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Indian Origin part of Team that Developed a Battery-Free Cellphone

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Cell phone without batteries
Life beyond chargers, cords and dying phone- Researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, have invented the cell phone that works without batteries. Pixabay
  • The phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light
  • An antenna connected to those components converts that motion into changes in standard analog radio signal emitted by a cellular base station
  • To receive speech, it converts encoded radio signals into sound vibrations that are picked up by the phone’s speaker

Washington, July 6, 2017: In a major leap ahead to life beyond chargers, cords and dying phones, researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, have invented the cell phone that works without batteries.

Instead, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light.

The team also made Skype calls using its battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype made of commercial, off-the-shelf components can receive and transmit speech and communicate with a base station, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.

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“We’ve built what we believe is the first functioning cell phone that consumes almost zero power,” said study co-author Shyam Gollakota, Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

“To achieve the really, really low power consumption that you need to run a phone by harvesting energy from the environment, we had to fundamentally rethink how these devices are designed,” Gollakota added.

The researchers explained that the battery-free cellphone takes advantage of tiny vibrations in a phone’s microphone or speaker that occur when a person is talking into a phone or listening to a call.

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An antenna connected to those components converts that motion into changes in standard analog radio signal emitted by a cellular base station.

This process essentially encodes speech patterns in reflected radio signals in a way that uses almost no power.

To transmit speech, the phone uses vibrations from the device’s microphone to encode speech patterns in the reflected signals.

To receive speech, it converts encoded radio signals into sound vibrations that are picked up by the phone’s speaker.

The team designed a custom base station to transmit and receive the radio signals.

In the prototype device, the user presses a button to switch between these two “transmitting” and “listening” modes.

Using off-the-shelf components on a printed circuit board, the team demonstrated that the prototype can perform basic phone functions — transmitting speech and data and receiving user input via buttons.

Using Skype, researchers were able to receive incoming calls, dial out and place callers on hold with the battery-free phone, the study said.

“The cellphone is the device we depend on most today. So if there were one device you’d want to be able to use without batteries, it is the cellphone,” said Joshua Smith, Professor at University of Washington.

“The proof of concept we’ve developed is exciting today, and we think it could impact everyday devices in the future,” Smith added. (IANS)

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JY Pillay: Indian Origin Civil Servant Appointed as the Acting President of Singapore

As CPA Chairman since 2005, Pillay has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip

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Acting President of Singapore
JY Pillay. Youtube
  • JY Pillay has been appointed as the acting President of Singapore
  • Pillay, also the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, is a veteran civil servant of Indian Origin
  • The Singapore polls take place on 23rd September

September 2, 2017: Indian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay on Friday took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month.

The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term on Thursday, the Strait Times reported.

The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23.

According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.

Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.

He has served more than 60 such “stints”– the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President SR Nathan visited Africa. (IANS)


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Indian-Origin CEO Ravin Gandhi Faces Racism in The US for Criticising Trump After Charlottesville racial violence

Ravin Gandhi posted a voicemail from an alleged Trump supporter on the social media along with the nastier emails he received

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Racism, Ravin Gandhi
Indian-Origin CEO Ravin Gandhi faces racism in the US. Pixabay
  • An Indian origin CEO says he was racially abused and was told to “go back” to India
  • He refused to defend US President Donald Trump’s economic agenda following the racial violence in Virginia
  • He said he will speak out against such abuse as long as he has a platform to do so

Washington, August 24, 2017: An Indian origin CEO says he was racially abused and was told to “go back” to India and also take along top Indian-American diplomat Nikki Haley after he refused to defend US President Donald Trump’s economic agenda following the racial violence in Virginia.

Ravin Gandhi, founder, and CEO of GMM Nonstick Coatings, a global supplier of coatings for cookware and bakeware, penned an op-ed for CNBC following the Charlottesville racial violence but in response was slammed and racially abused by readers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

 At least one woman was killed and dozens were injured in Charlottesville last week during clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors at a rally. Trump, instead of blaming white supremacists, held both sides responsible for the violence and was criticised by both Democrats and Republicans for the response.

“I recently told the New York Times I was ‘rooting’ for certain aspects of Trump’s economic agenda,” Gandhi, 44, wrote in the article.

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“After Charlottesville and its aftermath, I will not defend Trump even if the Dow hits 50,000, unemployment goes to 1 per cent, and GDP grows by 7 per cent… I will not in good conscience support a President who seems to hate Americans who don’t look like him.

“The fact that Trump equated hate groups with those protesting hate lit me up,” Gandhi said. “His moral leadership on this issue is reprehensible.”

US-born Gandhi, after his op-ed was published, received a voicemail from an alleged Trump supporter, who told him to “get your (expletive) garbage and go back to India”.

“You can take that other half-(expletive) Bangladesh creep with you, Nikki Haley,” the woman said in the message.

“She’s the one that started all this when she took down the Confederate flag. So don’t tell us that you gave him a chance. We don’t give an (expletive) who you gave a chance, OK? We’re going to start taking down Buddhist statues and see how you and Nikki Haley like that.”

The caller told Gandhi to “go clean up your own (expletive) country, it’s a filthy mess”.

He soon posted the voicemail on the social media and also shared the nastier emails he received, the report said.

“It was obvious that people thought my professional position somewhat protected me,” he said. “I wanted to show people that racism is blind to socioeconomics.

“Even though my race is a complete non-issue in my day-to-day life, the sad reality is there’s a group of racists in the USA that views me as a second-class citizen,” he said.

“I wanted my peers in the business community, the civic community, my friend community to see that this can happen to me. Because there’s this delusion that racism is dead because (Barack) Obama was elected (President),” Gandhi said.

He said while his sharing a “bigoted” voicemail may not make a big difference, he will speak out against such abuse as long as he has a platform to do so. (IANS)

 

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12-year-old Indian-Origin Boy Rahul Wins UK Child Genius Show

Rahul clinched the title by answering a question on 19th Century artists William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais

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Child Genius show
Indian Origin boy wins Child Genius show. Pixabay
  • A 12-year-old Indian-origin boy from north London has won the Child Genius show
  • He clinched the title by answering a question on 19th Century artists William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais
  • Rahul’s chosen subject was Edward Jenner’s medical innovation and methodology in 18th Century England

London, Aug 20, 2017: An 12-year-old Indian-origin boy from north London has won the Child Genius show broadcast by UK’s Channel 4, the media reported on Sunday.

Rahul, who lives in Barnet, beat his nine-year-old opponent, Ronan, 10-4 in the programme’s finale on Saturday night, the BBC reported.

Rahul, who has an IQ high enough to be a member of Mensa, the world’s largest and oldest high IQ society, fought off competition from 19 children aged eight to 12 in the week-long show.

He clinched the title by answering a question on 19th Century artists William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.

In the final, Rahul’s chosen subject was Edward Jenner’s medical innovation and methodology in 18th Century England. He and Ronan both scored 15 in their specialist fields.

Rahul said he was “extremely delighted to win” and congratulated Ronan and the other contestants, the BBC reported.

He had impressed audiences and quizmaster Richard Osman in the first round on Monday by answering every question he was asked correctly.

Rahul’s father, Minesh is an IT manager and mother Komal, a pharmacist. They entered him into the competition and called his success a “phenomenal achievement”. (IANS)