New York

Is Instagram biased against fatter 'belfies'?

New York, May 26 - Forget selfies as the war has now moved to “belfies”. The online photo-video sharing website Instagram has recently been accused of censoring plump, underwear-clad bottom while continuing to allow skinnier, skimpier clothed bodies to appear.

A Californian musician and video blogger Meghan Tonjes who posted pictures of her body on Instagram as part of her story of her weight loss, accused Instagram of double standards.

She posted her “belfie” in black underwear but Instagram told her the picture breached community guidelines including its nudity and “mature content” clause and removed her photo.

The company later restored the photo following criticism on social media and apologised to Tonjes, Daily Life reported.


Meet the living dragon at NY zoo

Meet the living dragon at NY zooNew York, May 25 : Having a date with the world's largest lizard on earth has just become a possibility.

Komodo dragons, known for their size and deadly bite, are now on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York after more than 50 years. The last Komodo dragon at the Bronx Zoo died in 1959.

At five-foot long and about 13.6 kg each, the three Komodos are still relatively small but will grow much bigger.

Male Komodos can grow to nine-foot long and 136 kg, the New York Times reported.

The dragons eat large animals, including deer, pigs and even water buffaloes. They are, however, fed rats and mice at the zoo.


How bats fine-tune flight with tiny muscles

How bats fine-tune flight with tiny musclesNew York, May 24 : Bats are the only mammals to have developed the capacity to fly and to find their prey. They can maneuvre flight in difficult environment in ways that birds cannot.

Researchers have now discovered that the synchronised acts of their tiny muscles can help bats fine tune their flight.

Birds and insects have stiff wings, but bats employ a network of nearly hair-thin muscles embedded in the membrane of their inherently floppy wing skin to adjust the wings’ stiffness and curvature while they fly, the study said.


Sikh group appeals dismissal of 1984 case against Congress

Sikh group appeals dismissal of 1984 case against CongressNew York, May 24 - A US based Sikh group has challenged the dismissal of a rights violation case against India's Congress party relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots before the US Court of Appeals here.

Sikhs for Justice(SFJ) contends the case "touches and concerns" the US and the group has "institutional standing" to seek "declaratory judgment" on November 1984 violence against the Sikh community.

US District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet had on April 24 dismissed the lawsuit against Congress party for failure to show sufficient "touch and concern" to the US.


Ex NYT editor Jill Abramson may have been fired for hiring too many women

Ex NYT editor Jill Abramson may have been fired for hiring too many womenNew York, May 23: Jill Abramson may have been fired partly because she was systematically getting rid of male editors and replacing them with women.

According to the New York Post, when the 60-year-old author held the post of executive editor of The New York Times in August 2011, only one of the eight newsroom masthead editor jobs was held by a woman.

By January the number increased to four out of nine jobs, which further rose to five by the time she was fired recently, the report said.


Forget pizza, drone to take your dog on morning walk!

Forget pizza, drone to take your dog on morning walk!New York, May 23 : Move over pizza delivery by drones. Now, a drone can take your dog on a morning walk while you can continue with sweet dreams in bed.

Jeff Meyers, an interaction designer living in New York, has posted a video on vimeo. com where one can clearly see a drone taking his Golden Retriever dog on a walk.

Meyers hooked the dog with a drone and then monitored the walk using a camera as well as tracking the animal on a map using a GPS device, media reports said.

Although the video shows the dog having a smooth walk, the drone obviously can not help him cross the road or save him from other aggressive dogs.


Mobile banking apps a hacker's paradise

Mobile banking apps a hacker's paradiseNew York, May 23 - Love fund transfers or bill payments via mobile banking as you think two-step authentication process is secure? This may not be the case.

A mobile security expert here has shown how a banking app can be hacked using free internet tools.

To prove the point, Winston Bond from Maryland-based mobile security firm Arxan Technologies set up a dummy banking app to demonstrate how the technology can be hacked.

As he signed into the mobile app, the password was automatically revealed on the hacker's server.


Ex-Guatemala president sentenced in US for money laundering

Ex-Guatemala president sentenced in US for money launderingNew York, May 23 - Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has been sentenced here to five years and 10 months behind bars for money laundering, federal prosecutors said.

