Enhancing privacy and security in the smart meter lifecycle

first_imgThe Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at a spectacular rate. The ability to control devices remotely and gain valuable data insights is driving us towards what is expected to be a trillion connected devices by 2035, delivering orders of magnitude more data than we see today. One area where we’re seeing a heavy growth in the number of connected devices is around smart meters. According to iHS Markit, spend on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is expected to rise to $13 billion in 2023, compared to $9 billion in 2018. The companies providing our heat, light, and water are benefitting from automated meter readings, precise billing, plus remote connection and disconnection capabilities – all with less resource than was previously possible.But this unprecedented growth creates an ever-expanding attack surface for cybercriminals to prey on essential infrastructure, or infiltrate and steal information from individuals and enterprises. For example, malware hackers utilized ‘Crash Override’ malware to gain control of Ukraine’s power grid in December 2016 and shut down 30 substations, blacking out the city of Kiev and reducing the city to one-fifth of its power capacity.Security threats can take many different forms throughout a smart meter’s operational life. Utilities must consider various factors and be prepared for different attack vectors to ensure their customers are protected. For example, a side channel attack involves snooping and analyzing data consumption via Correlation Power Analysis (CPA) to gain credentials and access to infrastructure. Energy suppliers and the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to enforce security from device to cloud. They also need to be able to update their firmware over-the-air (OTA) to ensure resiliency for a device’s lifecycle. So how can utility companies ensure their smart metering deployments maintain security and privacy for all stakeholders?Important customer usage data, some of which may be Personally Identifiable Information (PII), resides inside the meters, meaning that smart meter security has direct implications on privacy. The data may be used by utilities to forecast energy demand, configure demand response, and offer recommendations on energy consumption. That data needs to be accessed in a responsible manner and managed in accordance with a range of regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Such policy enforcement requires a foundation for trusted data with security infused into data collection, data analytics, and the device itself. This requires root of trust in the devices, authentication-based access, plus encryption of data at rest and in transit.Six ways an IoT platform enables secure and private smart metersEnsuring smart meter security and data privacy requires a lifecycle approach extending from manufacturing through on-boarding and regular use (Figure 1). With an IoT platform such as the Arm Pelion IoT platform, the necessary lifecycle support is integrated in the platform’s device management and access control capabilities. The following sections describe six ways an IoT platform addresses lifecycle security requirements so critical for ensuring privacy.Figure 1: An example of a secure device lifecycle. (Source: Arm Pelion IoT platform) 1. Ensuring a Root of Trust for the Large Volume of Smart Meter Deployment at Scale During Factory Provisioning The production facilities tasked with manufacturing smart meters need to balance scalability with resilience that will ensure a device is trusted, offering a secure foundation for the meter’s life in the field. A root of trust (ROT) constitutes a series of functions within a secure enclave that is trusted by the smart meter’s operating system. Injecting credentials onto a single device can mitigate this risk, but the ability to scale this process to the millions of devices is key in maintaining the balance between efficiency and security. The matter of trusting a factory becomes more of a concern when you consider that utility companies are not manufacturers themselves and often outsource production and trust to OEMs. So how do we make a third-party factory ‘trusted’?Trust is instilled by administering certificating authorities that cross-reference the IoT platform, bootstrap, and lightweight M2M (LwM2M) servers. A range of tools provided by the IoT platform provider offers a linear process for the configuration of the certificate authority (CA) that ensures only meters that possess a certificate signed by a CA and a public key can establish a connection between the device and its device manager.click for larger image Figure 2: An example of secure factory provisioning (Source: Arm Pelion IoT platform) Once the CA is configured and linked to the manufacturer’s individual account the factory line is ready to mass-provision devices. This five-stage process involves: Using a factory tool to inject the generated keys, certificates and configuration parameters to the device on the manufacturing line 3. Secure Communications The introduction of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) assists utility companies with the automation of monitoring, billing, connection, and disconnection. It’s the culmination of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems that enable two-way communication between providers and customers. This additional layer of communication facilitated by the low power, long-range functionality of low bandwidth connectivity exposes utility providers to additional risk. Therefore, communication between the device and the IoT platform, then onwards to the utilities provider’s web application, is secured by using standard TLS.click for larger image Figure 3: An example of chip to cloud TLS encryption. (Source: Arm Pelion IoT platform) TLS is a cryptographic protocol that provides end-to-end communications security over possibly untrusted networks and is widely used for IoT device communication to the cloud. The basic steps to communicate over a secure communication channel using TLS include initialize an SSL/TLS context, perform an SSL/TLS handshake and establish a secure connection between smart meter and cloud, send/receive data between smart meter and cloud, and notify a peer that a connection is being closed.This industry-standard method not only acts as a cryptographic protocol, but it also removes the need for cumbersome and insecure passwords. This is because the act of presenting a signed certificate presents the utility provider’s account with a validated unique device ID, removing the need for other forms of identification. With the use of Device Language Message Specification (DLMS), communication to meter goes over DLMS using Security Suite 1 which is PKI based for authentication and key agreement, and uses AES-GCM-128 for authenticated encryption.4. Trusting update sources Updating devices in the field is key to a successful smart meter deployment, some of which could last for more than 20 years. During this time, OTA updates can offer additional functionality for both end user and utility provider post-deployment including fixing bugs, extending the serviceable life, and thus the overall lifecycle cost of a unit. Remote updates are also an effective means of protection from the latest threats or newly discovered vulnerabilities without the rigmarole and cost of manually updating in the field.Yet, conversely, the very act of updating a device to administer protection from the latest threat could pose its own risks if the update itself is unverified.Devices need to make important decisions about firmware in a suggested update. For example, is the update trustworthy and applicable to the device? A way to verify if the firmware update image is trusted is using metadata (known as the manifest). The manifest is digitally signed to authenticate the integrity of the update itself before any action is taken. The author of the firmware owns the keys to provide end-to-end verification of the update. The authoring and signing of a firmware manifest ensure that only trusted updates (those with a verifiable chain of trust) are applied to the correct devices.The easiest way to create manifests is to use a manifest tool, which runs on your PC to create, sign and upload manifests and test the entire end-to-end update flow.5. Secure, Confidential Update Campaigns Just as OTA is key to a secure device lifecycle, security itself is key to a successful OTA update. Firmware security updates deployed by an IoT platform are segregated from transfer protocol, which means the delivery network is treated as untrustworthy. This facilitates a secure update at scale by taking a packaged update, creating a campaign and then deploying that campaign securely to the connected device.The Device Management Client waits for update notifications, then verifies the package, applies the update and reverts to the device’s original state if the update fails, before reporting any issues. What’s more, individual devices can be monitored for suspicious behavior during the campaign.Rollback protection prevents meters from being maliciously rolled back to an older, more vulnerable firmware version and updates can only proceed if the associated firmware manifest is a later version. Downgrades to previous meter versions are available, but they require authenticated service operator authorization.6. In-field Certificate Management There are several scenarios where the utilities companies may want to prevent a deployed smart meter from connecting to the cloud. For example, If the integrity of in-field smart meter is breached and the certificates are compromised, suspension of the compromised devices by the utility company is key to ensure overall security of the broader AMI ecosystem. Utility providers also want to make sure that they can renew the certificate for the smart meters deployed in-field. Certificate renewal is necessary if the existing certificate of a smart meter is about to expire, and once expired, the smart meter will not be able to connect to services online.The process of renewing device certificates involves an IoT device management platform such as the Pelion Device Management platform and its Device Management Client. This five-stage process typically involves: Conclusion Utility companies are capitalizing upon the efficiencies and additional revenue opportunities presented by smart meters made possible by the IoT. Yet the speed and scale of this growth presents significant opportunities for cyber criminals as the attack surface increases with each device deployed and every update administered. An effective IoT device management platform can help establish a secure foundation that permeates through the meter’s operational life to foster streamlined, scalable deployments and ensure both utility companies and their customers remain protected.Mohit Kedia is a staff product manager at Arm’s IoT Services group. Based in Austin, Mohit is focused on making IoT products a reality using Pelion Device Management, industry leading IoT SaaS product and Mbed OS, the most advanced open source IoT operating system platform in the world. Mohit previously held variety of roles in product management and solutions architecture at AMD and NXP leading hardware, software and silicon products for Internet of Things and emerging embedded markets. Mohit holds MBA from University of Texas at Austin and Graduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Texas A&M University. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: IoT Generating device keys (above diagram), certificates and configuration parameters for the device The device management platform then sends the signed certificate back to the smart meter in the field. Using a key configuration manager and factory configurator client (FCC) APIs in the device to validate the information Finalizing the provisioning process and blocking the FCC code in the production image to ensure that it cannot be accessed following provisioning Injecting the software imagecenter_img The device management platform sends the CSR tothird-party certificate authority (CA) for signing of certificate. The internal Device Management CA signs LwM2M certificates and sends it back to device management platform. 2. Trusted Connections with the Grid During On-boarding As mentioned previously, OEMs producing smart meters can often be one step removed from the end user, meaning flexibility in the provisioning process is often required to meet their existing processes. For instance, some choose to create their keys and certificates in-house before bundling them into a factory configurator utility (FCU). The FCU sits within the factory line and works alongside the manufacturer’s factory tool to configure and inject a device with the credentials, which in turn validates the smart meter’s operational parameters. Alternatively, some choose to inject directly onto the device. While the former is a more efficient method, both are equally secure.Because the OEM has no idea at the point of manufacturing where the smart meter will be deployed or the account it will be associated with, it is essential that the eventual connection with the grid is a trusted action. Therefore, manufacturers and utility companies utilize pre-shared keys (PSK) involving an enrollment list. This process verifies the unique ID to match the credentials to the enrollment information in a specific Device Management account, the device is then assigned to that account. This only happens if the device ID matches the ID uploaded in the utility provider’s IoT portal.PSKs provide both devices and the IoT platform with a common key that has been securely provisioned into a device and constitutes the most basic level of security. It’s deemed basic because there is a risk that the credential passed to the smart meter during manufacturing and the confidential list of credentials stored on the servers could be compromised, leaving millions of meters and users’ data exposed. However, a public key infrastructure (PKI) is a more secure approach.PKI makes the introduction between a device and the IoT platform and adds a layer of asymmetric cryptography that tethers the cryptographic signature to the third party that authenticates the meter. Using this third party is a far more secure way to authenticate, as credentials are only generated on the device itself and exist nowhere else.Whilst providing this level of flexibility for an OEM, any IoT partner worth their salt will maintain security and ensure a unique identity during the bootstrap stage. The interaction takes place as part of the data transfer with the Bootstrap Server over encrypted transport layer security (TLS) communications, which is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering or message forgery. Continue Reading Previous Parasoft: software security and compliance testing for DevSecOpsNext Silicon Labs: 5G-ready jitter attenuators with fully integrated reference The smart meter generates a new key, creates a certificate signing request (CSR) based on the existing certificate, and sends the CSR to Device Management. Calling the Device Management API from the Device Management Portal, or from a smart meter. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more

