment, the Jhargram District Police has launched a new project named ‘Lakhyabhed’.The project that was officially launched on February 1 already has 150 students getting free coaching for preparation of different competitive examinations like West Bengal Civil Services, Public Service Commission, Railways, Staff Selection Commission and others. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe project, a brainchild of Superintendent of Police, Jhargram, Arijit Sinha, is a holistic approach to help aspiring students achieve their dreams of civil service and ensure employment for them. “Apart from free training we will be providing information of all competitive examinations, their syllabi, assist the candidates in filling up forms and provide logistics arrangement to take candidates to their respective examination centres. All the services will be provided free of cost,” said Kunwar Bhusan, Additional SP (Operations), Jhargram, who is the nodal officer of the project. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaClasses are held thrice a week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at two separate centres – Binpur police station and Jhargram Raj College. The duration of the training will be six months. The selection of students was done police station wise, through a written screening test that was held on January 15 at two centres in the district. 20 students who had performed very well during the screening, were handed over competitive examination books, bags and other equipment needed for their examination, free of cost. “The entire cost of running the project is being borne from the community policing fund allocated by the state government,” a senior police officer in the district said. The senior police official said that anyone interested to teach or guide the students is welcome in the Lakhyabhed initiative. At present, senior police officials in the district and faculties from various institutions in the district are taking classes on the basis of their specialisation in subjects. “There is no fixed duration of the classes that vary from one hour to three hours, depending on the work schedule of the faculties,” the official added.last_img read more

Virtual SIMs used in Pulwama terror attack India to seek US help

first_imgSrinagar: A request would be sent to the US to seek details from a service provider of “virtual SIMs”, which were used by the JeM suicide bomber behind the Pulwama attack and his Pakistan and Kashmir-based handlers, officials said.Piecing together probe from the site of the terror strike, searches carried out by the Jammu and Kashmir police and central security agencies at an encounter site in Tral as well as other locations, it was found that the bomber, Adil Dar, was in constant touch with the JeM across the border, they said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The main mastermind of the audacious attack, Mudassir Khan, was killed in the encounter in Tral. Forty CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 when Dar rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a paramilitary force bus at Pulwama in South Kashmir. India retaliated after the strike by bombing the Jaish terror group’s hideout in Balakot in Pakistan. It was a fairly new modus operandi where terrorists across the border were using a “virtual SIM”, generated by a service provider in the United States. In this technology, the computer generates a telephone number and the user downloads an application of the service provider on their smartphone. The number is linked to social networking sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram or Twitter. The verification code generated by these networking sites is received on the smartphone and the user is ready. In case of Pulwama, Dar was in constant touch with the Jaish handler as well as Mudassir Khan using the same technology, the officials said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThey said the numbers used were pre-fixed with “+1”, the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) number used for the United States. The request to the US will include details of phone numbers that got in touch with the “Virtual SIM” and who had activated it, they said, adding that Internet Protocol addresses would also be sought. While the security agencies would attempt to find who had paid for the virtual SIM, they were also aware that the terror groups used forged identities, as was done during the the Mumbai 26/11 terror strikes. During investigation of the 26/11 attacks it was found that an amount of USD 229 was wired to Callphonex, via Western Union Money Transfer receipt number 8364307716-0, for activating the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) used during the strikes.last_img read more