SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A Shia scholar and an activist of the Awami National Party were among three people gunned down in the city, police said on Friday.
Seventy-year-old Allama Ghazanfar Ali was shot dead in the afternoon in Turi Bangash Colony, Nazimabad.
SSP Central Amir Farooqi said Ali, the prayer leader at the Noor-e-Aman Masjid located in Nazimabad No 1, was heading towards the mosque for Friday prayers when two men riding a motorcycle shot him four times - twice in the head - using 9mm pistols.
Ali was pronounced dead at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
The police official said the murder appeared to be sectarian in nature. Ali’s funeral prayer was offered at the Rizvia Imambargah, where many members of the Shia community staged a protest and demanded the arrest of the killers.
The scholar’s body was later sent to his home city, Peshawar.
ANP man killed
An ANP activist was murdered near Jamshed Petrol Pump in MPR Colony, Peerabad.
SHO Abdul Moeed said 50-year-old Bismillah Jan, who owned a shop in Light House, Saddar, was shot by two men riding a motorcycle near his home.
Jan died during treatment at the Civil Hospital. The SHO said Jan had suffered two bullet wounds. The attackers used a 9mm pistol.
ANP leaders and activists staged a protest in Peerabad and demanded the arrest of the attackers.
Murder in Bin Qasim
A man was shot dead and another injured in an attack in Pipri Sindh Goth, Bin Qasim.
Police arrested two of the assailants after an encounter.
SP Malir Jawed Ahmed Bhatti said Rashid alias Raju and Arshad were sitting at a tea stall at night when three men travelling in a car bearing registration number AEP-980 arrived there opened fire on the two men.
A police team patrolling the area in a van chased the car and after a shoot-out arrested Mobin Kakay Putu and Asif Lashari.
Their associate, Liaquat, managed to escape.
Rashid breathed his last at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
The police official said the murder appeared to be motivated by personal enmity, but further information would be revealed after interrogating the arrested men. -www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The news
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Israel has released Palestinian prisoner Ibrahim Baroud after 27 years behind bars. Baroud a prominent figure in the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine surprised the families of prisoners who were holding their weekly sit-in in front of the Red Cross Office by showing up there before going to his house.
Prisoner’s advocacy groups demanded that all Palestinian prisoners should be set free.
Baroud received a hero’s welcome in the Jabalia refugee camp where he was born and raised.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV he accused the western powers of being behind the suffering of Palestinians.
For many years his family was prevented from seeing him.
His father died three years ago while Ibrahim was in Israeli custody.
Only last year his elderly mother has managed to visit him in jail.
Statistics show that Israel arrested close to eight hundred thousand Palestinians since 1967.
Despite the release of Ibrahim Baroud after nearly three decades of incarceration, thousands of Palestinians continue to endure inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons and detention centers.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – When we think of investing, we think of money. But the biggest investment we make is our time. Every day, we choose how to allocate that resource between a range of alternatives.
“Everyone – rich or poor, young or old, male or female – has 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week,” writes Elizabeth Grace Saunders, a Michigan-based time coach, in The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment.
“The difference in whether people achieve more success with less stress comes down to how they choose to invest that time. Since time is a finite resource, by definition, using more of it for one activity decreases the amount that you have for another.”
In grappling with how to invest your time, it helps to keep your time “personality” in mind. For example, some people are planners, carefully plotting what they will be doing at specific times. Others are spontaneous, preferring to go with the flow. Some people are moderators, who can only do a bit of one thing at a time; others are abstainers, with an all-or-nothing approach.
Finally, there are people who embrace change, happy to add five new routines at once; while others prefer to build change, like bricklayers, one element at a time. These personality types are helpful to keep in mind as you adopt new time habits.
Ms. Saunders also sets out three time “secrets” for success:
1. Own your priorities
Too often we are robbed of our time by others who choose to invest our time as they please. Co-workers schedule unnecessary meetings; we say yes to anything our boss requests, even at the cost of weekends and evenings; family members have permission to organize us as they please; and we accede to requests from volunteer organizations. Instead, Ms. Saunders says, we must clarify what is important to us and allocate time accordingly.