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Ultimate Road Trips: Patagonia

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Peached Tortilla’s Fried Rice Recipe Is Just Plain Delicious Sometimes it’s good to feel a little lost. Not that it’s easy to go astray road tripping with a 2013 Jeep Rubicon through the most far flung stretches of Southern Patagonia; especially when the GPS exists in the world. But here, with nothing more than your own 4X4 and the colossal landscape, it’s easy to get lost in the moment.This is just the kind of unfettered adventure that Quasar Expeditions in partnership with Jeep Wrangler, has captured with their brand new Wild Patagonia program. The once in a lifetime trip allows adventurers to navigate themselves without a guide through the intoxicating alpine vistas, long stretches of amber hills, fjords, and dry forests found in the southern portions of Chile and Argentina.Each of their 4X4 Jeep Wrangler Rubicons comes with an easy to use Garmin Navigational System set up with a smart GPS Ranger that keeps you posted on your chosen stops, hotels, and offers some history and scientific information about notable landmarks.There are two basic itineraries they program into the GPS; one weighted towards naturalists and the other geared towards adventurers, though they’ll create custom itineraries based on your group’s vision. (You can book the entire car so no being stuck with weird strangers).Some of the bucket-list activities to check off? How about the six mile hike up to the base of Torres del Paine in Chile, that passes through an ancient painted forest carpeted in old man’s beard (a moss that only grows in the purest air). Or  the short trek on top of Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, where at the end you are treated to glass of bourbon…on glacial ice. Also, hiking around iceberg  filled Lago Grey, horseback riding through Andean valleys and ambling around the cafe lined streets of El Calafate in Argentina?Peppered in there are the sorts of unplanned novelties that can only happen when driving yourself though the great wide South American open, like gliding through a herd of rhea birds, admiring condors circling overhead and guanaco grazing in the distance, or simply stopping where ever you please just to bask in the sight of a snow capped mountain or cloud formation you found to be striking.The Rubicon was a handsome fit, handling the narrow switchbacks and rocky back roads with ease and quenching a roadster’s desire to play. Quasar monitors the jeep via GPS and is connected to the jeep with a walkie talkie to tackle any problems, answer any questions and ensure you’ve made it to your destinations.Despite the edgy feel of having a 4X4 to toy with, the hotels included are among the most luxurious wilderness lodges in Patagonia and give the trip a nice shot of romance. Local history is taken very seriously at The Singular Hotel and Spa, once a wool factory at the center of industry in Southern Chile, it is now a handsome hotel-slash-museum filled with early 20th century farming relics and designed modern and sleek with a classic gentleman’s touch. Its kitchen is one of the most savory in the area and is a great place to sample the local delicacy of guanaco (like alpaca). Patagonia Camp gets you back to nature in the most relaxing way possible in luxury yurts finished with glass ceilings, set before the gorgeous Lake Toro and Paine Massif. Tierra Patagonia and spa is an architectural feat, created to seamlessly flow with the environment, aerodynamically outside and inside with an interior crafted almost entirely out of beechwood. Views of Torres del Paine National Park from inside the rooms here make getting up the best kind of difficult.There aren’t too many roads this far south, and most are paved, so getting actually lost isn’t so much of a threat. Though by venturing into the wild on your own accord, you do run the risk of never coming back.More Information: Quasar Expedition’s Wild Patagonia trip costs from $5,950 per person for eight days. LAN operates regular flights to Punta Arenas. Guides are required for the hike in Torres del Paine and they cost about $300. Worth it in our book. Session Wines Are Your Best Easy-Drinking Buddies All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked center_img 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home 6. OId Man’s Beard 7. Painted forest on the hike to Torres del Paine 8. Torres del Paine summit 10. Where to stop and marvel, on your own time 12. Lago Grey 13. Lago Grey 14. Torres del Paine Massif 15. Perito Moreno Glacier 16. Perito Moreno Glacier 17. Perito Moreno Glacier Look Good and Feel Better By Supporting Brands that Support Ocean Conservationlast_img read more

