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What is more Important than Sex, Chocolate or Alcohol? Wi-Fi : Survey

Nearly 75 percent of respondents said that Wi-Fi has improved their quality of life

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A person using Wi-Fi, Pixabay

London, Nov 20, 2016: The craze for wireless internet connection has gone up so much that almost half of the people now crave for Wi-Fi on the go even more than chocolate, alcohol and, yes, sex, show results of a new survey.

The ever-increasing influence of Wi-Fi on our daily lives was revealed in a recent survey of more than 1,700 people conducted by iPass, a leading provider of global mobile connectivity

The results showed that while 40 per cent of respondents chose Wi-Fi as their number one daily essential, 37 per cent chose sex, 14 per cent preferred chocolate and only nine per cent prioritised alcohol.

“We all want Wi-Fi first, because of faster speeds, lower prices and the better user experience it affords,” said Patricia Hume, Chief Commercial Officer of iPass.

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Nearly 75 per cent of respondents said that Wi-Fi has improved their quality of life, according to “The iPass Mobile Professional Report 2016”.

For mobile professionals who do not want to be stung by data bills or exorbitant roaming charges, Wi-Fi has also become a travel essential, influencing hotel, airport and other travel choices.

The survey showed that 72 per cent of respondents have chosen a hotel based on the Wi-Fi experience, with 21 per cent saying they do so all the time. It also showed that 72 percent respondents use free Wi-Fi at airports if it is available.

“Mobile professionals, in particular, expect to remain connected at all times, whether at home, travelling between client meetings, at their hotel or even inflight,” Hume added.

Sixty per cent of the respondents for the survey came from North America, and 40 per cent were from European countries.

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“The Wi-Fi experience is increasingly affecting mobile professionals’ travel choices, even at 30,000 feet, with more than a third of respondents having selected their airline based on its Wi-Fi connectivity offerings,” Hume pointed out.

“Long gone are the days when Wi-Fi was only a ‘nice-to-have’ at airports and inflight. Mobile professionals are no longer content to sit and wait for their flights. Instead, they want to remain productive or simply unwind during this valuable time,” Hume said.(IANS)

 

 

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Aggressive and Sexual Behaviour Overlap in Male Brains: Study

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Aggressive and Sexual behavior
Aggressive Behavior in Men. Pixabay

New York, Sep 19, 2017: Brain structures that control aggressive and sexual behaviour are controlled differently in females, but they tend to overlap in males, a new study has found.

Male circuits for sex and aggression were earlier traced to a distinct part of the hypothalamus, known as the ventromedial hypothalamus, or VMHvl — located on the underside of the hypothalamus in both mice and humans.

The study, conducted on mice, showed that the cells controlling these behaviours are separate in female mice, in both those that have not mated and are new mothers.

While the cells for aggression are close to the centre of the hypothalamus, cells for sexual behaviour are at the edge.

“But in the male, the cells are totally mixed up and overlapped,” said Dayu Lin, Assistant Professor at NYU Langone Health in New York, US.

Having a detailed breakdown of brain functions by gender, is a “fundamental step” toward any future attempt to develop drugs that suppress extreme aggression in humans, Lin added in the paper published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Further, the researchers found that turning VMHvl cells on or off did control whether female mice would fight.

Experiments showed that the VMHvl cells that females actively used for transmitting signals, or “firing,” while mating were different from the cells used when they were fighting.

But in male mice, many of the same cells were firing during both activities, the researchers said.

–IANS

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Why Do We Need to Save the Bugs to Save Chocolates? Find Out!

Scientists at STRI find microbes benefits cocoa plants against pathogen

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Microbes, cocoa plants
chocolates can now be saved with the help of litter bugs. Pixabay
  • Scientist identified microbes which could save baby cacao plants from becoming infected with pathogens
  • Colletotrichum tropicale protect plants from potential enemies
  • Scientists gives us reasons to think twice before considering anti-littering

Washington D.C, JULY 18, 2017: Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, in their recent study found that exposing baby cacao plants to microbes from healthy adult cacao plants reduced the plant’s chance of becoming infected with the serious cacao pathogen, Phytophthora palmivora, by half. Microbes benefit plants against pathogens and other destructive diseases.

Here’s what seems to be good news for chocolate lovers! Researchers at STRI have found that Colletotrichum tropicale adds to the plants’ longevity apart from defending it against harmful diseases. This could help in the future, saving thousands of cacao plants. Cacao plants are prevalent in the regions of tropical South America.

“When human babies pass through the birth canal, their bodies pick up a suite of bacteria and fungi from their mother. These microbes strengthen their immune system and make the baby healthier,” said Natalie Christian, a doctoral student at the University of Indiana and lead author of the paper. “We showed that an analogous process happens in plants: adult cacao trees also pass along protective microbes to baby cacao plants,” added Christian.

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According to ANI report, the researchers at STRI have carried out a research work for the past 20 years, investigating the relationship between the plants and the microbes.  “A mother tree can infect her babies with pathogens that can kill them if they are too close by. In this most recent study, we show that parents can also have a positive effect by supplying babies with good microbiota.”  STRI staff scientist and co-author, Allen Herre. The study has been postulated in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Cacao or cocoa tree’s seeds are processed into cocoa butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder. The trees often suffer damage ranging from 30 to 100 percent of their crops. However, with the recent breakthrough, some of the damages can be prevented resulting in the ample supply of cocoa products.

– Prepared by Puja Sinha. Twitter @pujas1994

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

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Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)