“I can’t overemphasize the importance of ensuring that you honestly define and ‘own’ your true priorities. If you live your life according to someone else’s definition of success, you will feel absolutely miserable no matter how much you seem to achieve,” she stresses.
Open yourself up to the possibility that you can have priorities. Ponder them, make a list, rank them. Consider the benefits you will have by acting on these priorities, such as the contentment you might feel at week’s end. She urges you to remember that while overall time capacity is static, life is dynamic. So the time invested in various priorities will fluctuate from day to day and week to week. Be careful that your top priorities are not shunted aside in the ebb and flow of your days.
2. Set realistic expectations
Too often we don’t acknowledge the reality of our situation, assuming we can get out of the house quicker in the morning than we have for the past six months, or imagining we will finish a project in half the time it really takes. Instead of learning from reality, we avoid facing the truth, and assume everything will be smoother next time. The result is that we are perennially flailing away, unable to complete our work.
Ms. Saunders tells her clients to follow an approach she calls INO, in which they decide whether an activity fits into one of three categories: investment, neutral, or optimize.
Investment activities produce a higher rate of return when you invest more time in them, so if they are part of your personal priorities you will want to maximize the time you spend in them. Neutral activities (such as exercising or doing paid-by-the-hour work) provide a return that correlates with the amount of time invested; you don’t want to minimize the time put into it but you also must be wary about over-indulging. Optimize activities don’t produce any greater value when you invest more time in them, so the faster you complete them, the better.
3. Strengthen simple routines
Getting through life will be easier and more productive when you develop habits that can take you productively through the day. Ms. Saunders has a series of habits to make best use of her early morning hours, including meditating and exercising. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., is known for her habit of leaving work at 5:30 p.m. (unlike many executives who aim to go home at a reasonable hour but always delay to squeeze in more work).
Routines require deliberate practice, and can be draining at first. But they will give you a sense of control, Ms. Saunders counsels, and help you to gain momentum on big projects. You will also find yourself better able to handle requests for your time.
The book devotes nearly 60 pages to outlining sample step-by-step routines you might follow for planning, dealing with e-mail, managing meetings, and handling relationships. It also provides guidance on how to use others to keep yourself accountable for achieving your priorities. I found the book a bit slow to get into, and meandering at times, but it does offer many useful ideas.
In Where Winners Live (Jossey-Bass, 226 pages, $30.95) Dave Porter, CEO of a financial services firm, and consultant Linda Galindo, argue that the secret weapon for sales staff is personal accountability.
The Startup Playbook (Chronicle Books, 290 pages, $34.99) by David Kidder offers advice from a legion of successful tech companies.
Can’t Buy Me Like (Portfolio, 229 pages, $27.50) by Bob Garfield, co-host of National Public Radio’s On the Media show, and creative agency head Doug Levy, explore how marketers must deliver authentic customer connections.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: The Globe And mail
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – While we've seen more than a few flexible batteries in our day, they're not usually that great at withstanding tugs and pulls. A team-up between Northwestern University and the University of Illinois could give lithium-ion batteries that extreme elasticity with few of the drawbacks you'd expect. To make a stretchable battery that still maintains a typical density, researchers built electrode interconnects from serpentine metal wires that have even more wavy wires inside; the wires don't require much space in normal use, but will unfurl in an ordered sequence as they're pulled to their limits. The result is a prototype battery that can expand to three times its normal size, but can still last for eight to nine hours. It could also charge wirelessly, and thus would be wearable under the skin as well as over -- imagine fully powered implants where an external battery is impractical or unsightly. There's no word yet on whether there will be refined versions coming to real-world products, but we hope any developments arrive quickly enough to give stretchable electronics a viable power source.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The makers of Willow glass, a flexible material expected to be used in the Apple iWatch, said that their product is not ready for use in such a complex design.
Apple supplier Corning - developer of the glass, which can be made in a roll similar to newsprint - said the technology should be in use on simple products within a year, but not for anything as complicated as a wearable smartphone.
"People are not accustomed to glass you roll up," Corning boss James Clappin told Bloomberg.
"The ability of people to take is and use it to make a product is limited."
This would seem to go against leaks which previously suggested the iWatch was an advanced stage of development and not far off heading into production.