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Top Pakistani JeM terrorist associate killed in encounter in Shopian

first_imgSrinagar: Two militants including a top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander from Pakistan responsible for a car blast last month in which two Army jawans lost their lives, were killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said. Munna Lahori, a Pakistani national, was also responsible for a series of civilian killings in Kashmir, a police official said. The second militant, an associate of Lahori, was a local, he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Lahori, also known as Bihari, had been used by Pakistan-based JeM for the recruitment of militants in the valley, the official said. He was an expert in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Lahori was responsible for a car blast attack on security a forces’ convoy on March 30 at Banihal and “a fatal car blast on Army vehicle at Arihal in Pulwahma on June 17 in which two soldiers were killed and nine others including two civilians were injured,” the official said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He said the security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Banday Mohalla in Bonbazar area of Shopian last night following a tip-off about the presence of militants there. The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire, leading to their killing, he said, adding that incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the gunfight.last_img read more

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Twin rallies after tear gas clashes in Hong Kong tourist district

first_imgHong Kong: Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are set to defy Chinese authorities with another two major rallies later Sunday, a day after police fired tear gas to disperse them in one of the city’s most renowned tourist districts. Tsim Sha Tsui, a harbourside district known for its luxury malls and hotels, was filled with acrid plumes of tear gas on Saturday night as small groups of hardcore protesters battled police in streets usually brimming with tourists and shoppers. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSemi-autonomous Hong Kong has seen two months of protests and clashes triggered by opposition to a planned extradition law that quickly evolved into a wider movement for democratic reforms. Authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing this week signalled a hardening stance. Dozens of protesters were charged with rioting and the Chinese military said it was ready to quell the “intolerable” unrest if requested. But the largely leaderless protest movement remains unbowed. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsTwo simultaneous marches are planned for Sunday afternoon as well as a city-wide strike on Monday, making further clashes all but inevitable. One of Sunday’s marches will try to end in a park near the Liaison Office, the department that represents China’s central government in the semi-autonomous hub. Two weeks ago the office was pelted with eggs and paint in a move that infuriated Beijing and sparked the rapidly escalating warnings from the mainland. The last fortnight has seen a surge in violence on both sides with police repeatedly firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse increasingly hostile projectile-throwing crowds. A mob of pro-government thugs also attacked demonstrators, putting 45 people in hospital, with many accusing the police of being too slow to respond. This weekend has seen no let up in the violence. In Tsim Sha Tsui masked demonstrators smashed the windows of cars in a police parking lot and daubed nearby walls with graffiti. One team of protesters created a large slingshot — held up by two members — to launch bricks at the building. Others put up barricades on busy shopping thoroughfares and temporarily blockaded a cross-harbour tunnel. Police said they arrested “over 20 people”, bringing the total number of arrests to more than 200 since the protest movement exploded on 9 June. Anger towards the police is at record levels with officers increasingly derided in chants as Beijing’s enforcers — although police deny using excessive force and say they are facing increasingly hardcore protesters. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a large crowd of residents came out in support of the protesters after police made some arrests in the working class district of Wong Tai Sin, which is famous for its Taoist temple. Police used tear gas once more to disperse the crowds, many of whom were not wearing gas masks or goggles, unlike the more seasoned protesters. However earlier in the day tens of thousands of people filled a park to rally in support of the police, in a vivid illustration of the political polarisation coursing through Hong Kong. The rally was broadcast on Chinese state media and many participants waved Chinese flags. Under the terms of the 1997 handover deal with Britain, Hong Kong has rights and liberties unseen on the Chinese mainland, including an independent judiciary and freedom of speech. But many say those rights are being curtailed, citing the disappearance into mainland custody of dissident booksellers, the disqualification of prominent politicians and the jailing of pro-democracy protest leaders. Public anger has been compounded by rising inequality and the perception that the city’s distinct language and culture are being threatened by ever-closer integration with the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has made few concessions beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, and has shied away from public appearances. Protesters are demanding her resignation, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested, a permanent withdrawal of the bill, and the right to elect their leaders.last_img read more

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Security Council extends mandate of AlQaida sanctions monitoring group

The Security Council today extended by 18 months the mandate of the monitoring team set up in 2004 to help track the application of the world body’s sanctions against the Taliban, Al-Qaida and their operatives.The eight-member Analytical Support and Sanctions Implementation Monitoring Team, based in New York, reports periodically to the Council.In a resolution, adopted unanimously, the 15-member body reaffirmed that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations.”Tackling the scourge requires the cooperation of all States and international and regional organizations, the Council stressed.It called on Member States to “continue their efforts to act vigorously and decisively to cut the flow of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden and the Taliban and other individuals, group, undertakings and entities associated with them.”The resolution also directed the Council committee concerning Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions to review by 30 June 2010 the names of individuals and entities that it agrees are members of or associated with Al-Qaida, Usama Bin Laden and the Taliban on the so-called Consolidated List.Council members were also briefed on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), which is tasked with observing the efforts of countries to combat global terrorism, by its head.CTED Executive Director Mike Smith presented a survey on the implementation of resolution 1373, which was adopted in the wake of the September 2001 attacks on the United States and calls on countries to adopt a number of measures to enhance their ability to counter terrorist activities nationally, regionally and globally. This resolution also established the CTED.In a related development, today marks the last day of the Council’s United States presidency, and Viet Nam will assume the monthly role beginning tomorrow. 30 June 2008The Security Council today extended by 18 months the mandate of the monitoring team set up in 2004 to help track the application of the world body’s sanctions against the Taliban, Al-Qaida and their operatives. read more

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Company tied to St Louis Rams owner Kroenke buys LA property raises

Company tied to St. Louis Rams owner Kroenke buys L.A. property, raises questions about a move by Alan Scher Zagier, The Associated Press Posted Jan 31, 2014 11:08 am MDT ST. LOUIS – A company tied to St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has purchased a prime piece of land in the Los Angeles area amid speculation the NFL franchise is considering a return to the city it left for the Midwest nearly two decades ago.Team officials on Friday provided a written statement confirming the recent purchase of a 60-acre site in Inglewood, Calif., adjacent to the shuttered Hollywood Park racetrack. The Los Angeles Times first reported the purchase.“As real estate developers, the Kroenke Organizations are involved in numerous real estate deals across the country and North America,” the statement said. “While we can confirm media reports that we recently purchased land in Inglewood, as a private company we don’t typically discuss our plans for commercial or residential investments. We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property but we will look at all options, as we do with all of our properties.”The property is three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport runways and sprawls between the newly renovated Forum concert venue, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Hollywood Park, which closed Dec. 22 after 75 years of horse racing. The latter 260-acre site is slated for development of 3,000 housing units, commercial space and parks.The land was previously owned by Wal-Mart, which hoped to build a superstore there but could not win local voter approval for the project. Kroenke is a former Wal-Mart board member who is married to the daughter of company co-founder Bud Walton and continues to build shopping centres for the retailer.Los Angeles has lacked an NFL team since both the Rams and Raiders left in 1994. The Rams can break their 30-year lease in St. Louis after the 2014 season — a decade early — but have said little about their plans.The Rams’ lease requires the Edward Jones Dome to remain among the top quarter of the 32 NFL stadiums, based on various criteria. The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, which manages the dome, last year offered a $124 million improvement plan that included a bigger scoreboard and better club seating, with the Rams paying slightly more half those costs.The team countered with a far more ambitious proposal that called for a new roof with a sliding panel and a bevy of improvements that would keep the city convention centre in the dome closed for three years. City leaders rejected $700 million in publicly funded upgrades sought by the team.Speaking in New York before Sunday’s Super Bowl, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was informed of the Kroenke purchase and noted that any stadium development plan would require approval from two-thirds of the NFL’s 32 owners.“We’re aware of it,” Goodell said. “There are no plans, to my knowledge, of a stadium development. Anything that would require a stadium development would require multiple votes of the membership.”Goodell cautioned against “overreacting” to the Kroenke land purchase, saying “we should make sure we do what’s necessary to continue to support the team locally, which the fans have done in St. Louis. And make sure we can do whatever we can to make sure that team is successful in the St. Louis market.”Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he thinks “it’s unfortunate that a generation of fans have grown up without” a team in Los Angeles.“We definitely want a team in L.A. … We need to make sure we have the right owner and the right facility, and until at least 24 owners feel that, we won’t have it,” Kraft said in New York. “Just personally, I would like to see a team in L.A. as soon as possible.”Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has taken over negotiations with the Rams and Kroenke after arbitration between the team, the commission and the stadium authority failed. James Shrewsbury, chairman of the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which owns the downtown dome, referred questions about the Los Angeles purchase to the governor.“It’s hard to comment on it since we don’t know what his purpose is,” Shrewsbury said, referring to Kroenke, who could not be reached for comment. “He hasn’t said what he plans to do with it.”The football St. Louis Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1987, and the city went nearly a decade without a franchise until the Los Angeles Rams arrived in 1995.___AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report from New York.___Follow Alan Scher Zagier on Twitter at http://twitter.com/azagier AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Opinion 5 defensive players who will make an impact for Ohio State