Besides the jail time ordered Thursday, Portillo will have to return the $2.5 million he accepted as a bribe from the government of Taiwan so that Guatemala would maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei. He will also have to pay a fine of up to $500,000.

Portillo was extradited to New York in May 2013 from Guatemala to face charges of conspiring to launder money he obtained illegally during his 2000-2004 mandate.


When diamonds are not a girl's best friend!

New York, May 23 - Don't buy this piece of diamond for your beloved as it has a tendency to disappear!

You read it right.

According to scientist from Rice University, some microscopic diamonds only last seconds before fading back into less-structured forms of carbon under the impact of an electron beam.

“The most 'nano' of the nanodiamonds were seen to fade away under the power of the electron beam in a succession of images taken over 30 seconds,” said Ed Billups from Rice University.

Billups and Yanqiu Sun, a former post-doctoral researcher in his lab, witnessed the interesting effect while working on ways to chemically reduce carbon from anthracite coal and make it soluble.


Swiss court rules Hitler's 'Nazi salute' not always punishable as racist ideology

Swiss court rules Hitler's 'Nazi salute' not always punishable as racist ideologyNew York, May 22 : Switzerland's Federal Tribunal has ruled that controversial "Nazi salute" won't be deemed punishable if it is a personal statement.

The court, which tried to strike a balance between free speech and discrimination, said that saluting like Hitler is still a crime if someone is trying to spread racist ideology, the New York Daily News reported.

The ruling by the Lausanne-based court overturned a lower court's conviction last year of a man, who was charged with racial discrimination, after he took part in an August 2010 demonstration with 150 participants.


Google ads on car dashboards, watches soon

Google ads on car dashboards, watches soonNew York, May 22 - Google may soon be seen on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches -- in the form of an ad!

In a latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the internet search leader has revealed its plan to show ads to generate revenue on everything from car dashboards to watches.

"Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future," the company officials were quoted as saying in Wall Street Journal.

Google's concept watch has a touchscreen and also voice control built in.


NYPD to use drones to fight crime in city

NYPD to use drones to fight crime in cityNew York, May 21 : The New York Police Department (NYPD) is reportedly planning to use drones and gunshot detectors to fight crime in the city.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has said that the unmanned machines equipped with cameras and tiny microphones could help spy on crime hotspots like housing projects, where shootings are up about 32 percent this year, New York Daily News reported.

Bratton said that he himself is supportive of the concept of drones for the police and public safety.


For Muslims, Modi will have to offer powerful balancing message, says NYT editorial

Narendra ModiNew York, May 21 - Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) prime minister-designate Narendra Modi has a historic opportunity to shape the country's future on the basis of an incoming government having the strongest mandate in the last 30 years, claims an editorial in the New York Times.

Though the editorial admits that there will be several factors that will keep that past alive and hinder the new government's ability to deliver on promises, it says that Modi is in a position to offer a powerful balancing message.


An ultrasound detector to help spot weapons

An ultrasound detector to help spot weaponsNew York, May 20 - Airport security may soon get a boost as scientists have now developed a unique terahertz detector and imaging system that could could convert light to sound.

"We convert the T-ray (terahertz radiation) light into sound," said Jay Guo, a professor at University of Michigan.

"Our detector is sensitive, compact and works at room temperature, and we have made it using an unconventional approach," Guo added.

The so-called T-rays, which are light waves too long for human eyes to see, could help airport security guards find chemical and other weapons.

They might let doctors image body tissues with less damage to healthy areas.


'Smart' lock won't let thieves steal your bike

New York, May 20 - Afraid of parking your bike in open as it might be stolen? Relax. Here comes a solar-powered 'smart' lock that alerts you if a thief tries to steal your bike.

Not just this, if would send a message to your near and dear ones if you met with an accident.

The $159 (Rs. 9,500) Skylock connects to a smart phone app via Bluetooth so owners can keep an eye on their bike wherever they are.

A built-in accelerometer can detect if the lock is being tampered with.

It then sends an alert to the company and the bike's owner via app.


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