Last month, unnamed insiders were cited as saying that a team of 100 Apple staff - headed by senior executives - had been assembled to work on the product, implying that the iWatch was “beyond the experimentation phase”.
Apple’s senior director of engineering, James Foster, and another manager are part of the iWatch team, also according to Bloomberg.
Earlier last month, The New York Times, citing "people familiar with the company’s explorations", reported that the iWatch design would let the watch link wirelessly to the iPhone and allow wearers to easily access some of the features of the smartphone.
An Apple watch could be used to make mobile payments, for navigation, to access messages from the wearer's phone or to monitor health and activity, the newspaper speculated. It would run iOS, the same mobile operating system as the iPhone and iPad, the report said.
Separately, The Wall Street Journal reported that Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing contractor, had discussed technologies that could address some of the technical challenges of such a device. In particular it had concentrated on making more efficient displays and chips, which could allow a smart watch to run for longer without recharging, the report said.
Speculation about the device has led to numerous mock-ups of how the iWatch might look.
The latest reports follow rumours that emerged from China late last year.
Local technology blogs claimed Apple was building “a device using Intel chips and new low-power Bluetooth technology”.
A 1.5-inch touchscreen or Apple's voice assistant Siri would be used to control the phone, the blogs said.
Apple and Foxconn declined to comment.
Apple already makes money from wearable computing thanks to third party accessories. Device's such as Nike's FuelBand and Jawbone Up are worn on the wrist and transmit data on daily activity to the iPhone via Bluetooth. Tim Cook has been spotted recently wearing a FuelBand.
Google has meanwhile already confirmed it plans to get into the wearable computing market. Google Glass, its augmented reality spectacles, are already in public testing.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: The Telegraph
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Google’s self-driving cars have been in testing since early 2011, although it experienced its first accident a few months later. Regardless of that, and we’re sure many more undocumented hiccups, Google feels its self-driving cars are improving steadily and expects them to be ready in three to five years.
Product manager of autonomous driving Anthony Levandowski recently spoke at a Society for Automotive Engineers conference, where he revealed Google’s plans to release its self-driving technology in the next three to five years. He also informed those attending the talk “what form it gets released is still to be determined” as a number of legal issues stand in the way for autonomous vehicles to be made available to the public.
As of right now, only California, Florida and Nevada allow for Google’s self-driving vehicles to be driven on roadways. The reason for their acceptance though is purely for testing purposes as a human driver needs to be present while it’s being driven. We’re not sure why an unmanned self-driving car would be needed, but maybe we’re just not thinking outside of the box.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Scientists may be a step closer to cracking one of the world’s most compelling mysteries: the impossible complexity of the brain and its billions of neurons. Cornell researchers have demonstrated a new way of taking high-resolution, three-dimensional images of the brain’s inner workings through a three-fold improvement in the depth limits of multiphoton microscopy, a fluorescence-based imaging technique with Cornell roots.
Publishing Photonics Jan. 20, senior author Chris Xu, associate professor of applied and engineering physics, and colleagues have demonstrated high-resolution, 3-D imaging of the subcortical region of a live, intact mouse brain.
They have broken the fundamental depth limit of standard two-photon microscopy, which is a widely used imaging technology invented in 1990 by Watt Webb and Winfried Denk at Cornell. Xu and Webb demonstrated three-photon fluorescence imaging while Xu was a graduate student in Webb’s lab in 1995, but its advantages were not fully recognized then, Xu said.
The new paper describes three-photon fluorescence, combined with a longer excitation wavelength of the laser pulse, to overcome such obstacles as tissue scattering and absorption, which prohibit high-resolution imaging deep within biological tissues. The new paper shows that three-photon microscopy is a much better technology in the context of deep tissue imaging, making multiphoton fluorescence microscopy truly "multiphoton."
Using a mouse model, the researchers have proved the principle of three-photon microscopy operating at a wavelength of 1,700 nanometers. This, in combination with the new laser specifically created for three-photon excitation, allows the researchers to perform high-resolution imaging of neurons at unprecedented depths within a mouse brain.
Pushing these depth limits is important for basic science and eventually could prove useful clinically, Xu said. Depression and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are associated with changes deep inside the brain, and finding the cures could be helped by subcortical neural imaging -- that is, below the gray matter of the brain and into the white matter and beyond, if the brain is visualized as stacked layers.