OSU sophomore safety Vonn Bell. Credit: Courtesy of OSULast season, the Ohio State football defense left a lot to be desired, and it might have to turn that around in a big way to support an offense that will be playing without senior quarterback Braxton Miller.The Buckeye defense gave up a total of 5,284 yards in 2013, including 3,752 yards through the air. If the team wants to have more success in 2014, some players will have to step up with only seven starters returning from last season.The following five players — not all of whom were starters last season — will have to take their games to the next level to help keep the Buckeyes’ championship hopes alive.1. Senior cornerback Doran GrantLet’s be frank: OSU’s pass defense was awful last season.Former Buckeye Bradley Roby had all the talent in the world, but he never seemed to be able to put it all together after an early-season suspension. Enter Grant, who showed some flashes of athleticism and talent, but still spent a fair amount of time getting beaten in the flats — along with the entire defense.Grant has big-play ability and has received a lot of praise from coach Urban Meyer this offseason, but will need to build on his 58 tackles and three interceptions from 2013 if the Buckeyes want to see a big jump forward in pass defense. Meyer went so far as to say Grant was playing to the caliber of an All-Big Ten cornerback in fall camp.He’s the only returning starter in the defensive backfield, and is by far the most senior player of them all. As a leader and as a player, if Grant turns a corner this season, it will be a completely new OSU defense.2. Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa Bosa played in all 14 games last season as a true freshman and did more than flash his potential as a dominating lineman. He arrived on campus already looking like an NFL-ready player and his production — especially later in the season — proved he has the potential to be one of the best ever at OSU.After tallying 7.5 sacks last season — second only to junior defensive lineman Noah Spence — Bosa has a chance to make a statement on a Big Ten and national level this year.The defensive line is the Buckeyes’ best position group, and Bosa just might be the best of the bunch.3. (tie) Sophomore safety Vonn Bell and redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis PowellThe OSU safeties had a pretty rough go throughout 2013. Then-senior Christian Bryant broke his ankle against Wisconsin to end his Buckeye career, and the safeties were left without someone who was arguably their best player. C.J. Barnett was the other starter and he finished second on the team with 84 tackles, but Barnett has since graduated as well.In 2014, Bell and Powell look set to take their spots, hoping to do better than former OSU safety Corey “Pitt” Brown did filling in for Bryant last season.Both are extremely talented players, as Bell is one of the highest-rated recruits Meyer has brought to OSU and Powell played extensively last season. They even each had trademark moments last year: Bell had an incredible one-handed interception in the Orange Bowl while Powell sealed a win against Michigan with an interception on the Wolverines last ditch two-point attempt. Along with Grant, Bell and Powell have a chance to live up to expectations this season and transform the OSU pass defense into one of the best in the Big Ten.4. Senior defensive lineman Michael BennettBennett brings a lot to the table on and off the field. Meyer announced Monday that Bennett, along with Grant and three others, was voted a team captain by his teammates.As a leader, he’ll be the go-to guy on the defensive line, but as a player, he’ll still need to be dominant for the unit to live up to their best-in-the-nation potential.Last season the Centerville, Ohio, native totaled 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks while fighting through minor injuries throughout the season. If he’s fully healthy in 2014, Bennett could put together an even better season and be looking toward the first round of the NFL Draft next spring.5. Freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillanJunior Joshua Perry and senior Curtis Grant are the familiar returning names on the OSU linebacker’s depth chart, but McMillan could eventually leave Columbus as the best of the bunch.He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school as one of the best prep linebackers in the nation. That comes with a lot of lofty expectations as a freshman, especially at a school known for producing standout linebackers like A.J. Hawk and Chris Spielman.There’s almost nothing to go off of outside of high school footage and his performance in the Spring Game, but McMillan is going to see the field early and often if OSU coaches are to be believed.Regardless of whether he starts a single game this season, McMillan will be tasked with doing more than your average freshman, and all signs point toward him being up for the challenge.OSU’s season-opener is scheduled for Saturday against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

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NAMA redeems €25bn in bonds

first_imgNAMA has redeemed €2.5 billion in senior bonds today, bringing the total value of senior bonds redeemed by the state agency to date to €13bn.The total value of NAMA’s outstanding senior bonds is €17.19bn. It plans to redeem a further €2bn by the end of this year.The National Asset Management Agency recently reported a net profit of €211 million for last year and an operating profit of €1.2bn (up 45% on 2012). The agency said it generated €4.5bn in cash last year, including the proceeds of asset disposal by debtors and receivers, and non-disposal income such as rent.Last month, NAMA sold a €1.8 billion loan portfolio which includes the tallest building in Ireland for an estimated €1.1 billion.Read: Here’s the most complete breakdown of NAMA loans you’ll see today >Read: As expected, Moody’s upgrades Ireland’s debt for second time >last_img read more

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China thinks Android is too dominant may take action

first_imgChina’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology may be about to deal Google a bit of a body blow when it comes to the use of Android in the country. The reason? Android is so successful in China it has the government concerned it’s a little too dominant and Google a little too controlling to be a good thing.The main complaint lodged at Google seems to be its control over the Android platform. Even though Android is open source, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology believes Google discriminates against Chinese companies, both by hindering development of mobile operating system and employing commercial contracts that limit domestic business development.For the moment, the concerns take the form of a research white paper from the ministry, but it is being viewed as the first step towards new regulation surrounding the use of Android in China. If any action is taken, the Chinese government will ensure it is much easier for Chinese companies to compete, and ultimately have Chinese consumers running a mobile OS developed by domestic companies in the future.Google will be monitoring this with a lot of concern due to the size of the Chinese market and its presence there. But let’s be honest here, if things get worse for Google and Android in China there is very little Google can do about it.China is now thought to be the biggest market for mobile devices in the world, and 90 percent of devices there run some form of Android. With that in mind, you can see why the Chinese government couldn’t fail but to take an interest and utimately react.last_img read more

