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Google to bring Wi-Fi to 500 railway stations in India

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: As a part of the Digital India initiative, Google  announced its collaboration with Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi services to 500 railway stations. The news came after the Indian PM Narendra Modi visited the Google headquarters.

416529-sundar-pichai-narendra-modiDuring a tour of the Google campus, Modi was given a presentation of Google Earth in which the Ghats of his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi were shown.

Modi participated in Hackathon, under which its employees sat for 15 hours straight to devise Apps which could be used by the common man in India.

Earlier, Google CEO Sundar Pichai of Indian origin had announced the search engine giant’s initiative to provide Internet services to 100 railway stations in India initially and then expand it by 400 more by next year.

Pointing out the fact that the length of the Indian Railways is twice the distance between Earth and Moon, Pichai noted that 25 million people ride the Indian railways daily, which has 7500 stations. He also announced that Google will launch an Android app next month enabling users to type in 11 languages.

Noticing that technology has given new power to democracy, Modi urged Google employees to look for solutions to problems like poverty.

“Today, everybody spends maximum time on the Internet… even when a child asks his mother to give him milk, she says ‘wait, first let me forward this WhatsApp’,” Modi said, evoking laughter all around.

Pichai acknowledged India’s hunger for technology, which was reflected in India’s response to the launch of Google Chrome browser. India was the first country to adopt it in a major way.

Pichai explained navigational, safety and other uses of Street View and Google Earth to Modi.

Modi was also given a glimpse of Project Iris- a smart lens that measures glucose levels.

As his trademark, before leaving Google, Modi had a group photo with its top officials

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Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference.

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Wi-Fi can now detect weapons and bombs. Flickr

Interestingly, ordinary Wi-Fi can easily identify weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags just anywhere, be it a crowded stadium, or museums, theme parks, schools and other public spaces, a new study reveals.

The researchers’ suspicious detection object is easy to set up, reduces security screening costs and avoids invading privacy such as when screeners open and inspect bags, backpacks and luggage. Traditional screening generally requires high staffing levels and costlier specialized equipment.

“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects. There’s a growing need for that now”, said study author, Yingying Chen.

Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay
Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay

The study reveals that Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and detect them, including weapons, aluminium cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. Wi-Fi can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives.

This low-cost system requires a Wi-Fi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi networks. The system analyzes what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

Experiments were done with 15 types of objects and six types of bags demonstrating detection accuracy rates of 99 percent for dangerous objects, 98 percent for metal and 95 percent for liquid. For typical backpacks, the accuracy rate exceeds 95 percent and drops to about 90 percent when objects inside bags are wrapped.

Wifi, Weapons
“We wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen. VOA

“In large public areas, it’s hard to set up expensive screening infrastructure like what’s in airports. Manpower is always needed to check bags and we wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen.

Also Read: The Japanese Bombings and American Falsification

Next steps include trying to boost accuracy in detecting objects by imaging their shapes and estimating liquid volumes.

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security on cybersecurity. (IANS)

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