"Brain mapping could be the so-called grand challenge within the next decade," Xu said. "With MRI, we can see the whole brain but not with the resolution we have demonstrated. The optical resolution is about 100 to 1,000 times higher and allows us to clearly visualize individual neurons."
In the mouse model, the researchers used dyes and transgenic mice to test their multiphoton microscope on different fluorescent signals and prove their concept. If three-photon microscopy can be used to map the entire mouse brain, it could ultimately help shed light on the functions of human brains and pave the way to breakthroughs in neuroscience and other clinically relevant areas, Xu said.
The paper’s first authors are graduate students Nicholas Horton and Demirhan Kobat and research associate Ke Wang, and includes contributions from the labs of Frank Wise, professor of applied and engineering physics, who helped with the laser optics; and Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering, who taught the applied physicists how to do in vivo mouse brain imaging.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: My Science
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Explosions and gunfire have been heard at a joint US-Afghan base as the Taliban claimed to have carried out an assault against the base in the Afghan city of Jalalabad. Three Afghan guards were killed in the violence.
Several foreign troops have also been reported wounded in the assault.
Afghan officials confirm that the military base has been attacked in the east of country and fighting has lasted for hours, AP reports.
Helicopters were firing at the military base, aiming at what appeared to be a militant gunman inside the compound as blasts were heard inside, Afghan officials stated.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack via email sent to reporters.
Also, at least five bodies in Afghan army uniform were seen at the scene, an Afghan official told AFP, but it remains unclear if those were troops or attackers.
The attack comes days after senior US officials said that 10,000 troops were to stay in Afghanistan past the 2014 exodus deadline.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — By now you’re probably familiar with Humble Bundles. The short version of the story is that they’re bundles of digital goods which are sold for at least one cent, but at a “pay what you want” scheme. The money is then divvied between the creators, the Humble groups and charitable organizations. The latest of these, The Humble eBook Bundle, has just crossed $1 million in sales and still has three days left until the close of the deal.
This particular bundle is notable because it includes works by some favorites of Internet culture, including Neil Gaiman, xkcd and Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow. With a starting price tag of just $13.84, purchasers have gotten their hands onto 8 books. Going even one cent above that mark unlocks five more.
The Humble eBook Bundle’s chosen charities are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Child’s Play Charity and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
So even if your weekend reading list is already full up, do some good and grab some great works. For the cost of two cups of coffee you could have weeks of great reading while supporting worthwhile causes.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The Next Web
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Three new studies published in the United States this weekend reaffirm a link between sweet soda and fruit drinks to an epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the US.
Consumption of these drinks has more than doubled since the 1970s, and the rate of obesity among Americans during the same period reached 30% of the adult population, said the authors of a study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The first study, which involved more than 33,000 American men and women, showed that drinking sugary drinks was affecting genes that regulate weight and increased the genetic predisposition of a person to gain weight.
The researchers used 32 variations of genes known to affect the weight to establish a genetic profile of the participants. They also determined the participants' eating habits, their consumption of sweetened beverages and exercise practices.
The other two studies showed that giving to children and adolescents calorie-free drinks like mineral water or soft drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners resulted in weight loss.
The first was conducted at Children's Hospital Boston, which examined 224 overweight adolescents who were encouraged to consume water or light sodas for a year.
These teens gained only 0.68 kilograms of weight during this period compared to 1.5 kilograms in another group that consumed sugary drinks.
Yet another study was conducted by researchers at the VU University Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and involved 641 children aged 4 to 11.
Half of the group drank sweet and fruity drinks while the other half the same drinks with sugarless sweeteners.
After 18 months, children who consumed the low-calorie drinks gained 6.39 kilograms on average compared to 7.36 kilograms in the group that drank sugary fruit drinks.
"Taken together, these three studies suggest that calories from sugar-sweetened beverages do matter," said Doctor Sonia Caprio of Yale University writing in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"These randomized, controlled studies ... provide a strong impetus to develop recommendations and policy decisions to limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, especially those served at low cost and in excessive portions, to attempt to reverse the increase in childhood obesity," she added.—www.shafaqna.com/English