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Une voisine de Pluton bien plus petite quon ne pensait

first_imgUne voisine de Pluton bien plus petite qu’on ne pensaitL’une des planètes voisines de Pluton, Sedna, découverte en 2003, serait finalement bien plus petite que ne le croyait jusque là les astronomes.Lorsque les astronomes découvrirent Sedna, en 2003, il s’agissait de l’objet céleste le plus distant jamais observé dans le système solaire. Elle orbitait plus de deux fois plus loin du Soleil que Pluton elle-même, à 13 milliards de kilomètres. Ce n’est que peu après que les astronomes finirent par découvrir Eris, plus lointaine encore. Or, les estimations initiales basées sur la luminosité de Sedna laissaient entendre que la planète mesurait entre deux et trois fois la taille de Pluton. Cependant, de nouvelles études réalisés dans l’infrarouge avec des longueurs d’ondes spéciales ont donné un résultat tout à fait inattendu. À lire aussiBoisson, météorite et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 5 septembreEn réalité, Sedna ne ferait que 43% de la taille de Pluton avec 995 kilomètres de diamètre (soit moins que Charon, la plus grande des lunes de Pluton). Sedna, étant donné son éloignement, est particulièrement froide. Sa surface ne dépasse ainsi pas les -253 °C. Elle est même si glacée et si petite qu’il y a quelques années, le télescope spatial Spitzer de la NASA avait scruté l’espace à sa recherche en vain avec une lumière infrarouge. Mais les nouvelles observations réalisées par Herschel indiquent que Sedna réfléchit un tiers de la lumière solaire qui lui parvient, soit beaucoup plus que prévu. Or, pour renvoyer une lueur si faible, c’est nécessairement que la planète est très petite. “Nous nous attendions à quelque chose de plus sombre et de plus grand”, explique un des astronomes chargé de l’étude et cité par le National Geographic.Cette fois, ces résultats semblent donc être les bons. “Nous n’avions jamais eu de bonnes estimations auparavant”, indique Mike Brown, le découvreur de Sedna et astronome au California Institute of Technology. Toutefois, il ne s’agit pas de la première erreur de la sorte puisque Pluton elle aussi était initialement censée être beaucoup plus grande qu’elle ne l’est réellement. Il y a 50 ans, on la croyait encore plus grande que Mercure mais plus petite que Mars, on sait maintenant qu’elle mesure la moitié de Mercure. Le 21 avril 2012 à 11:23 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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The Legend of Zelda Might Be Nintendos Next Mobile Game

first_imgStay on target The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest video games Nintendo has ever made. And considering the track record of the company the revived the games industry in 1983, that’s really saying something. Plus, since the game is playable on the handheld/console hybrid the Nintendo Switch, this is a Zelda game you can take everywhere.Now it seems like Link’s next adventure, while not as grand in scope, will be even more mobile. According to The Wall Street Journal, The Legend of Zelda might be Nintendo’s next mobile game.Since announcing its smartphone gaming initiative in partnership with DeNA two years ago, Nintendo has slowly but consistently released a variety of games for phones and tablets. First there was the Mii-themed social app Miitomo in March 2016 followed by the auto-runner Super Mario Run that holiday and most recently the free-to-play strategy/dating game Fire Emblem Heroes this past February. As a reminder to readers/shareholders, Pokemon Go is a whole separate deal.You could totally fit a non-Switch phone/tablet in there.We know a mobile Animal Crossing is in the works but besides that Nintendo’s future mobile games remain a mystery. However, we can expect the company to leverage its widely recognized and popular franchises. That’s what Nintendo can do on mobile that other companies can’t, even if it doesn’t always lead to expected successes. And if they stick to a 2-3 games a year schedule, they won’t run out of mascots anytime soon. Look forward to Chibi-Robo Run in 2030. With that in mind, a Zelda mobile game seems like a no-brainer. We even predicted it.So what will a mobile Zelda be? No one knows for sure yet. While the series is known for epic adventures, it’s also no stranger to more casual spin-offs about dressing up, shooting crossbows, or earning cash as a confused fairy man. A retro, top-down Zelda could also provide a sprawling mobile adventure without being too technically taxing.If it were up to me, whatever the game is, I would have it connect to Breath of the Wild in some way. Maybe if you do well enough in the mobile game you earn some sweet new weapons to whack against Calamity Ganon. Please, just don’t make it free-to-play.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WindNintendo SwitchEssential Nintendo Switch Accessories ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President‘Ring Fit Adventure’ Is a Nintendo Switch Exercise RPG last_img read more

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First GrapheneInfused Sneakers to Hit Ground Running in 2018

first_img There are endless reasons running outdoors in the winter is the worst.To name just one: wet, frosty, often icy roads and paths.Innovative new graphene-infused sneaker soles, however, could eliminate the fear of falling—among other benefits.AdChoices广告A sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, graphene is the basic structural element of other forms of carbon, including graphite and charcoal. The much-talked-about allotrope has gained attention among battery manufacturers, excited about its top-notch physical and chemical stability.But it’s also caught the eye of British sportswear brand inov-8, which has partnered with the University of Manchester to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes.inov-8 teamed up with University of Manchester to become the first-ever company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes (via inov-8)Based on lab tests, the high-tech rubber outsoles—expected to hit shelves in 2018—are stronger, stretchier, and more resistant than traditional sneakers.“Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance,” inov-8 product and marketing director Michael Price said in a statement. “Be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms.”Uh … Which health clubs are you frequenting, Mike?“For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly,” he continued. “Now, utilizing the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise.”The new rubber, developed with the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, promises to “smash the limits of grip,” Price said.First mined in the Lake District of Northern England more than 450 years ago, the material was later re-discovered by scientists at the University of Manchester. The school has since experimented with graphene-enhanced sports cars, medical devices, and aeroplanes.“Despite being the thinnest material in the world, graphene is also the strongest, and is 200 times stronger than steel,” according to University researcher Aravind Vijayaraghavan. “It’s also extraordinarily flexible, and can be bent, twisted, folded, and stretched without incurring any damage.“This is a revolutionary consumer product that will have a huge impact on the sports footwear market,” he added.But it won’t come cheap: inov-8’s current lineup costs $110 to $150. Add wonder material graphene, and the upcoming G-Series range will likely get a pretty big price hike.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Graphene Is the High-Tech Mosquito Repellent You’ll Want to WearSilkworms Engineered to Produce Spider Silk Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Sandy Hook nonprofit group award MiamiDade Public Schools for antiviolence efforts

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A non-profit organization created after the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut presented an award to Miami-Dade Public Schools.Sandy Hook Promise is an organization led by family members whose loved ones were killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. The non-profit empathized with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland and decided to present Miami-Dade Schools with an award.The award is for Miami-Dade Public Schools’ efforts to teach students how to recognize warning signs before violence happens.“After we saw what happened with the students at Parkland — after that shooting these kids have powerful voice,” said Sandy Hook Promise board member Bill Sherlach. “They really do, and they look for it immediately because this is their world.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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WHOA Apartment Complex 7 Retail Stores Bank Proposed At Woburn St Lowell

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — One of Wilmington’s busiest intersections may soon be getting a lot busier.The Wilmington Planning Board is currently reviewing a proposal from Jacquelyn Welch, of Mass Equity Investors, to build a residential and commercial development at 203 Lowell Street, at the corner of Woburn Street and Lowell Street, in between Textron and Lucci’s Plaza.The 3-story residential development is a 57-unit apartment complex, located at the back of the property. The facility would have 120 dedicated parking spots, including a parking garage underneath the building.The commercial development, which is L-shaped right on the corner of Woburn and Lowell, consists of 7 retail stores on the first floor, with office space on the second and third floors.A standalone bank, with a drive-thru, will also be built at the front of the site, on the Lowell Street side, near the Textron property.The site will have two entrances — one from Lowell Street and one from Woburn Street. The Lowell Street entrance would simply realign the existing entrance to the DEP Office, which is located behind the site. The Woburn Street entrance is likely to be parallel, or nearly parallel, to the Lucci’s entrance.The project will hook into the new sewer on Lowell Street.“This site was previously approved for a dog pet care facility with two restaurants [including an old-fashioned diner],” noted Doug Lees, the surveyor and engineer for the project. “That project did not go forward. We were ready to put shovels in the ground and something happened and things felt apart. We’re now back with a new perspective and applicant.”At its most recent meeting, the Planning Board, who are being asked for site plan review, stormwater permitting and a multi-family special permit, agreed to waive the reading the comments submitted by town departments until the applicant makes further submittals. The Board’s Chair Michael Sorrentino did, however, allude to a long list of required changes and revisions that needed to be made. Several board members requested more detailed renderings. Members voted to continue the public hearing to its next meeting on Tuesday, December 4.Meanwhile, the plans are on file with the Planning and Conservation Department at Town Hall and can be viewed Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.Selectman Ed Loud, the only member of the public in the audience besides the applicants, spoke out against certain aspects of the project.“This intersection is already one of the worst in town. I think it’s has a ‘F’ rating. Will a traffic study be done?,” asked Loud.Sorrentino was unsure if the board would require a traffic study. Lees said that town officials had requested one.Loud was also not happy that one of the 57 rentals would be affordable units.“This developer [Michael Welch] has told us we have an affordable housing crisis,” said Loud. “It’s now his turn to help fix that crisis, or at least start the process.”Welch’s daughter was the developer behind the proposal to rezone Sciarrappa Farm at this year’s Annual Town Meeting, in order to build 250 1 & 2-bedroom units on the site. 40 of them would have been classified as affordable. Michael Welch was harshly critical of the Board of Selectmen in the run up to the Town Meeting for not embracing the plan, claiming they weren’t doing enough to bring affordable units to town.“It’s very hard to go back to the next developer and ask them to add affordability when we’re not asking these guys to do it,” continued Loud, who noted these 57 units were not even on the town’s radar and will put the town even further in the hole when trying to meet its 10% affordable housing threshold after the 2020 census. If the town’s affordable housing stock falls below 10% of its overall stock, Wilmington will become susceptible to 40B housing projects, which do not need to follow local zoning regulations and are typically higher, bigger, and denser than what’s normally permitted.“We’re going to wind up in 40B developers’ heaven,” cautioned Loud.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedGOOD NEWS: Major Traffic Improvements Proposed For Woburn St. & Lowell St. IntersectionIn “Government”ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE GETS TO WORK: 20 Building Projects Happening In Town RIGHT NOWIn “Business”New Restaurants Are Opening In Wilmington! What Would YOU Like To See Come To Town?In “Business”last_img read more

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Litigation Blamed For Port MacKenzie Rail Spur Delays

first_imgI’m Ellen Lockyer The Ninth Circuit has since given the go-ahead for the project. Federal Surface Transportation Board regulations regarding the relocation of trails in the area added an additional one million dollars to costs, and a five percent Borough finance administration charge also upped the total  of building the railroad spur.The additional costs will add about three and a half million dollars to the Borough’s request for a legislative appropriation of $116 million  for next year to complete work on the spur. Perkins told the body that nearly $120 million is needed to finish the project by late 2017. Construction of the railroad link between the Matanuska-Susitna Borough city of Houston and Port MacKenzie is over budget and way behind schedule. Borough officials blame litigation for the delays.Download AudioAt Tuesday night’s Mat Su Borough Assembly meeting, Joe Perkins, the Borough’s executive for the rail extension project, updated earlier financial data on the cost overruns beyond the initial $272 million  pricetag.“When you add all this up, it totals about $31 million. So if you take $ 272 .5 and add $31 (million) to it,  you get a total project cost now of  $303. 5. (million)” The project linking Port MacKenzie with the AK Railroad main line near Houston started in 2008, and Perkins said the way it has been funded, by legislative appropriations over the years, has not helped keep costs down. “We had intended to have the train running by now, had we received sufficient funding to do that. So, we have had some impacts from delays in funding. Our construction management people are having to stay a considerable number of years past what we have anticipated, same thing with our engineering people. So, again, the way this thing has been funded with eight different appropriations and some more to come, has certainly increased our costs.” He told the Assembly that work on some of the six construction segments of the railroad spur are done or near completion. Segment 1 at Port MacKenzie, segment 3 in the middle and segment 6 near Houston are finished. Segment 4 should be done next year, but segment 5, which crosses privately owned land, is being put off until negotiations for a Right of Way are complete. The money appropriated for that segment will be put into producing “ballast” or rock bed material for the entire rail spur. Possibly a major cause of the cost overruns, according to Perkins, are delays caused by litigation against the spur’s construction by environmental organizations Cook Inletkeeper and Sierra Club. The lawsuits caused the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stop work order on the spur, which added to the contractor and engineer costs. “The number on the ongoing construction, which we can prove, is $5  million. The legal costs were somewhere around $1.5 million. We were represented by DC attorneys, and they’re expensive. “last_img read more

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Farmer child killed in lightning strikes

first_imgFile photo of LightningA farmer and a child were killed in separate incidents of lightning strike at Nazirpur village in Sadar upazila and Sangor village in Baniachong upazila on Sunday, reports UNB. The deceased were Dengu Mia, 50, a resident of Nazirpur village and Salma Aktar, 8, daughter of Manfar Mia of Sangor village.A thunderbolt hit Dengu Mia and his sons while they were harvesting paddy in a haor (water body) beside the village in the afternoon, leaving Dengu severely injured.The physicians declared Dengu Mia dead when he was taken to a hospital.Meanwhile, Salma was plucking mangoes while a thunderbolt struck her and the physicians declared her dead when she was taken to a local hospital.last_img

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Picoscale precision though ultrathin film piezoelectricity

first_imgFig. 1. Schematic illustration of local characterization of in-plane piezoelectricity and vertical piezoelectricity. In-plane piezoelectricity (piezo) (d11, d22) of ultrathin materials is the planar electromechanical couple behavior, where the applied stress and produced piezoelectric potential are located at the in-plane of exposed lattice plane. Vertical piezoelectricity (d33) focus on electromechanical interaction occurred in the vertical axis, which is perpendicular to the surface of materials. The high-precision deformation actuator can be implemented using accurate positioning of the materials surface by vertical inverse piezoelectricity. Credit: X. Wang, X. He, H. Zhu, L. Sun, W. Fu, X. Wang, L. C. Hoong, H. Wang, Q. Zeng, W. Zhao, J. Wei, Z. Jin, Z. Shen, J. Liu, T. Zhang, Z. Liu, Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600209 (2016). Copyright © 2016 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1600209. Citation: Picoscale precision though ultrathin film piezoelectricity (2016, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-picoscale-precision-ultrathin-piezoelectricity.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Fig. 4. Noncontact SKFM and standard contact PFM investigation for CdS thin film. (A and B) Schematic illustration of SKFM (A) and PFM (B) measurements. (C) Band diagram of tip and sample when they are electrically separated (top graph) and electrically contacted (bottom graph). d, distance; VL, vacuum levels; q, electronic charge; Vc, contact potential difference. (D) Optical image of CdS thin films. (E and F) Topography (E) and phase (F) images observed by SKFM mode for the single CdS thin film marked in (D). (G to I) Corresponding potential mappings with tip voltages of 3, 6, and 9 V, respectively. Insets show histograms of the surface potential distributions. The CdS ultrathin film has a higher positive voltage (~0.9 V) than the substrate, demonstrating that a large amount of charges are accumulated at a CdS thin film after contact PFM scanning. (J) Amplitude images observed by contact PFM technology with tip voltages from 1 to 6 V, showing remarkable inverse piezoelectricity. (K) Average amplitude variations versus applied voltages calculated from (J). Error bars indicate 1 SD. Scale bars, 2 μm (E to J). The linearly fitted line shows that the measured piezoelectric coefficient deff is ~16.4 pm·V−1, whereas the vertical piezoelectric coefficient d33 is ~32.8 pm·V−1. Credit: X. Wang, X. He, H. Zhu, L. Sun, W. Fu, X. Wang, L. C. Hoong, H. Wang, Q. Zeng, W. Zhao, J. Wei, Z. Jin, Z. Shen, J. Liu, T. Zhang, Z. Liu, Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600209 (2016). Copyright © 2016 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1600209. Journal information: Science Advances Lastly – and reminiscent of the challenge in demonstrating d33 vertical piezoelectricity at the atomic scale using CdS thin films – the researchers had to determine the CdS film vertical piezoelectric coefficient with in situ scanning Kelvin force microscopy (SKFM) and single and dual AC resonance tracking piezoelectric force microscopy (DART-PFM). “The quality of ultrathin piezoelectric CdS is the key to obtaining a reliable vertical piezoelectric coefficient.” Liu notes. “Some characterization tools like Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies can help us to identify the CdS sample and confirm its high quality. Also, because of the geometrical vibrations of the CdS samples, the atomic force microscopy characterization should be carefully carried out in order to make sure our conclusions are solid.” This required the researchers to examine many SKFM and DART-PFM samples using to reach a solid conclusion about vertical piezoelectric behavior in CdS ultrathin films. Prof. Zheng Liu discussed the paper that he, Dr. Ting Zhang and their colleagues published in Science Advances, describing a series of challenges they faced starting with using chemical vapor deposition to synthesize 2~3 nm cadmium sulfide (CdS) thin films. “The vertical piezoelectricity, or d33, is the key parameter in piezoelectric materials for the fabrication of actuators used to position objects with extreme accuracy – down to the atomic scale in a broad range of cutting-edge equipment such as atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy,” Liu tells Phys.org. “Moreover, high-performance ultrathin piezoelectric materials are crucial for the constructing ultra-high resolution and flexible electromechanically coupled devices.”Prior to this study, Liu points out, only a few studies reported the synthesis of atomic thin piezoelectric materials by a wet chemical method, examples of which include CdS and cadmium selenide (CdSe) nanoplatelets. “It’s a significant challenge to produce high-quality and atom-thin piezoelectric materials,” he adds. “In this research, the main challenge in synthesizing ultrathin piezoelectric CdS films via chemical vapor deposition” (or CVD) “lays in the selection of precursors and how to optimize the reaction parameters, such as growing temperature and time.”The scientists were then faced with demonstrating d33 vertical piezoelectricity at the atomic scale using ultrathin cadmium sulfide thin films. “When the thickness of materials reaches the nanoscale level,” Liu explains, “it’s very difficult to verify the piezoelectric effect and determine its values because of the coupling effect from the substrate – and surface geometries may affect the measurements at atomic limits as well.” For example, he illustrates, sample surface roughness reaches tens of picometers, which is the same scale with the vertical electromechanical response for materials. Explore further Fig. 6. Simulation of vertical piezoelectricity and subatomic deformation actuator. (A) Three-dimensional image of potential drop on CdS film. (B) Scanning electron microscopy image of a conductive tip for PFM characterization. (C and D) Bottom and side views of stress distribution on CdS film. (E to G) Simulation for subatomic deformation actuator. Different potentials were applied to surface deformation curves (E), mappings (G), and vertical deformation (F) of CdS thin films. Credit: X. Wang, X. He, H. Zhu, L. Sun, W. Fu, X. Wang, L. C. Hoong, H. Wang, Q. Zeng, W. Zhao, J. Wei, Z. Jin, Z. Shen, J. Liu, T. Zhang, Z. Liu, Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600209 (2016). Copyright © 2016 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1600209. The researchers concluded that contact piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) – which uses a conductive tip to apply a highly localized electric field that allows imaging and manipulation of piezoelectric ferroelectric materials – could significantly change the surface potential of a CdS ultrathin film by applying stress to its surface. “Typically, applying mechanical stress to a piezoelectric material will generate electric charge that accumulates at the surface of the material, which is how we identify the piezoelectric materials,” Liu tells Phys.org. “We therefore believe that this results from piezoelectric polarizations giving rise to a large piezoelectric potential, in turn leading to a remarkable spatial separation of electrons and holes.” In this case, electrons generated by the piezoelectric effect will be trapped into the silicon dioxide (SiO2) dielectric layers, while the holes will be trapped inside the crystal boundary of the CdS films. The scientists state that their work may pave a way to the synthesis of ultrathin lattice scale nanomaterials using CVD method, which is a low-cost method for producing high quality samples. In addition, Liu notes, the materials provided by their study will enable the high-integrated and multi-functional devices by simply coating or transferring the film to the device. “For actuator applications, our work will promote next generation actuators with extreme resolution for their potential use in characterization tools such as ultra-high resolution microscopy; for atom manipulation and fabrication; or potentially for the detection of ultra-low deformation in, for example, cold atom studies, verification of the gravitational inverse square law at short range, and even the detection of gravitational waves.”Moving forward, Liu says, the scientists will determine the relationship between the vertical piezoelectric coefficient d33 and the thickness of CdS at atomic scales. “Well also synthesize other piezoelectric, ferroelectric and layered piezoelectric/ferroelectric ultrathin materials, and explore their electromechanical properties.” Based on this material and micro/nano-manufacture technology, the researchers hope to design and fabricate next-generation actuators for accurate positioning of minute objects, such as nanoparticles at subatomic scales, using their novel materials.In addition, the large vertical piezoelectric coefficient d33 makes this material promising to construction of ultrathin and sensitive pressure sensors for detecting miniscule forces. If the low detection limit of sensor reaches to nanoscale levels, the device could monitor single biological cell migration. “Our study will inspire material scientists to hunt for other non-trivial ultrathin or layered piezoelectric or ferroelectric materials,” Liu tells Phys.org. “Engineers can employ our CdS ultrathin films to design and fabricate novel microelectromechanical systems,” or MEMS, “and nanoelectromechanical systems,” or NEMS, “with high-integration and multi-functionalities, and may benefit when developing cutting-edge scientific instruments. Furthermore,” he concludes, “novel and flexible consumer electronic devices can be developed based on our study.” Arranging polymer nanotubes in a vertical array enhances piezoelectric properties for acoustic sensors Piezoelectricity (aka the piezoelectric effect) occurs within certain materials – crystals (notably quartz), some ceramics, bone, DNA, and a number of proteins – when the application of mechanical stress or vibration generates electric charge or alternating current (AC) voltage, respectively. (Conversely, piezoelectric materials can vibrate when AC voltage is applied to them.) The piezoelectric effect has a significant range of uses, including sound production and detection, generation of high voltages and electronic frequencies, atomic resolution imaging technologies (e.g., scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy), and actuators for highly accurate positioning of nanoscale objects – the last being crucial for fundamental research and industrial applications. That being said, subatomic scale positioning still presents a number of challenge. Recently, however, researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, and Duke University, Durham demonstrated vertical piezoelectricity at the atomic scale (three to five space lattices) using ultrathin cadmium sulfide (CdS) films. The researchers determined a vertical piezoelectric coefficient (d33) three times that of bulk CdS using in situ scanning Kelvin force microscopy and single and dual ac resonance tracking piezoelectric force microscopy, leading them to conclude that their findings have a number of critical roles in the design of next-generation sensors and microelectromechanical devices. More information: X. Wang et al, Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films, Science Advances 01 Jul 2016, Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600209, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600209 Liu comments that addressing these challenges required innovative techniques. “For the first time, we successfully synthesized high-quality atomic thin CdS films using CVD, and we demonstrated vertical piezoelectricity of these films at the atomic scale of 3~5 space lattices” (a space, or crystal, lattice being a periodically repeating two- or three-dimensional array of points or particles) “and observed the vertical piezoelectric domains. More importantly,” Liu continues, “our work shows an enhanced vertical piezoelectricity in CdS ultrathin films at a level three times larger than the CdS bulk counterpart, as well as higher than most of traditional piezoelectric materials.” These results imply non-trivial piezoelectric behavior at atomic limits for a certain class of materials – which has not yet been well explored – and inspires the search for two-dimensional free-standing layered piezoelectric materials that are only one atom thick. Liu points out that their findings shed light on the design of next-generation sensors, actuators and microelectromechanical devices, in that piezoelectric materials are the most important component for such devices. Specifically, he says that their findings provide the opportunity for next-generation sensors and microelectromechanical devices in three ways:Flexibility: Ultrathin piezoelectric material materials are naturally like two-dimensional materials in being flexible, allowing them to be conformably used for more complicated electromechanical devices. Miniaturization: Ultrathin piezoelectric material materials are a perfect candidate for the fabrication of reduced size, highly integrated devices, especially for mobile phone and wearable devices. Inspiration: The study’s results will inspire the development of other ultrathin piezoelectric materials, especially two-dimensional piezoelectric materials. Liu illustrates these points by listing potential examples of such devices – for example, atomically thin piezoelectric devices – and their applications. “For instance, using CdS ultrathin films, the most accurate probe or stage ever fabricated may be achievable, allowing researchers and engineers to manipulate atoms or position tips in atomic force, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy. In other words, CdS ultrathin films will extend our capability to see and manipulate our world in an extreme way.” Of more importance, he adds, such ultrathin piezoelectric devices can be integrated into equipment like autocollimators and Michelson interferometers used in, for example, cold atom studies, the verification of the gravitational inverse square law at short range, and even the detection of gravitational waves.The study also reports the in situ measurement of the ultrathin CdS film vertical piezoelectric coefficient d33, determining the film coefficient to be approximately three times larger than that of bulk CdS. “This value is pretty big for atomically thin materials,” Liu explains. “It means that we can get a large voltage change when small pressure or deformation is applied. This makes the material a great candidate constructing sensitive and ultrathin mechanical sensors.” © 2016 Phys.org Fig. 3. Spectroscopic characterization of CdS thin film. (A) Energy (E) band structure in the vicinity of the Γ-point of the Brillouin zone, showing the photon emission process. (B and C) PL spectrum of CdS thin film from points i and ii marked in (C) with plus signs, showing strong band edge emission (506 nm) of CdS ultrathin film and defect-related emission (595 nm). (C) Optical image of CdS thin film with a rounded microparticle at its center. a.u., arbitrary units. (D and E) PL mapping at an emission of 514 nm with a different scale bar, demonstrating high uniformity and homogeneity of CdS thin films at the outside area. (F) PL mapping at the 595-nm emission, indicating that the defect-related emission only occurs at the thicker CdS microparticle. Credit: X. Wang, X. He, H. Zhu, L. Sun, W. Fu, X. Wang, L. C. Hoong, H. Wang, Q. Zeng, W. Zhao, J. Wei, Z. Jin, Z. Shen, J. Liu, T. Zhang, Z. Liu, Subatomic deformation driven by vertical piezoelectricity from CdS ultrathin films. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600209 (2016). Copyright © 2016 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1600209.last_img read more

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Lesbians tweet on the benefits of dating men goes viral

first_imgBrooklyn-based Gabrielle Korn is the editor-in-chief of Nylon magazine. She was reflecting on a girl she dated during her college days.The mom of the woman she was dating was not happy when she discovered her daughter was dating another woman.‘I dated a girl in college whose mom tried to talk her out of being gay by telling her she’d have to go through life w/out someone to open jars for her,’ she tweeted. ‘At the time it was upsetting but in hindsight I kind of love that jar opening was the only use for men she could think of.’I dated a girl in college whose mom tried to talk her out of being gay by telling her she’d have to go through life w/out someone to open jars for her. At the time it was upsetting but in hindsight I kind of love that jar opening was the only use for men she could think of.— Gabrielle Korn (@Gabrielle_Korn) April 9, 2018The tweet was posted last night. At the time of writing, it has received 165,000 likes, 30,000 retweets and hundreds of comments.‘My grandmother used to call those rubber squares you use to open jars “rubber husbands” and that’s always seemed hilarious to me,’ said @imaginarycircus. This prompted the following response from @SushiRollPhan: ‘I also have a rubber husband, but not the kind your grandmother had!’Other users were quick to point out that their relationships went against stereotypes.‘I cook brownies while my wife yells at football on TV,’ said @johnroysound. ‘We have a damned good relationship. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so proud to follow all of you. Let’s keep turning society into a better place to be.’ Gabrielle Korn (Photo:@Gabrielle_Korn | Twitter) Others have gone on to share tips about opening jars.‘What do you mean, use a spoon to break the seal?’ queried @weggles. ‘I feel like that would be harder than simply opening the jar?’‘It’s the vacuum that gets you,’ replied @pauldegnan. ‘Tuck the tip of the spoon under the lip of the lid then lever out til you hear a hiss. Then you’ve broken the vacuum and the lid twists off easily.’Others have shared their own coming out memories.‘Ha!’ said @thatmarkloewen, ‘My mom when I came out: “but you would make such a great husband to a woman. You are emotional and sensitive and you are so patient when you shop with me!” Me: “mom, those are all things that make me super gay!”’Lastly, Korn herself, was quick to reassure her followers that she’d been able to cope just fine without a man to help with this particular task.‘For the record everyone I have been opening my own jars ~ if you know what I mean ~ just fine for 11 years.’GSN has contacted Korn for comment.See alsoFormer Disney star Alyson Stoner comes out as queer A gay woman’s tweet about a college dating experience has gone viral. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS- Duncan James shares cute story of how he came out to Geri Halliwell after dating herAlexa Chung admits she’s open to polyamory and same-sex relationships: ‘I’m overdue losing my lesbian virginity’LGBTI rapper CupcaKKe gets upfront in new queer video ‘Crayons’Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gabrielle-korn-tweet-mom/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…last_img read more

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Bakkies crash in Murchison Street

first_imgTwo bakkies collided today (May 23) in Murchison Street.The cause of the collision is unknown at this stage.None of the occupants were injured in the crash.Also read: Vehicles crash near AK’s OK Grocer, LadysmithAlso read: Injuries in head-on collisionAlso read: One dead in horror crash on Colenso roadPublic Safety and emergency personnel responded to the scene.Traffic flow was obstructed as one of the bakkies was still on the roadway. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Public Safety officers had to conduct traffic control until the vehicle was moved from the scene.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img

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